Does Paxil make you lazy? (5+ factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether Paxil (paroxetine) makes you feel lazy as a side effect or not. We will also discuss what research suggests on this, the possible factors that may influence how Paxil affects motivation levels in different individuals and coping strategies to manage reduced motivation while on Paxil.

Does Paxil make you lazy?

Yes, Paxil (paroxetine) can make you feel lazy or less energetic as a common side effect. Some people may experience drowsiness, fatigue or change in energy levels with reduced motivation, especially during the initial phase of starting the treatment. (1)

However, not everyone will experience this side effect as people are different and respond differently to medications. The impact on energy levels can vary from person to person. (1)

Paxil is an antidepressant primarily used for the treatment of depression and anxiety. It belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. (3)

If you are experiencing laziness or other unwanted side effects from taking Paxil, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance. 

How does Paxil make you lazy?

As you know, Paxil is an antidepressant that works by increasing the levels of a neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain. While an increase in serotonin generally helps in mood regulation, an excess of serotonin might lead to side effects such as laziness or fatigue.

Changes in serotonin levels can also disrupt your sleep cycle and changes in sleep quality can contribute to feelings of laziness and lethargy. It’s important to remember that people react differently to medications and what causes fatigue and tiredness in one person may not have the same effect on another.

What does research suggest?

According to research, a study was conducted on 94 female breast cancer patients. They were divided into 2 groups, either given paroxetine or a fake pill that looked the same (placebo).  (2)

The patients took these pills 1 week after their first cancer treatment until 1 week after their fourth treatment. After each chemotherapy session, the patients filled out questions to tell us how tired they felt and if they were experiencing any symptoms of depression. (2)

Results showed that although depression was significantly reduced in most of the patients, fatigue was observed.

What to do if Paxil makes you lazy?

If you’re taking Paxil and it is making you feel lazy or tired than usual, it’s important to discuss it with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance and potential solutions to address these side effects. Here are some steps you can consider: (5)

Talk to your doctor:

Share your concerns and symptoms with your healthcare provider. They may adjust your medication dosage, switch you to a different antidepressant or explore alternative treatments based on your specific needs.

Monitor your symptoms:

Keep track of your symptoms and write them down when you feel lazy or tired. This information can help your doctor to make informed decisions.

Consider lifestyle changes:

Exercise, eat well and stick to a regular sleeping schedule. These habits can help you feel more energetic.

Manage stress:

Stress can make you feel more tired. Try relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing.

Give it some time:

It can take a few weeks for your body to adjust to a new medication. Sometimes side effects may improve as your body adapts to the medication. 

How long does it take for laziness to go away?

The duration it takes for feelings of laziness or fatigue to go away after starting Paxil (paroxetine) can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience these side effects during the initial weeks of treatment, and for others, these symptoms may persist for an extended period. (4,5)

In many cases, side effects like fatigue are for temporary periods and they tend to improve as the body adjusts to the medication. However, it’s important to note that not everyone will experience the same side effects and individual’s responses to Paxil can differ.

What factors may influence tiredness while taking Paxil?

Reduced energy levels while taking Paxil can be influenced by various factors, including: (4,5)

  • Medication dosage: The amount of Paxil you are taking might be too much for your body. Your doctor can change the dose to find the right balance for you.
  • Individual response: People react differently to medications. Some people may feel tired from taking Paxil but not everyone will experience this side effect.
  • Timing of medication: Taking Paxil at different times of the day can affect energy levels. 
  • Medication interactions: Paxil might interact with other drugs you are taking, making you more tired.
  • Sleep disturbances:  Paxil can affect your sleep, leading to fatigue during the day.
  • Adjustment period: When you start Paxil, it can take time for your body to get used to it. The feeling of tiredness might improve with time.
  • Underlying conditions: If you have other medical conditions like thyroid, anaemia and chronic fatigue then Paxil might make it worse.
  • Individual variation: Your body is unique and how you react to Paxil can be different from others.

What are the additional side effects of Paxil?

Some common side effects of Paxil may include: (3)

  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or changes in sleep patterns
  • Nervousness or restlessness
  • Weight changes (either weight gain or weight loss)
  • Sexual side effects such as decreased libido or erectile dysfunction
  • Serotonin syndrome

It’s important to discuss any concerns or side effects with your healthcare provider, as they can guide managing these issues.


In this article, we have discussed the impact of Paxil on the energy levels of individuals. We have also discussed the factors which contribute to reduced energy levels and tiredness while taking Paxil and the management strategies to overcome this side effect.

From my perspective, it’s clear that Paxil (paroxetine) can be an effective medication in the treatment of depression, anxiety and OCD but it also comes with a range of potential side effects.

It’s important to have open communication with your healthcare provider. They can help monitor and manage any side effects while considering the overall benefits of the treatment. 

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National Library of Medicine. Paxil: MedlinePlus Drug Information. [Internet]. Available from:

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