What Is Paroxetine Used For?
Some people may ask, "What is paroxetine used for?" Paroxetine is licensed to treat depression, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions. Paroxetine may also be used to treat conditions for which it has not been approved. These "off-label" uses of paroxetine may include the treatment of conditions such as dementia, obesity, and alcoholism.
This article refers to the original, immediate-release paroxetine products (Paxil). Paroxetine is also the active ingredient in a few other products. For information about these other paroxetine products, please see:
What Is Paroxetine Used For?Paroxetine hydrochloride (Paxil®) has been licensed to treat a number of conditions. These paroxetine uses include treatment for:
- Depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Depression is more than just "feeling sad." Common symptoms of depression include:
- Changes in sleep (sleeping too much or not enough)
- Eating too much or too little (and weight gain or weight loss)
- Having little interest in things that you used to enjoy
- Physical pain
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Suicidal thoughts.
Paroxetine has been proven in large clinical trials to help adults with depression. However, keep in mind that many antidepressants (including paroxetine) take several weeks to begin working. Sometimes, other people will notice an improvement in your depression symptoms before you do. Often, the physical symptoms of depression (such as pain or changes in sleep) will improve first, sometimes within the first few weeks of treatment. It usually takes at least four to six weeks before significant changes in mood occur. It is important to give paroxetine a chance to work before becoming discouraged.
Counseling and therapy (see Psychotherapy for Depression) are often used along with antidepressant medication to treat depression. Ask your healthcare provider if counseling or therapy would be good options for you (see Depression Treatment).