While Paxil remains a popularly prescribed antidepressant among doctors and patients alike, it has been linked to a disorder known as serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) Discontinuation Syndrome. This condition causes patients to become physically addicted to a drug and suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms that can be life threatening. This is just one of many recent Paxil side effects, such as complications in pregnancy, increased risk of suicide and serotonin syndrome, that have brought the drug and its manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, under fire. How Does SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome Occur? SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome occurs within 24 hours to one week of cessation of Paxil or similar SSRI drugs. The syndrome is connected to a drug's "elimination half-life", the period of time necessary before a pharmaceutical agent is completely out of a patient's system.
Paxil has a particularly long half-life and a higher incidence rate of SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome. While SSRIs like Paxil have been touted as non-addictive, the withdrawal syndrome mimics some typical facets of withdrawal from addictive drugs such as alcohol or opiates and creates powerful symptoms including: * Gastrointestinal disturbances, including nausea or diarrhea; * Suicidal thoughts and tendencies, moodiness, irritability, anger/aggression, mood swings including tearfulness to mania; * Sensory and movement disorders, such as vertigo, trembling, dizziness, tingling and numbness, difficulty moving or walking, and ringing of the ears (tinnitus); and * Sleep disorders, such as fatigue, narcolepsy, insomnia or vivid dreams. Since the withdrawal symptoms of Paxil can be so strong, patients are encouraged to speak with their health care provider before going off the drug and are advised not to stop the drug suddenly. Speaking to your doctor about the eventual decrease of Paxil dosage will help ease a patient off of the antidepressant and increase avoidance of the withdrawal conditions; however, Paxil tapering has not been proven to prevent the symptoms of SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome. Long-Term Effects of Paxil Use Though most patients who experience SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome eventually get past their side effects, some patients who discontinue Paxil and other SSRIs experience long-term effects. These include low-grade symptoms, such as persistent tinnitus or problems with concentration and memory, and more persistent and severe symptoms such as anxiety, sexual dysfunction, and others and may be present for the long-term.
Not only can the withdrawal condition occur nearly two years after discontinuing use of Paxil, some patients of the drug hav experienced indefinite withdrawals. The medical community remains unprepared for addressing the SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome condition. Suicidal Ideation: A Major Risk SSRIs have notorious links to increased risks of suicide in patients, sometimes children, especially those withdrawing from the drug. Individuals under the age of 18 should not receive a prescription for Paxil because of the unknown risks associated; however, new warnings indicate that suicidal ideation is a risk in adults taking Paxil, especially those between the ages of 18 and 30.
Due to its continuing link with high risks of suicide and suicidal ideation, it is strongly recommended that patients who discontinue the use of Paxil do so under controlled medical circumstances and with a doctor's supervision. If You've Been Affected If you have suffered from SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome or other Paxil side effects, you may be able to recover the costs of your medical care and lost wages by filing a Paxil lawsuit. Locating an experienced pharmaceutical drug law firm can offer assistance to a victim with this serious side effect. Your Paxil attorney can tell you whether you have a claim and help you file suit. A Paxil lawyer may also help you obtain compensation for your SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome and Paxil side effects, which may include cash payments for pain and suffering, medications and current and future medical costs.
Use the Paxil information portal at http://paxil.legalview.com to locate an experienced pharmaceutical lawyer. Also available through LegalView, http://www.LegalView.com, is information on the latest Chantix risks as well as the most recent Digitek digoxin jury verdicts.