It is really difficult to understand the difference between medicines, especially when they are both prescribed in equal measures for those who suffer from depressive disorders. It would be useful to draw a comparison between these two types of medicine from SSRI group. Even though there are similar in some aspects, it is important to point out the differences that really matter in this case.
Your doctor may prescribe different types of drugs in order to identify the best one for your particular case. In our case, Lexapro and Zoloft consist the “go to” medicine when we talk about anxiety, panic attacks or other severe mood disorders.
Both medicines work similarly in the way that they both deal with brain chemicals to restore the right balance. Differences start with Zoloft being able to manage with more symptoms while Lexapro can display a faster release time. Also, the list of side-effects differs quite significantly.
What Side Effects Can We Expect?
The use of this medicine is associated with risks for side-effects appearance. The usual side-effects of Lexapro usage may include vertigo, sleepiness, constipation, increased perspiration or dry skin, sleep issues, upset stomach or fatigue. Other symptoms that can be considered as more substantial are confusion, having trouble focusing, hyperactivity, thoughts dealing with suicide, lack of sexual desire and performance. Some more rare side effects may be hostile behavior, hypertension, chest pains, palpitations or slow heartbeat, internal bleeding, kidney problems and convulsions.
Those who are using Zoloft may feel the following side effects: vertigo, fatigue, diarrhea, xerostomia, excessive perspiration, problems with sleep and changes in appetite. General reactions with more serious implications include suicidal behavior, reduced sexual performance and low sex drive. Infrequent reactions include palpitations, a slow heartbeat, internal bleeding, liver failure and acute kidney problems.
Pregnant women can use this prescription medicine, but for both Zoloft and Lexapro there are still risks associated with birth defects.
For a logical conclusion and a systematic analysis, it is necessary to review the general advantages and the disadvantages of both of these types of medicine.
The disadvantages for Lexapro are:
- This drug can be the reason for an insignificant increase in weight (1-5 pounds).
- Liver issues are a strong argument against the use of Lexapro.
- If Lexapro proves to be ineffective you might have to switch to other types of drugs to achieve a more substantial result.
The disadvantages for Zoloft are:
- The release time is slower. It takes about 1 to 2 weeks to produce the needed effect and it can take up to 3 months to achieve maximum result.
- It may be the cause for low sexual performance, an incapability to achieve orgasm, and slight increase in weight (1-5 pounds).
- Its usage is more likely to result in loose bowels movements in comparison to other antidepressants.
- Proved interactions with other types of medicines.
- If Zoloft proves to be ineffective you might have to switch to other types of drugs to achieve a more substantial result.
The advantages for Lexapro are:
- It is an effective measure for alleviating the symptoms of depression or anxiety.
- Minimized chances for recurrence of depression after its usage.
- Lexapro interacts less with other medicines unlike antidepressants from the same group and is less likely to cause any side-effects.
The advantages for Zoloft are:
- It is one of the most effective antidepressants and the one that is overall tolerated the best.
- Produces less drowsiness than other medicine of this type.
- It is obtainable as a generic, which makes it considerably less expensive.
- In case of using it during pregnancy it is considered to be the best choice.
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Withdrawal and Precautions
It is important to remember that the usage of medicine such as Zoloft or lexapro shouldn’t be stopped in a hasty manner. You have to follow precisely the indications of your physician or psychiatrist when it comes to withdrawal. General symptoms after antidepressants withdrawal may include headaches or fatigue. For Zoloft it is possible to experience sensations of electric shock or shivers. Confusion and anxiety are two most frequent withdrawal reactions during reduction of the medicine. You should keep away from drinking alcoholic beverages, driving while on antidepressant or operating machinery because Zoloft and Lexapro may influence your awareness, while alcohol makes matters even worse.