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Paxil vs. Zoloft

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Are Paxil and Zoloft the Same Thing?

Paxil (paroxetine hydrochloride) and Zoloft (sertraline) are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants 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 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 Zoloft?

Common side effects of Zoloft include:

  • sleepiness
  • drowsiness
  • tired feeling
  • nervousness
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • skin rash
  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • upset stomach
  • stomach pain
  • dry mouth
  • changes in appetite
  • abnormal ejaculation
  • impotence
  • decreased sex drive
  • difficulty having an orgasm
  • dry mouth, and
  • weight loss.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Zoloft including:

  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, feeling like you might pass out;
  • agitation, hallucinations, fever, overactive reflexes, tremors;
  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, loss of coordination;
  • trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, fainting, seizure, shallow breathing, or breathing that stops.

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 Zoloft?

Zoloft (sertraline) is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressant prescribed for the treatment of depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

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 Zoloft?

Zoloft 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, fentanyl, St. John's wort, tramadol, L-tryptophan, heart medications, or migraine headache medicines.

Zoloft may also interact with digoxin, linezolid, lithium, or valproate.

Do not take Zoloft if you:

  • take a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if you take an MAOI, including the antibiotic linezolid.
  • have taken an MAOI within 2 weeks of stopping Zoloft unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.
  • have stopped taking an MAOI in the last 2 weeks unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.
  • take any other medicines that contain sertraline (such as sertraline HCl or sertraline hydrochloride).
  • take the antipsychotic medicine pimozide (Orap®) because this can cause serious heart problems.
  • are allergic to sertraline or any of the ingredients in Zoloft. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in Zoloft.
  • take Antabuse® (disulfiram) (if you are taking the liquid form of Zoloft) due to the alcohol content.

If Zoloft is discontinued abruptly, withdrawal side effects may include abdominal cramps, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, and memory impairment.

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 Zoloft Be Taken?

Take Zoloft exactly as prescribed. Your healthcare provider may need to change the dose of Zoloft until it is the right dose for you.

Zoloft Tablets may be taken with or without food.

Zoloft Oral Solution may look cloudy or hazy after mixing, this is normal.

Zoloft Oral Solution must be diluted before use:

Do not mix Zoloft until you are ready to take it.

When diluting Zoloft Oral Solution, use only water, ginger ale, lemon/lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice.

The oral dropper contains latex. If you are sensitive or allergic to latex, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about the best way to measure your medicine.

If you miss a dose of Zoloft, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time.Do not take two doses of Zoloft at the same

time.

If you take too much Zoloft, call your healthcare provider or poison control center right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.

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

Zoloft Prescribing Information.

http://www.zoloft.com/

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