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What is the Distinction? — Talkspace

Revealed on: 18 Oct 2023

Prozac vs. LexaproProzac vs. Lexapro

Greater than 13% of adults in america take an antidepressant medicine, in line with CDC analysis. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a well-liked class of medicine for treating melancholy, anxiousness 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 of first-line remedy antidepressants, and conveniently, you may get a prescription for Lexapro or Prozac on-line. Each antidepressant drugs have been FDA-approved to deal with melancholy, and Lexapro can be accepted for treating generalized anxiousness dysfunction (GAD). Prozac can be accepted to deal with sure anxiousness issues, like social anxiousness dysfunction and panic issues. 

“Lexapro and Prozac are each within the class of SSRIs (serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors). SSRIs enhance the quantity of serotonin within the mind. Each Prozac and Lexapro are FDA-approved to deal with melancholy and anxiousness. Each have the identical unwanted effects of abdomen upset and decreased sexual drive. SSRIs akin to Lexapro and Prozac are thought of 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 might be important to grasp so you may make an knowledgeable choice about your remedy 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 more sensible choice for individuals who sometimes miss their medicine as a result of skipping a dose received’t result in withdrawal signs because of the drug’s long-lasting impact.

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Situations they deal with

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

Prozac is accepted for the remedy of:

Prozac will also be mixed with Zyprexa to deal with bipolar one dysfunction melancholy. 

Prozac off-label makes use of:

Lexapro is accepted by the FDA to deal with:

Lexapro off-label makes use of:

Dosage quantity

Dosage quantities and varieties additionally differ between Prozac vs Lexapro.

Prozac is on the market within the following doses and varieties: 

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

Lexapro is on the market within the following doses and varieties:

  • 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. Nevertheless, for some individuals, the unwanted effects brought on by Lexapro is likely to be milder. 

Negative effects

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

Different widespread unwanted effects of Prozac can embody:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness or drowsiness
  • Anxiousness or nervousness
  • Issue sleeping
  • Reducing intercourse drive
  • Nausea or diarrhea
  • Decreased urge for food or weight reduction
  • Dry mouth
  • Weak spot or tremoring
  • Sweating

Different widespread unwanted effects of Lexapro can embody:

  • Dry mouth
  • Issue 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 will have comparable results
  • They work in comparable methods
  • Remedy of melancholy

Negative effects

Critical unwanted effects of each Prozac and Lexapro can embody:

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

How they work

Antidepressant drugs generally known as SSRIs operate by altering serotonin ranges within the mind. They decelerate serotonin reuptake to assist promote calmness and enhance temper. Rising your mind’s serotonin stage can successfully deal with main depressive dysfunction in some individuals. Some SSRIs are used to deal with generalized anxiousness dysfunction (GAD). 

Efficient remedy for melancholy 

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

Is Lexapro higher than Prozac for anxiousness?

The choice to take Lexapro vs. Prozac for anxiousness is determined by a number of components, together with particular symptom experiences, total well being, and private response to medicine. Whereas each is likely to be efficient in treating some varieties of anxiousness, solely Lexapro has been accepted to deal with generalized anxiousness dysfunction. You must seek the advice of with a healthcare supplier for customized recommendation.

Do you achieve weight on Prozac or Lexapro?

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

 Treatment Lexapro Prozac
Situations Handled Main depressive dysfunction
Generalized anxiousness dysfunction
Main depressive dysfunction
Panic dysfunction
Bulimia nervosa
Widespread Facet Results Nausea
Dry mouth
Decreased libido 
Dry mouth
Lack of urge for food
Extreme sweating
Key Concerns Extremely efficient in treating GAD
Accessible in model title or generic
Extra more likely to have interactions with different medicine
Accessible in model title or generic

Decide if Prozac or Lexapro Is Proper for You 

Deciding which drug is greatest for you and your situation is less complicated when you already know the distinction between Lexapro and Prozac. Individuals can have various experiences with drugs, and there’s no one-size-fits-all when treating psychological well being situations like anxiousness or melancholy. Discuss to a medical skilled, or contact Talkspace at this time to find out whether or not Prozac vs. Lexapro is likely to be greatest for you. Our on-line psychiatrists may also help you discover the best remedy for you.


  1. Antidepressant Use Amongst Adults: United States, 2015-2018. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. September 4, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/merchandise/databriefs/db377.htm.
  2. Cipriani A, Santilli C, Furukawa TA, et al. Escitalopram versus different antidepressive brokers for melancholy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Critiques. 2009;2016(5). doi:10.1002/14651858.cd006532.pub2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4164382/. Accessed August 22, 2023. 
  3. Anagha Okay, Shihabudheen P, Uvais NA. Facet impact profiles of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The Main Care Companion For CNS Problems. 2021;23(4). doi:10.4088/pcc.20m02747.https://www.psychiatrist.com/pcc/melancholy/side-effect-profiles-selective-serotonin-reuptake-inhibitors-cross-sectional-study-naturalistic-setting/#high. 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 group of scientific consultants (therapists and psychiatrists of assorted specialties) to make sure content material is correct and on par with present business requirements.

Our aim at Talkspace is to supply essentially the most up-to-date, helpful, and goal info on psychological health-related matters with a view to assist readers make knowledgeable selections.

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

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