Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Low dose paroxetine launched

The manufacturers of paroxetine (Seroxat®) have announced the launch of a 10mg tablet to "support patients tapering down their medication". As with the current 20mg and 30mg tablets, these are scored allowing for a 5mg dose to be taken.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have received over 1,500 reports of withdrawal syndrome with paroxetine as reported in the current Drug Analysis Print.

This new product provides another option to help patients successfully stop taking paroxetine without experiencing severe withdrawal reactions. Alternative strategies include using paroxetine liquid or converting to fluoxetine before carrying out dose reductions.

The costs for each paroxetine presentation are currently:

  • 10mg tablets (brand) - £12.32 for 28 tablets
  • 20mg tablets (brand) - £13.21 for 30 tablets
  • 20mg tablets (generic) - £6.57 for 30 tablets
  • 30mg tablets (brand) - £23.18 for 30 tablets
  • 30mg tablets (generic) - £8.95 for 30 tablets
  • 10mg/5ml suspension - £9.49 for 150ml

Action: Clinicians should already be aware of the withdrawal syndrome associated with paroxetine. Strategies to minimise withdrawal effects should be adopted to aid cessation following a successful treatment course with consideration of cost and patient preference.

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