Compare Lexapro vs. Pristiq

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

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Lexapro (escitalopram)

Prescription only

Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

Prescription only
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Lexapro (escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It is less likely to cause side effects than and has fewer drug interactions. However, it might not be a good choice if you have liver or heart problems.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 1063 reviewsforLexapro
Improves mood.

Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) is an effective medicine for treating depression, but it is more expensive than many other medicines that work just like it.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 196 reviewsforPristiq
Upsides
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers the likelihood that your depression will come back.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
  • You only need to take Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) once a day.
  • May be taken with or without food.
  • Less sedating than other anti-depressants.
Downsides
  • Can cause a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) is not a good option if you have heart or liver problems.
  • The first antidepressant you try might not always work, so you may need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you.
  • Like most anti-depressants, full effect on mood takes up to 12 weeks.
  • Can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and/or behavior in yound adults 24 years and younger.
  • Can affect your sex drive and ability to get an erection.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended-release pill
Price
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Reviews
1063 reviews so far
61%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?

Leave a review
196 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
25possible side effects
  • Headache
    24%
  • Nausea
    18%
  • Problems ejaculating
    14%
  • Sleepiness
    13%
  • Insomnia
    12%
  • Dry mouth
    9%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Fatigue
    8%
  • Decreased libido
    7%
  • Problems with orgasm
    6%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    5%
  • Increased sweating
    4%
  • Indigestion
    3%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Neck/shoulder pain
    3%
  • Abnormal dreams
    3%
  • Decrease appetite
    3%
  • Lack of energy
    3%
  • Tingling or burning in the hands/feet
    2%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
  • Flatulence
    2%
  • Toothache
    2%
  • Yawning
    2%
  • Menstrual disorder
    2%
See more detailed side effects
17possible side effects
  • Nausea
    22%
  • Dizziness
    13%
  • Dry mouth
    11%
  • Excessive sweating
    10%
  • Constipation
    9%
  • Inability to sleep
    9%
  • Tiredness
    7%
  • Decreased appetite
    5%
  • Drowsiness
    4%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Anxiety
    3%
  • Blurry vision
    3%
  • Tremor
    2%
  • Abnormal dreams
    2%
  • Dilated pupils
    2%
  • Vertigo
    2%
  • Ringing in ears
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Lexapro (escitalopram) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking blood thinners
  • Sexual problems
  • Uncovering of bipolar disorder
    • Bipolar disorder
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking other medicines that also increase serotonin activity: Antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs)
    • lithium
    • tramadol
    • Imitrex
    • Remeron
    • Lexapro
    • Dilaudid
  • Increased blood pressure
    • People with a history of high blood pressure or other heart conditions
  • Increased bleeding risk
    • Taking NSAIDS, blood thinners, or aspirin
  • Low sodium levels in blood
    • Older people
    • Taking diuretics
  • Stopping Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) too quickly
    • Taking the medicine for a long time
    • Stopping Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) too quickly
See more detailed risks and warnings