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Generic Name: paroxetine mesylate
Brand Names: Brisdelle

Medically reviewed on June 14, 2017

What is Brisdelle?

Brisdelle (paroxetine) is an antidepressant belonging to a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Paroxetine affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced.

Brisdelle is use for the treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms (VMS) associated with menopause.

Brisdelle contains a low dose of paroxetine, a medicine also used to treat a number of psychiatric disorders. The lower dose of paroxetine has not been studied in any psychiatric conditions and is therefore not approved for any psychiatric uses.

Important information

Brisdelle may cause serious side effects.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms, or go to the nearest emergency room:

  1. Suicidal thoughts or actions:
    • Brisdelle, and related antidepressant medicines, may increase suicidal thoughts or actions within the first few months of treatment.
    • Depression or other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts or actions.
    • Watch for these changes and call your healthcare provider right away if you notice:
      • New or sudden changes in mood, behavior, actions, thoughts, or feelings, especially if severe.
      • Pay particular attention to such changes when Brisdelle is started.

    Keep all follow-up visits with your healthcare provider and call between visits if you are worried about symptoms. Call your healthcare provider right away or go to the nearest emergency room if you have any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:

    • attempts to commit suicide
    • acting on dangerous impulses
    • acting aggressive or violent
    • thoughts about suicide or dying
    • new or worse depression
    • new or worse anxiety or panic attacks
    • feeling agitated, restless, angry or irritable
    • trouble sleeping
    • an increase in activity or talking more than what is normal for you
    • other unusual changes in behavior or mood
  2. Serotonin Syndrome. This condition can be life-threatening and may include:
    • agitation (nervousness), hallucinations, coma or other changes in mental status
    • coordination problems or muscle twitching (small movements of the muscles that you cannot control)
    • racing heartbeat, high or low blood pressure
    • sweating or fever
    • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    • muscle rigidity
    • dizziness
    • flushing
    • tremors
    • seizures
  3. Reduced effectiveness of tamoxifen. Tamoxifen (a medicine used to treat breast cancer) may not work as well if it is taken while you take Brisdelle. If you are taking tamoxifen, tell your healthcare provider before starting to take this medicine.
  4. Abnormal bleeding. Brisdelle may increase your risk of bleeding or bruising, especially if you take the blood thinner warfarin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin.
  5. Low salt (sodium) levels in the blood. Elderly people may be at greater risk for this condition. Symptoms may include:
    • headache
    • weakness or feeling unsteady
    • confusion, problems concentrating or thinking or memory problems.
  6. Bone Fractures. Women who take this medicine may have a higher risk of bone fractures. Contact your healthcare provider if you have pain in a bone.
  7. Manic episodes:
    • greatly increased energy
    • severe trouble sleeping
    • racing thoughts
    • reckless behavior
    • unusually grand ideas
    • excessive happiness or irritability
    • talking more or faster than usual.
  8. Seizures or convulsions.
  9. Restlessness. Women who take Brisdelle may feel an inner restlessness, agitation (nervousness), or be unable to sit still or stand still especially when they first start taking it. Call your healthcare provider if this happens to you.
  10. Visual symptoms. Tell your healthcare provider if you have problems with your vision, especially if you have glaucoma.
  11. Driving. Brisdelle may affect your ability to make decisions, think clearly, or react quickly. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other potentially dangerous activities until you know how it affects you.

What is Brisdelle?

Brisdelle is a prescription medicine used to reduce moderate to severe hot flashes associated with menopause.

It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It is not a hormone. The way this medicine treats hot flashes associated with menopause is not known.

Brisdelle does not prevent or treat osteoporosis or dryness, itching or burning in and around the vagina.

It is not for psychiatric problems such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

It is is not for use in children.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you do not think that your hot flashes are getting better while taking this medicine.

Who should not take Brisdelle?

Do not take Brisdelle if you:

  • take a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI). Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if you take an MAOI, including the antibiotic linezolid.
    • Do not take an MAOI within 14 days of stopping Brisdelle unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.
    • Do not start this medicine if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 14 days unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.
    • People who take Brisdelle close in time to an MAOI may have serious or life-threatening side effects. Get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms:
      • high fever
      • uncontrolled muscle spasms
      • stiff muscles
      • rapid changes in heart rate or blood pressure
      • confusion
      • loss of consciousness (pass out)
  • take thioridazine. Do not take thioridazine together with Brisdelle because this can cause serious heart rhythm problems or sudden death.
  • take the antipsychotic medicine pimozide. Do not take pimozide together with this medicine because this can cause serious heart problems.
  • are allergic to paroxetine or any of the ingredients in Brisdelle. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients.
  • are pregnant. Paroxetine is not for pregnant women. Paroxetine, the active ingredient, can harm your unborn baby. Risks to your unborn baby include an increased risk of birth defects, particularly heart defects. Your baby may also have certain other serious symptoms shortly after birth.

Before taking this medicine

Before starting, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • have liver problems
  • have kidney problems
  • have or had seizures or convulsions
  • have bipolar disorder or mania
  • have low sodium levels in your blood
  • have or had bleeding problems
  • have glaucoma (high pressure in the eye)
  • have any other medical conditions
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Paroxetine passes into breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking Brisdelle if you are breast-feeding.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines that you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Brisdelle and some medicines may interact with each other, may not work as well, or may cause serious side effects when taken together.

If you take Brisdelle, you should not take any other medicines that contain paroxetine, including Paxil, Paxil CR and Pexeva.

Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take:

  • triptans used to treat migraine headache
  • medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, including MAOIs, SSRIs, tricyclics, lithium, buspirone, or antipsychotics
  • tramadol, fentanyl or over-the-counter supplements such as tryptophan or St. John’s Wort
  • thioridazine
  • pimozide
  • tamoxifen
  • atomoxetine
  • cimetidine
  • digoxin
  • theophylline
  • medicines to treat irregular heart rate (like propafenone, flecainide, and encainide)
  • medicines used to treat schizophrenia
  • certain medicines used to treat HIV infection
  • the blood thinner warfarin
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin)
  • certain medicines used to treat seizures (like phenobarbital and phenytoin)
  • other drugs containing paroxetine, the medicine in Brisdelle.

Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure if you are taking any of these medications.

Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can tell you if it is safe to take Brisdelle with your other medicines.

Do not start or stop any medicine while taking Brisdelle without talking to your healthcare provider first.

How should I take Brisdelle?

  • Take exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it.
  • Take one time each day at bedtime.
  • It may be taken with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time.
  • If you take too much Brisdelle, call your healthcare provider or poison control center right away, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What should I avoid?

  • Brisdelle can cause sleepiness or may affect your ability to make decisions, think clearly, or react quickly. You should not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how it affects you.

Brisdelle side effects

Brisdelle may cause serious side effects, including:

  • See Important information about Brisdelle

The most common side effects include:

  • headache
  • tiredness
  • nausea and vomiting

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Brisdelle. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

How should I store Brisdelle?

  • Store at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Keep out of the light.
  • Keep dry.
  • Keep out of the reach of children.

General information about the safe and effective use of Brisdelle

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use Brisdelle for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give this medicine to other people, even if they have the same condition. It may harm them.

This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about Brisdelle. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider.

What are the ingredients in Brisdelle?

Active ingredient: paroxetine

Inactive ingredients: dibasic calcium phosphate, sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate, gelatin, titanium dioxide, FD&C Yellow #6, FD&C Red #3, FD&C Red #40, shellac and black iron oxide.

Version 2.01,

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.