Published on 06 May 2023

Lexapro Vs Prozac: Which Is Best Medication For Anxiety?

Escitalopram (Lexapro) Lexapro vs Prozac
Table of Contents

Depression is now a common condition throughout the world population. Specifically mentioned, 17 million people in the United States suffer from mental illnesses like depression. Due to such mental illness, there are high suicidal issues as well.

Scientifically, there are various reasons for a person suffering from depression. A few main reasons are mood regulations in the brain, stressful life events, and genetic vulnerability. According to research, the most affected people are teens and adults.

When it comes to cures, people either choose natural ways or medicines. When natural things don't work, antidepressants are the best option. Many antidepressants are available in the pharmaceutical world. From many, we are comparing the two medicines called Lexapro and Prozac. Know more about it in detail.

What Is Lexapro?

Lexapro is an antidepressant approved by the FDA. This medicine treats two mental health conditions: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and Major Depressive disorder (MDD). If the kid is above 12, it can be used for treating MDD. 

Other conditions not mentioned by the FDA, but it is used for treating off-label such as panic attack disorder, OCD, PMDD, and PTSD. The Brand name for Lexapro is Escitalopram. It is a prescription-based medicine. Therefore, you need a valid prescription to buy Lexapro from a certified online pharmacy or a local drug store.

What Is Prozac?

Prozac is an antidepressant for treating bipolar disorder, MDD (Major depressive disorder). It is an approved medicine by the FDA. It is allowed to use by people above 8 years. Other conditions that can be treated with Prozac and have been approved by the FDA are panic disorder, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), and Bulimia. 

As an off-label, you can use Prozac for Post traumatic disorder, social anxiety, and BPD (borderline personality disorder). The generic name of Prozac is Fluoxetine. Prozac is only available with a doctor's prescription, so you cannot buy Prozac over the counter.

How Do Lexapro And Prozac Work?

Both (Lexapro and Prozac) belong to the drug class called SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). SSRIs elevate serotonin levels, the neurotransmitter that regulates mood and reduces anxiety, by increasing its accessibility in the brain.

This is significant since individuals with mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, usually exhibit low serotonin levels. By enhancing serotonin levels, SSRIs aid in alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety.

An increase in serotonin levels may not be the only mechanism by which SSRIs treat mental health conditions. According to research, SSRIs can increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein associated with mood regulation. Due to the increased BDNF activity, antidepressants like SSRIs may improve depression symptoms.

Lexapro Vs Prozac: The Best Choice To Treat Depression

When two medication work for the same condition, there are chances of medicine standing on top of one another. The effective working of medicine also depends on different individuals. A doctor would prescribe the best medication for treating depression, but the question arises, which is a better option, Lexapro or Prozac?

From the research, it has been found that Lexapro works the best compared to Prozac for treating depression. 

After consuming the medicine, if you are feeling energetic or active, the medication is not the best choice. Still, if you are experiencing low energy and depression, Prozac would be a good choice. Medicine would also depend on for which condition you are using it. So it is essential to have a chat with your doctor. 

Frequently asked questions

Both medications work efficiently on the anxiety condition. The choice of medication will depend on the doctor and the severity of the condition.
Yes, when you consume Lexapro, it makes your brain calm and feel relaxed. This all acts because of the medicinal components of the medicine.
Drugs that belong to SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) are the best antidepressants.

Possible Side Effects

Most medicines in the same drug class have similar side effects. There are a few differences, such as Prozac might affect you with low appetite, nausea, and trouble sleeping. In terms of lexapro, it affects ejaculation. As every medication has positive effects, it also has side effects. 

Common side effects with the frequency of occurrence.



Drowsiness (6%)

Headache (21%)

Dizziness (5%)

Drowsiness (13%)

Nausea (15%)

Nervousness (14%)

Trouble sleeping (9%)

Difficulty sleeping (16%)

Weakness (5%)

Anxiety (12%)

Ejaculation problem (9%)

Nausea (21%)

Severe Side Effects of Lexapro and Prozac are:

  • Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Higher risk of bleeding
  • Low sodium levels
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Bipolar Disorder

Above mentioned side effects do not cover all the side effects. If you feel any effects after consuming the drug, inform your doctor. If you suffer from any severe problem, get immediate medical help. 

Precautions Of Lexapro And Prozac

Similar precautions should be taken as the medications belong to the same drug class. When you take proper preventive measures, you will be safe from suffering side effects. It is essential to inform your doctor about your medical history. The doctor can prescribe you the proper dosage and the medicine. 

Following are the precautions that should be taken and informed your doctor:

  • If you are about to get pregnant, 
  • If you breastfeed a child
  • You are on other medications
  • If you often drink alcohol
  • If you suffer from kidney or liver issues
  • If you suffer from heart problems
  • If you suffer from seizures


  • Do not drive or do things that need observation
  • They may increase the bleeding risk
  • They may cause nervousness, anxiety, or insomnia.

Differences Between Lexapro And Prozac

You should know the differences or commonalities between Lexapro and Prozac. This table will help you through accessible knowledge and understanding.




Drug Class



Generic Name



Forms of medicine

Tablet, solution

Tablet, solution 


10mg to 20mg once daily (Depending on situation)

20mg daily (Depending on situation)

For How Long

Depends on person

Depends on person

Who can use

12 years and older

Children, adolescents, adults

Withdrawal Symptoms: Lexapro vs Prozac

You need to lower the dosage slowly whenever you are about to stop any medication. If you abruptly stop any medication, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms. The effects Would harm you and might even cause you severe effects. So, talk to your doctor first whenever you stop any medication.















Weight Gain: Lexapro vs Prozac

You might see the weight changes when you start the medication, but the weight gain is not necessarily through depression medications. This might be because you have regained your appetite as before.

In simple terms, there are high chances of loss in appetite when you are depressed, so the weight starts to lose. Once you are on the medication, you regain your desire to be expected, which normalizes your weight (increases) and cuts off the depression state. This means that whether it's lexapro or Prozac, it reduces your weight by easing your condition.

Comparing Lexapro and Prozac, some studies show both medicines can cause weight gain. A study states that people who consumed Lexapro gained weight in 8 months was 4 pounds, and people who took Prozac for the same period gained 4.6 pounds.

Can You Take Lexapro And Prozac Together?

It is never recommended to take both SSRIs at once. Lexapro and Prozac have the same active properties, which can lead to overdose if consumed together. This might also lead to severe side effects and also suffer from serotonin syndrome. 

Switching From Lexapro To Prozac (Vice Versa)

Chances of switching from one antidepressant to another might be expected. But there should be a strong reason for shifting from one to another. This can happen under doctors' vigilance, or you should not swap the medications alone. 
Reasons for switching from one antidepressant to another are:

  • If you are experiencing any side effects from one medicine
  • If you do not see any changes after consuming one medicine
  • If you feel that the medicine is not working like before.

These are the common reasons for changing one medicine to another. Be cautious while you switch from Lexapro to Prozac or Prozac to Lexapro.

Drug Interactions: Lexapro vs Prozac

Drug interactions should always be taken into consideration. This will help you from not interacting with different medications if you already consume them. 















Also Read

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

You might have known almost everything about both in comparison by now. Most of these medications are similar, but still, a few differences keep the Lexapro medicine a bit higher compared to Prozac.

The effectiveness will depend on the person consuming, and various aspects come into place in working on the medication. It is always said that, better to take a prescription from a doctor instead of purchasing it on your own. 

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