Does paxil cause night sweats? 

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In this blog post, we are going to talk about paxil induced night sweats or excessive sweating. Paxil is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. We will also discuss what you can do to get rid of them. 

Does Paxil cause night sweats? 

Yes, Paxil is associated with night sweats or nocturnal hyperhidrosis. It is a condition associated with nighttime excessive sweating. It is a well known side effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including Paxil (Paroxetine). 

SSRIs increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin can affect hypothalamus, which is responsible for regulating your homeostasis. It can have an impact on your body temperature and your ability to sweat. 

Abnormal sweating, is in fact, a very common side effect of SSRI antidepressants, occurring in around 10–20% of patients. It usually sticks around, or even worsens. 

Antidepressant-induced sweating is different for everyone. For some people, it is so severe that they need to find a different drug, or quit antidepressants altogether. 

Excessive sweating is quite a disturbing condition. In short, it is disabling. It affects the quality of life as it ends up disturbing people more than they could imagine. It becomes socially embarrassing for them, and in some cases, they are embarrassed in front of their spouses as well. 

Paxil induced sweating is irrespective of the outside temperature. You can suffer from this side effect at any time of the day or any season. Night sweats not only ruin the quality of your sleep but also mess up your hygiene. 

Paxil induced sweating is more prominent in the upper body, face, scalp, neck and chest. Do not wait for it to subside on its own. This does not go away that easy. 

What options do you have to get rid of paxil induced night sweats? 

If the night sweats are disrupting your life that terribly, one of the few things might help:

Consider dose reduction

Dose reduction can be considered, if possible. If there’s a chance of your condition worsening with a lower dose, then this option is not so helpful. But if there is a chance to minimise side effects by reducing the dose, without affecting the therapeutic response, this might help. 

Consider changing your antidepressant

If feasible, you can switch to a different SSRI or any other class of antidepressant (except bupropion, which has a higher rate of night sweats as compared to any other antidepressant). 

For example, if paxil (Paroxetine) is inducing night sweats in you, ask your healthcare provider to prescribe another antidepressant of the same family (SSRIs), which might help you with depression without inducing excessive sweating. 

Give your body time to adjust to paxil

Your body might need some time to adapt to the presence of paxil. These meds affect your brain and alter the amounts of excitatory neurotransmitters, to get rid of your anxiety and depression. It can not happen overnight. 

Side effects associated with paxil start to fade away within a few weeks. Make sure you give your body enough time to adjust. Do not stop your med abruptly.

What are the pharmacological treatment options for excessive sweating? 

Medications used to reduce excessive sweating include:

Terazosin 

Terazosin is an alpha-1 adrenergic antagonist, generally used in the treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia and management of hypertension. 

In a study conducted in 2013, it was observed that in the beginning of the study, 48.5% patients suffered from high grade sweating. After 14 days of treatment with terazosin, the percentage reduced down by half.

This concludes that terazosin is effective in decreasing sweating severity in patients using paxil (Paroxetine).

Side effects of terazosin 

As it’s nothing new to know that every medicine has its own side effects. Let’s take a look at side effects associated with the use of terazosin. 

  • Chest tightness and pain
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness/vertigo
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Unconsciousness 
  • Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat.
  • Swelling of lower extremities
  • Impotence (inability to have an erection)
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Stuffy or runny nose

One thing that I always try to tell my readers is, every human body is different, and no I don’t mean physically or the way we look, I mean internally! Just like every human being reacts differently to different situations.

Similarly every human body reacts differently when they are exposed to medications. Every single individual out there has a different physiological composition. A certain medicine might be beneficial for one but ends up producing serious side effects in another. 

Glycopyrrolate and oxybutynin

Glycopyrrolate and Oxybutynin are also known as ‘The sweat pills’. Glycopyrrolate (sold under the brand name Robinul) is one of the anticholinergics used most often in the treatment of excessive sweating. 

The effectiveness of glycopyrrolate is often related to the dose a patient is able to handle, and obviously how the patient responds to the drug. Studies suggest that glycopyrrolate reduces sweating efficiently but it is not tolerated by some people because of its side effects.

Side effects of Glycopyrrolate 

Side effects include:

  • Dry mouth (the most common side effect) 
  • Dry eyes or decreased lacrimation
  • Constipation
  • Nausea 

Drinking more water, mints, eye-drops and increased fibre consumption might help fight these side effects.

Sometimes, excessive sweating can be a sign of serotonin syndrome. The basic cause of this condition is the serotonin overload and the antidepressants are considered the main culprit for this condition. 

The syndrome is pretty rare, so it is unlikely to occur when a patient is sticking to the dose recommended by the healthcare provider. 

Sometimes, they combine the use of these types of medications, for the sake of achieving better results, so if you are already on a stable dose but you combine paxil with other medications. 

Other non psychological medications, which somehow increase the amount of serotonin in the body, it also results in serotonin syndrome.  Signs and symptoms associated with serotonin syndrome include:

  • Excessive sweating 
  • Restlessness and fatigue
  • Headache, which often feels like your head is pounding
  • Changes in blood pressure and/or temperature
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bradycardia
  • Tremors
  • Muscle twitching and muscle pain
  • Shivering and goosebumps

What are the additional side effects of Paxil?

Common side effects of Paxil include:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness 
  • Inability to concentrate 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Flatulence 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Constipation 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Acid reflux or heartburn 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Loss or gain of weight 
  • Changes in taste and smell
  • Xerostomia or dry mouth 
  • Sweating 
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Loss of libido in both male and females. Males may suffer from inability to ejaculate, while females may suffer from inability to have an orgasm. 

Paxil (Paroxetine) is also associated with some serious side effects, which may include:

  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations 
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat 
  • Convulsions 
  • Infections associated with sore throat, fever, flu and cough etc. 
  • Black stools
  • Painful and unusual erection in males
  • Bone fracture 
  • Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body.

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have talked about paxil induced night sweats. This antidepressant is associated with profuse sweating, especially at night. This is indeed a pretty depressing condition, as it decreases the quality of life. 

We have also discussed the options you have if you’re going through this problem. You can either reduce the dose or change the kind of antidepressant you’re on right now. 

If that doesn’t solve your problem, then terazosin and glycopyrrolate are prescribed to take your excessive sweating down a notch. In the end, always look out for serotonin syndrome. Immediately notify your healthcare provider, if you feel excessively increased heartbeat, chills and fever along with sweating. 

FAQs: paxil night sweats

Can Paxil cause night sweats?

Yes, Paxil causes night sweats or nocturnal hyperhidrosis. It is a condition associated with nighttime excessive sweating. It is a well known side effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including Paxil (Paroxetine). 

Does sweating from Paxil go away?

Sweating from paxil usually starts to go away once your body fully adjusts to this antidepressant. However, some people may not recover from this side effect and require discontinuation of the treatment. Night sweats begin to subside after 4 weeks of paxil withdrawal. 

Why do antidepressants cause night sweats?

SSRIs induce sweating by blocking muscarinic receptors. Abnormal sweating, is in fact, a very common side effect of SSRI antidepressants, occurring in around 10–20% of patients. 

It usually sticks around, or even worsens. Antidepressant-induced sweating can take various forms, one of which is night sweats.

For some patients, the antidepressant-induced sweating is so severe that they need to find a different drug, or quit antidepressants altogether.

How do I stop night sweats from antidepressants?

  • Dose reduction can be considered, if possible. If there’s a chance of your condition worsening with a lower dose, then this option is not so helpful.
  • If feasible, you can switch to a different SSRI or any other class of antidepressant (except bupropion, which has a higher rate of night sweats as compared to any other antidepressant). 
  • Your body might need some time to adapt to the presence of paxil. These meds affect your brain and alter the amounts of excitatory neurotransmitters, to get rid of your anxiety and depression. It can not happen overnight.

Can paroxetine cause night sweats?

Yes, it can. Paroxetine is a member of SSRIs family. Its side effect profile is somewhat similar to other members of this class of antidepressants. Make sure you don’t exceed the recommended dose.  

How do you get rid of night sweats?

Following medications are used to treat excessive sweating:

  • Terazosin is an alpha-1 adrenergic antagonist. It is effective in decreasing sweating severity in patients. 
  •  Glycopyrrolate and Oxybutynin are also known as ‘The sweat pills’. Glycopyrrolate (sold under the brand name Robinul) is one of the anticholinergics used most often in the treatment of excessive sweating. 

References 

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