Compare Zoloft vs. Effexor

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

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Zoloft (sertraline)

Prescription only

Effexor (venlafaxine)

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
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Effexor (venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety, but it can cause more withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly compared to other antidepressants.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 577 reviewsforEffexor
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.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) effectively treats depression, anxiety, and panic disorder.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's beneficial for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) might work when other antidepressants haven't worked since it affects two chemicals in the brain that impact your mood.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) has several uses, which may be good for people with multiple conditions.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) is available in generic, which is cheaper.
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.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) can cause side effects such as decreased libido and increased blood pressure.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people aged 24 years or younger.
  • Compared to other antidepressants, it's more likely to cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking it and can causes more sleepiness.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
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
577 reviews so far
62%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?

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
39possible side effects
  • Nausea
    37%
  • Headache
    25%
  • Drowsiness
    23%
  • Dry mouth
    22%
  • Dizziness
    19%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    18%
  • Constipation
    15%
  • Nervousness
    13%
  • Weakness
    12%
  • Sweating
    12%
  • Abnormal ejaculation/orgasm
    12%
  • Loss of appetite
    11%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Infection
    6%
  • Vomiting
    6%
  • Anxiety
    6%
  • Blurred vision
    6%
  • Impotence
    6%
  • Indigestion
    5%
  • Tremor
    5%
  • Abnormal dreams
    4%
  • Chills
    3%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Gas
    3%
  • Stiff muscles
    3%
  • Prickling/burning sensation
    3%
  • Yawn
    3%
  • Increased urination
    3%
  • Chest pain
    2%
  • Trauma
    2%
  • Increased blood pressure
    2%
  • Increased heart rate
    2%
  • Decreased libido
    2%
  • Agitation
    2%
  • Confusion
    2%
  • Thinking abnormal
    2%
  • Changes in taste
    2%
  • Ringing in the ears
    2%
  • Dilation of pupils
    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
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, tramadol, fentanyl, amphetamines, certain headache medications (triptans), St. John's Wort
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Effexor (venlafaxine) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs (including aspirin, NSAIDs such as Advil, warfarin)
  • Increased blood pressure
    • Bipolar disorder
      • History of bipolar disorder
      • At risk for bipolar disorder
    See more detailed risks and warnings