Zoloft vs. Prozac- Which Is Better, Differences, and More

Alyssa Orcuilo23 Mar 2021

Quick Digest:

  • Zoloft and Prozac are both medications that can help treat anxiety, depression, and OCD.
  • Both Zoloft and Prozac belong to a family of medications called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (also known as SSRIs) and work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain.
  • Prescription medication can be expensive- Mira can help. Get up to 80% off Zoloft or Prozac using MiraRx.

Dr. Jessica Nouhavandi is an expert pharmacist with a degree in bioethics and a Doctor in Pharmacy from Western University of Health Sciences. After watching her patients walk away from the counter because of the increasingly high copays, Dr. Nouhavandi set out to revolutionize the pharmacy industry by starting Honeybee Health, an accredited online pharmacy that brings hometown service to the whole nation. Through Honeybee, she fights for drug pricing transparency so that patients can choose the meds they need, from the manufacturer they want, at prices they can afford. 

Q&A with Dr. Nouhavandi 

How does Zoloft work? How does Prozac work?

Both Zoloft and Prozac belong to a family of medications called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (also known as SSRIs). They work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter essential for mood and emotion regulation, 

What are the differences between Zoloft vs. Prozac?

Zoloft and Prozac are very similar medications in that they are both SSRIs, they both treat anxiety, depression, and OCD, and they have similar side effects. The main differences between the two lie in the age groups they are approved for and other uses of the drugs. 

Prozac is also approved to treat bulimia nervosa, while Zoloft can be used to treat PTSD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and social anxiety disorder. When it comes to treating depression, Prozac is approved for ages 8 and up, while Zoloft is only approved for adults. Prozac can treat OCD in children 7 years or older, while Zoloft is approved for treating OCD in children 6 years and older. 

Which medication is more effective when it comes to fighting anxiety or depression?

Both Zoloft and Prozac have been shown to have similar levels of effectiveness when it comes to treating anxiety and depression. It really comes down to individual preference and your doctor’s discretion when deciding between the two. 

Although both are SSRIs, sometimes people respond better to one over the other. You should work with your doctor to find the best fit for you. 

What are the possible side effects of both medications?

Common side effects of both medications can include feeling shaky or sick, blurred vision, dry mouth, dizziness, loss of appetite or weight loss, diarrhea or constipation, headache, drowsiness, stomach upset, and changes in sexual desire.

Side EffectZoloft FrequencyProzac Frequency
Dry Mouth14%9%
Decreased libido6%4%


More Information About Zoloft and Prozac

How much do Zoloft and Prozac cost?

Zoloft and Prozac are typically covered by health insurance and Medicare with the typical co-pay of $12- $13. The standard dosage for Zoloft is 50 mg tablets and 20 mg tablets for Prozac.

Using MiraRx, you can access Zoloft for as little as $6 and Prozac at just $5. 

Usually covered by insurance?YesYes
Usually covered by Medicare?YesYes
Standard dosage50 mg tablets20 mg tablets
Typical Medicare copay$12$13
MiraRx cost$6$5

Can I drink alcohol while on Zoloft or Prozac?

You should avoid alcohol completely while taking both medications; however, you should check with your doctor. 

Even just one alcoholic drink can interact with the medication and cause unwanted side effects. The combination of alcohol and either medication can cause side effects, and drinking alcohol can make your symptoms worse.

Does Zoloft or Prozac have any drug interactions?

Your Doctor should avoid prescribing you Zoloft or Prozac with the following drugs:

  • Triptans
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  • Fentanyl
  • Lithium
  • Tramadol
  • Tryptophan
  • Buspirone
  • Amphetamines
  • St. John’s wort
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

If you already taking one of the drugs above before starting Zoloft or Prozac, be sure to communicate this with your doctor.

Learn more here

Can I get Zoloft or Prozac over-the-counter?

Zoloft and Prozac are not offered over-the-counter. 

To obtain Zoloft or Prozac, you will need to consult with your doctor and receive a prescription for the medication.

Can I take Zoloft and Prozac at the same time? 

It is not recommended to take Prozac and Zoloft at the same time. 

Both of these drugs are in the same drug class and have the same actions in the body. Taking both drugs will not improve symptoms and can cause additional side effects.


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