Paxil CR is a controlled release medication that is licensed to treat depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Part of a class of drugs known as SSRI antidepressants, it works by helping to keep the levels of a certain chemical in the brain (serotonin) balanced. Paxil CR tablets are specially designed to slowly and evenly release the medication, and are generally taken once a day. Side effects can include weakness, insomnia, and nausea.
What Is Paxil CR?
Paxil CR® (paroxetine controlled release) is a prescription medicine used to treat a number of conditions within the brain.
Who Makes Paxil CR?
It is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.
What Is It Used For?
Paxil CR is licensed to treat a number of conditions. These uses include the treatment of:
- Depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression)
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
(Click Paxil CR Uses for more information on what Paxil CR is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
How Does It Work?
Paxil CR is part of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short. SSRIs, such as Paxil CR, 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. When the levels of serotonin become unbalanced, however, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression. Paxil CR helps to block the reuptake of serotonin so that 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.
Paxil CR tablets are specially designed to slowly and evenly release the medication. It is thought that this might provide more consistent effects throughout the day or may cause fewer side effects. However, Paxil CR has not been directly compared to the regular version, Paxil® (paroxetine hydrochloride), in clinical studies.