Zoloft Vs. Luvox


Zoloft and Luvox are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) used to treat a range of mental illnesses. Some of them are depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders. The latter also treats social anxiety disorder.

While some side effects of both medications are similar, most are different. Similar ones include nausea, changes in appetite, dizziness, dry mouth, sleep issues, sore throat, anxiety, decreased sex drive, etc.

About Zoloft and Luvox

What Is Zoloft?

Zoloft is an antidepressant. It belongs to a group of drugs called SSRIs. SSRIs balance serotonin levels in the nerves and brain. While it is primarily used to treat depression, it also treats a range of other mental disorders. Zoloft is mainly taken by mouth. It’s available as a tablet and liquid.

What conditions is Zoloft approved to treat?

Zoloft was approved in 1999. It can treat the following conditions:

  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

How does Zoloft work for Depression?

Most SSRIs, including Zoloft, work by raising the levels of serotonin in the brain. The more serotonin there is, the more the mood improves.

Serotonin is one of the key neurotransmitters in the brain. It sends signals between neurons that ultimately affect your mood. People with depression do not have enough serotonin since the neurons like to absorb it quickly.

Zoloft inhibits this fast absorption and allows your brain to transmit more messages. As a result, the levels of the neurotransmitter are increased.

What Is Luvox?

Luvox is also a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that boosts serotonin levels in your brain. It is mainly used to treat OCD. It helps reduce unwanted thoughts that don’t go away on their own.

It also helps reduce the urge to perform compulsions such as counting, handwashing, etc. These repetitive thoughts and behaviors can interfere with daily living. Fluvoxamine is the brand name for Luvox.

What conditions is Luvox approved to treat?

Luvox is approved for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder in children aged 8 and older and adults. It can also treat depression, but it isn't approved for treating any infections.

Healthcare practitioners also use it to treat other mental health conditions, such as:

  • Certain eating disorders
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder

How does Luvox work for Depression?

Luvox, like most antidepressants, works by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. It helps maintain mental balance. While it isn’t the primary drug for treating depression, a healthcare professional may prescribe it under certain circumstances.


How Effective Are Zoloft and Luvox for Treating Depression?

While both drugs increase serotonin levels in the brain, Zoloft is the primary choice for depression. Luvox is rarely prescribed for the condition since it's mainly used for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder. Luvox is a better choice for treating OCD. Both drugs are energizing SSRI medications. However, it’s important to monitor your anxiety and sleeping levels when taking either medication.

Dosage information

How Is Zoloft Administered for Depression?

Zoloft is typically administered orally, in the form of tablets or liquid. The dosage is usually raised or lowered based on the response.

Side Effects

Every medication has some side effects to look out for. While some adverse effects lessen over time, others might not. If they become bothersome, it’s important to discuss them with your healthcare provider.

All SSRIs carry side effects. Some common ones include:

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling sick
  • Feeling anxious
  • Low sex drive
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty achieving orgasm during masturbation or sex

Men may experience erectile dysfunction. It's important to go for follow-up visits every few weeks so your doctor can make the required adjustments. If you experience persistent side effects, contact your healthcare professional right away.

What Are the Most Common Side Effects of Zoloft?

Common side effects of Zoloft include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Dyspepsia
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Loose stools
  • Anorexia
  • Paresthesia
  • Headache
  • Tremor
  • Xerostomia
  • Ejaculation failure
  • Delayed ejaculation
  • Decreased libido

Are there any potentially serious side effects of Zoloft?

* If you experience any of these serious side effects persistently, seek medical help immediately

  • High fever
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Stiff muscles
  • Uneven heartbeat
  • The feeling of passing out
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Tremors
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Loss of coordination
  • Memory problems
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Shallow breathing
  • Feeling unsteady
  • Loss of appetite

What Are the Most Common Side Effects of Luvox?

Some of the common side effects of this medication include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling nervous
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

These side effects tend to improve as you continue to take the medication.

Are there any potentially serious side effects of Luvox?

* If you experience any of these serious side effects, seek medical help immediately

  • Glaucoma (eye pain, swelling around the eye, vision changes)
  • Low sodium blood levels (difficulty concentrating, headache, weakness)
  • Shivering
  • Severe muscle tightness
  • Seizures
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Confusion
  • Bleeding

Contraindications and Interactions

Warnings and General Precautions for Zoloft and Luvox

Sudden discontinuation or withdrawal may cause adverse reactions. This is especially true for SSRIs. Do not increase or decrease the dose on your own and discuss everything with your healthcare provider properly. If you choose to stop or decrease the dose of your medication, your healthcare provider can help you taper off the dose gradually.

Common withdrawal syndrome symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Irregular sensations
  • Visual disturbances
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Vertigo
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness

Precautions for Zoloft

The medicine can cause low sodium levels in the blood. It is much more common in elderly patients, especially those taking diuretics for high blood pressure.

Hence, it’s important to check with your doctor right away if you have a headache, confusion, memory problems, or unsteadiness. Furthermore, if you have decreased interest in sexual intercourse or persistent delay in orgasm, these could be symptoms of sexual dysfunction.

If you’re diabetic, taking this medication may affect your blood sugar levels. Drinking alcohol isn’t recommended. It’s important to know how to react to the medicine before you use machines or drive or do anything that may affect your coordination.

Additionally, the dropper dispenser for the liquid has dry natural rubber. It may induce allergic reactions in people sensitive to latex. Most importantly, do not take medicine without checking with your doctor first. Your practitioner will most likely want you to reduce the amount gradually.

This way, the likelihood of having serious side effects may also decrease. If you stop the medication abruptly, these effects may be more severe.

Precautions for Luvox

Make sure to check with your doctor if you have unsteadiness, weakness, memory problems, or difficulty concentrating. Also, check with the doctor if you develop a rash or swelling of the eyes, face, or mouth or experience breathing troubles after taking it. Take note of any symptoms that may hint towards sexual dysfunction.

Some women and men who take this medication tend to become infertile. So if you plan to have children, make sure to inform the doctor before using this medicine.

Don't take other medicines unless you've discussed them first with your doctor. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medicines and herbal and vitamin supplements.

Contraindications and Important Interactions for Zoloft and Luvox



Not recommended for people with bipolar disorder (especially in a manic phase)

Pregnant women can take it if prescribed. However, it could result in potential complications such as maternal weight changes.


People with a history of mania, hypomania, or bipolar affective disorder shouldn’t take it.

It can be taken during pregnancy if prescribed, but only if the benefits outweigh the risks to the fetus.

Drug/Medication Interactions


  • Bepridil
  • Cisapride
  • Dronedarone
  • Furazolidone
  • Iproniazid
  • Linezolid


  • Clopidogrel
  • Ibuprofen
  • Dabigatran
  • Buspirone
  • Cymbalta
  • Fluoxetine

Food/Beverage/Supplement Interactions


The medicine can be taken with or without food.

Avoid having anything that may elevate the drowsiness.


The medicine can be taken with or without food.

Avoid having anything that may elevate the drowsiness.

As with any other medication, Zoloft and Luvox are also known to interact with different drugs. It’s important to disclose all information about any current medications you may be taking. This is especially the case when starting any new medication.

Cost Comparison

How Much Do Zoloft and Luvox Cost?

The generic version of Zoloft is called sertraline hydrochloride. The average price of this medicine is about $485.69 for 1, 30 Tablets Tablet.

The cost for Luvox capsules, extended-release 100 mg, is around $402 for around 30 capsules. However, it may vary depending on the pharmacy you visit. It may also vary based on your insurance plans and what they cover.

Since Luvox is relatively newer, it may be more expensive in some places. Fortunately, most commercial health insurance plans cover the drug’s cost.

The Popularity of Zoloft and Luvox

Zoloft is undeniably one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. It has millions of prescriptions each year mainly because of its safety, efficacy, and tolerability. It also has many benefits over other choices in a clinical setting. For instance, it has a decent safety profile for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

This is why it is a preferred drug in postpartum and pregnant patients. On the other hand, Luvox, too, is a fairly popular drug. There aren't any problems associated with its long-term use. It is also pretty safe and effective when used according to directions.



There’s a lot of information to compare both Zoloft and Luvox. Hence, leaving a verdict can be confusing. Both drugs come with their own benefits and side effects. While the former is more useful for treating depression, the latter works well with OCD treatment.

While they can replace one another, it shouldn’t be done without guidance and supervision. Dosing is strictly based on the condition being treated and the response to it. As a rule of thumb, caffeine or alcohol should be avoided when taking any SSRI medication. Doing so may lead to a potential increase in the medication’s side effects.