What is Paxil (Paroxetine)?
Paxil is an antidepressant belonging to a group of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which enhances the effects of serotonin in brain structures. The drug has antidepressant and anxiolytic effects. It is used to treat all types of depression (reactive, panic, social phobia, etc.), obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, social phobias and other anxiety disorders.
You can currently buy Paxil tablets for oral administration on the market. The tablets are oval, biconvex shape and painted white. The drug is available in packs of 10 or 30 pieces.
Paxil tablets contain 20 mg of paroxetine, which is an active ingredient of Paxil.
Medical effect of Paxil (Paroxetine)
Therapeutic effects of Paxil are determined by its ability to selectively block the reuptake of serotonin, thus prolonging its pharmacological effect. The drug is efficient to treat different types of anxiety and depressive disorders.
Paxil is also effective in a treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in children 7 years and older as well as in adults. It significantly improves a patient's condition during the first 1 - 2 weeks of treatment.
Paxil shows great results during the first weeks of treatment for people suffering from depression with suicidal thoughts. The drug is effective in cases, where antidepressant medications from other classification groups were useless. An additional treatment with Paxil can be used to prevent relapse of depression.
In case of panic disorder (attacks, phobias, etc.), Paxil is effective only in combination with nootropic drugs ( like Pikamilon, Piracetam, other nootropics, etc.) and tranquilizers.
Paxil moderately stimulates the central nervous system but does not have amphetamine-like action. Taking the drug in the morning does not impair the quality and duration of your sleep. That is why you don't need an additional use of sleeping pills. You sleep quality even improves while taking Paxil for sleep in most cases. However, the medication can be combined with short-acting sleeping pills, if necessary. Improving the process of falling asleep and did not affect sleep patterns.
Paxil does not break and does not inhibit the work of a brain, does not affect blood pressure and heart rate.
How long it takes for Paxil to start working?
Visible and significant effects of Paxil develop within 1 - 2 weeks after the start of treatment. On the basis of observations of patients, medical specialists came to the conclusion, that the first effect of Paxil can be felt within one week after the start of its intake. However, more stable and visible action, that positively affects the quality of human life, is usually observed after 2 weeks.
What is Paxil used for?
Paxil is prescribed to treat the following mental disorders:
- Depression of any type (reactive, severe depression with anxiety, etc.);
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (painful intrusive thoughts or actions that cause a person to deal with some hypothetical potential problems);
- Panic disorder with agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) or without it;
- Social phobia - persistent fears of doing any actions in public (for example, presentations) or attention from other people (for example, a closer look);
- Generalized anxiety disorder (excessive daily anxiety about various events or daily activities);
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (prolonged response to any stress).
Paxil can be used a basic medication for treatment and relapse prevention of obsessive-compulsive, panic disorders, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder.
Paxil (Paroxetine) dosage
Take Paxil (paroxetine) pill one time a day in the morning with your meals. Swallow the whole pill without chewing or crushing it, washing down with a glass of water.
It is recommended to take Paxil for a long period of time, which will be sufficient for the relief of all negative symptoms. Typically, Paxil is used for several months to get positive results. Your doctor should determine your individual dosage and duration of treatment, which depends on your diagnosis and overall health condition.
Take Paxil 20mg a day (1 pill) in case of depression. You may assess the effectiveness of the drug in terms of painful symptoms relief after 2 - 3 weeks of treatment. If a clinical the l effect is insufficient, the dosage can be increased to a maximum to Paxil 50 mg (2.5 pills) a day. The dosage should be increased gradually, adding additional 10 mg of Paxil each week. For example, you add 10 mg of Paxil a day to your current 20mg dosage and take 30mg of Paxil a day for 7 days. If this dosage has sufficient clinical effect, you should stick to this dosage throughout the course of therapy without increasing it. If a clinical effect is still insufficient, increase Paxil dosage by 10 mg daily next week and take Paxil 40 mg (2 tablets) for the next 7 days. Then, evaluate the effectiveness of treatment and decide whether you need to increase your dosage or not. The duration of treatment is usually 4 to 12 months.
For obsessive-compulsive and panic disorder, the optimal therapeutic dosage of Paxil for adults is 40 mg a day, and the maximum possible dosage - 60 mg. However, you should start taking the drug from 20 mg of Paxil a day, increasing it to a daily dosage of 40 mg by adding 10mg of Paxil a day each week. For example, take 20mg of Paxil the first week, 30 mg for the second week and 40mg of Paxil a day for the third week and subsequent treatment course. If your health condition does not improve within two weeks, then Paxil dosage can be increased to 60 mg (3 tablets) a day, adding 10 mg of Paxil a week.
The optimum dosage of Paxil for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in children is 20 - 30 mg a day. The maximum dosage should not exceed 50 mg of Paroxetine a day. Children should start taking the drug from 10 mg a day, increasing daily dosage by 10 mg of Paxil each week. A low initial dose is required in order to minimize the risk of possible symptoms of panic disorder, that can be observed at the beginning of treatment with any antidepressants. The duration of obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment is up to six months, and panic disorder - from 4 to 8 months.
Optimal dosage for adults to treat social phobia is 20 mg of Paxil a day, and 10 mg of Paxil for children. The maximum daily dose for adults and children is 50 mg of Paroxetine. People of any age should start treatment from 10 mg of Paxil daily, increasing the dosage by 10 mg of Paxil a day each week. You should make a conclusion about the effectiveness of Paxil treatment at the end of each week. If you think the dosage is sufficiently effective, it is no longer increased and left unchanged until the end of therapy. The typical duration of treatment is 4 to 10 months.
The optimal dose of Paxil in case of generalized anxiety disorder is 20 mg of Paroxetine a day. The maximum allowable dosage is 50 mg a day. Start taking 20 mg of Paroxetine a day and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment two weeks later. If a clinical effect is good, you do not need to increase the dosage. Leave current daily dosage until the end of treatment. In case of insufficient Paxil effect, the dosage is increased by 10 mg weekly until your disorder is effectively suppressed. The duration of treatment is up to 8 months.
It is recommended to take 20 mg Paxil a day in case of PTSD. Paxil dosage can be increased to up to 50 mg a day if no positive effect is observed after 2 weeks of treatment. Add 10mg to your daily Paxil intake each week. The average duration of treatment is 4 - 7 months.
Start of treatment with Paxil (Paroxetine)
Start taking one Paxil pill a day and then evaluate the effect of treatment after two weeks. In case of clinical effects are insufficient, increase your dosage by 10 mg weekly until you experience a positive effect. If you plan to take Paxil after treatment with MAO inhibitors, you have at least two weeks interval between taking finishing MAO inhibitors intake.
The drug should be withdrawn gradually to avoid withdrawal symptoms and deterioration of health condition. Perform the following steps to cancel the drug:
- Decrease you current dosage by 10 mg and take a reduced dosage of Paxil for 7 days. For example, if you are taking 50 mg of Paroxetine a day, subtract 10mg and take 40mg of Paroxetine for the next week.
- Reduce Paxil dosage by 10mg each week until it reaches 20 mg a day.
Take Paxil 20 mg once a day for a week, and then completely cancel taking the drug.
If you experience withdrawal symptoms while reducing the dosage or after you completely canceled taking the drug, resume taking Paxil at the same dosage. After 2 - 3 weeks of taking the drug try reducing the dosage slowly. In such cases, the dosage is reduced by 10 mg of Paxil every week or once 2 - 3 weeks.
Paxil during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Experiments on animals did not reveal any adverse effects of fetus development of the fetus during pregnancy.
However, clinical monitoring of women taking Paxil during the first trimester of pregnancy (up to the 12th week), showed that the drug doubled the risk of birth defects, such as defects in the ventricular and atrial walls.
In addition, some newborns, whose mothers took Paxil in the third trimester (26 to 40 weeks), had the following health complications:
- distress syndrome;
- temperature instability;
- difficulties with feeding;
- arterial hypertension;
- enhanced reflexes;
- constant crying;
These complications in children, whose mothers took Paxil in the third trimester of pregnancy, are observed 4 - 5 times more often than in newborns, whose mothers did not use the drug.
Thus, considering all these facts, pregnant women should take Paxil only if the expected benefits outweigh the possible risks. But it is better not to use the drug during pregnancy.
Paxil penetrates into breast milk, that is why avoid taking Paxil during breastfeeding.
In addition, Paxil reduces the quality of sperm in men. However, sperm quality changes are reversible, it returns to its normal state after you cancel taking the drug. That is why it is recommended to plan a child conception child after the end of treatment.
Paxil concentration in blood generally higher in elderly people than in young people. Therefore, the maximum dosage of the drug for elder people is 40 mg of Paxil a day. Furthermore, Paroxetine can decrease sodium levels in blood for people of advanced age, which is restored after the end of treatment.
Take minimum effective dosage of Paxil 20 mg a day, if you have severe liver or kidney disorders.
It is a very high risk of suicidal behavior, aggression, anger, deviant behavior and hostility towards others in children and adolescents during treatment with antidepressants. Therefore, you have to carefully weigh the potential adverse effects and positive effects before using Paxil for children, and only then make a final decision. A teenager should be under constant medical supervision during treatment with Paxil. It case of significant deterioration of mental health condition, when negative effects outweigh positive ones, cancel taking the drug immediately.
The risk of suicidal behavior while taking Paxil for depression is much higher in younger patients (under 25 years) compared with mature (over 25 years) and older (over 65 years). You could say the younger the person, the higher the risk of suicidal behavior while taking Paxil. This fact should be considered when taking the drug. The behavior of young people should be closely monitored during the entire treatment period. Contact your doctor immediately, if you notice the appearance of suicidal thoughts or behavior while taking Paxil. The highest risk of suicidal thoughts is usually observed at early stages of recovery.
Paxil intake may also induce akathisia, which is characterized by a sense of restlessness and psychomotor agitation when a person feels the need to constantly do something, walk somewhere, he or she can not sit, stand or lie down. The need to constantly do something painful to humans. Usually, akathisia develops during early stages of treatment, and after a few weeks pass.
Paxil can cause serotonin syndrome in rare cases, which can be lethal. Therefore, you should immediately stop taking the drug in case of first signs of serotonin syndrome. This syndrome can be manifested by the following symptoms:
- Increased body temperature;
- The rigidity of muscles;
- Increased muscles tone;
- Autonomic disorders;
- Agitation (excited state).
The use of Paxil for depression can trigger the accelerated development of mania because frequently manic disorder begins with a major depressive episode. In case of the first mania signs, you should stop taking the drug and switch to another antidepressant or psychotropic drugs. That is why you should take Paxil (paroxetine) with caution in case of delusions history.
Paxil do not increase the risk of seizures. Therefore, it can be used to treat people suffering from epilepsy. However, if you have seizures in history, you should be under constant medical observation while taking the drug. Immediately stop taking the drug in case of convulsive seizure development.
Take Paxil (Paroxetine) with caution in case of glaucoma or tendency to bleeding. There is an increased susceptibility to bone fractures during Paxil treatment.
Paxil does not impair cognitive and psychomotor functions of the central nervous system and. Therefore, you can drive a car or work with other equipment while taking the drug with reasonable care.
Paxil (Paroxetine) overdose
Paxil overdose occurs only if you take more than 2000 mg (100 tablets) of Paxil at once. Overdose side effects include the following additional symptoms:
- Sharp expansion of pupils;
- Blood pressure swings;
- Tachycardia (palpitations);
- Involuntary muscle contractions;
- Agitation (very excited).
As a specific antidote does not exist, a person with Paxil overdose should be placed in an intensive care unit, washing out his/her stomach. In rare case overdose with Paxil may be lethal. However, it usually happens when Paroxetine was taken in conjunction with other psychotropic drugs or alcohol.
Paxil (Paroxetine) Interaction
Using Paxil together with other drugs having serotonin effects (all MAO inhibitors and SSRIs, tryptophan, triptans, tramadol, linezolid, lithium, and products containing St. John's wort) can cause increased side effects. The use of Paxil concurrently with terfenadine, Alprozalamom, carbamazepine, phenytoin or sodium valproate is safe, even without adjusting dosages. Paxil increases the concentration of other antidepressants, antipsychotics, risperidone, propafenone, flecainide, metoprolol in blood. That is why you have to reduce the dosage of the latter in case of simultaneous intake.
Paxil and Phenazepam
Paxil (Paroxetine) is often taken in combination with Phenazepam, a tranquilizer, which effectively eliminates anxiety. This combination of this drugs is used to minimize side effects of Paxil and to prevent exacerbation of negative symptoms at the beginning of treatment. Phenazepam is usually prescribed only for the first 2 - 3 weeks of treatment with Paxil.
Paxil and alcohol
Paxil is compatible with alcohol In terms of drug interactions. That is why you can theoretically drink strong alcoholic beverages during treatment with Paxil. However, doctors strongly recommend against combining alcohol and Paroxetine, as it may provoke the following negative effects:
- One-time use of alcohol on the eve of taking Paxil significantly reduces the effect of the drug;
- Systematic use of alcohol causes an excessive growth of both positive effects of Paxil and its side effects.
Paxil side effects
Paroxetine may cause the following side effects:
Blood and lymphatic system:
- Bleeding in the skin or mucous membranes;
- Reducing the total number of platelets.
- various types of allergic reactions
- antidiuretic hormone (ADH) release disorder
- Appetite loss;
- Reduced sodium concentration in blood (hyponatremia).
- Blurred vision;
- Worsening of glaucoma.
- Increase or decrease in blood pressure.
Central nervous system:
- Manic depression;
- Dry mouth;
- Gastrointestinal bleeding;
- Increased activity of transaminases (AST, ALT);
- Liver failure.
Skin and soft tissue:
- Skin eruptions;
- Urinary retention;
- Sexual dysfunction;
- Increasing prolactin level in blood.
- Asthenic syndrome;
- Paxil withdrawal symptoms
You may experience the following withdrawal symptoms when canceling the drug intake:
- Sensory impairment, such as electric shock as well as tinnitus;
- Sleep disturbance;
- Agitation together with anxiety;
- Limb tremor;
The symptoms listed above are mild to moderate in most cases and occur if you abruptly stop taking the drug in the first few days. They can also be observed in people who miss a few tablets of Paxil in a row. Withdrawal takes place spontaneously within two weeks and does not require special treatment. Formation of such withdrawal syndrome does not mean that Paxil is an addictive drug. These symptoms take place because neurotransmitters in a brain need to time to change settings, which takes some time. Therefore, all psychotropic drugs should not be canceled sharply, but gradually reducing the dosage.
For children and teenagers, Paxil withdrawal symptoms may also include suicidal behavior, emotional instability, nervousness, fearfulness, and abdominal pain in addition to all symptoms listed above.
Paxil (Paroxetine) intake is contraindicated in the following cases:
- Simultaneous treatment with MAO inhibitors, thioridazine, pimozide
- Age younger than 18 years for treatment of depression;
- Age younger than 7 years for treatment of various states with the exception of depression;
- Increased sensitivity or allergic reaction to the drug components.
You can buy generic Paxil on the pharmaceutical market, which may be called Paroxetine – like the main active ingredient. The cost of generic Paxil is cheaper than of the brand drug. That is why check a price of Paxil in various online pharmacies to find the cheapest one.
There are also Paxil analogs, drugs having similar therapeutic effect with but containing other active ingredients, such as:
Paxil brand or Paroxetine generic?
Paxil brand and Paxil generic all contain paroxetine as a main active ingredient. Thus, all these drugs are similar and, therefore, in theory, have exactly the same properties. However, this is not quite true.
The fact is Paroxetine is a generic, and Paxil is an original drug, which causes variations in their quality and efficiency. Original drugs always contain active and auxiliaries substances of good purity and therefore are likely to have minimal side effects, providing the maximum therapeutic effect. The technology of production and purification of active ingredients is a trade secret of the original drug manufacturer.
Other pharmaceutical companies are free to synthesize the same active ingredient and produce generics under a different name. In this case, the active substance is not checked and cleaned as thoroughly as in the original formula, which reduces the cost of generics. However, the worst combination of ancillary components and a low degree of cleaning leads to the fact that generics often provoke side effects and generally tolerated worse than the original drugs. In addition, the clinical efficacy of generic drugs is also often lower than from the brand drugs. Therefore, original drugs are usually preferred to generics.
Unfortunately, original drugs are expensive, and generics are significantly cheaper and therefore are more accessible. Due to the high cost of original drugs people often have to choose generic drugs, which are significantly cheaper. In this case, to make the best choice, you need to rely on a manufacturer, because there are a few well-known and trusted pharmaceutical companies specializing in the manufacturing of generic drugs. Therefore, it is possible to buy generic Paxil, which would be safe and as efficient as the brand drug.
Reviews of Paxil are different - about 70% are positive and 30% are negative. The positive feedbacks are left by people who took the drug prescribed by a doctor to treat really severe mental disorders such as depression, panic attacks, etc. This category of people said that they were able to cope with the disease, but they were faced with a number of negative side effects during treatment. People often include a high cost of Paxil, a large number of side effects, addiction and difficult withdrawal to disadvantages.
People feel a burst of energy, euphoria, energy, interest in what is happening, the desire to live and work during Paroxetine treatment. However, people start to experience side effects after 2-3 months of treatment, the most frequent of which are decreased libido, weight loss or weight gain, sweating, feeling of heat in a body. However, most people note that Paxil helps them to overcome their mental disorder despite various side effects, which pass after they canceled the drug.
In Paxil reviews, a few people say that the drug has helped them to cope with their disease, but they were still experiencing some painful symptoms after they finished treatment. They managed to eliminate such symptoms with other methods, such as hypnosis, psychotherapy, etc.
In most cases, negative reviews about Paxil left by people who took the drug not to treat major disorders. This category of people tried to treat vegetative-vascular dystonia, hypochondria, etc, with Paxil. However, all these mild mental disturbances can be corrected with the help of psychotherapy, hypnosis, yoga, art therapy, and other non-drug methods. Of course, the drug improved mental condition of these people, but they experienced severe withdrawal symptoms after canceling the drug. These symptoms were very poorly tolerated because people had never experienced symptoms of a really serious mental disorder. Side effects and withdrawal symptoms caused negative emotions, and people leave negative feedback about Paxil.
How much does Paxil cost?
The price of Paxil may be different in various pharmacies. Generally, you can buy Paxil generic online without prescription, which would be much cheaper than buying Paxil brand at your local drugstore. However, you check your reviews about your online pharmacy to find the most trusted website.
Does Paxil cause weight gain?
Like many other antidepressants, Paxil (Paroxetine) may cause weight fluctuations. There are several reasons, which may cause weight gain during treatment, such as an increased appetite, less physical activity, metabolism disorders, etc. It is difficult to say for sure if you are going to gain or lose weight after Paxil intake. Your weight may even remain the same during treatment. If you are worried about gaining weight with Paxil intake, you have to carefully monitor your daily calories intake and be more physically active.