Does Paroxetine 5mg help with anxiety? (3 solutions)

In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of Paroxetine 5mg for anxiety. Furthermore, we will also discuss what the research suggests, dosage recommendations, time taken by Paroxetine to work for anxiety, and what to do if the prescribed dose of Paroxetine is not enough for you. 

Does Paroxetine 5mg help with anxiety?

Paroxetine 5mg might not effectively help with anxiety. For generalized anxiety disorder, an effective dosage of Paroxetine ranges between 20mg and 50mg per day. Paroxetine 5mg is prescribed for premenstrual dysphoric disorder and may be increased to 30mg per day.

Paroxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant that is FDA-approved to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD). 

Paroxetine, also known as Paxil, works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin in the synaptic regions of the brain. By blocking its reuptake, serotonin levels are increased, resulting in enhanced neurotransmission between the brain cells. Serotonin regulates mood, sleep, appetite, and the body’s stress response (1).

What does research suggest?

Research studies were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of Paroxetine when used for social and generalized anxiety disorder. Paroxetine was found to be effective when an initial dose of 20mg per day was given to patients with anxiety.

The dosage range for Paroxetine’s effectiveness was found to be 20mg to 50mg for social and generalized anxiety disorders (2,3). In another clinical trial, 20mg and 40mg per day of Paroxetine were tested for their effectiveness in generalized anxiety disorder. Both doses were found to be efficacious in treating anxiety symptoms. 

Paroxetine takes some time to show its complete therapeutic benefits. Some patients may respond after 6 to 8 weeks of antidepressant treatment. However, the response may vary among individuals due to differences in their genetic makeup (4). 

What are the dosage recommendations of Paroxetine for anxiety?

The dosage recommendations of Paroxetine are as follows: 

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

For adults, 20mg to 60mg per day of Paroxetine is recommended in the treatment of GAD. For elderly patients, the recommended dose of Paroxetine is 10mg to 20mg per day. Paroxetine is taken once a day and if required your doctor may increase the dose by 10mg at weekly intervals (1). 

Social anxiety disorder (SAD)

The immediate-release formulation of Paroxetine has the following recommended dosages: 

  • Adults: 20mg to 60mg per day
  • Elderly: 10mg to 40mg per day
  • Children aged 8 years and above: 10mg to 50mg per day

The controlled-release formulation of Paroxetine is prescribed at 12.5mg to 37.5mg per day in adults with social anxiety disorder (1). Take Paroxetine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The best time to take Paroxetine depends on the side effects you experience while taking the medication. 

How long does Paroxetine take to work for anxiety?

Patients may start feeling improvements in their sleep patterns, appetite, and mood in the early phase of treatment with Paroxetine. However, some individuals may experience worsening of their anxiety symptoms in the early phase. 

However, Paroxetine may take up to 6-8 weeks to show its complete therapeutic benefits for anxiety. In some individuals, Paroxetine may take even more than 8 weeks. Paroxetine regulates serotonin levels in the brain cells and the body takes time to adjust to these fluctuations (5). 

What to do if Paroxetine dose is not enough for you?

If the prescribed dosage of Paroxetine is not enough for you, you may not feel any improvement in your anxiety symptoms or worsening of the symptoms. If this is the case, you should inform your healthcare provider. They may evaluate your current symptoms and response to the medication. 

If necessary, your doctor may adjust the dosage and monitor your response. They may also suggest some therapies or tips to overcome the symptoms of anxiety such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), stress relaxation therapies, breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. 

If your anxiety persists after adjusting the dosage, your doctor may switch you to an alternative antidepressant such as Fluoxetine or Sertraline, that is more suitable for you. However, do not make any changes to your dosage yourself, or stop taking Paroxetine on your own, as antidepressants may cause withdrawal symptoms. 


As per my analysis, Paroxetine 5mg is not enough for reducing symptoms of anxiety. We have discussed the recommended doses for generalized and social anxiety disorder in this article. 

Antidepressants such as Paroxetine may take up to 8 weeks to show their complete therapeutic effects. If the recommended dose of Paroxetine is not enough for you, inform your healthcare provider so that they can make necessary adjustments. 

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