Can Paxil and Adderall be Taken Together? (7+ Tips)

This article will discuss the potential risks and interactions associated with taking Paxil and Adderall together, including the increased risk of serotonin syndrome and the potential for symptoms of psychosis. It will also explore the potential benefits of combining these medications.

Additionally, the article will cover the common side effects of each medication and the additive side effects that may occur when taking them together. Finally, it will provide guidance on safely combining Paxil and Adderall, including measures to minimize risks and drug interactions.

Can Paxil and Adderall be taken together?

Paxil and Adderall can be taken together if prescribed by a doctor. However, this combination can pose potential risks and interactions that should be carefully monitored. Paroxetine, the active ingredient in Paxil, can enhance the effects of amphetamine, which may lead to side effects such as nervousness and anxiety. 

Another concern is the increased risk of serotonin syndrome, which can cause confusion, hallucination, seizure, elevation in blood pressure, increased heart rate, elevated body temperature and sweating, tremors, nausea, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can even lead to coma or death [1].

If any of these symptoms occur while taking these medications together, it is crucial to contact a doctor immediately.

Furthermore, in some cases, combining amphetamines and SSRIs has been associated with symptoms of psychosis. For instance, there have been reports of individuals experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia after taking amphetamines alongside fluoxetine (an SSRI like Paxil) [2].

Individual responses may vary. Therefore, it is crucial to follow your doctor’s recommendations and adhere to your treatment plan, especially if you are taking Paxil and Adderall together.

How can combining Paxil and Adderall cause serotonin syndrome?

One potential consequence of taking these two drugs together is an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. Both Adderall and Paxil can affect serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin syndrome is a rare but serious condition characterized by excessive serotonin activity, leading to symptoms like [1]:

  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Increased body temperature
  • Excessive sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tremors
  • Muscle rigidity.

For example, a case study showed a patient experiencing serotonin syndrome symptoms after combining dexamphetamine with venlafaxine. The addition of citalopram caused a second episode, but it improved after cessation [3].

Moreover, these symptoms resolved after administering cyproheptadine, which emphasizes the high risk of developing serotonin syndrome when combining SSRIs with amphetamines. This highlights the importance of caution and monitoring when combining such medications to avoid serotonin syndrome [3].

What are the benefits of using Adderall and Paxil together?

Studies suggest that combining amphetamines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may have an additive effect in patients who have only had a partial response to SSRIs alone. Additionally, early use of psychostimulants may decrease the delay in response associated with SSRIs [4].

A study found that adding dextroamphetamine to an SSRI in patients with anergic depression improved mood, reduced fatigue, and increased psychomotor activity. This combination was found to enhance dopamine and norepinephrine activity, potentially reducing fatigue associated with depression [5]

Another study described four patients with treatment-refractory depression who showed positive responses when combining an SSRI with pemoline (a drug similar to amphetamines but with milder stimulant action) [6].

However, despite these findings, these studies state that no firm conclusions can be drawn as to the effectiveness of adding psychostimulants to SSRIs, and the placebo effect or other factors could have influenced the perceived antidepressant effect [6].

Moreover, research states that dextroamphetamine can be combined with SSRI therapy to treat depression caused by a medical illness, with a daily dose of 5-10 mg. While this combination is effective, it should not be given after 3 PM to prevent insomnia and should be used cautiously due to the increased risk of side effects in medically ill patients [4].

In conclusion, taking sympathomimetics (like Adderall) with SSRIs (like Paxil) may offer potential benefits, but it’s not recommended unless prescribed by a doctor due to a lack of proven safety and limited studies. Further research is needed to determine the efficacy and safety profile of this therapy.

What are the additive side effects of Adderall and Paxil?

The side effects of both Adderall and Paxil are mentioned below.

Paxil’s side effects

Common side effects of Paxil include nausea, drowsiness or tiredness, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, nightmares, dry mouth, headache, weight changes, sweating, and digestive issues such as diarrhea or constipation [7].

Adderall’s side effects

On the other hand, common side effects of Adderall include Increased heart rate and blood pressure, loss of appetite, Insomnia, nervousness or restlessness, headache, dry mouth, and weight loss [8].

Side effects of combining Paxil and Adderall

When taken together, the potential additive side effects of Adderall and Paxil may include:

  • Increased risk of serotonin syndrome
  • Exacerbation of cardiovascular effects: including increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and possible cardiovascular complications
  • Worsening of anxiety, restlessness, and difficulty sleeping due to the combined effects on the central nervous system
  • Potential intensification of common side effects like dry mouth, headache, and weight changes

Individual variations and additional side effects may occur, so it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice. It is crucial to discuss any concerns or potential drug interactions with your doctor to ensure safe and appropriate use of medications.

How to safely take Paxil and Adderall together?

When considering the simultaneous use of Paxil and Adderall, it is important to prioritize safety and minimize the risk of complications and overlapping side effects. Here are several measures that can help achieve this goal:

  • Medical guidance: always consult with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or pharmacist, before combining Paxil and Adderall.
  • Close monitoring: regular monitoring of symptoms and side effects is crucial when taking these medications together. Keep track of any changes in your mood, behavior, or physical well-being, and promptly report any concerns to your healthcare provider.
  • Space their administration by taking them at separate times.
  • Follow the prescribed dosages of both Paxil and Adderall as directed by your doctor and avoid adjusting or altering the doses without medical guidance, as this can increase the risk of adverse effects.
  • Avoid drug interactions: certain substances, such as MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), should not be combined with either Paxil or Adderall. Inform your doctor about any other medications, supplements, or herbal remedies you are taking to prevent potential interactions.
  • It is essential to inform your healthcare provider about any symptoms such as agitation, high body temperature, increased reflexes, tremors, sweating, dilated pupils, or diarrhea, as these may indicate serotonin syndrome.
  • Regular cardiovascular check-ups: routine evaluation of blood pressure and heart rate is important. Individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions should be especially cautious and closely monitored.
  • Lifestyle adjustments: pay attention to your overall well-being by maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting regular exercise. These lifestyle factors can contribute to overall health and help mitigate some side effects.


Taking Paxil and Adderall together can be done under the supervision of a doctor, but it is essential to be aware of the potential risks and interactions. These medications can increase the risk of side effects such as nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, cardiovascular problems, as well as the more severe serotonin syndrome.

Furthermore, while some studies suggest the potential benefits of combining these medications for patients unresponsive to the use of Paxil alone, further research is needed to establish their efficacy and safety profile.

Finally, taking precautions such as spacing out their administration, monitoring symptoms of their side effects, following prescribed dosages, and being mindful of potential drug interactions can help ensure safe use.

Keep in close communication with your healthcare provider to navigate this combination safely and effectively.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



Simon LV, Keenaghan M. Serotonin Syndrome. [Updated 2023 Jul 17]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:


Glue P. SSRI and sympathomimetic interaction. Br J Psychiatry. 1996 May;168(5):653. doi: 10.1192/bjp.168.5.653a. Erratum in: Br J Psychiatry 1996 Jul;169(1):116. Blue P [corrected to Glue P]. PMID: 8733810.


Prior FH, Isbister GK, Dawson AH, Whyte IM. Serotonin toxicity with therapeutic doses of dexamphetamine and venlafaxine. Med J Aust. 2002 Mar 4;176(5):240-1. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04385.x. PMID: 11999244.


Singh V, Malone DA Jr. Should amphetamines be added to SSRI therapy to enhance the antidepressant effect? Cleve Clin J Med. 2001 Sep;68(9):748-9. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.68.9.748. PMID: 11563476.


Cohen, A. J. (1993). Treatment of anergic depression in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis with fluoxetine and d-amphetamine. Depression, 1(2), 110–114.




Metz, A., & Shader, R. I. (1991). Combination of fluoxetine with pemoline in the treatment of major depressive disorder. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 6(2), 93–96.


Shrestha P, Fariba KA, Abdijadid S. Paroxetine. [Updated 2023 Jul 17]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:


Martin D, Le JK. Amphetamine. [Updated 2023 Jul 31]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:

Find a supportive therapist who can help with Depression.

Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours.


AskYourPharm is user-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp’s services after clicking through from this site