Compare Zoloft vs. Valium

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

Zoloft
(sertraline)

Valium
(diazepam)

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.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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Prices and coupon for 30 (100mg) tablets of sertraline
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Reviews & ratings
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4.74Zoloft
Reviews for Zoloft (sertraline)
59%
of people (All ages) say Zoloft (sertraline) is worth it
41%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
1472 reviews
Have you used Zoloft (sertraline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Valium (diazepam)
70%
+11% better vs. Zoloft (sertraline)
53%
+12% better vs. Zoloft (sertraline)
15%
Same vs. Zoloft (sertraline)
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ZoloftValium
  • Nausea 10%
  • Diarrhea/loose stools 6%
  • Sleep difficulty 2%
  • Mouth dry 7%
  • Fatigue 10%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Feeling unwell 2%
  • Indigestion 4%
  • Loss of appetite 5%
  • Lower sex drive 2%
More Zoloft 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
ZoloftValium
Zoloft (Sertraline) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases the activity of 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
ZoloftValium
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
ZoloftValium
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
Used for
ZoloftValium
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZoloftValium
  • 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 »
      • 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
          ZoloftValium
          • It interacts with St. John's Wort and Tryptophan.
          No interactions related info.
          Alcohol
          ZoloftValium
          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
          ZoloftValium
          No kidneys and liver related info.
          • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
          Sex
          ZoloftValium
          • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
          No sex related info.
          Sleep
          ZoloftValium
          • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
          • 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.
          • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
          • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
          Upsides and benefits
          ZoloftValium
          • 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.
          • 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
          ZoloftValium
          • 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.
          • 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
          ZoloftValium
          • 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.
          • 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 ZoloftSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          Have you used Zoloft (sertraline)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it