Compare Lexapro vs. Valium

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

Lexapro (escitalopram)

Prescription only

Valium (diazepam)

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
Helps you relax.

Valium (diazepam) is effective for occasional or short-term use for anxiety and muscle spasm. Compared to similar drugs, Valium (diazepam) acts very quickly but can have interactions with other medicines.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 976 reviewsforValium
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.
  • Valium (diazepam) effectively relieves anxiety and muscle spasms.
  • Valium (diazepam) has less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other similar drugs.
  • Works very quickly.
  • Available in generic.
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.
  • Use of Valium (diazepam) can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Valium (diazepam) can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment.
  • Most people find that their body will get used to Valium (diazepam) levels and they may need higher doses over time to achieve the same effect.
  • People with severe liver problems should not take Valium (diazepam). Several drugs can also interfere with how Valium (diazepam) works.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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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
976 reviews so far
70%
saidit'sworth it
53%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Valium (diazepam)?

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
The Valium (diazepam) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • Decreased breathing from use with opioids
    • Taking Valium (diazepam) with opioids, drugs or alcohol
    • Using Valium (diazepam) for a longer duration and at high doses
  • Dependence and withdrawal
    • History of substance abuse
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • Taking long-term
    • Taking a higher dose
    • Stopping Valium (diazepam) suddenly
  • Driving impairment
    • Alcohol use with Valium (diazepam)
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Drug interactions
    • Current liver problems
    • Taking Tagamet, ketoconazole, Prozac, Prilosec
See more detailed risks and warnings