What is Paxil?
Paxil belongs to a group of drugs called as ‘selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor’ (SSRI). An active ingredient of Paxil is Paroxetine hydrochloride and it is available in tablet and suspension form.
Uses of Paxil
Paxil is used primarily for the treatment of depression. In addition to depression, Paxil may also be used for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
How does Paxil work?
- Paxil Cr Oral contains Paroxetine as its active ingredient. Paroxetine works by inhibiting serotonin reuptake thus increasing the level of serotonin, a chemical messenger in the brain.
- Increased serotonin levels in the brain improve the mood and relieve symptoms of depression and panic and anxiety disorders.
How to Take Paxil?
- Paxil Cr Oral medicine is available in tablet (10mg, 20mg, 30mg and 40mg) and in suspension form (10mg/5ml).
- When taken in oral form, it is advised to take this medicine with food or immediately after food to prevent any gastric side effect.
- When taken in tablet form, swallow the tablet as a whole with fluids. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- When taken in syrup form, measure the dose with a measuring cup and shake the bottle well before each use.
- Never use Paxil in more than the recommended dose or for longer periods of time without doctor’s consent.
- In case of non-improvement of symptoms or symptoms getting worse, seek medical attention immediately.
- Do not stop treatment with Paxil suddenly. The dosage should be tapered gradually and then stopped.
- Stopping the medicine suddenly may lead to withdrawal symptoms like vertigo, dizziness, flu like symptoms, irritability etc.
Common Dosage & When to Take Paxil?
- The dose and duration of treatment with Paxil Cr Oral depend upon the age of the patient and the type/ severity of the ailment.
- Paxil is usually recommended as a single daily dose to be administered in the morning with or without food.
- An initial recommended dose of Paxil is 20 mg once daily. If the symptoms do not subside, the dose can be increased with 10 mg increment every week up to 50 mg per day.
- The recommended dose for various conditions may vary from 20-60 mg per day but the Maximum recommended dose is 60 mg per day in a single dose.
- Once the desired results are achieved, the dose can then be gradually tapered by the physician and a maintenance dose of lowest effective dosage can be maintained till advised.
- Dose adjustment is needed in elderly and patients suffering from liver and kidney diseases.
When to avoid Paxil?
Paxil Cr Oral should not be used or should be used with caution when:
- Allergic to any of its components
- People with liver or kidney problem
- Elderly people
- Patients with suicidal thoughts
- Patients with heart disease or stroke
- Patients on MAO inhibitor drugs
- Glaucoma patients
- Epileptic patients
- Pregnant and lactating mothers
Side effects of Paxil Cr Oral
Paxil may produce certain side effects, although they may not be common in all the patients. Commonly observed side effects:
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Low sexual desire
- Delayed ejaculation
- Blurred vision
Inform your doctor if you have any of the below-mentioned side effects:
- Unusual bleeding
- Unusual bone or muscle pain
- Rapid heart beat
- Low sodium levels in the body – headache, confusion, severe weakness, loss of coordination etc.
- Serotonin syndrome/toxicity – fast heartbeat, hallucinations, severe dizziness, twitching of muscles, unexplained fever, restlessness and loss of coordination.
Effects on organs?
Patients with liver and kidney disease should administer Paxil Cr Oral with caution and under the observation of a doctor.
Reported Allergic Reactions?
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Allergy with Paxil may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Drug Interactions to Be Careful About
Drug interactions refer to the effect of drugs on each other and on human body following ingestion. Large numbers of medicine have shown interaction with each other. It is advised that the patient must always inform the physician about all the medicines/over the counter products/vitamin supplements used. Consult your doctor before administering any other drugs concomitantly with Paxil. All the possible drug interactions might not be listed here. Few important ones include:
- MAO inhibitors
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Using all these medicines along with Paxil can influence the therapeutic effect of these medicines and also can increase the chances of side effects.
Shows Effects / Results In
- Patients may notice improvement slowly over a period of 1-4 weeks following Paxil Cr Oral therapy.
- Even if symptoms disappear, it should be taken until advised as sudden withdrawal can lead to unwanted withdrawal symptoms.
Is Paxil Cr Oral Addictive?
A minimal addictive tendency has been reported with Paxil for drug abuse.
Can I have Paxil with alcohol?
- Interaction of Paxil with alcohol may increase the risk of side effects and may cause excessive drowsiness and calmness, therefore, it is not recommended to consume alcohol while taking Paxil.
Any particular food item to be avoided?
No alteration in its action seen with any food product.
Can I have Paxil Cr Oral when Pregnant?
- Paxil Cr Oral should be used with caution in pregnancy as it has shown adverse effects on foetus when administered at doses greater than the therapeutic dose.
- It should not be used specifically in the first few weeks and last few months of pregnancy
- Paxil should only be used if the benefits justify the risk to the foetus. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Can I have Paxil Cr Oral when feeding a baby?
Paxil should not be used in breastfeeding women as the drug may pass into breast milk and lead to fatal adverse effects in foetus.
Can I drive after taking Paxil?
- Few patients might exhibit drowsiness, dizziness or a headache after administration of Paxil Cr Oral.
- Such patients should use Paxil with caution while driving or operating heavy machinery.
What happens if I overdose on Paxil?
- It should not be administered in more than prescribed dose.
- Taking more medication or with increased frequency will not improve your symptoms; rather they may cause serious side-effects like dizziness, sweating, tremors, confusion etc.
What happens if I eat expired Paxil Cr Oral?
- The medicine may not work as well. Please inform your physician regarding the same.
- To be on the safer side, always check and never use an expired drug.
What happens if I miss a dose of Paxil?
- The medicine may not work well if you miss a dose because, for effective working of the drug, a certain amount of drug must be present in your body at all times.
- Always consume the missed dose as soon as you remember. But, if it is already time for the next dose – do not double the dose.
Storage of Paxil Cr Oral
- Storage at room temperature away from direct heat and light.
- Keep medicines away from children and pets.
Pro Tips When Taking Paxil
- Few patients on Paxil Cr Oral show symptoms of serotonin syndrome: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, severe dizziness, twitching of muscles, unexplained fever, restlessness and loss of coordination.
- Patients on long-term Paxil may show symptoms of hyponatremia (decreased sodium levels in the blood). Monitoring of blood sodium levels should be done in such patients.