Compare Prozac vs. Paxil

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

Prozac (fluoxetine)

Prescription only

Paxil (paroxetine)

Prescription only
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Prozac (fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, so it may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 1319 reviewsforProzac
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
Upsides
  • Effectively treats a variety of mental health conditions such as depression, OCD, and panic disorder.
  • It's more energizing than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have low energy.
  • Might be a good option for treating children with depression and/or OCD.
  • Doesn't have effects on the heart unlike other antidepressants so it may be a better treatment choice for older people.
  • Can cause a significant amount of weight loss which is an added benefit for those who are overweight or obese.
  • Available in a cheaper, generic form.
  • Is convenient and can take once a day.
Downsides
  • Takes at least 1 to 2 weeks to kick in and can take up to 12 weeks for maximum effect. Prozac (fluoxetine) tends to take more time to start working compared to similar alternatives.
  • Can lower your sex drive.
  • Can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and/or behavior in those age 24 or younger.
  • You may need to try out several different antidepressants before you find the one that works for you.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Delayed-release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
1319 reviews so far
62%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Prozac (fluoxetine)?

Leave a review
694 reviews so far
52%
saidit'sworth it
39%
saiditworked well
24%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Paxil (paroxetine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
22possible side effects
  • Inability to sleep
    33%
  • Nausea
    28%
  • Lack of energy
    21%
  • Anxiety
    15%
  • Sleepiness
    13%
  • Tremor
    13%
  • Nervousness
    11%
  • Yawn
    11%
  • Indigestion
    10%
  • Sore throat
    10%
  • Dry mouth
    9%
  • Flu syndrome
    8%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Loss of appetite
    8%
  • Sweating
    8%
  • Impotence
    7%
  • Abnormal ejaculation
    7%
  • Sinus infection
    6%
  • Lower sex drive
    5%
  • Abnormal dreams
    5%
  • Rash
    4%
  • Widening of blood vessels
    2%
See more detailed 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
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Antidepressants
    • Lithium
    • Ultram
    • Imitrex
    • Remeron
    • Lexapro
    • Dilaudid
    • St. John's Wort
  • Skin rash
  • Weight loss
    • People with an eating disorder
  • Increased bleeding risk
    • Taking NSAIDS or blood-thinning drugs
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
    • People with heart rhythm problems or a family history of them
    • Low potassium level
    • Low magnesium level
    • Recent heart attack
    • Using other drugs that affect heart rhythm
    • Overdose
    • People with liver problems
See more detailed 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
  • Sexual dysfunction
See more detailed risks and warnings