Compare Paxil vs. Zoloft

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

Paxil (paroxetine)

Prescription only

Zoloft (sertraline)

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.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 694 reviewsforPaxil
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Zoloft (sertraline) is good for treating depression and anxiety, but it can interact with many medicines.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 1472 reviewsforZoloft
Upsides
  • Available in a cheaper, generic form.
  • Is convenient and can take once a day.
  • One of the more effective and better tolerated antidepressants in its class.
  • Causes less sleepiness than other antidepressants.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
  • Best choice among antidepressants if you are pregnant.
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.
  • Takes at least 1 to 2 weeks to kick in and can take up to 12 weeks for maximum effect.
  • Can cause low sex drive, an inability to orgasm or ejaculate, and minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
  • Is more likely to cause diarrhea compared to other antidepressants.
  • Interacts with lots of other medicines.
  • You may need to try out several different antidepressants before you find the one that works for you.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
694 reviews so far
52%
saidit'sworth it
39%
saiditworked well
24%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Paxil (paroxetine)?

Leave a review
1472 reviews so far
59%
saidit'sworth it
41%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zoloft (sertraline)?

Leave a review
Side effects
29possible 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%
  • Tremor
    9%
  • Female genital disorder
    9%
  • Decreased appetite
    8%
  • Nervousness
    8%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Anxiety
    5%
  • Yawning
    5%
  • Painful period
    5%
  • Impotence
    5%
  • Indigestion
    4%
  • Gas
    4%
  • Muscle pain
    4%
  • Impaired concentration
    4%
  • Throat inflammation
    4%
  • Abnormal vision
    4%
  • Trauma
    3%
  • Agitation
    3%
  • Vomiting
    2%
  • Muscle twitching
    2%
See more detailed side effects
15possible side effects
  • Nausea
    26%
  • Diarrhea
    18%
  • Dry mouth
    16%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    16%
  • Drowsiness
    13%
  • Dizziness
    12%
  • Tremor
    11%
  • Fatigue
    11%
  • More sweating
    8%
  • Constipation
    8%
  • Ejaculation failure
    7%
  • Upset stomach
    6%
  • Agitation
    6%
  • Loss of appetite
    3%
  • Stomach pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Sexual dysfunction
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking other medicines that affect serotonin levels
  • Mania
    • Personal history of bipolar disorder
    • Family history for bipolar disorder
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Zoloft (sertraline) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking blood thinners
  • Low sodium levels in the blood
    • Older people
    • Taking diuretic medicines
See more detailed risks and warnings