By Irfana
B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)
06 December 2021 -
Medically reviewed by
D. Pharm
Does Paxil Cause Weight Gain?
Table of Contents

Paroxetine or Paxil Cause Weight Gain as its significant potential side effectPaxil is most commonly associated with long-term and short-term use weight gain. Paxil is not availbale over the counter. Order Paxil online from a certified online pharmacy but it is recommended to take doctor's advice before consuming these medicines.

Experts say that up to 25% of people taking antidepressant medication, including popular SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) drugs like Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft, can cause weight loss gain of 10 pounds or more. (Aronne, L.J. and Segal, K.R., 2003.).

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Study On SSRI Antidepressant And Weight Gain:

Aim: This study aimed to look into the link between antidepressant use and weight increase and the effects of lifestyle factors.

Method: They used data of 2334 adults of the North West Adelaide health study.

Findings: 188 (8.1%) participants had a mean annual number of 1-2 antidepressants prescriptions, and 212 (9.1%) had over two drugs. The yearly mean weight gain was 0.12, 0.18, and 0.28 kg in non-users, low (1–2 prescriptions/year) and high (>2 prescriptions/year) antidepressant users, respectively.

Antidepressant usage was positively linked with weight gain in multivariable regression models, with high antidepressant users gaining an extra 0.22 kg per year. This link was primarily related to using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). High SSRI users gained 0.48 kg more than non-users.

Conclusion: SSRI was associated with weight gain in the presence of unhealthy behaviors, including western diets and smoking.

(Link to study)

How Does Paxil Cause Weight Gain?

  • Serotonin deficiency can cause significant weight gain.
  • Antidepressants like Paxil boost appetite, which makes a person eat more.
  • Use of a psychotropic drug like Paxil may also affect how the body processes fat.
  • Patients who used Paxil were more likely to seek out unhealthy eating options with high sugar content.
  • Paxil also decreases the metabolism in the body, which causes patients to round out.

How Much Weight Do People Gain On Paxil?

Paxil can increase weight gain if used in the long term. A patient can gain around 24 pounds within 6-12 months of treatment with Paxil as compared to only 10 pounds with other SSRIs. (Hasnain, M., Vieweg, W.V.R. and Hollett, B., 2012.)

Factors Affecting The Weight Gain Of Paxil?

Several factors may affect the weight gain of Paxil:

  • The use of other medications can contribute to weight gain, especially if they are psychiatric.
  • The dosage will also reflect on the drug’s effect. Doctors usually prescribe Paxil 20 mg for patients with generalized anxiety, but there’s a higher probability of the drug increasing body mass if raised.
  • The duration of the treatment of Paxil also affects weight gain. The risk of gaining weight increases as the treatment prolongs.
  • Some gain weight quickly. The risk of obesity increases by 25% if one or both parents are obese.
  • A shift in lifestyle also influences the occurrence of weight


  • Paxil is an antidepressant drug
  • Paxil causes weight gain in long-term use.
  • Study has found that SSRI causes weight gain in association with an unhealthy lifestyle.
  • Factors like dosage, medication, term of treatment, and lifestyle affect weight because of Paxil.
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