Compare Buspar vs. Zoloft

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Buspar (buspirone)

Prescription only

Zoloft (sertraline)

Prescription only
Helps you relax.

Buspar (buspirone) relieves anxiety with less drowsiness and abuse potential than other anti-anxiety medicines, but it takes time to work and effects might wear off over time.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 67 reviewsforBuspar
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Zoloft (sertraline) is good for treating depression and anxiety, but it can interact with many medicines.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 1472 reviewsforZoloft
Upsides
  • Doesn't cause as much physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms as other medications used for anxiety.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
  • Tablets can be split for easy dose changes.
  • Doesn't cause as much drowsiness as other medications for anxiety.
  • One of the more effective and better tolerated antidepressants in its class.
  • Causes less sleepiness than other antidepressants.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
  • Best choice among antidepressants if you are pregnant.
Downsides
  • Not for quick relief of anxiety symptoms since Buspar (buspirone) can take as long as 4 weeks to fully work.
  • Not as effective for short-term anxiety conditions or panic disorders.
  • Some people find that Buspar (buspirone) loses effectiveness over long periods of time.
  • Must take Buspar (buspirone) twice daily for full effect.
  • Takes at least 1 to 2 weeks to kick in and can take up to 12 weeks for maximum effect.
  • Can cause low sex drive, an inability to orgasm or ejaculate, and minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
  • Is more likely to cause diarrhea compared to other antidepressants.
  • Interacts with lots of other medicines.
  • You may need to try out several different antidepressants before you find the one that works for you.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
67 reviews so far
46%
saidit'sworth it
45%
saiditworked well
22%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Buspar (buspirone)?

Leave a review
1472 reviews so far
59%
saidit'sworth it
41%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zoloft (sertraline)?

Leave a review
Side effects
19possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    12%
  • Drowsiness
    10%
  • Nausea
    8%
  • Headache
    6%
  • Nervousness
    5%
  • Fatigue
    4%
  • Trouble sleeping
    3%
  • Lightheadedness
    3%
  • Dry mouth
    3%
  • Worse concentration
    2%
  • Excitement
    2%
  • Anger/hostility
    2%
  • Confusion
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Blurred vision
    2%
  • Upset stomach
    2%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
  • Numbness
    2%
  • Weakness
    2%
See more detailed side effects
15possible side effects
  • Nausea
    26%
  • Diarrhea
    18%
  • Dry mouth
    16%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    16%
  • Drowsiness
    13%
  • Dizziness
    12%
  • Tremor
    11%
  • Fatigue
    11%
  • More sweating
    8%
  • Constipation
    8%
  • Ejaculation failure
    7%
  • Upset stomach
    6%
  • Agitation
    6%
  • Loss of appetite
    3%
  • Stomach pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Higher blood pressure
    • Taking Buspar (buspirone) with MAOIs
    • Taking Buspar (buspirone) within 14 days after stopping a MAOIs
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking other medicines that affect serotonin levels
  • Withdrawal symptoms from other anti-anxiety medicines
    • Stopping benzodiazepines suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking other medicines that affect serotonin levels
  • Mania
    • Personal history of bipolar disorder
    • Family history for bipolar disorder
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Zoloft (sertraline) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking blood thinners
  • Low sodium levels in the blood
    • Older people
    • Taking diuretic medicines
See more detailed risks and warnings