The side effects of Paxil range from mild and brief to severe. The most severe side effects of Paxil include asthenia (lack of physical strength) tremors, nervousness, male genital dysfunction, violent behavior, liver damage, suicide, and dependency/withdrawl reactions.

Frequent Paxil Side Effects

  • Body as a Whole: Malaise (a vague feeling of bodily discomfort), pain.
  • Cardiovascular: Hypertension, syncope (a sudden loss of strength, a temporary suspension of consciousness due to cerebral anemia), tachycardia (excessive rapidity in the action of the heart).
  • Dermatological: Pruritus (Intense itching)
  • Gastrointestinal: Nausea and vomiting.
  • Metabolic and Nutritional: Weight gain, weight loss.
  • Nervous System: Central Nervous System stimulation, concentration impaired, depression, emotional lability (emotional instability), vertigo (a hallucination of movement; a sensation as if the external world were revolving around the patient or as if he himself were revolving in space).
  • Respiratory: Cough increased, rhinitis (inflammation of the mucus membrane of the nose).

Infrequent Paxil Side Effects

  • Body as a Whole: Allergic reaction, chills, face edema (abnormal amount of fluid in the facial tissue), infection, moniliasis (infection caused by Candida (yeast like fungi), neck pain, overdose. Cardiovascular: Bradycardia (abnormal slowness of the heartbeat), conduction abnormalities (abnormal transfer of sound waves, heat, nerve influences, or electricity), ECG abnormal, hypotension (lowered blood pressure), migraine, ventricular extrasystoles (a premature contraction of the heart).
  • Dermatological: Acne, alopecia (absence of hair from the body where it is normally present), dry skin, ecchymosis (blood under the skin, usually looks or appears like a bruise), eczema (an inflammatory skin disease characterized by lesions varying greatly in character, at times watery discharge and the development of scales and crust), furunculosis (a number of painful nodules formed in the skin, caused by bacteria, which enter through the hair follicles or glands, its formation is favored by digestive derangement and local irritation), herpes simplex, urticaria (reaction of the skin to certain drugs, marked by the appearance of smooth, slightly elevated patches, which are redder or paler than the surrounding skin and often includes severe itching).
  • Gastrointestinal: Bruxism (grinding of the teeth especially during sleep), buccal cavity disorders (cavity running from the cheeks to the lips), dysphagia (inflammation of the esophagus), eructation (the act of belching or casting up wind from the stomach), gastroentertitis (inflammation of the stomach or intestines), gastrointestinal flu, glossitis (inflammation of the tongue), increased salivation, liver function test abnormal, mouth ulceration, vomiting and diarrhea, rectal hemorrhage.
  • Hematologic and Lymphatic: Anemia, leukopenia (reduction in the number of leukocytes in the blood), lymphadenopathy (disease of the lymphnodes), purpura (condition characterized by the presence of blood just under the skin, can appear any where over the body), WBC abnormality (white blood cell abnormality).
  • Musculoskeletal: Arthralgia (pain in the joint), arthritis, traumatic fracture.
  • Nervous System: Akinesia (the temporary paralysis of a muscle, can include intense pain), alcohol abuse, amnesia, ataxia (failure of muscular coordination or irregularity of muscle action), convulsion, depersonalization, hallucinations, hyperkinesia (abnormally increased mobility, abnormally increased motor function or activity), hypertonia (a condition of excessive tone, tension or activity, can include increased blood pressure), incoordination, lack of emotion, manic reaction, paranoid reaction, thinking abnormal.
  • Respiratory: Asthma, bronchitis, dyspnea (difficult or labored breathing), epistaxis (hemorrhage from the nose), hyperventilation, pneumonia, respiratory flu, sinusitis.
  • Special Senses: Abnormality of accommodation, conjunctivitis, ear pain, eye pain, mydriasis (extreme or morbid dilation of the pupil), otitis media (inflammation of the ear which may be marked by pain, fever, abnormalities of hearing, deafness, tinnitus, and vertigo), tinnitus (a noise in the ear, as ringing, buzzing, roaring clicking etc).
  • Urogenital: Abortion*, amenorrhea* (absence or abnormal stoppage of menses), breast pain*, cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder), dysmenorrhea* (painful menstruation), dysuria (painful or difficult urination), menorrhagia* (excessive uterine bleeding occurring at regular intervals), nocturia (excessive urination at night), polyuria (the passage of a large volume of urine in a given period), urinary incontinence, urinary retention, urinary tract infection, urinary urgency, vaginitis* (inflammation of the vagina).

* Gender specific

In December, 2001 The Food and Drug Administration notified Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. that it must include a so-called black-box warning on its label for the antidepressant Paxil advising patients that rare but possibly life-threatening liver failure can occur with use of the drug. A black-box warning label is the most serious warning issued by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.

On December 7, 2001, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told Bristol-Myer Squibb to include a so-called black box warning on labels of the anti-depressant drug Paxil� informing patients that life-threatening liver damage can occur when using the drug. Cases of liver failure leading to transplant and/or death in patients have been reported.

On January 9, 2002, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. issued a manufacturer’s warning advising health care providers that “cases of life-threatening hepatic failure have been reported in patients treated with Paxil.” The warning indicates that numerous persons have or will suffer liver failure, and that current estimates of the rate of liver failure associated with Paxil use are “about 3-4 times the estimated background of liver failure.”