Active Ingredients

Paroxetine – Effect, Application & Risks


Paroxetine is an antidepressant drug that belongs to the group of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The substance is used to treat mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders , depression or post-traumatic stress disorders . The active ingredient was developed by the English pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline based in London.

What is paroxetine?

Paroxetine is a highly effective drug from the group of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). The substance was developed by the English pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline based in London. In Germany and numerous other member states of the European Union, paroxetine is subject to prescription and pharmacy requirements. It is therefore not freely available and can only be taken with a doctor’s prescription.

Due to its specific mode of action, paroxetine belongs to the class of antidepressants . However, depression is not the only field of application of the drug. Paroxetine is also used to combat other mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, obsessive -compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, and fibromyalgia .

The white to off-white substance has a moral mass of 329.37 g/mol and is described in chemistry with the molecular formula C 19 – H 20 – F – N – O 3 .

Pharmacological action

Paroxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRRI). Accordingly, the effect is due to the influence on the serotonin system in the human brain . Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that carries specific information across the synampic cleft in the brain.

Among other things, serotonin is responsible for controlling mood and mood. According to numerous studies, a high serotonin content provides a feeling of serenity, contentment and happiness. At the same time, the potential for aggression is reduced and negative emotions such as grief are suppressed.

People with depression often have a particularly low serotonin level, which is seen as a (partial) cause of their moodiness. SSRIs such as paroxetine cause an increased release of serotonin in the brain after ingestion. This leads to an increased concentration of the neurotransmitter in the synaptic cleft.

At the same time, due to the paroxetine, there is a down-regulation of those substances that are responsible for the breakdown of serotonin. The breakdown of serotonin is also inhibited. Further information that explains the exact pharmacological effect of the substance on the body is not yet known.

However, clinical studies have shown that there may be an increased risk of congenital malformations (especially in the cardiovascular system ) during the first three months of pregnancy . Since the active substance passes into breast milk in small amounts , breastfeeding should be avoided during and shortly after treatment with paroxetine.

Medical Application & Use

Paroxetine is usually prescribed in tablet form. These are taken orally to combat mental illnesses or to alleviate their effects. An indication exists in particular for severe depressive illnesses, obsessive-compulsive disorders, generalized anxiety disorders, social phobias , panic disorders (e.g. the fear of leaving the house or going into shops) and post-traumatic stress disorders (often also called PTSD or PTSD).

The increased serotonin concentration in the brain caused by Parexotin is intended to eliminate or at least alleviate the symptoms of these diseases. The exact amount of paroxetine a patient needs to take for their treatment will vary depending on the disease being treated. However, it usually ranges between 20 and 50 mg of the active ingredient.

Paroxetine and other SRRIs are not usually used in children or adolescents under 18 years of age, only in adults. In explosive exceptional cases, however, a prescription is also made for minors.

Risks & side effects

Paroxetine can also lead to undesirable side effects . Extensive tests have revealed that one to ten patients out of a total of 100 (frequently) suffer from loss of appetite , drowsiness , insomnia , tension, dizziness , general feelings of weakness , weight gain , sensory disturbances , profuse sweating , sleep disorders , headaches and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract (including diarrhea , dry mouth , vomiting andblockages ) occurred.

Occasionally (in one to ten patients out of 1,000) there was also abnormal bleeding on the skin and mucous membranes , hallucinations , dilation of the pupils , motor restlessness, mood swings , severe heart palpitations , a drop in blood pressure or its rise , skin rash and itching .

In rare cases (in one to ten patients in 10,000) manic reactions, depersonalization , panic attacks and an increase in liver enzyme values ​​can also occur. Sensitivity to light , severe skin rashes, a slow pulse or the development of serotonin syndrome (a symptom complex of motor restlessness, confusion , sweating and possibly hallucinations ) can also occur.

In individual cases there may be a contraindication. This is the case if a medical contraindication makes treatment with the drug appear imperatively unfeasible. A contraindication is hypersensitivity to the active ingredient paroxetine. There is also a contraindication if MAO inhibitors (drugs that inhibit the body’s enzyme monoamine oxidase) or thioridazine are taken at the same time. Because in these cases there can be unforeseeable interactions. The doctor treating you must therefore be informed about the use of other medications.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.