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What is Paxil used for?

Paxil (paroxetine) is an antidepressant medication that is taken orally in the form of a tablet or liquid. It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which means that it treats depression and other mental illnesses by adjusting the levels of a brain chemical called serotonin.

Doctors prescribe Paxil to treat major depressive disorder, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety disorders. In general, SSRIs have fewer side effects than older types of antidepressants, but they can cause nausea, vomiting and nervousness, especially when you first start taking them, and many other possible side effects. They may lower your levels of sexual desire and ability, for instance.

Paxil carries a so-called black box warning -- the strongest caution available in drug labeling -- noting that antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thinking or behavior in children, teens and young adults. Paxil is not approved for use in children, but doctors sometimes prescribe it to children and teens "off label" to treat depression and other problems.

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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.