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 pharmacists’ 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.

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  • 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.
  • 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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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

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.

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.
    Age: 43
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: Depression
  • 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.
    Age: 31
    Gender: Woman
    Duration taken: A year or so
  • Side effects...insomnia, lack of orgasm, dizziness, very strong reaction with alcohol for me (I do not drink anymore), a bit mental fog sometimes.
    Anonymous
Food
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Not food for panic disorder.
    Age: 23
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: Anxiety
  • 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.
    Age: 40
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
  • For me the medication caused a slight increase in eating/weighy gain. It's nothing abnormal, Id just warn people to be aware that you might have cravings so make a daily food plan to keep track of how much you're eating daily.
    Age: 19
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
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.
  • Hmmmm... The only side effect I recall is that I could not reach climax during sex when I first started taking it, but this soon passed. Overall, it was def worth the transition period.
    Age: 49
    Gender: Man
  • It takes me a lot of time to reach an orgasm, if I even get one at all. Didn't lower my libido though. It's still worth it.
    Age: 21
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
  • The effect was much smaller than I expected, but at least it brought me out of the darkest times. I take 20 mg every day, and noticed some side effects when upping the dosage. Low sex drive still after 2,5 months.
    Age: 20
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
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.
    Age: 48
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Anxiety
  • If you have ajy troubles to sleep well after starting treatment, try taking in the morning
    Age: 20
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: Depression
  • I believe this drug may have caused "twice monthly" periods: one regular period (~6 days) and a 3 day bleeding approximately two weeks after. I am taking Lexapro without birth control or any other medication. Additionally, this drug made me moderately drowsy. I recommend taking it late night.
    Age: 23
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Anxiety
Weight gain or loss
  • 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.
    Age: 29
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Depression
    Duration taken: Two years or more
  • I take it for PMS and perimenopause symptoms. During that time of the month, I become very anxious and irritable. This drug really takes that away. Now -- working on getting rid of that weight gain from the drug. Overall worth it.
    Age: 44
    Gender: Woman
  • Losing weight and feeling more energized. Also sleeping a lot better and not crying or over emotional as of late.
    Age: 41
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Anxiety