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Lexapro Review – 14 Facts You Need to Know

By Sasha de Beausset Aparicio, MSc

Reviewed by Rebecca Williams, MD, MA, MB, BChir

Last Updated:

Evidence Based | Summary | Ingredients | Health Benefits | Safetiness | Precautions | Price | Buying Options | Directions | Verdict

Lexapro is the brand name for a drug called Escitalopram. Medical doctors prescribe this drug to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

During our Lexapro review, we will answer some commonly asked questions about this prescription medication, including questions regarding potential side effects, claimed benefits, testimonials, effectiveness, and potential alternatives.


1) What is Lexapro?

Lexapro (Escitalopram) is a type of prescription medication called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It works by increasing levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.[1][2]

Lexapro can help relieve symptoms of depression, such as tiredness, loss of interest in activities, lack of attention, and feelings of worthlessness and guilt. It can also ease such symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder as restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.[3]

2) How Did Lexapro Start?

On March 14, 2012, the FDA approved the first generic version of the popular antidepressant Lexapro (Escitalopram).[4] Like the brand-name drug, the generic is recommended for the treatment of both generalized anxiety disorder and adult depression.

The generic form, Escitalopram, is made by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries/IVAX Pharmaceuticals, a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company of various conventional generic medicines. On the other hand, Lexapro is being produced and marketed by U.S.-based Forest Laboratories Inc., in partnership with the Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck.

Forest Laboratories contact information:

  • Phone: 1-212-421-7850;
  • Address: 909 Third Avenue New York, NY 10022, United States;
  • Website: allergan.com

3) Details on Lexapro Ingredients and Uses

Lexapro contains the following active ingredients: Escitalopram 10 mg.

4) Does Lexapro Work?

Escitalopram is a chemical substance approved by the FDA to treat generalized anxiety disorder in adults and major depressive disorder in adolescents and adults.

In Australia and most European countries, Escitalopram is approved for treating depression (MDD) and anxiety disorders.[5] These include social anxiety disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Lexapro’s mechanisms of action to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression are not fully understood. However, based on the many clinical trials conducted over the past decade, scientists have concluded that Escitalopram affects serotonin.

Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter involved in sleep, mood, and other bodily functions. It is thought that by taking Lexapro, serotonin levels in your brain become more balanced, helping to enhance your mood and reduce anxiety.

There is some indication that Lexapro is more potent than a range of other antidepressants, and it is often the first option because of its effectiveness and tolerability.

As with most prescription medication, numerous safety and efficacy studies have been conducted on this product. Some of the most relevant clinical studies include:

  • Efficacy of Escitalopram in the treatment of major depressive disorder compared with conventional selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and venlafaxine XR: a meta-analysis.[6]
  • Efficacy of escitalopram monotherapy in the treatment of major depressive disorder.[7]
  • Efficacy of Escitalopram in the treatment of social anxiety disorder: A meta-analysis versus placebo.[8]
  • Efficacy of Escitalopram in the treatment of major depressive disorder compared with conventional selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and venlafaxine XR: a meta-analysis.[9]
Health Benefits

5) Lexapro Health Benefits

Some Lexapro (Escitalopram) claimed benefits include:

  • Used to treat generalized anxiety disorder and depression;
  • Available as an oral tablet or as an oral solution;
  • Can be used in both short-term and long-term treatments;
  • Covered by most insurance companies.

6) Is Lexapro Safe for Everyone?

Common side effects associated with Lexapro (Escitalopram)[10] include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Taste alterations
  • Drowsiness
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Frequent urination
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Headache
  • Weight changes
  • Increased sweating
  • Tremor (shaking)

Patients who are started on treatment with antidepressants should be carefully observed for suicidality, clinical worsening, or unexpected changes in behavior.

Possible serious side effects of Lexapro include:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal thinking and behavior
  • Confusion
  • High fever
  • Manic episodes
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Low sodium
  • Slurred speech
  • Angle-closure glaucoma

Some patients undergo withdrawal reactions[11] upon discontinuing SSRI therapy. Symptoms may include:

  • Tiredness
  • Vivid dreams
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling
  • Poor mood
  • Irritability

7) Precautions of Lexapro Use

As it’s the case with all prescription medication, there are quite a few warnings and precautions for Lexapro (Escitalopram).

Who should NOT take Lexapro:

  • Patients with hypersensitivity (allergy) 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 (MAOIs).[12]

Please note that Warfarin, Aspirin, medication for seizures, anxiety, depression, or migraines, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aleve (naproxen) or Motrin (ibuprofen) can interact with Lexapro and should be used with wariness.

People taking Tryptophan, other SSRIs, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and St. John’s Wort should take Lexapro with significant caution and close monitoring due to the potential for serotonin syndrome.[12]

Buying Options

8) Where to Buy Lexapro in the United States?

Lexapro (Escitalopram) is a prescription medication. That means it can’t, and it shouldn’t be purchased from unauthorized stores. It is available, however, at most pharmacies.


9) Lexapro Price

Lexapro is available as a generic drug as well. In general, generic drugs cost less than their brand-name counterparts.

Lexapro is available in 5, 10, or 20 mg tablets (brand or generic) and as a liquid in 5 mg/5 ml oral solution (generic). This prescription medication costs are about $379 for 30 tablets of 10 mg brand name tablets.

Most health insurance companies will cover the expenses of treatment with Lexapro. As brand-name drugs, Lexapro can be quite pricey. However, your out-of-pocket costs will depend on your health coverage plan.

10) Alternatives to Lexapro

There are several alternatives to Lexapro. However, because this is a prescription medicine, we will only review other prescription medicines as possible alternatives. We don’t advocate replacing a treatment prescribed by your medical doctor with an over-the-counter dietary supplement.

Wellbutrin (generic Bupropion) is an antidepressant that also affects neurotransmitters. This traditional antidepressant works by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Wellbutrin is unlike other antidepressants because its primary effect is on dopamine, a result that is not partaken by tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).[13]

Celexa is another alternative to Lexapro. In general, Celexa and Lexapro work well to treat depression. Both prescription medications have similar interactions and warnings and cause many of the same adverse effects. Still, there are differences between the two, including what drugs they interact with, who can take them, dosage, and if they also treat anxiety.[14]

Zoloft is an SSRI indicated for the treatment of the obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), major depressive disorder (MDD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder (PD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD).[15] It is also important to mention that both Lexapro and Zoloft come with an FDA black box warning for antidepressants and suicidality.


11) Directions For Taking Lexapro

The standard initial dose of Lexapro is usually 10 mg, once daily, with or without food, in the morning or evening. If you experience mild side effects (i.e., drowsiness), it is a safe idea to take it in the evening. Some medical doctors may prescribe gradually higher doses.

Important to know: if you neglect to take Lexapro, take your missed dose as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and get back on schedule.

12) Variations of Lexapro

Lexapro is available in several variations:

  • Lexapro oral tablet: 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg;
  • Lexapro oral solution: 5 mg/5 ml.

13) What Customers Say About Lexapro

"I was on Lexapro for six years before switching to something else as I was feeling mild depression and ongoing lethargy. " [Read full review]


"Currently, on day 2 - First time using antidepressants, it makes me feel so sick, I can't stop vomiting, and the just the smell of food makes me nauseous." [Read full review]


"Lexapro didn't work for me at all, but I was also on Risperdal and Invega sustenna." [Read full review]



14) Our Verdict on Lexapro

Lexapro (Escitalopram) is a potent drug that has been shown to help many people. However, based on your condition, Lexapro may or may not be the right medicine for you. Be straightforward with your doctor when you talk about your current mental and physical health and your health history.

We strongly recommend taking Lexapro precisely as directed by your doctor to treat your mental health problem. Regularly, medications for mental health conditions are part of an overall treatment plan that includes counseling and other therapies.

Talk with your doctor about how long it may take for Lexapro (Escitalopram) to begin making a difference in how you feel. If it seems like the drug isn’t working, tell your physician. There may be other alternatives to treat your condition.

3.7/5 - (18 votes)

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I had been taking the anti-depressant Nardel (phenelzine sulfate) for over 30 years and I had difficulty controlling weight. I then deliberately tapered off to half the dosage and to my delight lost over 15lbs . My doctor then suggested that I stop taking it all together as Nardel had become outdated and superseded by much advanced or better inhibiters. However, I decided on my own to cease taking anything at all. At first I felt good almost to the mind that I had beat those long years of experience in the dark. Then all of a sudden, around 5 – 6 months later I began to slip into a deepened mood decline of in the doldrums combined with lethargy, anxiety and diminished enthusiasm. There were times when I could hardly get out of bed in the morning. Nothing seemed interesting and I became overwhelmed with procrastination. I was prescribed Escitalopram at a dosage of 20mg daily. Now into my second month it has proved to be of good benefit by upping my mood and reviving my enthusiasm. However, I am quite disturbed with the return of obsessive eight gain. Has anyone else experienced this?

Title for your comment
Can't Be Sure........after many years
Have you tried this product?