Consumer medicine information


Paroxetine hydrochloride

Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet

This leaflet answers some common questions about Paroxetine-DP. It does not contain all the available information.

It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking paroxetine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.

If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.

What Paroxetine-DP is used for

The name of your medicine is Paroxetine-DP. It contains the active ingredient paroxetine hydrochloride.

It belongs to a group of medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by inhibiting the neuronal uptake of serotonin in the central nervous system. Serotonin is one of several brain chemicals called amines which are involved in controlling mood.

Depression is longer lasting and/or more severe than the “low moods” everyone has from time to time due to the stress of everyday life. It is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in parts of the brain. This imbalance affects your whole body and can cause emotional and physical symptoms such as feeling low in spirit, loss of interest in usual activities, being unable to enjoy life, poor appetite or overeating, disturbed sleep, often waking up early, loss of sex drive, lack of energy and feeling guilty over nothing. Paroxetine-DP corrects the chemical imbalance and so helps to relieve the symptoms of depression.

Paroxetine-DP is also used to treat:

  • Patients who may avoid and/or are fearful of social situations.
  • Symptoms of panic attacks. When taken regularly it will help prevent the attacks.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The symptoms of OCD vary from patient to patient. Check with your doctor if you need more information.

Your doctor may have prescribed this medicine for another purpose. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.

Before you take Paroxetine-DP

Antidepressants can increase suicidal thoughts and actions in some children and adolescents younger than 18 years of age. But suicidal thoughts and actions can also be caused by depression, a serious medical condition that is commonly treated with antidepressants. Thinking about killing yourself or trying to kill yourself is called suicidality or being suicidal.

Antidepressants are used to treat depression and other illnesses. Depression and other illnesses can leaf to suicide. In some children and adolescents, treatment with an antidepressant increases suicidal thinking or actions. It is important to discuss all the risks of treating depression and also the risks of not treating it. You should discuss all treatment choices with your doctor, not just the use of antidepressants.

Patients (and caregivers of patients) need to monitor for any worsening of their condition and/or the emergence of thoughts of suicide or suicidal behaviour or thoughts of harming themselves and to seek medical advice immediately of these symptoms present. (See Use in Children and Adolescents).

When you must not take it

Do not take Paroxetine-DP if:

  • You are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Studies show that use of paroxetine in early pregnancy (first 13 weeks) may be associated with an increased risk of heart defects in babies particularly heart and blood vessel problems. If you become pregnant or intend to become pregnant while taking paroxetine, you should make an appointment to see your doctor and have your treatment reviewed. It is important that you do not stop taking paroxetine suddenly. Paroxetine is a medicine that can have withdrawal side effects if stopped suddenly (see Things you must not do & Unwanted effects that may occur on stopping treatment).
  • You are breastfeeding, unless permitted by your doctor.
  • You are taking any other medication for the treatment of depression or have done so in the last two weeks. You have ever had an allergy to any medicine containing paroxetine hydrochloride or to any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet (see Ingredients). Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin.
  • You have taken paroxetine before and became unwell. Tell your doctor or pharmacist before taking the first dose.
  • You are taking any other medications for the treatment of depression or have done so in the last 2 weeks. You must not take Paroxetine-DP until 2 weeks after stopping monoamine oxidase inhibitor drugs (MAOIs). Examples of MAOIs are phenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate). There may be others so please check with your doctor. Taking paroxetine with a MAOI may cause a serious reaction with a sudden increase in body temperature, extremely high blood pressure and severe convulsions. You are taking pimozide (Orap) or thioridazine (Melleril, Aldazine) (medicines used to treat certain mental and emotional conditions).
  • You have taken Paroxetine-DP before and became unwell. Tell your doctor or pharmacist before taking the first dose.
  • The expiry date printed on the pack has passed.
  • The packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.

Take special care with Paroxetine- DP if you are over 65 years of age as Paroxetine-DP may cause a reduction in the amount of sodium within your blood which can lead to sleepiness and muscle weakness. If you experience these symptoms, please consult your doctor as soon as possible.

If you are not sure whether you should start taking this medicine, talk to your doctor.

Before you start to take it

You must tell your doctor if allergies to:

  • any other medicines, especially if they are in the same drug class as paroxetine (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  • any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes
  • you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant
  • you are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed. Your doctor will discuss with you the possible risks and benefits of using paroxetine during breastfeeding.

Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:

  • Epilepsy (fits)
  • heart problems
  • liver problems
  • kidney problems
  • raised pressure in the eye
  • problems with blood clotting
  • other psychiatric conditions (Mania/Bipolar disorder).

If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you start taking paroxetine.

Taking other medicines

Some combinations of medicines may increase the risk of serious side effects and potentially life-threatening.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medicines including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

Some medicines and paroxetine may interfere with each other. These include:

  • medicines to treat depression, anxiety or schizophrenia, such as pimozide or thiorizadine, including medicines you buy without a doctor’s prescription such as tryptophan, fentanyl or St John’s Wort
  • medicines to treat Parkinson’s disease, such as selegiline (Eldepryl) and procyclidine (Kemadrin)
  • phenytoin and other medicines used to control epilepsy (anti-convulsants) medicines to lower blood pressure or treat heart conditions, such as metoprolol (Betaloc)and flecainide (Tambocor)
  • medicines to prevent blood clots (anti-coagulants), warfarin (Coumadin, Marevan), and other medicines used to thin blood (anti-coagulants), including aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • medicines to treat stomach ulcers or reflux cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • medicines to treat migraine attacks such as sumatriptan antiviral protease inhibitors medicines used to treat HIV infection, such as fosamprenavir or ritonavir
  • tamoxifen and other medicines used to treat breast cancer.

These medicines may be affected by paroxetine or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicines, or you may need to take different medicines.

Your doctor or pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking this medicine.

How to take Paroxetine-DP

Follow your doctors’ or pharmacist directions about how and when to take Paroxetine-DP. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.

If you do not understand the instructions on the pack, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.

How much to take

The usual dose of Paroxetine-DP for depression, social anxiety disorder/social phobia, raumatic stress disorder is one 20 mg tablet taken once each day. Your doctor may increase the dose slowly over several weeks. This may require you to break the tablet in half.

The usual dose of Paroxetine-DP for obsessions and compulsions or panic attacks is two 20 mg tablets taken once each day. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose and increase the dose slowly over several weeks. This may require you to break the tablet in half.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure of the correct dose for you. They will tell you exactly how much to take.

Follow the instructions they give you. If you take the wrong dose, Paroxetine-DP may not work as well and your problem may not improve.

How to take it

Swallow the tablets with a full glass of water. The tablets can be broken in half but should not be chewed.

If you need to break Paroxetine-DP, place the tablet on a flat surface with the notch side facing up and press down on the scored side with the thumb.

Paroxetine-DP should be taken in the morning, preferably with food.

How long to take it

Keep taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you.

Like other drugs of this type, paroxetine will not relieve your symptoms straight away. People generally start feeling better in a few weeks or so. Occasionally the symptoms of depression or other psychiatric conditions may include thoughts of harming yourself or committing suicide. It is possible that these symptoms may continue or increase until the full antidepressant effect of your medicine becomes apparent.

Tell your doctor immediately or go to the nearest hospital if you have any distressing thoughts or experiences during this initial period or at any other time. Also contact your doctor if you experience any worsening of your depression/other symptoms at any time during your treatment.

Stopping treatment

Do not stop taking Paroxetine-DP even if you begin to feel better. Your doctor may decide that you should continue to take it for some time, even when you have overcome your problem. This should prevent the problem from returning. For best effect, paroxetine must be taken regularly.

Your doctor will tell you when and how Paroxetine-DP should be discontinued. Your doctor will usually recommend that you stop treatment by slowly reducing the dosage over a period of several weeks. When you stop treatment with Paroxetine-DP especially if this is done suddenly, you may experience unwanted symptoms. Please see the section of this leaflet called “Unwanted Effects that may occur on stopping treatment”.

Use in Children and Adolescents

Paroxetine-DP is not recommended for use in children and adolescents under 18 years.

The use of paroxetine is not recommended to treat depression in children and adolescents under 18, as the drug has not been shown to be effective in this age group and there are possible unwanted side effects.

Information from clinical trials suggested that young adults, particularly those with depression, may be at an increased risk of suicidal behaviour (including suicide attempts) when treated with paroxetine especially during initial treatment (generally the first one to two months). The majority of attempted suicides in clinical trials in depression involved those aged 18 to 30 years.

Family and caregivers of children and adolescents being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorders or for any other condition (psychiatric or non-psychiatric) need to monitor them for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behaviour, as well as the emergence of thoughts of suicide and to report such symptoms immediately to their doctor. It is particularly important that monitoring be undertaken during the initial few months of antidepressant treatment or at times of dose increase or decrease.

If you forget to take it

Take your dose as soon as you remember, and continue to take it as you would normally.

This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect.

If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.

If you take too much (overdose)

Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Paroxetine-DP. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.

Symptoms of an overdose may include besides those mentioned under Side effects, nausea, vomiting, tremor, dilated pupils, dry mouth, sedation, sweating, dizziness, confusion, fever, headache, fast heartbeat and irritability.

While you are taking Paroxetine-DP

Things you must do

  • Always follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor, dentist and pharmacist that you are taking paroxetine.

Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking this medicine.

If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.

Tell your doctor if, for any reason, you have not taken your medicine exactly as prescribed. Otherwise, your doctor may think that it was not effective and change your treatment unnecessarily.

Tell your doctor if you feel the tablets are not helping your condition.

Persons taking Paroxetine-DP may be more likely to think about killing themselves or actually trying to do so, especially when Paroxetine-DP is first started or the dose is changed. People close to persons taking Paroxetine-DP can help by paying attention to changes in user’s moods or actions. Contact your doctor right away if someone using Paroxetine-DP talks about or shows signs of killing him or herself. If you are taking Paroxetine-DP yourself and you start thinking about killing yourself, tell your doctor about this side effect right away.

If you are being treated for depression, be sure to discuss with your doctor any problems you may have and how you feel, especially any feelings of severe sadness, thoughts of suicide, bursts of unusual energy or, anger. This will help your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.

Keep all of your doctor’s appointments so that your progress can be checked. Your doctor may do some tests from time to time, such as checking your heart and blood pressure, to make sure the medicine is working and to prevent unwanted side effects.

Things you must not do

Do not give your medicine to anyone else, even if their symptoms seem similar to yours.

Do not take Paroxetine-DP to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.

Do not stop taking your medicine, without checking with your doctor. Suddenly stopping Paroxetine-DP may cause symptoms like dizziness, trouble sleeping, shaking, feeling anxious, nausea, sweating or tinnitus.

Do not take monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants (MAOIs) until two weeks after you stop taking Paroxetine-DP. Examples of MAOIs include phenelzine and tranylcypromine. There may be others so please check with your doctor.

Things to be careful of

Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Paroxetine-DP affects you. This medicine may cause dizziness, drowsiness or light headedness in some people. Make sure you know how you react to Paroxetine-DP before you drive a car; operate machinery.

Although drinking moderate amounts of alcohol is unlikely to affect your response to Paroxetine-DP, it is best to avoid alcohol while you are taking this medicine.

When your doctor decides that you should stop taking Paroxetine-DP, the dose may be reduced slowly or the time between the doses increased over 1 to 2 weeks. Some people may have symptoms such as dizziness, anxiety, sleep disturbances, pins and needles, electric shock sensations or feeling sick and sweating if paroxetine is stopped, particularly if stopped suddenly.

Although paroxetine is not recommended for children under 18 years of age, additional symptoms that have been experienced by children whilst stopping treatment are abdominal pain, nervousness and mood changes.

Side effects

Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Paroxetine-DP.

Like other medicines, Paroxetine-DP can cause some side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.

Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you:

  • bruising
  • feeling sick, dry mouth, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, taste change constipation or diarrhoea
  • drowsiness, dizziness difficulty in getting to sleep confusion, tremor, anxiety
  • impaired sexual function
  • weakness
  • feeling sweaty or shaky
  • palpitation, cough, impaired concentration, confusion, blurred vision
  • weight gain or weight loss.

These are the more common side effects of Paroxetine-DP. Mostly, these are mild and short-lived, however, some may be serious and require medical attention.

Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:

  • muscle spasms or twitches
  • particularly agitated or restless behaviour
  • any worsening of your condition or development of new symptoms, particularly if you develop self-harming thoughts.

Stop taking Paroxetine-DP and tell your doctor immediately or go to the Accident and Emergency department at your nearest hospital if any of the following happens:

  • allergic reaction, such as rash, itching or hives on the skin; swelling of the face, lips, limbs
  • sudden fever
  • hallucinations
  • loss of coordination
  • confusion
  • overactive reflexes
  • sudden increase in body temperature, severe convulsions (fits)
  • fast heart beat, sweating, muscle spasm, racing thoughts, restlessness, chest pain
  • sudden onset of prolonged muscular spasms, affecting the eyes, head, neck and body

The above list includes very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.

Serious side effects are rare.

Other rare events include:

  • blurred vision
  • abnormal liver function
  • low levels of sodium in the blood, especially older people
  • bleeding disorders, including mouth or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing gastrointestinal bleeding which occurs rarely
  • hormone disturbances
  • mood of excitement, over-activity and uninhibited behaviour
  • changing emotions, including crying, changes in mood, trying to harm themselves, thoughts of suicide and attempting suicide.
  • confusion
  • seizures
  • rash caused by light
  • itchy rash, hives, swelling of the face, lips mouth , tongue or throat
  • restlessness or difficulty keeping still

All of these side effects are very rare.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people. Tell your doctor if you notice any other effects.

Unwanted effects that may occur on stopping treatment:

Symptoms may include

  • dizziness,
  • pins and needles, burning sensations and electric-shock like sensations,
  • sleep disturbances, including intense dreams,
  • agitation or anxiety,
  • feeling sick,
  • shaking or tremors,
  • confusion,
  • sweating,
  • headache
  • diarrhoea.

These are likely to occur in the first few days of stopping treatment or very rarely if you miss a dose. However, they are more likely to occur if you stop taking Paroxetine-DP too quickly. Therefore always consult your doctor before stopping your medicine. For the majority of patients, symptoms go away on their own within a few weeks. However, if you feel that the unwanted symptoms are too severe, see your doctor who will suggest how to manage stopping treatment more slowly.

Additional symptoms that have been experienced by children and adolescents whilst stopping treatment are, changing emotions (including thoughts of suicide, attempting suicide, mood changes and feeling tearful), abdominal pain and nervousness.

Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Wheezing, swelling of the lips/mouth, difficulty in breathing, hayfever, lumpy rash (hives) or fainting. These could be a symptom of an allergic reaction.

Although Paroxetine-DP is not recommended for children under 18 years of age the most common unwanted effects in children under 18 are:

  • decreased appetite,
  • tremor (uncontrollable trembling),
  • sweating, hyperactivity,
  • hostile/unfriendly behaviour, agitation,
  • changing emotions, including crying, changes in mood, trying to harm themselves, thoughts of suicide and attempting suicide.

After taking Paroxetine-DP


Keep it where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.

Keep your tablets in their pack until it is time to take them. If you take it out of its original container it may not keep well.

Keep your tablets in a cool, dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.

Do not store Paroxetine-DP, or any other medicine, in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.


If your doctor tells you to stop taking this medicine, or the expiry date has passed, ask your pharmacist what to do with any tablets that are left over.

Product description

What it looks like

Paroxetine-DP tablets are white, oval, biconvex and film-coated. The tablets are partially scored and engraved “20” on one side. The other side is plain.

Paroxetine-DP is available in blister packs of 30 tablets.


Paroxetine-DP contains 20 mg of paroxetine (as paroxetine hydrochloride) as the active ingredient.

It also contains:

  • magnesium stearate
  • sodium starch glycollate
  • lactose anhydrous
  • hydroxypropylcellulose
  • hypromellose
  • macrogol 8000
  • titanium dioxide.

This medicine does not contain sucrose, gluten, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.


Ascent Pharma Pty Ltd
151-153 Clarendon St
South Melbourne VIC 3205

This leaflet was prepared in August 2010.

Australian Registration Number

AUST R 129419

Published by MIMS May 2016