Generic Name: Paroxetine Hydrochloride
Brand Names: Brisdelle, Paxil CR
Drug Class: SSRI, Anti-depressant, Anxiolytic
Similar Class Drugs: Fluvoxamine, Dapoxetine
Available Dosage forms: Oral tablet and liquid
What is Paroxetine?
Paroxetine is used to treat major depression and other psychopathological conditions in adults.
The upregulation of Serotonin receptors (SERT) in depressed individuals leads to a reduction in the concentration of serotonin neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft. Paroxetine inhibits SERT, causes an elevation in the concentration of serotonin, and thus helps in alleviating depressive symptoms.
It is not recommended for use in children or adolescents under age 18. However, physicians prescribe it for the following conditions in this age group: 1
– Obsessive-Compulsive disorder
– Social anxiety disorder
How to use Paroxetine?
The medication is available as an oral tablet that is taken with water. The dosage depends on age, the severity of the disease, and tolerability. It can be consumed with or without food and at any time of the day. However, it is advised to keep track of the dosage schedule to avoid missing a dose. Avoid taking double dosages if you forget to take your previous dose. Do not break or crush the tablet in your mouth and swallow it whole with water.
The liquid form of the drug is prescribed for children and adolescents who struggle to ingest the tablet. It will take a few weeks for the drug to reach its maximum efficacy. You should not stop taking your dosage even if you experience an improvement in your symptoms. Stopping the treatment without a doctor’s approval can have serious consequences.2
What are the side effects of Paroxetine?
The common side effects after Paroxetine administration include:
– Loss of appetite
– Disturbed sleep
– Impaired sexual mechanisms
It can also adversely affect multiple organ systems in the following manner: 1
– Psychiatric instability, suicidal tendencies
– Extrapyramidal side effects – Tardive Dyskinesia
– Cardiovascular issues
– Skin problems
Who should not use Paroxetine?
Paroxetine is used with caution in:
– Pregnant and breastfeeding women
– People with co-morbidities
– Long term use of medications
– Children and adolescents less than age 18
– History of suicidal tendencies
It is contraindicated in case of:
– Concomitant treatment with methylene blue, MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), and other serotonergic drugs
- Shrestha P, Fariba K, Abdijadid S. Paroxetine. [Updated 2021 Jun 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526022/
- Nevels RM, Gontkovsky ST, Williams BE. Paroxetine-The Anti-depressant from Hell? Probably Not, But Caution Required. Psychopharmacol Bull. 2016;46(1):77-104.