Compare Paxil vs. Lexapro

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

Paxil (paroxetine)

Prescription only

Lexapro (escitalopram)

Prescription only
Improves mood and anxiety.

Paxil (paroxetine) is effective for treating depression and anxiety, but causes more unwanted side-effects than other medicines that work like it.

4.5/ 7 average rating with 694 reviewsforPaxil
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Lexapro (escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It is less likely to cause side effects than and has fewer drug interactions. However, it might not be a good choice if you have liver or heart problems.

4.9/ 7 average rating with 1063 reviewsforLexapro
Upsides
  • Available in a cheaper, generic form.
  • Is convenient and can take once a day.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers the likelihood that your depression will come back.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
Downsides
  • More likely to decrease your sexual appetite and delay or prevent ejaculation than other antidepressants.
  • Like most antidepressants, Paxil (paroxetine) has a high risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior when used in children and adolescents.
  • May not be appropriate for you if you are elderly or suffer from dementia.
  • Can cause a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) is not a good option if you have heart or liver problems.
  • The first antidepressant you try might not always work, so you may need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
Lowest price near you
$4
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Lowest price near you
$9.9
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Reviews
694 
52%
think this treatment is worth it
39%
think this treatment works well
24%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Paxil (paroxetine)?

Leave a review
1063 
61%
think this treatment is worth it
48%
think this treatment works well
15%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?

Leave a review
Side effects
10possible side effects
  • Abnormal ejaculation
    28%
  • Nausea
    25%
  • Weakness
    22%
  • Drowsiness
    22%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    21%
  • Decreased sexual appetite
    12%
  • Dizziness
    11%
  • Sweating
    9%
  • Dry mouth
    9%
  • Diarrhea
    9%
See more detailed side effects
10possible side effects
  • Headache
    24%
  • Nausea
    18%
  • Problems ejaculating
    14%
  • Sleepiness
    13%
  • Insomnia
    12%
  • Dry mouth
    9%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Fatigue
    8%
  • Decreased libido
    7%
  • Problems with orgasm
    6%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

    Age 24 years or younger

  • High levels of serotonin (Serotonin Syndrome)

    Using other medications that affect serotonin levels

  • Withdrawal

    Stopping Paxil (paroxetine) suddenly

  • Increased bleeding risk

    Taking other blood-thinning drugs

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

    Age 24 years or younger

  • Serotonin syndrome

    Using other medications that affect serotonin

  • Withdrawal

    Stopping Lexapro (escitalopram) suddenly

  • Increased bleeding

    Taking blood thinners

  • Uncovering of bipolar disorder

    Bipolar disorder

See more detailed risks and warnings