Paroxetine (By mouth)

Introduction

Paroxetine (par-OX-e-teen)

Treats depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This medicine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Brand Name(s)

Paxil CR, Paxil, Pexeva

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to paroxetine, or if you are pregnant. Do not use this medicine if you are using pimozide (Orap®) or thioridazine (Mellaril®). Do not use this medicine and an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®, or linezolid (Zyvox®) within 14 days of each other.

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine is usually taken in the morning.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. Shake the bottle well before measuring each dose.
  • Swallow the tablet or extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it. Do not use an extended-release tablet that is cracked or chipped.
  • You may need to take this medicine for a month or longer before you feel better. If you feel that the medicine is not working well, do not take more than your normal dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using buspirone (Buspar®), cimetidine (Tagamet®), fentanyl (Sublimaze®), metoprolol (Lopressor®, Toprol-XL®), St John's wort, theophylline (Theo-Dur®), tramadol (Ultram®), tryptophan, lithium (Lithobid®), medicine for migraine headaches (such as sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, Frova®, Maxalt®, Relpax®, Zomig®), or other medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, Elavil®, citalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline, Cymbalta®, Effexor®, Lexapro®, Pristiq®). Tell your doctor if you use a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven), diuretic (water pill, such as furosemide, Lasix®), or a phenothiazine medicine (such as promethazine, Phenergan®, Thorazine®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using atomoxetine (Strattera®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), procyclidine (Kemadrin®), risperidone (Risperdal®), or tamoxifen (Nolvadex®). Also tell your doctor if you are using medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as encainide, flecainide, propafenone, Enkaid®, Tambocor®), medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as fosamprenavir, ritonavir, Lexiva®, Norvir®), or an NSAID pain or arthritis medicines (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, bleeding problems, bone problems, epilepsy or seizures, heart disease, high blood pressure, low sodium in the blood, glaucoma, or a history of heart attack, stroke, or mania.
  • For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or are getting worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • This medicine may cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome, when taken with certain medicines. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, confusion, mental changes, restlessness, fast heartbeat, muscle spasms, trouble walking, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood) may occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have confusion, difficulty concentrating, headaches, memory problems, weakness, and unsteadiness.
  • This medicine may increase the risk of broken bones. Tell your doctor if you have unexplained bone pain, tenderness, swelling, or bruising.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, restlessness, fast heartbeat, fever, sweating, muscle spasms, twitching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Changes in behavior, thoughts of hurting yourself or others
  • Confusion, weakness, and muscle twitching
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Trouble keeping still, feeling restless and agitated
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Trouble sleeping or unusual dreams
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Nausea, dry mouth, constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach
  • Sexual problems
  • Sleepiness, yawning

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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