Is 10 mg of Paxil enough? (3+ evidences)

In this article, we will discuss whether Paxil (Paroxetine) 10 mg is enough to affect any patient or not. Paxil (Paroxetine) belongs to an antidepressant class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This medication is used to treat different types of depressive disorders like major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder (PD), generalised anxiety disorder(GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Is 10 mg of Paxil enough?

Yes, 10 mg of Paxil should be enough for you. If you are new to the medication or have a lower need for the antidepressant medications then 10 mg of Paxil is enough. This dosage is very low and is generally well-tolerated in individuals receiving Paxil therapy.

Antidepressants can be a bit tricky to get used to, so healthcare providers will normally start with the lowest possible dose that you can be given. Most people receiving Paxil, start with a dose of 10 mg or 20 mg. After a few days, when your body adjusts to the medication then your doctor may gradually increase the dose if required. However, make sure not to take Paxil without the approval of your healthcare provider.

When is 10 mg Paxil prescribed?

The FDA recommends a dosing of 10 mg Paxil in patients suffering from panic disorder, and elderly patients who have severe hepatic or renal impairment (1).

In addition to the recommendations of the FDA, healthcare professionals normally start with a 10 mg dosing of anyone who needs Paxil therapy, regardless of the condition that the individual is suffering from. After assessing the response of the patient, and giving ample time for the body to adjust to Paxil, your doctor may increase your dose according to your needs.

A 10 mg dose of Paxil may also be prescribed when you are discontinuing treatment of Paxil. To avoid side effects, you will need to taper off the medication and 10 mg may be the lowest dose you take before complete discontinuation.

What does the research suggest?

A research study used 10 mg of Paroxetine in combination with Clonazepam in patients with PD. This study reported that Paroxetine and Clonazepam when combined can effectively reduce panic symptoms in PD patients (2).

In another study, comparing the efficacy of Paroxetine and Clomipramine in PD, the patients were given 10 mg of Paroxetine. This dose proved to be more effective than the 25 mg/day dosing of Clomipramine. Paroxetine showed a more rapid onset of action in reducing panic attacks (3).

A clinical study, assessing the efficacy of adjunctive Paroxetine in PD patients, which were unsuccessfully treated with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), reported that initial treatment with 10 mg of Paroxetine was enough to improve symptoms (4).

Another study comparing the two SSRIs, Sertraline and Paroxetine for the treatment of PD also used 10 mg of Paroxetine as the starting dosage, This study reported that both medications were comparable in efficacy from the start of treatment. However, the dose did need to be increased after a few weeks of treatment (5).

How to ensure effective treatment with 10 mg Paxil?

To ensure that 10mg of Paxil is working effectively you need to take your medicines exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Antidepressants normally may cause some unwanted effects at the start of therapy. These will most likely diminish with time.

Paxil is no different from other antidepressants. You should expect a few side effects at the start of treatment. But you just need to be patient and persistent with your medication for it to work.

If the 10 mg dose of Paxil is working, you will start to feel better and your depressive symptoms along with the side effects at the start of Paxil therapy will subside within 4-6 weeks. You will also feel more energized, motivated and creative. Paxil may help you concentrate and think more clearly. In short, if 10 mg Paxil is effective for your condition you will have better overall cognitive and emotional functioning.

Does 10 mg Paxil have side effects?

Paxil may have the following common side effects in patients:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dizziness 
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased libido
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Tremors

Some more severe side effects which can occur while taking Paxil are:

  • Unusual dreams
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviour (normally seen in young adults)
  • Withdrawal symptoms (like agitation, lethargy irritability, tinnitus, electric shock sensations and confusion etc.)

Factors impacting the efficacy of a 10 mg Paxil dose

Many different factors can play a role in the efficacy of a 10 mg dose of Paxil. Some of them are as follows:

Patient-specific factors – Factors like individual body weight, metabolism and genetic factors that vary from person to person, can affect the efficacy of Paxil.

Short-term or long-term usage of the medication – If used for a short duration, Paxil may not be as effective as when used in the long term.

Dosing – If the dosing of Paxil has not been kept steady, and has been increased or decreased over time, the efficacy can be reduced.

Tolerance and dependence – If your body shows signs of tolerance or dependence on a 10 mg Paxil dose, the efficacy of the medication will likely be altered.

Environmental factors – Sometimes specific conditions in the environment can enhance or hinder the medication’s impact.  Factors like stress levels or lifestyle changes can affect the efficacy of the dose prescribed by your doctor.

Psychosocial support – Social relationships and support networks can sometimes help you deal better with depression, thereby enhancing the efficacy of Paxil.

What to do if 10 mg Paxil is not helping you?

Paxil therapy takes a few weeks before you see any noticeable changes in your mental health condition. Normally, antidepressants take almost 4-6 weeks to show full effect.  If you have been taking 10 mg Paxil for more than 4 weeks, and still do not see improvement in your condition it may be because the dosage of your medication might be too low.

You should not increase or decrease your Paxil dosage on your own and should talk to your healthcare provider regarding your concerns. Your doctor may increase the dose, or combine another antidepressant like clonazepam, and assess your condition.

If there are still concerns regarding the efficacy of Paxil for your mental health condition, you can always consult your doctor.  He may give you some alternative antidepressants to improve your condition.


In this article, we discussed the use and efficacy of 10 mg of Paxil. We also discussed possible side effects, factors which can affect efficacy and what to do if this dose is not improving your mental health condition.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION. PAXIL (paroxetine) tablets, for oral use. Available from:


Pollack MH, Simon NM, Worthington JJ, Doyle AL, Peters P, Toshkov F, Otto MW. Combined paroxetine and clonazepam treatment strategies compared to paroxetine monotherapy for panic disorder. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2003 Sep;17(3):276-82.


Lecrubier Y, Bakker A, Dunbar G, Judge R, Collaborative Paroxetine Panic Study Investigators. A comparison of paroxetine, clomipramine and placebo in the treatment of panic disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. 1997 Feb;95(2):145-52.


Kampman M, Keijsers GP, Hoogduin CA, Hendriks GJ. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effects of adjunctive paroxetine in panic disorder patients unsuccessfully treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy alone. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2002 Sep 1;63(9):772-7.


Bandelow B, Behnke K, Lenoir S, Hendriks GJ, Alkin T, Goebel C, Clary CM. Sertraline versus paroxetine in the treatment of panic disorder: an acute, double-blind noninferiority comparison. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2004 Mar 3;65(3):405-13.

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