Comparing Lexapro vs Zoloft is common because both are popular prescription medications used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Both are SSRI's (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and work by interacting with the chemicals in the brain that contribute to the symptoms of depression.
In an analysis of 12 antidepressants conducted by the University of Toronto and published in the British medical journal The Lancet, the two antidepressants that were the highest rated in terms of effectiveness and best tolerated were Sertraline (Zoloft) and Escitalopram (Lexapro).
Effexor and Remeron ranked 3 and 4 respectively in terms of effectiveness, but Effexor was also among the four drugs patients were most likely to stop taking due to adverse side effects.
Common side effects of Effexor include drowsiness, insomnia, and nausea and more serious but rare side effects can include skin irritation and psychosis.
All medications, including antidepressants, have side effects. A small percentage of people taking antidepressants such as Lexapro and Zoloft may experience some drowsiness, insomnia, and nausea.
More extreme side effects include fever, hallucinations, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or swelling of body parts such as the tongue.
Side effects tend to be temporary particularly when first beginning a medication, but tend to dissipate over time. The treating doctor can make adjustments to dosages or medication times in order to combat any adverse side effects.
Only take medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Report any extreme or unusual side effects to your doctor immediately.
Discontinuing These Medications
Withdrawal symptoms of SSRI type medications may include irritability, dizziness, mood swings, confusion, anxiety, headache, fatigue, and insomnia. (See the full list of Lexapro withdrawal symptoms.)
As a result, it is recommended that SSRI medications be slowly discontinued under close doctor supervision in order to minimize adverse effects.
To date, there has been roughly over 28 million prescriptions written for Zoloft and over 18 million written for Lexapro. This does not necessarily mean that Zoloft is better than Lexapro.
So when it comes to Lexapro or Zoloft, which is better? The answer is not cut and dry as medications affect everyone differently. What works for your neighbor may not work for you, and often there is a bit of trial and error involved.
Therefore, decisions on which drug to use should be based on factors such as side effects, cost, availability, etc. This is why it is important to work collaboratively with your doctor in order to receive the most beneficial treatment possible.
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