IRFANA PARVEEN
By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

06 December 2021
Medically reviewed by
Freny Menezes
Pharm. D
DOES PAXIL CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN
Table of Contents

Weight gain is a process of increasing weight in the body by muscle mass, excessive fluids, and fat deposits in the body parts.

In the US, 36.5% Adults are obese 32.5% are overweight. Some people will see rapid weight gain in a particular period; this may lead to some severe medical conditions.

The main factors are poor sleep patterns, sedentary lifestyles, processed foods etc. While drugs lead to weight gain in person, mainly antidepressant drugs cause weight gain; let us see about the drug Paxil and how it causes weight gain in people. 

What is Paxil (Paroxetine)?

Paxil comes under the generic name Paroxetine and belongs to an antidepressant drug group called Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).  

Doctors prescribe this medication to treat various mood disorders like depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, and panic disorder. It is available under the trade names Aropax and Seroxat.

How does Paxil works in your system? 

The drug is classified into Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors(SSRIs). 
Serotonin is a natural chemical present in the brain. Neurotransmitters are the area which carries messages between the neurons to your body.

At the same time, serotonin is responsible for mood and regulation. When serotonin dysregulates, your body will not work to produce enough serotonin, which leads to mood changes. 

Probably your doctor prescribes antidepressant drugs to treat your symptoms like Paxil helps balance the person's serotonin level. However, it enhances a good mood and reduces anxiety by preventing the cells in the brain from absorbing quickly. 

Recently FDA issued a black box warning of suicidal thoughts and behaviour problems in adults While concerning Paxil. Particularly in people with Major depressive disorder.
There is no known data while using Paxil for a more extended time; it is a safe and effective medication.
Paxil and Xanax are similar drugs used to treat panic and anxiety attacks in patients. Moreover, Paxil is used for depression and social disorders.

Does Paxil Cause Weight Gain?

Paroxetine or Paxil Cause Weight Gain as its significant potential side effect. Paxil is most commonly associated with long-term and short-term use weight gain.

Paxil is not available over the counter. Order Paxil online from a certified online pharmacy, but it is recommended to take a doctor's advice before consuming these medicines.

Experts say that up to 25% of people taking antidepressant medication, including popular SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) drugs like Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft, can cause weight loss gain of 10 pounds or more.

Study On SSRI Antidepressant And Weight Gain:

Aim: This study aimed to look into the link between antidepressant use and weight increase and the effects of lifestyle factors.

Method: They used data from 2334 adults from the North West Adelaide health study.

Findings: 188 (8.1%) participants had a mean annual number of 1-2 antidepressant prescriptions, and 212 (9.1%) had over two drugs. The yearly mean weight gain was 0.12, 0.18, and 0.28 kg in non-users, low (1–2 prescriptions/year) and high (>2 prescriptions/year) antidepressant users, respectively.

Antidepressant usage was positively linked with weight gain in multivariable regression models, with high antidepressant users gaining an extra 0.22 kg per year. This link was primarily related to using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). High SSRI users gained 0.48 kg more than non-users.

Conclusion: SSRI was associated with weight gain in the presence of unhealthy behaviours, including western diets and smoking. 

How Does Paxil Cause Weight Gain?

  • Serotonin deficiency can cause significant weight gain.
  • Antidepressants like Paxil boost appetite, which makes a person eat more.
  • A psychotropic drug like Paxil may also affect how the body processes fat.
  • Patients who used Paxil were likelier to seek out unhealthy eating options with high sugar content.
  • Paxil also decreases the metabolism in the body, which causes patients to round out.

How Much Weight Do People Gain On Paxil?

Paxil can increase weight gain if used in the long term. A patient can gain around 24 pounds within 6-12 months of treatment with Paxil compared to only 10 pounds with other SSRIs.

Factors Affecting The Weight Gain Of Paxil?

Several factors may affect the weight gain of Paxil:

  • The use of other medications can contribute to weight gain, especially if they are psychiatric.
  • The dosage will also reflect the drug’s effect. Doctors usually prescribe Paxil 20 mg for patients with generalised anxiety, but there’s a higher probability of the drug increasing body mass if raised.
  • The duration of the treatment of Paxil also affects weight gain. The risk of gaining weight increases as the treatment prolongs.
  • Some gain weight quickly. The risk of obesity increases by 25% if one or both parents are obese.
  • A shift in lifestyle also influences the occurrence of weight

Side Effects Of Paxil

Side effects of the drug due to the usage of the drug in the initial period. If you face Side Effects for a long-term period, you should get emergency medical help.

Common side effects are,

  • Weakness
  • Sweating
  • changes in vision
  • Dry Mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

Any allergic reaction like hives, facial swelling, lips, burning eyes, rashes, and blistering. 
Mood changes like anxiety, panic attacks, sleeping issues, feeling impulsive, restlessness, thoughts of suicide and depression. 

Report to your doctor immediately if you have any:

  • Decrease the sleep 
  • unusual thoughts
  • Extreme happiness or sadness
  • Talkative more than usual 
  • Vision changes
  • Eye pain 
  • Swelling in the eyes 
  • Tenderness
  •  Bone pain 
  • Changing in weight 
  • Unusual bleeding in nose, mouth vagina 

Some of the Serotonin syndromes, 

  • hallucination,
  • Heartbeat rapidly,
  • muscles stiffness,
  • loss of coordination,
  • fever,
  • sweating,
  • diarrhoea 
  • vomiting

should see emergency medical help immediately. 

Prevention For Paxil 

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to pimozide le thioridazine.
Please don't take it within 14 days or before the 14 days after taking the drug Paxil cause it will affect your health.
Make sure to inform your doctor if you have any

  • high blood pressure
  • liver
  • kidney disease or
  • any mental confusion like bipolar disorder or thoughts of suicide. 
  • Sexual problem
  • low levels of sodium in your blood;

Inform the doctor before you take this medication to avoid the side effects. 

Paxil is not used in children younger than 18 years old.
People who are breastfeeding or pregnant should consult their doctor before taking the drug.  

Drug Interactions Of Paxil

While interacting with two drugs simultaneously will have some fever side effects, the drugs Paxil also worsen your condition and make you feel drowsy before taking medicine. Inform your doctor if you are using any opioid medication or a sleeping pill. 

  • Heart Rhythm Medicine
  • Narcotic Pain medicine like tramadol and fentanyl.
  • Diuretic drugs
  • Any seizure drugs like phenobarbital and phenytoin
  • Sumatriptan
  • Rizatriptan

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Paxil is an antidepressant drug. Paxil causes weight gain in long-term use. The study has found that SSRIs cause weight gain associated with an unhealthy lifestyle.

Factors like dosage, medication, term of treatment, and lifestyle affect weight because of Paxil.
Before taking a drug, consult your doctor for further information and to avoid prior side effects. 

  • Gunasekara, N.S., Noble, S. & Benfield, P. Paroxetine. Drugs 55, 85–120 (1998). From  https://doi.org/10.2165/00003495-199855010-00007 Obtain on 06/11/2022

  • Davis, B., Nagarajan, A., Forrest, L. et al. Mechanism of Paroxetine (Paxil) Inhibition of the Serotonin Transporter. Sci Rep 6, 23789 (2016). From https://doi.org/10.1038/srep23789 Obtain on 06/11/2022

  • Uguz, F., Sahingoz, M., Gungor, B., Aksoy, F., & Askin, R. (2015). Weight gain and associated factors in patients using newer antidepressant drugs. General Hospital Psychiatry, 37(1), 46-48. From https://doi.org/10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2014.10.011 Obtain on 06/11/2022

  • Shi, Z., Atlantis, E., Taylor, A. W., Gill, T. K., Price, K., Appleton, S., Wong, L., & Licinio, J. (2017). SSRI antidepressant use potentiates weight gain in the context of unhealthy lifestyles: results from a 4-year Australian follow-up study. BMJ Open, 7(8). From  https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016224 Obtain on 06/11/2022

 

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