Compare Paxil vs. Valium

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

Paxil
(paroxetine)

Valium
(diazepam)

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.Helps you relax. Valium (Diazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and for pain and sleeplessness from muscle spasm. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.
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Prices and coupon for 30 (20mg) tablets of paroxetine
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
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4.53Paxil
Reviews for Paxil (paroxetine)
52%
of people (All ages) say Paxil (paroxetine) 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 Valium (diazepam)
70%
+18% better vs. Paxil (paroxetine)
53%
+14% better vs. Paxil (paroxetine)
15%
+9% better vs. Paxil (paroxetine)
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
PaxilValium
  • 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 »

The Valium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Valium side effects »
How it works
PaxilValium
Paxil (Paroxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Valium (Diazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and muscle spasms, and causes sleepiness.
Type of medication
PaxilValium
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
PaxilValium
  • Pill
  • Extended release tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
Used for
PaxilValium
Risk factors for serious side effects
PaxilValium
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Paxil (Paroxetine) suddenly
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
      Detailed Paxil (paroxetine) risks & warnings »
      • Taking more than the prescribed dose
      • Taking longer than 4 weeks
      • History of drug abuse
      • Long-term use
        • Alcohol
        • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
          • Current liver problems
          Detailed Valium (diazepam) 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 real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

          Alcohol
          PaxilValium
          No alcohol related info.
          • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
          • Not safe to use with alcohol.
          Food
          PaxilValium
          • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
          No food related info.
          Kidneys and liver
          PaxilValium
          No kidneys and liver related info.
          • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
          Sleep
          PaxilValium
          • It causes drowsiness, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
          • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
          • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
          Weight
          PaxilValium
          • 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.
          No weight related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          PaxilValium
          • 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 short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
          • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
          • Effective at relieving muscle spasms caused by a variety of conditions.
          • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
          Downsides and risks
          PaxilValium
          • 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.
          • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
          • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
          • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
          • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          PaxilValium
          • 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.
          • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
          • Starts working in 30 minutes when swallowed.
          • Helpful with muscle spasms.
          • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
          • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
          • Not safe to use with alcohol.
          Learn more
          More about PaxilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          Have you used Paxil (paroxetine)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it