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Lexapro vs. Prozac: What Will Help You Best?

Lexapro vs. Prozac: What Will Help You Best?

Lexapro vs. Prozac: What Will Help You Best?

Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient’s unique health circumstances and needs.

Prozac and Lexapro are widely used medications for depression and anxiety disorders. Though both drugs are under the same category as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), they have certain similarities and differences.

For those planning to see a doctor to consult on taking Lexapro vs. Prozac or switching between the two, understanding their effects, dosage, and uses will be helpful. This post discloses the features of both medications, which will help you prepare questions for your doctor and determine the best option for your situation.

Get the most suitable medication chosen according to your symptoms, diagnosis, and health history.

A General Overview of Prozac vs. Lexapro

Prozac and Lexapro are medications commonly used for depression treatment that can also help manage anxiety.

Typically, antidepressants are classified based on their effect on neurotransmitters. As their name suggests, SSRIs influence serotonin levels in the brain, which affects emotions like optimism and satisfaction. Serotonin plays a role in balancing a person’s mood and sense of well-being in general. Thus, SSRIs enhance the serotonin levels in the brain by blocking its reabsorption in the neurons, improving mood and cognition.

An In-Depth Look at Lexapro vs. Prozac




Generic name

Prozac goes by the generic name fluoxetine.

The generic name for Lexaprois escitalopram.

Available Strengths

Comes in multiple doses: capsules of 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg, and the liquid of 20mg/5mL

Lexapro comes in tablets (5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg) and a liquid form (5mg/5mL)


The usual Prozac dosage is 20 mg daily. The maximum daily dose is 60 mg to 80 mg; some patients require higher doses to relieve symptoms.

The starting dose is 10 mg, taken daily. The doctor may increase the dosage to 20 mg or reduce it to 5 mg if necessary. The liquid dose is 1 mg/mL daily.

Additional intake recommendations

The doctor may slowly increase the dosage over several weeks if necessary. Once the doctor finds the correct dosage to alleviate the symptoms, they may switch to a weekly dosage, which is longer-acting.If they are not taking a weekly dose, patients can take Prozac once daily in the morning, with or without food. When a person forgets to take Prozac, they should immediately take the missed dose or, if the next dosage is close, they just take the next one.

Lexapro is taken daily, with or without food, in the morning or at night. If a person misses a dose, they should take it immediately or just take the next one if it’s close.


1 to 4 days

27-33 hours


A patient may not feel the benefits of Prozac until 4 to 6 weeks after starting the medication, so patience is vital. Despite feeling the effects, they must keep taking their medication unless their provider instructs them otherwise.

After taking Lexapro for a few weeks, a patient may notice an improvement in appetite, energy, or sleep. That said, the full effects can take up to 4 to 8 weeks.

Side effects

The most common side effects are nausea, headaches, insomnia, dizziness, loss of appetite, and sexual problems. These side effects usually improve within a few weeks.

Lexapro’s most common side effects are nausea, headaches, drowsiness, sexual problems, and insomnia.

MEDvidi doctors are ready to examine your symptoms online and develop an individual treatment plan.

The Difference in the Conditions Treated





Major Depressive Disorder

Patients suffering from depression have physical, emotional, and mental symptoms such as changes in sleep, appetite, and loss of interest in daily activities. They may also display suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The signs and symptoms include insomnia, restlessness, an increased heart rate, panic attacks, and trouble concentrating persisting for six months or more

Panic Disorder

Causes repeated episodes of intense panic — panic attacks, resulting in chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath.

Bipolar Depression

Makes a person experience severe mood swings, from excess emotional highs to lows.


Is characterized by persistent, anxiety-provoking thoughts accompanied by compulsive behaviors.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

A severe form of premenstrual syndrome. Comes with symptoms like anxiety, irritability, low energy, binge eating, headache, etc., right before menses.

Bulimia Nervosa

An eating disorder marked by binging and then purging to avoid weight gain. It’s common for people to purge by abusing laxatives, vomiting excessively, or exercising too much.

Binge Eating

Is characterized by repetitive episodes of consuming large amounts of food and feeling distressed afterward.


A mental disorder that develops because of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic or terrifying event.

Social Anxiety

Is characterized by extreme panic related to social situations and fear of being embarrassed and judged.

Conclusion: Which Is Better‍, Lexapro or Prozac?

Taking a closer look at Lexapro vs. Prozac, they are both worth considering as treatment for depression or anxiety. But despite their many similarities, each medication has some key differences that make it unique.

In terms of side effects, Lexapro’s side effects are generally milder in comparison to Prozac. The half-life of Lexapro is significantly shorter than that of Prozac, making it more readily absorbed by the body and reducing the likelihood of side effects.

There is, however, a difference in how antidepressants work for different people, so Lexapro or Prozac may be more effective for some people than others. But the full effect in both takes place in about four weeks. To know what medication will help you best, contact the MEDvidi today to go through an assessment and get a diagnosis and an individual treatment plan.

Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology
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