Does Paxil cause night sweats? (7 factors)

In this article, we will explore whether Paxil causes night sweats. Furthermore, we will also discuss studies on Paxil and night sweats, contributing factors, and management strategies in Paxil-induced night sweats. 

Does Paxil cause night sweats?

Yes, Paxil does cause night sweats, and it is a common side effect. Paxil may induce excessive sweating when used to treat anxiety and depression, if overdosed, or during the withdrawal process. However, the intensity of experiencing night sweats may vary among individuals. Antidepressants may cause excessive sweating in 5-14% of patients.

Paxil, Pristiq, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Lexapro, and Prozac are commonly associated with excessive sweating throughout the treatment (1). Paxil is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant that is FDA-approved to treat depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other related mental disorders (2). 

How does Paxil cause night sweats?

Paxil works by blocking the reuptake of serotonin in the brain cells. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates sleep, mood, appetite, and the body’s stress response (2). The mechanism of Paxil and other SSRIs causing excessive sweating is due to their effects on muscarinic and noradrenergic release, influencing sweat gland regulation and the body’s stress response and temperature regulation (3).

What do studies say on Paxil and night sweats?

Several research studies support that night sweats are a common side effect of Paxil and other antidepressants. A study conducted in 2005 suggested that a 59-year-old woman experienced excessive sweating, especially on her head and neck, during her anxiety treatment with Paxil for over 7 months. 

No underlying issues were found other than Paxil. When Paxil was gradually discontinued, her symptoms improved and completely resolved approximately after a month (4).

Although Paxil commonly causes night sweats, it is also approved by the FDA to treat the frequency and severity of hot flashes and sweating in women during menopause (2,5,6). Other research studies also indicated a potential link between antidepressants such as SSRIs, blood pressure, and thyroid medications with causing night sweats (6).

What factors influence Paxil-induced night sweats?

The factors influencing Paxil-induced night sweats may include:

Higher doses: If you are taking a higher dose of Paxil, you may be more prone to experience side effects associated with Paxil such as night sweats, headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation.

Sensitivity: Individuals vary from each other in their physiological responses to the medication. Therefore, some individuals may be more sensitive to the side effects of Paxil. The dosage of Paxil must be tailored according to the specific needs of individuals to reduce the risk of side effects. 

Long-term treatment: Prolonged treatments with Paxil may cause an increased risk of side effects such as night sweats. You should be regular in attending your follow-up sessions to monitor your response to Paxil and necessary adjustments may be made by your healthcare provider to alleviate the side effects. 

Drug interactions: Paxil when used concomitantly with other medications, may interact with them. If these concurrent medications also have a side effect of sweating, the risk of excessive sweating may be significantly increased by using drugs in combination.

Medical conditions: Other underlying health conditions such as menopause, thyroid problems, stomach issues, or obesity may also cause an increased risk of excessive sweating. 

Withdrawal symptoms: Abruptly discontinuing Paxil may result in withdrawal symptoms such as night sweats, dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, agitation, headache, fever, nausea, or vomiting.

Symptom of depression: Excessive sweating during the daytime or at night time, might be a symptom of anxiety and depression itself. Therefore, if you experience night sweats while taking Paxil, you should be aware of potential symptoms of anxiety and depression as well (7). 

How to manage Paxil-induced night sweats?

If you experience Paxil-induced night sweats, and it becomes bothersome, please reach out to your healthcare provider. They may evaluate your current symptoms, underlying health conditions, and response to the medication. 

Your doctor may first reduce your dosage and monitor the response. If night sweats persist, they may recommend treatment with Terazosin which has been found effective in treating antidepressant-induced excessive sweating (AIES). 

However, in some cases where the dose reduction and treatment with Terazosin does not help individuals, your doctor may recommend gradual discontinuation of Paxil over a few weeks and suggest an alternative antidepressant that is appropriate for you and monitor you closely (1). 


As per my research analysis, Paxil is commonly associated with causing night sweats. However, some contributing factors may influence the occurrence of night sweats such as higher dosage, duration of use, abrupt discontinuation, and underlying health conditions.

It is important to note that Paxil-induced severity and frequency may vary among individuals. If you experience bothersome night sweats, please reach out to your healthcare provider. 

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