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Paxil (Paroxetine) is intended for the treatment of depression of various etiologies. It is used to treat reactive atypical postpsychotic depression as well as dysthymia. The drug shows high activity in the treatment of obsessions, panic attacks, agoraphobia, social phobias, nightmares and anxiety disorders of various etiologies. Paxil is available in tablet form. The drug is made on the basis of Paroxetine hydrochloride.
Paxil: Seeking Mental Health
Psychiatric disorders are becoming clearer and more evident as the years go by. Not only because people are becoming more aware that there are mental problems that need to be resolved, but because they are realizing that truly available treatments are making a significant difference to the symptomatology of those who are in constant suffering.
Some of the illnesses that have been rebounding in recent years are depression and phobias, two disorders that can quickly incapacitate those who work or have an active life; all the more so because a large part of the population underestimates the impact of these illnesses and only causes the situation to be more serious.
The drugs that have been used in recent years in psychiatry have evolved a lot. For example, first-generation drugs or antipsychotics initially used had too many adverse effects, so doctors even preferred to leave patients untreated rather than give them something to incapacitate them. However, things have changed a lot and medicine has advanced, creating new generation drugs capable of doing things differently.
One of the medications that has been widely used as a solution to these disorders is Paxil, a selective inhibitor of the reuptake of serotonin, one of the fundamental hormones in the control of mood.
Undoubtedly, this is a crucial group of drugs that have been used more frequently in recent years as they have fewer adverse effects than the rest and are more novel, but let's get a little more into the workings of Paxil and serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
SSRIs and Mental Status
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, which means that it oversees controlling emotions and mood through the regulation of the various impulses that take place in our brain every second.
It is not always the case that serotonin is below the ideal level or concentration (as is the case with what can happen in depression), but sometimes we need larger amounts to be able to respond as we normally did. In fact, treatment with antidepressants - more frequently - is temporary, and never permanent, which means that it is not a problem with our normal serotonin synthesis.
Even so, it is important to know that this neurotransmitter can regulate other things beyond emotions, such as appetite and feelings of satiety, body temperature, sexual appetite, motor activity, perception, cognition, and so on. Even when we consider their effects in combination with other neurotransmitters, we have a long list of interesting effects.
The Mechanism of Action of Paxil
Now, what Paxil (Paroxetine) does is inhibit those responsible for recapturing serotonin right in the synaptic space, after the neurotransmitter takes effect. Under normal conditions, cells close to that synaptic space are responsible for reabsorbing serotonin. However, First, we want to say something: Paxil is a specialist in preventing this from happening.
With the Paxil, we try to fill the synaptic space with serotonin, to prolong its effect on nerve terminals. Although it is a quite useful action, the problem is, as we mentioned, that serotonin not only affects mood and emotions, but also alters another accumulation of signs and symptoms mediated by this inhibition.
For this reason, like the other medications used in psychiatry to control mental disorders, serotonin has important side effects that should be cared for.
Pharmacological Data on Paxil
The way Paxil travels in our body is also important. In the case of absorption, it has a fairly high rate in the digestive tract although it has metabolism of the first hepatic step, meaning that people with liver problems should not take this type of antidepressant.
After 7-14 days of treatment, the effective blood concentrations will be obtained. This means that it is difficult to observe significant changes in mood until that amount of time. Therefore, we must be patient and wait for it to reach the ideal concentration.
After its action, about 21h after it entered our body, serotonin is eliminated through the liver, which processes it and gives rise to other metabolites that are inactive. Of course, this time varies in older adults and in people with liver problems.
In addition, there is evidence indicating that the drug has a pronounced anti-relapse effect in the treatment of anxiety-phobic States. Also, when using the drug, there is a positive trend in the treatment of diseases, the therapy of which was ineffective with standard antidepressants. In addition, Paxil treatment is indicated for patients who have stress disorders in the post-traumatic period. The drug is intended for long-term treatment and for short courses.
Indications - Who should take Paxil?
While there are many important guidelines that address all SSRIs, the most relevant are those listed below.
Depression is a major psychiatric mood disorder, where feelings of unhappiness and sadness overwhelm us for extended periods of time, preventing us from carrying out our daily activities. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most studied diseases in recent years, which is only just beginning to know its physiopathology in truth.
Experts mention that this is a multifactorial disease, whose origin has to do with genetic, biological and psychosocial factors; not only those directly related to psychology. Today, oxidative stress and antioxidants in our body are even more relevant in relation to depression.
Paxil is a necessary workhorse against depression. It is not only the treatment par excellence for common cases, but also for the prophylaxis of relapses and relapses of this disease (which are excessively frequent). Treatment with this drug has been shown to have a proven efficacy of up to one year, which means that whoever uses it will have an assured effect for at least that period.
Remember that most often our body begins to adapt to Paxil to such an extent that it simply has no effect on us, so we will have to change drugs.
On the other hand, the first two weeks of use of this drug in patients with depression are key. As we said before, this is the time needed to reach the plasma concentrations needed to see the effect of Paxil.
OCD is also one of the diseases that can be treated with Paxil. The onset of this disorder is usually linked to activities related to personal hygiene but can be basically anything. It should be noted that Paxil, like SSRIs, has been well studied and has been shown to be effective.
Not only can they perfectly attack the control of obsessions and compulsions, but, as with depression, you have relapse prophylaxis, which means you will be shielded from relapsing into OCD again, with a high safety index.
Still, as with all other illnesses, all SSRIs work well for this disorder, although Paxil is one of those with the highest safety standard. Small changes in molecules can create large alterations in our body.
Social Anxiety and Phobia Disorder
Two other important diseases of the psychiatric area, perfectly treated by Paxil, are anguish disorder and social phobia. These two diseases are incredibly disabling, forcing people to evade their routine lives.
Even, not only do they represent a difficult disorder, but they can also enter as a risk factor for suffering from depression. For this reason, it is important to deal effectively with this type of illness and Paxil is an ideal weapon for this.
How Paxil (Paroxetine) Is Used
First, we want to say something: this is not a completely free medicine, so you need to go to a specialist in order to apply for a prescription. Psychiatric evaluations are fundamental as a normal part of our lives, even though we are not yet encouraged to see a psychiatrist just to preserve our mental health.
However, we mention to you that the treatment of depression - and the rest of the illnesses we have been talking about - would be incomplete without specialized and personalized psychotherapies for you, if you have any of these problems. Paxil (Paroxetine), although a safe treatment, is not magic; and also, when we want to eliminate depression, we must use everything we have at hand to do so.
It is necessary for you to go to your specialist who will recommend Paxil or some other treatment depending on your physical and mental condition. Even if you feel that you have some other type of disorder -whether treated by the SSRIs- go to your trusted doctor.
Now, in the case of depression, the standard dose is 20 milligrams per day, although some patients may need higher doses depending on the severity of their situation. Remember, we all react differently to medications; some of us are more sensitive than others, so a lower dose may be needed to have the same effects.
In the case of obsessive-compulsive disorder it requires similar doses, but the maximum dose is a little higher, up to 60 mg a day. It is also important to mention that the dose should be increased progressively, increasing by 10mg each week. If this is not done in this way, the patient's body may be oversaturated and the adverse effects would be too serious.
With social anguish and phobia, the doses are quite similar. Even so, the maximum that can be used is only 50mg a day, and no more from there. It is also necessary to emphasize that the elderly need high doses so that they can have effect, but never as high as the ones we have mentioned. Therefore, you can start with 20-30mg, but do not take them beyond 40mg.
The use in children is not approved or recommended, so it is necessary to try other techniques with them as directed psychotherapy. Although depression may appear at this age, it most often originates during adolescence or adulthood.
The idea is to administer the meals together with the foods to improve their absorption and the pharmacological properties that we have analyzed previously. The levels of this drug should be checked at 2-3 weeks to find out if it is being effective. If the patient has no symptoms, we can be sure that it will continue to work for at least a year.
Patients with renal insufficiency (another way in which the drug is eliminated) or with hepatic disorders cannot consume more than 20mg a day and their levels must be constantly evaluated for possible overdose or lethal concentrations in the patient.
Contraindications and Possible Adverse Effects
Within the contraindications, both relative and absolute, we have first the allergy to the compound. The relative ones include bipolar disorders, where the cycle of the disorder can be accelerated, epilepsy, hyponatremia, hepatic or renal disorders, and jobs that are related to activities that involve a large amount of concentration, such as driving.
Paroxetine (Paxil), because it acts at the cerebral level, can alter certain neuronal synapses that can lower the seizure threshold, making it easier for the patient to go into convulsion. For this reason, it is necessary to make a rigorous clinical control on patients with epilepsy suffering from disorders that need to be treated with SSRIs.
Among the adverse effects we have many, and include from the most common and frequent as appetite disorder, drowsiness, insomnia, aggressiveness, alteration of concentration, headache, blurred vision, etc. Even more serious ones that may put the patient's life at risk, such as the increase in cholesterol levels and suicidal and self-harming behavior, especially in adolescents during the first two weeks of use.
Paxil (Paroxetine) is undoubtedly a key drug in the treatment of mind-related disorders, especially those oriented towards the depressive sphere, but it needs to be closely monitored by a specialist.
The treatments used in psychiatry are quite delicate. None can be easily prescribed and requires a major psychological evaluation. That's why we recommend that you go to your trusted doctor to be assigned to a psychiatrist in case this or some other mind-related disorder is suspected.
Remember, mental health is booming and it's for one reason only: psychiatric disorders are real and disabling, and it's better to prevent them than to treat them.