This medicine contains the active ingredient paroxetine, which is a type of antidepressant known as a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI). This type of medicine acts on nerve cells in the brain.
In the brain there are numerous different chemical compounds called neurotransmitters. These act as chemical messengers between the nerve cells. Serotonin is one such neurotransmitter and has various functions that we know of.
When serotonin is released from nerve cells in the brain it acts to lighten mood. When it is reabsorbed into the nerve cells, it no longer has an effect on mood. It is thought that when depression occurs, there may be a decreased amount of serotonin released from nerve cells in the brain.
SSRIs work by preventing serotonin from being reabsorbed back into the nerve cells in the brain. This helps prolong the mood lightening effect of any released serotonin. In this way, paroxetine helps relieve depression, panic and fear.
Paroxetine may also be used in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and generalised anxiety disorder.
It must be taken for at least 14 days before the benefits of treatment will start to appear.
What is it used for ?
1- A psychiatric disorder in which tasks are excessively repeated (obsessive-compulsive disorder)
2- Condition of sudden attacks of fear, panic and confusion (panic disorder)
4- Fear of social situations (social phobia)
5- Generalised anxiety disorder
6- Post-traumatic stress disorder
This medicine may reduce your ability to drive or operate machinery safely. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you and you are sure it won’t affect your performance.
This medicine may cause low blood sodium levels (hyponatraemia), which can result in drowsiness, confusion, muscle twitching or convulsions. Consult your doctor if you develop any of these symptoms while taking this medicine.
In people with diabetes, treatment with an SSRI antidepressant may alter control of blood sugar, possibly due to an improvement in depressive symptoms. Your dose of Sugar intake & insulin or antidiabetic medicine may need to be altered.
It is recommended that you avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine.
If you experience seizures (convulsions or fits) while taking this medicine, consult your doctor immediately, as you will need to stop treatment with this medicine. This also applies if you suffer from epilepsy and experience more seizures than normal after starting this medicine.
Is it suitable for Children ?
Following a review of new data from clinical trials of paroxetine in children under 18 years of age, the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) has concluded that paroxetine is ineffective for treating depressive illness in this age group and actually increases the risk of harmful outcomes such as self-harm and potentially suicidal behaviour.
If you are under 18 and taking paroxetine for depression you should consult your doctor for advice, but do not suddenly stop taking it as this can cause withdrawal symptoms. Paroxetine is not licensed and not recommended for any uses in children.
How about Seroxat Withdrawal ?
You should avoid suddenly stopping this medicine, as this can cause withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, pins and needles, anxiety, sleep disturbances (including intense dreams), agitation, tremor, nausea, sweating and confusion. When it is time to stop taking this medicine these symptoms can be avoided if the dose is reduced gradually, following the instructions given by your doctor or pharmacist.
Use with caution in
- Closed angle glaucoma
- Decreased kidney function
- Decreased liver function
- Elderly people
- Heart disease
- History of bleeding disorders
- History of mania or hypomania
- People at increased risk of bleeding
- People receiving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
- People taking antipsychotic medicines
- People taking medicine to prevent blood clotting (anticoagulants, eg warfarin)
Not to be used in
- Children and adolescents under 18 years of age for the treatment of depressive illness
- Manic episodes of manic depression (bipolar affective disorder)
- People taking the medicine thioridazine
- People who have taken monoamine-oxidase inhibitor antidepressants (MAOIs) in the last 14 days
- Uncontrolled epilepsy
Take this medication with or after food.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty in sleeping (insomnia)
- Shaking, usually of the hands (tremor)
- Disturbances of the gut such as diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, vomiting or acid reflux
- Visual disturbances
- Decreased appetite
- A drop in blood pressure that occurs when going from lying down to sitting or standing, which results in dizziness and lightheadedness (postural hypotension)
- Sleepiness (somnolence)
- Weakness or loss of strength (asthenia)
- Sexual problems as erectile dysfunction
- Skin reactions such as rash and itch
- Liver disorders
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug’s manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
Paroxetine should not be taken at the same time as monoamine oxidase inhibitor medicines (MAOIs). These include monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants such as phenelzine and moclobemide, the antibiotic linezolid and the anti-Parkinson’s medicine selegeline. Paroxetine should not be started until at least two weeks after stopping a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (at least a day after stopping moclobemide). Similarly, MAOIs including moclobemide should not be started until at least two weeks after paroxetine has been discontinued.
The blood levels of paroxetine may be increased by the following medicines, and this may result in an increased risk of side effects:
– dextromethorphan (found in some cough and cold remedies).
The blood levels of paroxetine may be decreased by antiepileptic medicines such as phenytoin, carbamazepine and phenobarbitone (phenobarbital).
There may be an increased risk of bleeding if this medicine is taken by people who are taking any of the following medicines, which are known to affect the ability of the blood to clot:
– some antipsychotic medicines
– some antisickness medicines, eg prochlorperazine
– tricyclic antidepressants
– aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) eg ibuprofen, diclofenac
– anticoagulants such as warfarin
Paroxetine may increase the blood levels of the following:
– antipsychotic medicines, such as clozapine, perphenazine and thioridazine (paroxetine must not be taken by people taking thioridazine)
– some tricyclic antidepressants (imipramine, desipramine, trimipramine)
There may be an increase in side effects if paroxetine is taken with the herbal remedy St John’s wort. This combination should be avoided.
When paroxetine is taken with the following medicines, which also enhance serotonin in the brain, there may be an increased risk of side effects such as agitation, restlessness and diarrhoea, known as the ‘serotonin syndrome’: