If you have dealt with depression you might look for differences and similarities between Zoloft vs Prozac. Often people dealing with depression are recommended SSRI medications by doctors. Selective serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor is a drug that works by escalating the activity of serotonin in our brain. When the level of serotonin is increased, the feeling of well-being and mood is balanced due to which a person feels good.
Prozac (fluoxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline) are the two main SSRIs that can help people treat mental health conditions like Obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and panic disorder. Although different SSRIs are present, these two are mainly recommended. Both these drugs are antidepressants, so Zoloft vs Prozac has several differences and similarities. Let’s see everything about Zoloft vs Prozac.
Zoloft Vs Prozac – Differences
Zoloft is basically the brand name for the drug sertraline hydrochloride. While Pfizer manufactures the name of the brand, various generic names are also available. Zoloft is prescribed antidepressants approved for certain conditions like premenstrual dysphoric disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. You can get this drug as a liquid solution or as a medication.
Whereas, Prozac is the brand name for another drug called Fluoxetine. The brand name for this particular drug was manufactured by Eli Lilly. Some generic versions of this are also present. Besides depression, OCD, and panic attacks, Prozac is also considered for Bulimia Nervosa, which is an eating disorder. It is available as oral release capsules.
The difference between the dosage of Zoloft vs Prozac is 50mg per day for Zoloft whereas 20 mg per day for Prozac. Also, children of 6 years or above can use Zoloft while Prozac is given for children above 8 years of age. These were basic differences between Zoloft vs Prozac.
1. Conditions Treated Using Zoloft Vs Prozac
Zoloft is given primarily for the treatment of OCD, depression, Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and panic disorders. It is also used for social anxiety disorders and PTSD.
Whereas, Prozac is approved for the treatment of major depression, bulimia, panic disorders, and OCD. Prozac is sometimes also suggested for the premenstrual dysphoric disorder, it is marketed by another name for this disorder called Sarafem. It is also used for the treatment of depressive episodes in the case of bipolar disorder. Some doctors prescribe it Off-label for treating conditions like anxiety disorders or PTSD.
These were common differences between Zoloft vs Prozac for the diseases they are prescribed for. However, both these drugs are anti-depressants so they are also used off-label to help people treat general or normal anxiety, body dysmorphic disorder, and binge eating disorders.
After knowing about the diseases and conditions both these drugs are prescribed for, you might be thinking which one is better or which one is prescribed more by the doctors, let’s see.
2. Zoloft vs Prozac- Which Is More Effective?
There are certain differences between Zoloft vs Prozac but both are equally effective for treating depression symptoms in people. There was a clinical trial performed in which both these anti-depressants were impressive for anxiety and depression. While both these SSRIs were equally effective, it was found that Zoloft had fewer side effects, and the severity of side effects was also less as compared to the other one.
The study included 108 patients, among which 9.6% of the people treated with sertraline did not continue this drug as compared to other groups including 19.6% of people treated with fluoxetine as it was not effective.
In another study from the Journal Of Affective Disorders, Both the drugs Zoloft vs Prozac has shown similar effects in people dealing with anxiety and depression. This study did not show many differences between both drugs. Another drug included in this study was Paxil or Paroxetine.
We all know that every individual is different, any of these drugs might be more effective to use for one person while it might not show the same results for another person. You have to consult a healthcare expert in order to find out which drug out of all the anti-depressants can be effective for you. Sometimes you need to follow trial and error to find out which one suits your composition.
3. Cost Comparison And Coverage Of Zoloft Vs Prozac
Both these drugs are different in terms of their coverage and cost. Zoloft is generally covered by many insurance plans. Since the drugs are available as generic, their prices will not be higher and are reasonable most often. The average retail cost of the SSRI Zoloft without any insurance is expected to be 35 dollars when you opt for a 30-day supply. Many times, you also get a discount using which you can easily save 8 to 18 dollars on this drug.
Prozac on the other hand is usually started at a 20 mg dosage in a 30 day supply. You can purchase Prozac without insurance for the retail price of 11.18 dollars.
This was all you needed to know about insurance and the cost of Zoloft vs Prozac, another important aspect to consider while comparing two drugs is their side effects, let’s see common side effects or risks associated with both these drugs.
4. Side Effects Commonly Associated With Zoloft Vs Prozac
Since both these drugs fall under the category of anti-depressants, they both are considered to have similar side effects. Most often the side effects of both these drugs are mild and may resolve easily on their own without medical attention. However, in some people they might worsen or stay for a longer time, if this is the case, the doctors replace the drugs with some other anti-depressants. As mentioned earlier, it is trial and error for some people.
It is important to consult your healthcare professional and mention all the possible side effects you have been facing lately. Some of the most common side effects that you might face when you are taking Zoloft include tremors, indigestion, diarrhea, and nausea while the most common side effects associated with Prozac include dry mouth, nervousness, indigestion, and nausea. Other than these possible side effects, weight gain or weight loss are also common in some cases.
Other side effects of anti-depressants include impotence, dysfunction, and decreased libido. Problems like insomnia might also occur in few people. When we talk about more severe side effects, you should know that side effects also conclude serotonin syndrome. This usually arises when you are taking more levels of serotonin than this drug itself.
One must carefully note down all the side effects so that you can consult your doctor easily the next time and mention everything in detail, this will help the doctors determine which anti-depressant is right for you and should be replaced.
5. Drug Interaction Between Zoloft Vs Prozac
Like other drugs that fall under the category of SSRIs, both Zoloft and Prozac usually interact with many other drugs that are similar to them. Both these medications usually interact with MAOI or monoamine oxidase inhibitors. This escalates the risk of serotonin syndrome. Both the drugs should be used with methylene blue or linezolid for some reasons to reduce the risks.
Zoloft and Proac both are seen to book the action of a liver enzyme known as CYP2D6. Other drugs that are generally processed using this enzyme have the tendency to interact with Prozac and Zoloft. Other drugs may include antiarrhythmic, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, and some other anti-depressants.
Both Prozac and Zoloft are also known to interact with blood thinners like warfarin and aspirin. Taking all such medications together will increase the risk of bleeding. You need to consult your doctor to know about the possible interactions of drugs you are using to avoid any risks.
6. Warnings Of Zoloft Vs Prozac
Although anti-depressants are prescribed to treat conditions like anxiety and depression with some other related conditions, they can also escalate the risk of having suicidal thoughts in children and young adults. For those people whose symptoms are not at all improving even after taking all the medications, they must be monitored to witness and note down any suicidal behavior or thoughts.
Zoloft Vs Prozac can lower the seizure threshold in people who already ahs any history of seizures. Therefore, it is crucial to avoid or monitor the effects of both these drugs in such people. Both these drugs are also known to cause QT prolongation, this is an electrical disturbance that occurs in heart muscles. For those people having any sort of history with abnormal or even heart rhythm or arrhythmias, it may increase the risk.
SSRI anti-depressant drugs are generally prescribed by doctors for long0term usage. If you stop taking these drugs all of a sudden, it may cause some withdrawal symptoms like redound anxiety, insomnia, headaches, etc. If you want to stop taking these medications, you must stop them slowly under proper medical guidance.
Zoloft and Prozac, both the drugs fall under category C during pregnancy. This indicates that these drugs should only be used if their benefits are more profound than their risks and outweigh all the risks. Consult a doctor before taking these drugs when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Also, when you start taking any of these drugs, make sure you do not consume alcohol along with these as it may increase side effects of the drugs like drowsiness or dizziness.
The Bottom Line
There are a few differences and similarities between Zoloft vs Prozac as both fall under the category of SSRI anti-depressant drugs. Both are prescribed for anxiety and depression with other related disorders.
One should know that every individual is different and so is the way their body reacts to certain drugs. While Prozac might work amazingly well for some people, it might increase the risk and side effects in other people. You must consult your doctor before consuming any of these and note down possible side effects. If one drug is not working well for you, you must seek advice and replace it with another until you find a perfect match that suits you.
There were certain differences between Zoloft vs Prozac that you should know before visiting your healthcare expert.