A small number of children, teenagers, and young adults (up to 24 years of age) who took antidepressants ('mood elevators') such as paroxetine during clinical studies became suicidal (thinking about harming or killing oneself or planning or trying to do so). Children, teenagers, and young adults who take antidepressants to treat depression or other mental illnesses may be more likely to become suicidal than children, teenagers, and young adults who do not take antidepressants to treat these conditions. However, experts are not sure about how great this risk is and how much it should be considered in deciding whether a child or teenager should take an antidepressant. Children younger than 18 years of age should not normally take paroxetine, but in some cases, a doctor may decide that paroxetine is the best medication to treat a child's condition.
You should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways when you take paroxetine or other antidepressants even if you are an adult over 24 years of age. You may become suicidal, especially at the beginning of your treatment and any time that your dose is increased or decreased. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: new or worsening depression; thinking about harming or killing yourself, or planning or trying to do so; extreme worry; agitation; panic attacks; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; aggressive behavior; irritability; acting without thinking; severe restlessness; and frenzied abnormal excitement. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.
Your healthcare provider will want to see you often while you are taking paroxetine, especially at the beginning of your treatment. Be sure to keep all appointments for office visits with your doctor.
The doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with paroxetine. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also obtain the Medication Guide from the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/UCM096273.
No matter what your age, before you take an antidepressant, you, your parent, or your caregiver should talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of treating your condition with an antidepressant or with other treatments. You should also talk about the risks and benefits of not treating your condition. You should know that having depression or another mental illness greatly increases the risk that you will become suicidal. This risk is higher if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had bipolar disorder (mood that changes from depressed to abnormally excited) or mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood) or has thought about or attempted suicide. Talk to your doctor about your condition, symptoms, and personal and family medical history. You and your doctor will decide what type of treatment is right for you.
Paroxetine tablets, suspension (liquid), and extended-release (long-acting) tablets are used to treat depression, panic disorder (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks), and social anxiety disorder (extreme fear of interacting with others or performing in front of others that interferes with normal life). Paroxetine tablets and suspension are also used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (bothersome thoughts that won't go away and the need to perform certain actions over and over), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; excessive worrying that is difficult to control), and posttraumatic stress disorder (disturbing psychological symptoms that develop after a frightening experience). Paroxetine extended-release tablets are also used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD, physical and psychological symptoms that occur before the onset of the menstrual period each month). Paroxetine is in a class of medications called selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.
Paroxetine comes as a tablet, a suspension (liquid), and a controlled-release (long-acting) tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once daily in the morning or evening, with or without food. You may want to take paroxetine with food to prevent stomach upset. Take paroxetine at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take paroxetine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
Swallow the extended-release and regular tablets whole; do not chew or crush them.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of paroxetine and gradually increase your dose, not more than once a week.
Paroxetine controls your condition but does not cure it. It may take several weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of paroxetine. Continue to take paroxetine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking paroxetine without talking to your doctor. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually. If you suddenly stop taking paroxetine, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as depression; mood changes; frenzied or abnormally excited mood; irritability; anxiety; confusion; dizziness; headache; tiredness; numbness or tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet; unusual dreams; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; nausea; or sweating. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms when your dose of paroxetine is decreased.
Paroxetine is also sometimes used to treat chronic headaches, tingling in the hands and feet caused by diabetes, and certain male sexual problems. Paroxetine is also used with other medications to treat bipolar disorder (mood that changes from depressed to abnormally excited). Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
sleepiness or feeling ''drugged''
changes in ability to taste food
weight loss or gain
changes in sex drive or ability
sensitivity to light
lump or tightness in throat
pain in the back, muscles, bones, or anywhere in the body
tenderness or swelling of joints
muscle weakness or tightness
sore teeth and gums
painful or irregular menstruation
seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist (hallucinating)
rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
fever, sweating, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, and severe muscle stiffness or twitching
abnormal bleeding or bruising
tiny red spots directly under the skin
peeling or blistering of skin
sore throat, fever, chills, cough, and other signs of infection
uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
unsteady walking that may cause falling
sudden muscle twitching or jerking that you cannot control
numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, arms, or legs
difficult, frequent, or painful urination
swelling, itching, burning, or infection in the vagina
painful erection that lasts for hours
sudden nausea, vomiting, weakness, cramping, bloating, swelling, tightness in hands and feet, dizziness, headache and/or confusion
swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
black and tarry stools
red blood in stools
vomit that looks like coffee grounds
Paroxetine may decrease appetite and cause weight loss in children. Your child's doctor will watch his or her growth carefully. Talk to your child's doctor if you have concerns about your child's growth or weight while he or she is taking this medication. Talk to your child's doctor about the risks of giving paroxetine to your child.
Paroxetine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
fast, pounding, irregular, or slow heartbeat
unusual bruising or bleeding
lack of energy
loss of appetite
pain in the upper right part of the stomach
yellowing of the skin and eyes
muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness
sudden muscle twitching or jerking that you cannot control
dark red or brown urine
frenzied, abnormally excited mood
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 04/13/2012
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.