Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Lexapro

(Escitalopram)

  • Pill
  • Liquid
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Improves mood and helps you relax.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our bottom line

Lexapro (Escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Might be less likely to cause side effects than some antidepressants, but not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.

Upsides

  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression.
  • Causes less sleepiness than some other antidepressants.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
What do people say?
958 reviews

Downsides

  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
  • Can cause an irregular heartbeat if you take a high dose (20 mg a day, or more).
  • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work, and might have side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you and that you can tolerate.

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What to expect when you take Lexapro (Escitalopram) for Depression

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
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Side effects for Lexapro (Escitalopram)

From clinical trials of Lexapro / Females Only  ( 1373)

  • Lower sex driveLower sex drive3% for Lexapro vs.1% for placebo
  • Difficulty reaching orgasmDifficulty reaching orgasm3% for Lexapro vs.0% for placebo

Risks and Warnings for Lexapro (Escitalopram)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Age 24 years or younger

    Lexapro (Escitalopram) may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. Watch for worsening depression or any unusual changes in mood or behavior, especially during the first few months of treatment or when the dose changes. Report anything concerning to a doctor immediately. Lexapro (Escitalopram) is not approved for use in children younger than age 12.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Lexapro (Escitalopram)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • No ED. I take 10mg daily for 3 years now and I don't dwell on much anymore. Tried Prozac first and hated it. Lexapro works well. Low grade headaches occasionally. Alcohol is not advised... EVER.
  • I felt like a robot. It made me manic, I stopped sleeping. Sexual side effects were bad. I couldn't drink alcohol without a disaster. I was still moderately depressed.
  • Side effects...insomnia, lack of orgasm, dizziness, very strong reaction with alcohol for me (I do not drink anymore), a bit mental fog sometimes.
Food
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Take with food
  • Not food for panic disorder.
  • Dry mouth is severe and led me to drink a lot more than usual. I didn't realize I was drinking so many sugary drinks until I gained weight, and started tracking my food & drink choices.
Sex
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Lexapro (Escitalopram) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
  • May take a while to work, so it is hard to know if it is working for you. Be prepared for some jitteriness when you start and difficulty orgasming.
  • no problems orgasming, but i'm not quite sure it workd for me. but no side effects honestly
  • No libido, excessive weight gain of >10kg, but I no longer suffer anxiety and major depression. I'd rather be a bit chubby and happy than depressed and constantly anxious. Started on 10mg then up to 20mg after 6 months once uni exams began. Very sweaty! And crazy dreams.
Sleep
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Stopping Lexapro (Escitalopram) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
  • I started at .5 mg. at 7pm. I sleep OK. I experience some dizziness.
  • I usually take it in the evening, around 9pm because it puts me to sleep an hour or two later.
  • Take it at night, it will make you drowsy and make it harder to get up in the morning.
Weight
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
  • Really helped my nasty anxiety and depression. Have an add-on of Wellbutrin for depression. Was concerned about weight gain but when I stopped taking it I was MISERABLE. Back on it and happy again.
  • Could not increase dose beyond 10mg or had problems ejaculating, also noticeable weight gain
  • Caused weight gain