Paxil is an antidepressant derived from the drug group SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The drug works by affecting chemical levels in the brain which may become unbalanced. Generically known as paroxetine, this antidepressant is sold as Paxil, Pexeva, and Paxil CR.
Paxil treatment for social anxiety disorders and other anxiety-related conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder has become increasingly recommended in recent years. The drug is may also be used for other conditions as deemed appropriate by your doctor.
Possible Side Effects of Paxil Treatment
Since Paxil works by affecting brain chemicals, it also has psychological and physical side effects. Psychological side effects may include the following:
* mood swings
* panic attacks
* self-destructive thoughts
Physical effects of taking Paxil may be caused by reactions to its psychological effects or intolerance to the medicine. Side effects may include the following:
* sleeping problems
While Paxil is a highly effective medication against social anxiety, doctors still have reservations when prescribing it. There are several conditions which may make a patient ineligible to take Paxil. Some of the drug’s contraindications are as follows:
* Pregnancy. Taking Paxil during pregnancy can cause fatal heart defects and lung problems in the newborn baby.
* Taking other drugs. Paxil may react negatively with other drugs that you are taking. Do not take Paxil if using other drugs like pimozide (Orap), thioridazine (Mellaril), or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate).
* Liver and kidney diseases. Since taking medications can further weaken a diseased liver or kidney, patients who are suffering from these conditions may not be allowed to use Paxil.
* Bipolar disorder. People who are suffering from bipolar disorder or manic depression may not be a suitable candidate for Paxil treatment. Since Paxil affects the balance of brain chemicals, it may increase the frequency and intensity of a person’s episodes.
It is best to consult a doctor before taking Paxil to ensure that the drug is safe for you to use. Be upfront about past and existing medical conditions which may cause Paxil to work differently on you.
Tips on Taking Paxil
Since taking antidepressants can increase your risks for suicidal thoughts and self-destructive behavior at first, it is important to consult your doctor. Below are some tips on taking Paxil:
1. Take Paxil the way it was prescribed by your doctor. This means taking no more or no less than the prescribed dosage at the recommended time intervals. Taking more or less than the prescribed dosage may lessen the efficacy of the drug or induce adverse side effects.
2. Schedule intakes at the same time everyday. Apart from making it easier for you to remember when to take your medication, keeping the same schedule allows your body to anticipate and adjust to the introduction of Paxil into your system.
3. Swallow the pill whole. As a control-release pill, it is not advisable to crush or break Paxil before taking it. Doing so may affect the efficacy of the pill.