Prozac and Zoloft – what is the difference, anyway? After all, they are quite similar. Both are prescription antidepressant medications and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In other words, these medications work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. That said, there are some significant differences between the two drugs.
Prozac, also known by its generic name fluoxetine (its active ingredient), is an antidepressant used to treat major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and panic disorder.
Prozac is approved for use in the treatment of:
- Acute and maintenance treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD)
- Acute and maintenance treatment of bulimia nervosa
- Acute and maintenance treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Acute treatment of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia (fear of public places)
How it Works
Prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which means it helps maintain high levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a “feel good” hormone that produces feelings of relaxation and happiness.
Zoloft, also known by its generic name sertraline (its active ingredient), is an antidepressant that medical providers prescribe to treat major depression, panic disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Zoloft is approved for the treatment of:
- Major depressive disorder (MDD)
- Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder (PD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
How it Works
Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Like Prozac, Zoloft helps maintain high serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical messenger, also known as a neurotransmitter, which helps pass messages between brain cells. The body normally reabsorbs, or reuptakes, neurotransmitters once the chemical messengers have done their job once; SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin, which leaves more of the “feel good” hormone in the brain.
Prozac vs Zoloft – What’s the Difference?
Prozac and Zoloft are similar in many ways. Both are approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and panic disorders, for example.
They are different in that Zoloft is also approved for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (SAD) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), whereas Prozac is not. Also, Prozac is approved for use in the treatment of the eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, whereas Zoloft is not. They also contain different substances: Zoloft contains sertraline while Prozac contains fluoxetine.