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How Does Paroxetine Mesylate Work?

Paroxetine mesylate belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short. SSRIs act on a specific chemical in the brain known as serotonin, which is thought to affect mood and behavior.
As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release serotonin. The serotonin enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough serotonin reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell, and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any serotonin that remains in the gap between cells. This is called "reuptake."
Normally, this process works without any problems. But when the levels of serotonin become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression. Paroxetine mesylate helps to block the reuptake of serotonin so that more of it stays in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives the serotonin a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell.

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with paroxetine mesylate include the following:
  • This medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
  • Paroxetine mesylate is normally taken in the morning. If it makes you drowsy, you can take it in the evening before bed.
  • Paroxetine mesylate can be taken with or without food. Try taking it with food if it seems to bother your stomach.
  • This medication should be taken whole. Do not chew or crush the tablets.
  • It may take several weeks for paroxetine mesylate to start to work, and a few months for the full benefits to be felt. Do not stop taking this medication or take a different dose, without talking with your healthcare provider.
  • Try to take this medication at the same time each day to keep an even level in your bloodstream.
  • For paroxetine mesylate to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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