Difference Between Zoloft and Prozac
Zoloft and Prozac both fall into the category of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). The first drug in this category was Prozac (Fluoxetine), which was introduced in the US markets in the year 1987. Prozac was a product of Eli Lilly and company. The second drug to follow suit in this category was Zoloft (Sertraline), which was a Pfizer product, launched in 1991.
SSRI are considered as the antidepressants which influence the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a natural chemical produced in the brain which helps it balance the feelings and behavior in humans. These are non-sedating drugs and cause lesser chances of weight gain as compared to other antidepressants.
Considering their powerful effect in treating depression and other anxiety disorders, both Zoloft and Prozac are highly recommended drugs by the doctors. These antidepressants have proven quite effective in around 60-80 percent of patients. In short, no other drug has shown better results than these second-generation drugs for depression.
Since both Zoloft and Prozac work by maintaining a balance of serotonin which balances the brain functionality, one feels an improvement in his mood and his appetite also becomes better. They also help in increasing the energy levels and also improve sleep. Both the drugs can help improve your anxiety, depression and other compulsive disorders.
How do Zoloft and Prozac differ from each other?
Though Prozac and Zoloft both are SSRIs, yet they are very different in their chemical formulas. Hence, if one drug has worked well on one patient, still we cannot say it for sure that it will have the same effect on the other. The general impact of both the drugs may be more or less the same, but their side effects do vary.
The most noticeable difference between Zoloft and Prozac is the longer half-life of the latter. As Prozac stays for a longer duration in the body, therefore if a person has missed one odd dose by mistake, there are less likely chances of having any adverse effects due to this. It is for this reason that discontinuing this medicine use is easier than Zoloft. But, as we know that everything has two faces, this long half-life of Prozac has a negative aspect. Since it stays for longer time in the body, its effects may hamper your sexual life, even if you have missed one dose purposely, whereas, with Zoloft, you can plan it by skipping one dose. But this should be done with the guidance of your doctor.
The second difference between Prozac and Zoloft is that the first one takes around 4 weeks to start showing its effects up on you when you start using it, whereas the later starts showing its effects within two weeks of time.
Side effects of Zoloft and Prozac
Though both the drugs may have some side effects, they may differ in impact from person to person. It has been noticed that Zoloft causes diarrhea in most of the cases than Prozac. But Prozac may cause mouth dryness and also sleep disorder.
The matter of fact is that whichever drug you are using, you may have some side effects in the beginning, but on the whole, generally both the drugs are well tolerated by most people and the side effects do pass after some time of usage as the body gets adapted to it. But, if this doesn’t happen and they continue to remain or worsen, then you must consult your doctor. He may change or readjust your dosage depending upon your condition.
It is always advisable to take these antidepressant medicines under a doctor’s guidance. Also, one should never suddenly stop their usage. If you want to stop taking them, ask your doctor whether you can do it. Otherwise, you may have mild to severe withdrawal symptoms which may make your condition even worse.
To sum up, Zoloft is considered to be a better option for treating depression and other anxiety disorders, as it has a shorter half-life and is drained out of the body sooner than Prozac does. Besides, the side effects are milder and also the withdrawal symptoms. This makes Zoloft easier to discontinue.