What is the Distinction? — Talkspace


Revealed on: 18 Oct 2023

Prozac vs. Lexapro

Greater than 13% of adults in the USA take an antidepressant treatment, based on CDC analysis. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a preferred 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 medication are thought of 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 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 equivalent 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 know so you may make an knowledgeable determination about your remedy plan.

Variations Between Prozac vs Lexapro

A major 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 sometimes miss their treatment 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 may 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 kinds additionally differ between Prozac vs Lexapro.

Prozac is accessible within the following doses and kinds: 

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

Lexapro is accessible within the following doses and kinds:

  • 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 attributable to Lexapro may be milder. 

Unwanted side effects

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

Different frequent unwanted effects of Prozac can embody:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness or drowsiness
  • Nervousness or nervousness
  • Issue sleeping
  • Lowering intercourse drive
  • Nausea or diarrhea
  • Decreased urge for food or weight reduction
  • Dry mouth
  • Weak point or tremoring
  • Sweating

Different frequent unwanted effects of Lexapro can embody:

  • Dry mouth
  • Issue 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 embody: 

  • Each are SSRIs
  • They’ll have related results
  • They work in related methods
  • Therapy of melancholy

Unwanted side effects

Severe unwanted effects of each Prozac and Lexapro can embody:

  • Danger of experiencing withdrawal signs 
  • Irregular coronary heart rhythms — danger could 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 often known as 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 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 stated, no treatment is assured to work the identical for everybody. Speak to your physician or a medical skilled about your symptom sorts and situation to find out which treatment is best for you. 

Is Lexapro higher than Prozac for anxiousness?

The choice to take Lexapro vs. Prozac for anxiousness will depend on a number of components, together with particular symptom experiences, total well being, and private response to treatment. Whereas each may be efficient in treating some varieties of anxiousness, solely Lexapro has been accepted to deal with generalized anxiousness dysfunction. It is best to seek the advice of with a healthcare supplier for personalised recommendation.

Do you acquire weight on Prozac or Lexapro?

Weight change is feasible when taking both Prozac or Lexapro, however whether or not you’ll acquire or reduce weight can differ for everybody. In response to analysis, an estimated 41% of individuals on Lexapro would possibly expertise weight acquire. Whereas Lexapro weight acquire can fluctuate, one examine discovered a median of two.4 kilos gained over 9 months. For Prozac, some analysis exhibits individuals acquire a median of seven kilos.   

 Treatment Lexapro Prozac
Situations Handled Main depressive dysfunction
Generalized anxiousness dysfunction
Main depressive dysfunction
Panic dysfunction
Bulimia nervosa
Frequent 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 identify or generic
Extra prone to have interactions with different medication
Accessible 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 less complicated when you understand 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 situations like anxiousness or melancholy. Speak to a medical skilled, or contact Talkspace at present to find out whether or not Prozac vs. Lexapro may be greatest for you. Our on-line psychiatrists may also help you discover the correct 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 Opinions. 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 Issues. 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/#prime. 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 specialists (therapists and psychiatrists of varied specialties) to make sure content material is correct and on par with present business requirements.

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