(NaturalNews) Each year, millions of Americans are prescribed the anti-depressant drug Paxil, which belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. These powerful medications have a direct bearing on the chemistry of your brain and the way the nerves in your brain respond to specific stimuli. In many patients, Paxil and other SSRIs can have significant effects on their thoughts and behaviors, in some cases even increasing the symptoms of depression including instilling thoughts of self-harm and suicide.
In theory, SSRIs are supposed to work by helping the body's natural "feel-good" chemical serotonin perform critical tasks in helping boost mood. But in practice, they can cause a wide range of side effects that can make taking them extremely unpleasant, and sometimes fatal.
Recent studies have associated Paxil and other SSRIs with a host of serious problems, including increased risks for fractures, autism in unborn children and even strokes and death.(1)(2)(3)
Those are just a few of the most significant risks associated with Paxil; there are dozens of other side effects that occur in many more patients who take the drugs.
Paxil side effects explained
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists side effects associated with Paxil, which include the following:(4)
• Headache • Sleepiness • Feeling of being "drugged" • Feelings of muscle weakness • Tender or swollen joints • General pain or aching in bones, muscles or throughout the body • Trouble concentrating, confusion or forgetfulness • Feelings of nervousness • Nausea or vomiting • Dizziness • Bowel problems , including (ironically) both diarrhea and constipation • Stomach cramps or aches, gas or heartburn • Dry mouth or sore gums • Inability to taste food "normally;" change in the way food tastes • Sensitivity to light • Decreased appetite as well as weight loss or weight gain • Changes in your desire for sex or ability to have sex • Profuse or chronic perspiring or flushing • Excessive yawning • A tight feeling in the throat or feeling like there's a lump in your throat • Especially vivid or unusual dreams • Changes in menstruation, including increased pain or irregularities in occurrence
In addition, it notes the following "serious" side effects which warrant an immediate call to your doctor or emergency medical treatment:
• Visual or auditory hallucinations • Passing out • Blurry vision • Chest pain or rapid or irregular heartbeat • Severe muscle stiffness or significant muscle twitching • Trouble breathing • Seizures • Red spots beneath the skin surface, peeling or blistering • Abnormal bruising or bleeding • Fever, chills or sore throat or other flu-like symptoms • Uncontrollable shaking or tremors • Unsteadiness when walking • Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet • Changes in urination, including difficulty urinating or painful urination • Vaginal infection, burning or swelling • Prolonged and painful erections • Rash or hives • Itching • Sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache or confusion • Sudden weakness, cramps, bloating or tightness in hands and feet • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat, extremities or lower legs • Bowel movements that are black or "tar-like" or have red blood in them • Bloody vomit or vomit that has the appearance of coffee grounds • Hoarseness • Bone pain or pain, tenderness, bruising or swelling of one part of your body
Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes the significant and potentially life-threatening side effects of Paxil and other anti-depressants. In 2007, the FDA issued a statement requiring that all anti-depressant drugs include a "black box warning" - the most serious type of side effect warning - in their labeling, advising people of the possible increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior, notably in patients between 18 and 24 years of age who take the medication.(5) Yet despite the FDA warning, millions of prescriptions are written each year for Paxil and similar anti-depressant drugs.
A better approach
For many people, holistic alternatives can be just as effective in treating depression as Paxil and other depression medications. But because holistic approaches are not always embraced by the medical community, many men and women never learn about the very real benefits available to them through non-medical, holistic options. Not only can these holistic alternatives offer the same positive effects in treating depression, but they also eliminate the side effects that go hand-in-hand with these medications. For that reason, they may be much more effective and better tolerated by many men and women seeking treatment for depression.
Before you reach for an SSRI or other anti-depressant, you owe it to yourself, your health and your loved ones to explore the holistic options that could have you feeling better without tying you to a lifetime of potentially harmful medications. Browse our site to read about some of the holistic alternatives that could work for you.