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Paxil vs. Xanax

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Are Paxil and Xanax the Same Thing?

Paxil (paroxetine hydrochloride) and Xanax (alprazolam) are used to treat panic attacks and anxiety disorders.

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

Paxil and Xanax belong to different drug classes. Paxil is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant and Xanax is a benzodiazepine.

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 Xanax?

Common side effects of Xanax include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Memory problems
  • Poor balance or coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Increased sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Blurred vision
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Swelling in your hands or feet
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Stuffy nose
  • Loss of interest in sex

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 Xanax?

Xanax (alprazolam) is indicated for the management of anxiety disorders and the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety in adults. Xanax is also indicated for the treatment of panic disorder in adults with or without a fear of places and situations that might cause panic, helplessness, or embarrassment (agoraphobia).

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 Xanax?

Xanax may interact with cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, medicine for depression or anxiety, antibiotics, antifungal medicines, antidepressants, and barbiturates. Xanax may also interact with birth control pills, cimetidine, cyclosporine, dexamethasone, ergotamine, imatinib, isoniazid, St. John's wort, heart or blood pressure medications, HIV/AIDS medicines, and seizure medications.

Do not take Xanax if you are allergic to alprazolam, other benzodiazepines, or any of the ingredients in Xanax. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in Xanax. you are taking antifungal medicines including ketoconazole and itraconazole.

Do not stop using Xanax without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine. You may have increased seizures or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you stop using Xanax suddenly.

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 Xanax Be Taken?

Take Xanax exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much Xanax to take and when to take it. If you take too much Xanax, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.

Xanax is a benzodiazepine medicine. Taking benzodiazepines with opioid medicines, alcohol, or other central nervous system depressants (including street drugs) can cause severe drowsiness, breathing problems (respiratory depression), coma and death.

Xanax can make you sleepy or dizzy, and can slow your thinking and motor skills.

Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Xanax affects you.

Do not drink alcohol or take other drugs that may make you sleepy or dizzy while taking Xanax without first talking to your healthcare provider. When taken with alcohol or drugs that cause sleepiness or dizziness, Xanax may make your sleepiness or dizziness much worse.

Do not take more Xanax than prescribed.

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

Pfizer. Xanax Product Information.

https://www.xanax.com/

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