Xanax vs. Zoloft

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Difference between Xanax and Zoloft

Countless people all over the world rely on either Xanax or Zoloft to help them deal with issues related to depression. While both medications are quite similar to each other, they are by no means interchangeable, and taking one when you should be taking the other can produce disastrous results. Here is a quick guide on the key differences between each.



The generic name of Xanax is alprazolam, and it belongs to the category of drugs called benzodiazepines. These medications affect certain chemicals in the brain that play a role in triggering anxiety. Zoloft is sold under the generic namesertraline, and it belongs to the antidepressant category of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. Zoloft affects the same chemicals in the brain that Xanax does, particularly those that play a role in depression, panic, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorders.


Xanax is commonly prescribed as a treatment for a wide range of conditions including anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and depression related anxiety. Zoloft is used in the treatment of depression as well, and it is also prescribed to patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic and anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Risk Factors

Under no circumstances should you take Xanax if you are allergic to similar medications such as those in the benzodiazepine group. Among the drugs in this category are chlordiazepoxide, clorazepate, diazepam, lorazepam, and oxazepam. In addition, you should not take Xanax if you are pregnant, as doing so can cause birth defects in your baby. You should also avoid Xanax if you have had trouble breathing, glaucoma, kidney or liver conditions, a history of depression, suicidal tendencies, and/or drug or alcohol addiction. The use of Zoloft should be avoided if you are already taking pimozide or some type of MAO inhibitor. Drugs in this category are isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine, phenelzine, rasagiline, and selegiline. Taking Zoloft when you are under these medications may result in fatal reactions. You should also ask your doctor about taking Zoloft if you have liver or kidney issues, if you have suffered from seizures and/or epilepsy in the past, if you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, or if you have a history of drug abuse and/or suicidal tendencies. You should also consult with your doctor if you experience suicidal thoughts, if you get pregnant, or if you plan to breastfeed while taking Zoloft.



  • Generic name is alprazolam
  • Belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines
  • Affects chemicals in the brain
  • Used in the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders, and depression
  • May cause birth defects in unborn babies
  • Potential risks when taken with alcohol
  • May be habit-forming


  • Generic name is sertraline
  • Belongs to a group of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs
  • Affects chemicals in the brain
  • Used in the treatment of depression and obsessive-compulsive, panic anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders
  • May cause serious and fatal side effects when taken with certain medicines

Xanax Information Video

Zoloft Information Video

Which medicine has worse side-effects?
  • Xanax
  • Zoloft

Discuss It: comments 10

xanax causes breathlessness and zoloft causes pressure in your brain !

Xanax has helped me tremedously, I do not suffer from any of the side effects that are listed. Since being on this drug for my anxiety, I have been given part of my life back. I didn't like to be in crowds of people or go to social events and since I am on this medicine I no longer suffer from these anxieties.

  • Guest
  • alprazolam wrote on August 2011

Completely helps with panic disorder, PTSD, and GAD. I have all three and Xanax provides immediate results to help calm me down. This is the only medication that works for my condition and recommend this to those who need help fast.

I have taken Zoloft in the past and had no issues with it. I stopped taking it about 4 years ago. Recently I've had some intense anxiety, heart palpatations, shortness or breath, and have felt at times like I was gonna pass out. I had all kinds of blood work done. The result from the hospital was that my tsh was low and so was my potassium. I was given medication for the potassium and put back on Zoloft. After 2 days of taking it I felt uncomfortable in my own skin and began having heart palpatations again. So they gave me Xanax instead. I have had no problems with it except if I take the full dose it makes me really tired. Of course I'm still having all these issues. I just can't figure out how my normal panicky feelings have morphed into this crazy everyday thing.

I have complex PTSD (with 23 different medical conditions grouped together), chronic sleeping disorder, personality adjustment disorder and and eating disorder. They have had me on Zoloft for quite some time at 200mg, and I still irritable/gross in my own skin, and I feel it doesn't help at all. I've tried talkin to the dr.s but they won't change my medications. I heard Xanax works so much better, i don't understand why they won't change my meds, but it's starting to drive me crazy because it doesn't help. It doesn't help with my anxiety, panic attacks, or hypertensia. Because of all of my anxiety it's not helping my eating disorder either. It's actually making it worse to where I go days on end without one single bite of food. -.-

I was prescribed 50mg Zoloft recently for panic attacks. In the beginning I felt my heart racing yet, I was calm. After a couple of weeks. I started to feel withdrawn and depressed. My wife told me I was a different person and so I stopped taking it. I started to ask friends of mine who I knew had similar issues and one mentioned that he had issues with Zoloft and Lexapro. I was given a Xanax to try out (not prescribed) and when I took it, I felt normal and confident. How would I go about asking my doctor to prescribe me Xanax? I would think he wouldn't be too happy I took a Xanax without prescription.

Xanax is very addicting. Zoloft takes time so they say. I know about Xanax , but have started Zoloft . I've only been on it for 15 days. I hope I feel better soon, also tinnitus is driving me crazy.

  • Guest
  • mollye self wrote on March 2013

my tinnitus is much lessened since being on Xanax for one month.

  • Guest
  • nmw wrote on November 2013

Zoloft sucks. Clonzepam helps better. Xanax is working good for me. Was in Zoloft for 6 mos. Doc kept increasing the script. Still had major mood swings. And if you decide to stop taking the zoloft cold turkey it makes everything 10 times worse. Xanax is actually working to keep nme more level.

  • Guest
  • john bear wrote on April 2015

Zoloft makes me feel like there is someone watching over me when I was taking it that said I couldn't wait get on Xanax did wonders for my panic attacks !

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