Paxil- the need to balance risk and need is imperative, so think carefully before administering this

Paxil sold under the generic name paroxetine hydrochloride began marketing in the United States in 1992. As a popular anti-depressant drug, this was initially marketed by a pharmaceutical company named SmithKline Beecham, which later came to be known as GlaxoSmithKline. Available as a prescription drug, the various preparations of Paxil include tablets of 10, 20, 30 and 40 mg along with delayed release tablets which are Paxil CR in 12.5, 25 and 37.5 mg. Also, suspension in preparation of 10mg/ml is sold in the market. Paxil belongs to the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) class of drugs. The core medical use of Paxil is among adult patients where the same is prescribed for treating obsessive compulsive disorder, major depression, social anxiety, panic disorder and generalized disorders linked with anxiety.

The mode of action:

Studies have shown that depression is linked with the imbalance among neurotransmitters, present inside our nervous system, which act like messengers at junctions or nerve endings. Paxil primarily works by preventing the repeated uptake of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter. Since the reuptake is inhibited there is freer serotonin available that helps in stimulating the nerve cells in brain. Paxil with paroxetine as the major constituent was approved as a safe antidepressant by FDA in 1992. But, in reality the consequences it caused among masses were far more than shocking.

Paxil: some drug facts

In the year 2007, Paxil was ranked among the 100 bestselling drugs in the U.S., with sales of more than $1 billion. In 2006, this was the fifth most recommended antidepressant with more than 18 million prescriptions.

Studies and research have clearly demonstrated that Paxil’s efficacy as an antidepressant is better than its existing predecessors. But, something that clearly demarcates its name is the side effects associated with Paxil administration. The increased risk of severe complications, including instances of suicidal thoughts and self harm has forced all to stop and think, is Paxil really the answer they were looking for to get out of life’s tensions and depressions. Well, still unanswerable, some drug facts that can help readers in strengthening these thoughts are as follows:

  • Paxil tablets should be stored at room temperature and CR tablets and suspension below 25 C.
  • The prescribed dose is 20-60 mg daily of the immediate release tablets but for controlled release 12.5-75 mg is recommended.
  • Paxil is an OD or once daily drug, usually advised to be taken in the morning.
  • The recommended dose however differs in debilitated patients and elderly people also patients with liver or kidney ailments. Where lower doses are advised due to delayed paroxetine elimination as usual dose can lead to high blood pressure and toxicity in such patients.
  • Paxil is known to show drug-drug interaction with 793 drugs, out of which 197 are categorized as major, 564 as moderate and 32 as minor interactions.
  • Also, Paxil can show interaction with 7 diseases among patients administering the same.
  • Patients on Paxil are advised to inhibit intake of alcohol as it can result in additional depression and impairment of CNS thus causing difficulty in thinking and making judgments.
  • Discontinuing Paxil all of a sudden can lead to withdrawal syndrome, which is an unfavorable condition, thus consulting with the healthcare expert before taking any such step is strictly advised.

Paxil under special circumstances:

  • Patients on any blood thinning medication are advised to take special care when taking Paxil as the drug can increase the effect of such blood thinner significantly.
  • Women who are pregnant are advised to stay away from paroxetine as it can cause congenital heart defects in the fetus.
  • Women who are breastfeeding are also advised to stay away as this can easily pass in the milk and then to the newborn resulting in various health complications.

A piece of advice:

Antidepressants are associated with an increased risk of suicidal thinking among patients taking the same. Especially in children and teenagers the risk is alarmingly high. It is thus advised to balance the risk and the needs carefully so as to avoid getting trapped in any such mishap that cannot just change life, but even take it in the first place. Paxil is also an antidepressant that carries with it the same risks as all the others in its class, so be careful!