Paxil side effects have seriously injured thousands of patients, causing more than 5,000 lawsuits to be filed against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK, the manufacturer of Paxil) since 1992. Generically known as paroxeteine, Paxil is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressant medication. Paxil may be prescribed in the treatment of depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and various psychiatric disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder).
While most Paxil side effects are mild and fleeting, particularly as a patient’s body acclimates to the drug, Paxil has been clinically found to increase some patients’ risk of developing serious side effects – including withdrawal side effects (clinically referred to as discontinuation syndrome). Those who develop any severe Paxil side effects may have a legal claim and be entitled to a settlement from GSK.
Common Paxil Side Effects
The milder and more common Paxil side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Sexual dysfunction (in both males and females)
- Sleep walking
- Weight gain or loss of appetite
These Paxil side effects usually subside as the body acclimates to them (within 1 to 4 weeks), and they tend to lessen with lower doses of the medication.
Serious Paxil Side Effects
More rarely, patients may develop any of the following severe Paxil side effects:
- Birth defects (affecting the unborn child of a pregnant woman taking Paxil)
- Intense restlessness
- Mania or hypomania (particularly in those with a personal or family history of bipolar disorder)
- Serotonin syndrome (an excess concentration of serotonin in the central nervous system, marked by increased heart rate, twitching, hypertension, and hyperthermia.)
- Suicidal thoughts and/or behaviors
A Serious Paxil Side Effect: Withdrawal
One of the more serious Paxil side effects is the withdrawal associated with stopping the medication. The body can become accustomed to mild Paxil side effects, but it can also become dependent on Paxil. When patients stop using Paxil they will experience the same mild symptoms listed above but to a far more extreme degree.
Current scientific evidence shows that Paxil has the highest rates of withdrawal symptoms among any other SSRI. Additionally, research indicates that Paxil withdrawal is more severe than the discontinuation syndrome associated with any other SSRI.
Such recent findings have cultivated much scrutiny towards GSK, as the company had been advertising Paxil as “non-habit forming.” This false advertising, along with claims that GSK suppressed research that exposed Paxil’s other severe side effects, has resulted in:
- The FDA mandating that all Paxil marketing materials and packaging contain a “black box warning” (the most serious type of FDA warning that alerts consumers to the potentially fatal side effects associated with Paxil).
- Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against GSK due to the injuries from Paxil’s dangerous side effects.
If you or a loved one used Paxil and suffered from any side effect including birth defects, mania, hypomania, serotonin syndrome, or suicidal thoughts you should contact our Paxil lawyers immediately for a free and confidential case review. You may be entitled to compensation and we can help.