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Product Overview

Paroxetine (generic Paxil)

  • What is paroxetine?
    Paroxetine (generic Paxil) is a prescription antidepressant drug used to treat a variety of mental health conditions including depression, panic disorder, and anxiety disorder.

    Before starting paroxetine, tell your doctor if you are taking any medications or if you have a preexisting condition. Children should not generally take paroxetine.

  • What are common side effects of paroxetine?
    While adverse reactions to paroxetine are rare, some patients who take the drug may experience mild side effects, including dizziness, constipation, dry mouth, headache, nausea, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, weakness, sweating, blurred vision, sexual dysfunction (in both men and women), weight loss or weight gain.

    Rare, more serious adverse events have been known to occur. If you are concerned that paroxetine may be causing you to experience any number of adverse side effects, please contact your doctor.

    Though rare, paroxetine and other antidepressants may sometimes increase suicidal thoughts or actions in patients under the age of 24. If you are feeling suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text them at 741741, or dial 911.

    This is not a complete list of side effects. For more information about adverse effects you may experience while taking paroxetine, please visit the National Institutes of Health’s DailyMed webpage.

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Do you have more questions?

Frequently asked questions about paroxetine

What is paroxetine?

Paroxetine is a prescription antidepressant medication used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. It belongs to a family of medicines known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which help alleviate mental health conditions by increasing the amount of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a hormone that stabilizes your mood and helps you feel happy.

What is paroxetine used to treat?

Paroxetine is an antidepressant medication used to treat mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Paroxetine is also sometimes used to treat chronic headaches, tingling in the hands and feet caused by diabetes, hot flashes due to menopause, and some male sexual problems. Paroxetine may also be used with other medications to treat bipolar disorder.

How does paroxetine work?

Paroxetine works by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin in our brain cells. Serotonin is a hormone that is naturally produced and released by the brain. It is usually associated with feelings of happiness and helps stabilize your mood. Sometimes, your brain reabsorbs the serotonin before it can take effect, depriving the brain of the chemicals that, simply put, make it feel good. Paroxetine works by blocking this reabsorption, which doctors call “reuptake,” to increase the amount of serotonin in circulation in your brain. It is believed that low levels of serotonin may cause depression and anxiety.

What are the most common side effects of paroxetine?

It is important to remember that your doctor prescribed paroxetine because its benefits as an effective antidepressant outweigh any adverse side effects it may cause.

Adverse side effects associated with paroxetine, however, may include: dizziness, constipation, dry mouth, headache, nausea, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, weakness, sweating, blurred vision, sexual problems (in both men and women), weight loss or weight gain.

It is normal to experience some mild side effects when you first start taking Paroxetine. These side effects usually go away after you have been taking the medication for a couple of weeks. Be sure to tell your doctor if they don’t go away or worsen. Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including eye pain/swelling/redness, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night), or any allergic reactions.

This is not a complete list of side effects. For more information on adverse effects you may experience while taking Paroxetine HCL, please visit the National Institutes of Health’s DailyMed webpage.

WARNING: In short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders, antidepressants showed an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults compared to placebo. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or 911 immediately.

How long does it take for paroxetine to work?

You may see some improvements to sleep, appetite, and energy levels within your first 1-2 weeks of taking paroxetine. Improvements in these physical symptoms can be a good indicator that the medication is working. Depression and other disorders may take up to 6-8 weeks to fully improve.

What is the typical starting dose of paroxetine?

Most people start with 10 mg or 20 mg, taken once daily in the morning. This dosage may be gradually increased until you and your doctor agree that you have found a suitable dose. The maximum recommended dose for paroxetine is 50mg to 60mg depending on the reason you’re taking it. If you’re 65 or older or have problems with your kidneys or liver, your doctor may recommend a lower daily dose.

Paroxetine comes in tablets ranging in strength from 10 mg to 30 mg or as a liquid for patients who have difficulty swallowing pills. With paroxetine liquid, 10ml is equivalent to a 20mg tablet.

If you forget to take a dose, don’t worry. Just take it as soon as you remember. If you remember during the night or the next morning skip that dose completely. Never take 2 doses at the same time.

Consult your doctor before you discontinue taking paroxetine. Your doctor will likely recommend reducing your dose gradually to reduce the chance of extra side effects.

Can I get paroxetine online?

Yep! With Sesame Rx, you can get medication delivered right to your door starting at just $5 per month - without insurance. Our fully-integrated prescription service lets your doctor write you a prescription (or refill an existing one) during your virtual or in-person visit. That way, you can focus on getting better and not worry about how and when you’ll get your prescription.