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Paxil for Depression

Updated on February 9, 2010
Paxil (Paroxetine) 40 mg & 20 mg
Paxil (Paroxetine) 40 mg & 20 mg

Quite frequently, new medications are introduced to treat depression and anxiety. Sometimes, doctors seem to push new medications and seem less eager to prescribe the older medications. Occasionally, a group of lawsuits or large class action suit will taint the public opinion of a medication. People often have legitimate concerns over the side effects of antidepressants and other medications. Paxil is one of the older antidepressant medications which may be an effective treatment for depression.

I felt compelled to write this article because I have been on Paxil for several years. It’s one of the many medications that I have tried for depression treatment. It is also the one that has caused the least amount of side effects for me. Now, please understand that my positive experience does not guarantee a pleasant experience for everyone. In fact, I know someone who took Paxil for about six months and had to switch to other medication due to his problem with Paxil side effects. Everyone’s body chemistry and response to medication is different. However, if you are looking for an antidepressant and have not tried Paxil, you may want to discuss it with your doctor.

Paxil is in the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). An SSRI works by preventing some of the secreted serotonin between the neurons of the brain from being reabsorbed. Therefore, these medications increase the amount of serotonin that remains active between the neurons. Other SSRIs include Zoloft and Prozac. The generic version of Paxil is called Paroxetine.

Paxil has had its share of legal issues. In 2005, GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Paxil, was ordered to include birth defects as one of the potential side effects of Paxil. This medication is one of the many medications that a woman should not take if she plans to get pregnant or is not using birth control.

Honestly, Paxil has a long list of potential side effects. Some common Paxil side effects include dizziness, dry mouth, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and nausea. Insomnia, difficulty concentrating, blurred vision, anxiety or nervousness, sexual side effects, increased urination, skin tingling or numbness, gas, and weakness are other possible side effects of Paxil. Though the potential of bothersome side effects is apparent, I have not experienced any of them.

Some people have trouble with Paxil side effects. I always suggest discussing any difficulties with the doctor. Sometimes, all it takes is an adjustment in the dosage or a little more time on the medication for the side effects of medications to subside. In addition to depression treatment, Paxil is used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Any decisions about medications are personal choices made between the patient and the physician. I believe a person who is suffering from depression should be well informed about antidepressant options.


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    • Sheila Wilson profile image

      Sheila Wilson 7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Why are so many people depressed? That's an interesting question, though I think that statistic seems awful high.

      About the St. John's Wort- just don't ever take Paxil with it. That combination can be lethal.

    • profile image

      foreignpress 7 years ago from Denver

      Millions of people, perhaps as many as 10 percent of the American population, have taken serotonin boosters, which are often used to treat depression, panic disorder and compulsive behavior. One statistic I heard, is that 1 in 6 people take antidepressants. I take St. John's Wort occasionally. This might be an interesting hub: Why are so many people depressed? This is a good hub and very informative.