Compare Lexapro vs. Effexor

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

Lexapro (escitalopram)

Prescription only

Effexor (venlafaxine)

Prescription only
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.

4.9/ 7 average rating with 1063 reviewsforLexapro
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.

5.1/ 7 average rating with 577 reviewsforEffexor
Upsides
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Price
Lowest price near you
$9.9
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Lowest price near you
$16.2
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Reviews
1063 
61%
think this treatment is worth it
48%
think this treatment works well
15%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?

Leave a review
577 
62%
think this treatment is worth it
51%
think this treatment works well
23%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
10possible side effects
  • Headache
    24%
  • Nausea
    18%
  • Problems ejaculating
    14%
  • Sleepiness
    13%
  • Insomnia
    12%
  • Dry mouth
    9%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Fatigue
    8%
  • Decreased libido
    7%
  • Problems with orgasm
    6%
See more detailed side effects
10possible side effects
  • Nausea
    37%
  • Headache
    25%
  • Drowsiness
    23%
  • Dry mouth
    22%
  • Dizziness
    19%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    18%
  • Constipation
    15%
  • Nervousness
    13%
  • Weakness
    12%
  • Sweating
    12%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

    Age 24 years or younger

  • Serotonin syndrome

    Using other medications that affect serotonin

  • Withdrawal

    Stopping Lexapro (escitalopram) suddenly

  • Increased bleeding

    Taking blood thinners

  • Uncovering of bipolar disorder

    Bipolar disorder

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings