Paxil vs Lexapro: Fighting Anxiety Together

Paxil vs Lexapro

Ignorance of human needs and paucity of time for social gatherings have made humans susceptible to anxiety these days. Medical scientists have tried their best and come up with diverse medicines for treating mild to severe and from acute to chronic anxiety. Selecting a medicine from these remedies has become a laborious and overwhelming task. Paxil and Lexapro are two of the SSRI class of such medicines to treat anxiety. So this blog tried to compare and find out the result for Paxil vs Lexapro confusion.

Basic Information About Paxil And Lexapro:

The active ingredients of these medicines, Paroxetine and Escitalopram Oxalate are in the essential list of medicines prepared by the World Health Organization. Lexapro is approved for Major Depressive Disorder and is suitable for 12-plus-year-olds and the patient’s age must be 7-plus years in the treatment of General Anxiety Disorder. While Paxil has Food and Drug Administration approval for 18 plus of age only.


Paxil is the brand name for Paroxetine. It is beneficial in the treatment of mental disorders namely major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is popular as Paroxetine got approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Paxil is also prescribed for non-hormonal therapy in menopause hot flashes remedy.


Lexapro(Escitalopram Oxalate) is an antidepressant and is one of the significant and essential medicines for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and major depressive disorder. A few studies found this medicine to be significant in acute generalized anxiety disorder. It is also prescribed off-label for premenstrual dysphoric disorder, OCD in children, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Uses: Paxil Vs Lexapro

Paxil and Lexapro are majorly utilized as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills as well. Food and Drug Administration-US approved these pills for General Anxiety Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for short-term use, Agoraphobia(urge to escape due to fear of situations/space), and fibromyalgia(long-lasting pain in the complete body having symptoms of fatigue).

Use Of Paxil(Paroxetine Hydrochloride):

Other than the above-mentioned uses, Paroxetine Hydrochloride(Paxil) helps in fighting anxiety and a variety of disorders namely Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Use Of Lexapro(Escitalopram):

Sometimes used as an anxiolytic, Lexapro (Escitalopram) is effective in Generalized Anxiety Disorder and premenstrual syndrome. Besides, this drug has applicability in treating anxiety, Panic disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and especially in the case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in children patients. Medical practitioners/ doctors prescribe this medicine for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well.

Paxil Vs Lexapro: Side Effects

Some side effects are very common among all categories of medicines but these SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) drugs have not-so-common side effects mentioned further. These are Serotonin syndrome, suicidal thoughts, and weight loss. Apart from these Paxil and Lexapro have different side effects mentioned below in this blog.

Side Effects Of Taking Paxil:

Paxil consumption can cause weakness, constipation, nausea, reduced appetite, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, tremors, and urination problems. Sometimes sexual problems can occur as a result of side effects such as low libido and ejaculatory disturbances. The most important thing to remember is to take the prescribed amount of medicine always because an overdose is never useful. Overdose of Paroxetine can cause tachycardia(unusual rate of heartbeat), tremors, nausea, coma, and somnolence.

Lexapro Side Effects:

Patients taking Lexapro (Escitalopram) dose may experience abnormal dreams, anisocoria(pupil size difference in eyes simultaneously), arthralgia(joint pain), excessive sweating, impotence, sinusitis, and restlessness. Side effects are not the only disadvantage of taking medicines. Some mild to severe withdrawal symptoms can also be experienced.

Dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, sensory disturbances, lethargy, and hypomania
are common Paxil and Lexapro withdrawal symptoms.

Comparison The Difference Between Paxil And Lexapro:

Medicine name
USAGEInteraction/ if coadministered with the 
FDA approved Off-labelNot Used
PAXILanxiety/depressionObsessive-Compulsive Disorder in childrenPremenstrual Dysphoric DisorderMAOI(monoamine oxidase inhibitor) class then confusion,loss of consciousness heartbeat change stiff muscles
Social Anxiety DisorderIrritable bowel syndrome
General Anxiety Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
LEXAPROanxiety/depressionPanic disorder
Abnormal bleeding with  NSAID(Non-Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) Other anticoagulantsMAOI(monoamine oxidase inhibitor)pimozidehypersensitive to Escitalopram.
General Anxiety DisorderSocial Anxiety Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Post-traumatic stress Disorder

Some other comparable points:

  • The half-life of Lexapro is 32 hours and PAXIL has 21 hours half life.
  • Paxil has some additional FDA-approved uses but studies suggest the effectiveness of Lexapro in the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder.
  • Lexapro was found to be more efficient in a meta-analysis of 12 antidepressants in Major Depressive Disorder. It performs well on tolerability and anxiety as well.
  • Lexapro has more drug interaction as some studies found.
  • Drug interaction susceptibility is higher in Lexapro than in Paxil.
  • Alcohol does not increase mental impairment and motor skills in both drugs. Having said that it is not advised to consume alcohol with these SSRIs antidepressants.


Paxil and Lexapro are FDA-approved but safety and effectiveness vary according to the patient’s medical history. Moreover, these are not controlled substances which means dependency on these drugs is less. Having discussed the important comparable points, we cannot give you professional or medically fit prescription advice. The right prescription can only be realized after meticulous analysis of symptoms. This blog is for general information.

Read More:

Paxil Side Effects In Females: Detailed Explanation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *