Compare Lexapro vs. Pristiq

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

Lexapro
(escitalopram)

Pristiq
(desvenlafaxine)

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.Improves mood. Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) is basically the same medication as Effexor, which is cheaper because it's available as a generic.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.89Lexapro
Reviews for Lexapro
61%
of people (All ages) say Lexapro is worth it
48%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
1063 reviews
Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Pristiq
53%
+8% better vs. Lexapro
49%
-1% worse vs. Lexapro
23%
+8% better vs. Lexapro
196 reviews
Have you used Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LexaproPristiq
  • 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 »
  • Nausea 16%
  • Dry mouth 8%
  • Sleep difficulty 6%
  • Excessive sweating 7%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Drowsiness 5%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Decreased appetite 6%
  • Fatigue 3%
  • Anxiety 3%
More Pristiq side effects »
How it works
LexaproPristiq
Lexapro (escitalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin in the brain which regulates mood.Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
LexaproPristiq
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
LexaproPristiq
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
Used for
LexaproPristiq
Risk factors for serious side effects
LexaproPristiq
  • 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 »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) suddenly
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
Detailed Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 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
LexaproPristiq
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
No interactions related info.
Weight
LexaproPristiq
  • Can cause a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
LexaproPristiq
  • 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 and risks
LexaproPristiq
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
LexaproPristiq
  • 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.
  • Takes 8 to 12 weeks to see full effects on mood.
  • Can cause sweating and high blood pressure.
  • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
Learn more
More about LexaproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PristiqSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it