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Paroxetine is used in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorder, phobia, post traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

How it works

Paroxetine works by increasing the levels of serotonin, a chemical messenger in the brain. This improves mood and physical symptoms in depression and relieves symptoms of panic and obsessive disorders.

Common side effects

Nausea, Diarrhoea, Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping), Headache, Fatigue

Available Medicine

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Expert advice

  • Avoid consuming alcohol when taking the Paroxetine, as it may cause excessive drowsiness and calmness.
  • The risk of dependence is minimal with the Paroxetine.
  • Paroxetine should be taken during bedtime as it may cause excessive sleepiness.
  • The most common side effect seen with Paroxetine is nausea, vomiting followed by diarrhea. On long-term use, the patient might develop sexual side effects, but they are reversible.
  • Do not discontinue or increase/decrease the dose without consulting the doctor.
  • You may have to take Paroxetine at least for 2 to 3 weeks or longer before you begin to feel better.
  • Notify your doctor if you feel unusually agitated, irritable, or have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself.
  • During the treatment initially signs of anxiety may be seen in some patients.

Frequently asked questions



Is paroxetine available or sold over the counter?
No. Paroxetine is a prescription drug. It is not available or sold over the counter


Is paroxetine safe?
Yes. Paroxetine is relatively safe if used as recommended. In case of any side-effects, consult your doctor


Is Paroxetine a narcotic/controlled/addictive substance?
No. Paroxetine is not a narcotic/controlled substance. However, it can cause addiction in some cases because of its effects on the brain

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Is paroxetine the same as Xanax?
No. Paroxetine is an anti-depressant while Xanax (alprazolam) is a sedative/anti-epileptic drug


Is paroxetine a MAOI/benzodiazepine/anti-depressant?
Paroxetine is not a MAOI (mono-amino oxidase inhibitor) or a benzodiazepine. It is an anti-depressant


Does paroxetine cause headache, weight loss, memory loss, hair loss, high blood pressure?
Yes. Paroxetine may cause headache, weight loss, memory loss, hair loss or high blood pressure. If you experience any such symptoms, please consult your doctor.

Content on this page was last updated on 22 April, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)