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Paroxetine: 1991 review….

Posted by shutah on January 18, 2011

Drugs. 1991 Feb;41(2):225-53.

Paroxetine. A review of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, and therapeutic potential in depressive illness.

Dechant KLClissold SP.

Adis Drug Information Services, Auckland, New Zealand.


Paroxetine is a potent and selective inhibitor of the neuronal reuptake of serotonin, thereby facilitating serotoninergic transmission; this action appears to account for the antidepressant activity observed with this drug.  A mean terminal elimination half-life of approximately 24 hours permits once daily administration.

Results of short term clinical trials have shown paroxetine to be significantly superior to placebo, and comparable to amitriptyline, clomipramine, imipramine, dothiepin and mianserin in relieving symptoms associated with major depressive disorders.

Paroxetine has shown some preliminary promise in the treatment of depressive illness resistant to tricyclic antidepressant therapy but further studies are required before any conclusions can be drawn.

Paroxetine in therapeutic doses has been very well tolerated, and the favourable tolerability profile of this agent appears to be its primary advantage over traditional antidepressant agents.

Paroxetine causes minimal anticholinergic-type adverse effects, and unlike tricyclic antidepressants, it does not precipitate cardiovascular effects or provoke cardiac conduction disturbances. Nausea has been the most frequently reported adverse event during short term use of paroxetine, but it is generally mild and transient and subsides with continued use. With longer term use headache, sweating and constipation were the most frequently reported side effects but the incidence rate was not significantly different from that noted for comparator antidepressants.  Furthermore, the frequency of withdrawal due to adverse effects is less with paroxetine than with tricyclic antidepressant agents.

Overall, available data appear to indicate that while the efficacy of paroxetine is similar to that of traditional antidepressant drugs, the newer agent possesses much improved tolerability.

In addition, the wide therapeutic index of paroxetine may be beneficial when treating patients with an increased risk of suicide.

Thus, paroxetine clearly looks to become a valuable addition to the range of drugs currently available to treat depressive illness. Future research may help to further define the relative place of this newer agent in antidepressant therapy and determine how its overall therapeutic efficacy compares with that of other related antidepressant agents such as fluoxetine.



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