Prescription Drug Information: Paroxetine (Page 3 of 6)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following reactions have been identified during post approval use of paroxetine. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Acute pancreatitis, elevated liver function tests (the most severe cases were deaths due to liver necrosis, and grossly elevated transaminases associated with severe liver dysfunction), Guillain-Barré syndrome, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, priapism, syndrome of inappropriate ADH secretion (SIADH), prolactinemia and galactorrhea; extrapyramidal symptoms which have included akathisia, bradykinesia, cogwheel rigidity, dystonia, hypertonia, trismus; status epilepticus, acute renal failure, pulmonary hypertension, allergic alveolitis, anaphylaxis, eclampsia, laryngismus, optic neuritis, porphyria, restless legs syndrome (RLS), ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia (including torsade de pointes), hemolytic anemia, events related to impaired hematopoiesis (including aplastic anemia, pancytopenia, bone marrow aplasia, and agranulocytosis), and vasculitic syndromes (such as Henoch-Schönlein purpura).


7.1 Clinically Significant Drug Interactions

Table 6: Clinically Significant Drug Interactions with Paroxetine Extended-Release Tablets

M onoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
Clinical Impact The concomitant use of SSRIs, including paroxetine extended-release tablets, and MAOIs increases the risk of serotonin syndrome.
I ntervention Paroxetine extended-release tablets are contraindicated in patients taking MAOIs, including MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue [see Dosage and Administration (2.6), Contraindications (4), Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Ex amples selegiline, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, phenelzine, linezolid, methylene blue
P i m o z ide and Thioridazine
Clinical Impact Increased plasma concentrations of pimozide and thioridazine, drugs with a narrow therapeutic index, may increase the risk of QTc prolongation and ventricular arrhythmias.
I ntervention Paroxetine extended-release tablets is contraindicated in patients taking pimozide or thioridazine [see Contraindications (4)].
Other Serotonergic Drugs
Clinical Impact The concomitant use of serotonergic drugs with paroxetine extended-release tablets increases the risk of serotonin syndrome.
I ntervention Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome, particularly during treatment initiation and dosage increases. If serotonin syndrome occurs, consider discontinuation of paroxetine extended-release tablets and/or concomitant serotonergic drugs [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Ex amples other SSRIs, SNRIs, triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, tryptophan, buspirone, St. John’s Wort
Dr ugs that Interfere with Hemostasis (antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants)
Clinical Impact The concurrent use of an antiplatelet agent or anticoagulant with paroxetine extended-release tablets may potentiate the risk of bleeding.
I ntervention Inform patients of the increased risk of bleeding associated with the concomitant use of paroxetine extended-release tablets and antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants. For patients taking warfarin, carefully monitor the international normalized ratio [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
Ex amples aspirin, clopidogrel, heparin, warfarin
Dr ugs Highly Bound to Plasma Protein
Clinical Impact Paroxetine extended-release tablets are highly bound to plasma protein. The concomitant use of paroxetine extended-release tablets with another drug that is highly bound to plasma protein may increase free concentrations of paroxetine extended-release tablets or other tightly-bound drugs in plasma.
I ntervention Monitor for adverse reactions and reduce dosage of paroxetine extended-release tablets or other protein-bound drugs as warranted.
Ex amples warfarin
Dr ugs Metabolized by CYP2D6
Clinical Impact Paroxetine extended-release tablets are a CYP2D6 inhibitor [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. The concomitant use of paroxetine extended-release tablets with a CYP2D6 substrate may increase the exposure of the CYP2D6 substrate.
Intervention Decrease the dosage of a CYP2D6 substrate if needed with concomitant paroxetine extended-release tablets use. Conversely, an increase in dosage of a CYP2D6 substrate may be needed if paroxetine extended-release tablets are discontinued.
Ex amples propafenone, flecainide, atomoxetine, desipramine, dextromethorphan, metoprolol, nebivolol, perphenazine, tolterodine, venlafaxine, risperidone.
Clinical Impact Concomitant use of tamoxifen with paroxetine extended-release tablets may lead to reduced plasma concentrations of the active metabolite (endoxifen) and reduced efficacy of tamoxifen
Intervention Consider use of an alternative antidepressant little or no CYP2D6 inhibition [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)].
F osamprenavir/Ritonavir
Clinical Impact Co-administration of fosamprenavir/ritonavir with paroxetine significantly decreased plasma levels of paroxetine.
I ntervention Any dose adjustment should be guided by clinical effect (tolerability and efficacy).


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category D [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]

Epidemiological studies have shown that infants exposed to paroxetine in the first trimester of pregnancy have an increased risk of congenital malformations, particularly cardiovascular malformations. If paroxetine is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking paroxetine, advise the patient of the potential hazard to the fetus.

  • A study based on Swedish national registry data demonstrated that infants exposed to paroxetine during pregnancy (n = 815) had an increased risk of cardiovascular malformations (2% risk in paroxetine-exposed infants) compared to the entire registry population (1% risk), for an odds ratio (OR) of 1.8 (95% confidence interval 1.1 to 2.8). No increase in the risk of overall congenital malformations was seen in the paroxetine-exposed infants. The cardiac malformations in the paroxetine-exposed infants were primarily ventricular septal defects (VSDs) and atrial septal defects (ASDs). Septal defects range in severity from those that resolve spontaneously to those which require surgery


  • A separate retrospective cohort study from the United States (United Healthcare data) evaluated 5,956 infants of mothers dispensed antidepressants during the first trimester (n = 815 for paroxetine). This study showed a trend towards an increased risk for cardiovascular malformations for paroxetine (risk of 1.5%) compared to other antidepressants (risk of 1%), for an OR of 1.5 (95% confidence interval 0.8 to 2.9). Of the 12 paroxetine-exposed infants with cardiovascular malformations, 9 had VSDs. This study also suggested an increased risk of overall major congenital malformations including cardiovascular defects for paroxetine (4% risk) compared to other (2% risk) antidepressants (OR 1.8; 95% confidence interval 1.2 to 2.8).
  • Two large case-control studies using separate databases, each with >9,000 birth defect cases and >4,000 controls, found that maternal use of paroxetine during the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with a 2 to 3 fold increased risk of right ventricular outflow tract obstructions. In one study the OR was 2.5 (95% confidence interval, 1.0 to 6.0, 7 exposed infants) and in the other study the OR was 3.3 (95% confidence interval, 1.3 to 8.8, 6 exposed infants).

Other studies have found varying results as to whether there was an increased risk of overall, cardiovascular, or specific congenital malformations. A meta-analysis of epidemiological data over a 16-year period (1992 to 2008) on first trimester paroxetine use in pregnancy and congenital malformations included the above-noted studies in addition to others (n = 17 studies that included overall malformations and n = 14 studies that included cardiovascular malformations; n = 20 distinct studies). While subject to limitations, this meta-analysis suggested an increased occurrence of cardiovascular malformations (prevalence odds ratio [POR] 1.5; 95% confidence interval 1.2 to 1.9) and overall malformations (POR 1.2; 95% confidence interval 1.1 to 1.4) with paroxetine use during the first trimester. It was not possible in this meta-analysis to determine the extent to which the observed prevalence of cardiovascular malformations might have contributed to that of overall malformations, nor was it possible to determine whether any specific types of cardiovascular malformations might have contributed to the observed prevalence of all cardiovascular malformations.

Unless the benefits of paroxetine to the mother justify continuing treatment, consideration should be given to either discontinuing paroxetine therapy or switching to another antidepressant [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]. For women who intend to become pregnant or are in their first trimester of pregnancy, paroxetine should only be initiated after consideration of the other available treatment options [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Treatment of Pregnant Women During Their Third Trimester: Neonates exposed to SSRIs or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), including paroxetine extended-release tablets, late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding. Such complications can arise immediately upon delivery. Reported clinical findings have included respiratory distress, cyanosis, apnea, seizures, temperature instability, feeding difficulty, vomiting, hypoglycemia, hypotonia, hypertonia, hyperreflexia, tremor, jitteriness, irritability, and constant crying.

These features are consistent with either a direct toxic effect of SSRIs and SNRIs or, possibly, a drug discontinuation syndrome. It should be noted that, in some cases, the clinical picture is consistent with serotonin syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Exposure to SSRIs in late pregnancy may have an increased risk for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). PPHN occurs in 1 to 2 per 1,000 live births in the general population and is associated with substantial neonatal morbidity and mortality. In a retrospective case-control study of 377 women whose infants were born with PPHN and 836 women whose infants were born healthy, the risk for developing PPHN was approximately six-fold higher for infants exposed to SSRIs after the 20th week of gestation compared to infants who had not been exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy.

There have also been postmarketing reports of premature births in pregnant women exposed to paroxetine or other SSRIs.

When treating a pregnant woman with paroxetine during the third trimester, the physician should carefully consider both the potential risks and benefits of treatment [see Dosage and Administration (2.5)]. A prospective longitudinal study of 201 women with a history of major depression who were euthymic at the beginning of pregnancy. The women who discontinued antidepressant medication during pregnancy were more likely to experience a relapse of major depression than women who continued antidepressant medication.

Animal Findings: Reproduction studies were performed at doses up to 50 mg/kg/day in rats and 6 mg/kg/day in rabbits administered during organogenesis. These doses are approximately 6 (rat) and less than 2 (rabbit) times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD – 75 mg) on an mg/m2 basis. These studies have revealed no evidence of malformations. However, in rats, there was an increase in pup deaths during the first 4 days of lactation when dosing occurred during the last trimester of gestation and continued throughout lactation. This effect occurred at a dose of 1 mg/kg/day or approximately one thirteens of the MRHD on an mg/m2 basis. The no-effect dose for rat pup mortality was not determined. The cause of these deaths is not known. provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed prescription drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by Every individual prescription drug label and package insert entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

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