(2002; 18 pages)
PAROXETINE - Withdrawal symptoms can be severe (USA)
USA. The US FDA published a new product warning for paroxetine regarding the severe withdrawal symptoms of the kind that could lead to dependence. Withdrawal symptoms such as bad dreams, paraesthesia and dizziness can occur in up to 7% of patients. The warning mentions anecdotal reports of agitation, sweating and nausea and tells doctors to consider restarting treatment if symptoms become intolerable. Welcoming the FDA safety warning Dr Peter Haddad, consultant psychiatrist for Salford’s Mental Health Service NHS Trust has stated that there is a danger of misdiagnosis and inappropriate investigation of the symptoms following paroxetine withdrawal. For example, severe dizziness can easily be diagnosed for labyrinthitis. Patients should be warned not to stop taking their antidepressants suddenly; doctors should taper the dose at the end of treatment, keeping a close watch for withdrawal symptoms.
British Medical Journal 324: 260, 2 Feb 2002.
Available from URL: http://bmj.com