Compare Celexa vs. Paxil

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Celexa
(citalopram)

Paxil
(paroxetine)

Improves mood and helps you relax. Celexa (Citalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Might be less likely to cause side effects than some antidepressants, but not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.Improves mood and helps you relax. Paxil (Paroxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety but it causes more weight gain, sleepiness, and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.98Celexa
Reviews for Celexa
61%
of people (All ages) say Celexa is worth it
51%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
520 reviews
Have you used Celexa (citalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Paxil
52%
+9% better vs. Celexa
39%
+12% better vs. Celexa
24%
+8% better vs. Celexa
694 reviews
Have you used Paxil (paroxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CelexaPaxil
  • Nausea 7%
  • Dry Mouth 6%
  • Somnolence 8%
  • Insomnia 1%
  • Sweating Increased 2%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Tremor 2%
  • Ejaculation Disorder 5%
  • Rhinitis 1%
  • Dyspepsia 1%
More Celexa side effects »
  • Nausea 17%
  • Somnolence 14%
  • Dry Mouth 6%
  • Headache 1%
  • Asthenia 9%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Insomnia 7%
  • Ejaculatory Disturbance‡§ 13%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Diarrhea 4%
More Paxil side effects »
How it works
CelexaPaxil
Celexa (Citalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Paxil (Paroxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
CelexaPaxil
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
CelexaPaxil
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Extended release tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
CelexaPaxil
Risk factors for serious side effects
CelexaPaxil
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • Stopping Celexa (Citalopram) suddenly
Detailed Celexa (citalopram) risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Paxil (Paroxetine) suddenly
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
  • History of bipolar disorder
Detailed Paxil (paroxetine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Food
CelexaPaxil
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
CelexaPaxil
  • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Sex
CelexaPaxil
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
No sex related info.
Sleep
CelexaPaxil
No sleep related info.
  • It causes drowsiness, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
Weight
CelexaPaxil
  • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
  • Can cause weight gain, which can be helpful if you've recently lost weight or have a low appetite.
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) or make you feel sick if you miss a dose than other antidepressants.
Upsides and benefits
CelexaPaxil
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Causes less sleepiness compared to other antidepressants.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression and anxiety disorders, including OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
  • It causes drowsiness, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Can cause weight gain, which can be helpful if you've recently lost weight or have a low appetite.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides and risks
CelexaPaxil
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
  • Celexa (Citalopram) can cause an irregular heartbeat if you take a high dose (40 mg a day, or more).
  • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24 years.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
  • Can cause more sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate than most antidepressants.
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) or make you feel sick if you miss a dose than other antidepressants.
  • Can harm an unborn child, so you can't take it if you're pregnant.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than age 24.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CelexaPaxil
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • The controlled-release (CR) tablet can cause less nausea than other forms.
  • Don’t crush, break, or chew the Paxil (Paroxetine) controlled-release tablet or the Pexeva film-coated tablets.
  • It’s best to take Paxil (Paroxetine) in the morning, except Brisdelle, which can be taken at bedtime.
Learn more
More about CelexaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Celexa (citalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PaxilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Paxil (paroxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it