What Is Paroxetine Used For?
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have intense and recurrent unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or rituals (compulsions) that they feel they cannot control. Rituals such as handwashing, counting, checking something, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these rituals, however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them greatly increases anxiety. The exact cause or causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder are not fully known at this time.
Paroxetine is approved for OCD treatment in adults. Although antidepressants such as paroxetine are effective for treating the symptoms of OCD behavior, therapy for OCD is often used along with medications. Ask your healthcare provider about behavior therapy for OCD.
People with panic disorder have recurrent, unexpected feelings of extreme fear and dread that strike for no apparent reason, causing a racing heartbeat, rapid breathing, sweating, and shakiness. These "attacks" can send people to the hospital believing they are having a heart attack. A panic attack may even occur when the person is not in a situation that would normally create stress, anxiety, or fear.
Paroxetine is approved for the treatment of panic disorder in adults. Panic disorder is a form of anxiety, and antidepressants (such as paroxetine) are often useful in treating anxiety disorders.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is a disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. People with social anxiety disorder have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and of being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. Their fear may be so severe that it interferes with:
- Social relationships
- Work or school
- Other ordinary activities.
While many people with social anxiety disorder recognize that their fear of being around people may be excessive or unreasonable, they are unable to overcome it. They often worry for days or weeks in advance of a dreaded situation.
Treatment for social anxiety disorders includes cognitive behavior therapy (a type of short-term therapy) and medications. Paroxetine is one of the medications approved to treat social anxiety disorder.