]Paxil is a popular brand name for paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to treat depression and related psychiatric conditions. Paxil is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for depression.
The main active ingredient in Paxil is paroxetine, which is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Paroxetine can block the reuptake, or reabsorption, of the neurotransmitter serotonin by brain cells, therefore making more serotonin available for use in the brain. More serotonin can help brain cells send and receive chemical signals better, a function that is shown to elevate mood and relieve symptoms of depression in patients.
Paxil is mainly prescribed for the treatment of major depressive disorder, clinical depression and subtypes of depression such as atypical depression and dysthymia. It’s also commonly prescribed for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), social or generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Paxil as a viable treatment for night sweats and hot flashes in women undergoing menopause.
Paroxetine is not approved for pediatric use.
Paxil is available as film-coated tablets in 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg and 40 mg doses of paroxetine.
Inactive ingredients in Paxil tablets include dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate and titanium dioxide.
Dosage of Paxil will vary depending on age, type of psychiatric condition, severity of condition, response to treatment and physician recommendation.
Paxil is usually prescribed to be taken once a day in the morning or the evening. It’s highly recommended to take Paxil the same time each day.
Paxil can be taken either with or without food. Presence of food does not affect the absorption rate of paroxetine.
However, some patients may experience upset stomachs if Paxil is taken without a meal.
Do not take more or less of the recommended dosage. Paxil should be taken exactly as prescribed for the drug to be effective.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take Paxil if allergic to paroxetine or any of the inactive ingredients in the drug.
Studies have shown that antidepressants like paroxetine can increase the risk of suicide among children, teens and young adults up to 24 years of age. Therefore, all patients taking Paxil should be carefully monitored for suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
Paxil is not recommended for pregnant patients as it can potentially harm the fetus and the mother after birth. Paxil may not be safe for breastfeeding patients as the drug could potentially pass on to the infant through breast milk.
Paxil causes severe drug interactions with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as isocarboxazid and linezolid. Wait at least 14 days to take a MAOI after taking Paxil.
Paxil is not safe to use in patients being treated with pimozide, thioridazine and methylene blue injection.
Patients with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, bleeding disorders, low sodium levels, should discuss the safety of Paxil with a physician beforehand.
Paxil and paroxetine may potentially cause one or more of the following side effects:
Insomnia or trouble sleeping
Constipation or diarrhea
Dry mouth (xerostomia)
Sexual problems such as decreased libido and trouble achieving orgasm
Immediately consult a physician if side effects continue to persist or worsen over time.