how long does it take for lexapro to work for anxiety

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Because of its low side effects and high effectiveness, Lexapro is a popular antidepressant. You might wonder how long it takes for Lexapro in your treatment of depression and anxiety disorders.

What’s Lexapro?

how long does it take lexapro to start working for anxietyLexapro, a prescription brand medication, is also available under the generic name Escitalopram. This medication is part of a class of antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The first approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was in 1986. Lexapro was approved in 2002. Other SSRIs that are commonly used include citalopram, escitalopram oxalate(Cipralex), sertraline oxalate(Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac).

Lexapro is commonly used for the treatment of the major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder in adults and is only the second antidepressant in the United States to be approved for the treatment of MDD in adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17.

 

What does Lexapro do?

how long does it take lexapro to start working for anxietySSRIs like Lexapro help to treat depression and anxiety by acting on the chemistry of the brain. Some medications prevent the reabsorption of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that transmits messages between brain cells) from being absorbed. The medication blocks the reabsorption of serotonin, which helps the brain cells receive messages faster by increasing the levels.

Although researchers don’t know how this affects depression and anxiety symptoms, it is quite common for Lexapro users to feel a lift in mood, regain interest and see their depression symptoms diminish.

how long does it take Lexapro to start working for anxiety
How long does Lexapro take to workLike other drugs in its class, Lexapro acts on the chemistry of the brain and increases the number of neurotransmitters, including serotonin.
 Lexapro is slower than other medications because it takes a long time to work.

Lexapro is not expected to work immediately for patients who use it to treat anxiety and depression. Patients should not expect to see a significant improvement in their symptoms immediately.

Lexapro usually improves the physical symptoms of depression first. You might notice an improvement in your sleep patterns, energy, appetite, and mood after one to two weeks. This is a good sign that the medication is working, but you likely will not notice a significant change in your mood and emotional symptoms until you’ve been taking Lexapro regularly for four to six weeks.

Patients who take Lexapro for anxiety will likely experience the most rapid reduction of symptoms, as many symptoms are physical. It may take patients who use the medication for depression longer to experience improvements in symptoms such as depressed mood or a loss of interest in certain activities.

What are the most common Lexapro side effects®?

lexapro side effects first weekLexapro is generally better tolerated than other antidepressants in its class, so the side effects associated with Lexapro may be less than the side effects associated with other antidepressants. Some people may tolerate Lexapro more than others. Side effects of Lexapro can be slightly different for adults and children.

 

Lexapro can cause side effects in adults such as:

  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Infection
  • Unusual changes in sex drive, and other sexual issues such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.
  • Shake
  • Sweating
  • Appetite loss
  • Drowsiness, sleepiness, or disturbances
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Constipation
  • Yawning

Young adults, adolescents, teens, and children may experience some of the same side effects as adults. However, they may also experience symptoms such as:

  • Problems with urinating
  • Slow growth, weight change, or weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • A sudden increase in muscle movement, or excessive agitation
  • Nosebleeds
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Suicidal thoughts

Lexapro is also associated with rare but serious side effects, including severe allergic reactions, extremely high blood pressure, seizures or convulsions, low salt levels, serotonin syndrome, manic episodes, and vision problems. You should seek immediate medical attention if you have any severe side effects or life-threatening symptoms.

These side effects can be serious so please seek medical attention immediately.

Summary

The brain effects of Lexapro will be felt by most people within four to six weeks. While physical symptoms such as anxiety and depression may improve within a few weeks, mood-related symptoms can take longer.

Some drugs have a higher risk of drug interactions, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitions (SNRIs). Lexapro may be beneficial for you if you have a major depressive disorder, panic disorder including panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or bipolar disorder.

To determine if Lexapro is right for you, seek medical advice from your healthcare provider.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-63990/lexapro-oral/details

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Escitalopram-(Lexapro)

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/lexapro-side-effects

 

 

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