Anxiety Home > Paxil

Paxil is a drug commonly used to treat a number of conditions, including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder. As a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, it works by balancing the levels of a specific chemical in the brain. Paxil comes in tablet and liquid forms, and is usually taken once a day. Ejaculation problems, nausea, and drowsiness are a few of the most common side effects.

What Is Paxil?

Paxil® (paroxetine hydrochloride) is a prescription medicine used to treat a number of conditions within the brain.

Who Makes It?

Paxil is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. Generic versions are made by several manufacturers.

What Is Paxil Used For?

Paxil is licensed to treat a number of conditions. These uses include the treatment of:
(Click Paxil Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

How Does It Work?

Paxil is part of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short. SSRIs act on a specific chemical in the brain known as serotonin. This is one of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release serotonin. The serotonin enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough serotonin reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell, and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any serotonin that remains in the gap between cells. This is called "reuptake."
Normally, this process works without any problems. But when the levels of serotonin become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression. Paxil helps to block the reuptake of serotonin so that more remains in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives the serotonin a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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