IRFANA PARVEEN
By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

06 December 2021
Medically reviewed by
Sumayya Salam
Pharm D
How Long Does Paxil Stay In Your System
Table of Contents

Nowadays, Depression is a widespread disorder that affects each individual. People who are suffering from depressive episodes should seek medical attention immediately. It is treatable; it leads to cause emotional and physical damage to your health, which will withdraw you from losing ability from your work and make you feel sad and worried. 

It can affect individuals at an estimated rate of adults (6.7%) in a year; it can occur at any time, and women are more likely to affect more than men; studies show one-third of women experience this significant depression in their lifetime. 

Among 90% of depression cases are treatable. There are many antidepressant drugs available; Paxil is one of the drugs which works effectively to treat your illness; consult your doctor before taking the medication, and let us see how the drug works in your system.    

What Is Paxil (Paroxetine)?

Paxil is a medication that comes under the generic name of paroxetine; it belongs to the group of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors antidepressant drugs. It is the first drug approved for the treatment of panic disorder in the United States.  

It is indicated for the condition like panic disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

How Does It Work?

Usually, Serotonin is one of the chemicals in the body called a neurotransmitter. The work of the Neurotransmitter is to carry messages between the body for the nervous system. Serotonin helps in the brain for positive effects like our mood, sleep patterns and pain stimulation.

When the serotonin relays impact, it will result in a slow process of named reuptake. While drugs like SSRIs increase the serotonin level in the brain by preventing the neuron effect, which is already released, the imbalance of serotonin leads to affecting mood, anxiety and depression.

Paxil works by interrupting the reuptake process; SSRIs will increase the serotonin level and allow it to function normally. Thus, Paxil shows effective results.

Yes, Paxil cause rare weight gain in people who use them for more extended periods than recommended.
Paxil belongs to a group of Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; it increases the chemical in your brain; Paxil helps improve your mood by reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
Older adults aged 65 should not take this drug because it won't be safe for older people. Ask your doctor before consuming the medication.

How Long Does Paxil Stay In Your System?

Paxil takes almost five days to stay in the system depending on age, genetics, body mass, metabolic rate, etc. It is a medication prescribed to treat major depression and other complications.

It is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that helps increase the number of chemicals that stabilise mood in a patient. 

Half-Life Of Paxil

The half-life of Paxil is reported to be 21 to 24 hours, which means that 50% of the drug is excreted from a patient’s system within 21 hours after stopping the medication. After another 21 hours, this amount is further reduced to 50%. Due to this half-life trend, Paxil stays in a patient’s system for five days. 

Paxil presence might be detected through the following tests;

Blood Test: Through a blood test, we can detect Paxil's presence in the body within a few hours of a patient’s body mass, age, genetics, and hydration.

Urine Test: Paxil remains in the urine for about 1-3 days, depending on the dosage. The most crucial factor that influences this is hydration. Since Paxil in urine greatly depends on urinary flow, its excretion depends upon hydration.

Saliva Test: Paxil might remain in the saliva for up to three days. However, it depends on several reasons. Duration of Paxil in the saliva depends upon Basal Metabolic Rate. High BMR individuals tend to eliminate these types of drugs from the body faster than those with low BMR. This is because those with high BMR have low fat and tend to absorb low Paxil than those with low BMR.

Hair Test: Seroxat remains in the hair for about 16 months after use. However, like other tests, detection of Paxil in hair is not possible. Hair tests are carried out to detect the main drugs of abuse, like cocaine, barbiturates, and methadone.

Factors That Influence Paxil Stay In The System

Reduction in dosage: The best and fastest way to remove Paxil's presence in the system is by reducing the dosage. Over time the body hardly notices the decline in dosage and concentration. The body adapts to the new dosage as the process goes on.

Stay Hydrated: Antidepressants used for an extended period can result in dehydration which lays host to a plethora of side effects.  Staying hydrated helps flush out Paxil, toxins, chemicals, fats, and other unwanted items through urine from the system. The more water is consumed, the faster it is to flush out the Paxil.  

Eat Healthy Food: Healthy food is another way to flush out Paxil faster. Patients should avoid sugar and lousy fatty foods rather than eat green leafy vegetables, yoghurt, chia seeds, lemon, avocados, and almonds, which can help them detoxify Paxil.

Regular Exercise: Regular physical exercise helps to flush out Paxil through sweat quickly. Paxil also causes weight gain as a result of an increase in appetite. Common practice makes the body fight Paxil's sedating properties, which try to limit physical activities.

Sauna: A sauna is another effective way to flush out Paxil and other unwanted toxins through sweat from the body. 

How Paxil Affects The Brain And Body?

Paxil helps restore the balance of serotonin in the brain, may improve mood, sleep, and energy level, and may help revive interest in daily living.  

It may also decrease fear, anxiety, unwanted thoughts, and the number of panic attacks. It may also reduce the urge to perform repeated tasks, which affect daily living.

Dosage: 

Paxil comes under a generic name called paroxetine, manufactured under 10mg,20mg,30mg and 40mg. 
Also available in liquid oral solution.

According to your condition, your doctor will recommend a dosage for you to improve your situation. It is better to start with a low dosage to avoid some side effects.

Paxil is a controlled-release formula that works effectively after a single dose in your body.

Missed Dose:

If you missed the dose, take the drug as soon as you remember, and do not double dose Your Drug.
Follow your doctor's order

What happens if I take too much Paxil:

Taking a drug more than recommended will result in an overdose of the drug; some of the symptoms are,

  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Side-Effects Of Paxil

Like all drugs, Paxil also has some side effects. Some of the side effects are very normal due to the beginning of the drug and going on its own. 

Common Side Effects Severe Side Effects 
Drowsiness Seizure
Weight Gain Confusion
Nausea Hallucination
Insomnia Fainting
Dizziness Suicidal thought 


You should get emergency medical help if you experience severe side effects like

Precautions of Paxil

The drug is not suitable for everyone. For people with specific medical conditions, before taking the medication, consult with their doctor about their health history, and some of the points to remember or given below are     

Avoid Paxil During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Recent studies have shown the result of Paxil has an increased genetic risk of disability during pregnancy. Paxil may cause heart defects and lung problems in a newborn if the medication is taken during pregnancy. However, depression may worsen if stopped all of a sudden during pregnancy. Paxil also passes into breast milk and may harm the nursing baby. The doctor should be consulted under such circumstances.

Drugs like NSAIDs or Aspirin:       

Taking medications with NSAIDs or Aspirin will lead to increased  bleeding 

Liver disease:     

If you have any impact on liver function, speak to a doctor about your current condition before taking the medication because your doctor will adjust your dose according to the drug status. 

Alcohol consumption: 

Avoid drinking alcohol because it may lead to unwanted side effects and worsen your condition.

Drug Interactions:

Paxil can be taken with other drugs; Paxil should not be taken together after using Monoamine oxidase inhibitors(MAOIs) or within two weeks of the drug consumption.
It can affect other medications, like,

  • Strattera
  • Risperdal
  • Coumadin
  • Cardiac Drug
  • Drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin
  • Tricyclic antidepressants 

Inform your doctor about all the medication you are taking, like over-the-counter drugs and any herbal supplements.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

We have come to understand the drug Paxil; it belongs to the Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors group; it is used to treat major depressive and anxiety disorders. By working with the chemical in the brain called serotonin which helps you to feel calm and relaxed.

People who suffer from depression for prolonged periods should get medical help. Talk to your doctor about any mental issues you are having before taking the medication to avoid prior side effects of the drug. 

  • Wagstaff, A.J., Cheer, S.M., Matheson, A.J. et al. Paroxetine. Drugs 62, 655–703 (2002). From https://doi.org/10.2165/00003495-200262040-00010 Obtain on 11/11/2022

  • Bertelsen, Kirk M., et al. "Apparent mechanism-based inhibition of human CYP2D6 in vitro by paroxetine: comparison with fluoxetine and quinidine." Drug Metabolism and Disposition 31.3 (2003): 289-293. https://doi.org/10.1124/dmd.31.3.289 Obtain on 11/11/2022

  • Davis, Robert L., et al. "Risks of congenital malformations and perinatal events among infants exposed to antidepressant medications during pregnancy." Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety 16.10 (2007): 1086-1094. From  https://doi.org/10.1002/pds.1462 Obtain on 11/11/2022

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