Paroxetine, an antidepressant medication that seems to possess ansyogenic qualities that may be effective in reducing this type of alterations, stands out in the treatment of anxiety pictures.
Anxiety is a psychological alteration that when presented with high intensity usually requires the administration of psychotropic drugs to achieve an appropriate therapeutic approach.
Paroxetine For Anxiety
Normally, 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 makes 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 selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants.
Thus, it should be noted that it is a drug with action and antidepressant potential that allows increasing the mood.
However, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are often used to treat depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and sometimes personality disorders.
The operation of this drug, as the name implies, is to inhibit the reuptake of the substance called serotonin.
Paroxetine is marketed in Spain under different names: Cabool, Fresno, Motiva, Seriate and Paroxetine.
How does the human brain work?
To better understand the action of these types of drugs, I would first like to make a quick and brief review on how the human brain works.
The brain is full of neurons and diverse substances that transit from one side to another, intercommunicating with each other.
The functioning of neurons and substances that we have in the brain is responsible for performing absolutely all the mental processes that we have people.
In this way, the action of substances and neurons mark all our capabilities.
From our ability to perform the motor movements necessary for walking, passing through our faculties to think or remember, our feelings of hunger or pleasure, and of course, our mood and our psychological functioning.
Therefore, it is easily extracted that the psychological functioning and mental well-being of the people goes 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 they harbor 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 each connection and each substance controls a large number of activities.
In addition, in a single action, such as emotional regulation, involve a large number of diverse substances and interconnections between different brain structures.
Thus, a psychological alteration, such as anxiety, is not caused by the dysfunction of a single substance or a single brain region; I wish everything were 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 multifaceted effects on brain functioning.
It is not the purpose of this article to explain what are all the substances that inhabit our brain and what each one has.
However, since the drug that affects us has the specific function of inhibiting the reuptake of a particular substance called serotonin, it does seem important to me to highlight what qualities this substance has and what happens in the brain when its reuptake inhibition is inhibited.
What does Serotonin do?
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 in an autonomous way; many other substances intervene 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 sexual desire, control the body temperature and attenuate the emotions of anger and aggressive behaviors.
And what does this mean? Because if the functioning of these substances is altered, all these functions just mentioned could also be questioned.
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, self-esteem levels, and the ability to relax and focus.
Also, serotonin is responsible for producing melatonin, a vital substance that controls our rhythm of sleep and wakefulness, so that, although indirectly, also plays an important role in establishing our biological clock.
Finally, numerous investigations have shown that this substance, together with the neither actions performed by nor epinephrine, control a 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 to him when these levels decrease.
Increased serotonin in nerve circuits produces a feeling 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, difficulties sleeping and increased irritable, anxious and aggressive states.
These characteristics make clear that many psychological alterations could be, in part, originated by an alteration of the levels of serotonin in the brain of the patient.
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.
In this way, 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 to put it in some way, the life of serotonin is lengthened.
By increasing the life of serotonin in a systematic way, which stays longer in the presynaptic space stimulating neurons, serotonin levels in the brain are increasing.
Thus, Paroxetine’s action is to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain by preventing them from being eliminated by neurons.
As we have seen, the increase of serotonin levels in the brain produces a series of effects: greater feeling of well-being, greater relaxation, greater concentration, greater 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 Paroxetine do not always cause these effects so specifically.
In addition, although anxiety constitutes a psychopathological syndrome, each anxiety disorder has certain characteristics, and evidently, the same thing happens with each person.
For this reason, despite the fact that, as we have explained, the increase in serotonin can ease the symptoms of anxiety, this guarantees the efficacy of this drug to Tatar anxiety pictures.
Is it effective for 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 “on line” edition of “The Lancet” defends the effectiveness of Paroxetine as an antidepressant.
However, it should be noted that in comparison with other antidepressant drugs, Paroxetine obtained worse results in terms of efficacy, tolerance, safety and cost than Sertraline, Escitalopram, Reboxetine, Mirtazapine and Venlafaxine.
Thus, in general terms, Paroxetine would not be the first drug of choice to treat depressive disorders, since there are now more effective medications.
However, other studies have revealed the anxiolytic effects of Paroxetine; a fact that shows the possibility that it is an effective drug to treat anxiety pictures.
For example, an investigation by doctors Vega and Mendoza of the Autonomous University of Guadalajara showed the efficacy of paroxetine for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and depression.
More specifically, the efficacy of this drug along with Alprazolam (an anxiolytic drug) was studied to treat 56 patients with a dual 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 utility to enhance 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 for treating 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 been commenting, is that Paroxetine contains anxiolytic potential, therefore, can help reduce 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 constitute a very good pharmacological option in those patients who present depressive symptomatology and anaerogenic symptomatology simultaneously.
In these cases, as the study by Vega and Mendoza 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 it is considered a suitable drug both for treating depressive pictures, as mild anxiety pictures, 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, it 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 appropriate and there will be other cases in which it may be more convenient to use another drug.
That is why to finish 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 notable alteration in the functioning of the human body, so it should always be a medical professional who decides its administration.