Narrator: This is Science Today. A common anti-depressant reduces signs of irritability in healthy people. But Victor Reus, a psychiatry professor at the University of California, San Francisco says it's premature to call paroxetine - sold as Paxil - the antidote for grouchiness.
Reus: We were interested in taking a look at the biologic underpinnings of personality.And given that there is a biologic underpinning for mood and social interaction, can you affect it, manipulate it, change it with drugs that are more routinely used for disease states?
Narrator: Volunteers on Paxil were more cooperative and less irritable.
Reus: It does raise the question about cosmetic psycho-pharmacology, about whether individuals who exist on a continue of normal variations and mood or assertiveness would choose on the basis of their experience to take a drug like this to become more assertive, to experience less day-to-day distress in their lives. And also could be observably different to others who knew them well.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.