Compare Paxil vs. Wellbutrin

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

Paxil
(Paroxetine)

Wellbutrin
(Bupropion)

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. Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is good for treating depression and has fewer sexual side effects than other antidepressants, but you need to be okay with avoiding alcohol.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.516587677725118Paxil
Reviews for Paxil (Paroxetine)
52%
of people say Paxil (Paroxetine) is worth it
39%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Wellbutrin (Bupropion)
58%
+6% vs. Paxil (Paroxetine)
38%
1% vs. Paxil (Paroxetine)
13%
+10% vs. Paxil (Paroxetine)
Side effects
PaxilWellbutrin
  • Abnormal ejaculation† 27%
  • Ejaculatory disturbance 26%
  • Nausea 22%
  • Dry mouth 19%
  • Drowsiness 17%
  • Lower sex drive 11%
  • Diarrhea 11%
  • Sleep difficulty 11%
  • Constipation 10%
  • Decreased libido 10%
More Paxil side effects »
  • Tremor 13%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Agitation 10%
  • Constipation 9%
  • Excessive sweating 7%
  • Dizziness 6%
  • Blurred vision 5%
  • Nausea/vomiting 4%
  • Headache/migraine 4%
  • Menstrual complaints 4%
More Wellbutrin side effects »
How it works
PaxilWellbutrin
Paxil (Paroxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is an atypical antidepressant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to change dopamine and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.
Type of medication
PaxilWellbutrin
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor
Prescription only
Available as
PaxilWellbutrin
  • Pill
  • Extended release tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
PaxilWellbutrin
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.

After 4 weeks using Start and Paxil (Paroxetine), here’s how much better people feel.

After 4 weeks using Start and Wellbutrin (Bupropion), here’s how much better people feel.

Risk factors for serious side effects
PaxilWellbutrin
  • 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 »
      • Age 24 years or younger
      • History of depression
      • History of bipolar disorder
      • At risk for bipolar disorder
      • Withdrawing from nicotine
      • History of seizures
      • Alcoholism
      • Eating disorder
      • Higher dose
      • Drug interactions
      • History of bipolar disorder
      • At risk for bipolar disorder
      • Current kidney problems
      • Current liver problems
        Detailed Wellbutrin (Bupropion) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        PaxilWellbutrin
        DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.
        • Has a higher risk of causing seizures, especially if you have a seizure disorder, eating disorder, or if you drink alcohol. So, it's not a good medication if you drink a lot.
        Food
        • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
        No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is processed by the kidney and liver. If you have kidney or liver problems, you may need a different dose to prevent increased risk for side effects.
        Sex
        • Can cause more sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate than most antidepressants.
        • Paxil (Paroxetine) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
        • Causes fewer sexual side effects than other antidepressants. Can actually boost sex drive for some people.
        • Can be taken with other antidepressants to counteract their sexual side effects.
        • There are no sexual side effects from this medication.
        Sleep
        • It causes drowsiness, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
        • Stopping Paxil (Paroxetine) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
        • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) makes you energized, so take it in the morning to avoid difficulty sleeping later that night.
        Weight
        • 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 weight gain, which can be helpful if you've recently lost weight or have a low appetite.
        • It's less likely to cause weight gain than other antidepressants.
        • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) may cause weight loss. Talk to your doctor if weight loss is not desirable.
        Upsides and benefits
        PaxilWellbutrin
        • 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 symptoms.
        • Causes fewer sexual side effects than other antidepressants. Can actually boost sex drive for some people.
        • Can be taken with other antidepressants to counteract their sexual side effects.
        • Has some stimulant effects, so it can be energizing.
        • Can help with ADHD symptoms.
        • Also used to suppress appetite and help you quit smoking.
        • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
        Downsides and risks
        PaxilWellbutrin
        • 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.
        • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) can be stimulating, so it can cause anxiety or insomnia the first few days you're taking it.
        • Generally not as good as other antidepressants for people who have anxiety.
        • It's less likely to cause weight gain than other antidepressants.
        • Has a higher risk of causing seizures, especially if you have a seizure disorder, eating disorder, or if you drink alcohol. So, it's not a good medication if you drink a lot.
        • It contains the same ingredient as a medication that helps you to stop smoking, (Zyban), so these two meds can't be used together.
        • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 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
        PaxilWellbutrin
        • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
        • 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.
        • 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.
        • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) makes you energized, so take it in the morning to avoid difficulty sleeping later that night.
        • There are no sexual side effects from this medication.
        • The extended-release tablet shell can show up unchanged in your stool, but don't worry since the medication was still absorbed by your body.
        • 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
        More about WellbutrinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert