Compare Effexor vs. Prozac

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

Effexor (venlafaxine)

Prescription only

Prozac (fluoxetine)

Prescription only
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Effexor (venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety, but it can cause more withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly compared to other antidepressants.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 577 reviewsforEffexor
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Prozac (fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, so it may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 1319 reviewsforProzac
Upsides
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) effectively treats depression, anxiety, and panic disorder.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's beneficial for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) might work when other antidepressants haven't worked since it affects two chemicals in the brain that impact your mood.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) has several uses, which may be good for people with multiple conditions.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) is available in generic, which is cheaper.
  • Effectively treats a variety of mental health conditions such as depression, OCD, and panic disorder.
  • It's more energizing than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have low energy.
  • Might be a good option for treating children with depression and/or OCD.
  • Doesn't have effects on the heart unlike other antidepressants so it may be a better treatment choice for older people.
  • Can cause a significant amount of weight loss which is an added benefit for those who are overweight or obese.
Downsides
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) can cause side effects such as decreased libido and increased blood pressure.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people aged 24 years or younger.
  • Compared to other antidepressants, it's more likely to cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking it and can causes more sleepiness.
  • Takes at least 1 to 2 weeks to kick in and can take up to 12 weeks for maximum effect. Prozac (fluoxetine) tends to take more time to start working compared to similar alternatives.
  • Can lower your sex drive.
  • Can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and/or behavior in those age 24 or younger.
  • You may need to try out several different antidepressants before you find the one that works for you.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Delayed-release pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
577 reviews so far
62%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?

Leave a review
1319 reviews so far
62%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Prozac (fluoxetine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
39possible side effects
  • Nausea
    37%
  • Headache
    25%
  • Drowsiness
    23%
  • Dry mouth
    22%
  • Dizziness
    19%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    18%
  • Constipation
    15%
  • Nervousness
    13%
  • Weakness
    12%
  • Sweating
    12%
  • Abnormal ejaculation/orgasm
    12%
  • Loss of appetite
    11%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Infection
    6%
  • Vomiting
    6%
  • Anxiety
    6%
  • Blurred vision
    6%
  • Impotence
    6%
  • Indigestion
    5%
  • Tremor
    5%
  • Abnormal dreams
    4%
  • Chills
    3%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Gas
    3%
  • Stiff muscles
    3%
  • Prickling/burning sensation
    3%
  • Yawn
    3%
  • Increased urination
    3%
  • Chest pain
    2%
  • Trauma
    2%
  • Increased blood pressure
    2%
  • Increased heart rate
    2%
  • Decreased libido
    2%
  • Agitation
    2%
  • Confusion
    2%
  • Thinking abnormal
    2%
  • Changes in taste
    2%
  • Ringing in the ears
    2%
  • Dilation of pupils
    2%
See more detailed side effects
22possible side effects
  • Inability to sleep
    33%
  • Nausea
    28%
  • Lack of energy
    21%
  • Anxiety
    15%
  • Sleepiness
    13%
  • Tremor
    13%
  • Nervousness
    11%
  • Yawn
    11%
  • Indigestion
    10%
  • Sore throat
    10%
  • Dry mouth
    9%
  • Flu syndrome
    8%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Loss of appetite
    8%
  • Sweating
    8%
  • Impotence
    7%
  • Abnormal ejaculation
    7%
  • Sinus infection
    6%
  • Lower sex drive
    5%
  • Abnormal dreams
    5%
  • Rash
    4%
  • Widening of blood vessels
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, tramadol, fentanyl, amphetamines, certain headache medications (triptans), St. John's Wort
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Effexor (venlafaxine) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs (including aspirin, NSAIDs such as Advil, warfarin)
  • Increased blood pressure
    • Bipolar disorder
      • History of bipolar disorder
      • At risk for bipolar disorder
    See more detailed risks and warnings
    • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
      • Age 24 or younger
    • Serotonin syndrome
      • Antidepressants
      • Lithium
      • Ultram
      • Imitrex
      • Remeron
      • Lexapro
      • Dilaudid
      • St. John's Wort
    • Skin rash
    • Weight loss
      • People with an eating disorder
    • Increased bleeding risk
      • Taking NSAIDS or blood-thinning drugs
    • Abnormal heart rhythm
      • People with heart rhythm problems or a family history of them
      • Low potassium level
      • Low magnesium level
      • Recent heart attack
      • Using other drugs that affect heart rhythm
      • Overdose
      • People with liver problems
    See more detailed risks and warnings