Paxil and Seroxat are the trade names of paroxetine. Paxil is an antidepressant, classified under Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). It is used in treatment of mental depression, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. This drug is recommended for adults only, if they have any of the above problems. Children, adolescents and young adults are advised not to use this drug as it increases the risk of suicidal thoughts in them. Paxil also has side effects, particularly when it is withdrawn, which is popularly known as withdrawal syndrome. Pregnant women are particularly warned against using this drug.
Usually, most of the psychoactive drugs can cause withdrawal symptoms when discontinued. Clinical evidences show that paroxetine can cause severe withdrawal syndrome and its severity is comparatively higher than that of other such drugs. There are certain common withdrawal symptoms associated with withdrawal of Paxil, which include dizziness, nausea, vertigo, lightheadedness, nightmares, insomnia, vivid dreams, feeling of shock in the body, anxiety and a feel to cry. There is a better way of discontinuing Paxil. It is by using the liquid formulation of Paxil and decreasing the dosage gradually. Decreasing the dosage of Paxil becomes possible when using the liquid formulation of Paxil as it allows the decrease very gradually. This kind of stepping down can prevent withdrawal syndrome.
A publication of The Lancet shows an analysis of World Health Organization in which they mention that withdrawal symptoms cannot be avoided if an SSRI is taken during pregnancy. These symptoms include convulsions too, in new born children. WHO has also ranked paroxetine as a drug which cannot be withdrawn without much difficulty. Yet the company which is marketing Paxil maintains that this drug does not encourage habit formation. This, of course, was not acceptable to many experts. The Food and Drug Administration in the United States also published their warning on use of this drug. It is also the opinion of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association that the company marketing this drug has been misleading the public. In reality, this drug can cause intolerable withdrawal syndrome. It is natural that patients decide to continue this drug just to escape from the withdrawal symptoms. It is, therefore, very important for the health professionals and also the marketing company to bear this in their mind.
People who want to withdraw from Paxil should decide on the method that will suit them best. Cold turkey quitting should be avoided. In other words, stopping Paxil abruptly should not be done. Tapering the dosage of Paxil in a gradual manner may not cause disastrous symptoms. However, this experiment differs with persons. It is known from many internet postings that cold turkey quitting had caused symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light or sound, headache, flu-like symptoms, sleep problems and balance problems in quite a huge number of people. Sometimes withdrawal of Paxil causes miserable effects.
The tapering down method for tablets can involve decrease of dosage by 5 mg or 10 mg, depending on your initial dosage. However, even if you do not experience any withdrawal effects after decreasing the dosage, it is better for you to wait for a week to confirm that withdrawal effects are not occurring. You have to stay in this decreased dosage until you stabilize in that and decide to proceed with further decrease. You are the best judge to decide on how far you can prolong with the decreased dosage or how much time your body will take for getting adjusted to the lowered dosage. However, it has been the experience of some people that the last 10 mg has posed severe problems while withdrawing. You should also have a schedule for Paxil reduction. However, it is to be remembered that switching over to another SSRI will not solve the problem. Even if you switch over, the possibilities of withdrawal symptoms occurring due to quitting Paxil can happen.