Compare Effexor vs. Prozac

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

Effexor
(Venlafaxine)

Prozac
(Fluoxetine)

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. Prozac (Fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, but may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.
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Reviews & ratings
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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 Prozac (Fluoxetine)
62%
Same vs. Effexor (Venlafaxine)
40%
11% vs. Effexor (Venlafaxine)
16%
+7% vs. Effexor (Venlafaxine)
1319 reviews
Have you used Prozac (Fluoxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
EffexorProzac
  • Nausea 42%
  • Drowsiness 22%
  • Dizziness 20%
  • Nervousness 17%
  • Loss of appetite 15%
  • Sweating 14%
  • Muscle weakness 14%
  • Sleep difficulty 13%
  • Anxiety 7%
  • Vomiting 7%
More Effexor side effects »

The Prozac FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Prozac side effects »
How it works
EffexorProzac
Effexor (Venlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.Prozac (Fluoxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
EffexorProzac
Antidepressant
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Available as
EffexorProzac
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
EffexorProzac
Risk factors for serious side effects
EffexorProzac
  • 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 risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Prozac (Fluoxetine) suddenly
  • History of heart problems
  • History of liver problems
Detailed 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.

Food
EffexorProzac
No food related info.
  • Take in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
Sex
EffexorProzac
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
Upsides and benefits
EffexorProzac
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression.
  • Causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • 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.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression and bulimia nervosa.
  • Causes less sleepiness than other antidepressants.
  • It's more energizing than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have low energy.
  • It has been used to treat depression for a long time, so there's a lot of information available about how it works and how safe it is.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides and risks
EffexorProzac
  • 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.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • 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 increase feelings of anxiety or cause headaches during the first few weeks of taking it. These effects should go away over time.
  • More likely than other antidepressants to interact with other medications you're taking.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
EffexorProzac
  • 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.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • Take in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
Learn more
More about EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Effexor (Venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ProzacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Prozac (Fluoxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it