Paxil: The Depressing Antidepressant?

  • What is Paxil?Paxil, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, is one of several selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on the market. Paxil is prescribed for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder. The idea behind Paxil is that it increases levels of serotonin in the spaces between brain cells thereby allowing more efficient transmission of electrical signals to the brain, which result in a patient’s increased sense of mental happiness.
  • What are the dangers of Paxil?Several studies have found that SSRI drugs have serious side effects, but that Paxil has a greater risk of side effects than other SSRIs. Paxil has been the subject of FDA warnings on suicide in children and adolescents and for the danger of birth defects. A recent study has even attributed a new form of birth defect to Paxil.The list of side effects that have been found to be associated with Paxil are incredibly numerous. Some of the most common are: restlessness, irregular heartbeat, sweating, depression, anxiety, muscle pain, irritability, irregular orgasm, aggression, and suicidal attempts. It has also been discovered that Paxil and other SSRIs can cause a condition called akathisia (severe inner restlessness) that in turn is associated with suicidal tendencies, as evidenced by its inclusion into American Psychiatric Association’s bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM IV.

  • Legal IssuesGlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been sued not only by individuals seeking personal injury claims, but also by the state of New York, which alleged that the company concertedly hid studies that reflect badly on the drug and furthermore has accused Glaxo officials of misrepresenting data. New York’s attorney general Eliot Spitzer has taken the case to the New York Supreme Court.The liability resulting from lawsuits brought by the families of the men and women who have suffered deadly side effects from Paxil has reached the tens of millions of dollars.

  • Your RightsIf you believe you’ve suffered any of the aforementioned harmful side effects due to Paxil, you may be entitled to damages. To determine your rights, you should contact a personal injury attorney specializing in Paxil related cases. You can search the LawGuru Attorney Directory for a personal injury lawyer in your area. Or, if you have additional questions about Paxil and your situation, you can ask a free question of the LawGuru Attorney Network in our Knowledge Base.
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    4 Responses

    1. Sheila says:

      I would like to tell everyone about my experience with taking Paxil. I am doing this so that you may make an informed decision should you decide to take this drug. I was not given that option because certain side effects, though known, have not been disclosed to the FDA, physicians, or consumers.
      I was prescribed Paxil by my doctor during an especially stressful time in my life. I had no history of mental illness nor was I diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I took this medicine, actually a very low dose, from 2001 – 2005. When I decided to stop taking it, I cut my dose back gradually and weaned myself off of it entirely.
      I began having gastric distress. This began as I was cutting back on the Paxil and continued long after I quit taking it. I had diarrhea every day for 2-1/2 years. Just about everything I ate went right through me. This lasted all day long, every day. From my research, I have since learned that most of the serotonin in your body is located in your intestines, so it makes sense that if you take something that adjusts that serotonin level, then your intestines would be affected.
      I will try to tell you how this has changed my life. It affects everything that I do, from what kind of job I have, where I go, vacations, where and what I can eat. I have had many tests run by specialists and there is no other cause for the diarrhea. I can also tell you that there have been some very embarrassing moments because of this.
      About 2 months ago, as an experiment, I started taking the Paxil again. And guess what? The diarrhea stopped almost immediately. I found a blog called Paxil Progress, which is a blog for people who are trying to wean off of Paxil and it seems that my story is not unique at all. This drug causes bowel incontinence, bloating, horrible gas and pain along with the chronic diarrhea.
      I wish I had known what this drug would do to me before I started taking it. Please do your homework. The doctors will not tell you about the side effects and withdrawal symptoms, nor will GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Paxil. Can you guess why they don’t tell you? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    2. pat guillory says:

      The reason I am even looking at this information is because of the use of Paxil for the last 12 years. I am now in the process of weaning myself from it. My situation is somewhat diferent in that I have experienced ongoing diarrhea; numerous times a day since shortly after I started using this drug. I have suffered immeasurably. Can’t eat and then leave home, hundreds of dollars in sanitary napkins,ruined undergarments and outerwear,couldn’t ever wear white pants,two (2) flexible sigmoid scopes of the lower colon,one (1) sigmoidoscopy (the entire intestinal tract where you are put to sleep for this one),my husband gave me a hard time on how much bathroom tissue I used, and the pain……OOOH1 may I mention the pain. My intestines felt as if they were coming out of me. Tremendous dark clots of blood, and my rectum hurt so badly I could’ve cried. Plus because I was constantly running to the bathroom because of projectile diarrhea, my entire body was exhausted. The reason I have looked up this information is because I am not fully weaned from the drug, but I am already seeing a tremendous difference in my problem. The doctor I have seen for this problem is a G.I. specialist and has been unable to find any reason for this problem. I will be checking my body’s behavior closely. Oh, and may I also say that I have had to get on iron supplements due to the ongoing loss of blood due to the fact that they were all bloody stools! I am to the point that I don’t know where else to turn.Hoping that getting off this drug will be the answer. Only have about two(2) more weeks to go.

    3. Joy says:

      I have been taking Paxil for three years. It has been a God Send to me to combat depression. However, since that time I have developed chronic Diarrhea. I have seen two separate gastroenterologists over the past three years, to no avail. Neither of the two can find anything wrong with me after a multitude of tests. Neither of the doctors want to address the possibility that my problem stems from my use of Paxil.

    4. Lee Clark says:

      I took Paxil for about 5 years – was told how wonderful the drug is and how great it would be for me. I can honestly say that I don’t think I had a “bad day” on the drug for the 5 years I took it. However, the fours since then have been awful. I sweat all the time. I too have had diarrhea for several years now. My muscles ache, my vision is blurry, and I can no longer sleep on my back because any pressure against my spinal cord re-creates the horrible electric shock syndrome that you experience when you are trying to come down off this drug. The year I started taking it, I gained 30 lbs the first two months I was on it. After about 4 years, I started having awful suicidal thoughts. My biggest complaints against this drug is the fact that I have lived with chronic neck pain since I stopped taking it, and years later I frequently feel an electrical current flowing through my body to the point where I want to rip my nervous system out of my skin. It feels like I’m holding an electric fence all the time. I never had anxiety before this medicine, but now it’s a daily problem. I’ve had to restart Paxil to make these issues go away.

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