Compare Lexapro vs. Valium

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

Lexapro
(escitalopram)

Valium
(Diazepam)

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.Helps you relax. Valium (Diazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and for pain and sleeplessness from muscle spasm. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.89Lexapro
Reviews for Lexapro (escitalopram)
61%
of people (All ages) say Lexapro (escitalopram) 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 Valium (Diazepam)
70%
+9% better vs. Lexapro (escitalopram)
53%
+5% better vs. Lexapro (escitalopram)
15%
Same vs. Lexapro (escitalopram)
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (Diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LexaproValium
  • 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 »

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

More about Valium side effects »
How it works
LexaproValium
Lexapro (escitalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin in the brain which regulates mood.Valium (Diazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and muscle spasms, and causes sleepiness.
Type of medication
LexaproValium
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
LexaproValium
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
Used for
LexaproValium
Risk factors for serious side effects
LexaproValium
  • 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 »
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Taking longer than 4 weeks
    • History of drug abuse
    • Long-term use
      • Alcohol
      • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
        • Current liver problems
        Detailed Valium (Diazepam) 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 real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        Interactions
        LexaproValium
        • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
        No interactions related info.
        Alcohol
        LexaproValium
        No alcohol related info.
        • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
        • Not safe to use with alcohol.
        Kidneys and liver
        LexaproValium
        No kidneys and liver related info.
        • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
        Sleep
        LexaproValium
        No sleep related info.
        • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
        • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
        Weight
        LexaproValium
        • Can cause a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
        No weight related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        LexaproValium
        • 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 short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
        • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
        • Effective at relieving muscle spasms caused by a variety of conditions.
        • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
        Downsides and risks
        LexaproValium
        • 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.
        • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
        • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
        • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
        • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        LexaproValium
        • 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.
        • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
        • Starts working in 30 minutes when swallowed.
        • Helpful with muscle spasms.
        • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
        • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
        • Not safe to use with alcohol.
        Learn more
        More about LexaproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Valium (Diazepam)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it