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Paroxetine - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions

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Paroxetine - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions

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Paroxetine is an antidepressant drug. Learn about its uses, dosage, drug warnings, side effects, precautions, drug interactions, and more.

Written by

Dr. Lochana .k

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Bang Sachi Ashokkumar

Published At February 22, 2022
Reviewed AtDecember 12, 2022


Paroxetine is a drug to treat depression, which is associated with feelings of sadness, loss of interest, self-neglect, anorexia, sleep disturbances, and suicidal feelings in worst cases. It is not recommended for children and patients with bone and kidney problems, and glaucoma. These drugs also cause potential side effects.

Drug Group:

Paroxetine is an antidepressant, which belongs to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. They also increase sleep quality. It is the right medication for depressive patients and takes about six to eight weeks of treatment to obtain the full effects. However, it would help if you get proper guidelines for usage from your doctor.

What Is Paroxetine Used For?

Paroxetine is used in the treatment of depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Depression is a mental health disorder portrayed by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities causing significant impairment in daily life. It can also be associated with thoughts of suicide. Causes include a combination of biological, psychological, and social sources of distress. Also called a major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think, and behave. This drug will help to improve mood, sleep, appetite, energy level, and also to enhance interest in daily living. It helps to decrease fear, unwanted thoughts, and panic attacks. It can also be used to cure premenstrual dysphoric disorder, fibromyalgia, and bulimia nervosa.

How Does Paroxetine Work?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are a type of antidepressant that works by increasing serotonin levels within the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is referred to as “feel-good hormone.” They carry messages between brain cells and contribute to well-being, enhance mood and appetite, and help maintain a sleep-wake cycle. They block the reuptake of 5-HT receptors (serotonin receptors) into neurons, increasing the availability of 5-HT at receptors in CNS, and enhancing serotonergic activity.

Onset of Action:

Initial effects may be observed within one to two weeks of treatment with continued improvement through four to six weeks.


People can develop a physical dependence on antidepressants. It has been reported that patients who take these drugs produce a certain degree of addiction.

Expiry Date:

The expiry date of this drug is displayed on the back of the pack. These require a compulsory recommendation from doctors.

What Is the Dosage of Paroxetine?

The dosage of paroxetine for adults is as follows:

dosage of paroxetine for adults

dosage of paroxetine for adults

How to Use Paroxetine?

The drug is usually taken in the morning once a day. Only the doctor can adjust the dosage level. They are consumed after food. The tablet should be swallowed, do not crush, chew, or break it. Crushing or chewing the tablet might reduce the potential of it.

Missed Dose:

Skipping or missing a dose or two of your antidepressants causes discontinuation symptoms like nausea, fatigue, tremor, vivid dreams, agitation, etc. If you miss a dose, it should be taken as soon as possible unless it is near to time for the next dose. In that case, do not double up, skip the missed dose, and take the next dose as usual.

What Are the Drug Warnings and Precautions?

Pregnancy: Consumption during the first trimester may be associated with an increased risk of congenital malformations. It should be taken if it is absolutely necessary under strict medical supervision.

Breastfeeding: Paroxetine is one of the preferred antidepressants during breastfeeding. Mild side effects may be reported. It should be taken only under strict medical supervision.

Bone Fractures: Antidepressants may cause bone fractures in women. Older people are at higher risk. Medical supervision needed.

Kidney Problems: For patients with kidney diseases, low doses of Paroxetine must be used to improve drug elimination.

Glaucoma: Paroxetine may cause an increase in intraocular pressure causing glaucoma in certain patients and should be used with precautions.

Seizure: Paroxetine is found to be associated with an increased risk of epilepsy. So, dosages must always be monitored.

Hyponatremia: Paroxetine induced hyponatremia in the elderly due to the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone.

What Are the Side Effects of Paroxetine?

They cause mild to severe side effects. The following list contains acute side effects that occur while consuming Paroxetine. It is always better to consult with a doctor or pharmacist for more information on their side effects.

  • Headache.

  • Nervousness.

  • Restlessness.

  • Drowsiness.

  • Dizziness.

  • Nausea.

  • Constipation.

  • Paresthesia.

  • Lack of concentration.

  • Yawning.

  • Acid or sour stomach.

  • Belching.

  • Decreased appetite.

  • Passing gas.

  • Runny nose.

  • Sneezing.

  • Vivid dreams.

  • Watering of eyes.

The severe symptoms of Paroxetine are:

  • Agitation.

  • Chest congestion.

  • Chest pain.

  • Chills.

  • Cold sweats.

  • Difficulty in breathing.

  • Irregular heartbeat.

  • Skin rashes.

  • Convulsions.

  • Poor coordination.

  • Shivering.

  • Decreased sex drive.

  • Dry mouth.

  • Impotence.

  • Diarrhea.

  • Sexual dysfunction.

  • Insomnia.

What Are the Interactions of Paroxetine?

All the drugs will not be suitable for consumption along with paroxetine. So, if you are already having a medical condition and taking medications, consult your doctor before taking paroxetine.

Everyday interactions of paroxetine are :

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

  • Warfarin.

  • Medications for irregular heartbeat like Amiodarone.

  • Anti-seizure drugs like Phenytoin.

  • Antihistamines.

  • Diuretics.

  • Anti-retroviral drug.

With diseases:

  • Kidney problems.

  • Bone fractures.

  • Seizure.

  • Hyponatremia.

  • Glaucoma.

What Is the Common Brand or Trade Name for Paroxetine?

1.Tablet Paxil 20 mg.

2.Tablet Pexeva 10 mg.

3.Tablet Seroxat 10 mg.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Chief Use of Paroxetine?

Paroxetine is an antidepressant that sorts with the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is chiefly advised in the treatment of depression. However, it can also be prescribed for anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Is Paroxetine a Potent Antidepressant Drug?

Paroxetine is a potent inhibitor of serotonin reuptake of all selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Hence, it is a strong antidepressant and thus received its approval for its use in conditions such as major depression, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder.


Can Paroxetine Make One Sleep?

Antidepressants do not generally induce sleep and drowsiness. Nevertheless, Paroxetine can make one sleepy, unlike other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It is considered beneficial that Paroxetine causes severe sleepiness. This generally resolves within a few weeks of drug therapy.


Is Paroxetine Effective on Anxiety?

Paroxetine is an antidepressant effective for major depression and several anxiety disorders. Many people with anxiety reported positive effects on Paroxetine, while very few reported adverse events. 


What Are the Effects of Paroxetine on the Brain?

Paroxetine is an antidepressant belonging to a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Its action is employed by increasing the serotonin levels in the brain, whereas serotonin is a natural messenger responsible for maintaining cognitive balance and function.


Will Paroxetine Work Rapidly?

Paroxetine does not seem to work immediately, and one could not see improvement in a week as it requires certain weeks to present the full benefits. It takes four to six weeks for one to feel the effects of Paroxetine treatment.


Can One Take Paroxetine daily?

Paroxetine is predominantly advised for depression and anxiety disorders. The doctors advise taking it daily for about a few weeks. After that, it is generally advised to take it in the morning with food.


How Long Should One Take Paroxetine?

Paroxetine is available in liquid, capsules and tablets that are advised to take orally. It typically takes almost four to six weeks to see the complete effects of Paroxetine. The doctors will prescribe the frequency and duration according to the symptoms and medical history. Generally, it is given for specific months.


Can Paroxetine Affect Memory?

Paroxetine has effects on memory. It is used to improve the spatial form of memory by reversing the stress-induced hippocampal damage in the brain. However, specific clinical findings show that Paroxetine can sometimes cause memory loss.


Is Paroxetine Effective for Stress?

Paroxetine is an effective antidepressant, and it has been proven its efficacy in other cognitive function disorders, including anxiety, stress, and phobia. It has also been prescribed for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Will Paroxetine Help in Calming Down?

Paroxetine is one of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). In addition to depression, it helps diminish anxiety, fear, panic attacks, and unreliable thoughts. It also helps improve energy, mood, and energy level. In addition, it aids in restoring daily functions and interests.


What Are the Things to Avoid While on Paroxetine?

One should avoid alcohol intake with Paroxetine since it is more likely to reduce the efficacy of the medication. Also, one must avoid certain drugs such as Fentanyl, Buspirone, Lithium, Tryptophan, St.John’s wort, and migraine while taking Paroxetine because of their drug interactions.


Is Paroxetine Prescribed for the Long Term?

Paroxetine can be prescribed in the long term for treating major depressive disorder and several anxiety disorders. Paroxetine is well-tolerated and effective during the long course of therapy since adverse reactions do not tend to occur in the long term.


What Results When Paroxetine Is Taken at Night?

Paroxetine can induce drowsiness. But, according to the studies measuring the electrophysiological changes in sleep with Paroxetine therapy, it tends to cause frequent awakenings, suppressed REM sleep, and diminished overall sleep.


What Happens if One Stops Paroxetine Therapy?

It is not advised to stop Paroxetine suddenly without the doctor’s consent since abrupt stoppage can lead to specific withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms include nausea, dizziness, irritability, headache, vomiting, nightmares, and sometimes paresthesia.
Dr. Bang Sachi Ashokkumar
Dr. Bang Sachi Ashokkumar



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