Home Medication and medical testsAntidepressants Paroxetine: what it is for, how to take it and side effects

Paroxetine: what it is for, how to take it and side effects

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Paroxetine is a medication that treats depression complicated by anxiety or major depressive episodes, such as obsessive-compulsive disorders, generalized anxiety disorders, and panic attacks.

The average dose revolves around 20 mg a day depending on each condition to be treated, and this should be administered preferably in the morning with meals. The doctor should indicate how paroxetine should be taken due to the possible side effects that could occur after its first doses, including vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, restlessness, drowsiness, etc.

Paroxetine is an antidepressant drug that should be prescribed and indicated only by a specialist. If you want to know more, continue reading this FastlyHealarticle about what paroxetine is for, how to take it, and its side effects.

Table of Contents

What is Paroxetine, and what is it for?

In general terms, and to understand a little about how this drug works, you should know that all people have in their brain a chemical or neurotransmitter called serotonin, commonly known as a mood regulator or also as the hormone of happiness. In those who suffer from depression or anxiety, the levels of this substance, serotonin, are lower than in the rest of the general population. This drug, Paroxetine, helps increase serotonin levels in the brain.

Thus, medically this drug belongs to the so-called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in nerve endings. This is the action itself that allows the concentration of this neurotransmitter to be increased.

Paroxetine is used for the treatment of :

It is absorbed from the digestive system, and the plasma levels of this medicine are obtained 7 to 14 days after the start of treatment. This implies that the effect will begin to become stable and noticeable after this period has elapsed. It is metabolized in the liver and has an elimination half-life of 21 hours.

How to take Paroxetine?

Paroxetine is administered orally, and the recommended dose is around 20 mg, this being the optimal amount for most patients.

However, how to take Paroxetine will strictly depend on each person and the disorders associated with its diagnosis. Hence the importance of it is only administered if the specialist indicates it. The patient’s response will be essential when adjusting the dose, which can be increased by 10 mg until the reaction is as expected by the doctor.

Paroxetine should be taken without chewing once a day, preferably in the morning, and with food :

  • In the case of treating depression, the starting dose is 20 mg, and the maximum daily amount that can be administered is 50 mg a day.
  • In the case of treating patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder, the recommended dose is 40 mg per day. However, the patient should start with the initial amount of 20 mg and increase 10 mg weekly according to their response to the drug. The maximum dose required in this case can be around 60 mg per day.
  • A daily dose of 40 mg is recommended to treat panic disorders, increasing weekly by 10 mg until the patient’s response is optimal. The maximum daily amount is 60 mg. The journal of the Spanish Association of Neuropsychiatry 1996 carried out a study about Paroxetine in 31 patients who have panic disorders, demonstrating the effectiveness of this drug in this type of disease. At the end of treatment, 28 of the 31 patients studied significantly had improved or improved considerably results with Paroxetine. Fortunately, in this study, the referred side effects were scarce. The most frequent were nausea in 19.3%, dizziness or vertigo in 9.6%, and asthenia or fatigue in 9.6% [1].
  • In the case of social phobia disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety, the initial dose will be 20 mg, the recommended one, and its maximum daily dose will be 50 mg.

The doctor will indicate the dose to take and the adjustment required according to the symptoms that appear or do not appear after each dose and the individualized response of each person.

If Paroxetine has been indicated in people over 65 years of age, the recommended daily dose is a maximum of 40 mg for them.

On the other hand, its use in children and adolescents is generally contraindicated unless the doctor has decided that its administration is beneficial for their health.

Side effects of Paroxetine

Like all medicines, paroxetine can cause some adverse effects after administration, especially during the first weeks of use, including:

  • Headache.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Vertigo.
  • Insomnia.
  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Vomiting blood
  • Bloody stools.
  • Inability to urinate
  • Seizures
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue.
  • Confusion.
  • Paraesthesia
  • Palpitations
  • Decreased libido
  • Equipoise.

Rarely, acute renal failure, alopecia, amenorrhea, angioedema, and anaphylactic reaction may have adverse effects.

This drug is usually controlled by psychiatrists and avoids self-medication and administration without the proper prescription and indication.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Paroxetine: what it is for, how to take it, and side effects, we recommend entering our Medication and medical tests category.

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