What’s the Difference? — Talkspace



Revealed on: 18 Oct 2023

Prozac vs. Lexapro

Greater than 13% of adults in the US take an antidepressant remedy, in accordance with CDC research. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a preferred class of medication for treating despair, nervousness dysfunction, obsessive-compulsive dysfunction, and different circumstances. Two generally prescribed SSRIs are Lexapro (escitalopram) and Prozac (fluoxetine). 

Each of those selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medicine are thought-about first-line remedy antidepressants, and conveniently, you may get a prescription for Lexapro or Prozac online. Each antidepressant medicines have been FDA-approved to deal with despair, and Lexapro can also be permitted for treating generalized nervousness dysfunction (GAD). Prozac can also be permitted to deal with sure nervousness problems, like social nervousness dysfunction and panic problems. 

“Lexapro and Prozac are each within the class of SSRIs (serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors). SSRIs improve the quantity of serotonin within the mind. Each Prozac and Lexapro are FDA-approved to deal with despair and nervousness. Each have the identical negative effects of abdomen upset and decreased sexual drive. SSRIs similar 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 can also 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 would possibly make it a more sensible choice for individuals who sometimes miss their remedy as a result of skipping a dose received’t result in withdrawal signs as a result of drug’s long-lasting impact.

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Circumstances they deal with

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

Prozac is permitted 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 permitted 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 out there 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 out there within the following doses and varieties:

  • Tablets — 5, 10, 20 mgs
  • Liquid — 5 mg per 5 mL

Is Prozac milder than Lexapro?

In studies, Lexapro and Prozac have about the identical impact. Nonetheless, for some individuals, the negative effects attributable to Lexapro may be milder. 

Negative effects

Prozac (fluoxetine) and Lexapro do have negative effects in frequent, however there are additionally some variations. Lexapro can have fewer negative effects, however it’s extra prone to trigger sexual dysfunction in males. Prozac might be extra liable to inflicting nausea, sleep disturbances, and modifications in urge for food for extra individuals.

Different frequent 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 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
  • Remedy of despair

Negative effects

Critical negative effects of each Prozac and Lexapro can embrace:

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

How they work

Antidepressant medicines often called 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 degree can successfully deal with main depressive dysfunction in some individuals. Some SSRIs are used to deal with generalized nervousness dysfunction (GAD). 

Efficient remedy for despair 

These medicines each successfully deal with despair in some individuals. That stated, no remedy is assured to work the identical for everybody. Speak to your physician or a medical skilled about your symptom varieties and situation to find out which remedy is best for you. 

Is Lexapro higher than Prozac for nervousness?

The choice to take Lexapro vs. Prozac for nervousness is dependent upon a number of elements, together with particular symptom experiences, total well being, and private response to remedy. Whereas each may be efficient in treating some types of anxiety, solely Lexapro has been permitted to deal with generalized nervousness dysfunction. It’s best to 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 a few pounds can differ for everybody. In keeping with research, an estimated 41% of individuals on Lexapro would possibly expertise weight achieve. Whereas Lexapro weight gain can fluctuate, one examine discovered a median of two.4 kilos gained over 9 months. For Prozac, some analysis reveals individuals achieve a median of seven kilos.   

 Medicine Lexapro Prozac
Circumstances Handled Main depressive dysfunction
Generalized nervousness 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
Obtainable in model identify or generic
Extra prone to have interactions with different medicine
Obtainable 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 medicines, and there’s no one-size-fits-all when treating psychological well being circumstances like nervousness or despair. Speak to a medical skilled, or contact Talkspace at the moment to find out whether or not Prozac vs. Lexapro may be greatest for you. Our online psychiatrists will 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/products/databriefs/db377.htm.
  2. Cipriani A, Santilli C, Furukawa TA, et al. Escitalopram versus different antidepressive brokers for despair. 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 Major Care Companion For CNS Issues. 2021;23(4). doi:10.4088/pcc.20m02747.https://www.psychiatrist.com/pcc/depression/side-effect-profiles-selective-serotonin-reuptake-inhibitors-cross-sectional-study-naturalistic-setting/#top. Accessed August 22, 2023. 

Talkspace articles are written by skilled mental health-wellness contributors; they’re grounded in scientific analysis and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our staff of medical specialists (therapists and psychiatrists of varied specialties) to make sure content material is correct and on par with present business requirements.

Our purpose at Talkspace is to offer probably the most up-to-date, useful, and goal info on psychological health-related matters with a view to assist readers make knowledgeable selections.

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

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