September 2, 2014
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Drug Factsheets

 Health Home >> Medications 

Paxil

(paroxetine)

DIN (Drug Identification Number)

02027887 PAXIL 10MG TABLET
01940481 PAXIL 20MG TABLET
01940473 PAXIL 30MG TABLET

How does Paxil work? What will it do for me?

Paroxetine belongs to the class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia (social anxiety disorder), generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It works by affecting the balance of chemicals in the brain that are associated with depression and anxiety disorders.

It may take several weeks before the full beneficial effects of this medication are felt. Continue taking the medication until you have consulted with your doctor, even if you feel your symptoms are not improving.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use Paxil?

For adults being treated for depression, the recommended starting dose is 20 mg taken once daily. This is also the dose that most people find effective. If necessary, your doctor may suggest you increase the dose slowly to a maximum of 50 mg daily.

For people being treated for obsessive-compulsive disorder, the usual starting dose of paroxetine is 20 mg taken once daily. Gradually, your doctor will have you increase the dose to the recommended dose of 40 mg daily. If necessary, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 60 mg daily.

For people being treated for panic disorder, the usual starting dose is 10 mg once daily. It should then be slowly increased to the recommended dose of 40 mg daily. If necessary, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 60 mg daily.

For social phobia (social anxiety disorder), generalized anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder, the starting dose is 20 mg taken once daily. The maximum dose for treating any of these conditions is 50 mg daily.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones given here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

In all cases, this medication is usually taken first thing in the morning. It may be taken with or without food. Swallow the tablet whole – do not chew or crush it.

It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.





What form(s) does Paxil come in?

10 mg
Each yellow, bisected, film-coated, oval, biconvex tablet, with the product name engraved on one side and the strength engraved on the other side, contains paroxetine HCl equivalent to paroxetine free base 10 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycols, polysorbate 80, sodium starch glycolate, and titanium dioxide.

20 mg
Each pink, bisected, film-coated, oval, biconvex tablet, with the product name engraved on one side and the strength engraved on the other side, contains paroxetine HCl equivalent to paroxetine free base 20 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycols, polysorbate 80, sodium starch glycolate, and titanium dioxide.

30 mg
Each blue, film-coated, oval, biconvex tablet, with the product name engraved on one side and the strength engraved on the other side, contains paroxetine HCl equivalent to paroxetine free base 30 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycols, polysorbate 80, sodium starch glycolate, and titanium dioxide.

The 10, 20 and 30 mg tablets also contain one or more of the following: D&C Red No. 30 Aluminum Lake, D&C Yellow No. 10 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, and FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake.

Who should NOT take Paxil?

Do not take paroxetine if you:

  • are allergic to paroxetine or any ingredients of the medication
  • are taking an MAO inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine, moclobemide) or have taken a MAO inhibitor within the past 2 weeks (do not start treatment with an MAO inhibitor until at least 2 weeks after stopping paroxetine treatment)
  • take pimozide
  • take thioridazine

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Depression Symptom Checker Tool

The Depression Symptom Checker tool can help you learn about depression. Use this tool to create a list of your symptoms and rate how much the symptoms impact your life on a daily basis. The checklist is divided into 6 symptom categories that are associated with depression. You can also learn more about symptoms of depression here.

For each statement choose a number from 0 to 4 that describes the impact on your daily life, where 4 has the highest impact and 0 has no impact:

  • 0 = no impact on daily life/no symptoms
  • 1 = mild impact on daily life
  • 2 = moderate impact on daily life
  • 3 = severe impact on daily life
  • 4 = debilitating impact on daily life

It is important to remember that this is not a “score” but a way to help you communicate how much you feel the symptom impacts your daily life. When you finish you will be able to print out your symptoms and share this information with your doctor. Use the Doctor Discussion Guide to prepare for your doctor’s visit.

Rate how much the following symptoms apply to you.

1. Emotions

Depression can affect anyone at any age, although it most commonly appears between 15 and 45 years of age.

0 1 2 3 4
0 1 2 3 4
0 1 2 3 4
0 1 2 3 4

Visit your doctor with these results, when booking your appointment inform your doctor that you may need extra time to discuss these matters. Getting help for your depression can change your life. Don’t wait- depression is an illness that can, and should be treated.

Thoughts about death or suicide are common in depression, and it’s important to take such thoughts seriously. If you feel like giving up or as if you might hurt yourself, get help immediately: call your doctor, go to the emergency room or call 911.

This tool is adapted with permission from similar content found on www.depressionhurts.ca.


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