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What is Lexapro (escitalopram)?

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, Pharm.D

Updated on January 28th, 2023

Save up to 88% on your medications

Lexapro, a brand of escitalopram, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) prescribed for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Compared to other antidepressants, it has fewer medication interactions and is generally well tolerated. Lexapro is available in 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg oral tablets; and 5mg/5ml oral solution.

How does Lexapro work?

SSRIs like Lexapro (escitalopram) are antidepressants that increase the level of serotonin in the brain and thus improve mood. They prevent the reuptake of serotonin, thereby leaving more serotonin in the brain, which helps restore balance.

What is Lexapro used for?

Lexapro is indicated for the treatment of depression and anxiety.

What is the typical dosing for Lexapro?

The usual dose of Lexapro for anxiety or depression in adults and children 12 years and above is 10mg by mouth daily.

How long does it take to see the effects of Lexapro (escitalopram)?

It can take up to 12 weeks before observing changes in your mood while taking Lexapro.

When is the best time of the day to take Lexapro?

Lexapro is best taken in the morning. Lexapro can cause insomnia, so, taking it in the morning will lower your risk of not being able to fall asleep.

Can I take Lexapro with alcohol?

No, it is not recommended to drink alcohol while taking Lexapro (escitalopram) because of the increased risk of drowsiness and poor coordination. If you drink alcohol regularly, ask your healthcare provider for a safer alternative.

What are the common side effects of Lexapro?

Common side effects of Lexapro include:

  • nausea
  • insomnia
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • sweating
  • decreased sex drive and problems with ejaculation
  • indigestion

The side effects above should improve over time as your body adapts to the medication. If the symptoms get worse or remain unresolved, contact your doctor. If you experience serotonin syndrome or have suicidal thoughts, contact your doctor immediately.

What are the possible interactions with Lexapro?

Lexapro can interact with other medications you may be taking and have fatal consequences. You should tell your pharmacist or doctor about other drugs or supplements you are taking. Drugs that can interact with Lexapro include:

What happens if I overdose on Lexapro?

If you take an overdose of Lexapro, call emergency medical attention immediately or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What are the pros of Lexapro?

  • Lexapro is effective for depression and anxiety treatment with little risk of relapse.
  • It has fewer drug interactions compared to other antidepressants.
  • People as young as 12 can use Lexapro once daily with or without food.

Who should not use Lexapro?

Lexapro is not a good option for people with heart or liver problems. People who are hypersensitive or have taken monoamine oxidase inhibitors in the past 14 days should not take escitalopram. Read more on Lexapro use warnings here.

What other drugs are like Lexapro?

Other drugs in the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors include sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa), and fluoxetine (Prozac).

How much does Lexapro cost?

A 30-tablet pack of Lexapro 10mg is available at an average retail price of $135.35. However, you can save up to 88% off that price by using an RxLess prescription discount coupon. You can use your coupon at most pharmacies nationwide, including CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens!

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