Compare Lexapro vs. Zoloft

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

Lexapro
(Escitalopram)

Zoloft
(Sertraline)

Improves mood and helps you relax. Lexapro (Escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Might be less likely to cause side effects than some antidepressants, but not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.Improves mood and helps you relax. Zoloft (Sertraline) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more likely to cause insomnia and diarrhea than other antidepressants.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.832985386221294Lexapro
Reviews for Lexapro (Escitalopram)
59%
of people say Lexapro (Escitalopram) is worth it
46%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Zoloft (Sertraline)
59%
Same vs. Lexapro (Escitalopram)
40%
6% vs. Lexapro (Escitalopram)
15%
Same vs. Lexapro (Escitalopram)
Side effects
LexaproZoloft
  • Ejaculation disorder 12%
  • Ejaculation disorder (primarily ejaculatory delay) 11%
  • Sleep difficulty 10%
  • Nausea 10%
  • Diarrhea 9%
  • Headache 7%
  • Drowsiness 6%
  • Fatigue 6%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Lower sex drive 5%
More Lexapro side effects »
  • Nausea 19%
  • Ejaculation failure 18%
  • Sleep difficulty 16%
  • Diarrhea/loose stools 14%
  • Fatigue 9%
  • Loss of appetite 9%
  • Lower sex drive 9%
  • Sweating increased 9%
  • Dizziness 8%
  • Indigestion 8%
More Zoloft side effects »
How it works
LexaproZoloft
Lexapro (Escitalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Zoloft (Sertraline) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases the activity of serotonin in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
LexaproZoloft
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Available as
LexaproZoloft
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
LexaproZoloft
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.

After 4 weeks using Start and Lexapro (Escitalopram), here’s how much better people feel.

After 4 weeks using Start and Zoloft (Sertraline), here’s how much better people feel.

Risk factors for serious side effects
LexaproZoloft
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Lexapro (Escitalopram) suddenly
  • Higher dose
  • History of heart problems
  • History of liver problems
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    Detailed Lexapro (Escitalopram) risks & warnings »
    • Under 24 years old
    • Interactions with other medications
        • Stopping Zoloft (Sertraline) suddenly
        • Taking with blood-thinning drugs
        • Elderly
        • Taking with diuretic medications
        Detailed Zoloft (Sertraline) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        LexaproZoloft
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
        No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
        • Lexapro (Escitalopram) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
        • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
        Sleep
        • Stopping Lexapro (Escitalopram) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
        • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
        Weight
        • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
        No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        LexaproZoloft
        • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
        • Lowers relapse rates of depression.
        • Causes less sleepiness than some other antidepressants.
        • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
        • Effective at lowering symptoms and relapse rates of depression and anxiety disorders.
        • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
        • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
        Downsides and risks
        LexaproZoloft
        • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
        • Can cause an irregular heartbeat if you take a high dose (20 mg a day, or more).
        • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
        • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work, and might have side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you and that you can tolerate.
        • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
        • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
        • More likely to cause diarrhea than other antidepressants.
        • 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.
        • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
        • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        LexaproZoloft
        • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
        • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
        • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
        • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
        • It interacts with St. John's Wort and Tryptophan.
        • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
        • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
        • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
        Learn more
        More about LexaproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about ZoloftSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert