Lexapro vs Zoloft: How Is It Different or Similar Depending on Use

Lexapro vs Zoloft

Lexapro is a medicine prescribed for treating depression and anxiety disorders. At the same time, Zoloft treats OCD, depression, and other mental health conditions. Let’s read through Lexapro vs Zoloft to understand their differences or similarities.

The main sign of depression can be a feeling of sadness that has been with you for quite a long time, along with a helpless mood. In depression, you may not feel like doing anything that makes you happy. However, anxiety involves overwhelming nervousness, stress, or fear.

Anxiety and depression also have some common traits, like irritation. If you are dealing with anxiety or depression, you may feel irritated most of the time. Sometimes these irritable feelings may take a toll on your mental health. Hence these need your attention and medical help to cure them.

It also depends on a person’s individuality, and symptoms may differ accordingly. Hence it is pretty challenging to understand the symptoms of these conditions.

Also, as per research, it has been proven that people can have anxiety and depression both. But the question arises whether the medication is the same for both.

You will be able to differentiate between both in the below explanations. Also, the strategies to overcome mental stress have become a significant concern in today’s world.

Now, to be specific on Zoloft and Lexapro, let’s understand the occasions it is used for.

Firstly, Zoloft is exclusively used for treating OCD, panic disorder, anxiety disorder, traumatic disorder, and premenstrual disorder. Lexapro is used to treat anxiety only. However, the common factor is that both can be used to treat depression.

But then, mental health is nothing to be worried about. If you are dealing with mental stress, there is a cure for everything.

Lexapro vs Zoloft – How are different?

Now that you know what these medicines are used for, let’s understand the main differences between these two:

Common drug

The most generic drug for Zoloft is sertraline, which belongs to the group of antidepressants. And for Lexapro, the drug is escitalopram, which is used for treating anxiety and depression.


Both these medicines come in the form of tablets and solutions. However, tablets are most commonly used by patients.

Patient age

Zoloft is used for patients 18 years and above. At the same time, Lexapro can be used for 12 years and above.

Lexapro vs Zoloft


Zoloft comes in 100 mg, 50 mg, and 25 mg, and the solution form comes at 20 mg/mL. In the case of Lexapro, the tablet form is available for 20 mg, 10 mg, and 5 mg, and the solution is for 1 mg/mL.

With these medications, there can be a condition known as Serotonin syndrome. This occurs when the serotonin levels of the body are too high. However, Serotonin syndrome is life-threatening. Hence you need to be very careful while taking these medications.

You must be concerned about taking these antidepressants as they have a lot of effects on your body. One of the most concerning ones is weight gain. However, Zoloft and Lexapro are antidepressants that have less impact on weight gain. Hence, this is not something you should be concerned about.

Just stay active and enjoy wholesome meals. The only reason you may put on the weight is stress eating and not being involved. You will not gain weight because of these medications if you eat healthily and are active.

Lexapro vs Zoloft: Depression and its signs

You may feel low, sad, or hopeless due to painful and difficult situations. But sometimes, these feelings may take over your daily life.

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If you feel emptiness and sadness, staying longer, which is more than 2 or 3 weeks, may suggest depression, significantly when nothing impacts you. There may be times when everything seems to be depressing. You should consider seeing a doctor when you feel like losing interest in your favorite activity or hobby.

The pessimism and hopelessness may make you feel irritated and angry. Some of the common symptoms of depression are as below:


When you feel restless and don’t feel like doing anything might be a sign of depression.


Difficulty sleeping or chronic fatigue can be one of the signs of depression that you may experience.

Weight changes

If you experience a significant weight change may also be a major sign of depression. Usually, depression may make you lose a lot of weight as you lose appetite, or it may make you stress eat, resulting in gaining those extra pounds.

Decision making

Depression also tends to play with your mental state. It creates difficulty in concentrating and decision-making. You may start forgetting things which put pressure on your mental stress.

Unexplained feelings

Sometimes, with depression, you may feel guilty about a minor issue. And the sense of helplessness or worthlessness creates negativity and makes you feel all the worse.

Lexapro vs Zoloft

Suicidal thoughts

The thought of killing yourself is one of the most significant signs of depression. Suppose you feel suicidal; reach out for help immediately. People are looking out for you. It would be best if you looked through it.

Zoloft vs Lexapro for anxiety

Anxiety is a state of mind that is opposite to depression. Anxiety is a high energy, whereas depression is low energy. If you are someone experiencing depression, then anxiety tags along with you. Sometimes the levels can also result in panic attacks.

Anxiety, however, involves a lot of nervousness and fear. Your minds tend to focus on all the negativity around you and think about things people fear. If you have anxiety, the feeling of losing control of your emotions is something that starts to haunt you.

Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling nervous
  • Sense of danger
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Trembling
  • Excessive sweating
  • Weakness and tired
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Not being able to make decisions wisely
  • Sleeping disorder
  • Facing gastrointestinal problems
  • To avoid situations where you need to take control

However, when do you see a doctor? And how to decide if you need help?

Anxiety is present in our lives in some way or the other. But when you start feeling that the feeling is now interfering a lot more in your daily life, relationships, and work, it’s time for you to seek help.

Anxiety may trigger worries and fear that are difficult to handle. Sometimes it may also happen that you may experience anxiety and depression, which you need to pay attention to and not take lightly.

Having suicidal thoughts is the ultimate, and you need to seek help immediately without having second thoughts. It is ok to get help and take care of your mental health.

The thoughts that you have may not subside on their own. Hence would be best if you add a few medications and counseling to control your feelings.

Lexapro vs Zoloft

Anxiety types

There are many kinds of anxiety that exists; let’s see the below points:

  • Agoraphobia: This is where you start feeling helpless, trapped, and embarrassed of situations or places that trigger your anxiety.
  • Because of physical health issues: In this kind of anxiety, you face panic because of a physical health issue that you’re going through.
  • Generalized anxiety includes excessive and persistent pressure, which makes you worry about events or activities you regularly do. It is normal to feel sad and worried about a situation, but in anxiety, the feeling gets out of control.
  • Panic attack: In this kind of anxiety, you may experience sudden emotions of intense fear and anxiety, which reach a peak in a short period, known as panic attacks. This is always associated with palpitations, chest pain, and impending doom.
  • Selective mutism: This type of anxiety is mainly seen among children who have difficulty speaking under certain situations that start interfering with their social functioning.
  • Separation anxiety: This is another type of childhood disorder along with fear because of excessive developmental level in the child due to parents’ separation. It is also common among children who have a parental role to play in their life.
  • Social anxiety is widespread, making you avoid social situations as you fear being judged by others.
  • Specific phobias: Certain phobias are characterized by anxiety due to certain situations or objects. These phobias may trigger your anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Substance-induced disorder: This type of anxiety is due to drugs, medications, or alcoholism.
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Lexapro vs Zoloft: What to choose?

There are many options to choose from with all the available medications for anxiety and depression. But these two medicines, Zoloft and Lexapro, are most prescribed for treating mood disorders.

Zoloft and Lexapro are antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Increasing the serotonin levels in the brain helps in balancing the mood.

Lexapro and Zoloft may have certain conditions that should be taken care of to avoid mishaps.

  • If you are on any of these medications and planning to have a baby, then it is essential to let the doctor know about it. Research has proven that these medications have unpleasant effects on the fetus. Hence, allowing the doctor to know it becomes essential to take appropriate action.
  • Being suicidal is something that needs to be avoided under all circumstances. But both medicines, Lexapro and Zoloft, tend to increase the risks of suicide. Also, FDA has not approved Zoloft among children who are less than the age of 18 other than treating OCD.
  • If you are on these medications and suddenly stop taking them, it may cause withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may include flu, dizziness, agitation, confusion, anxiety, headache, and insomnia. If you must stop, always check with your doctor before making any such decision. The doctor will start decreasing your dosage and help you prevent withdrawal symptoms.
  • Sometimes you may face unexplainable symptoms and need to check with your doctor. Sometimes, medicines react differently from person to person.

How to handle mental stress?

While taking these medications, there are many side effects that they are associated with. Serotonin syndrome can also be a condition that needs immediate attention. This happens when the serotonin levels are too high in the body due to the use of lithium or antidepressants. The possibility increases if you’re already consuming medicines that increase serotonin, like lithium or antidepressant pills. However, to help you handle the mental stress naturally, there are a few tips as follows:

  • Start eating healthy and make healthier choices that will help you keep fit and active.
  • Make a timetable for yourself. Follow it religiously and see the difference yourself. Sticking to a routine may help you lead a conscious life with a proper mindset.
  • Start doing things that make you happy. For example, dancing, singing, drawing, or even cooking. Anything that helps you bring a smile to your face do it.
  • Talk to people, friends, and family; nothing can beat talking things out. It is natural for you to feel lighter and better when you talk. Talking therapy works like wonders; it helps to keep your heart healthy and alive.
  • Stay active, include a little exercise in your daily routine, and see how you feel. Sometimes just breathing some fresh air can turn things up.
  • Try to get enough sleep, as much as you need. Keep your phone away before you sleep, do not use it before your sleeping schedule. Anything that causes disturbance to your sleep, keep away.

I hope this article clears all your doubts about Lexapro vs Zoloft. Also, remember not to stress yourself; taking care of your mental health is ok. Mental health is the most critical and sensitive thing to be taken care of. Voicing out is essential.