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Living with MS

Treatments > Medications Used In MS


Brand Name Chemical Name

Paxil
(U.S. and Canada)

Paroxetine
(pa-rox-uh-teen)

Primary Usage in MS

Generic Available
Depression No

Description
Paroxetine is used to treat mental depression and some types of anxiety.

Proper Usage
Paroxetine may be taken with or without food, on an empty or full stomach.

Precautions
It may take up to four weeks or longer for you to feel the beneficial effects of this medication.

Your physician should monitor your progress at regularly scheduled visits in order to adjust the dose and help reduce any side effects.

This medication could add to the effects of alcohol and other central nervous system depressants (e.g., antihistamines, sedatives, tranquilizers, sleeping medicine, prescription pain medicine, barbiturates, seizure medication, muscle relaxants). Be sure that your physician knows if you are taking these or any other medications.

Paroxetine may cause dryness of the mouth. If your mouth continues to feel dry for more than two weeks, check with your physician or dentist. Continuing dryness of the mouth may increase the risk of dental disease.

This medication may cause you to become drowsy.

Studies have not been done in pregnant women. Studies in animals have shown that paroxetine may cause miscarriages and decreased survival rates when given in doses that are many times higher than the human dose.

Paroxetine passes into breast milk but has not been shown to cause any problems in nursing infants.

Possible Side Effects
Side effects that typically go away as your body adjusts to the medication and do not require medical attention unless they continue for several weeks or are bothersome: decrease in sexual drive or ability*; headache; nausea; problems urinating*; decreased or increased tiredness or weakness*; tremor*; trouble sleeping; anxiety; agitation; nervousness or restlessness; changes in vision, including blurred vision*; fast or irregular heartbeat; tingling, burning, or prickly sensations*; vomiting.

Unusual side effects that should be discussed with your physician as soon as possible: agitation; lightheadedness or fainting; muscle pain or weakness; skin rash; mood or behavior changes.

* Since it may be difficult to distinguish between certain common symptoms of MS and some side effects of paroxetine, be sure to consult your health care professional if an abrupt change of this type occurs.

Medication Index

Other Medications Used to Treat Depression

About Depression

About Antidepressants

Depression and MS
Therapies, resources, and more.


Reprinted with permission from Rosalind C. Kalb (ed.), Multiple Sclerosis: The Questions You Have—The Answers You Need, 3rd Edition. New York: Demos Medical Publishing, Inc., 2004

Last updated January 13, 2005

     
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