Compare Effexor vs. Lexapro

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

Effexor
(venlafaxine)

Lexapro
(escitalopram)

Improves mood and helps you relax. Effexor (Venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. May work when other antidepressants haven't, it's but more likely to cause side effects and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.Improves mood and helps you relax. Lexapro (escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It is less likely to cause side effects than and has fewer drug interactions. However, it might not be a good choice if you have liver or heart problems.
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Coupons for Effexor
Best available price for 60 (75mg) tablets of venlafaxine
Coupons for Lexapro
Best available price for 30 (10mg) tablets of escitalopram
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.07Effexor
Reviews for Effexor (venlafaxine)
62%
of people (All ages) say Effexor (venlafaxine) is worth it
51%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle
577 reviews
Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Lexapro (escitalopram)
61%
-1% worse vs. Effexor (venlafaxine)
48%
-3% worse vs. Effexor (venlafaxine)
15%
+8% better vs. Effexor (venlafaxine)
1063 reviews
Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
EffexorLexapro
  • Nausea 26%
  • Headache 1%
  • Drowsiness 14%
  • Dry mouth 11%
  • Dizziness 11%
  • Sleep difficulty 8%
  • Abnormal ejaculation 16%
  • Constipation 8%
  • Nervousness 17%
  • Muscle weakness 14%
More Effexor side effects »
  • Nausea 8%
  • Sleep difficulty 5%
  • Problems with ejaculation 9%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Dry mouth 1%
  • Drowsiness 4%
  • Runny nose 1%
  • Fatigue 3%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Flu-like symptoms 1%
More Lexapro side effects »
How it works
EffexorLexapro
Effexor (Venlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.Lexapro (escitalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin in the brain which regulates mood.
Type of medication
EffexorLexapro
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
EffexorLexapro
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
EffexorLexapro
Risk factors for serious side effects
EffexorLexapro
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Effexor (Venlafaxine) suddenly
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
Detailed Effexor (venlafaxine) risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Lexapro (escitalopram) suddenly
  • Taking blood thinners
  • Bipolar disorder
Detailed Lexapro (escitalopram) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
EffexorLexapro
No interactions related info.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
Sex
EffexorLexapro
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
No sex related info.
Weight
EffexorLexapro
No weight related info.
  • Can cause a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
Upsides and benefits
EffexorLexapro
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression.
  • Causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Might work when other antidepressants haven't worked since it affects two chemicals in the brain that impact your mood. Many other antidepressants affect only serotonin, but not norepinephrine too.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers the likelihood that your depression will come back.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
Downsides and risks
EffexorLexapro
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Not the best option for people with high blood pressure.
  • Overdosing on this medication could be fatal.
  • It's more likely to cause nausea and vomiting or make you feel sick if you miss a dose than other antidepressants. Also causes more sleepiness than others.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
  • Can cause a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) is not a good option if you have heart or liver problems.
  • The first antidepressant you try might not always work, so you may need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
EffexorLexapro
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • You can take the extended-release form once a day with food either in the morning or in the evening at about the same time each day.
  • Extended-release capsules should be swallowed whole. If you can’t swallow pills, open the capsule, sprinkle it on a spoonful of applesauce and then swallow it without chewing.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • Don't suddenly stop taking DRUG NAME. Talk to your doctor about how to slowly go down in your dose to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • Like other SSRI medications, it could take up to 8 weeks to see the full effects of Lexapro (escitalopram).
  • Take Lexapro (escitalopram) in the morning since it can keep you up if you take it at night.
Learn more
More about EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LexaproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it