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Zoloft vs Prozac

oloft and Prozac are drugs that fall into the group of anti-depressants. While they work similarly, there are some individual differences that you should take note of. For instance, Prozac comes available as a tablet or liquid, while Zoloft comes as a concentrated solution that needs to be mixed with liquid before consumption. In the following sections, we’ll learn more about how these two anti-depressants differ.


Both Prozac and Zoloft should be taken as prescribed by your doctor. They work best when taken daily, and because of their delayed response time, it may be up to a month before their effects actually start to kick in. Both medicines should also be stored at room temperature, as well as be kept away from heat and moisture.

Tablet Form

Zoloft should be consumed with an ample amount of water, and can be taken with our without food. When taking Prozac, it is imperative that you don’t chew, open, or brake the pill with your teeth upon swallowing. This is because the pill is designed to digest and breakdown slowly in your body. Breaking the pill would force too much of the drug into your system at one time.

Liquid Form

Both Zoloft and Prozac come available in a liquid solution. However, it is important to note that Prozac can be taken as is while Zoloft must be mixed thoroughly into another liquid before digestion. A single dose of Zoloft should be mixed with a minimum of four ounces of water or orange juice. Both drugs should never be taken with alcohol.

Common Side Effects

As with most anti-depressants, both Zoloft and Prozac come with their fair share of side effects. However, few of these are actually life-threatening, and can be avoided if you follow the directions given to you by your doctor or primary physician. Some of the more common side effects include allergic reactions such as skin rashes, swelling in the lips, face, or tongue, and even difficulty breathing.

There are more serious side effects, however, that you should become aware of. These can include radical changes in your mood, panic attacks, anxiety attacks, trouble sleeping, an overwhelming feeling of restlessness, hyperactivity, and even frequent suicidal thoughts. In rarer cases, you may experience an even greater amount of depression accompanied by aggression or hostility.

When Should Medical Assistance Be Sought?

Keep in mind that medical help should be sought after should you experience worsening symptoms including the following:

  • – Seizures or convulsions
  • – Shivering, tremors, or stiffness in the muscles
  • – Problems maintaining coordination or balance
  • – Confusion, sweating, fast heartbeat, or quickly-triggered agitation

Other less serious side effects that you may experience are changes in appetite, difficulty having an orgasm, a decreased sex drive, and occasional nausea accompanied by drowsiness. Sore  throat, headaches, flu symptoms, changes in weight, and red blisters around the mouth have also been seen in both drugs.


Remember that both drugs should be taken in accordance to what was originally prescribed from your doctor. Otherwise, more serious side effects can occur.

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-BS Pharm, PharmD, RPh

Dr. Paul Zickler is a graduate of the University of Wester Ontario in 1972. After graduating from the faculty of medicine, Dr. Zickler practiced as an Emergency Physician for 18 years. He has then operated ambulatory medical and travel clinics for 12 years. Dr. Zickler has become an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia, a Director of Professional Programs for the Justice Institute of British Columbia (paramedic academy), a principal investigator for Phase 2 and 3 studies researching vaccines, and a founding member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. Dr. Zickler is passionate about combining western prescription medicine and natural medicines.

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