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Paxil Alternatives

This entry was posted in Antidepressant and tagged , on by .
Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on February 1, 2023 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Paxil antidepressant medication is generally administered prior to any substantial medical investigations or lifestyle interventions.6 Knowledge about effective Paxil alternatives is growing but has a ways to go to hit mainstream doctors’ offices.7

There are some powerful natural remedies that perform similar to antidepressants for depression that may be used in place of pharmaceutical prescription medications without the side effects.8

Does Your Diagnosis
Require Paxil?

successful paxil alternatives
Alternative to Meds has been primarily invested in antidepressant alternatives for over 15 years. Using Holistic and Environmental Medicine, as our published evidence demonstrates, over 77% of people discontinuing antidepressant medication have a successful outcome. According to our study, by replacing these medications with a holistic lifestyle as well as other non-drug-based strategies, clients can feel better and do better long-term than when on medication.
Watch the powerful story of Susan, who was truly incapacitated by both antidepressants and benzodiazepines.
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Do Paxil Alternatives Really Work?

paxil alternatives for depression anxietyWe think natural Paxil alternatives are far superior because they are typically more sustainable and don’t cause side effects. Many individuals experience unwanted drug side effects and believe that this drug does not adequately control the mental condition that they are trying to treat.9 For these reasons, they often look to find an effective mental health treatment plan that can side-step these problems, using non-drug-based Paxil alternatives.10 We believe that for many, alternatives exist which are better than continuing to be medicated on prescription antidepression drugs. Anxiety and depression are two of the most talked-about “mental health” issues in the world. According to the World Health Organization, hundreds of millions of people suffer from depression. Unfortunately, the rising use of antidepressants has not seen a decrease in these statistics.26 The good news is that certain natural alternatives for Paxil have been demonstrated to help not only with depression but also with anxiety.1

Natural Alternatives to Paxil Include:
  • natural paxil alternativesCBT 13
  • Acupuncture 11
  • Adequate exposure to sunlight*
  • Proper lighting in work and home environment**
  • Learned stress-reduction techniques 27
  • Life coaching and other talk therapy 28
  • Proper diet8 and targeted supplementation 14
  • Cleaning the body and the environment of toxic elements 15
  • Reducing exposure to toxicity,17 including toxic relationships 16

* Medical studies have shown a marked influence of exposure to sunlight on mood, hormones, and other areas of health and mental health.3,12

**A study on the effects of different lighting at work showed a 13% improvement in well-being when proper lighting was used compared to the control group.5

Unfortunately, in mainstream medicine generally, there is still a tendency toward trying out “this or that other drug,” with little to no biological testing,18 crossing one’s fingers and hoping that the side effects are tolerable. We are suggesting that a “first do no harm” approach may look like utilizing the best available known natural methods to treat and resolve depression prior to or at a minimum in conjunction with prescription drugs of any kind.

Paxil — One of Many Mood-Altering SSRI Drugs

paxil mood alteringPaxil, known also as paroxetine, belongs to a type of antidepressant medication known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)19 These are prescribed to treat different mental conditions, including depression (major depression, clinical depression), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and a whole host of other conditions, for which doctors prescribe antidepressants “off-label.”19

Doctors who are not well-versed in Paxil alternatives often resort to prescribing other medications such as other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) including Prozac (fluoxetine), selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as Effexor (venlafaxine), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as Nardil (Phenelzine), tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil (amitriptyline), and other various prescription medications, electroconvulsive treatments or even antipsychotics.20

Can You Fix Life with a Pill?

antidepressant effects on cnsThe theory behind using drugs to manipulate brain chemicals to improve mental health has been under some scrutiny for some time now. In fact, many medical practitioners have begun to move away from the “Chemical imbalance? Fix it with a pill!” strategy that prescription drug advertising has been based on for decades, yet has never been substantiated in clinical research.14,21 While there is much research on the quality of natural chemical transmission (or lack thereof) along the CNS, the debate has arisen on using drugs vs non-drug-based therapies to improve neurochemical function.28 At Alternative to Meds, we specialize in methods and strategies that can improve mental health naturally.

Paxil may be an effective and well-tolerated drug only temporarily in some people.9 However, as with all medications of this kind, unwanted, or even potentially harmful Paxil side effects can occur or the drug may not be an adequate treatment for the patient’s symptoms. In fact, there are studies such as the one published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics that demonstrate that persons discontinuing antidepressant use after long-term use and using cognitive therapy do vastly better (46%) than those who continued antidepressant use.22

Luckily, there are many forms of Paxil alternative therapy that may be effective while avoiding unwanted side effects.

Talk Therapy — Effective Alternative to Paxil

paxil talk therapyUsing talk therapy as an alternative treatment can prove useful for all kinds of distress, emotional disturbances, moods that won’t lift, and other mental troubles. There are many forms of psychotherapy (talk therapy), such as CBT or other short-term therapies that can help individuals who suffer from depression or other mental conditions.13 Talk therapy can help a person to gain insight into their problems and learn how to resolve them in healthy ways through verbal exchange with the talk therapist. Talk therapists often combine talk sessions with homework assignments for the patient to work on between sessions. Paxil alternative therapy such as talk therapy with a behavioral therapist focuses on helping patients to achieve more satisfaction in life, work, relationships, etc., through their own daily actions and how to get out of the behavioral patterns which contribute to depression or result from depression.2

Drug-Based Paxil Alternatives — Caution Advised

drug-free paxil alternativesBig problems may arise for patients seeking methods of Paxil alternatives help if they simply substitute other prescription drugs such as the ones mentioned above. Other antidepressant drugs are likely to have many of the same problems and side effects as Paxil.9 If an individual is seeking antidepressant alternatives because of side effects or ineffectiveness, they may run into the exact same issues if another SSRI or similar drug is substituted. So, in situations where prescription medication doesn’t work, other alternatives that should be considered are often ignored.14 This can exacerbate the initial problems as new problems may emerge due to declining physical factors.

Risk-free Paxil alternative or complementary treatments in combination with therapy, such as acupuncture, and lifestyle changes may be all that is needed to treat depression for some individuals. There are effective natural treatments available for depression and anxiety.1,8,14

Holistic Paxil Alternatives

holistic paxil alternativesHowever, everyone is different and the same alternative probably isn’t going to be effective for everyone. Fortunately, many Paxil alternatives help anxiety and depression and many of them are simple things that can be included in everyday life. Some of the alternative medicines commonly used for depression as antidepressant alternatives include Valerian,29 vitamin B6,30 Omega-3 fatty acids,8 and 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan).31 These substances can be found at most grocery stores and health food stores in the form of capsules or teas.

These and other Paxil natural alternatives are free of side effects, and not addictive, and potentially significantly more effective treatments that can offer long-term relief. Individuals on antidepressants are usually given a prescription before there has been a comprehensive investigation into what factors are causing their depression.23

Uncovering the Causes of Depression

If an individual suffers from depression, is it really because they have low levels of serotonin? This has been a great debate for over 5 decades, without any substantive evidence. 21 And, even if it were true, is that the only causal factor? What if they have a low thyroid?24 What if they accumulated environmental neurotoxins like toxic heavy metals that ruined their metabolism of energy?15 Internal swelling caused by food allergies slows metabolism and can also be contributing to the symptoms.24 The individual could have a diet so poor in nutrients that the body is unable to produce what is needed for healthy CNS and brain function.14

We must keep in mind that a poor diet not only insults our bodies but also our mental health. An individual may be drowning in a life that is unfulfilling, and they need a supportive atmosphere to make their desired changes. According to a massive review of available literature on the subject in 2015, a Swedish study showed that depression does respond positively to exercise, dietary changes, and counseling, and does so as well as or better than prescription drugs, without the risks associated with medications.2

Integrative Paxil Alternatives Methods

paxil alternative treatmentsAlternative to Meds Center is a place that searches for and finds the medical reasons that may be contributing to a person’s depression. Our program involves the use of lab testing, stabilization of the neurochemistry through using natural substances, and cleansing to remove environmentally accumulated neurotoxins.

We also use techniques for Paxil tapering and Paxil withdrawal, involving strategically targeted nutrition therapy, IV treatment, peer support, personal training, exercise, yoga, massage, and other holistic therapies. These are blended into every program in order to create effective Paxil alternatives for natural treatment plans.

Success with Paxil Alternatives

successful paxil treatment sedona drug rehabWe facilitate truly amazing success on a daily basis at Alternative to Meds Center. To celebrate the accomplishments of our participants, graduations are held every week. Their family members, friends, and fellow residents are among the people who are in attendance. Attendees get to hear truly incredible tales at these graduations, sometimes retelling their decades of severe struggle, with miraculous clarity. It is motivating to see this knowing that they are now in possession of the tools they will need to continue living a healthy life and being a beacon to other people. You are invited to call us to get an idea of what kind of Paxil alternatives help we provide individuals so they can improve their mental health challenges.

1. Sibley, Cate, PharmD, Pharmacy Times article, author Cate Sibley, PharmD, entitled “10 Natural Remedies to Consider for Treating Anxiety,” [online 2017 Oct  [cited 2022 June 13]

2. Andersson E, Hovland A, Kjellman B, Taube J, Martinsen E. Fysisk aktivitet lika bra som KBT eller läkemedel vid depression [Physical activity is just as good as CBT or drugs for depression]. Lakartidningen. 2015 Nov 17;112:DP4E. Swedish. PMID: 26574804. [cited 2022 June 13]

3. Kent, S.T., McClure, L.A., Crosson, W.L. et al. Effect of sunlight exposure on cognitive function among depressed and non-depressed participants: a REGARDS cross-sectional study. Environ Health 8, 34 (2009).  [published 2009 Jul 28] [cited 2022 June 13]

4. Paakkonen T, Leppaluoto J, Makinen T M, Rintamaki H, Ruokonen A, Hassi J, Palinkas L A, “Seasonal levels of melatonin, thyroid hormones, mood, and cognition near the Arctic Circle.” Aviat Space Environ Med 2008: 79:695-9 [Internet] [cited 2022 June 13]

5. Mill P R, Tomkins S G, Schlangen L J, “The effect of high correlated color temperature office lighting on employee wellbeing and work performance.” J Circadian Rhythms 207, 5.2-10.1186/1740-3391-5-2 [cited 2022 June 13]

6. Inappropriate prescribing Research shows that all too often, Americans are taking medications that may not work or may be inappropriate for their mental health problems. American Psychological Association By Brendan L. Smith June 2012, Vol 43, No. 6 Print version: page 36 [cited 2022 June 13]

7. Psychiatrists: the drug pushers Is the current epidemic of depression and hyperactivity the result of disease-mongering by the psychiatric profession and big pharma? Does psychiatry have any credibility left at all? The Guardian Sat 3 Aug 2013 By Will Self [cited 2022 June 13]

8. Update and Critique of Natural Remedies as Antidepressant Treatments Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2010 Dec 1. Published in final edited form as: Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2009 Dec; 36(4): 789–807. David Mischoulon, MD, PhD [cited 2022 June 13]

9. The drugs don’t work? antidepressants and the current and future pharmacological management of depression Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2012 Oct; 2(5): 179–188. Elizabeth Penn corresponding author and Derek K. Tracy [cited 2022 June 13]

10. Lifestyle choices and mental health: a representative population survey BMC Psychol. 2014; 2: 58. Published online 2014 Dec 23. Julia Velten, corresponding author Kristen L Lavallee, Saskia Scholten, Andrea Hans Meyer, Xiao-Chi Zhang, Silvia Schneider, and Jürgen Margraf1. [cited 2022 June 13]

11. Sniezek, D. P., & Siddiqui, I. J. (2013). Acupuncture for Treating Anxiety and Depression in Women: A Clinical Systematic Review. Medical acupuncture, 25(3), 164–172. [cited 2022 June 13]

12. Vitamin D and Depression: Where is all the Sunshine? Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2010 Jun; 31(6): 385–393. Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, Mary Byrn, BSN, RN, and Carol Estwing Ferrans, PhD, RN, FAAN [cited 2022 June 13]

13. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Mood Disorders: Efficacy, Moderators and Mediators Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2010 Sep; 33(3): 537–555. Ellen Driessen, M.Sc. and Steven D. Hollon, Ph.D. [cited 2022 June 13]

14. Evidence of the Importance of Dietary Habits Regarding Depressive Symptoms and Depression Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Mar; 17(5): 1616. Published online 2020 Mar 2. Tina Ljungberg, Emma Bondza, and Connie Lethin [cited 2022 June 13]

15. Environmental Exposures and Depression: Biological Mechanisms and Epidemiological Evidence Annual Review of Public Health Vol. 40:239-259 (Volume publication date April 2019) First published as a Review in Advance on January 11, 2019 [cited 2022 June 13]

16. Umberson D, Montez JK. Social relationships and health: a flashpoint for health policyJ Health Soc Behav. 2010;51 Suppl(Suppl):S54-S66. doi:10.1177/0022146510383501 [cited 2022 June 13]

17. Toxicity, mechanism and health effects of some heavy metals Interdisciplinary Toxicology Volume 7: Issue 2 Monisha Jaishankar, Tenzin Tseten, Naresh Anbalagan, Blessy B. Mathew, and Krishnamurthy N. Beeregowda. Department of Biotechnology, Sapthagiri College of Engineering, Bangalore-57, Karnataka, India Published online: 15 Nov 2014[cited 2022 June 13]

18. Why Are There No Biological Tests in Psychiatry? Scientific American By Ingrid Wickelgren on May 11, 2012 [cited 2022 June 13]

19. PDF PAXIL (PAROXETINE HYDROCHLORIDE) label FDA Access Website [cited 2022 June 13]

20. John M. Eisenberg Center for Clinical Decisions and Communications Science. Treatment Options When Your SSRI Antidepressant Is Not Working Well. 2013 Jul 24. In: Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); [cited 2022 June 13]

21. What has serotonin to do with depression? World Psychiatry. 2015 Jun; 14(2): 158–160. Published online 2015 Jun 4. Philip J Cowen and Michael Browning [cited 2022 June 13]

22. Continuation and Maintenance Use of Antidepressants in Recurrent Depression Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics Bockting C.L.H. ten Doesschate M.C. Spijker J. Spinhoven P. Koeter M.W.J. Schene A.H. [cited 2022 June 13]

23. NHS Health Letter, “Clinical depression – Causes – NHS.” National Health Services UK [2019 Dec 10] [cited 2022 June 13]

24. Patil N, Rehman A, Jialal I. Hypothyroidism. [Updated 2022 Feb 6]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: [cited 2022 June 13]

25. Is There a Connection Between Food Allergies and Mental Health? Integrative Psychiatry September 6, 2012 [[cited 2022 June 13]

26. Lake J, Turner MS. “Urgent Need for Improved Mental Health Care and a More Collaborative Model of Care.” Perm J. 2017;21:17-024. doi:10.7812/TPP/17-024 [cited 2020 Dec 28]

27. Worthen M, Cash E. “Stress Management.” 2020 Aug 29. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan–. PMID: 30020672. [cited 2022 June 13]

28. DeRubeis RJ, Siegle GJ, Hollon SD. “Cognitive therapy versus medication for depression: treatment outcomes and neural mechanisms.” Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008;9(10):788-796. doi:10.1038/nrn2345 [cited 2022 June 13]

29. Neamati A, Chaman F, Hosseini M, Boskabady MH. “The effects of Valeriana officinalis L. hydro-alcoholic extract on depression like behavior in ovalbumin sensitized rats.” J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2014 Apr;6(2):97-103. doi: 10.4103/0975-7406.129174. PMID: 24741277; PMCID: PMC3983753. [cited 2022 June 13]

30. Hvas AM, Juul S, Bech P, Nexø E. “Vitamin B6 level is associated with symptoms of depression.” Psychother Psychosom. 2004 Nov-Dec;73(6):340-3. doi: 10.1159/000080386. PMID: 15479988. [cited 2022 June 13]

31. Birdsall TC. “5-Hydroxytryptophan: a clinically-effective serotonin precursor.” Altern Med Rev. 1998 Aug;3(4):271-80. PMID: 9727088. [cited 2022 June 13]

Originally Published Nov 5, 2019 by Lyle Murphy

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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Paxil Alternatives
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Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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