What Is Paroxetine Used For?
How Does Paroxetine Work?Paroxetine is part of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short. SSRIs, such as paroxetine, act on a specific chemical within the brain known as serotonin. Serotonin is one of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release serotonin. The serotonin enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough serotonin reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any serotonin that remains in the gap between cells. This is called "reuptake."
Normally, this process works without any problems. But when the levels of serotonin become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression. Paroxetine helps to block the reuptake of serotonin so more serotonin remains in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives the serotonin a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell.
Is Paroxetine Used for Treating Children?Paroxetine is not approved for use in children or teenagers. In one study of paroxetine in children and teenagers with depression, paroxetine was not shown to be effective for depression treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using paroxetine in children or teenagers.
Is Paroxetine Used "Off-Label"?On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend paroxetine for something other than the conditions listed above. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, there are several off-label paroxetine uses, including treating the following conditions:
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Eating disorders (including anorexia and bulimia)
- Hot flashes
- Personality disorders
- Premature ejaculation (see Paxil and Premature Ejaculation)
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Tourette syndrome.