Does Prozac feel like Xanax? (3+differences)

In this article, we’ll discuss if taking Prozac and Xanax do feel the same, the effect of Prozac and Xanax on the body, their respective mechanisms of action, potential side effects, and how to choose between Prozac and Xanax for treating various psychiatric disorders.

Does Prozac feel like Xanax?

No, Prozac and Xanax do not feel the same. Prozac (fluoxetine) and Xanax (alprazolam) are both prescription drugs, but they belong to different drug classes and are used to treat different conditions.

Prozac and Xanax are both medications used in the treatment of various psychiatric disorders. Prozac, known by the generic name fluoxetine, is a type of antidepressant belonging to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class (1). It is commonly used for treating depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and bulimia nervosa (2).

Xanax, on the other hand, is a brand name for alprazolam, a medication belonging to the benzodiazepine class. It is widely prescribed for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. 

What are the uses of Prozac and Xanax?

While both medications are used in managing psychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorders and panic disorders, the experiences and purposes of taking Prozac and Xanax can differ. Prozac is typically used for the long-term management of conditions such as depression and OCD, and it works by gradually improving mood over time (3).

Xanax, on the other hand, is often used for short-term relief of acute symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders, providing immediate feelings of calmness and relaxation (4).

What effects do Prozac and Xanax have on the body?

Prozac primarily helps reduce symptoms of depression such as feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities, and difficulty concentrating. It can also help reduce feelings of fear, anxiety, unwanted thoughts, and the number of panic attacks (5).

Xanax, on the other hand, is known for its calming effect. It aids in diminishing excessive, abnormal hyperactivity in the brain, thereby inducing a sense of tranquility in the mind and body. It can help reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders such as feelings of fear, unease, and intense worry about everyday situations.

Prozac works by increasing levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation, in the brain. Xanax works by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that inhibits or reduces the activity of nerve cells within the brain.

How quickly Do Xanax and Prozac start working?

The onset of action also differs between these two medications. Xanax is known for its rapid onset of action, often taking effect within 15 to 60 minutes after ingestion. On the other hand, Prozac may take longer to become effective, with some people starting to feel better in 1 to 2 weeks, while others may need up to 8 weeks or longer to feel the effects (6).

What are the side effects of Prozac and Xanax?

Prozac and Xanax, like all medications, can cause certain side effects. For Prozac, these may include symptoms such as headaches, nausea, sleepiness, insomnia, loss of appetite, sexual side effects like decreased libido, and feelings of nervousness or anxiety.

Xanax, on the other hand, may cause side effects such as sedation, dizziness, weakness, memory issues, poor balance or coordination, slurred speech, and difficulty concentrating. 

How to choose between Prozac and Xanax?

Choosing between Prozac and Xanax depends on the specific symptoms you’re experiencing, the duration of treatment, and your response to medication.

Prozac, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), primarily affects levels of serotonin over time to provide longer-term mood stabilization. It’s commonly used for depression and can be used more regularly without the risk of dependency, making it more suitable for chronic conditions like major depressive disorder.

Xanax is a benzodiazepine that increases the effect of GABA, a calming neurotransmitter, offering immediate relief from acute symptoms of anxiety. It works quickly and has a short half-life, making it suitable for acute anxiety and panic attacks. However, it’s intended to be a short-term treatment due to potential dependency issues over long-term usage (6).

Some patients take both an SSRI and a benzodiazepine to help with anxiety and depression. Your healthcare provider will consider your particular symptoms, possible side effects, interaction with other medicines, and other health conditions when choosing an antidepressant that’s likely to work well for you. 


In conclusion, while Prozac and Xanax are both effective in managing certain psychiatric conditions, they do not necessarily produce similar feelings due to their different mechanisms of action. Bear in mind that these medications should only be consumed under the guidance of a healthcare professional due to the potential side effects and risks involved with their usage.

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Ait-Daoud N, Hamby AS, Sharma S, Blevins D. A Review of Alprazolam Use, Misuse, and Withdrawal. J Addict Med. 2018 Jan/Feb;12(1):4-10. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000350. PMID: 28777203; PMCID: PMC5846112.


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Pharmacological Treatment of Mental Disorders in Primary Health Care. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2009. Chapter 6, Medicines used in generalized anxiety and sleep disorders. Available from:


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