If it works as intended for you, then Paxil can improve your mood, your appetite, sleep and also improve your energy levels. It can also reduce anxiety, anxious thoughts and decrease the number and severity of your panic attacks. Paxil also reduces compulsions for those suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
What Is Paxil?
Paxil is a brand name for the drug paroxetine. It is an antidepressant medication used to treat depression, anxiety and OCD. It belongs to the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) class of antidepressants, which help to restore balance to serotonin levels in the brain.
Paxil vs Lexapro
Lexapro is a similar SSRI antidepressant to Paxil. Research has shown that Lexapro may be preferable to Paxil in the treatment of depression. This is because Lexapro has had slightly better results, but also the side effects are more tolerable than Paxil in general. The withdrawal effects of Lexapro are also typically more tolerable than that of Paxil.
They both have similar results when it comes to treating anxiety, but again, Lexapro typically has more tolerable side effects so it is often the preferred drug.
Keep in mind that not everyone will have the same results and the same side effects, so there will be many instances where people have better results from using Paxil than they do with Lexapro.
Paxil For Anxiety
Although it is an antidepressant, Paxil is also approved for treating anxiety and various panic disorders. As mentioned previously, Paxil works by balancing the serotonin levels in the brain, and this can lead to reduced anxiety and fewer panic attacks. If you suffer from both depression and anxiety as many people do, then Paxil may be ideal for you as a one stop treatment for both illnesses.
Paxil Side Effects
The problem with antidepressants is that they always have a pretty extensive list of potential side effects. This doesn’t mean you will suffer from all of these side effects, as some people won’t experience any at all (I’m very jealous of those people!). The more common side effects associated with Paxil are:
Loss of appetite
Make sure that you tell your doctor if you are suffering from any of these side effects or if you are experiencing more severe side effects than those listed above. Your doctor will be able to tailor your treatment to suit you, or if needed, they may need to take you off Paxil altogether if the side effects are too severe.
It is also worth noting that typically with antidepressants the side effects will usually be experienced for the first few weeks, and then they will gradually subside after that. This is not the case for everyone, but in general this is what usually happens.
Paxil Weight Gain
Research has shown that prolonged use of SSRI and other antidepressant medication may cause a weight gain of 10 pounds or more in up to 25% of people. Weight gain is more likely to be a side effect after you have been taking the medication for 6 months or more.
In the shorter term, one of the potential side effects of Paxil is loss of appetite, which can lead to weight loss.
Paxil And Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant, then you need to know the risks associated with Paxil and pregnancy. You should definitely be having this discussion with your doctor who will advise you on how best to proceed.
During the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, exposing the fetus to paroxetine can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular malformations. Continued use of paroxetine in the second and third trimesters can increase the risk of the baby being born prematurely.
It should also be noted that paroxetine can pass into breast milk. Your doctor may wish to put you on a different medication to Paxil if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, as simply not taking the drug brings about another set of risk factors associated with untreated depression.
Paxil And Alcohol
While taking Paxil you should not drink alcohol. There is a risk of alcohol enhancing the side effects of Paxil as well as reducing its overall effectiveness. Alcohol is also a depressant, so it may make your depression symptoms worse and interfere with the effectiveness of antidepressants.
Paxil First Week
Typically, during your first week of taking Paxil you will not notice any improvements. For some people, they may see a slight improvement in appetite, energy and sleep which is a good early indication that the medication may be starting to work. Usually in your first week you are more likely to experience the side effects rather than the benefits of the medication.
How Long Does Paxil Take To Work?
As mentioned above, it is possible that you may see slight improvements in the first week or two, however in most cases it will take 6-8 weeks for the medication to reach its full effect and see a reduction in your symptoms.
Paxil Half Life
Paxil has a half life of between 21 and 24 hours. Put simply, this means that after that amount of time after your last dose, half of the drug will have left your system.
How Long Does Paxil Stay In Your System?
As noted, Paxil has a half life of between 21 and 24 hours. It will take approximately 5 days for the drug to leave your system. Trace amounts may still be detected in urine, blood and hair follicle tests.
Switching Paxil From Morning To Night
Often when taking antidepressants you may need to switch from taking it in the morning to taking it at night. Usually this occurs because the medication is causing drowsiness, fatigue and tiredness, so taking it at night makes more sense than taking it in the morning.
To switch from taking Paxil in the morning to taking it at night, you need to discuss it with your doctor. They may advise you to take a half dose in the morning and a half dose at night, followed by a full dose nightly after that. Or they may advise you to skip a dose and begin immediately taking it at night. Making these changes should be done in consultation with your doctor so please seek their advice.
For some people Paxil may be interfering with their sleep so they will want to change from taking Paxil at night to taking it in the morning. Because of the half life of the drug, this is usually done by skipping your regular night time dose and taking it in the morning instead. Again, this should be discussed with your doctor and they will advise you of the best way to make this change.
Here is where the negative aspects of taking Paxil begin to stand out. Back in 2002, a leading drug maker was forced to admit that stopping paroxetine can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. The company in question was found guilty of misleading the public.
As with any antidepressant, you should never stop taking it suddenly as that will increase the risk of experiencing withdrawal side effects. You should taper off the drug slowly and under your doctors guidance while they monitor your symptoms and progress.
Paxil is well known as being a very difficult medication to stop taking. Because it has a relatively short half life, often the withdrawal symptoms come hard and fast. You may begin to feel withdrawal symptoms in the first day or two after reducing your dose. By around the fourth or fifth day, those symptoms peak at their worst. Often after 2-3 weeks the withdrawal symptoms have gone, but for some people it can take up to 3 months before the brain has adjusted to not having paroxetine.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms that you may experience are:
Buzzing or zapping sensations in the brain
Ringing in the ears
Paxil Review – My Story
I began taking Paxil early on in my depression treatment. It was around the fourth or fifth antidepressant that I tried. I was lucky in that the only side effect I had when starting the medication was a dry mouth.
After a while of being on Paxil and adjusting the dose upwards, it was decided that I would discontinue using Paxil and switch to another antidepressant medication as this one just wasn’t really doing anything positive for me.
I was completely unaware of how difficult it can be to stop taking Paxil. Back then I didn’t do any research or read any reviews of the drugs I was taking, I simply trusted that my doctor knew what they were doing. Now, after a few bad experiences, I read all of the reviews and information before I start taking any medication.
I found coming off Paxil to be quite difficult. I was on a reasonable dose but not particularly high, but it still took me many weeks of tapering to come off Paxil successfully. The side effects basically sucked, my mood was all over the place, I was often feeling angry and agitated and my anxiety levels were quite high. I was also experiencing brain zaps, which feels like an electric shock in your brain. These persisted for a couple of months after I stopped taking Paxil.
Overall, what you should learn from my experience is that Paxil can be a very difficult medication to come off. For me, other than Effexor, it has been the most difficult medication to cease. You should know that you may or may not have the same experience and may wish to try an antidepressant that is known to have fewer side effects when coming off it. You should discuss these concerns with your doctor. Don’t be like me, ask questions and do your research before you even start taking it.
Why I Stopped Taking All Antidepressants
Over the course of 10+ years I have been on many antidepressants, mood stabilizers and anti-anxiety medications. I couldn’t tell you exactly how many I have been on but the number is somewhere in the range of 20 I believe.
Today, I don’t take any medication at all for my depression and anxiety and am feeling better than I ever have in the last 10 years.
There is one single reason for that, and that is because I bought a course called Destroy Depression. It was the best decision I ever made in my depression treatment, and it means no more expensive and ongoing costs for buying medications, no more side effects or withdrawal effects and I finally feel like I am on top of my depression rather than having it control me.
In order for me to recommend any product on my website, I insist on buying the product and using it myself. I then only recommend it if it has brought me success. Too many websites just promote any old garbage to make a commission and the person recommending them has never bought them and has no clue as to whether they are any good or not. I prefer an honest approach, and as a result, other than a couple of Amazon books, I only recommend two products on my website and Destroy Depression is one of those. It comes with a 60 day money back guarantee, but I believe if you read it and put it into action then you will have no need to claim a refund. Like I said, I have had great success with this course and there is no reason why you can’t have the same or similar results.
Please note – the product links on this page are affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission if you make a purchase through that link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps me to keep the website running.