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Paroxetine

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Brand Name: Paxil, Brisdelle, Paxil CR, Pexeva

Generic Name: Paroxetine

Drug Class: Antidepressants, SSRIs

What Is Paroxetine and How Does It Work?

Paroxetine is used to treat depression, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (premenstrual dysphoric disorder). It works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural substance (serotonin) in the brain.

Paroxetine is known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). This medication may improve your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy level and may help restore your interest in daily living. It may decrease fear, anxiety, unwanted thoughts, and the number of panic attacks. Paroxetine may lessen premenstrual symptoms such as irritability, increased appetite, and depression.

Paroxetine may also be used to treat other mental/mood disorders (such as obsessive-compulsive disorder-OCD, post-traumatic stress disorder). It may also be used to treat hot flashes that occur with menopause.

Paroxetine is available under the following different brand names: Paxil, Brisdelle, Paxil CR, and Pexeva.

Dosages of Paroxetine:

Adult Dosage Forms and Strengths

Tablet

  • 10 mg
  • 20 mg
  • 30 mg
  • 40 mg

Capsule

  • 7.5 mg

Tablet, extended release

  • 12.5 mg
  • 25 mg
  • 37.5 mg

Oral suspension

  • 10 mg/5mL

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Depression

  • Conventional: 20 mg orally once/day initially; may increase by 10 mg/day once weekly not to exceed 50 mg/day
  • Paxil CR: 25 mg orally once/day initially; may increase by 12.5 mg/day once weekly not to exceed 62.5 mg/day

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • 20 mg orally once/day initially; may increase by 10 mg once weekly, not to exceed 60 mg/day

Panic Disorder

  • 10 mg orally once/day initially; may increase by 10 mg once weekly (target dose 40 mg/day), not to exceed 60 mg/day, OR
  • Paxil CR: 12.5 mg orally once/day initial, increase by 12.5 mg once weekly not to exceed 75 mg/day

Social Phobia

  • 20 mg orally once/day OR
  • Paxil CR: 12.5 mg orally once/day initially; may increase by 12.5 mg once weekly, not to exceed 37.5 mg/day

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • 20 mg orally once/day initially, may increase by 10 mg once weekly, up to 50 mg/day doses have been used but no increase in benefit seen at doses greater than 20 mg/day

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

  • 20 mg orally once/day initially; may increase by 10 mg once weekly, up to 50 mg/day doses have been used but no increase in benefit seen at doses greater than 20 mg/day

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

  • Paxil CR: 12.5 mg orally once/day initially; may increase at 1-week intervals not to exceed 25 mg/day

Menopausal Vasomotor Symptoms

  • Brisdelle: Indicated to treat moderate-to-severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause
  • Brisdelle: 7.5 mg orally at bedtime
  • Paxil CR (Off-label): 12.5-25 mg orally once/day

Dosing Considerations

  • Pediatric: Safety and efficacy not established
  • Geriatric: Caution should be used in the elderly because paroxetine is the most sedating and anticholinergic of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • The elderly are prone to SSRI/SNRI-induced hyponatremia; monitor closely
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/7/2017



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