Compare Paxil vs. Pristiq

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

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Paxil (paroxetine)

Prescription only

Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)

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.

Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) is basically the same medication as Effexor, which is cheaper because it's available as a generic.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 196 reviewsforPristiq
Upsides
  • Available in a cheaper, generic form.
  • Is convenient and can take once a day.
  • Effective at relieving symptoms and lowering relapse rates for depression.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
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.
  • Similar to Effexor, without any extra benefits in clinical studies.
  • Can cause sexual side effects (usually low libido or the inability to have an orgasm or ejaculate).
  • Not available in generic form, so it's more expensive.
  • Like most antidepressants, can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
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
196 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)?

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
17possible side effects
  • Nausea
    22%
  • Dizziness
    13%
  • Dry mouth
    11%
  • Hyperhidrosis
    10%
  • Constipation
    9%
  • Insomnia
    9%
  • Fatigue
    7%
  • Decreased appetite
    5%
  • Somnolence
    4%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Anxiety
    3%
  • Vision blurred
    3%
  • Tremor
    2%
  • Abnormal dreams
    2%
  • Mydriasis
    2%
  • Vertigo
    2%
  • Tinnitus
    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 Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) suddenly
  • High blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Mania
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
See more detailed risks and warnings