Trintellix (vortioxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline) are brand-name prescription medications. They’re approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults.
In this article, we review the key similarities and differences between Trintellix and Zoloft. Discussing this information with your doctor can be helpful if you’re considering taking one of these drugs. Your doctor can help decide whether either drug may be right for you.
Key differences between Trintellix and Zoloft
These are a few of the main differences between Trintellix and Zoloft:
- Conditions treated: Trintellix and Zoloft are both used to treat MDD in adults. Zoloft is also used to treat other conditions. (See “Uses of Trintellix vs. Zoloft” below.)
- Side effects: Some side effects of Trintellix and Zoloft differ. For example, Trintellix may cause indigestion, appetite loss, and tremor. Zoloft is not known to cause these side effects. (See “Side effects of Trintellix vs. Zoloft” below.)
- Precautions: Certain medical conditions may affect whether Trintellix or Zoloft is right for you. For example, Trintellix is typically safer to take than Zoloft if you have a liver, kidney, or heart problem. (See “Precautions for Trintellix and Zoloft” below.)
Below are answers to some common questions about Trintellix and Zoloft.
Can I take Wellbutrin with Trintellix or Zoloft?
It depends. The antidepressant Wellbutrin (bupropion) and Trintellix are known to interact with each other.
Specifically, Wellbutrin affects how well your body breaks down Trintellix after you take a dose. This can cause the level of Trintellix in your body to become too high, which increases your risk of side effects from the drug. Due to this risk, it’s unlikely that doctors will prescribe Wellbutrin with Trintellix.
On the other hand, it’s generally safe for your doctor to prescribe Wellbutrin with Zoloft. There’s no known interaction between these two drugs.
Wellbutrin and Zoloft work in different ways in the body. For certain people, the drugs may work together to treat their condition more effectively. However, there are possible side effects with both medications. And your risk of side effects may increase if you take them in combination.
If you’re interested in taking Wellbutrin with Trintellix or Zoloft, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on the right treatment plan for you.
Does Trintellix or Zoloft cause weight gain?
It’s important to keep in mind that mental health conditions, including depression, can affect weight and appetite. (Both Trintellix and Zoloft are used to treat depression.) You may experience weight or appetite changes as Trintellix or Zoloft works to treat your symptoms.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your weight, talk with your doctor. They can also explain what you can expect during treatment with Trintellix or Zoloft.
Is Trintellix a better treatment option than Zoloft, or vice versa?
Whether Trintellix or Zoloft is a better treatment option for major depressive disorder (MDD) depends on several factors. These include your medical history, your goals for treating MDD, and your insurance coverage (including whether you have coverage).
Keep in mind that besides treating depression, Zoloft has other approved uses. This may make it a better treatment option if you have certain conditions other than depression. To learn more about Zoloft’s other approved uses, refer to “Uses of Trintellix vs. Zoloft” below.
To learn more about how Zoloft and Trintellix compare for treating MDD, see “Effectiveness of Trintellix vs. Zoloft” below. In addition, your doctor can provide more information about how they’ll determine which drug may be right for you.
If I have anxiety, should my doctor prescribe Trintellix or Zoloft?
It depends on the source or cause of your anxiety symptoms.
Anxiety symptoms may be caused by an anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder or social anxiety disorder (SAD). Trintellix is not approved to treat any anxiety disorder. Zoloft, on the other hand, is approved to treat panic disorder and SAD.
However, doctors may prescribe Trintellix off-label to treat an anxiety disorder. With off-label prescribing, a medication the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved is prescribed for a condition other than what it’s approved for.
Both Trintellix and Zoloft are approved to treat MDD in adults. And feeling anxious is a common symptom of depression. If your anxiety is due to MDD, your doctor can help determine whether Zoloft or Trintellix would be the better treatment option for you.
In addition, Zoloft is approved to treat other conditions that may also cause anxiety. If you have anxiety due to the following conditions, your doctor may recommend Zoloft because it’s approved to treat them:
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Your doctor can answer additional questions you have about anxiety, Trintellix, and Zoloft.
Here’s information about the generic status of Trintellix and Zoloft, as well as details on their active ingredients.
|Drug class||atypical antidepressant||a type of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)|
The generic version of Zoloft is called sertraline.
Trintellix and Zoloft have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the following.
- Both Trintellix and Zoloft are FDA-approved to treat:
- major depressive disorder in adults
- Zoloft is also FDA-approved to treat:
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults as well as children ages 6 years and older
- panic disorder in adults
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults
- premenstrual dysphoric disorder in adults
- social anxiety disorder in adults
Trintellix or Zoloft and children
Zoloft is approved to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in children ages 6 years and older. Trintellix is not approved for use in children.
Here’s a quick look at the dosage and administration of Trintellix and Zoloft for the conditions both drugs treat.
Dosage for depression
Below is information on dosages of Trintellix and Zoloft for treating major depressive disorder (also called depression) in adults. Milligrams are abbreviated as mg, and milliliters as mL.
|Trintellix for depression||Zoloft for depression|
|Forms||oral tablet||• oral solution|
• oral tablet
|Strengths||• 5 mg|
• 10 mg
• 20 mg
|oral solution: 20 mg per mL|
• 25 mg
• 50 mg
• 100 mg
|Dose||5 mg to 20 mg||50 mg to 200 mg|
|Frequency||once per day||once per day|
Both Trintellix and Zoloft are used to treat major depressive disorder. These drugs can cause some of the same side effects, as well as some different ones. Some of the side effects reported in clinical trials of these drugs are mentioned below.
Mild side effects
The following table lists some of the more commonly reported mild side effects of Trintellix and Zoloft. The table may also include less common mild side effects that you might have concerns about in some cases.
|Mild side effects||Trintellix||Zoloft|
|nausea and vomiting||✓||✓|
|sexual side effects, including:|
• erectile dysfunction
• delayed or inability to orgasm
• decreased libido
|tremor or shaking||✓|
|sleep changes, such as abnormal dreams or problems falling asleep||✓||✓|
|mild allergic reaction*||✓||✓|
These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. If the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* An allergic reaction is possible after taking Trintellix, though this side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials. However, it has occurred since the drug was approved for use. An allergic reaction is also possible after taking Zoloft, though it’s not clear whether this side effect occurred in clinical trials.
Serious side effects
The following table lists the reported serious side effects of Trintellix and Zoloft.
|Serious side effects||Trintellix||Zoloft|
|worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts in children and young adults*||✓||✓|
|serotonin syndrome (dangerous buildup of the chemical serotonin in your body)||✓||✓|
|low level of sodium in your blood||✓||✓|
|severe allergic reaction†||✓||✓|
If you have serious side effects while taking Trintellix or Zoloft, call your doctor immediately. If the side effects feel life threatening or you believe you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.
* Trintellix and Zoloft have a
† An allergic reaction is possible after taking Trintellix, though this side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials. However, it has occurred since the drug was approved for use. An allergic reaction is also possible after taking Zoloft, though it’s not clear whether this side effect occurred in clinical trials.
If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:
- Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
- Listen to the person without judgment.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
- Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
- Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.
Both Trintellix and Zoloft are approved to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. If you’re considering treatment with Trintellix or Zoloft, you may wonder whether either drug is more effective for this use.
Prescribing information. Both Trintellix and Zoloft were found to be effective in treating MDD in adults in clinical trials.
For details about how these drugs performed in clinical trials, see the prescribing information for Trintellix and Zoloft. Keep in mind that trial results may not apply to your individual health situation.
Treatment guidelines. Another way to find out whether a drug is considered effective is to look at treatment guidelines.
When an organization includes certain drugs in treatment guidelines, this means that research has shown the drug to be safe and effective. Guidelines from the American Psychological Association recommend Zoloft as a first-choice treatment option for adults with MDD.
These guidelines also recommend Trintellix as a treatment option for adults with MDD.
How much Trintellix or Zoloft costs depends on the treatment plan your doctor prescribes, your insurance plan, and your pharmacy. You can visit Optum Perks for price estimates of Trintellix and Zoloft.
Both Trintellix and Zoloft are brand-name drugs. While Zoloft is also available in generic form, Trintellix is not. Brand-name medications are often more expensive than generics. You can talk with your doctor or pharmacist to learn about the generic form of Zoloft, which is called sertraline.
For more information about the cost of Zoloft, see this article.
Trintellix and Zoloft may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. The two drugs share some of the same precautions, but they also have different ones. Some of these precautions are mentioned below.
Boxed warning: Risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children and young adults
Trintellix and Zoloft have a
Treatment with antidepressant medications, including Trintellix and Zoloft, can slightly increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children and young adults. (Young adults are considered to be ages 24 years and younger).
It’s important to note that Trintellix is not approved for use in children. Zoloft’s only approved use in children is for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in children ages 6 years and older.
If you’re prescribed Trintellix or Zoloft, watch for worsening depression or suicidal thoughts. Your friends, family, and doctor should also look for these changes. If you develop any, your doctor should be told immediately. They may adjust your treatment plan or have you stop taking Trintellix or Zoloft.
In addition to boxed warnings, Trintellix and Zoloft have other warnings.
If any of the following medical conditions or other health factors are relevant to you, talk with your doctor before taking Trintellix or Zoloft.
|if you’ve had an allergic reaction to either drug or any of its ingredients||✓||✓|
|if you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant||✓||✓|
|if you’re breastfeeding or thinking about breastfeeding||✓||✓|
|if you have bipolar disorder||✓||✓|
|if you have a bleeding problem, such as hemophilia||✓||✓|
|if you have certain problems with the angles in your eye||✓||✓|
|if you take a type of medication called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), such as phenelzine (Nardil) or isocarboxazid (Marplan)||✓||✓|
|if you take the medication pimozide (Orap)||✓|
|if you take certain other medications, such as:|
• a tricyclic antidepressant drug, such as amitriptyline
• lithium (Lithobid)
• tramadol (Conzip, Qdolo)
• the supplements tryptophan or St. John’s wort
• a diuretic (water pill), such as furosemide (Lasix)
|if you have a liver problem, such as alcohol-related liver disease||✓|
|if you have a kidney problem, such as chronic kidney disease||✓|
|if you have high blood pressure or a heart problem, such as an irregular heartbeat, or have had a stroke||✓|
|if you have seizures or epilepsy, or have had seizures||✓||✓|
|if you have a low level of sodium in your blood||✓||✓|
Note: For more comprehensive information about these two drugs, you can refer to our general Trintellix and Zoloft articles. You can also look at our articles about Trintellix interactions and Zoloft interactions.
Switching between Trintellix and Zoloft is possible.
American Psychological Association guidelines address treating major depressive disorder in adults. The guidelines endorse switching between antidepressants if your current antidepressant medication isn’t working well enough to treat your symptoms.
If your doctor agrees that the other drug is safe for you to take, it’s typically safe to switch from Trintellix to Zoloft or vice versa.
If you’d like to know more about switching between Trintellix and Zoloft, talk with your doctor. They can give you additional details and help determine the best course of action for your personal situation. Even if two drugs treat the same condition or are in the same drug class, your body can still respond differently.
It’s important that you do not stop, start, or switch any of your drug treatments without your doctor’s recommendation.
Both Trintellix and Zoloft are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. Although these medications are similar, they do have some important differences.
Some key points to remember when comparing Trintellix and Zoloft include:
- Trintellix and Zoloft have some of the same mild side effects, but others differ. For example, Trintellix is not known to cause tremor, appetite loss, and indigestion, while Zoloft may cause these side effects.
- There are certain precautions to consider that affect whether Trintellix or Zoloft is safer for you to take. For example, Trintellix may be a better option than Zoloft if you have a heart, kidney, or liver problem.
- Trintellix is approved to treat MDD. Zoloft is approved to treat MDD as well as other conditions.
If you’d like to learn more about Trintellix or Zoloft, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about similarities and differences between the drugs. They can also help determine whether one drug or the other might work well for you.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.