Compare Prozac vs. Zoloft

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

Prozac
(Fluoxetine)

Zoloft
(Sertraline)

Improves mood and helps you relax. Prozac (Fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, but may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.7375Prozac
Reviews for Prozac (Fluoxetine)
61%
of people say Prozac (Fluoxetine) is worth it
40%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Zoloft (Sertraline)
59%
2% vs. Prozac (Fluoxetine)
40%
Same vs. Prozac (Fluoxetine)
15%
+1% vs. Prozac (Fluoxetine)
Side effects
ProzacZoloft
  • Rash 57%
  • Sleep difficulty 20%
  • Nausea 18%
  • Muscle weakness 12%
  • Drowsiness 10%
  • Tremor 9%
  • Dry mouth 9%
  • Lower sex drive 9%
  • Loss of appetite 7%
  • Anxiety 7%
More Prozac 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
ProzacZoloft
Prozac (Fluoxetine) 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
ProzacZoloft
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Available as
ProzacZoloft
  • Pill
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
ProzacZoloft
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 Prozac (Fluoxetine), 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
ProzacZoloft
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Prozac (Fluoxetine) suddenly
  • History of heart problems
  • History of liver problems
  • Drug interactions
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    Detailed Prozac (Fluoxetine) 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
        ProzacZoloft
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        • Take in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
        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.
        • Prozac (Fluoxetine) 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 Prozac (Fluoxetine) 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
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        ProzacZoloft
        • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
        • Lowers relapse rates of depression and bulimia nervosa.
        • Causes less sleepiness than other antidepressants.
        • It's more energizing than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have low energy.
        • It has been used to treat depression for a long time, so there's a lot of information available about how it works and how safe it is.
        • 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
        ProzacZoloft
        • Can increase feelings of anxiety or cause headaches during the first few weeks of taking it. These effects should go away over time.
        • More likely than other antidepressants to interact with other medications you're taking.
        • 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.
        • 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.
        • More likely to cause diarrhea than other antidepressants.
        • 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.
        • 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
        ProzacZoloft
        • Take in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
        • 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 ProzacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about ZoloftSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert