Compare Lexapro vs. Pristiq

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

Lexapro (escitalopram)

Prescription only

Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)

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.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 1063 reviewsforLexapro
Improves mood.

Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) is basically the same medication as Effexor, which is cheaper because it's available as a generic.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 196 reviewsforPristiq
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.
  • Effective at relieving symptoms and lowering relapse rates for depression.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
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.
  • Similar to Effexor, without any extra benefits in clinical studies.
  • Can cause sexual side effects (usually low libido or the inability to have an orgasm or ejaculate).
  • Not available in generic form, so it's more expensive.
  • Like most antidepressants, can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
Price
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Reviews
1063 reviews so far
61%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?

Leave a review
196 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
25possible 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%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    5%
  • Increased sweating
    4%
  • Indigestion
    3%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Neck/shoulder pain
    3%
  • Abnormal dreams
    3%
  • Decrease appetite
    3%
  • Lack of energy
    3%
  • Tingling or burning in the hands/feet
    2%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
  • Flatulence
    2%
  • Toothache
    2%
  • Yawning
    2%
  • Menstrual disorder
    2%
See more detailed side effects
17possible side effects
  • Nausea
    22%
  • Dizziness
    13%
  • Dry mouth
    11%
  • Hyperhidrosis
    10%
  • Constipation
    9%
  • Insomnia
    9%
  • Fatigue
    7%
  • Decreased appetite
    5%
  • Somnolence
    4%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Anxiety
    3%
  • Vision blurred
    3%
  • Tremor
    2%
  • Abnormal dreams
    2%
  • Mydriasis
    2%
  • Vertigo
    2%
  • Tinnitus
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Sexual problems
  • Uncovering of bipolar disorder
    • Bipolar disorder
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) suddenly
  • High blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Mania
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
See more detailed risks and warnings