by Vladimire Herard

Despite the release of multiple studies in the past two decades linking the anti-depressant drug to a variety of unpleasant to outright deadly side effects, millions of prescriptions are written for Paxil every year.

Attention to the use of psychiatric drugs come at a time when the connections between mental health, the pandemic and crime rise to the fore with newer initiatives added to the federal budget and policies enacted for treatment and violence prevention, especially with respect to gun control.

Paxil is a member of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also known as SSRIs. This class enables the body’s “feel-good” chemical called serotonin to boost a person’s mood.

However, in some patients, Paxil and other SSRIs have been known to profoundly affect thought and conduct and may even increase the symptoms of depression such as plant thoughts of self-harm and suicide in a person’s mind.

Side effects include autism in unborn children and increased risk for breast cancer, cataracts, type 2 diabetes, fractures, pregnant women with high blood pressure and strokes and death. Paxil was even at the center of a $1.5 million lawsuit in 2009 by the family of a male patient who committed suicide after using the drug.

The National Institutes of Health, also known as NIH, cites the following negative impacts:  body aches and pains, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, strange dreams, feeling drugged, dry mouth, headache, tender or swollen joints, sensitivity to light, changes in menstruation, a lack of mental focus, muscle weakness, nausea, nervousness, sleepiness, sore gums, stomach aches or cramps, sweating, changes in taste, tightness in the throat, vomiting, weight loss or gain and excess yawning.

The Food and Drug Administration also warns against the side effects of Paxil and other anti-depressant drugs, requiring, in the past two decades, that SSRIs carry a “black box warning” in their labels about the risk of suicide and conduct, especially for those aged 18 to 24 years of age.

Instead, herbal alternatives such as chamomile, lemon balm, valerian root and skullcap or probiotics may be more successful in treating depression than Paxil and other medicines and patients are encouraged to seek out these remedies.

These remedies not only treat mental illness but also decrease the incidence of side effects.


Syracuse University,

The Huffington Post,