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Paxil vs. Wellbutrin

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Are Paxil and Wellbutrin the Same Thing?

Paxil (paroxetine hydrochloride) and Wellbutrin (bupropion) are antidepressants used to treat depression.

Paxil is also used to treat panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).

Wellbutrin is also used to treat seasonal affective disorder.

Paxil is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and Wellbutrin is an aminoketone.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Paxil?

Common side effects of Paxil include:

  • headache,
  • nervousness,
  • restlessness,
  • drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • nasal irritation,
  • sleep problems (insomnia),
  • nausea,
  • constipation,
  • weight changes,
  • decreased sex drive,
  • impotence,
  • difficulty having an orgasm,
  • dry mouth,
  • yawning, or
  • ringing in the ears.

Call your doctor immediately if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Wellbutrin?

Common side effects of Wellbutrin include:

  • agitation,
  • dry mouth,
  • insomnia,
  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • constipation,
  • stomach pain,
  • dizziness,
  • ringing in the ears,
  • vision problems or blurred vision,
  • loss of interest in sex,
  • sore throat,
  • muscle pain,
  • itching or skin rash,
  • increased sweating,
  • increased urination,
  • tremor,
  • changes in appetite,
  • weight loss or gain,
  • joint aches,
  • strange taste in the mouth,
  • diarrhea, and
  • seizures (especially at higher doses).

What is Paxil?

Paxil (paroxetine hydrochloride) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant used to treat depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).

What is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with a certain type of depression called major depressive disorder.

What Drugs Interact With Paxil?

Paxil may interact with cold or allergy medicines, sedatives, narcotics, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, medicines for seizures or anxiety, other antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), blood thinners, cimetidine, tramadol, L-tryptophan, or medicines to treat migraines.

Paxil may also interact with fentanyl, fosamprenavir, ritonavir, St. John's wort, tamoxifen, theophylline, heart medications, or medicines to treat psychiatric disorders.

You may have withdrawal symptoms (such as agitation, dizziness, numbness or tingling, ringing in your ears, confusion, or behavior changes) after you stop taking Paxil.

What Drugs Interact With Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin may interact with blood thinners, heart medications, other antidepressants, medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, cold or allergy medicines, narcotics, or theophylline.

Wellbutrin may also interact with blood pressure medications, HIV or AIDS medications, seizure medications, antibiotics, asthma medications or bronchodilators, birth control pills or hormone replacement estrogens, bladder or urinary medications, diet pills, stimulants, ADHD medications, insulin or oral diabetes medications, medicines for nausea/vomiting/motion sickness, medications to treat or prevent malaria, medicines to treat Parkinson's disease, medication for restless leg syndrome, medication for pituitary gland tumor, medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, numbing medicines, steroids, street drugs such as "speed" or cocaine, or ulcer or irritable bowel medications.

Do not take Wellbutrin if you:

  • have or had a seizure disorder or epilepsy.
  • are taking Zyban (used to help people stop smoking) or any other medicines that contain bupropion hydrochloride, such as Wellbutrin SR Sustained-Release Tablets or Wellbutrin XL Extended-Release Tablets. Bupropion is the same ingredient that is in Wellbutrin.
  • drink a lot of alcohol and abruptly stop drinking, or use medicines called sedatives (these make you sleepy) or benzodiazepines and you stop using them all of a sudden.
  • have taken within the last 14 days medicine for depression called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), such as Nardil (phenelzine sulfate), Parnate (tranylcypromine sulfate), or Marplan (isocarboxazid).
  • have or had an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia.
  • are allergic to the active ingredient in Wellbutrin, bupropion, or to any of the inactive ingredients. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in Wellbutrin.

How Should Paxil Be Taken?

The recommended initial dose of Paxil depends on the condition being treated and ranges from 20 mg/day to 50 mg/day.

How Should Wellbutrin Be Taken?

Take Wellbutrin exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

  • Take Wellbutrin at the same time each day.
  • Take your doses of Wellbutrin at least 6 hours apart.
  • You may take Wellbutrin with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose, do not take an extra tablet to make up for the dose you forgot. Wait and take your next tablet at the regular time. This is very important. Too much Wellbutrin can increase your chance of having a seizure.
  • If you take too much Wellbutrin, or overdose, call your local emergency room or poison control center right away.
  • Do not take any other medicines while using Wellbutrin unless your doctor has told you it is okay.
  • It may take several weeks for you to feel that Wellbutrin is working. Once you feel better, it is important to keep taking Wellbutrin exactly as directed by your doctor. Call your doctor if you do not feel Wellbutrin is working for you.
  • Do not change your dose or stop taking Wellbutrin without talking with your doctor first.
Reviewed on 7/10/2018

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP SOURCE:

FDA. Paxil Product Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/020031s067,020710s031.pdf

Valeant. Wellbutrin Product Information.

http://www.wellbutrinxl.com/

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