What is the Distinction? — Talkspace

Revealed on: 18 Oct 2023

Prozac vs. Lexapro

Greater than 13% of adults in the US take an antidepressant remedy, in response to CDC analysis. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a well-liked class of medicine for treating despair, anxiousness dysfunction, obsessive-compulsive dysfunction, and different circumstances. Two generally prescribed SSRIs are Lexapro (escitalopram) and Prozac (fluoxetine). 

Each of those selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medication are thought-about first-line remedy antidepressants, and conveniently, you will 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 authorized for treating generalized anxiousness dysfunction (GAD). Prozac can also be authorized to deal with sure anxiousness problems, like social anxiousness dysfunction and panic problems. 

“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 despair and anxiousness. Each have the identical uncomfortable side effects of abdomen upset and decreased sexual drive. SSRIs comparable to 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 grasp so you may make an knowledgeable determination 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 would possibly make it a better option for individuals who often miss their remedy as a result of skipping a dose gained’t result in withdrawal signs because of the drug’s long-lasting impact.

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Situations they deal with

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

Prozac is authorized for the remedy of:

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

Prozac off-label makes use of:

Lexapro is authorized by the FDA to deal with:

Lexapro off-label makes use of:

Dosage quantity

Dosage quantities and types additionally differ between Prozac vs Lexapro.

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

  • 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 types:

  • 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 folks, the uncomfortable side effects brought on by Lexapro could be milder. 

Uncomfortable side effects

Prozac (fluoxetine) and Lexapro do have uncomfortable side effects in frequent, however there are additionally some variations. Lexapro can have fewer uncomfortable side effects, nevertheless it’s extra more likely to trigger sexual dysfunction in males. Prozac will be extra vulnerable to inflicting nausea, sleep disturbances, and adjustments in urge for food for extra folks.

Different frequent uncomfortable side effects of Prozac can embrace:

  • 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 point or tremoring
  • Sweating

Different frequent uncomfortable side effects of Lexapro can embrace:

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

Similarities Between Prozac vs. Lexapro

Similarities between Lexapro and Prozac embrace: 

  • Each are SSRIs
  • They will have comparable results
  • They work in comparable methods
  • Therapy of despair

Uncomfortable side effects

Severe uncomfortable side effects of each Prozac and Lexapro can embrace:

  • Threat of experiencing withdrawal signs 
  • Irregular coronary heart rhythms — threat will be larger in Lexapro
  • Buildup of serotonin within the physique (excessive serotonin degree)
  • Excessive threat of bleeding
  • Manic episodes in folks 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 folks. Some SSRIs are used to deal with generalized anxiousness dysfunction (GAD). 

Efficient remedy for despair 

These drugs each successfully deal with despair in some folks. That stated, no remedy is assured to work the identical for everybody. Discuss to your physician or a medical skilled about your symptom sorts and situation to find out which remedy 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, general well being, and private response to remedy. Whereas each could be efficient in treating some forms of anxiousness, solely Lexapro has been authorized 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 drop some pounds can differ for everybody. In response to analysis, an estimated 41% of individuals on Lexapro would possibly expertise weight achieve. Whereas Lexapro weight achieve can differ, one research discovered a mean of two.4 kilos gained over 9 months. For Prozac, some analysis reveals folks achieve a mean 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 Issues Extremely efficient in treating GAD
Out there in model identify or generic
Extra more likely to have interactions with different medication
Out there 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 circumstances like anxiousness or despair. Discuss to a medical skilled, or contact Talkspace at this time to find out whether or not Prozac vs. Lexapro could be greatest for you. Our on-line psychiatrists might help you discover the suitable 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 despair. Cochrane Database of Systematic Evaluations. 2009;2016(5). doi:10.1002/14651858.cd006532.pub2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4164382/. Accessed August 22, 2023. 
  3. Anagha Ok, 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/despair/side-effect-profiles-selective-serotonin-reuptake-inhibitors-cross-sectional-study-naturalistic-setting/#high. Accessed August 22, 2023. 

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