Difference between Lexapro and Zoloft

Zoloft and Lexaprо are two different medicines used to treat different types of mental illness; both are antidepressants of the selective serоtonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class.

As they belong to the SSRI class, they increase the serotonin level in one’s brain, in a bid to correct the chemical imbalance that can be a cause of mental illness. In many ways, both the medicines are said to be similar to each other. However, there still are some important differences between them, which force the doctors to use them to treat different types of mental illnesses.

Zoloft is a trade name for sertraline hydrochloride and Lexapro is a trade name for escitalopram oxalate. Due to difference in their salts, doctors prescribe them differently for different patients. Lxapro is basically an FDA approved medicine for treating depressive disorder (MDD) and the medicine can be used by both adults as well as by children, as per directions by the doctor.

In many cases, doctors also prescribe Lexapro to people suffering with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). Overall, Lexapro is used in very limited cases. On the other hand, Zoloft is prescribed by doctors in order to treat a wide range of mental diseases. However, the salt used in Zoloft is dangerous for children. That is the reason why it is prescribed to adults only.

Both medicines are equally useful and are widely prescribed by doctors due to their quick effects. There are some conditions where both the medicines can be prescribed to the patient. However, the personal chemistry determines which medicine will work best for a particular person. That is the reason why many time doctors change the medicine from Zoloft to Lexapro and vice versa, if one does not work well for any individual.

There is no doubt that both the medicines are considered as great drugs to treat different mental illnesses, however, their continuous usage can also make the patient suffer some side effects, such as  upset, diarrhoea, and sexual side effects. However, many people prefer to use Zoloft over Lexapro, as Lexapro also causes weight gain in many cases, and Zoloft causes less side effects compared to Lexapro.


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    Zoloft is a trade name for sertraline hydrochloride and is used to treat major depressive disorder, panic and social anxiety disorders among adult outpatients.

    Image courtesy: the-alcoholism-guide.org

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    Lexapro is a trade name for escitalopram oxalate and is used to treat adults, as well as children with at least 12 years of age, with major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder.

    Image courtesy: bonkersinstitute.org

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