Side Effects Of Lexapro
Almost every medication comes with possible side effects.
Which side effects and how mild or severe those side effects are differs from person to person depending on how a specific drug interacts with their body and brain.
Lexapro side effects are similar to those associated with other SSRIs and antidepressants.
In many cases, symptoms are most prominent for the first 1-2 weeks of treatment.
After that, typically many symptoms subside.
Black Box Warning: Worsening Of Symptoms Of Depression And Increased Risk Of Suicidality
Worsening of the symptoms of Major Depression and suicidal thoughts in patients who use Lexapro seem to be more prominent in adolescents and young adults , whereas in the elderly populations they seem to be less prominent. Family members and caregivers of patients receiving SSRIs should be given adequate information regarding this phenomenon and should be instructed to monitor their loved ones for new and sudden changes in mood, behavior, actions, thoughts, or feeling, especially when Lexapro is just started or dose is altered.
Furthermore, They Should Be Instructed to Contact Emergency Medical Services if the Following Symptoms and Signs Develop:
- Attempt to commit suicide or thoughts about suicide
- Impulsivity and risk-taking behavior
- Hypomania or Mania
What If I Overdose
An overdose is a medical emergency.
Overdosing on Lexapro can result in the following symptoms:
- Sinus tachycardia
- Other serotonergic agents
If you have any known hypersensitivity to escitalopram or citalopram , avoid taking Lexapro.
If you become pregnant while taking Lexapro, schedule a conversation with your doctor as soon as possible.
Lexapro can cause complications in pregnancy but the benefits of taking Lexapro may outweigh the risks involved. Your doctor can help you make an informed decision.
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This Information Is Right For You If
- Your doctor said you have major depressive disorder, a kind of depression that lasts longer than 2 weeks.
- You have taken one of the following antidepressant medicines for at least 6 weeks and your depression is not getting better. These medicines are a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors . Please note that not all antidepressants are SSRIs.
What Are The Costs Of Treatment
The cost to you for medicines to treat your depression depends on:
- Your health insurance
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Stopping Lexapro Due To Adverse Reactions
Previously, the topic of Lexapro Withdrawal Syndrome was mentioned. This syndrome occurs in those patients who have been taking Escitalopram, or other SSRIs, for a prolonged period of time, and in whom physiologic adaptations have occurred. As a result, sudden cessation of Escitalopram would cause a transient deficiency of serotonin and its activity resulting in the characteristic signs and symptoms of Escitalopram Withdrawal. Patients wishing to discontinue Escitalopram because of its adverse reactions should remember to never discontinue use on their own and should consult their physician for information on how to best discontinue Lexapro use.
Doctors Can Help With Antidepressant Side Effects
Most antidepressants are well tolerated, but side effects are a possibility. When first starting antidepressants, some people have mild stomach upset, headache or fatigue, but these side effects often diminish in the first few weeks as the body adjusts. Some people gain weight, though many stay weight neutral, and some even lose weight, Dr. Cox says.
Problems with sexual desire or function are fairly common, but this isnt inevitable or irreparable, she says.
A lot of patients feel nervous talking about that with their provider, but I want people to feel free to talk to me about that, she says. There are things we can do to help, such as adding a low dose of another medication.
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How Long Does Lexapro Take To Work
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Lexapro is one of the most popular antidepressants on the market thanks to its comparatively low risk of side effects and high rate of effectiveness.
If you are considering taking Lexapro for your depression or anxiety disorder, you might be wondering: how long does it take for Lexapro to work?
What Causes Depression Medications To Stop Working
Multiple factors can change the way your body responds to an antidepressant, including:
- Drug or alcohol use. Illicit drug use and alcohol can cause strong mood changes, which can make antidepressants ineffective.
- Pregnancy. Your body’s weight and blood volume increase when you’re pregnant. Talk to your doctor about taking antidepressants while pregnant, and about potentially adjusting your dosage to continue relieving symptoms.
- New stressors. A new stressful situation at home or work can result in a mood response for which the antidepressant can’t compensate.
- Other medications. Interactions between antidepressants and medications for other health conditions can affect how well an antidepressant works.
Most often, though, antidepressants stop working for what seems to be no reason. “There’s no good research that shows why a medication may stop working for someone,” says Nestadt. “I think it’s less an issue of building up tolerance and more likely constantly changing stressors and factors in the brain.”
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What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Before having any laboratory test , tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking escitalopram.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Precautions Of Lexapro Use
As its the case with all prescription medication, there are quite a few warnings and precautions for Lexapro .
Who should NOT take Lexapro:
- Patients with hypersensitivity to Escitalopram Oxalate
- Children younger than 18 years of age
- Older adults, as they are more likely to experience potentially severe side effects
- Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers as the medication can be passed to the child
- People taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors .
Please note that Warfarin, Aspirin, medication for seizures, anxiety, depression, or migraines, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aleve or Motrin can interact with Lexapro and should be used with wariness.
People taking Tryptophan, other SSRIs, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , and St. Johns Wort should take Lexapro with significant caution and close monitoring due to the potential for serotonin syndrome.
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Lexapro Contraindications & Warnings
Like any other drug that affects the central nervous system, Lexapro may cause problems in some people. The use of Lexapro may need to be avoided in certain people depending on their medical condition and other medications they may be taking. Therefore, a healthcare provider should be consulted to determine if Lexapro is an appropriate antidepressant.
Feeling Extremely Anxious And Depressed On Lexapro
Hi all I really hope and pray someone can help!
I was on Lexapro 18 months ago and it worked perfectly until it stopped working. Long story short I have restarted it.. 10 mg for a week 20mg for 2 and a half weeks and now on 30mg for 2 days. Well I am feeling so anxious and depressed. I wasnt even that depressed before but now I am!! I dont want to die but I cant go on like this. I have 3 kids and every second is a struggle.
Has anyone felt like this on Lexapro start up? I didnt feel like this the first time around on it.
Seriously thinking of quitting this med and trying to go it alone I feel dreadful!
0 likes, 33 replies
4 years ago
Hi there !
Sending to you all my positive vibes and energy to you . I was at the same point you are . I was Doing fine then a huge setback and now I am on my 5th week on 30mg . Now I can see some light at the end of the tunnel . My old self is coming back slowly but its worth it ! If you can handle this period but dont wait for it day and night . Accept how you feel now dont fight it and I believe you will see huge difference
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What Side Effects Can Antidepressants Cause
Every antidepressant has possible side effects. These vary between the different types of antidepressant, and between each individual drug. This page covers:
Some of the side effects listed below are quite common, but others are rare. You may not experience many of these effects. You may also experience some side effects when you first start taking antidepressants, but feel them less after a few weeks.
It’s up to you to decide whether or not the antidepressant has more benefits for you than any negative side effects. Your doctor should be able to help you with this decision. Our pages on coping with side effects and receiving the right medication may also help.
You can also find out about the side effects for individual antidepressants from the British National Formulary A-Z list of drugs. Or you can speak to your doctor or pharmacist with any questions or concerns you have about side effects.
“It took me a long time to take an SSRI, mainly as I was terrified of the side effects listed, but my doctor finally convinced me that my depression was much worse .”
Can Research Tell Us Which Of These Treatments Is Best
There are many options that work to treat depression. But there is not enough research to know for sure which option might be best after an SSRI did not work or did not work well enough. Talk with your doctor about your options and which treatment you should try next. Treatments work differently for each person. You may need to try several treatments to find the one that works for you.
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How Long Do Lexapro Side Effects Last
Lexapro side effects are usually temporary. Many, such as dry mouth, headache, and nausea, go away within a couple weeks as the body adjusts to Lexapro. Unfortunately, severe side effects may persist longer. Serotonin syndrome typically resolves within two to three days of discontinuing all medications affecting serotonin, but the most severe cases may take several weeks before symptoms fade. Lexapros effects on sodium levels will resolve about two weeks after the medicine is discontinued. Treatment usually involves taking a diuretic and limiting water intake, but severe low sodium levels may require hospitalization. Some of the most severe side effects, such as angle-closure glaucoma, may evolve into chronic and lifetime conditions.
Antidepressants Wont Make You A Zombie
Again, the goal is to help you enjoy your life, not to numb you. If somebody feels in a daze or zombielike, that can mean the medication is too high, and we need to lower the dose, Dr. Cox says.
But sometimes people actually feel dazed or foggy because of high levels of anxiety or depression, she says, and taking medication helps them feel more clearheaded.
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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture .
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
How To Deal With Insomnia From Lexapro
Dealing with insomnia can be an extremely frustrating experience. Luckily, there are steps that you can take to make falling and staying asleep easier. Weve listed many of these techniques below:
These devices can trick your body into thinking that its still daytime, preventing it from releasing the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. To avoid this, try switching off your computer, TV and other screens about an hour before you need to sleep.
Our comprehensive guide to insomnia lists more techniques that you can use to improve your sleep habits and overcome insomnia.
If you still experience insomnia from Lexapro after making changes to your lifestyle, its best to talk to your healthcare provider.
Its also important to talk to your healthcare provider about your history. For instance, if you have a history of bipolar disorder, using Lexapro or other popular antidepressants may impact your sleep schedule.
Depending on the severity of your insomnia and the progression of your depression or anxiety symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend adjusting your dosage of Lexapro. They may also suggest switching to another type of medication.
Alternatively, your healthcare provider may prescribe a sleeping medication to help you fall and stay asleep more easily while you use Lexapro.
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Side Effects With Other Health Conditions
If you have certain health conditions, you likely should not take Lexapro. In some cases, your doctor may lower your dosage or watch you more closely during your treatment with it. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following health conditions before taking Lexapro.
- A history of suicidal thoughts or behaviorsLexapro can increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior, especially in children, teens, and young adults.
- Bipolar disorderif you take Lexapro without taking other medications for bipolar disorder, Lexapro may bring on a manic episode.
- Seizuresthis drug may cause seizures and make your seizure disorder worse.
- Glaucomathis drug may bring on a glaucoma attack.
- Low salt levelsLexapro can further lower your salt levels.
- Pregnancyit isnt known if Lexapro will harm your unborn baby.
- BreastfeedingLexapro may pass into breast milk and cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.
Certain medications can interact with Lexapro. Be sure to tell your doctor about all over-the-counter and prescription drugs, supplements, and herbs you take. Lexapro may interact with the following drugs:
- blood thinners such as warfarin to increase your risk of bleeding
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin to increase your risk of bleeding
- other drugs used to treat depression to increase the level of serotonin in your body, which can cause serotonin syndrome
You Skipped A Dose Or Several
Its a common situation busy people often miss doses or take their medication at irregular intervals. The trouble is, not taking an antidepressant medication consistently can prevent it from working as well as it should or prevent it from working at all, Dr. Hullett cautions. This can cause people to abandon what otherwise might be a very effective treatment.
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How Do Antidepressants Work
Various antidepressant medications are available for prescription use. There is no single best antidepressant, and the best one for you depends on your symptoms and individual needs.
Usually, antidepressants help balance the levels of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals responsible for communications between neurons in the brain. These chemicals include serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Higher levels of these chemicals usually correspond with lower levels of depression.
While antidepressants can be helpful in depression, effectiveness varies from patient to patient. How long the drugs stay in your body also varies. Some drugs stay in your body for about 36 hours, while others last as long as several days.
Lexapro Side Effects: What You Should Know
Lexapro is a type of antidepressant medication known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI. It is prescribed for the treatment of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and other mood disorders, sometimes in combination with other medications.
If you or someone you love is taking Lexapro or escitalopram , you should be aware of the common and serious side effects of Lexapro. People who use Lexapro may also experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping this medication, as well as a risk of overdose if it is taken in too-high doses.
In the UK, escitalopram is sold under the name brand name Cipralex.
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