Stopping the drug abruptly may result in the following symptoms:
However, elderly patients may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine than younger adults, and are more likely to have hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood), which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving paroxetine.
Immediate-release oral tablets (Paxil, Pexeva): The typical starting dose is 20 mg per day. If a 20-mg dose is not enough, your doctor will start increasing your dose each week by 10 mg per day. Your maximum daily dose shouldn’t exceed 50 mg per day.
Per the 2015 American Geriatrics Society Updated Beers Criteria, paroxetine is a strong anticholinergic and is considered potentially inappropriate for elderly patients with dementia and cognitive impairment.
Nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, weakness, dry mouth, sweating, blurred vision, and yawning may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Gradually tapering Paxil may help prevent or reduce discontinuation symptoms, but this process can take many weeks or months. People can also try some self-care tips — such as eating a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, and exercising regularly — to further reduce their symptoms.
Compared with no antidepressant use, paroxetine was associated with an increased risk of dementia with any exposure.
Tapering it off: Do not go “ cold turkey.” Your doctor will advise you to gradually reduce the dose and frequency of paroxetine over time until you are no longer taking it. This is known as tapering. Tapering helps your brain adjust to the chemical changes, and as a result, it can help prevent discontinuation symptoms.
With thousands of prescription pills on the market, there are only forty-eight known prescription pills that can be safely split. You can divide Lipitor, Paxil, and Klonopin (an anti-anxiety drug) safely. If you can split certain drugs equally and carefully you may lower the cost of medications.
Don’t use a knife or scissors to cut your pills in half. It’s available in immediate-release and extended-release forms. You should ask your doctor first because certain meds are timed released and can’t be cut.
Highest Risk Medications Reason to Avoid Paroxetine Greater anticholinergic properties than other antidepressants, which may increase one’s risk for falling. Anticholinergic adverse effects include sedation, confusion, dizziness, gait and balance problems, and weakness.
To date, there are no known problems associated with long term use of paroxetine. It is a safe and effective medication when used as directed.
Paxil carries a boxed warning from the FDA stating that it can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or actions. Short term research studies have suggested that antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, adolescents, and young adults.
How long do side effects last? Most common side effects related to Paxil, such as nausea, headache, and dizziness, tend to go away within two to four weeks as the body adjusts to the medicine. Some adverse effects, such as sexual problems, may persist.
It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks for paroxetine to work. Side effects such as feeling sick or sexual problems are common. They are usually mild and go away after a couple of weeks.
ATLANTA–Emory University researchers have found that paroxetine HCL (Paxil) produces measurable improvement in verbal memory and also increases the size of the hippocampus, a key area of the brain involved in learning and remembering, in persons suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).