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Who should not take Paxil CR?

The following people may not be good candidates for treatment with Paxil CR (paroxetine), the extended-release form of an antidepressant approved for depression in adults:
  • Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. Paxil CR may increase the risk of certain birth defects in a developing fetus, and may increase the risk of a complicated delivery. It also may raise the risk of premature birth and certain medical conditions in newborns. You and your doctor should weigh Paxil CR's potential benefits to you against its potential risks to your infant. If you are on Paxil CR and find out you are pregnant, call your doctor.
  • Women who are breastfeeding. If you're breastfeeding, decide with your doctor whether an antidepressant drug is the best treatment for you, and whether you should wean your baby before starting the medication. All antidepressant drugs pass to the baby through breast milk, and though bad reactions in the infant are rare, the long-term effects aren't known.
  • Children and teens. Young people may be at increased risk of serious side effects from Paxil CR, including worsened depression or anxiety and suicidal thoughts or actions. Paxil CR is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for children and teens, but it is sometimes prescribed "off label" for this group.
  • 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, a stroke, or problems with your liver, kidneys or heart. All of these increase your risk of problems if you take Paxil.
  • People who take certain medications. Tell your doctor if you take a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or have taken one within the last two weeks. Do not take thioridazine or pimozide with Paxil, as they can increase your risk of serious heart problems. Tell your doctor if you take atomoxetine, cimetidine, fentanyl, metoprolol, procyclidine, tamoxifen, 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 or HIV infection, drugs that thin the blood (not just warfarin but also aspirin and ibuprofen) or drugs to treat epilepsy. All have the potential to interact with Paxil.
  • Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to Paxil CR, Paxil, paroxetine, or ingredients in these drugs.

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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.