When it comes to treating mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, people have a lot of choices for prescription medications. While having plenty of options is good news, it can become confusing trying to figure out how each drug works and if it’s the right choice for you. Paxil is one medication that has helped a lot of people, which may make you wonder “How does Paxil work?” People want to arm themselves with plenty of information before making a choice for which type of prescription medication to take to improve their mental health .Arbor Wellness explores the effects of using Paxil and how it compares to similar ones. 

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What is Paxil?

The first step to understanding “How does Paxil work?” is discussing the details of the drug itself. Paxil is the brand name for a medication called Paroxetine. It is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Paxil is available by prescription only and comes in tablets, capsules, and liquid form. In 2020, over 9 million prescriptions were written for Paroxetine. Its usage should be monitored by a physician or other prescribing mental health professional.

What is Paxil Used For?

Paxil is prescribed for a number of different types of mental health disorders. These include:

  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Major depression 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Is Paxil Addictive?

Paxil is not considered to be a physically addictive drug, in great part because it does not cause people to feel high or euphoric. However, it is possible to develop a psychological reliance on it. This can happen if someone develops a tolerance for it and increases the amount they take or if they take more than prescribed without receiving approval from their physician. 

How Does Paxil Work?

The brain naturally produces a chemical called serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that carries messages between the brain and body that affect the nervous system. Serotonin causes a person to have good moods, feel happy, and have healthy sleep patterns. Someone with anxiety or depression often experiences an interruption in this process. Because Paxil is an SSRI, it increases the amount of serotonin being produced, which results in a decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Paxil vs Lexapro

Paxil and Lexapro are both SSRI prescription drugs used to treat anxiety and depression. Paxil is usually prescribed starting with a dosage of 20mg per day or more. Lexapro is administered in lower dosages, with an average of 10mg to 30 mpg per day. The dosage may be lower when using tablets. Lexapro can be more effective at treating Seasonal Affective Disorder than Paxil. However, Paxil may reach its full effectiveness in a shorter amount of time than Lexapro.

Paxil vs Prozac

Both drugs are SSRIs and can help in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, OCD, and more. Prozac can also help people who have the eating disorder bulimia nervosa. Paxil can be prescribed for adults 18 and over, while Prozac can be prescribed for both adults and children aged 8 and older. While Paxil should be taken daily, when used to treat depression, Prozac can be taken as a delayed-release capsule once a week.

Paxil vs Celexa

Both medications are classified as SSRIs. However, Paxil can treat both anxiety disorders and depression, while Celexa is only used for depression. Otherwise, the medications are quite similar in the range of dosages and how quickly they take effect.

How Long Does Paxil Take to Work for Anxiety?

How long it takes for Paxil to work varies per person. In general, most people don’t begin to feel the beginning effects for one to two weeks. They should feel the full effects of taking Paxil by the four to six-week mark. If not, the individual should contact the prescribing physician to discuss their options. 

How Long Does Paxil Take to Work for Depression?

There is no difference between how long it takes for Paxil to work for anxiety vs depression. The first effects should begin between the first and second week. The person should experience the full effects between the fourth and sixth week of taking the drug.

How Long Does Paxil Stay in Your System?

If you are wondering “How does Paxil work?”, you may also want to know how long it stays in your system. The half-life elimination of Paxil is 21 hours, which means that’s how long it takes for your body to metabolize and eliminate the drug. It takes approximately five days to completely eliminate it from your system.

Find Mental Health Treatment Today

Are you looking into options for getting treatment for your anxiety or depression and have questions? Arbor Wellness provides several highly effective programs that help people overcome their symptoms of poor mental health. We offer both outpatient and residential programs in order to fit the exact needs of each person we treat. Our combination of structured therapy schedules and any necessary prescription medications helps put you back in control of your life and excited about your future.

For more information about how you can get the help you deserve, visit our admissions page now. Effective treatment is only a phone call away.

Don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. In the case of a medical emergency please contact 911 or visit your local emergency department.

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