Health, Medical Advice

Paxil vs Lexapro For Anxiety: Which Is Better?

Paxil Vs Lexapro

Antidepressants provide peace of mind for those people who are suffering from different mental health conditions. The two antidepressants commonly in use are Paxil and Lexapro. Both these drugs are FDA-approved and used in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and various depressive disorders. Both medicines are a member of the depressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but both are different. Find differences, and similarities in the article ‘Paxil Vs Lexapro’.

Here in this blog, we will explain uses, causes, side effects, treatments and safety measures, and precautions to follow while using Paxil and Lexapro medications.

What is Paxil?

Paxil is a brand drug whose generic name is paroxetine, and doctors prescribe this drug to patients suffering from different depressions and mental disorders.

Paxil contains the ingredient paroxetine and this belongs to the family of SSRIs. The SSRIs substance helps to maintain the level of serotonin in the brain. Any low level of serotonin can lead to symptoms of depression.

What is Lexapro?

Lexapro contains the active ingredient ‘escitalopram’ which is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and is used in treating various types of depression and anxiety symptoms in adults. This drug is assumed to interrupt the reuptake of serotonin by nerves. Thereby, this leads to an increase in the level of serotonin in the nerve synapse (gap between two nerves).

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Differences & Similarities Between Paxil and Lexapro Drugs

Paxil Vs Lexapro, find the important differences between both medicines in the following:


Find the use of both Paxil and Lexapro in the following;

Use Of Paxil

Paxil which is generically known as paroxetine, tends to increase the level of serotonin in the brain, so taking any excess amount of Paxil may pose a risk to a person’s health. Serotonin is used to regulate the moods that people experience, depending on their health. Doctors normally do not recommend this drug to children or teenagers, who are below 18 years of age.

Women may also use Paxil to help get rid of hot flashes, i.e. sudden feeling of warmth in selective parts of the body, and night sweats during menopause.

This drug can be taken with or without food as directed by the physician, normally one time in a day, and the morning.

Use Of Lexapro

Lexapro is an antidepressant to treat different types of depression and anxiety. This drug affects the central nervous system (CNS) and may increase the level of serotonin in a patient’s body. With the increase in the level of serotonin in a patient’s body, symptoms such as depression or anxiety show a tendency to decrease.

Serotonin then helps to improve common symptoms such as sleep disorder, mood changes, appetite loss, etc.

Normally the doctor will start with a low dose of the drug and depending on the severity of the health conditions, gradually increase the dose.

Dosage Strength

  • Paxil: This drug is available in the form of oral tablets. The dosage strength of paxil tablets is 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, and 7.5 mg (capsule). In addition, the dosage strength of the Paxil tablet, extended-release includes; 12.5 mg, 25 mg, and 37.5 mg. You can find Paxil in the oral suspension including 10mg/5mL.
  • Lexapro: This drug is available in the form of oral tablets. The drug comes in the below-given strengths; 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg.

Side Effects of Paxil and Lexapro

Paxil Common Side EffectsLexapro Common Side Effects
HeadachesFeeling of restlessness or agitation
Feeling of anxietyDiarrhea or upset stomach
Difficulty in sleepingDiarrhea
Dry mouthBlurred vision
Body weaknessHeadache
Loss of appetiteFrequent urination
Increase in blood pressureIncreased or decreased appetite
Sexual problems

Sometimes because of Lexapro, you may face some severe side effects like abnormal bleeding, Serotonin Syndrome, suicidal thoughts and behavior, high body fever, rigid muscles, low sodium, etc.


Overall used treatment of Paxil, and Lexapro are mentioned in the below;

Treatment Of Paxil

Both the antidotes Paxil and Lexapro are treatments for depressive disorders and generalized anxiety disorders, but they may be effective for other mental health conditions also.

Paxil is mostly used in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In women specifically, Paxil is used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and hot flashes associated with menopause.

Treatment Of Lexapro

Lexapro is an antidepressant, used to treat certain types of depression and anxiety disorders.

  • As this drug comes in the form of an oral tablet, it has to be swallowed. It can be taken with or without food.
  • One time a day is recommended. Either in the morning or in the evening. It is better to take it at the same time, each day, for better health results and proper absorption of the drug in the body.
  • The doctor may start with a low dose initially and then gradually increase the level of doses for better health results.
  • If you experience symptoms such as headache, tiredness, abnormal sleep, etc., talk to your doctor.
  • It may take 1 to 2 weeks to show positive changes in health and nearly 4 weeks for total improvement in health.

Precautions and Safety Measures to be Taken with Paxil or Lexapro Drugs

Some severe side effects are likely to occur on taking Lexapro and Paxil, including suicidal thoughts or suicidal ideation.

To ensure that the drug is taken safely, it is ideal to reveal any ongoing medical condition, or medicines being taken. If the patient, especially women or who have any plan for pregnancy, can discuss in detail with the health care expert about the various risks associated with the drug.

The below-mentioned steps can be taken to reduce the risk of health hazards.

  • The drug to be taken only as per the doctor’s recommendation.
  • Follow all the prescriptions carefully, like dose quantity, and timings as directed by the doctor to help reduce health hazards.
  • The use of alcoholic drinks should be avoided when these medicines are in use. Alcohol, with antidepressants, may increase the risk of bleeding in the intestines and seizures.
  • On sudden interruption or decreasing the dose and without informing the healthcare provider, chances are high of antidepressant withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms like nausea, body aches, agitation, headaches, and dizziness may persist.
  • Patients with a family history of bipolar or multi-polar disorders can experience mania or hypomania on the use of these drugs.
  • Both pill should not be used in patients with narrow angles in the eye, as an angle closure attack can occur. If you experience unilateral eye pain with a headache, rainbow vision, and nausea or vomiting, seek medical care immediately.


As all antidepressants have side effects, one must follow all safety guidelines and precautions, while taking these medicines in order to avoid severe side effects of serotonin syndrome.

At last, these drugs must be taken as prescribed and on the recommendation by health care professionals.

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