Compare Paxil vs. Celexa

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

Paxil
(Paroxetine)

Celexa
(Citalopram)

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.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.53Paxil
Reviews for Paxil
52%
of people (All ages) say Paxil is worth it
39%
say it works well
24%
say it's a big hassle
694 reviews
Have you used Paxil (Paroxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Celexa
61%
-9% worse vs. Paxil
51%
-12% worse vs. Paxil
16%
-8% worse vs. Paxil
520 reviews
Have you used Celexa (Citalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
PaxilCelexa
  • Rash 1%
  • Oropharynx Disorder† 2%
  • Dyspepsia 1%
  • Myopathy 1%
  • Myalgia 1%
  • Drugged Feeling 1%
  • Taste Perversion 2%
  • Female Genital Disorders‡Þ 2%
  • Palpitation 2%
  • Vasodilation 2%
More Paxil side effects »
  • Fever 2%
  • Arthralgia 1%
  • Myalgia 1%
  • Yawning 2%
  • Upper Respiratory Tract Infection 2%
  • Abdominal Pain 1%
  • Agitation 2%
  • Dysmenorrhea 1%
  • Impotence 3%
More Celexa side effects »
How it works
PaxilCelexa
Paxil (Paroxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Celexa (Citalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
PaxilCelexa
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
PaxilCelexa
  • Pill
  • Extended release tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for
PaxilCelexa
Risk factors for serious side effects
PaxilCelexa
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Food
PaxilCelexa
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
PaxilCelexa
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
Sex
PaxilCelexa
No sex related info.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
Sleep
PaxilCelexa
  • It causes drowsiness, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
No sleep related info.
Weight
PaxilCelexa
  • 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.
  • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
Upsides and benefits
PaxilCelexa
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
PaxilCelexa
  • 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.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
PaxilCelexa
  • 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.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about PaxilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Paxil (Paroxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about CelexaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Celexa (Citalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it