Can You Get High on Paroxetine?

Have you heard of Paroxetine before? No?

How about Paxil?

Starting to ring some bells now?

It’s a well-known antidepressant of the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) variety. You probably know how recreational drug enthusiasts feel about antidepressants.

Anywhere there’s mood enhancement; there’s a possibility the drug could be used to help provide a boost to otherwise healthy individuals. Is the Paroxetine high similar in this regard?

The Development of Paroxetine

Unlike some drugs, whose antidepressant properties were discovered after development, Paroxetine was developed with the express purpose of finding an antidepressant that mitigated the side effects of similar alternatives:

“In the late 1960s research was begun to develop antidepressant agents that would be selective inhibitors of serotonin reuptake.”

“The antidepressants then available, the tricyclic antidepressants, inhibited the reuptake not only of serotonin but also of other monoamines such as noradrenaline–and it is this activity, together with anticholinergic actions, that is responsible for many of the adverse effects such as cardiac toxicity.”

Paroxetine was a success in that regard, and continues to see use to this day in the treatment of mood disorders under its many brand names: Paxil, Pexeva, Seroxat, Brisdelle, and Rexetin to name a few.

The Paxil brand, which is what is commonly sold in the United States, came into existence in the early 1990s.

It is available by prescription only and comes as an oral tablet in varying strengths. How do users of this drug feel about its efficacy?

What Is Paroxetine?

Let’s turn to our good friends at for assistance. They’ve got a pretty succinct explanation:

“Paroxetine is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Paroxetine affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression, anxiety, or other disorders.”

So, Paroxetine can subtly affect mood and help people with depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders, but that’s not the full scope of its utility. We’ll cover some more uses momentarily.

Paroxetine is well suited for treating anxiety and depression symptoms. However, it’s not the best choice for everyone as studies have shown.

Teenagers with depression (or depressive-like disorders) are not good candidates for Paroxetine. Researchers are also investigating its ability to help with premature ejaculation and irritable bowel syndrome:

“Paroxetine is an effective therapy for premature ejaculation. Paroxetine 20 mg daily and scheme on-demand (20 mg 4-6 hours before the intercourse) appears similar like effective options.”

“Antidepressants are recommended for severe or refractory symptoms of pain, and may be helpful for other IBS symptoms like constipation.”

Does Paroxetine Get You High?

Based on some comments, Paroxetine seems well suited for controlling feelings of anxiety and depression:

“Hi there, I’m a 22 y/o female. For the last eleven years, I had severe anxiety. I would wake up, continue my day and go to sleep with constant anxiety. My self-esteem and self-respect were in peril.

It hurt me every day to look at myself in the mirror with so much hate in my heart. About a month ago I talked to my doc about it. She took me seriously and prescribed me Paxil. My life is changed. I’m a new person and couldn’t be happier with my life.”

As for any sort of Paroxetine high, users seem fairly certain that can be chalked up to the placebo effect. One commenter recounted how the drug made him feel abnormally high, in a euphoric sense. His suppositions were summarily shot down:

“Sounds like a placebo effect. There’s no way an SSRI will make you high (or affect you at all) in the 20 minutes after you take it. SSRIs take many days to start working.”

Another user admitted to Paroxetine affecting them in a more negative manner, but stressed that they may be an outlier:

“The first time I took it, I felt closer to everyone. A few hours later I sent horrible, relationship-destroying emails to everyone I know. I am not a typical case and there are extenuating factors which I won’t go into here (some are long term which I’ve always had, and some are things that were going wrong that week).”

Other users have had similarly negative experiences when attempting to get high from the drug. “I sat in a swivel chair in my room and waited for the drug to hit me. I could feel something coming on, but wasn’t sure what. There was a slight pressure building in my face but this soon left me, I didn’t really expect a body high anyway. I couldn’t quite tell what I was about to feel but I had an idea that it wasn’t going to be good so I went and laid in my bed. My friend was on the other side of the bed talking to me and as I was talking to him I realized that I was starting to shake.

I thought that it was just because I was nervous or slightly cold and I didn’t want to tell him so he wouldn’t worry. I told N that I couldn’t seem to control these slight convulsions and he said that he had noticed. I tried focusing all my mental will on relaxing my body but it wouldn’t stop shaking. These quivers would come in waves and mostly seemed to be affecting my legs although sometimes my teeth would chatter as I spoke.”

From my perspective, it seems like Paroxetine is good for folks who have anxiety and depression but might not be the recreational wonder that some purport. In fact, the experience may be entirely unpleasant altogether. It was time for me to give a shot to make sure, though.

My Experience

I managed to obtain some of the 40-milligram tablets of Paxil and had to decide on a course of action. SSRIs take weeks to build up in the body and have any effects when used normally.

I wanted to assess their potential as a recreational drug, though, and thus, had to see if there was anyway a single power dose could provide desirable results. 120 milligrams, here we go.

The answer to my query was a resounding ‘no.’ The tummy ache was about the only thing that was extraordinary about this trip.

Didn’t have to lock myself in the bathroom, thankfully, but I did have to lay down and watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island (almost as bad as diarrhea, to be honest).

Outside of some mild gastrointestinal distress, there were absolutely no other effects that I experienced when taking the drug.

The firsthand experiences make it clear; Paroxetine can be quite useful for helping those who are crippled by anxiety and depression. Reports of any sort of Paroxetine high, though, seem to be either exaggerated, or the result of a placebo effect.

There’s pretty much a consensus that the drug does what it was intended to (with a few off-label benefits) but isn’t of recreational value (and here is a complete list of OTC drugs that do get you high).

Side Effects

Paroxetine is not completely free of side effects. Some users may experience nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, weakness, and other assorted ills while taking the drug.

In general, there aren’t many side effects associated with the drug, which explains why it’s been such a popular prescription for so many years. But, people react differently to different medications and severe side effects are still possible.

You’ll want to contact a doctor immediately if you’re experiencing side effects like bone pain, extremely stiff muscles, high fever, irregular heartbeat, tremors or fainting.


Not a good option.

You’ll want to avoid this if you’re looking for a drug for recreational purposes.

If the Paroxetine high isn’t something you’re chasing, though, and you have a legit medical need, your doctor can inform you of the proper steps for using this effective treatment.

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