What Cold Medicines Can You Take With Paxil

There are several that are safe and others that should only be used if recommended by your doctor.

What Cold Medicines Can You Take With Paxil
Nov 24, 2018

Linda asked

What cold medicine can I take with being on Paxil?

At a glance

  • There are a number of medications you should take with Paxil only on the recommendation of your doctor. These medications includes NSAIDs (e.g. ibuprofen), dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine.


Sick Boy On Bed With Medicine Foreground

It is always a good idea to check into potential drug interactions when considering over-the-counter cold medications, especially when you are taking antidepressants like Paxil (paroxetine).

Paxil is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) which does have a few drug interactions and considerations with over-the-counter medication that are important to be aware of.

There are many that are safe to take. They include:

  • Antihistamines (e.g. Claritin, Allegra, Benadryl, Zyrtec etc...)
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen)
  • Mucinex (Guaifenesin)
  • Zinc/Vitamins

However, you also need to know the ones that may not be safe. These include:

  • NSAIDs (e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen)
  • Delsym (dextromethorphan)
  • Sudafed (pseudoephedrine)

Safe With Paxil


Antihistamines are among the most commonly used over the counter medications used to treat cold symptoms.

They can help to relieve a runny nose, watery eyes and dry your sinuses. 'First-generation' antihistamines are sedating and can be used to help you fall asleep at night.

There are no interactions between Paxil and any of the common over-the-counter antihistamines, which includes:

  • Claritin (loratadine)
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine)
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • Allegra (fexofenadine)
  • Chlor-Trimeton (chlorpheniramine)
  • Doxylamine

It is important to note that if Paxil makes you drowsy (a possible side effect), some of the antihistamines may cause additive drowsiness. This is particularly true of the 'first-generation' antihistamines, like Benadryl.

Tylenol (Acetaminophen)

When it comes to analgesics and fever reducers, it is better to use Tylenol rather than an NSAID like ibuprofen.

The potential issue with NSAIDs is described below but know that Paxil has no drug interaction with Tylenol and is safe to use.

Mucinex (Guaifenesin)

Mucinex is an expectorant that can help to relieve chest congestion, ease respiration and reduce post-nasal drip.

Mucinex has very few drug interactions and is safe to use with Paxil.

Zinc/Vitamin C

Zinc and vitamin C do not interact with Paxil. They are considered safe to use.

  1. ClinicalKey: Paroxetine Monograph. ClinicalKey
  2. Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and risk of upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding: a population-based cohort study. ClinicalKey
  3. Paxil Prescribing Information. AccessFDA

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