Compare Zoloft vs. Xanax

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

Zoloft
(sertraline)

Xanax
(alprazolam)

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. Xanax (Alprazolam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety, and longer-term for panic attacks. More likely to cause withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.74Zoloft
Reviews for Zoloft
59%
of people (All ages) say Zoloft 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 Xanax
74%
-15% worse vs. Zoloft
55%
-14% worse vs. Zoloft
13%
-2% worse vs. Zoloft
1287 reviews
Have you used Xanax (alprazolam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ZoloftXanax
  • 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 »
  • Drowsiness 34%
  • Fatigue and Tiredness 6%
  • Impaired Coordination 23%
  • Irritability 3%
  • Memory Impairment 11%
  • Increased Appetite 10%
More Xanax side effects »
How it works
ZoloftXanax
Zoloft (Sertraline) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases the activity of serotonin in the brain, which regulates mood.Xanax (Alprazolam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and can cause sleepiness.
Type of medication
ZoloftXanax
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ZoloftXanax
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
ZoloftXanax
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZoloftXanax
  • Under 24 years old
  • Interactions with other medications
  • Stopping Zoloft (Sertraline) suddenly
  • Taking with blood-thinning drugs
  • Elderly
Detailed Zoloft (sertraline) risks & warnings »
  • History of drug abuse
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Taking more than 4 mg/day or longer than 12 weeks
  • Stopping Xanax (Alprazolam) suddenly
  • Severely depressed
Detailed Xanax (alprazolam) 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
ZoloftXanax
  • It interacts with St. John's Wort and Tryptophan.
No interactions related info.
Alcohol
ZoloftXanax
No alcohol related info.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • 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.
Kidneys and liver
ZoloftXanax
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
Sex
ZoloftXanax
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
No sex related info.
Sleep
ZoloftXanax
  • 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.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
Upsides and benefits
ZoloftXanax
  • 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.
  • Effective longer-term for panic attacks.
  • 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).
Downsides and risks
ZoloftXanax
  • 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.
  • Compared to other benzodiazepines, more likely to cause withdrawal if you take it for a long time and then stop suddenly.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ZoloftXanax
  • 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 45 minutes when swallowed.
  • 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 XanaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Xanax (alprazolam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it