The information below is presented as a generalized and educational overview. The specific details of treatment protocols mentioned in this article may not reflect the protocols utilized by A Mission for Michael.
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WHAT IS LEXAPRO?
All of us suffer from anxiety now and then. If anxiety is severe and persists, however, it may be considered an anxiety disorder. If you are dealing with an anxiety disorder, it is advisable to go to a specialist who may suggest you take medication to reduce symptoms. There are many anti-anxiety medications on the market and it’s important to find the one for you. Lexapro is one to consider. This article will look at what is involved with taking Lexapro for anxiety so you can determine if it is a medication you should be adding to your daily routine. 1
Also known by the Lexapro generic name escitalopram, Lexapro is a medication prescribed to treat anxiety and depression. It belongs to the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
How Does Lexapro Work?
Lexapro restores serotonin balance in the brain. It helps to elevate mood and relieve anxiety and depression.2
How Does Lexapro Make You Feel the First Week?
Do not count on Lexapro for immediate effects. This medication takes a while to work so you may not feel anything after the first week of taking it or you may feel slightly better. You may or may not experience Lexapro’s side effects during the first week.
How Long Does It Take for Lexapro to Work?
While you may feel the effects of Lexapro after a week or two, it typically takes four weeks for it to provide full results.
Is Lexapro the Same as Xanax?
No, Xanax and Lexapro are not the same. While both treat anxiety, they work in different ways. Lexapro blocks the reuptake of serotonin so there is more of the chemical in the brain. Xanax increases the effects of GABA which is responsible for calming nerve activity in the brain.3
LEXAPRO DOSES, USES, AND WITHDRAWAL
Here is a bit about Lexapro’s uses and doses and what withdrawal is like.
Lexapro is used to treat anxiety and depression.
The Lexapro dosage you are prescribed will depend on your medical condition, your age and medical history, your response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. However, here are some general guidelines that will let you know what you can expect the doctor to prescribe.
Major Depressive Disorder
Individuals with major depressive disorder are typically prescribed dosage of Lexapro 10mg. and day. If your symptoms are severe, you may want to talk to your doctor about increasing the Lexapro dosage from 10mg to 20mg.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Patients with GAD may also take Lexapro dosage range of 10mg to 20mg Lexapro dosage depending on the severity of the disorder.
Elderly patients and those with hepatic impairment should take no more than 10mg of Lexapro a day.4
WHAT HAPPENS IF I OVERDOSE?
It is possible to overdose if you take too much Lexapro. Symptoms of an overdose include:
- Low blood pressure
- Difficulty sleeping
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fast heart rate
If you think you may have overdosed, call a doctor or the poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911.
After taking Lexapro for long periods, your body will get used to having it in its system. If you stop taking it abruptly, Lexapro withdrawal will occur producing unpleasant mental and physical symptoms.
Lexapro withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping
- The sensation of electric currents running through your body
If you would like to stop taking Lexapro, it’s best to talk to a doctor. They will advise you on how to wean off the drug without producing withdrawal symptoms.
SIDE EFFECTS OF LEXAPRO
Lexapro can produce side effects. Here are some that may be experienced.
Common Side Effects
Common side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased sweating
- Weight gain
Serious Side Effects
In rare cases, serious side effects may occur. These include:
- Decreased interest in sex
- Changes in sexual performance
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Bloody stools
- Irregular heartbeat
- Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- Vision changes
- Eye swelling or pain
- Widened pupils
- A prolonged erection lasting 4 hours or more
- Serotonin syndrome
- A severe allergic reaction
- Suicidal thoughts
It is worth noting that serotonin syndrome occurs due to a buildup of serotonin in the body. It can produce mild symptoms such as shivering and diarrhea, or severe symptoms like muscle rigidity, fever, and seizures.
If you are experiencing any of the side effects listed above, speak to a doctor, or call 911.
PRECAUTIONS AND WARNINGS
There are certain things you should be aware of before taking Lexapro. Here are some precautions and warnings to take note of.
Before Taking This Medicine
Before taking this medicine, you should see a doctor. He or she will examine you to determine if this drug is the best one for you to take for your disorder.
You must also make sure that you are not at high risk for any serious side effects. You should see to it that you are not taking any medications that will cause a strong reaction to this drug. When it comes to Lexapro side effects for women, it should not be taken by those who are pregnant.
What to Avoid
People using Lexapro should avoid alcohol. They should also not drive or engage in potentially dangerous activities until they know how the drug will affect them.
What Happens if I Miss a Dose?
If you miss a dose, it may not work as effectively. You should take your next pill as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose when you realize you skipped the last one, take it at your regularly scheduled time and do not worry about making up for the one that was missed.
What Other Drugs Affect Lexapro?
Several drugs will have negative interactions with Lexapro. Here are some that are most reported.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib and others
- Vitamin D3
What to Expect When Increasing Lexapro Dosage
If you increase your Lexapro dosage, your mood may improve, but you may also find yourself at a higher risk for unpleasant side effects. Your doctor will likely increase your dose gradually to see how it’s affecting you before having you take a stronger dose regularly.
LEXAPRO PROS AND CONS
Lexapro comes with its share of pros and cons. Here are some to consider:
- You may experience side effects that can be serious.
- You may have Lexapro withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the drug.
- Lexapro may interact with other drugs you are taking including vitamins and pain killers
- It is effective in treating anxiety and depression.
- It is generally well tolerated.
- It has fewer drug interactions than antidepressants.
- It is less likely to cause drowsiness than other antidepressants.
Here are some patient tips that may be helpful if you take Lexapro.
- Best Time to Take Lexapro for Anxiety: Lexapro can be taken any time of day as long as you stick to the same time each day. If you are having trouble sleeping while taking Lexapro at night, try taking it during the day.
- Should I Take Lexapro with Food? Lexapro can be taken with or without food.
- Will Lexapro Make Me Drowsy? It might cause you to be drowsy. It is best not to drive or operate machinery when on this medication if it makes you feel drowsy or impairs your judgment.
- Measuring Liquid Lexapro: if you are taking Lexapro in liquid form, measure it with a medical spoon. If you use a household spoon, you may end up getting the dose wrong.
USER REVIEWS FOR LEXAPRO
Lexapro received an average rating of 7.5 out of 10 on Drugs.com. 68% of users said it had a positive effect while 16% said it had a negative effect. Here’s how it ranked based on the condition it was prescribed to treat.5
- Anxiety: 7.5 of 10
- Depression: 7.2 of 10
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: 8.3 out of 10
- Major Depressive Disorder: 6.2 out of 10
Many individuals who used Lexapro said it changed their life in a good way. They said that they were able to overcome their mental health issues and enjoy the things they loved doing again.
Those who were unhappy taking Lexapro experienced unpleasant side effects. Some individuals reported signs of impulsiveness or dullness.
If you feel like you need help with your anxiety issues, reach out to AMFM Treatment today. We offer treatment for a variety of mental disorders. We have an impressive two-to-one client-to-staff ratio. We provide personalized treatment that you can trust. Let us assist you in getting on a path to happier, healthier living.