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Re: Paxil-blood pressure

Posted by Patient on October 12, 2003, at 18:02:12

In reply to Re: Heart Palpitations-blood pressure, posted by HannahW on October 12, 2003, at 1:26:02


I'm sorry to say I couldn't find the page where I read that about Paxil-it was two years ago-should have done my homework first. It may not have been significant enough for your doctor to think differently. From what I understand, Paxil has strong anticholinergic properties compared to the other SSRIs. One common anticholinergic effect can be a racing heartbeat--more common effects are dry mouth, inability to urinate completely, and constipation. This link describes some of the common as well as severe anticholinergic symptoms:

Anticholinergic syndrome

I don't know what mechanism it is that causes hypertension from Paxil, if it's in part from Paxil being an ACh(m) antogonist, or it's other known and unknown mechanisms, besides being a serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Hypertension as a side effect doesn't seem to be common, at least not what I could find over the internet.

Where I found info about Paxil having anticholinergic effects is from the book "Feeling Good" by David D. Burns, M.D., as well as here:



Rxlist monograph for paroxetine makes mention of hypertension occuring in some trial study(s):

And, alas a few testaments to Paxil and high blood pressure (hypertension):

Can Paxil cause hypertension?

Bouts of high blood pressure!

Zoloft and high blood pressure

And, from the book "Merck Manual of Medical Information, Home Edition" tells us this about high blood pressure:

"Blood pressure is measured after the person sits or lies for 5 minutes. A reading of 140/90mm Hg or more is considered high, but a diagnosis can't be based on a single high reading. Sometimes, even several high reading aren't enough to make the diagnosis. If a person has an initial high reading, the blood pressure is measured again and then measured twice on at least two other days to make sure that the high blood pressure exists. The readings not only determine the presence of high blood pressure but also are used to classify its severity."

For what it's worth, I've read of a few instances of complaints of high blood pressure at the Paxil board at
and in my opinion, SSRI's aren't as selective as the makers claim resulting in a myriad of side effects. You might try reducing the dosage, but only do it in a small increment as withdrawal symptoms can occur if you jump down too low too fast. If your blood pressure continues to rise, of course you'll have to discontinue Paxil if you and your doctor think it is the cause.

I'm afraid that many of the SSRI's as well as Effexor can cause weight gain in some, and this can depend on how you react to the drug-each of us reacts differently to these meds-no generalisations can really be made. If you can handle switching to another SSRI, maybe it will not have this effect. One way to avoid the weight gain is to avoid highly processed foods and simple carbohydrates, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine, and instead eat more quality protein and complex carbohydrates like vegetables, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.

If the increase in blood pressure turns out to be from Paxil, make sure your doctor informs the drug maker about your experience.

Sorry to jump in too quickly with my statement, but hopefully the information will help-the patient knows best.




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