What is Paroxetine?
Paroxetine (also known by the trade name Paxil among others) is an antidepressant drug of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) type. Paroxetine is used to treat major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and vasomotor symptoms (e.g. hot flashes and night sweats) associated with menopause in adult outpatients.
Marketing of the drug began in 1992 by the pharmaceutical company SmithKline Beecham, now GlaxoSmithKline. Generic formulations have been available since 2003 when the patent expired.
Differences between newer antidepressants are usually fairly subtle and mostly confined to side effects. It shares the common side effects and contraindications of other SSRIs, with high rates of nausea, sleepiness, and sexual side effects. Paroxetine is associated with weight gain. Discontinuing paroxetine is associated with a high risk of withdrawal syndrome. Paroxetine is associated with an increased risk of birth defects.