Does Paxil help with negative thoughts? (5 precautions)

In this article, we will discuss whether Paxil helps with negative thoughts. Furthermore, we will talk about related research findings, user experiences, time taken by Paxil to reduce negative thoughts, and precautions necessary while using Paxil. 

Does Paxil help with negative thoughts?

Yes, Paxil helps with negative thoughts associated with anxiety and depression. Patients with these conditions may experience self-harming thoughts, fear, stress, mood disorder, or suicidal thoughts. Paxil is a safe and effective antidepressant that is well-tolerated by many patients and has a success rate of around 50%. 

Paxil, also known as Paroxetine, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that is FDA-approved to treat anxiety, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and other related mental conditions (1). 

How does Paxil help with negative thoughts?

Paxil works for anxiety by blocking the reuptake of a neurotransmitter, serotonin, in the brain cells. Reuptake is the process where serotonin is reabsorbed in the nerve cells. By this mechanism of action, Paxil increases the concentration levels of serotonin in the synaptic region and it remains there for a longer period.

The presence of serotonin for prolonged periods increases the neurotransmission between the brain cells. Serotonin regulates the mood, sleep, appetite, and the body’s stress response which in turn reduces the negative thoughts and other symptoms of anxiety and depression (1). 

What does research suggest about Paxil and negative thoughts?

A research study tested patients of schizophrenia with strong negative thoughts by adding Paxil to the ongoing treatment. 29 participants were given Paxil or a fake pill to check the response. Paxil was found to reduce the symptoms of negative feelings in patients who had schizophrenia for a long time (2).

In another clinical study, patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) were examined while taking Paxil. Paxil was found to be effective in reducing the overall symptoms of anxiety including negative thoughts and improve the overall quality of life (3). 

What are the user experiences with Paxil for negative thoughts?

Many patients have experienced negative thoughts with anxiety and depression and shared their experiences: 

Magcook shared his experience:

“I have been struggling with anxiety and negative thoughts for quite a long time but last year it got worse. I lost my job and experienced insomnia and panic attacks. Due to persistent negative thoughts, I lost control of my life. 

I was living in constant fear and hopelessness. Now, my doctor prescribed me Paxil about three weeks ago and it has transformed my life completely. I have no more fears or negative thoughts and I am feeling like myself again.”

An anonymous user shared his story: 

“My experience with Paxil has been excellent in overcoming my depression and negative thoughts. I would not be living a normal life without Paxil. Now I have graduated from college and working as a social worker. I would keep going with Paxil in a low dose, rather than living a fearful life.”

How soon does Paxil reduce negative thoughts?

Paxil may start showing its effects in the early phase of treatment by improving sleep patterns, appetite, and mood in some individuals. However, Paxil may take up to 6-8 weeks to show its complete therapeutic benefits. 

However, not everyone may notice improvements in their negative thoughts and other symptoms of anxiety and depression within 8 weeks. Some patients might require more time in some individuals depending on their genetic factors and other underlying health conditions (4). 

What precautions should be taken with Paxil?

The following precautions should be taken before or during the use of Paxil: 

  • Inform your doctor if you are allergic to Paxil before prescribing it to you. 
  • Medications such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) should not be used with Paxil as it may cause serotonin syndrome. 
  • Thioridazine and Pimoxide may cause heart-related disorders, therefore, they should not be used with Paxil. 
  • Paxil should also be used with caution when tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and medications that affect the liver, are prescribed.
  • Pregnant or nursing mothers should not use Paxil due to the risk of birth defects. 
  • Do not stop taking Paxil abruptly as it may cause withdrawal symptoms and may take up to a few days to leave your system completely. 

What to do if Paxil does not help with negative thoughts?

If Paxil does not help with your negative thoughts, please reach out to your healthcare provider. They may evaluate your current symptoms, family or medical history, and response to the treatment. Your doctor may try to increase the dose and monitor your response to the adjusted dose. 

If your negative thoughts persist, your doctor may also suggest some therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help you overcome such thoughts. If necessary, they may gradually discontinue Paxil and switch you to another antidepressant which does not have such side effects. 


As per my analysis, I would conclude that Paxil may help the individuals to overcome the negative thoughts. Paxil may take around 2 months to show its complete therapeutic effects.

Patients have experienced significant improvements in their overall symptoms of anxiety and depression. Generally, Paxil is safe and effective, but some precautions should be taken for its best therapeutic effects. 

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Shrestha P, Fariba KA, Abdijadid S. Paroxetine. 2023 Jul 17. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 30252278. Available from:


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