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Lexapro For Anxiety: What You Need To Know

Does Lexapro help with anxiety? You might feel apprehensive about starting Lexapro, mainly if you are new to it. Here is the relief: a study reveals that in 1 to 4 weeks, up to 50% of patients taking Lexapro for their anxiety experience symptom relief. Lexapro, FDA-approved, is a brand name for the generic drug escitalopram, which works by boosting levels of a natural substance in the brain called serotonin. This drug is used to treat depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. It’s designed to help people manage their symptoms.

In this article, we will check all the crucial factors linked with lexapro, what it is lexapro, its side effects, dosage, and warnings, and resolve all your queries related to lexapro and its impact in reducing anxiety.

What Is Lexapro For Anxiety?

Lexapro, or escitalopram, is an antidepressant belonging to the SSRI class, similar to Zoloft (sertraline). It was introduced in the late 1980s and is available in pill or liquid form. While primarily prescribed for depression and anxiety, it’s also used off-label for conditions like PTSD, PMDD, OCD, and social anxiety disorder. If you take Lexapro for anxiety, the medication may improve your energy, mood, and emotions.

Compared to older antidepressants like MAOIs, Lexapro tends to have fewer side effects and lacks the addictive potential of benzodiazepines such as Xanax. When a medication is prescribed off-label, it means your doctor believes it could benefit your condition. Lexapro’s mechanism of action remains unclear, but it’s supposed to inhibit serotonin reuptake by nerves, leading to higher serotonin levels in the nerve synapse.

Next, let’s explore how does lexapro help with anxiety.

How Does Lexapro Help With Anxiety?

Lexapro, an SSRI, works by adjusting serotonin levels in the brain, influencing mood, emotions, and behaviors. This adjustment can alleviate anxiety symptoms and also potentially address depression, OCD, and PTSD. People often report feeling less anxious and fewer panic attacks after taking Lexapro. It also improves mood, sleep quality, and overall energy levels.

However, it’s important to note that, like any medication, Lexapro can have side effects if not taken in adequate dosage. It’s essential to discuss dosage concerns or side effects with your doctor to determine the best course of action for your mental health.

Lexapro Dosage For Anxiety

When your doctor prescribes Lexapro for anxiety, they’ll take various factors into account, including type of anxiety disorder, age, and weight. They may initially prescribe a lower dose to assess its effectiveness for you.

For adults with generalized anxiety, the recommended starting dose of Lexapro is usually 10 mg taken once daily, with a maximum daily dosage of 10 mg. It’s important to follow your doctor’s dosage instructions carefully to ensure your safety while taking the medication and to minimize the risks of experiencing Lexapro discontinuation syndrome or developing dependence.

Don’t overdose to test, does Lexapro help with anxiety, as exceeding the recommended maximum level can lead to severe side effects, increased toxicity, and potentially fatal organ failure.

Who Can Take Lexapro?

Lexapro is a prescription medication often recommended by healthcare providers for various anxiety and depressive conditions. You can consume this medication on prescription if you are suffering from:

  • Generalized anxiety
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • Social anxiety
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Dysthymia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Trauma- and stress-related disorders

Lexapro can be versatile in the treatment arsenal for a range of anxiety and depressive disorders, offering relief and improving overall well-being when prescribed and monitored by a healthcare professional.

Side Effects of Lexapro While Treating Anxiety

Being a consumer of lexapro, it’s essential to know Lexapro’s side effects. Mild ones like fatigue and headaches are usually manageable without immediate medical attention. However, severe side effects can sometimes occur, and prompt medical help is needed.

Common Side Effects of Lexapro

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sweating
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Sexual dysfunction: delayed orgasm or inability to have an orgasm
  • Delayed ejaculation
  • Drowsiness or tiredness
  • Sleepiness
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain

Serious Side Effects of Lexapro

  • Seizures
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Low salt levels
  • Manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder
  • Vision problems

If your body shows these side effects and the medication doesn’t work, immediately consult your doctor.

Boxed Warning & Associated Risks Of Taking Lexapro (Escitalopram) For Anxiety

Lexapro effectively treats anxiety symptoms for many, but its use is limited in certain groups. Read the risks and warnings associated with Lexapro-

  • Avoid with pimozide, citalopram, or MAO inhibitors
  • Monitor for suicidal thoughts, especially in young individuals
  • Seek immediate help for serotonin syndrome symptoms
  • Not for children under 12
  • Consult a doctor before discontinuing use

Rapid Discontinuation Of Lexapro

Rapid discontinuation of Lexapro can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tension
  • Chills
  • Confusion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble remembering things
  • Increased crying


What is the #1 side effect of Lexapro?

Nausea ranks among the most common side effects of Lexapro. According to clinical studies, approximately 18% of individuals taking Lexapro reported experiencing nausea.

How long does it take lexapro to work for anxiety?

Antidepressants like Lexapro don’t show immediate effects. It usually takes about 2 to 6 weeks for them to start alleviating anxiety symptoms. However, the timeline for improvement varies depending on individual health history, specific symptoms, and how the medication affects each person.

Will anxiety go away with Lexapro?

Yes, Lexapro can bring relief from anxiety symptoms in a few weeks. Tracking your symptoms before and after starting the medication can be beneficial.

Is Lexapro a good choice for anxiety?

Yes, Lexapro is a top choice for treating generalized anxiety and depression due to its effectiveness and safety. Your doctor will determine if it’s suitable for you after diagnosis.

Can you overdose on Lexapro?

Lexapro can trigger side effects in some people. These can range from mild to severe, although more severe side effects are rare. A person should consult the doctor before starting Lexapro.


The above information addresses the question, “Does Lexapro help with anxiety?” Lexapro, labeled an antidepressant, is FDA-approved for treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Its safety and effectiveness make it a standard first-line treatment, often prescribed with therapy. However, it may not suit everyone.

Treatment plans are personalized based on health history, symptoms, and medications. To address anxiety, consult a psychiatrist or primary care doctor for suitable care & treatment.

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