The safety of Paxil Medication and Antidepressants

05:52 EDT 16 Sep 2013 |

Overview of Antidepressants
Antidepressants have been shown to be instrumental in improving functional ability in individuals whose depression have led to either social, occupational, or academic decline, however they can also have potentially serious reactions if regular monitoring and assessments are not performed during therapy. While antidepressants such as Paxil can be associated with milder and often times self-limiting side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, nervousness, or dry mouth, there is the potential for serious and sometimes irreversible adverse reactions to occur.

Effects of Paxil
Once Paxil is started it is possible to develop manic or hypomanic episodes where they might sleep as much as they did before. The development of manic or manic symptoms should be closely monitored as individuals may be prone to risky or careless behaviors or activities that are out of their normal behavior. A physician should check for any significant changes in behavior in patients throughout the course of therapy that may lead to a dose reduction or discontinuation.

Safety and Side effects of Paxil
A small percentage of people  may experience seizures with Paxil  so individuals with a history of seizures, conditions that can cause seizures,  or  if they have experienced recent seizure activity should be evaluated for the risks and benefit of starting Paxil.  The most notable safety concern that  is well known in the public is that Paxil may have a risk of suicide, which is a medication class safety alert for all antidepressants.  Based on the Food and Drug Administration's evaluation of several trials called (meta-analysis), a U.S Boxed Warning was placed on all antidepressants to include the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults (18-24) years of age with major depressive disorder or other psychiatric disorders.

The Decision to Use Paxil
The risk of starting Paxil must be carefully considered before the decision is made to prescribe it or any other type of antidepressant. If Paxil is started, careful monitoring must be performed for worsening of suicidal thinking or behavior, or unusual changes in behaviors, especially during the initial 1-2 weeks of therapy or during periods of dosage adjustments. While Paxil is not approved in children it may be used in  individuals who are pregnant but therapy should be avoided during the first trimester if possible due to potential for birth defects. Overall Paxil and other antidepressants can be safe and effective in those individuals that need it if it is taken as prescribed by the physician.

Moini,J.(2013). Focus on Pharmacology: Essentials for Health Professionals (2nd ed). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
Stahl, M. (2008).  Stahl’s essential psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific basis and practical applications (3rd ed). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Schatzberg, A.F., Cole, J.O., DeBattista, C. (2010). Manual of clinical psychopharmacology (7th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Turley, S. (2010). Understanding pharmacology for health professionals (4th ed). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

Preston, J. & Johnson, J. (2011). Clinical psychopharmacology (6th ed.). Miami, FL: MedMaster Inc.


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