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What should I know about paroxetine before taking it?

Paroxetine may cause drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision, which may become worse when mixed with alcohol. Don't take sleeping pills or muscle relaxants without talking to your doctor first, since the effects may be increased while you're on this drug. Children, teenagers and young adults who take this medication may be at increased risk of suicidal tendencies. Men may experience a long, painful erection which, if not treated, may result in impotence or other permanent problems. Once you stop treatment, you may need to wait for a period of time before taking other medications.
Contact your doctor if you experience hallucinations, shivering, rapid heartbeat, sweating, confusion, abnormal reflexes, rapid heartbeat and tremors. These can be a sign of serotonin syndrome, which is a known side effect of this drug. Paroxetine may also cause a possibly fatal condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome if taken with antipsychotic medications. Symptoms may be similar to serotonin syndrome and may include: fever, rigid muscles, blood pressure changes and mental changes. This drug can cause premature births or birth defects if used during pregnancy and should not be taken by nursing mothers. You may not be able to take this medication if you are undergoing electroconvulsive therapy or have a history of:

  • substance abuse or suicidal tendencies
  • seizures
  • glaucoma
  • diabetes
  • metabolism problems
  • heart or liver problems
  • kidney problems
  • intestinal bleeding
  • dehydration or low sodium levels

Paroxetine can cause withdrawal symptoms if not reduced gradually. They include: dizziness, mental or mood changes, difficulty sleeping, numbness, confusion, feeling unusually tired, headaches or ringing in the ears and tingling sensations.

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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.