Compare Pamelor vs. Paxil

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

Pamelor
(nortriptyline)

Paxil
(paroxetine)

Improves your mood. Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a good option for treating depression, especially for people who also have problems with persistent nerve pain.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.
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Coupons for Pamelor
Best available price for 30 (10mg) capsules of nortriptyline
Coupons for Paxil
Best available price for 30 (20mg) tablets of paroxetine
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.47Pamelor
Reviews for Pamelor (nortriptyline)
79%
of people (All ages) say Pamelor (nortriptyline) is worth it
79%
say it works well
21%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Pamelor (nortriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Paxil (paroxetine)
52%
-27% worse vs. Pamelor (nortriptyline)
39%
-40% worse vs. Pamelor (nortriptyline)
24%
-3% worse vs. Pamelor (nortriptyline)
694 reviews
Have you used Paxil (paroxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
PamelorPaxil

We haven’t found good data for Pamelor side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Pamelor »
  • Nausea 17%
  • Drowsiness 14%
  • Dry mouth 6%
  • Headache 1%
  • Muscle weakness 9%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 7%
  • Ejaculatory disturbance‡§ 13%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Diarrhea 4%
More Paxil side effects »
How it works
PamelorPaxil
Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). It helps improve your mood by altering the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and other similar chemicals in your brain.Paxil (Paroxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
PamelorPaxil
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
PamelorPaxil
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
PamelorPaxil
Risk factors for serious side effects
PamelorPaxil
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Stopping Pamelor (Nortriptyline) suddenly
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of heart disease
Detailed Pamelor (nortriptyline) 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

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

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
PamelorPaxil
  • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
Sleep
PamelorPaxil
No sleep related info.
  • It causes drowsiness, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
Weight
PamelorPaxil
No weight related info.
  • 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
PamelorPaxil
  • Helpful with treating certain types of pain, like migraines or nerve-related pain.
  • Generally well tolerated and has fewer side effects than other medicines in the same class of drugs.
  • 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
PamelorPaxil
  • Side effects are usually manageable, but can be annoying.
  • Increases the risk of falls, especially when used in the elderly.
  • There's an increased chance of it causing heart problems, especially in people with a history of heart problems.
  • 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
PamelorPaxil
  • Needs to be taken every day for 1 to 2 weeks to start feeling better, and for 6 to 8 weeks to see the full effect of the medication.
  • It's important to keep taking Pamelor (Nortriptyline) even when you feel your symptoms are getting better.
  • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • If you decide to stop taking Pamelor (Nortriptyline), work with your doctor to slowly get off this medicine to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • 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 PamelorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pamelor (nortriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PaxilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Paxil (paroxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it