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Treating Depression with Paxil and SSRI’s

Paroxetine hydrochloride, produced by one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies around the globe – GlaxoSmithKline- under the trade name “Paxil,” is an antidepressant medication. It is classified under a group of antidepressants referred to as SSRI’s or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which is the most commonly prescribed group of antidepressant medications. These medications are more commonly prescribed than other classified groups of antidepressants because of properties that allow SSRI’s to achieve the highest therapeutic value at the lowest toxicity level.

Paxil is indicated for conditions that fall under the psychiatric disease spectrum such as major depressive disorder, generalize anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder, OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PMDD or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Paxil is contraindicated for pregnant women or women who have a chance of getting pregnant and people who are below 18 years of age. Since the drug is also associated with side effects that involve a great deal of sexual health, such as erectile dysfunction and decrease in libido, it may also be contraindicated or discouraged in sexually challenged individuals.

Just like any other medication, Paxil, (or SSRI’s for that matter) has its own side effects. Harmful side effects that have been identified are gastrointestinal dysfunctions such as constipation and diarrhea, nausea, appetite loss, weight gain, headache, light-headedness, dry mouth, insomnia, sweating, tremors, delay in orgasm, and sexual arousal problems.

The use of SSRI’s, which includes Paxil, leaves the patient with happy feelings. This therapeutic effect would have been fine if not for the possibility of also leaving the patient with huge possibilities of getting too attached to the use of the medication, which leads to addiction. If drug use is abruptly halted, the patient experiences what is referred to as the SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome, or simply, withdrawal. Paxil is highly known among its class to produce this kind of effect. For this reason, drugs of this type should be discontinued gradually by decreasing dosage amounts little by little or by switching to a different type of drug still under the group of SSRI’s, usually fluoxetine, to ease the process of discontinuing Paxil.

Paxil comes with a big bold warning. Through research studies and actual human experiences, it has been found out that Paxil and SSRI’s in general can lead to a big possibility of suicidal thoughts and actual suicide. Before jumping into SSRI therapy, pros and cons are weighed to determine if the benefits would really outweigh the risks in taking such medication. This effect of the medication generally lessens as age increases, which is why SSRI’s are never prescribed to people who have not reached the age of 18. Most countries do not allow under 18′s to buy Paxil. In adults however, Paxil has been proven to be more beneficial than it is harmful.

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