What Does Paxil Treat?


PaxilŽ (paroxetine HCl) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a safe and effective treatment for these conditions:

  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

With continued treatment, Paxil can help restore the balance of serotonin (a naturally occurring brain chemical) -- which helps reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Depression, GAD, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, OCD and PTSD can occur separately. However, many people have an overlap of these conditions.

The good news is Paxil is the first and only medication in the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) approved by the FDA to treat all these conditions.

Paxil is well established in treating depression after nearly ten years and over 100 million patient treatments.

Depression is a common condition affecting approximately 16 million people in the United States in any given year. The symptoms of depression can be triggered or worsened by life's difficulties. The key symptoms include a sad, anxious or empty mood lasting for two weeks or more and/or loss of interest or pleasure in most activities you once enjoyed.

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Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
Paxil is the most prescribed SSRI for GAD.

GAD affects approximately 5 million adults in the United States in any given year (nearly twice as many women as men). GAD consists of uncontrollable worry and anxiety -- typically about health, work, money or family -- lasting at least six months. Unlike people with the normal worry and anxiety we all face, people with GAD often worry when there are no signs of trouble. The excessive worry and anxiety can last many years, interfering with their daily lives. It is often associated with other symptoms, such as muscle tension, irritability and disturbed sleep.

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Social Anxiety Disorder:
Paxil is the only medication approved by the FDA for treatment of this condition.

Social Anxiety Disorder (also known as social phobia) affects approximately 12 million Americans every year. Social anxiety disorder is an excessive, persistent fear and avoidance of social or performance situations. Unlike people with everyday shyness, patients become sick with fear over the belief they could do or say something to embarrass or humiliate themselves. As a result, some people suffering from social anxiety disorder avoid all socially related situations, significantly limiting their life, work and relationships.

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Panic Disorder:
Eighty-six percent of patients taking Paxil were panic-free after just 12 weeks of treatment.

More than 3 million people in the United States suffer from panic disorder in any given year. People with panic disorder experience repeated episodes of intense fear. These episodes, called panic attacks, occur without warning and in the absence of any external threat. Panic attacks can occur as often as several times a week or even per day, causing significant distress. As a result, people with panic disorder develop an intense fear of having another attack.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
Paxil can help significantly reduce the rate of return for symptoms of this condition.

OCD is a fairly common anxiety disorder. It affects as many as 5 million Americans during their lifetimes. The name of the condition comes from the two key symptoms -- obsessions (persistent thoughts, impulses or images coming from within the person but seemingly out of one's control, as well as the creation of a great deal of anxiety because these thoughts keep returning) and compulsions (repeated actions or rituals a person performs in an effort to relieve the anxiety caused by obsessions).

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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder:
Now approved by the FDA for treatment of this condition.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder occurring in some people (more women than men) following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events. These include military combat, natural disasters, serious accidents or violent personal assaults. People with PTSD often relive the experience in flashbacks or nightmares. Symptoms can become severe enough to interfere with daily living, including work problems, marital difficulties and family problems. Approximately 16 million Americans experience PTSD during their lifetimes.