Does Paroxetine treatment for anxiety?

In the treatment of anxiety Paroxetine , An antidepressant drug that seems to possess ansyogenic qualities that could be effective in reducing this type of alterations.

Anxiety is a psychological disorder that when presented with high intensity usually requires the administration of psychotropic drugs to achieve a Adequate therapeutic approach.

Paroxetine pills

Anxiolytic drugs such as Diazepam or Lorazepam are usually given to deal with anxiety problems.

In this article we will review the qualities of paroxetine, explain how it works, what changes it performs in our psychological functioning when We take it and what utilities it can have when it comes to treating anxiety.

What is Paroxetine?

Paroxetine is a drug corresponding to antidepressants Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Thus, it should be noted that it is a drug with action and potential Antidepressant Which increases the State of mind .

However, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are often used to treat depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and, Sometimes some personality disorders .

The operation of this drug, as the name implies, consists of inhibiting the reuptake of the substance called Serotonin .

Paroxetine, is marketed in Spain under different names: Casbol, Frosinor, Motivan, Seroxat and Paroxetine.

How does the human brain work?

How to develop the brain

To better understand the action of these types of drugs, I would first like to make a quick and brief review on how the brain works human.

He brain Is full of neurons and diverse substances that transit from one side to another, intercommunicating with each other.

The functioning of neurons and the substances that we have in the brain is responsible for performing absolutely all the mental processes we have people.

In this way, the action of substances and neurons mark all our capabilities.

From our ability to make the motor movements necessary to walk, through our faculties to think or remember, our Feelings of hunger or pleasure, and of course, our state of mind and our psychological functioning.

Therefore, it is easily extracted that the psychological functioning and the Mental Wellness Of people is going through an adequate functioning of certain Substances of the brain.

In fact, in each psychological alteration a series of cerebral dysfunctions occur that explain the appearance of the symptoms and the characteristics Of the pathology.

It is for this reason that psychoactive drugs arose, since they have the capacity to enter the brain and modify the functioning of the Chemicals that they house in the interior.

Obviously, in the human brain there are many substances and each one is responsible for performing an endless number of functions.

For us to understand, the human brain is like a super computer with a multitude of possibilities, where every connection and every substance controls a great Number of activities.

In addition, in a single action, such as emotional regulation, a large number of diverse substances and interconnections between structures Different brain types.

In this way, a psychological alteration, such as the anxiety , Is not caused by the dysfunction of a single substance or a single region Cerebral, I wish everything was so simple!

Therefore, research on the possible changes that a psychoactive drug can make is of vital importance since, depending on its qualities Can cause many effects on brain functioning.

It is not the goal of this article to explain what are all the substances that inhabit our brain and what each one has.

However, since the drug that concerns us performs the specific function of inhibiting the reuptake of a particular substance called serotonin, it does It seems to me important to highlight what qualities this substance has and what happens in the brain when its reuptake inhibits.

What does Serotonin do?

Serotonin neuron

Serotonin is a major substance in the human brain that lives in different regions of the central nervous system.

Although the functions of this substance are multiple, first of all it should be noted that it is a very important inhibitory substance.

More specifically, it is argued that serotonin plays an important role in the inhibition of anger, aggression, body temperature, mood, Vomiting, sexuality and appetite.

Obviously, as we have said before, these functions are not done by serotonin autonomously, many other substances Who join with it and carry out the activities together.

However, it seems quite obvious that serotonin is an important substance that allows us to regulate our appetite through, balance the desire Control body temperature and Attenuate the emotions of anger And aggressive behavior.

And what does this mean? Because if the functioning of these substances is altered, all these functions that we just mentioned could also Be challenged.

In addition, these inhibitory actions do not constitute all serotonin activity, since it performs a greater number of activities.

For example, serotonin also controls the feeling of well-being, Levels of self-esteem , And the ability to relax and concentration .

Also, serotonin is responsible for producing Melatonin , A vital substance that controls our rhythm of sleep and wakefulness, reason why, although of Indirectly, also plays an important role in establishing our biological clock.

Finally, numerous investigations have shown that this substance, together with the actions Noradrenaline , Control certain Part of the mechanisms of action of anxiety, fear and anxiety.

All these discoveries have made it possible to connote what can happen in a person when he increases the levels of serotonin in his brain, and what Happens when these levels decrease.

Increased serotonin in nerve circuits produces a sense of well-being, increased self-esteem, increased relaxation, increased self-esteem and concentration.

Also, low levels of serotonin are associated with depression , Suicidal thoughts, anxious symptoms, difficulty sleeping and increased states Irritable, anxious and aggressive.

These characteristics make it clear that many Psychological alterations May be due, in part, to an alteration in Serotonin in the patient's brain.

Thus, it was postulated that finding drugs that would directly modulate the activity of these substances in the brain could be useful To improve certain psychopathological symptoms.

What does Paroxetine do?

As we have said, Paroxetine is a drug categorized as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

Thus, its main action is to inhibit the reuptake of these substances in the brain.

By inhibiting the reuptake of this substance, it is to prevent neurons from collecting and eliminating serotonin going from one side to another.

By preventing the neuron from recapturing it, serotonin stays longer in the space between neurons (to the presynaptic space), so So much so to speak, the serotonin life is prolonged.

By increasing the serotonin life in a systematic way, which stays longer in the presynaptic space stimulating neurons, levels of Serotonin in the brain are increasing.

Thus, Paroxetine's action is to increase serotonin levels in the brain by preventing them from being Neurons.

As we have seen, increased levels of serotonin in the brain produce a number of effects: greater feeling of well-being, greater relaxation, greater Concentration, higher self-esteem, etc.

However, as we have commented, in psychiatry 2 and 2 rarely add 4, therefore, that the increase of serotonin and therefore the effect of the Paroxetine does not always cause these effects in such a specific way.

In addition, although anxiety constitutes a psychopathological syndrome, each anxiety disorder has certain characteristics, and Obviously, the same thing happens with each person.

For this reason, despite the fact that, as discussed above, increasing serotonin can ease anxiety symptoms, this ensures efficacy Of this drug to treat anxiety pictures.

Is it effective for anxiety?

Negative thoughts of anxiety

Studies on paroxetine, as with most psychoactive drugs, have been abundant in recent years.

Because Paroxetine is itself a drug with antidepressant properties, we will first discuss its efficacy for this type of disorder.

Thus, a recent paper published by the online edition of"The Lancet"defends the effectiveness of Paroxetine as an antidepressant.

However, it should be noted that in comparison with other drugs Antidepressants , Paroxetine achieved worse results in terms of efficacy, tolerance , Safety and cost that Sertraline, the Escitalopram , Reboxetine, Mirtazapine and Venlafaxine.

Thus, in general terms, Paroxetine would not be the first drug of choice to treat depressive disorders, since they exist today More effective medications.

However, other studies have revealed the anxiolytic effects of Paroxetine, a fact that shows the possibility of a Effective drug to treat anxiety pictures.

For example, an investigation by doctors Vega and Mendiola de la Autonomous University of Guadalajara , Highlighted the effectiveness of the Paroxetine for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and depression.

More specifically, the efficacy of this drug together with Alprazolam (an anxiolytic drug) was studied to treat 56 patients with a double diagnosis of Generalized anxiety and depression.

This study demonstrated the good synergy between both drugs and how the anxiolytic properties of Paroxetine were of great use to potentiate The effect of Alprazolam.

Also, other studies have shown that Paroxetine contains mechanisms of action that reduce anxiety levels.

Now, does this mean that Paroxetine is a suitable drug to treat anxiety disorder?

Again we return to the dilemma that two and two almost never add four in psychiatry, so there is no single answer to this question.

What has been demonstrated, as we have commented, is that Paroxetine contains anxiolytic potential, therefore, it can help to reduce the anxiety.

However, the potential for reducing anxiety is generally less than that of anxiolytic drugs such as Benzodiazepines .

Thus, in the face of severe anxiety and very anxious symptoms, Paroxetine may not be the first choice drug.

However, its antidepressant properties make it a very good pharmacological option in those patients who present with depressive symptoms and Anaerobic symptomatology simultaneously.

In these cases, as the Vega and Mendiola study has shown, the combination of Paroxetine with an anxiolytic drug may be the best Treatment option.

Thus, as a summary, we can conclude that Paroxetine is a drug that has both antidepressant and anxiolytic properties, so that Is considered a suitable drug for both depression and mild anxiety, such as mixed pictures.

In this line, the Statistical and Diagnostic Manual (DSM), considers that Paroxetine is indicated in the treatment of:

  • Major Depressive Disorder .

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder .

  • Panic Disorder With or without Agoraphobia.

  • Anxiety Disorder or Social phobia .

  • Generalized anxiety disorder .

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder .

However, what is indicated for the treatment of these disorders does not mean that they should always be treated with Paroxetine, as there will be some cases In which its use will be adequate and there will be other cases in which the use of another drug may be more convenient.

That is why, to conclude, I would like to emphasize that all these properties that we have defined about Paroxetine should always be evaluated by a Medical professional.

Paroxetine, like all drugs, causes a marked alteration in the functioning of the human body, so it should always be a professional of Medicine that decides its administration.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. DSM-IV-TR. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 1st Edition. Barcelona, ​​Spain: Elsevier Masson; 2002.
  2. Baldessarini RJ. Drugs and treatment for psychiatric disorders. Depression and anxiety disorders. In: Goodman, Gilman: The Bases Pharmacological Therapeutics. McGraw Hill Inter-American Publishers; 2003, p. 455-91.
  3. Bertera H, Zieher L. New antidepressants. In Zieher L et al. Clinical psychoneuropharmacology and its neuroscientific bases. 3rd Ed. Buenos Aires. Editorial Ursino; 2003; 223-237.
  4. Calvo G, García-Gea C, Luque A, Morte A, Dal-Ré R, Barbanoj M. Lack of Pharmacologic Interaction Between Paroxetine and Alprazolam at Steady State In Healthy Volunteers. J Clin Psycopharmacol 2004; 24: 268-76.
  5. Ganetsky M, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor poisoning. Official topic review from UpToDate, 2008.
  6. Tallarida RJ, Stone DJ Jr, Raffa RB. Efficient designs for studying synergistic drug combinations. Life Sci 1997; 61: 417-25.

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