Compare Pristiq vs. Zoloft

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

Pristiq
(desvenlafaxine)

Zoloft
(sertraline)

Improves mood. Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) is basically the same medication as Effexor, which is cheaper because it's available as a generic.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.81Pristiq
Reviews for Pristiq
53%
of people (All ages) say Pristiq is worth it
49%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle
196 reviews
Have you used Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Zoloft
59%
-6% worse vs. Pristiq
41%
+8% better vs. Pristiq
15%
-8% worse vs. Pristiq
1472 reviews
Have you used Zoloft (sertraline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
PristiqZoloft
  • Nausea 16%
  • Dry mouth 8%
  • Insomnia 6%
  • Hyperhidrosis 7%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Somnolence 5%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Decreased appetite 6%
  • Fatigue 3%
  • Anxiety 3%
More Pristiq side effects »
  • Nausea 14%
  • Diarrhea/Loose Stools 9%
  • Insomnia 7%
  • Mouth Dry 7%
  • Somnolence 7%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Tremor 8%
  • Fatigue 3%
  • Sweating Increased 5%
  • Constipation 2%
More Zoloft side effects »
How it works
PristiqZoloft
Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine 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
PristiqZoloft
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
PristiqZoloft
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
PristiqZoloft
Risk factors for serious side effects
PristiqZoloft
  • 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 »
  • Under 24 years old
  • Interactions with other medications
  • Stopping Zoloft (Sertraline) suddenly
  • Taking with blood-thinning drugs
  • Elderly
Detailed Zoloft (sertraline) 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
PristiqZoloft
No interactions related info.
  • It interacts with St. John's Wort and Tryptophan.
Sex
PristiqZoloft
No sex related info.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
Sleep
PristiqZoloft
No sleep related info.
  • Zoloft (Sertraline) may increase the risk of low sodium levels in the blood (hyponatremia). Watch out for symptoms including headache, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, confusion, weakness, and unsteadiness, which may lead to falls. Talk to a doctor right away before developing more serious symptoms, such as hallucination, fainting, coma, and death.
  • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
Upsides and benefits
PristiqZoloft
  • 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.
  • 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
PristiqZoloft
  • 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.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • More likely to cause diarrhea than other antidepressants.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • 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
PristiqZoloft
  • 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.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • It interacts with St. John's Wort and Tryptophan.
  • 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 PristiqSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZoloftSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zoloft (sertraline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it