What happens if you take paroxetine at night?

Paroxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that is commonly used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. While the medication can be taken at any time of day, many patients wonder whether taking paroxetine at night might offer certain benefits. In this article, we will explore the potential advantages and disadvantages of taking paroxetine at night and provide an analytical perspective on this issue.

The Pros of Taking Paroxetine at Night:

  1. Improved Sleep Quality

One potential benefit of taking paroxetine at night is improved sleep quality. Many patients with depression and anxiety disorders experience sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep. By taking paroxetine at night, patients may be able to improve their sleep quality and feel more rested during the day (Nutt et al., 2008). This can also help to alleviate some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

  1. Reduced Daytime Side Effects

Another potential benefit of taking paroxetine at night is reduced daytime side effects. While paroxetine is generally well-tolerated, some patients may experience side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, or nausea (Byerly et al., 2013). By taking the medication at night, patients may be able to avoid some of these side effects during the day, when they need to be alert and focused.

  1. Improved Medication Adherence

Taking paroxetine at night may also improve medication adherence. Many patients find it easier to remember to take their medication at a set time each day, such as before bed, rather than trying to remember to take it at different times throughout the day. By improving medication adherence, patients may be able to experience better outcomes from their treatment with paroxetine.

The Cons of Taking Paroxetine at Night:

  1. Increased Risk of Nighttime Side Effects

One potential drawback of taking paroxetine at night is an increased risk of nighttime side effects. Some patients may experience drowsiness or dizziness after taking paroxetine, which can be particularly problematic if they are driving or operating heavy machinery (Byerly et al., 2013). Patients who experience these side effects may need to adjust the timing of their medication or consider taking it in the morning instead.

  1. Potential for Drug Interactions with Other Nighttime Medications

Taking paroxetine at night may also increase the risk of drug interactions with other nighttime medications. For example, patients who take sedatives or other sleep aids at night may be at increased risk of experiencing side effects or drug interactions if they take paroxetine at the same time (Fava et al., 2016). Patients who are taking other medications should always consult with their healthcare provider before starting paroxetine.

Is paroxetine better at night or morning?

There is no definitive answer to whether paroxetine is better taken in the morning or at night, as it can vary depending on the individual patient’s needs and preferences. Some patients may find that taking paroxetine in the morning helps to reduce any daytime side effects, while others may experience improved sleep quality when taking the medication at night. Ultimately, the decision of when to take paroxetine should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider, who can provide guidance based on the patient’s specific circumstances and medical history. Patients should always follow their healthcare provider’s instructions for taking paroxetine and should not adjust their dosage or timing without first consulting with their healthcare provider.


In conclusion, taking paroxetine at night may offer certain benefits, such as improved sleep quality, reduced daytime side effects, and improved medication adherence. However, patients should be aware of the potential risks of taking paroxetine at night, including an increased risk of nighttime side effects and drug interactions with other nighttime medications. Ultimately, the decision to take paroxetine at night should be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the individual patient’s needs and concerns.

There are various forms of drugs available, such as tablets or liquids, and each may have a separate patient information leaflet (PIL) for different doses. It is important to refer to the PIL for the specific form and dose of the drug that you have been prescribed.

You can search for further information and PILs on websites such as:

  • The British National Formulary (BNF)
  • Electronic medicines compendium (emc)
  • The National Library of Medicine's DailyMed
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 
  • Different drug forms like tablets or liquids have specific patient information leaflets (PIL) for various doses. Refer to the PIL for your prescribed drug form and dose.

    Search for PILs on websites like:


    • ANSM (Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé): ansm.sante.fr


    • AEMPS (Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios): aemps.gob.es


    • BfArM (Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte): bfarm.de


    For questions about your medication:

    • Consult your doctor, a healthcare professional, or a pharmacist


    • Contact SOS Médecins: 3624
    • For mental health support, contact SOS Suicide: 01 45 39 40 00

    Belgium (French)

    Switzerland (French)

    • La Main Tendue: 143
    • Website: 143.ch

    Canada (French)

    • Centre de prévention du suicide du Québec: 1 866 APPELLE (1 866 277-3553)
    • Website: cpsquebec.ca


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Teléfono de la Esperanza: 717 003 717


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Telefonseelsorge: 0800 111 0 111 or 0800 111 0 222


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Telefono Amico: 199 284 284


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact 113 Zelfmoordpreventie: 0800 0113


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Sos Voz Amiga: 21 354 45 45, 91 280 26 69, or 96 352 46 60

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