Can Paxil affect your heart? (3+ findings)

This article will cover a number of topics related to Paxil’s potential effects on the heart, including whether or not it causes heart problems, how the drug affects the heart, research studies on the drug’s effects on heart health, the long-term effects of Paxil on heart function, additional factors that may aggravate heart problems, and Paxil alternatives in the event that heart problems develop.

Can Paxil affect your heart?

Paxil can affect your heart by increasing your heartbeats or causing arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats). However, Paxil is regarded as a safe medication. (1)

Paxil is the brand name of the medication paroxetine, an antidepressant that belongs to the SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) class of medication.

Individuals differ in their response to medications. Arrhythmia is not common in most individuals who take Paxil and can happen only with high dosages of the medication.

How does Paxil affect your heart?

Paxil’s mode of action may have an impact on your heart. Paxil functions by increasing and rebalancing the amount of serotonin, a naturally occurring neurotransmitter in the brain.

Excessive Paxil dosages can occasionally cause the brain’s serotonin levels to rise too high, which can result in a condition known as serotonin syndrome.

Serotonin syndrome is a life-threatening condition that is characterized by many adverse symptoms including fast and irregular heartbeats, vomiting, ataxia (lack of coordination), and hallucinations. (2)

What does research suggest?

According to research, SSRIs including Paxil may make some people more likely to develop QT prolongation, a particular kind of cardiac rhythm disturbance, especially in patients diagnosed with cardiac diseases. (3)

According to a different research study, Paxil users had a slightly higher chance of experiencing a small increase in their HR (Heart Rate) than placebo users. And that Paxil can cause cardiac-related side effects in some individuals such as arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats). (4)

It is crucial to remember that Paxil is thought to have a minimal risk of cardiac-related adverse effects, and the great majority of patients using Paxil do not have any significant cardiac problems.

What are the long-term effects of Paxil on heart function?

There is no solid evidence connecting long-term Paxil use to any significant long-term cardiac side effects. As with any drug, though, it’s crucial to be mindful of any possible side effects and to keep a close eye on your health when taking the medication.

Long-term Paxil use has been linked in some studies to a slight increase in HR and arrhythmia. However, this is usually regarded as an uncommon adverse effect and is usually observed in patients who have co-morbidities like cardiac-related diseases. (3)

What other factors may aggravate heart problems while taking Paxil?

There are several factors that can aggravate heart problems while taking Paxil, some of which include:

Underlying medical conditions

There are certain medical conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases such as CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) and HF (Heart Failure), high LDL cholesterol, and diabetes can increase heart-related problems while taking Paxil. (5)

Concomitant medications

There are several medications that can aggravate heart problems while taking Paxil such as antihypertensives, stimulants, cancer medications like chemotherapy, TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) inhibitors, anti-diabetics, and NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs). (6)

Lifestyle factors

Certain lifestyle factors such as Lack of exercise, smoking, obesity, and lack of nutritious diet can all aggravate heart problems while taking Paxil. Lack of exercise and obesity indicate poor blood circulation and poor circulation can lead to heart-related problems. (5)

Medication dose

High doses of Paxil can aggravate heart problems. Paxil is an SSRI antidepressant. Increasing the serotonin level can lead to a life-threatening condition known as serotonin syndrome which can aggravate heart problems and cause arrhythmia. 

What are suitable Paxil alternatives if it affects your heart?

If taking Paxil affects your heart, your healthcare provider might reduce your dose or switch you to suitable alternatives such as:

Other SSRIs antidepressants

Fluoxetine, sertraline, fluvoxamine, and citalopram are well-tolerated with few adverse events, your healthcare provider may prescribe any of these medications as an alternative to Paxil if it causes heart problems. (4), (7)

NDRIs antidepressants

Norepinephrine and Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors are another class of antidepressants that were shown to be effective in treating depression such as Wellbutrin (bupropion). Wellbutin was shown to be effective and safe in cardiovascular-diseased patients. (8)

SNRIs antidepressants

Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors including venlafaxine (Effexor), and duloxetine (Cymbalta) were proven effective in treating depression and have minimal side effects on the heart. However, you should exercise caution because high doses can cause an increase in HR. (9)


Based on my knowledge and research, Paxil can rarely affect your heart and cause arrhythmia. However, if you experience heart-related problems while taking Paxil, consult your healthcare provider about reducing your medication dose or switching to a suitable alternative with fewer adverse events.







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