Paxil (paroxetine)

Paxil (paroxetine)

Paxil is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that blocks the reabsorption of serotonin by nerve receptors.

What is Paxil (paroxetine)?



An SSRI medication, Paxil acts upon the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain and blocks the re-uptake of the neurotransmitter. It is a commonly prescribed drug, though use of Paxil should not be combined with use of MAOI medication.

Uses of Paxil (paroxetine)

Paxil (paroxetine) is used to treat a number of anxiety-related disorders. This medication successfully treats anxiety as it blocks the reabsorption of the serotonin levels in the brain, thus allowing the chemicals in the brain to stabilize and reduce anxiety symptoms. People who experience panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder and general anxiety disorder may also have relief from symptoms of anxiety when taking Paxil. This drug has been used to address symptoms associated with gambling addiction as well.

Paxil is often prescribed in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers for dual diagnosis treatment. This drug has little effect upon the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. Paxil is used to address substance use disorders, PTSD and substance-induced anxiety disorders. Substance abuse disorders can often lead to risky behaviors associated with addiction which, in turn, may lead to violence such as rape. Once victimized, a person will also suffer from a variety of mental health disorders, including anxiety.

Side Effects of Using Paxil

Paxil may cause side effects that are generally mild and should decrease over time. Should side effects not diminish over a few weeks or if they are severe, you should notify your prescribing physician right away.

Some less common but more serious side effects are:

  • Bone pain
  • Easy bruising or unusual bleeding
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating or confusion
  • Seeing or hearing things that do not exist (hallucinating)
  • Increased depression or suicidal thoughts
  • Fever or excessive sweating
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Severe muscle stiffness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Extreme worry
  • Increased blood pressure

If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.

Paxil Withdrawal Symptoms

As with all SSRI antidepressants, many people experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping Paxil. Consult your doctor before stopping Paxil, as symptoms are decreased by slowly tapering off this medication. While these withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening, they may be quite uncomfortable.

Paxil withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Feelings of electric shock in the limbs
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Agitation

Looking For Treatment?

If you suffer from panic, depression or other mental health disorders and you have been taking more of your medication than prescribed, then you are also suffering from drug addiction. Recovery Connection coordinators can help you find a quality integrated dual diagnosis treatment program that will help you manage your mood and break your addiction. Call 866.812.8231 now and get the help you deserve today.

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