Is it advisable to take Paroxetine for anxiety?
Q: Last Diwali, a cracker burst near my ear and lead to some noise in my right ear (tinnitus). This is creating a lot of anxiety. I consulted a psychologist who prescribed Paroxetine CR 12 mg regularly for 6 months in the morning. I have read a lot about the side effects of Paroxetine. Is there an alternate medicine for this?
A:Very loud sound produced by crackers (fireworks) can be up to the level of 140dB or more (compared to sound produced by jet take off at 120dB). Even if such a sound lasts for 5 seconds, ear protection is required. Failure to do so may result in temporary or even permanent cochlear damage. You need to consult a good, competent ENT doctor, not a psychiatrist. Paroxetine is a very potent anti-psychotic drug meant for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorders, etc. It has a long list of side effects such as worsening of depression, suicidal tendency particularly in the young, sweating, tremors, asthenia, dizziness, bleeding, impotence, decreased libido, abnormal ejaculation, dystonic reactions, seizures, blurred vision, yawning, akathesia, severe agitation-type events including agitation, disinhibition, emotional lability, hostility, aggression and depersonalisation, hallucinations, serotonin syndrome, etc. Hence it should not be prescribed or taken without firm diagnosis.