Compare Zoloft vs. Xanax

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

Zoloft (sertraline)

Prescription only

Xanax (alprazolam)

Prescription only
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Zoloft (sertraline) is good for treating depression and anxiety, but it can interact with many medicines.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 1472 reviewsforZoloft
Helps you relax.

Xanax (alprazolam) effectively treats occasional or short-term anxiety and panic attacks. Compared to similar drugs, it is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms and can have more interactions with some medicines.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 1287 reviewsforXanax
Upsides
  • One of the more effective and better tolerated antidepressants in its class.
  • Causes less sleepiness than other antidepressants.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
  • Best choice among antidepressants if you are pregnant.
  • Xanax (alprazolam) can be used to manage anxiety associated with depression.
  • Works very quickly - in hours.
  • Available in generic.
Downsides
  • Takes at least 1 to 2 weeks to kick in and can take up to 12 weeks for maximum effect.
  • Can cause low sex drive, an inability to orgasm or ejaculate, and minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
  • Is more likely to cause diarrhea compared to other antidepressants.
  • Interacts with lots of other medicines.
  • You may need to try out several different antidepressants before you find the one that works for you.
  • Use of Xanax (alprazolam) can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Xanax (alprazolam) can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment.
  • Compared to other similar drugs, Xanax (alprazolam) is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if you take it for a long time and then stop suddenly.
  • If you have liver problems, Xanax (alprazolam) may not be the best choice since it is processed by the liver. Several drugs can also interfere with how Xanax (alprazolam) works. Talk to your doctor to see if Xanax (alprazolam) is right for you.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
1472 reviews so far
59%
saidit'sworth it
41%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zoloft (sertraline)?

Leave a review
1287 reviews so far
74%
saidit'sworth it
55%
saiditworked well
13%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Xanax (alprazolam)?

Leave a review
Side effects
15possible side effects
  • Nausea
    26%
  • Diarrhea
    18%
  • Dry mouth
    16%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    16%
  • Drowsiness
    13%
  • Dizziness
    12%
  • Tremor
    11%
  • Fatigue
    11%
  • More sweating
    8%
  • Constipation
    8%
  • Ejaculation failure
    7%
  • Upset stomach
    6%
  • Agitation
    6%
  • Loss of appetite
    3%
  • Stomach pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
24possible side effects
  • Drowsiness
    41%
  • Lightheadedness
    21%
  • Dry mouth
    15%
  • Depression
    14%
  • Headache
    13%
  • Confusion
    10%
  • Constipation
    10%
  • Diarrhea
    10%
  • Nausea/vomiting
    10%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    9%
  • Fast heartbeat
    8%
  • Nasal congestion
    7%
  • Blurry vision
    6%
  • Low blood pressure
    5%
  • Nervousness
    4%
  • Increased salivation
    4%
  • Muscle rigidity
    4%
  • Tremor
    4%
  • Skin irritation/allergy
    4%
  • Fainting
    3%
  • Weight gain
    3%
  • Dizziness
    2%
  • Restlessness
    2%
  • Weight loss
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking other medicines that affect serotonin levels
  • Mania
    • Personal history of bipolar disorder
    • Family history for bipolar disorder
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Zoloft (sertraline) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking blood thinners
  • Low sodium levels in the blood
    • Older people
    • Taking diuretic medicines
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Decreased breathing from use with opioids
    • Taking Xanax (alprazolam) with opioids, drugs or alcohol
    • Using Xanax (alprazolam) for a longer duration and at high doses
  • Dependence and withdrawal
    • History of substance abuse
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • Taking more than 4 mg/day or longer than 12 weeks
    • Stopping Xanax (alprazolam) suddenly
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Severe depression
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Drug interactions
    • Current liver problems
    • Taking medicines such as antifungals, cimetidine, or some HIV medicines
See more detailed risks and warnings