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How Effective Is Paroxetine for Anxiety?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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The use of paroxetine for anxiety is generally considered very effective in those with certain forms of anxiety disorder, while some are better treated with other forms of medication. Exact effectiveness will vary from patient to patient, but most report some alleviation of symptoms within a few weeks of taking this medication.

Paroxetine is an antidepressant medication known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor(SSRI), and it impacts the release of certain hormones in the brain, namely serotonin. There is evidence to suggest that a deficiency in serotonin may lead to symptoms of anxiety or depression in some people. That’s because these chemicals help to control mood and emotions. In those with anxiety and other mood disorders, the brain chemicals are either released or they fail to release even when external factors warrant give the proper signals.The use of paroxetine for anxiety aims to balance these chemicals so that symptoms are reduced or alleviated entirely.

Those who use paroxetine for anxiety and have an imbalance of serotonin are often helped by this form of treatment.The medication allows brain chemicals to be released when they are needed, and keeps them from being released when they aren’t needed. Those who have anxiety caused by other sources may find paroxetine less effective.

One example of someone who may not find paroxetine for anxiety to be as beneficial is a person who is anxious due to an actual outside stressor. For instance, someone who has suffered through a traumatic event or experience may suffer from extreme anxiety for a period of time. Taking medication for this form of mental upset may help temporarily, but it won’t typically be as beneficial as going to counseling and examining the root issues.

Certain medications may be more beneficial at treating anxiety in those who don’t have a serotonin imbalance. There are other brain chemicals which can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression. Some are also suffer from a combination of imbalances, so more than one medication may be used.

Nearly all patients using paroxetine for anxiety report greater success when other methods of treatment are also used. Those with anxiety disorders and other illnesses that lead to anxiety, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, often benefit from the use of counseling and other forms of therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapies are generally the most beneficial for those with anxiety disorders. Patients are encouraged to speak with a mental health professional to determine the best treatment options for their unique situations.

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