Paroxetine, also known as Paxil, is an antidepressant used to treat a number of psychological disorders including depression. It belongs to a group of medications known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
How it works
People who suffer from mood disorders such as depression and anxiety are known to have decreased levels of serotonin in their brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating mood. Thus, when it is high, people experience extreme feelings of sadness and anxiety compared to others. As an SSRI, the drug sorts this chemical imbalance in the brain by increasing low levels of serotonin.
Paroxetine is mainly used to treat depression. However, it is also used on people with a number of other conditions.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
This medication is taken only once a day – preferably in the morning. Although it is possible to take the medication with and without food, the former method can increase the risk of nausea. Sometimes the medication can make you sleepy. In this case, you can ask your physician whether it is okay to consume the medication in the evening. Your dosage depends on a number of factors including your age, medical history, current medications and response to the treatment. It is best not to chew or crush this drug since most labels advise the users not to.
Most antidepressants come with a number of side-effects. Listed below are some symptoms that you may or may not experience during your treatment period.
Eye problems – blurred vision, tunnel vision and swelling
Mood changes – hyperactive, aggression, irritability, restlessness and suicidal thoughts
Nervous system reaction – confusion, rigid muscles, high fever, tremors and sweating
Changes in weight and appetite
Severe skin reactions – skin pain, swelling and rashes
If you experience any of the above, make sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately.
The occurrence of the above mentioned side effects cannot be stopped. However, they can be reduced to a significant extent by following the precautionary methods listed below.
Avoid consuming alcohol – It increases the risk of side effects
Consuming Paroxetine can make you drowsy and sleepy. Therefore, do not drive or engage in activities that require focus and concentration
Do not stop the medication abruptly without informing your physician since it results in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms
Do not use Paroxetine on children
Consuming this medication can result in a number of mood changes such as impulsive, hostile and restless behavior.
If you experience such changes in your mood, inform your healthcare provider immediately
Consuming this medication during the period of pregnancy can result in serious lung problems and heart defects and can also complicate the health of the baby. However, stopping the medication can result in either withdrawal symptoms or relapse of depression. Therefore, it is best to talk your physician to decide the right procedure to follow.
Moreover, it is best to avoid this medication during breastfeeding too.
It is quite easy to become addicted to Paroxetine since patients overuse the drug in an attempt to get rid of depression. However, doing so only makes matters worse. It will not only increase the risk of side effects but can also result in substance abuse and overdosing. Therefore, do not change your dosage without consulting your physician.