Paxil Side Effects - Medical Malpractice Lawyers

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Paxil Side Effects - Medical Malpractice

Paxil is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor similar to medications like Celexa, Prozac, Wellbutrin and Effexor. In fact, side effects from Paxil can be related to all of the SSRIs. Paxil and the other medications are used to treat depression and anxiety. Paxil is also called paroxetine. While all medications are known to have side effects, some drugs have hidden side effects not reported by the manufacturer before serious side effects are present in some people who take it.

There are milder side effects of SSRIs like Paxil, including anxiety, decreased sexual abilities, blurry vision, constipation, gas, sweating, nausea, vomiting, increased urination, stomach upset, loss of appetite, problems with concentration, weakness or sleep difficulties. Many of these side effects go away over time and are easily tolerated by most people. They feel better because they are less depressed and just aren't bothered by minor side effects.

These medications carry serious side effects as well. They are emergencies that need medical attention right away and aren't tolerated easily. These include allergic symptoms like anaphylaxis, bloody stools, bizarre behavior, fever, chest pain or tightness in the chest, hallucinations, sore throat and chills, panic attacks, memory loss, mental or emotional problems, mood changes, suicidal thoughts with worsening of the depression and persistent erection.

These medications can cause dose-dependent side effects related to the dose you are on or side effects that are unrelated to dose. They can happen at any time but are more common when you first begin taking the medication.

With Paxil, it was recently discovered that about twenty percent of all patients who were treated with the medication for depression needed to stop the medication due to unwanted side effects. The same was true with those who took the medication for other reasons like panic attacks, PTSD, and generalized anxiety disorder. In those individuals, around 12 percent needed to stop the medication. The reasons behind stopping the medication were fatigue and nausea most of the time.

With those who had major depression, the major side effects included nausea, fatigue, sweating, insomnia, tremor, inability to ejaculate and nervousness. Five percent of individuals (above placebo rates) suffered these side effects from taking Paxil and other SSRIs. This was also true for those who took Paxil for obsessive compulsive disorder or panic disorder. Those with PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder suffered the same rate of side effects when taking these medications.

There is now a warning for Paxil, Zoloft and other SSRIs that the medications should not be taken in pregnant women due to birth defects previously not detected by researchers. The major side effects relate to heart problems in the infants born to mothers who took these medications in the first trimester of pregnancy. The major disabilities include a ventricular septal defect, an atrial septal defect, pulmonary stenosis, pulmonary atresia and Tetralogy of Fallot. Lung defects are also possible. These are serious and life threatening side effects that often require early surgery to save the child's life.

Those who have major depression are more likely than others to have serious side effects with the taking of Paxil and other SSRIs. The most common side effect is nausea, which usually passes over time. Some patients get a headache, which is transient. Around fifteen percent of the time, patients get dry mouth, diarrhea or constipation. Fatigue is common with all antidepressants and Paxil has a similar rate to others.

A side effect common to SSRIs is anorgasmia or the lack of ability to have an orgasm. This can mean men cannot ejaculate even if they have a normal sex drive. In women, there can be loss of libido or an inability to have an orgasm. About fifteen percent of people have this side effect. Ejaculation difficulties occur in about a third of men who take SSRIs and about ten percent have a lack of libido. Some of the side effects are dose dependent so it is important to take the least effective dose of the medication you take.

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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here