Anxiety Home > Paxil and Insomnia

There are several possible side effects of Paxil, and insomnia is one of the most common. In fact, insomnia occurs in nearly a quarter of the people taking Paxil. However, because many of the conditions (such as depression) that are treated with Paxil can also cause insomnia, it's not always clear whether the insomnia is caused by the patient's condition or by Paxil itself.

Paxil and Insomnia: An Introduction

Insomnia is one of the most common side effects of Paxil® (paroxetine hydrochloride). In studies, up to 24 percent of people reported insomnia as one of Paxil's side effects. However, insomnia can also be associated with the some of the conditions Paxil is used to treat (such as depression.)

What Is Insomnia?

People with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms:
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Unrefreshing sleep.

Paxil and Insomnia: Suggestions

Some people taking Paxil find that improving their sleep habits can be an effective insomnia cure. Some tips for better sleep include the following:
  • Keep a regular sleep-wake cycle. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine in the four to six hours before bedtime.
  • Don't exercise within two hours of bedtime; however, exercising five or six hours before bedtime may help you sleep more soundly.
  • Don't eat large meals within two hours of bedtime.
  • Don't nap later than 3 p.m.
  • Sleep in a dark, quiet room that is kept at a comfortable temperature.
  • If you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes, do a quiet activity somewhere else and return to bed when you're sleepy.
  • Wind down in the 30 minutes before bedtime with a relaxing pre-sleep ritual, such as a warm bath, soft music, or reading.
(Click Good Sleep Habits for more suggestions.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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