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Celexa vs Zoloft

I think I am going to switch from Zoloft to Celexa.  I am going to my doctor this week to ask about it.  I KNOW that we all are different & every medicine will affect us on a different level, but is there a difference between the two?  I hope I don't have the same side effects I had on Zoloft.  
50 Responses
480448 tn?1426952138
All SSRIs are appropriate to be used as an anxiety treatment, despite being classed as an anti depressant.  Instead of YOU deciding which med you want, you're better off explaining to your doc what has been going on, and see what he recommends.

While two meds might both be SSRIs, they all work a little differently in their mechanism of action.  The end result is the same (an increased amount of serotonin in the brain)..but how you get there is different with each med, hence why there are so many varying experiences.

Cymbalta tends to be a bit activating, so that may not be the best choice, ask your doctor about it.  There's no way to predict how you will do on something else, but let's hope well.  I STRONGLY urge you to have a back up plan in place to help deal with any side effects,  should they occur.  A short acting benzo would be appropriate.  I know you're fearful after your experience with Xanax but it's worth a try.  Ativan tends to be a little less intense, so you could try that.  Again, mention it to your doctor.  Whatever you do...don't make any changes...stay on your current dose of the Zoloft until you get in to see him.


Again, remain open mided.  Do NOT go into the doctor's office with a mind full of what you will or won't take.  Let the doctor make some recommendations, then have a discussion from there.  With the new world of google, we are all so quick to want to play doctor...lol.

Good luck....update us on the new plan.
Avatar universal
.... or have thought about Cymbalta???  Those are the other two my doctor has mentioned.  Trying to decide which would be the next best step after Zoloft.
Avatar universal
I keep commenting on my own post. lol.  I want and NEED an SSRI that is approved for anxiety.  
Avatar universal
Advice12 - I have such a difficult time with most medications, especially SSRI's, but I can't even take a Sudafed without being jittery and feeling strange. Granted, we are all different, but with that being said, I had virtually no side effects from Lexapro.  Celexa is very close in chemical makeup, but that one didn't work well for me for my anxiety.  I know it does for others, with minimal side effects, so it may be a good choice.
480448 tn?1426952138
Lexapro is very similar to Celexa, it has one of the main components of Celexa, and tends to be overall easier to tolerate, so yes, if you ARE going to discuss that with your doc...that may be the way to go.

Good point, kickbutt!    :0)
Avatar universal
nursegirl, ahhhh!  I knew I could count on you for advice!  Thank you.  I hate google.  lol.  I play doctor all of the time.  I googled last night and read that Paxil is one that doesn't (usually) accelerate tremors but I read weight gain is ridiculous on it.  I also read the Prozac is good too but I think Prozac is activating.  I need sedating.  I am glad you said that about Cymbalta.  I need one that will not make my tremors worse.

kickbutt, My doctor wanted to orginally prescribe Lexapro but coming to find out my insurance doesn't cover it.  I don't understand why because I have decent insurance.  I hope if I do try Celexa that it works well for my anxiety but mainly I need a med that will not make my tremors bad.

Thank you both for your help.  I found the Zoloft to work at lowering my anxiety and depression but it made my tremor bad.  I feel hopeless.  I hope they all don't do that.
Avatar universal
That's the drawback of Lexapro...my insurance didn't cover it either.  When I had Blue Cross insurance, I was able to get a prior authorization from my doctor because I'd tried so many other drugs with no avail, so the insurance company gave in and made it a covered drug.  However, last year when I switched jobs and insurance companies, there was no way around it.  The generic just came out this year, but even with insurance the co-pay was still $100.  I hope that the Celexa works for you, though.  The people I know who have taken it haven't had any side effects from it.  Let us know!
480448 tn?1426952138
That's the thing about google...so much info, and it's hard to sort it out and determine which are reputable sources.  Also, reports of experiences with meds are all over the place from person to person.  Some report weight gain with one med, others report loss, others report no change.  Same with any other side effects.  That's why it's best to keep your info seeking to basic information.  You can drive yourself crazy!  See what your doctor recommends.  He may have an idea non of us have thought of.
Avatar universal
"Again, remain open mided.  Do NOT go into the doctor's office with a mind full of what you will or won't take.  Let the doctor make some recommendations, then have a discussion from there.  With the new world of google, we are all so quick to want to play doctor..."

Good advice. If you suffer from anxiety relating to your medication, also, it'll be hard to respond naturally to your treatment if you've done far too much reading up and worrying about side effects, etc.
If it's anything like in the UK your Dr may well have a straight second line treatment to go to which is affordable and recommended for anyone not responding to your current therapy. It may be different due to the huge difference in nature between our healthcare systems, however.
Avatar universal
Thank you.  How is everyone?  I am not able to make my appointment on Thursday.  =(  I was looking forward to asking him about the next medicine.  The lady in the office said she will call me if they get a cancellation for Friday.  In the meantime I am going without medicine.  I can't wait to get on something again, that does NOT cause tremors.  
480448 tn?1426952138
Oh hun, you really should have just stayed on the Zoloft until you could get in to see him.  How long has it been since you took the Zoloft?  How are you feeling?
Avatar universal
It's been several nights now without it.   Maybe 4 nights.  :(  My tremors have improved.  I have been emotional today & have felt a little more anxious.  The Zoloft was helping me a lot with depression & I could see a difference with my anxiety but I can't physically handle the tremors.  They weren't mild, they were severe.  I hope I am able to get in soon & get on something that doesn't cause me to shake like that.  Thank you for your help through this.
Avatar universal
nursegirl, advice needs your advice!  =)  I was able to get into my doctor today. He said his next pick would be Lexapro or Viibryd.  I chose Lexapro since Viibryd is a new drug and I was unsure about it.   My concern is insurance doesn't cover Lexapro.  I hope they are able to make it go through.  He also gave me a script for Valium.  I was shocked he didn't give Ativan or Klonopin or something along those lines.  Is Valium good?  He said if insurance doesn't cover the Lexapro then I could try Vivbryd, a new med, but I don't like that idea.  He said I could try Paxil or Prozac but Paxil is known to cause a lot of weight gain and they both can have interactions with other drugs and not so good on the liver.  What do you think?  If I can't get Lexapro covered what would your adice be?  He is letting me decide.
Avatar universal
Sorry for the typos
Avatar universal
Lexapro came out with a generic a few months ago; however, I have Health Partners insurance and even with insurance, the co-pay is still $100.  If you have a different provider, I would ask your doctor to submit a prior authorization for the drug, stating you've tried other drugs with no success.  I had to do this for seven years with Blue Cross Blue Shield, but Lexapro was the only drug that worked for me, and then they did cover it.
Avatar universal
$100 is high!  Did you take the generic?  IDK why but I want to take the name brand.  
Avatar universal
Maybe I should have asked for Celexa, he also mentioned it.  There are way too many to choose from.  
480448 tn?1426952138
I think Lexapro is a good med to try next, hopefully your insurance will cover it.  The generic was recently approved, so it may not be available everywhere.  One option would be, if your insurance denies it, you could speak with a few Pharmacists in your area, nd ask them to try to obtain the generic for you.  That may be an option.

If you can't get the Lexapro either way, I think trying the Viibryd is the next best option.  I know it's fairly new, but so far, I've heard a lot of reviews thus far.  No different than trying any other new med.  Let us know, hon!
Avatar universal
Good news!  I called the pharamacy to check on my prescriptions.  My insurance is going to cover it!  I am not sure why.  I thought for sure it would be a long drawn out process to get them to cover it.  I asked about name brand and they said they will switch it out for me & all I will have to pay is a co pay.  I am one happy girl right now!  I hope this works.  I will keep you posted.  Thank you for being here for me through this.  I hope to report back one day with my anxiety & depression under control, on a medicine without nasty side effects.  I guess if this fails then I will give Viibryd a chance but I hope this works.  I plan to take the Valium as needed.  Do you think Valium is good for anxiety and will help with start up side effects?  I hope this works.
480448 tn?1426952138
Great news!  I will keep my fingers crossed that the Lexapro does the trick!  The Valium will definitely be helpful?  How was it prescibed,
"as needed"?  What is the mg dose?
Avatar universal
I am not sure but when I get them later I will let you know.  Let's hope this does the trick!  I hope it doesn't cause shakes like Zoloft did.  
Avatar universal
Lexapro is 10 mg and Valium is 2mg (once a day).  Does this sound like a good start?  
Avatar universal
I was tempted to go with Paxil despite everything my doctor said.  I hope I made the right choice with Lex.
Avatar universal
I think you made a good choice.  Lexapro is literally the only SSRI I've taken that has not caused severe side effects.  I have a very difficult time with drugs and this one was a godsend for me.  (I've tried Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil, & Effexor.)  I took the generic for a month and didn't notice any difference in it's effectiveness versus Lexapro.  
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