Who should not take Paxil?

The following people may not be good candidates for treatment with Paxil (paroxetine), an antidepressant approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating depression in adults:
  • Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. Paxil may increase risk of certain birth defects, complicated deliveries, premature births, and certain medical conditions in newborns. If you're pregnant, talk to your doctor to weigh Paxil's potential benefits against its potential risks to your infant. Call your doctor if you're taking Paxil and find out you are pregnant.
  • Women who are breastfeeding. A nursing mother should decide with her doctor whether an antidepressant drug is the best treatment for her, and whether she should wean her baby first. All antidepressants pass into breast milk, but studies have found that Paxil is undetectable in nursing infants' blood. Because of this, Paxil is frequently given to breastfeeding women who need to take an antidepressant. However, the long-term effects on infants from this kind of exposure aren't known.
  • Children and teens. They may be at increased risk of some serious side effects from Paxil, including worsened depression or anxiety and suicidal thoughts or actions. Paxil is approved by the FDA only for adults, but studies show it can successfully treat depression in many children and teens, and a doctor may conclude that its benefits outweigh its risks in certain cases.
  • People who have certain medical conditions. Tell your doctor if you have or have had seizures or convulsions, bipolar disorder or mania, bleeding problems or low sodium levels in your blood, high blood pressure or glaucoma (high pressure in your eye), a stroke, or problems with your liver, kidneys or heart.
  • People who take certain medications. Tell your doctor if you take atomoxetine, cimetidine, fentanyl, metoprolol, pimozide, procyclidine, tamoxifen, thioridazine, a "triptan" medicine to treat headaches, other antidepressants or medications to treat any other mental disorder, the herbal supplement St. John's wort, drugs to treat heart problems, drugs to treat HIV infection, drugs that thin the blood (including not just warfarin-style drugs but aspirin and ibuprofen), or drugs to treat epilepsy.
  • Anyone who has ever had an allergic reaction to Paxil or any of its ingredients.


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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.