Prescription vs.OTC: Prescription by Doctor required
Last Updated: March 24, 2022

Paroxetine is an antidepressant that is used in the treatment of various mental disorders such as OCD, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In some cases, Paroxetine is also used in the treatment of hot flashes and night sweats that comes from menopause.

On using Paroxetine the common side effects that you may experience are dryness of the mouth, reduced appetite, drowsiness, insomnia, problems with ejaculation, agitation, chest pain, skin rash, difficulty in breathing, lightheadedness, dizziness, fast or irregular heartbeat, fever, restlessness, speech problems, blurred vision, acidity, abdominal pain, cough, darkening of the urine and shakiness.

Notify your doctor immediately if you have suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, coordination issues and convulsion. Before using this medicine, tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Pregnant, or are planning to become pregnant,
  • Breastfeeding a baby.
  • Low sodium levels.
  • History of seizures or epilepsy.
  • History of glaucoma.
  • Liver, heart or kidney diseases.
  • Taking any prescriptive or over the counter drugs, herbal medications or dietary supplements. As interaction with certain drugs especially anti-inflammatory ones such as NSAID may cause certain harmful reactions.

The dosage for Paroxetine will be prescribed by your doctor as per your medical history, age, gender, the current medical condition and what reactions you have after the first course of medicine. Paroxetine is available in both tablet and liquid form. Generally the usual dose in adults is about 20 mg (tablet/suspension) orally once in a day.

Take exactly as directed (do not increase dose or frequency); may take 2-3 weeks to achieve desired results; may cause physical and/or psychological dependence. Take in the morning to reduce the incidence of insomnia.

Maintain adequate hydration (2-3 L/day of fluids unless instructed to restrict fluid intake). Report persistent insomnia or excessive daytime sedation; muscle cramping, tremors, weakness, or change in gait; chest pain, palpitations, or rapid heartbeat.

Symptoms of Paroxetine overdose include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, sinus tachycardia, and dilated pupils. There are no specific antidotes, following attempts at decontamination, treatment is supportive and symptomatic; forced diuresis, dialysis, and hemoperfusion are unlikely to be beneficial.

Information given here is based on the salt content of the medicine. Uses and effects of the medicine may vary from person to person. It is advisable to consult a Psychiatrist before using this medicine.

The medication is primarily used for the following conditions:

  • Depression

    This medicine is used for the treatment of acute episodes of depression associated with chemical imbalance in the brain.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder

    This medicine is used for the treatment of a mental condition characterized by an abnormal fear during normal social situations.
  • Panic Disorder

    This medicine is used for the treatment of panic disorder and associated symptoms like overwhelming anxiety and fear coupled with increased heart rate, trembling, numbness and tingling sensation.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

    This medicine is used to treat depression, tension, and irritability occurring 5-11 days before the start of a menstrual cycle.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Ocd)

    This medicine is used for the treatment of a disorder where a person is driven to do compulsive tasks caused by obsessive thoughts.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Ptsd)

    This medicine is used for the treatment of anxiety, sleeplessness and other behavioral changes after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.
  • Anxiety

    This medicine is used for the treatment of general anxiety caused due to excessive thinking about life, work, relationships etc.
  • Postmenopausal Symptoms

    This medicine is used to treat symptoms like anxiety, mood swings, fear etc associated with menopause in women.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI)

    This medicine is not recommended for use while a MAOI medicine (Rasagiline/Selegiline/methylene blue etc.) is being consumed. This medicine should be consumed at least 14 days after stopping the use of MAOI medicines.
  • Thioridazine

    This medicine is not recommended for use if the patient is taking Thioridazine (medicine used to treat schizophrenia).
  • Pimozide

    This medicine is not recommended for use if the patient is taking Pimozide (anti psychotic medicine).
  • Allergy

    This medicine is not recommended for use if you a known history of allergy to Paroxetine or any other ingredient present with it.

Side effects that might occur after the consumption of this medicine include:

  • How long is the duration of effect?

    The time for which this medicine remains effective in the body is not clearly established. Dosing, duration and the condition for which this medicine is given determine the effective time duration.
  • What is the onset of action?

    The effect of this medicine is cumulative and may take months to show. It varies depending on the intended use and the dosing.
  • Are there any pregnancy warnings?

    Use of this medicine by pregnant women is not recommended as the risk of adverse effect on the fetus is very high. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy while taking this medicine.
  • Is it habit forming?

    No habit forming tendencies were reported.
  • Are there any breast-feeding warnings?

    Use of this medicine by breastfeeding women is not recommended unless necessary. If necessary, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding before treatment with this medicine is initiated.
  • Is It safe with alcohol?

    It is found that consumption of alcohol is unsafe with this medicine.
  • Is it safe to drive while on this medicine?

    This medicine may cause side effects which affects the alertness of the patient. Thus driving must be avoided if you are taking this medicine.
  • Does this affect kidney function?

    Caution in patients with kidney disease is needed. Adjustment of dose might be needed. Kindly consult your doctor before taking this medication.
  • Does this affect liver function?

    Caution in patients with liver disease is needed. Adjustment of dose might be needed. Kindly consult your doctor before taking this medication.
  • Missed Dose instructions

    Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If the next scheduled dose is less than 4 hours away, then the missed dose should be skipped.
  • Overdose instructions

    Contact a doctor immediately if an overdose with this medicine is suspected. Symptoms of an overdose may include agitation, hallucinations, convulsions, nausea, drowsiness, fast or slow heartbeat, and convulsions.
  • India

  • United States

  • Japan

Below is the list of medicines, which contains Paroxetine as ingredient

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Paroxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, chemically unrelated to tricyclic, tetracyclic, or other antidepressants; presumably, the inhibition of serotonin reuptake from brain synapse stimulated serotonin activity in the brain.

Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you"re at risk of a drug interaction.

  • Interaction with Alcohol

    Avoid or limit the uptake of alcohol while using this medicine. It is advised to refrain from driving vehicles and operating heavy machinery while using this medicine.
  • Interaction with Lab Test

    Paroxetine may alter LTFs of the patient taking it.
  • Interaction with Medicine

    • Paroxetine may cause hyponatremia. Additive hyponatremic effects may be seen with combined use of a loop diuretic (bumetanide, furosemide, torsemide); monitor for hyponatremia.
    • Paroxetine inhibits the reuptake of serotonin. Combined use with a serotonin agonist (buspirone) may cause serotonin syndrome.
    • Paroxetine inhibits the metabolism of dextromethorphan; visual hallucinations occurred in a patient receiving this combination; monitor for serotonin syndrome.
    • Paroxetine may inhibit the metabolism of haloperidol and cause extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS); monitor patients for EPS if combination is utilized.
    • Paroxetine should not be used with nonselective MAOIs (isocarboxazid, phenelzine). Fatal reactions have been reported. Wait two weeks after stopping fluoxetine before starting an MAOI and two weeks after stopping an MAOI before starting fluoxetine.
    • Paroxetine inhibits the reuptake of serotonin; combined use with other drugs which inhibit the reuptake (nefazodone, sibutramine) may cause serotonin syndrome. Monitor patient for altered response with nefazodone; avoid sibutramine combination.
    • Paroxetine has been reported to cause mania or hypertension when combined with selegiline; this combination is best avoided.
    • Paroxetine combined with tramadol (serotonergic effects) may cause serotonin syndrome; monitor.
    • Paroxetine may alter the hypoprothombinemic response to warfarin; monitor.
    • Cimetidine may reduce the first-pass metabolism of Paroxetine resulting in elevated paroxetine serum concentrations; consider an alternative H2 antagonist.
  • Interaction with Disease

    • Potential for a severe reaction, when used with MAO inhibitors - serotonin syndrome (hyperthermia, muscular rigidity, mental status changes/agitation, autonomic instability), may occur.
    • May precipitate a shift to mania or hypomania in patients with bipolar disease.
    • Has a low potential to impair cognitive or motor performance - caution operating hazardous machinery or driving.
    • Low potential for sedation or anticholinergic effects relative to cyclic antidepressants.
    • Use caution in patients with depression, particularly if suicidal risk may be present.
    • Use caution in patients with a previous seizure disorder or condition predisposing to seizures such as brain damage, alcoholism, or concurrent therapy with other drugs which lower the seizure threshold.
    • Use with caution in patients with hepatic or dysfunction and in elderly patients. May cause hyponatremia/SIADH.
    • Use with caution in patients at risk of bleeding or receiving anticoagulant therapy - may cause impairment in platelet aggregation.
    • Use with caution in patients with renal insufficiency or other concurrent illness (due to limited experience).
    • May cause or exacerbate sexual dysfunction.

Ques: After how many days of taking Paroxetine will I start feeling better?

Ans: You may start seeing improvement in your symptoms after 1-2 weeks of starting the treatment. In case you do not see any improvement, please consult your doctor.

Ques: Can Paroxetine affect my sex life?

Ans: Yes, There is a possibility that it may affect your sex life. You may feel a lack of sexual desire and inability to reach orgasm.

Ques: What is the effect of Paroxetine on children?

Ans: It should not be used in children under 18 years of age. Children below 18 years of age may experience side effects such as suicidal thoughts, aggression, oppositional behavior and anger when they take Paroxetine.

Ques: I have been taking tamoxifen for breast cancer. Can I take Paroxetine with it?

Ans: No, you must avoid taking Paroxetine if you are receiving tamoxifen.

Ques: Do I need to be careful while taking Paroxetine if I am a diabetic?

Ans: Yes, Paroxetine may alter your blood sugar levels and your dose of insulin or antidiabetic medicines may need adjustment. Consult your doctor and keep a regular check on your blood sugar levels.
Disclaimer: The information produced here is best of our knowledge and experience and we have tried our best to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we would like to request that it should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Lybrate is a medium to provide our audience with the common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. Even if there is no mention of a warning for any drug or combination, it never means that we are claiming that the drug or combination is safe for consumption without any proper consultation with an expert.

Lybrate does not take responsibility for any aspect of medicines or treatments. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend you to see a doctor immediately.

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Content Details
Written By
PhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child Care
Reviewed By
MBBS, Master in Healthcare Administration, Diploma in Occupational Health
General Physician
Table of Content
About Paroxetine
What are the uses of Paroxetine
What are the contraindications of Paroxetine ?
What are the side effects of Paroxetine ?
Key highlights of Paroxetine
What are the dosage instructions?
Where is the Paroxetine approved?
Medicines containing Paroxetine
How does this medication work?
What are the interactions of Paroxetine ?
FAQs about Paroxetine