Zoloft (Sertraline) and Prozac (Fluoxetine) are both antidepressants in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Since both drugs belong to the same class, their effects are fairly similar. However, since their chemical composition is different, one may work better than the other depending upon the individual patient.
Consuming the medicine
Both Zoloft and Prozac should be taken exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take either medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from the medication.
For both Prozac and Zoloft, try to take the medicine at the same time each day. Follow the directions on your prescription label. It may take 4 weeks or longer before you start feeling better. Do not stop using either medicine without first talking to your doctor. You may have unpleasant side effects if you stop taking either medication suddenly.
Both medicines need to be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
To treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder, the usual dose of Prozac is once daily while you are having your period, or 14 days before you expect your period to start. Follow your doctor's instructions. Store Prozac at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Zoloft: Take each tablet with water. Sertraline (Zoloft) may be taken with or without food. Try to take the medicine at the same time each day. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Prozac: Do not break, chew, or open an extended-release Prozac capsule. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
Measure the liquid form of fluoxetine (Prozac) with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.
The oral liquid form of Zoloft must be diluted before you take it. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with medicine dropper provided, not with a regular table spoon. Mix the dose with 4 ounces (one-half cup) of water, ginger ale, lemon/lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice. Do not use any other liquids to dilute the medicine. Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.
Missing a dose
For either Prozac or Zoloft, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
If you miss a dose of Prozac Weekly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember and take the next dose 7 days later. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled weekly dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed.Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
For either Prozac or Zoloft, seek emergency medical attention if you think you have taken too much of this medication.
Symptoms of a fluoxetine (Prozac) overdose may include nausea, vomiting, fever, sleepiness, rapid or uneven heartbeat, confusion, fainting, seizures, or coma.
Symptoms of a sertraline (Zoloft) overdose may include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, agitation, tremor, confusion, seizures, and coma.
Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of both Prozac and Zoloft. Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxers, medicine for seizures, other medication for depression or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by Zoloft or Prozac.
Both Zoloft and Prozac can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Do not take the liquid form of sertraline (Zoloft) if you are taking disulfiram (Antabuse). Liquid sertraline may contain alcohol and you could have a severe reaction to the disulfiram.
Since both Zoloft and Prozac belong to the same class of drugs, their side effects are very similar.Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: skin rash or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects for either Prozac or Zoloft:
- seizure (convulsions);
- tremors, shivering, muscle stiffness or twitching;
- problems with balance or coordination; or
- agitation, confusion, sweating, fast heartbeat.
Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:
- drowsiness, dizziness, weakness;
- nausea, diarrhea, changes in appetite;
- decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; or
In addition, Prozac has a few more side effects:
- a red, blistering, peeling skin rash;
- runny nose, sore throat, headache, flu symptoms;
- weight changes;
- dry mouth, increased sweating.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.