What should I know before using Paxil CR?

Before taking Paxil CR (paroxetine), you should know what it is, why it is being prescribed to you, and what you can expect from taking it. Paxil CR is an antidepressant that belongs to a category of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, which treat depression and other mental illnesses by adjusting the level of the chemical serotonin in the brain. Paxil CR is formulated as an extended-release tablet (CR stands for controlled release). It dissolves slowly, so the medication becomes available gradually, in steady amounts over the course of a day.

Paxil CR is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. It is also prescribed to treat panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Some doctors also prescribe Paxil CR "off label" to treat other conditions.

Before you take Paxil CR, make sure that your doctor has a list of all your other medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and supplements, as well as a detailed history of your mental and physical health. You should also talk to your doctor about the potential side effects of Paxil CR and whether you're at increased risk of experiencing any of them because of your medical history or use of any substances. If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, you should talk to your doctor about whether Paxil CR is a good choice for you.

Your doctor may start you on a low dose of Paxil CR to see how you respond to the drug and may gradually increase your dose to maximize benefits with minimal side effects. Take Paxil CR exactly as instructed by your doctor; don't take more or less of it or take it more or less frequently than prescribed. Paxil CR may cause drowsiness and affect your judgment, especially when you are first taking it, so your doctor may advise you not to operate machinery or drive until you know how the drug will affect you.

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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.