Difference Between Zoloft and Celexa


Main Difference

The main difference between Zoloft and Celexa is that Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor having Sertraline as active moiety and Celexa is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor having Citalopram as active moiety.

Zoloft vs. Celexa

Zoloft is the brand name of sertraline; on the other hand, Celexa is the brand name of citalopram. Zoloft has a chemical structure related to other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor while Celexa has a chemical structure unrelated to other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Zoloft is taken 25mg once daily while Celexa is taken 20mg initially once daily and then after some time 40mg once daily. Zoloft is used to treat the anxiety and other social anxiety disorder, while Celexa treats depression.


Comparison Chart

Zoloft is the brand of Sertraline used to treat depression, panic attack, and social phobias.Celexa is the brand of citalopram used to treat depression.

Class of Drugs

Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.Celexa is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

Mechanism of Action

Zoloft causes inhibition of CNS neuronal uptake of serotonin (5HT)Celexa potentiate the serotonergic activity in the CNS.

Side Effect Management

Side effects of Zoloft become worse with time.Side effects of Celexa become manageable over time.

Use in Pregnancy

Zoloft causes poor neonatal adaptation syndrome when used in late pregnancy.Celexa use in pregnancy being the SSRIs is a point of controversy in pregnancy.

Therapeutic Uses

Depression, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Premenstrual syndrome, Social anxiety disorderDepression, Improves energy levels, Improves well being

What is Zoloft?

Zoloft is a potent, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs) and is the trade name of sertraline. Zoloft is a prescription drug, and one can not take it without a prescription. Zoloft inhibits he re-uptake of serotonin by neurons, So it increases the concentration of serotonin, meaning more drug availability to act for antidepressant effects. Zoloft does not cause inhibition of noradrenalin reuptake and has little anticholinergic activity. Zoloft is a weak inhibitor of the reuptake of dopamine clinically. Zoloft is absorbed slowly when taken orally. Zoloft reaches its highest plasma concentration in 4-6 hrs. Zoloft is 98.7% protein bind. Zoloft causes diarrhea, sleep disturbances, and sexual disturbances. Zoloft is associated with psychiatric disturbances. Zoloft causes a higher rate of insomnia and agitation as compared to other members of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Zoloft increases the suicidal thoughts, so, in long therapies, the patient is monitored carefully. Zoloft causes an increase in weight after six months of therapy in some patients. Zoloft overdose causes vomiting, fatigue, ataxia, tachycardia, and seizures. Zoloft moderately inhibits some metabolizing enzymes. Zoloft is not taken with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, disulfiram, and antipsychotic drugs.


Zoloft tablets and oral solutions.

What is Celexa?

Celexa is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs) and is the trade name of citalopram. Celexa inhibits neuronal reuptake of serotonin. Celexa shows pharmacological activity due to the S-enantiomer of the citalopram. Celexa has very low activity for dopamine receptors. Celexa shows steady-state concentration in one week when given as a single dose on a daily basis. Celexa shows peak blood plasma concentration after 4 hrs after a single dose. Celexa metabolism is by the hepatic route. Celexa causes nausea, tiredness, excessive sweating, sexual problem, sleep disturbances and shaky movements, QT prolongation, and glaucoma. Celexa also causes suicidal thoughts. Celexa should not be used in pregnancy. Celexa should not be taken with St John’s wort and tryptophan because it leads to serotonin syndrome. Celexa if taken with the omeprazole it leads to higher blood levels of the Celexa. Celexa, when taken with NSAIDs, increases the risk of bleeding. Celexa is not taken with monoamine oxidase inhibitors because it causes serotonin syndrome. Celexa therapy, when stopped, it leads to SSRI discontinuation syndrome.


Celexa tablets

Key Differences

  1. Zoloft is the trade name of sertraline while Celexa is the trade name of citalopram.
  2. Zoloft is used to treat depression and other CNS related problem, on the other hand, Celexa is used for depression.
  3. Zoloft shows side effects which become worse with the passage of time while Celexa shows side effects which become manageable.


The conclusion of the above discussion is that both Zoloft and Celexa are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors having different active moieties with their effective uses in anxiety and depression.

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