Articles, DRUGS

lexapro – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Interactions

The  world at present is moving at a faster space with each day being a tightly scheduled routine that every one follows in order to finish their tightly wound regime thus often falling prey to disorders which were once only a rumored hush. A recent study conducted actually showed how depression and anxiety levels have increased manifold amongst the common mass in the few couple of decades ever since we started getting busy with conforming to this busy world. With such a hustle and bustle around we hardly get enough time to actually take care of ourselves and this is when through deep anxieties and even deeper depressions, assistance from advanced medical drugs are required to bring out sanity back to us. In today’s article we shall talk about one such drug that brings to notice this issue and helps you deal with it. This drug is called lexapro.

Usually this drug can be categorized as an antidepressant that belongs to the SSRI category the full form for it being selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors where serotonin is basically a substance that our brain secrets, a chemical compound merely that induces behavioral hormones and produces emotions such as happiness, desires, sadness. This range of medicinal drug usually works by regulating the serotonin and thereby altering the emotions in our brain, lessening the depression as it increases subsidiary emotions or feelings. Usually lexapro is the brand name working under the generic name of the drug escitalopram.


An issue that goes hand in hand in depression or anxiety is panic and therefore this drug can be termed as a medicinal approach to contain your depressive thoughts while working on reducing your anxiety and stress levels while also working part time on the panic front to so that you can live a healthy life with a healthy mind.


The human mind contains neurotransmitters that can be defined as bridges, a middleman that communicates the gap between the brain and the destination within the body. it is through these neurotransmitters that the brain channels the emotions and feelings to the destined place. Like when we feel pain the neurotransmitters carry the message from the brain to the spot of pain which is when we actually feel it.  Serotonin is one such neurotransmitter, one of the only ones that are responsible for carrying out these depressive or anxiety orders, basically the mood changes in a nutshell. The lack of serotonin may result in depression. Now the medication works on the serotonin discharge which is a cocktail of chemicals and by making alterations within the chemical compounds, this medicine gets to regulate the feelings, desires or emotions invoked by the brain and passed on by the neurotransmitter and thus the depression or anxiety feels gets blocked through.

  • Depression:  As discussed before the lack of the chemical serotonin causes depressive feelings to arise. Depression with time if left untreated worsens where feelings of self loathing or extreme upset vibes engulfs the person and he as a patient shits himself from the social boundaries and starts losing on his sanity bits. This is when the drug lexapro for depression is required to regulate the serotonin levels which can contain the heavy depression in you.
  • Anxiety: Along with depression, yet another thing that may often bother you can be anxiety which is different than depression and yet the results are same. Jittery nerves and anxiety filled attacks would often surround you preventing you from leading a normal life and this once again we are compelled to use this medicine to make changes in our mind. Lexapro for anxiety can help you deal with them better.
  • Panic: When depression and anxiety are in a tow, panic attacks are not far behind. Often it is these anxiety attacks itself that induce the oncoming panic attack and once again we turn towards this medicine to help us breeze through these problems with ease.
  • Menopausal hot Flashes: This is a completely different genre of problem where often women going through their menopause or after their menopause may feel hot flashes as a sign of side effect. This is most natural in many cases and can be treated using this prescription drug.
  • OCD and such Nerve Related Problems: Obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD is yet another nerve related problem and like this there are many others that might cripple a patient mentally. Thus, once again we refer to this drug for assistance.


It is usually your doctor’s duty to disclose to you the full furnished facts about this medication while prescribing it to you. Based on your age and weight and also your medical requirement your doctor will jot down the dose unit apt for you along with the consumptions techniques and the time intervals for each dose mentioned. If you are purchasing it directly from the pharmacist always make sure you asked him the details about the intake style and time gap.

This medication is strictly to be taken in by mouth and it depends on the doctor’s prescription whether you should take it with food or without. Usually it is advised that you keep a good hour’s time in your hand within the meal and the medicine, be it before or after and do not lie down within the 10 minutes of taking in this medicine.

If in the form of an oral suspension, you can shake the bottle well and always keep a measuring spoon or a measuring cup handy so that it’s easier for you measure out your dose every day. usually prescribed for twice a day, if your dose is initial or low you may take it all at once or simply break a heavy dose into two segments.


The dosage unit for your drug will be mentioned to you by your doctor based on a few evaluations like your age, weight or the laboratory tests if any and of course after carefully judging the extent of your medical attention requirement. It is always for the best if one stays within the prescribed dosage and only increases the dosage on the doctor’s saying to avoid over dose or addiction risks.

Start the medication with an initial or a beginner’s dose if you are a first time to this category of medicine so that you can give your body time to recuperate with this new foreign drug and if need be the doctor may bump you to a higher dose. The lowest dosage unit for this medication is set at lexapro 5mg which indeed is a low dose and for the first few days may not even be effective. However, after a one week course you can bump yourself up to the general dosage unit which is lexapro 10mg. this is an adult dose for daily consumption which you can either consume it all together only once a day or you may break it into two 5mgs for twice a day, one in the day and one in the night routine. This is the basic dose to treat anxiety disorders or those of depressions. The adolescent dose for the starters too starts at 10mg and if the doctor feels so, he can prescribe a higher dose of lexapro 20mg for you.

However, maintenance doses are much more comfortably placed such as at 10mg for daily consumption but if you are using extended release capsules, the dosage for it may be a bit higher. Always consume the extended release capsule once a day strictly and never break or dice the pill in half.


When prescribed a dose, if you are taking a pill never break or dice or chew and bite down on the pill unless it is a chewable version of the medication. Lexapro uses a lot of raw inactive ingredients which clubs together once you break the medicine therefore causing over dosing chances to increase manifold. Always use a full glass of water and gulp it down easy. For oral suspensions just shake the container well before using.

Also, if you are in the habit of using this medicine for a probable long period, never stop the medication suddenly as it may cause withdrawal symptoms. Once your system feels the lack of the drug in your body, it starts counter reactions like convulsions and fits and thus always ease down on the dosage unit and slow and steady reduce the dosage until the last.

Here is yet another word of caution, strictly avoid this medication if you are going through your pregnancy term as this drug, powerful as it is passes on to the breast milk and may indirectly harm the unborn.


Medicines often react with one another to create heavy adverse side effects or may club together to concoct a new element which may not be a suitable cause for your body thereby once again stirring up the inconvenience. Therefore at all times it is of utter importance that you furnish a full medical history document to your doctor so that he knows best what not to prescribe you.

Usually lexapro dosage reacts a lot with any sort of allergy medicines which is simply why one should either discontinue one dose or simply consult the doctor if you want to continue both. Also, NSAIDs are reactive in nature therefore medicines like ibuprofen should not be consumed with the same medication. The same goes for blood thinners like warfarin.


Every drug comes with a list of benefits and a list of side effects tagging behind which would let you know if your body is compatible with this medication or not. Usually side effects arise in the case of unsuitability or simply in the case of a beginner when her body is not yet used to this foreign substance. But patients react individually to these side effects where for some the side effects may be ten times worse than the illness itself while for others the lexapro side effects may not even be felt.

  • Hallucinations and Withdrawal Symptoms: Hallucination is one of the dire side effects, a rare consequence when over dosing on this medication or using it for sport or fun can get you into more depression. It causes withdrawal symptoms in the sense that it makes you antisocial by making you nervous or shaky whenever you are in a social presence thereby forcing you to retract and coop yourself up.
  • Convulsions and Seizures: This is a common scenario that has been studied where a regular patient stops the dosage for this drug suddenly and out of the blue he starts getting convulsion and frothing. This is common since your body was used to the medicine and the lack of which is causing the counter reactions.
  • Strong Muscle Ache: Strong muscle ache may be a persistent side effect which actually is common. This may in the abdominal area or the muscles in general.
  • Swelling: swelling and stiffness of the joint or the palms and the feet may also occur. Bloating usually occurs due to water retention or as an allergic sign towards this medicine.
  • Heart Palpitations: One of the side effects to lexapro can be increased heart beat or change in the rhythm of your heart beat which is actually a condition one must be aware of. Keep an eye out on the heart beat or the heart rate and on experiencing sudden periods of increased heart rate with cold sweats immediately revert back to the doctor. Side effects like this may be detrimental leading to even a sudden cardiac arrest.

Depression and anxiety may go hand in hand but the effects for both are different and adverse in nature. While it is deemed common for a person of this present world to succumb to the mental ties, it is also of paramount importance that a quick remedial course is started to help this person deal with his mental demons, one of the reason why medicinal drugs such as lexapro exist.