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What is the Distinction? — Talkspace

Printed on: 18 Oct 2023

Prozac vs. Lexapro

Greater than 13% of adults in the USA take an antidepressant treatment, in line with CDC analysis. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a well-liked class of medicine for treating despair, nervousness dysfunction, obsessive-compulsive dysfunction, and different situations. Two generally prescribed SSRIs are Lexapro (escitalopram) and Prozac (fluoxetine). 

Each of those selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medicine are thought-about first-line therapy antidepressants, and conveniently, you may get a prescription for Lexapro or Prozac on-line. Each antidepressant drugs have been FDA-approved to deal with despair, and Lexapro can also be permitted for treating generalized nervousness dysfunction (GAD). Prozac can also be permitted to deal with sure nervousness problems, like social nervousness dysfunction and panic problems. 

“Lexapro and Prozac are each within the class of SSRIs (serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors). SSRIs improve the quantity of serotonin within the mind. Each Prozac and Lexapro are FDA-approved to deal with despair and nervousness. Each have the identical unwanted effects of abdomen upset and decreased sexual drive. SSRIs reminiscent of Lexapro and Prozac are thought-about the safer and better-tolerated class of antidepressants.”

Talkspace psychiatrist Dr. Dion Metzger

Regardless of a few of their overlaps, Prozac and Lexapro have variations which can be important to know so you can also make an knowledgeable choice about your therapy plan.

Variations Between Prozac vs Lexapro

A big distinction between Lexapro and Prozac is how these two SSRIs work. Prozac has an prolonged half-life, so it stays in your system longer than Lexapro. This may make it a better option for individuals who sometimes miss their treatment as a result of skipping a dose received’t result in withdrawal signs as a result of drug’s long-lasting impact.

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Circumstances they deal with

Along with treating despair, Lexapro and Prozac are typically used for different psychological well being situations.  

Prozac is permitted for the therapy of:

Prozac may also be mixed with Zyprexa to deal with bipolar one dysfunction despair. 

Prozac off-label makes use of:

Lexapro is permitted by the FDA to deal with:

Lexapro off-label makes use of:

Dosage quantity

Dosage quantities and kinds additionally differ between Prozac vs Lexapro.

Prozac is accessible within the following doses and kinds: 

  • Pill — 10, 20, 60 mgs
  • Capsule — 10, 20, 40 mgs; or 90 mg delayed-release
  • Liquid — 20 mg per 5mL

Lexapro is accessible within the following doses and kinds:

  • Tablets — 5, 10, 20 mgs
  • Liquid — 5 mg per 5 mL

Is Prozac milder than Lexapro?

In research, Lexapro and Prozac have about the identical impact. Nonetheless, for some individuals, the unwanted effects brought on by Lexapro may be milder. 

Unwanted effects

Prozac (fluoxetine) and Lexapro do have unwanted effects in frequent, however there are additionally some variations. Lexapro can have fewer unwanted effects, nevertheless it’s extra prone to trigger sexual dysfunction in males. Prozac will be extra liable to inflicting nausea, sleep disturbances, and modifications in urge for food for extra individuals.

Different frequent unwanted effects of Prozac can embody:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness or drowsiness
  • Nervousness or nervousness
  • Problem sleeping
  • Lowering intercourse drive
  • Nausea or diarrhea
  • Decreased urge for food or weight reduction
  • Dry mouth
  • Weak spot or tremoring
  • Sweating

Different frequent unwanted effects of Lexapro can embody:

  • Dry mouth
  • Problem sleeping
  • Ejaculation issues
  • A lower in intercourse drive
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Weak spot
  • Sweating

Similarities Between Prozac vs. Lexapro

Similarities between Lexapro and Prozac embody: 

  • Each are SSRIs
  • They’ll have related results
  • They work in related methods
  • Therapy of despair

Unwanted effects

Critical unwanted effects of each Prozac and Lexapro can embody:

  • Threat of experiencing withdrawal signs 
  • Irregular coronary heart rhythms — threat will be greater in Lexapro
  • Buildup of serotonin within the physique (excessive serotonin degree)
  • Excessive threat of bleeding
  • Manic episodes in individuals with bipolar dysfunction
  • Low sodium ranges

How they work

Antidepressant drugs often called SSRIs operate by altering serotonin ranges within the mind. They decelerate serotonin reuptake to assist promote calmness and enhance temper. Growing your mind’s serotonin degree can successfully deal with main depressive dysfunction in some individuals. Some SSRIs are used to deal with generalized nervousness dysfunction (GAD). 

Efficient therapy for despair 

These drugs each successfully deal with despair in some individuals. That mentioned, no treatment is assured to work the identical for everybody. Speak to your physician or a medical skilled about your symptom varieties and situation to find out which treatment is best for you. 

Is Lexapro higher than Prozac for nervousness?

The choice to take Lexapro vs. Prozac for nervousness will depend on a number of components, together with particular symptom experiences, total well being, and private response to treatment. Whereas each may be efficient in treating some kinds of nervousness, solely Lexapro has been permitted to deal with generalized nervousness dysfunction. You need to seek the advice of with a healthcare supplier for personalised recommendation.

Do you acquire weight on Prozac or Lexapro?

Weight change is feasible when taking both Prozac or Lexapro, however whether or not you’ll acquire or drop a few pounds can differ for everybody. In accordance with analysis, an estimated 41% of individuals on Lexapro may expertise weight acquire. Whereas Lexapro weight acquire can differ, one research discovered a mean of two.4 kilos gained over 9 months. For Prozac, some analysis reveals individuals acquire a mean of seven kilos.   

 Medicine Lexapro Prozac
Circumstances Handled Main depressive dysfunction
Generalized nervousness dysfunction
Main depressive dysfunction
Panic dysfunction
Bulimia nervosa
Frequent Facet Results Nausea
Dry mouth
Decreased libido 
Dry mouth
Lack of urge for food
Extreme sweating
Key Issues Extremely efficient in treating GAD
Obtainable in model identify or generic
Extra prone to have interactions with different medicine
Obtainable in model identify or generic

Decide if Prozac or Lexapro Is Proper for You 

Deciding which drug is greatest for you and your situation is simpler when you recognize the distinction between Lexapro and Prozac. Folks can have various experiences with drugs, and there’s no one-size-fits-all when treating psychological well being situations like nervousness or despair. Speak to a medical skilled, or contact Talkspace right this moment to find out whether or not Prozac vs. Lexapro may be greatest for you. Our on-line psychiatrists may also help you discover the correct therapy for you.


  1. Antidepressant Use Amongst Adults: United States, 2015-2018. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. September 4, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2023.
  2. Cipriani A, Santilli C, Furukawa TA, et al. Escitalopram versus different antidepressive brokers for despair. Cochrane Database of Systematic Critiques. 2009;2016(5). doi:10.1002/14651858.cd006532.pub2. Accessed August 22, 2023. 
  3. Anagha Okay, Shihabudheen P, Uvais NA. Facet impact profiles of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The Major Care Companion For CNS Problems. 2021;23(4). doi:10.4088/pcc.20m02747. Accessed August 22, 2023. 

Talkspace articles are written by skilled psychological health-wellness contributors; they’re grounded in scientific analysis and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our workforce of medical specialists (therapists and psychiatrists of assorted specialties) to make sure content material is correct and on par with present business requirements.

Our objective at Talkspace is to offer probably the most up-to-date, useful, and goal data on psychological health-related subjects so as to assist readers make knowledgeable selections.

Articles include trusted third-party sources which can be both straight linked to within the textual content or listed on the backside to take readers on to the supply.

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