Generic name: Paroxetine hydrochloride.

Paxil is an antidepressant. It increases the concentration of certain chemicals responsible for brain nerve transmission.

Quick Facts About Paxil


Used to treat serious, continuing depression that interferes with the ability to function normally. Also used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder.

Paxil Dosage

Take exactly as prescribed. Let your doctor know of any over-the-counter medications or prescriptions you are taking. Depression may begin to subside in 1 to 4 weeks; continue to take for the length of time your doctor prescribes.

  • Usual adult dose: 20 milligrams per day as a single dose in the morning. Doctor may prescribe up to 50 milligrams per day. Seniors or those with severe kidney or liver disease — 10 milligrams per day up to 40 milligrams per day maximum. Now comes in suspension form.
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children.
  • Missed dose: skip missed dose, go back to regular 1 schedule. Do not double doses.

Paxil Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

drowsiness, enlarged pupils, A nausea, rapid heartbeat. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: abdominal pain, amnesia, anxiety, blurred vision, breathing disorders, burning sensation, chills, cold symptoms, constipation, decreased appetite, decreased sex drive, depression, diarrhea, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, emotional instability, fainting, feeling of general discomfort, fluid retention, frequent urination, headache, high blood pressure, increased coughing, inflammation of nose, intestinal gas, itching, male genital disorders, nausea, nervousness, pricking and tingling, rapid heartbeat, sleepiness, sleeplessness, stomach pain, stuffy nose, sweating, tremor, trouble ejaculating, vertigo, weight gain, weight loss, yawning.

Less common Paxil side effects: abnormal thinking; abortion; acne; agitation; alcohol abuse; allergic reactions; altered sense of taste; anemia; arthritis; asthma; back pain; belching; blood disorders; boils; breast pain; bronchitis; bruises; cessation of menstruation; chest pain; confusion; convulsions; difficulty swallowing; dilation of pupils; dizziness on standing; drugged feeling; dry skin; ear pain; eczema; excessive menstrual bleeding; excessive muscular activity; excessive urination; eye pain; feeling of persecution; feeling of unreality; female genital disorders; fevers; grinding of teeth; hair loss; hallucinations; high blood sugar; hives; hyperventilation; incoordination; increased appetite; increased salivation; indigestion; infection of hair follicles; infection of middle ear; infection of skin and mucous membranes; inflammation of the bladder, stomach, throat, tongue, urethra, or vagina; joint pain; lack of coordination; lack of emotion; loss of muscle movement; loss of taste; low blood pressure; lump in throat; manic reaction; menstrual difficulties; migraine headache; mouth ulcers; muscle disease; muscle pain; muscle rigidity; muscle twitching; muscle weakness; neck pain; nosebleeds; overactivity; painful or difficult urination; pneumonia; pounding heartbeat; rash; rectal bleeding; red or purple skin spots; respiratory flu; ringing in ears; shortness of breath; sinusitis; slow heartbeat; swelling of arms and legs; swelling of face; thirst; tightness in throat; tumor; urinary urgency; urinating at night; vision problems; vomiting.

Rare side effects: abnormal gait abnormal kidney function; abscesses; antisocial reaction; blood in urine; bloody diarrhea; breast cancer; bulimia; bursitis; cataract; chest pain; congestive heart failure; dark, tarry, bloody stools; decreased reflexes; decreased urination; dehydration; delirium; delusions; diabetes; difficulty performing voluntary movements; difficulty speaking; dimmed vision; double vision; drug dependence; elevated cholesterol; exaggerated’feeling of well-being; extreme sensitivity to painful stimuli; eye hemorrhage; glaucoma; gout grand mal epileptic convulsions; heart attack; hepatitis; hiccups; hostility; hysteria; impacted stool; inability to control bowel movements; increased reflexes; increased sexual appetite; increased sputum; inflammation of the breast, gums, lining of the eyelid, lining of the stomach and intestine; inflammation of the outer ear, skin, or esophagus; intestinal blockage; intolerance of light; irregular heartbeat; jerky movement; kidney pain; kidney stone; low blood sugar; lung cancer; neck rigidity; osteoporosis; paralysis; pelvic pain; peptic or stomach ulcer; protruding eyeballs; red and painful spots on legs; salivary gland enlargement; sensitivity to light; sensitivity to sound; skin discoloration; skin tumor; spasms in arms and legs; stomach ulcer; stomach pain; stroke; stupor; swelling of thyroid; swelling of tongue; tooth cavities; ulcer on cornea; ulcers; yeast infection; varicose veins; vomiting blood; yellowed eyes and skin.


Do not take if you have taken MAO inhibitors such as Nardil and Parnate within the past 2 weeks; can cause serious or fatal reaction.

Inform your doctor before combining Paxil with:

amitriptyline (Elavil), cimetidine (Tagamet), desipramine (Norpramin), diazepam (Valium), digoxin (Lanoxin), flecainide (Tambocor), fluoxetine (Prozac), imipramine (Tofranil), lithium (Lithonate), nortriptyline (Pamelor), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), procyclidine (Kemadrin), propafenone (Rythmol), propranolol (Inderal or Inderide), quinidine (Quinaglute), thioridazine (Mellaril), tryptophan, warfarin (Coumadin).

Do not drink alcohol during Paxil therapy. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

Seniors are prescribed lower doses.

Not generally prescribed for children.

  • May impair your judgment, thinking, or motor skills. Do not drive or take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • Use with caution if you have: a disease or condition affecting your metabolism or blood circulation, a history of manic disorders, or seizures. Discontinue if you experience seizures.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Paxil side effects, please contact your healthcare provider