Pexeva Tablets (paroxetine mesylate) - Engage in Living

Indications for PEXEVA

PEXEVA (paroxetine mesylate) is indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder (PD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).


Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs

Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of paroxetine mesylate or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. PEXEVA (paroxetine mesylate) is not approved for use in pediatric patients. (See WARNINGS: Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk, Precautions: Information for Patients, and Precautions: Pediatric Use)


Concomitant use of PEXEVA in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (or within 14 days of use of MAOIs), thioridazine, or pimozide is contraindicated and can become life threatening. PEXEVA is also contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to paroxetine or any of the inactive ingredients in PEXEVA tablets.

Warnings and Precautions:

Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk: All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases.

Families and caregivers of patients being treated with PEXEVA should be alerted about the need to monitor patients for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior, and the other symptoms described above, as well as the emergence of suicidality, and to report such symptoms immediately to healthcare providers. The prescriber or healthcare professional should instruct patients, their families, and their caregivers to read the Medication Guide and should assist them in understanding its contents.

PEXEVA is not approved for use in bipolar depression. Prior to initiating treatment with an antidepressant, patients should be adequately screened to determine the risk of them having bipolar disorder, since PEXEVA may activate mania or hypomania.

Potential for Interaction with Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors:

In patients receiving SSRIs in combination with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), there have been reports of serious, sometimes fatal, reactions including hyperthermia, rigidity, myoclonus, autonomic instability with possible rapid fluctuations of vital signs, and mental status changes that include extreme agitation progressing to delirium and coma. Some cases presented with features resembling a potentially life-threatening Serotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS). Paroxetine should not be used in combination with a MAOI, or within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with a MAOI.

Potentially life-threatening Serotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome-like reactions have been reported with SNRIs and SSRIs alone, including PEXEVA, but particularly with concomitant use of serotonergic drugs, including triptans, with drugs that impair the metabolism of serotonin (including MAOIs), or with antipsychotics or other dopamine antagonists. If concomitant use with a triptan is clinically warranted, careful observation of the patient is advised, particularly during treatment initiation and dose increases. Concomitant use of PEXEVA with serotonin precursors (such as tryptophan) is not recommended.

Thioridazine with PEXEVA is contraindicated because elevated blood levels of thioridazine can prolong QTc interval and contribute to arrhythmias and sudden death.

Usage in Pregnancy: Teratogenic Effect:

Infants exposed to paroxetine in the first trimester of pregnancy have an increased risk of congenital malformations, particularly cardiovascular malformations; ventricular septal defects (VSDs), atrial septal defects (ASDs), and right ventricular outflow tract obstructions.

Neonates exposed to PEXEVA late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding. Respiratory distress, cyanosis, apnea, seizures, temperature instability, feeding difficulty, vomiting, hypoglycemia, hypotonia, hypertonia, hyperreflexia, tremor, jitteriness, irritability, and constant crying have been known to occur. Infants exposed to SSRIs in late pregnancy may have an increased risk for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).

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.

Discontinuation of Treatment with PEXEVA:

Patients should be monitored for symptoms when discontinuing PEXEVA. Dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g. paresthesias such as electric shock sensations and tinnitus), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, and hypomania have been seen to occur. A gradual reduction in the dose, rather than abrupt cessation, is recommended whenever possible.

Tamoxifen: Some studies have shown that the efficacy of tamoxifen, as measured by the risk of breast cancer relapse/mortality may be reduced when co-prescribed with paroxetine as a result of paroxetine's irreversible inhibition of CYP2D6. However other studies have failed to show such a risk. When Tamoxifen is used for the treatment or prevention of breast cancer, alternative antidepressants with little or no CYP2D6 inhibition should be considered.

Akathisia, hyponatremia, abnormal bleeding have been known to occur. Discontinuation of PEXEVA should be considered in patients with symptomatic hyponatremia. Patients should be cautioned about the concomitant use of PEXEVA and NSAIDs, aspirin, warfarin, or other drugs that affect coagulation since combined use of psychotropic drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and these agents has been associated with an increased risk of bleeding.

Patients should be advised that taking Pexeva can cause mild pupillary dilation, which in susceptible individuals, can lead to an episode of angle closure glaucoma. Pre-existing glaucoma is almost always open-angle glaucoma because angle closure glaucoma, when diagnosed, can be treated definitively with iridectomy. Open-angle glaucoma is not a risk factor for angle closure glaucoma. Patients may wish to be examined to determine whether they are susceptible to angle closure, and have a prophylactic procedure (e.g., iridectomy), if they are susceptible.

As with all antidepressants, PEXEVA should be used cautiously in patients with a history or family history of mania or hypomania, or with a history of seizure disorder.

Adverse Reactions

The most common side effects (incidence of 5% or greater and incidence for paroxetine at least twice that of placebo) that have been reported with PEXEVA include nausea, dry mouth, constipation, decreased appetite, infection, drowsiness, tremor, sweating, muscle weakness, trouble sleeping, abnormal ejaculation, impotence, and other male genital disorders and female genital disorders.