What is this medication for?
Paroxetine belongs to the class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is used to treat depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It works by increasing the amount of serotonin (a neurotransmitter) in certain areas of the brain. This affects the balance of chemicals in the brain that are associated with these conditions.
Although you may start feeling better within a few weeks of treatment, the full effects of the medication may not be evident until 4 to 6 weeks of treatment have passed.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Paxil® is available as:
- oral suspension (liquid)
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended adult dose of paroxetine hydrochloride is 20 mg to 60 mg once daily in the morning, with or without food. Some people may start on a dose of 10 mg once daily. The dose depends on the individual and on the condition being treated.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, use it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor, as some people experience physical symptoms when stopping the medication suddenly. Your doctor may want you to decrease the dose of the medication gradually when it is time to stop using paroxetine.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
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Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to paroxetine hydrochloride or any ingredients of the medication
- are taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine, moclobemide) or have taken one within the past 14 days
- are taking pimozide or thioridazine