Paxil (paroxetine) is used to treat depression and some types of anxiety. It is an antidepressant from the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) group. Paxil makes a positive affect on chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression, anxiety, or similar conditions. Because depression is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS), Paxil is often prescribed.

Paxil comes in different formats (tablet, controlled-release tablet, capsule, or suspension) and is usually taken once a day, with or without food, at the same time every day.

Paxil controls depression but does not cure it. It may take several weeks before a patient feels the full benefit. It should not be discontinued suddenly because of potential severe withdrawal symptoms that could include emotional disorders; confusion; dizziness; headache; tiredness; numbness or tingling in the arms, legs, hands or feet; sleeping disorders; nausea; or sweating.

Some common Paxil side effects may include vision changes, weakness, drowsiness, dizziness, sweating, anxiety, shaking, sleep problems (insomnia), loss of appetite, constipation, dry mouth, or yawning. Sexual side effects can include decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty achieving orgasm.

The medicine comes with a black box warning on the product drug label that calls attention to serious or life-threatening risks. In this case, Paxil can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in people who struggle with severe depression and other psychiatric disorders especially during the first months of treatment or following any changes in dosage.

A generic version of Paxil is approved by the FDA, but may not be available because of possible patent or exclusivity issues.

Read the latest news on depression and multiple sclerosis.

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

  1. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Treating-MS/Medications/Paxil
  2. https://www.drugs.com/paxil.html
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a698032.html
  4. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM107976.pdf
  5. https://online.epocrates.com/drugs/1094/Paxil
  6. https://www.drugs.com/availability/generic-paxil.html
  7. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms/Depression