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Paxil Linked To Dangerous Withdrawal Symptoms

Jun 24, 2008
Popular serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant drug Paxil has been linked to SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome, a severe and sometimes life-threatening condition that occurs upon withdrawal from the drug.

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.

What is SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome?

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;

* Mood disorders, such as suicidal ideation (suicidal thoughts), tearfulness, mania, irritability and aggression;

* 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.

An experienced Paxil doctor can help you ramp down your dosage in appropriate amounts, tapering the dose off until you are no longer on the drug; 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.

While some patients have suffered from Paxil side effects for as many as two years after withdrawal, others are suffering from SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome and its effects on an indefinite basis. However, the medical body of knowledge has not yet progressed far enough to be able to really assess or address SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome.

Suicidal Ideation: A Major Risk

SSRIs have notorious links to increased risks of suicide in patients, sometimes children, especially those withdrawing from the drug. Paxil is not prescribed to patients under the age of 18; 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. After obtaining the proper medical care, contact a lawyer experienced in unsafe drugs litigation. 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.
About the Author
Visit http://paxil.legalview.com for more information on the Paxil risks that have surfaced, also, peruse the LegalView library of legal issues, found at http://www.LegalView.com/ . Learn about the latest on the Chantix risks and Singulair side effects or about the Digitek digoxin recall .
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