General Warnings

What are The Long-term Side Effects of Paxil (Paroxetine)

A long-term side effect refers to an effect (beneficial, harmful, or negligible) that appears months or years after starting or stopping the medicine. The medicine might have been taken for a short period of time yet several years later an unanticipated outcome might emerge. A medicine might be taken for a long time and the cumulative effect of long-term exposure might have consequences.

What is paroxetine?

Paxil is a brand of paroxetine used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, anxiety (social anxiety and generalized anxiety), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It belongs to a group of medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is believed that SSRIs work by increasing the activity of certain chemicals working in our brains called neurotransmitters. These pass signals from one brain cell to another. Although we don’t know for certain, the neurotransmitters that are most likely to be involved in depression and some other conditions are thought to be serotonin and noradrenaline.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most frequently prescribed antidepressants. SSRIs are called selective because they only affect serotonin.

How Long Does It Take For Paxil (Paroxetine) To Work?

Sleep, energy, or appetite may show some improvement within the first 1-2 weeks. Improvement in these physical symptoms can be an important early signal that the medication is working. Depressed mood and lack of interest in activities may need up to 6-8 weeks to fully improve.

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Paxil (Paroxetine)?

Common side effects of paroxetine include:

•              Anxiety

•              Blurred vision

•              Constipation

•              Decreased appetite

•              Diarrhea

•              Dizziness

•              Dry mouth

•              Ejaculation disorder

•              Headache

•              Impotence

•              Insomnia

•              Mania (mild)

•              Nausea

•              Nervousness

•              Numbness and tingling

•              Tremor

•              Weakness or lack of energy

Other side effects of paroxetine include (based on 40 mg dose):

•              Angle-closure glaucoma

•              Fast heart rate

•              High blood pressure (hypertension)

•              Itching

•              Joint pain

•              Mood swings

•              Ringing in the ears

•              Spinning sensation (vertigo)

•              Weight gain

Serious side effects of paroxetine include:

•              Abnormal bleeding (rare)

•              Acute hepatitis (rare)

•              Hyponatremia (rare)

•              Mania (rare)

•              Seizure (rare)

•              Serotonin syndrome

•              Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

•              Suicidal thoughts (rare)

•              Suicide (rare)

•              Toxic epidermal necrolysis

•              Worsening depression

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

Are There Any Risks For Taking Paxil (Paroxetine) For Long Periods Of Time?

To date, there are no known problems associated with the long-term use of paroxetine. It is a safe and effective medication when used as directed. However, in some people using this medication for a long time can cause sexual dysfunction, such as problems getting an erection or a lower sex drive. In some cases, these can continue even after stopping the medicine.

To avoid these long-term side effects, a doctor will likely suggest that a person gradually tapers their dosage of Paxil. Tapering typically lasts for 4 weeks, but for Paxil, a doctor may suggest tapering the medication over 6–8 weeks to reduce the risk of symptoms.

It is important to note that addiction is not a short or long-term side effect of Paxil. Whether the long-term use of Paxil results in addiction has been debated over the past 20 years. Much of this debate has revolved around the criteria used for identifying addiction. Furthermore, there is an absence of studies that have examined the addictive potential of Paxil.

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