Compare Paxil vs. Buspar

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

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Paxil (paroxetine)

Prescription only

Buspar (buspirone)

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
Helps you relax.

Buspar (buspirone) relieves anxiety with less drowsiness and abuse potential than other anti-anxiety medicines, but it takes time to work and effects might wear off over time.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 67 reviewsforBuspar
Upsides
  • Available in a cheaper, generic form.
  • Is convenient and can take once a day.
  • Doesn't cause as much physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms as other medications used for anxiety.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
  • Tablets can be split for easy dose changes.
  • Doesn't cause as much drowsiness as other medications for anxiety.
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.
  • Not for quick relief of anxiety symptoms since Buspar (buspirone) can take as long as 4 weeks to fully work.
  • Not as effective for short-term anxiety conditions or panic disorders.
  • Some people find that Buspar (buspirone) loses effectiveness over long periods of time.
  • Must take Buspar (buspirone) twice daily for full effect.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
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
67 reviews so far
46%
saidit'sworth it
45%
saiditworked well
22%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Buspar (buspirone)?

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
19possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    12%
  • Drowsiness
    10%
  • Nausea
    8%
  • Headache
    6%
  • Nervousness
    5%
  • Fatigue
    4%
  • Trouble sleeping
    3%
  • Lightheadedness
    3%
  • Dry mouth
    3%
  • Worse concentration
    2%
  • Excitement
    2%
  • Anger/hostility
    2%
  • Confusion
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Blurred vision
    2%
  • Upset stomach
    2%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
  • Numbness
    2%
  • Weakness
    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
  • Higher blood pressure
    • Taking Buspar (buspirone) with MAOIs
    • Taking Buspar (buspirone) within 14 days after stopping a MAOIs
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking other medicines that affect serotonin levels
  • Withdrawal symptoms from other anti-anxiety medicines
    • Stopping benzodiazepines suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings