Zoloft vs Paxil

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Depression is a very concerning disorder. When a person becomes struck with depression, he or she may be impaired in terms of social, personal, intellectual and psychiatric functioning. A depressed person can be preoccupied with the thoughts that render him or her depressed leading signs and symptoms of depression.

Depression should be treated immediately and there are different drugs which are aimed at treating depression. Two of the most common drugs used to treat this psychiatric disorder are Zoloft and Paxil.

What We Need To Know About Zoloft vs. Paxil

Zoloft and Paxil are categorically known as anti-depressants. However, as we all know, there are different classes and types of anti-depressants. Zoloft and Paxil are both SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. This means that both Zoloft and Paxil are similar…although they have different generics—Zoloft is under the generic Sertraline whole Paxil is under the generic Paroxetine.

As SSRIs, both Zoloft and Paxil works by maintaining a healthy level of Serotonin in our brain. Serotonin is a known neurotransmitter which keeps our mood and temperament in their normal level. Once SSRI’s balance has been disrupted we suffer from signs of depression.

Contraindications in Taking Zoloft vs. Paxil

Zoloft and Paxil both have their own “weak points” like any other drugs do. There are conditions in which these drugs must not be taken, or if allowed to be taken, certain considerations will need to be emphasized to the patient as well as the caregiver:

For Zoloft, the following conditions need to be evaluated:

-          Diabetes Mellitus;

-          Bipolar disorder history, whether personal or familial;

-          Heart and liver disorders;

-          ECT;

-          Episodes of seizures and convulsions; and

-          Suicidal attempts.

As for Paxil, one needs to be mindful of the following:

-          Bipolar disorder history, whether personal or familial;

-          Heart and liver disorders;

-          ECT;

-          Episodes of seizures and convulsions; and

-          Suicidal attempts.

How Zoloft vs. Paxil Need To Be Taken?

Zoloft needs to be taken by mouth with a glass full of water. It should be taken in the exact dose specified in the physician’s prescription.

On the other hand, Paxil needs to be shaken well before taking it (oral suspension form). Use a medicine glass in measuring the drug, not an ordinary spoon because it may not give you the accurate dose of the drug.

Both drugs can be taken with or without food. Also, do not stop taking the medication unless your physician has informed you to do so. For the first few weeks, you may not feel any progress about your condition—this is normal as most anti-depressants take at least four weeks for the drug to kick in.

Side Effects of the Zoloft vs. Paxil

For both Zoloft and Paxil, one must take note of the following Side Effects:

-          Black and tarry stools;

-          Fast and irregular heart rhythm;

-          Abnormal bleeding;

-          General feeling of malaise and tiredness;

-          Seizures.

However, Paxil has these unique side effects which also need to be looked after:

-          Difficulty urinating; and

-          Priapism or painful and prolonged penile erection (for men).

Make sure you report these side effects to your doctor for immediate interventions.

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