How can I minimize the side effects of Paxil?

There are several ways that you can minimize the side effects of the antidepressant Paxil (paroxetine):
  • Give your doctor a detailed medical history, including conditions that run in your family, medical problems that you have or have had in the past, and your lifestyle habits (whether you smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, use drugs recreationally, etc.).
  • Make a list of all medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and dietary and herbal supplements that you take and go over it with your doctor before you start taking Paxil. Once you start taking Paxil, do not take any new medication or supplement without consulting your doctor first.
  • Take Paxil exactly as instructed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of it or take it more or less frequently than your doctor recommends. Do not stop taking Paxil without talking to your doctor first. Stopping the drug suddenly may increase your risk of side effects.
  • Keep your medical appointments. Your doctor may monitor you closely, particularly when you start taking Paxil, to see how you respond to the medicine and to adjust your dose if necessary.
Minimize your risk of serious side effects by calling your doctor at the earliest sign of certain symptoms, including the following:
  • changes in mood or behavior, such as acting impulsively, aggressively or violently; new or worse depression or anxiety; symptoms of mania (restlessness, agitation, fast talking, racing thoughts); suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • symptoms of serotonin syndrome (a condition in which the brain has too much of the chemical neurotransmitter serotonin), including hallucinations, agitation, racing heartbeat, high or low blood pressure, sweating or fever, vomiting or diarrhea, coordination problems, muscle stiffness or twitching
  • signs of allergic reaction, including trouble breathing, hives or skin rash, fever, joint pain, swelling of the face, tongue, eyes or mouth
  • abnormal bleeding, especially if you also take blood thinners or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or aspirin
  • seizures or convulsions
  • symptoms of low levels of sodium in the blood (more common in elderly people who take Paxil), including headache, weakness or feeling unsteady, confusion, trouble concentrating, memory problems
  • difficulty urinating or changes in frequency of urination
  • numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, feet or legs
Talk to your doctor for more information about Paxil and ways to take it safely.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.