How long does it take for the increased dose of Lexapro to work?

This article will discuss how long it takes for the increased dose of Lexapro to work. For that, the article will explain what Lexapro is, how it works in the person’s body, its side effects, and what needs to be considered before taking it.

How long does it take for the increased dose of Lexapro to work? 

When your dosage of Lexapro goes up, you can begin to feel the improvement around 6 weeks after the increase. When you have just started taking it, you can start to feel an improvement in your appetite, sleep, and energy level within the first two weeks. 

But with the more severe signs of depression, such as the loss of interest in activities can be seen around 6 to 8 weeks from when you start. 

Lexapro is an effective antidepressant that can come in tablets of 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg. Its liquid form has a strength of 1ml per millimeter. The most recommended dosage of it is 10mg.

But your doctor may start you off on a lower dose and keep track to see how you react before making your dose higher until it reaches the level your doctor intended.

The dosage you will take will be related to the intensity of your condition, and your body structure. When teenagers are treating major depression, the dosage will often be 10mg a day, and if necessary it can go up to 20 mg after 3 weeks. 

For people over 18 with major depression, the dosage can go up to 20mg after a week. The same as for people treating generalized anxiety disorder.

If you ever miss a dose of Lexapro, you should take it as soon as you remember. But if it is too close to your next dose, just wait for that one instead. And as you feel better, some people may consider just stopping taking the medication. You shouldn’t do that since it can lead to symptoms of withdrawal. 

The most common signs that you are going through withdrawal are dizziness, muscle pain, chills, confusion, trouble focusing, and memory. Along with excessive crying.

What is Lexapro? 

Lexapro, also known as Escitalopram, is a type of antidepressant. It is a form of antidepressant known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) and was created in the 1980s.

Lexapro is indicated to people that are going through depression. But not only that, it can be used by people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Social Anxiety Disorder, and even migraines.

How does Lexapro work? 

In the same way as other SSRI antidepressants, Lexapro works on the person’s serotonin level. Through that, you can improve the person’s mood, sleep, anxiety, and depression. It can come in tablets or liquid form.

What are the side effects of Lexapro? 

Although Lexapro is completely safe, it is possible that people taking it experience some side effects. It can cause nausea, trouble sleeping, headaches, blurred vision, dry mouth, diarrhea, digestive problems, faintness, fatigue, dizziness, excessive sweating, and a change in libido.

Those are the most common side effects of it, but other people may develop some more severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing and swallowing, fever, seizures, allergic reactions such as rash and hives, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts. 

It is common to have less severe side effects as soon as you start to take the medication. But if you experience them for a prolonged period, or even present the more severe side effects, you should get in touch with your doctor to discuss adjusting your dosage or even changing the medication.

What should be considered when taking Lexapro? 

You and the mental health professional that follows you should consider some things. You should be careful when taking it with other medications to prevent you from developing Serotonin Syndrome. 

Along with that, one should be careful when taking it with blood thinners, such as aspirin, which can increase your chance of bleeding. So it is important to let your doctor know all the medications you are taking so they can think about the possibilities of interaction.

You should also avoid having alcohol when taking Lexapro because it can reduce its effectiveness, or even make you feel worse. Along with that, women that are pregnant or breastfeeding should use it with caution since after the 20th week of pregnancy the medication can cause pulmonary problems in the baby. 

Older people may also have more intense side effects when using Lexapro. Because of that, if your doctor prescribes it to you, they should keep a closer look to see if there is any need for adjustment.

Children under 12 are ones in which it is still not possible to assume if the medication works well. So if prescribed, the doctor should also keep a closer look. And it should be completely avoided by people that are allergic to the substance. 

If they take it, it can lead to an allergic reaction that can cause rashes, hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, mouth, and tongue.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How long does it take for the increased dose of Lexapro to work? 

What are antidepressants? 

Antidepressants are a medication people take when they are going through a depressive episode. But they may also be associated with other medications for other treatments.

The one that is prescribed more often is the Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) because they usually have fewer side effects, such as Citalopram.

Serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are another form of antidepressant that is similar to SSRIs but were created to be more effective than SSRIs. An example of SNRIs is venlafaxine.

Noradrenaline and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NASSAs) are recommended for people that can’t take SSRIs. They may have stronger side effects have side effects. An example of it is mirtazapine.

There are older forms of antidepressants such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), they can be recommended to people with major depression that are resistant to other medications. An example of it is amitriptyline. 

Serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs) are a form of antidepressants that is also prescribed when other forms haven’t worked. An example of it is trazodone. 

There are Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) that are an older type of antidepressant. It has a lot of serious side effects. The most known example of it is tranylcypromine.

Is only medication enough to treat mental illness?

No, medication alone is not enough to treat mental illness. You may need integrative care. This means you should count on the medication to reduce your symptoms, and improve the chemical aspects of your brain. 

But having other professionals such as therapists, or social workers, can help you handle the emotional distress that can be related to your mental illness.

Mental illness puts you in a loop of negativity. You may suffer a traumatic experience and get depressed, but when depressed you keep putting yourself through other traumatic experiences. 

Medication is often used to fix the symptoms, but so you have an effective change in your life, you may need to work on what you feel the way you feel. And this will most likely only be possible through therapy.

Do only psychiatrists prescribe mental health medication? 

No, it is not only psychiatrists that prescribe mental health medication. General practitioners usually do it as well. But even though other professionals can prescribe it, if you have any mental health condition, you should go to a psychiatrist.

This doctor is specialized in mental health and may have a broader spectrum of knowledge about it. Along with that, because they are in this field of study, they will be up to date on all the recent developments that have been going on in the mental health treatment scene.

Will I experience side effects with all mental health medications?

It is not possible to say if you will experience side effects with all mental health medication. This is something that changes from one person to the next. You may want to pay attention to how many side effects each medication says it is possible to have.

It is highly doubtful that one person will experience them all. What is written there are the possibilities of side effects. So you know, when taking that medication, that those may occur. But what each person needs to keep an eye on, along with the doctor that is caring for them, is how intense those side effects are, and how long they go on.

If you realize they have become persistent, or too intense, to a point that is making it hard for you to live well and is affecting your quality of life, you should discuss it with your doctor. They may consider adjusting the dosage you are in, or even changing the medication you are on for a different substance.

Does mental health medication work the same for everyone? 

No, mental health medication usually works differently in each person. Even if two people are facing the same condition, and are prescribed the same dosage of the same medication. For one, this medication can be extremely positive, it will decrease the intensity of their symptoms, and improve their mood.

The other person may feel like it hasn’t altered their condition. This is why it is important to be closely followed by a psychiatrist. 

They need to know which medication will work in which person, and unfortunately, it is only possible to know when the person takes them. That is why it can take some time for people to find the right medication, and feel their condition improving when they start to go to a psychiatrist.

Should I change my medication by myself?

No, don’t ever self-medicate. If you are interested in how medications work, and what medications are available nowadays in the market, you can look for those pieces of information, learn, and read about them. This may even be beneficial.

But before taking any action, you should make an appointment with your psychiatrist. Take the information you have found with you, and let them know you are considering a change. Ask their opinion about it, and hear what they have to say. This should take into consideration your condition, and the other medications you are on. 

If you and your doctor agree it may be okay to change the medication, they will explain to you how to let go of the other one slowly, and start the new one also slowly. This will prevent you from going through withdrawal, and many side effects at once.


This article discussed how long it takes for the increased dosage of Lexapro to work. For that, the article explained what Lexapro is, how it behaves in the person’s body, and what are the side effects of it.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.


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