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Sometimes being depressed is compared to being in prison, and though all the doors in this prison are open, you can not leave it because it is a way of your thinking and feeling that keeps you inside. However, there are no unlockable doors, as Ozzy Osbourne says; and, consequently, there are keys to let a person out even from such prison as depression.

Paxil is the name for one of such “keys” to unlock the door of depression prison and let a person live a “full-featured” life without negative thinking and blue mood. In fact, this is a medication, belonging to a class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (or just SSRIs). The active ingredient in Paxil is Paroxetine Hydrochloride. Glaxosmithkline presented this medication in early 1990th, and now there is an “upgraded” version of Paxil, called Paxil CR, available on the U.S. market.

First of all, let us make it clear that scientists do not know clearly how exactly depression appears and what its real causes are. Consequently, we do not know how exactly Paxil and other anti-depression medications work. What we know is that Paxil helps regulate the balance of serotonin, a certain chemical in human brains.

Scientists know that serotonin works as a "messenger", transmitting information between nerve cells; and the malfunction of this mechanism is considered to be one of the factors, leading to depression. Paxil, as well as its newest version Paxil CR, helps to fix the malfunction and eliminate the symptoms of depression.

By the way, depression is not the only “lock”, which can be opened with Paxil. Panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) can also be treated with this medication.

It is interesting to find out what “CR” in the medication name means, and what the difference between Paxil and Paxil CR is. Well, though, the question may seem rather enigmatic, the answer for it is rather simple. “CR” stands for “Controlled Release” and it means that Paxil CR releases its active ingredient into the human organism more slowly than Paxil does. This reflects on the period of time required for a medication to start working: Paxil CR requires about 14 days to start working, while Paxil needs only 10 days or less to demonstrate its abilities.

Of course, one may ask: “What is the point of such slow release of a medicine, when any depression sufferer wishes to get rid of the disorder as soon as possible?” - Well, everything is too complicated in the human organism. When the medications, especially those interacting with brains, are delivered quickly - they start working rapidly. At the same time, human organism does not like such rude interventions into its own systems, so it usually responds with a number of adverse reactions, also known as side effects.  

With Paxil CR due to its controlled release into bloodstream, the human organism has a chance “to get used” to the medication, which theoretically should lower the frequency and severity of side effects. The most common side effect, reported during the clinical studies of Paxil CR, was nausea (observed in 3.7 % of patients). Other side effects were asthenia, dizziness and insomnia. 

By the way, in order to lessen nausea, associated with Paxil CR therapy, the medication is recommended to be taken with food. Anyway, the occurrence of side effects depends much on a starting dose of a medication (the smaller dose is - the fewer side effects one experiences); and these adverse reactions usually fade or disappear completely over time.

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As it is declared by the manufacturer (and we do not really have reasons not to trust them), Paxil is a safe and effective treatment option for depression, panic disorder, social anxiety and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Moreover, Paxil CR is a much safer medicine due to its ability to provide slow release of working substance into the bloodstream of a patient.  

So, if you or someone of your close friends suffers from depression, why not to talk to a doctor about Paxil CR prescription and, perhaps, it could become that very “key” that will let you out of the unlocked prison of depression.


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