Published on 23 November 2021

Paxil vs Zoloft In The Treatment Of Panic Disorder

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Paxil and Zoloft are medications that have similar functioning and method of action; however, they vary in a few aspects. To know, read further.

What Is Paxil?

Paxil is the medication that is generally prescribed for the treatment of depression, Anxiety, and panic. Paxil is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Paxil is Food and drug administration (FDA) approved medication. Paxil is also used for social Anxiety (social phobia).

What Is Zoloft?

Zoloft is a medication that belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor class of antidepressants. Zoloft's antidepressant efficacy is comparable to other antidepressants, with the main distinction being adverse effects.

Difference Between Paxil and Zoloft

Generic Name:

The generic name of Paxil is Paroxetine, whereas the generic name of Zoloft is Sertraline.

Dosage Form :

The dosage of Paxil is in the form of Tablets, Extended-release tablets Suspension.


The recommended dosage of Paxil is 10-60 mg daily, depending on the intensity.
Treatment duration: In the case of Paxil, the treatment is based on a long-term basis depending on the condition.

Who Can Take This Medication:

Paxil can be consumed by children aged 7 years and above and adults.

When Can You Take Paxil?

Paxil might cause sedation, and hence, it is recommended at bedtime. (Zeskind, P.S. and Stephens, L.E., 2004).

Generic Name:

The generic name of Zoloft is Sertraline.

Dosage From:

The dosage of Zoloft is in the form of a Tablets Solution.


The dosage of Zoloft is about 50-200 mg per day, depending on the intensity and doctor's consultation.

Treatment duration: In the case of Zoloft, the treatment is based on a long-term basis depending on the condition.

Who Can Take This Medication:

In the case of Zoloft, the drug can be consumed at an age ranging from 6 years and above.

When Can You Take Zoloft?

While Zoloft can cause insomnia and therefore is recommended in the morning.

Paxil Side Effects

Paxil is known to consist of both common side effects and severe side effects. Side effects that are commonly caused due to Paxil are listed below:

  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • Delayed ejaculation
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Shaking

Paxil can also cause some serious life-threatening side effects; if you experience any of these side effects, then seek medical help immediately:

  • New or worsened depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Acting on dangerous impulses
  • New or heightened Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Agitation, anger, or irritabilityAggressive
  • Swelling
  • redness in eyes 

Zoloft Side Effects

Zoloft causes different side effects in children and adults. However, some of the side effects which are common in both adults and children are listed below:

  • Nausea
  • Changes in sleep schedules
  • Increased sweating
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Indigestion

Zoloft can cause serious side effects and symptoms that require immediate medical attention and potentially be dangerous. Serious side effects caused by Zoloft are:

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Serotonin syndrome. This can be life-threatening. Symptoms include:
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

Study On The Effectiveness Of Paxil And Zoloft

Several studies have been conducted that compare effectiveness of both Paxil and Zoloft. A survey study conducted in 2004 found that Paxil and Zoloft were equally effective in treating depression and panic disorder.

However, Zoloft was known to be better tolerated by patients and to cause fewer side effects in patients. Another study in 2000 focused on comparing the effects of Paxil and Zoloft in patients. While most patients experienced similar side effects and relieving symptoms, some found one better.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Zoloft and Paxil are known to have equal effectiveness in treating depression and other mental health conditions like common Anxiety disorders. However, Zoloft is also used for obsessive-compulsive disorders in children as young as seven. Studies also show that Zoloft may be tolerated better by some patients (Frank, R.G., 2008).