Fibromyalgia Medication: Paroxetine

Paroxetine is currently being tested as a potential fibromyalgia medication and as such represents one of the latest developments in the treatment of fibromyalgia. In fact, clinical trials have shown that paroxetine could be a helpful new fibromyalgia drug. But what exactly is paroxetine and are there any side effects associated with this drug? And is paroxetine a safe and effective drug in the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome?

What is Paroxetine?

Paroxetine is an anti-depressant drug that influences the manner in which the chemicals the brain use in order for nerves to communicate with one another, function. These nerves are known as chemical messengers (or neurotransmitters) and are released by a nerve before being taken up by these same nerves in a process known as reuptake. It is believed that an imbalance in the amounts of different neurotransmitters released occurs in individuals with depression.

Paroxetine prohibits the reuptake of serotonin by the nerves that release it, thereby increasing serotonin levels available to be taken up by other nerves, which minimizes depression.

This drug is also known by its brand name, Paxil or Paxil CR.

What Can Paroxetine Help to Treat?

Clinical trials have shown that paroxetine is effective as a continued treatment of moderate to moderately severe depressive disorders for a minimum of six months.

In addition to managing depression, the drug is used in order to treat obsessive compulsive disorders (OCDs), panic and anxiety disorders and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Is Paroxetine Effective in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia?

A recent study found that paroxetine helps to treat mood and anxiety disorders associated with fibromyalgia; the study results were published in the American Journal of Medicine. The study was conducted over the course of a12-week period and featured a placebo-controlled group.

However, the drug was not found to be effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia pain.

What are the Side Effects of Paroxetine?

The following are common side effects of paroxetine:

  • constipation
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • insomnia
  • male sexual dysfunction (usually ejaculatory delay)
  • nausea
  • somnolence
  • sweating
  • tremor
  • weight gain or loss

In addition, paroxetine is linked to withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue, dizziness, headaches, irritability, nausea, poor mood and vision problems.

Dosage Information

Generally, dosage is one pill in the morning. However, lower doses are generally prescribed for the elderly, the debilitated, as well as those with certain kidney and liver diseases in order to minimize the risk of high blood levels.

Paroxetine should not be taken in combination with other mono-amino oxidase (MAO) inhibitor-class anti-depressants, including Marplan, Nardil, Parnate and Matulane.

It generally takes a few weeks of therapy in order for the full benefits of the drug to be seen.

Paroxetine is not recommended for use during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding. Also, individuals who are allergic to certain medications, who have bipolar disorder or who have a history of seizures or epilepsy, should speak to their doctor about the risks of paroxetine before taking this drug.

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