Paxil (aka Paroxetine, as Wiki reports) has a history of concerns expressed both by the FDA and medical professionals. Its manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, has been mandated to include warnings which health professionals must fully disclose, particularly to their female patients, who reportedly are near two to one in Paxil’s use, as opposed to male patients.
Paxil side effects in women can be extremely deleterious, even life-threatening in rare cases, and include the possibility of birth defects, as well as psychological and possibly physical damage through depression, suicidal tendencies and self-abuse.
Paxil is intended to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety; it is depressing, in fact, to confront the side effects that women may experience in taking the drug.
Foremost of these is the possibility of sexual dysfunction, a condition that can lead to Anorgasmia (an inability to achieve orgasm, previously thought to be a primary male dysfunction; with the rise of antidepressants such as Paxil, it now is experienced by numerous female patients as well).
This condition may be temporal or it may continue, years after the drug has been discontinued. Its ultimate result may be Anhedonia, the inability to enjoy or take pleasure in any activity that one previously found enjoyable. The ultimate result for the woman may be an increase in depression and anxiety, the very conditions she had hoped Paxil would relieve.
Common Paxil Side Effects in Women
The FDA also warns women planning pregnancies that Paxil may do harm to their unborn child, in particular inducing congenital heart defects, or it may cause the woman to miscarry. (See more the side effects of paxil here). The study that brought about this warning found that laboratory animals, particularly monkeys, experienced miscarriages when ingesting small amounts of the drug; rats and mice, similarly drugged, had offspring with congenital heart weaknesses.
Paxil has been given a C rating as a pregnancy drug (not to be used a first-line treatment, and generally contraindicated for pregnancy except in cases of extreme depression). A further frightening possibility is the delivery of a healthy baby that nevertheless develops these defects when it ingests mother’s milk that carries the drug.
If a woman is not pregnant and/or plans no pregnancy, there are other, admittedly less severe, Paxil side effects in women, such as sleep disturbance, stomach/bowel disorders (insomnia, constipation or nausea) dizziness, loss of coordination, sudden tremors. And the most problematic symptoms for women remain the possible development of suicidal urges, coupled with violent mood swings, anxiety and impulses toward self-abuse.
If you have further concerns about Paxil, or are taking the drug in a medication regimen that includes normal dosages, consult your health professional at once, particularly if you are pregnant.