Difference Between Lexapro and Zoloft

Main Difference

The main difference between Lexapro and Zoloft is that Lexapro is the brand name of escitalopram and Zoloft is the brand name of sertraline.

Lexapro vs. Zoloft

Lexapro contains escitalopram as an active drug; on the other hand, Zoloft contains sertraline as an active drug. Lexapro tablet strength is 5mg, 10mg and 20mg while Zoloft tablet strength is 25mg, 50mg and 100mg. Lexapro oral solution strength is 1mg/ml, on the other hand, Zoloft oral solution strength is 20mg/ml. Lexapro can be prescribed to patients of age 12 years, and older, on the other hand, Zoloft can be prescribed to patients of age 18 years and older. Lexapro costs more comparatively while Zoloft costs less as compared to the cost of Lexapro. Lexapro has fewer side effects and drug interactions, while Zoloft has more side effects and drug interactions. Lexapro can not give to bulimia nervosa patients, on the other hand, Zoloft can be given to bulimia nervosa patients.

Comparison Chart

LexaproZoloft
Lexapro contains escitalopram.Zoloft contains sertraline.
Drug Category
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitorselective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
Length of Treatment
Long termLong term
Dosage Form
Oral tablet, Oral solutionOral tablet, Oral solution
Side Effects and Drug Interactions
Causes less side effects and drug interactions as compared to Zoloft.Causes more side effects and drug interactions as compared to Lexapro
Therapeutic Uses
Treatment of depression, Treatment of anxietyTreatment of depression and anxiety, Treatment of bulimia nervosa as off label, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Panic disorder, Major depressive disorder Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

What is Lexapro?

Lexapro as active therapeutic moiety contains escitalopram. Lexapro belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Lexapro is used to treat the major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder in adults. Escitalopram of Lexapro is the S stereoisomer of the citalopram. Lexapro is used in the treatment of adults and children of at least 12 years of age. Lexapro blocks the reuptake of serotonin in the brain and hence increase extrasynaptic levels of serotonin. Lexapro enhances energy levels. Lexapro improves feelings of wellbeing in patients. Lexapro leads to decrease in nervousness. Food does not affect the absorption of the Lexapro. Lexapro is usually taken once daily. Prescribers recommend it in the morning or in the evening. Age, gender, weight, response to treatment, and the medical situation of a patient are parameters to calculate the total dose of the Lexapro. The liquid form of Lexapro must be measured for the dose carefully. Side effects of Lexapro are nausea, tiredness, sleepiness, and sexual problems. The most serious adverse effect of the Lexapro is suicide mostly in the individuals of age 25. The prescriber may prescribe starting Lexapro at low doses to reduce the extent of unwanted effects and then gradually to increase the dose. Lexapro uses safety in pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers are not fully known. Lexapro used for a longer duration of time is not recommended. Some patients may complain about headaches and experiencing a feeling of electric shock. Lexapro starts to show pharmacological actions after 1-2 weeks of initiation of treatment. Lexapro takes four weeks to show the full benefits. Lexapro is not prescribed with Mono Amine Oxidase inhibitors, and Lexapro use is not allowed within 14 days after having Mono Amine Oxidase inhibitors. Lexapro use must be stoped if symptoms of serotonin syndrome appear.

What is Zoloft?

Zoloft is an important drug that is prescribed for post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, major depressive disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Zoloft contains Sertraline. Among all selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, Zoloft is the most effective and best-tolerated drug because Zoloft causes less sleepiness as compared to other members of its class. Zoloft availability as cheap generic makes it different from other members of serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Zoloft can also treat social anxiety disorder. Zoloft off label prescriptions are for bulimia nervosa. Zoloft can be prescribed for a variety of age group, including adults and children above 5 years. Zoloft tablets and liquid form are available. Zoloft tablet strength is in range of 25-100mg and Zoloft liquid strength is 20mg/ml. Zoloft dose should not be missed because, in case of missing doses, there are chances of relapse of the disease. Zoloft adverse effects are diarrhea because of increased git motility, sleeping disturbances and sexual dysfunction Zoloft withdrawal symptoms are feeling dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache, irritability, paresthesias and nightmares. The basic problem with the treatment of Zoloft is it increases suicide risk in patients who are under the age of 25. Zoloft overdose can result in ataxia, lethargy, vomiting, tachycardia, and seizures. Zoloft is considered good for depression and anxiety treatment but it interacts with many drugs. Zoloft is the best choice to treat anxiety and depression in pregnant women. Zoloft starts its action in 1-2 weeks and its complete can be seen after 12 weeks of the drug intake. Zoloft increases body weight from 1 to 5 pounds.

Key Differences

  1. Lexapro contains escitalopram as an active drug; on the other hand, Zoloft contains sertraline as an active drug.
  2. Lexapro 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg tablets are available while Zoloft 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg tablets are available
  3. Lexapro 1mg/ml oral solution is available, on the other hand, Zoloft 20mg/ml oral solution is available.
  4. Lexapro single tablet costs more, while Zoloft single tablet costs less as compared to that of Lexapro.
  5. Lexapro does not find its use in bulimia nervosa, on the other hand, Zoloft finds its use in bulimia nervosa.
  6. Lexapro has fewer side effects, and drug interactions, whereas Zoloft has more side effects and drug interactions.
  7. Lexapro can not be prescribed to patients under 12 years of age, on the other hand, Zoloft can not be prescribed to patients under 18 years of age.

Conclusion

The conclusion of the above discussion is that both Lexapro and Zoloft belong to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and have their specific uses as antidepressants and antianxiety drugs in different medical situations.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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