Compare Paxil vs. Lexapro

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

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Paxil (paroxetine)

Prescription only

Lexapro (escitalopram)

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.

Lexapro (escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It is less likely to cause side effects than and has fewer drug interactions. However, it might not be a good choice if you have liver or heart problems.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 1063 reviewsforLexapro
Upsides
  • Available in a cheaper, generic form.
  • Is convenient and can take once a day.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers the likelihood that your depression will come back.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
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.
  • Can cause a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) is not a good option if you have heart or liver problems.
  • The first antidepressant you try might not always work, so you may need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you.
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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
1063 reviews so far
61%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?

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
25possible side effects
  • Headache
    24%
  • Nausea
    18%
  • Problems ejaculating
    14%
  • Sleepiness
    13%
  • Insomnia
    12%
  • Dry mouth
    9%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Fatigue
    8%
  • Decreased libido
    7%
  • Problems with orgasm
    6%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    5%
  • Increased sweating
    4%
  • Indigestion
    3%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Neck/shoulder pain
    3%
  • Abnormal dreams
    3%
  • Decrease appetite
    3%
  • Lack of energy
    3%
  • Tingling or burning in the hands/feet
    2%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
  • Flatulence
    2%
  • Toothache
    2%
  • Yawning
    2%
  • Menstrual disorder
    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
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Lexapro (escitalopram) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking blood thinners
  • Sexual problems
  • Uncovering of bipolar disorder
    • Bipolar disorder
See more detailed risks and warnings