OverviewDosageSide EffectsInteractionsHalf-Life

Sertraline (Zoloft) is just one antidepressant treatment – other types of drug treatments and therapies may be suitable sertraline alternatives.

Sertraline Alternatives

What are the options when it comes to alternatives for sertraline?

Some patients respond to “talking therapies,” such as cognitive behavioral therapy, intrapersonal therapy, counseling, and self-help groups. Others find benefit in exercise. Many people with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues may use alternative selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as:

  • Citalopram (Celexa®)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro®)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac®, Prozac Weekly®, Sarafem®)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox®, Luvox CR®)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil®, Paxil CR®, Pexeva®)

For Anxiety – Escitalopram (Lexapro®)

Like sertraline, Escitalopram (Lexapro®) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which means it works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Which one is more effective depends largely on the individual, as research has come to mixed conclusions about their comparable efficacy. Research suggests Lexapro® is more effective and better tolerated than sertraline, but another study shows sertraline led to outcomes that were as good or better than Lexapro®.

Without Weight Gain – Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Many antidepressants, such as sertraline, are associated with weight gain. Bupropion, sold under the brand name Wellbutrin, is the only antidepressant that leads to long-term weight loss.

Natural Alternatives – Supplements

Natural alternatives to sertraline include targeted supplements therapy, St. John’s wort and herbal remedies, and alternative medicines such as valerian, kava, and vitamin B6 for the treatment of depression and anxiety in certain patients.


What can I take instead of sertraline?

There are a number of alternative selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as:

  • Citalopram (Celexa®)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro®)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac®, Prozac Weekly®, Sarafem®)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox®, Luvox CR®)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil®, Paxil CR®, Pexeva®)

Consumers can take other antidepressants in different drug classes, such as:

  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin), an aminoketone
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta), a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor XR), another SNRI

What is the best antidepressant with the least side effects?

Recent research shows that seven antidepressants are more effective than other antidepressants are. These seven antidepressants include:

  • Agomelatine (Melitor, Thymanax, Valdoxan)
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Mirtazapine (Remeron, Remeronsoltab)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
  • Vortioxetine (Trintellix, Brintellix)

The antidepressants that users report cause the fewest side effects include:

  • Agomelatine (Melitor, Thymanax, Valdoxan)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Vortioxetine (Trintellix, Brintellix)

What is the best natural antidepressant?

Research suggests St. John’s wort reduces symptoms of mild to moderate depression more than a placebo, and provides results similar to prescription antidepressants. Another study found St. John’s wort provides benefits similar to prescription antidepressants on mild to moderate depression, and that fewer people stopped taking St. John’s wort compared to prescription antidepressants.

It’s important to note that St. John’s wort has many food and drug interactions. Patients must always consult with their medical providers before using St. John’s wort or any other over-the-counter supplement.

Is fluoxetine or sertraline better for anxiety?

There have been very few studies comparing fluoxetine and sertraline for treating anxiety, but there are studies comparing the two for the treatment of depression and depression/anxiety.

In one study, both fluoxetine and sertraline improved depression, but sertraline was associated with fewer side effects so more patients remained on the medication longer. In another study, the two medications showed similar effectiveness in patients with depression and anxiety.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

More about Sertraline

Written by

Fact Checked by