Increasing lexapro dosage from 10mg to 15mg (What to expect?)

In this blog, we are going to discuss what to expect when your doctor increases your dose from 10 mg to 15 mg. Lexapro is one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants and is considered relatively safer than other antidepressants. 

This blog will cover the clinical significance of lexapro, as well as the best way to take. 

What to expect when increasing your lexapro dose from 10 mg to 15 mg? 

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When your lexapro dose is increased from 10 mg to 15 mg, you can expect a better therapeutic response. The higher dose aims to target your depression more effectively. Doctors do not increase the dose if your current dose provides sufficient therapeutic response. 

Better therapeutic response is not the only thing that comes with a high dose. You can also experience side effects more pronounced than your previous dose. 

Some side effects are most common when your dose is increased and they begin to fade away once your body adjusts to the new increased dose. Make sure you give your body enough time and don’t stop your treatment halfway. 

Why is lexapro prescribed? 

Lexapro is prescribed for the treatment of following mental health conditions:

Mild depression to major depression disorder (MDD) 

Lexapro can increase the amount of excitatory neurotransmitters to counteract depression symptoms. Depression is a state of mind which is concerned with disturbing thoughts, especially about one’s self. 

It is associated with symptoms like hopelessness, tearfulness and emptiness.  This mental health condition ranges from mild to severe, a condition called major depression disorder (MDD). 

It is the most common cause behind suicide attempts as people prefer dying over this unimaginable agony. 

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) 

Lexapro is also used to treat generalised anxiety disorder. As the name implies, this mental health condition is associated with general worry or anxiety about pretty much everything without having any logical reason. 

People suffering from GAD worry about small matters related to family, friends, relationships, study, work, health, wealth etc. 

Off-label uses

Following are the off label uses of lexapro:

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) 

Lexapro is used to help relieve the symptoms of OCD, but is an off-label use. It is a condition characterised by troublesome thoughts that won’t go away, no matter what you do, and a weird urge to do things over and over again. 

Vasomotor Symptoms Associated with Menopause

Lexapro also helps to treat Vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. These include hot flashes, extreme anxiety, restlessness, heart palpitations, sleep disturbances, mood swings etc. 

Recommended dose of lexapro

According to guidelines, following are the recommended doses of lexapro:

For Major Depressive Disorder

10 mg, once a day, is recommended for major depressive disorder. The dose may increase to 20 mg/day after 1 week. 

For Generalised Anxiety Disorder

10 mg, once a day, is recommended. The dose may increase to 20 mg/day after 1 week. It’s best to maintain therapy at the lowest effective dose. 

For Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Off-label)

10 mg, once a day. The dose may increase to 20 mg/day after 1 week. It’s best to maintain the lowest effective dose. 

For Vasomotor Symptoms Associated with Menopause (Off-label)

10 mg, once a day. The dose may increase to 20 mg once daily, after 4 weeks of treatment, if 10mg fails to provide adequate therapeutic response. 

Dosage Forms of lexapro 

Lexapro (escitalopram) is available in tablet and liquid forms:

Lexapro tablet

Table is available in following strengths:

  • 5 mg
  • 10 mg
  • 20 mg

Lexapro liquid

  • 1 mg/ml

The starting dose for lexapro is 10mg, taken once a day, as recommended by your healthcare provider. Deciding an appropriate dose is necessary to achieve therapeutic response of the drug. If your dose is too low, your med will not provide enough support. 

If your dose is too high, your med will produce unwanted effects and might make you even more restless. It is extremely important to match your dose with the severity of your symptoms, in order to avoid therapeutic failure.

What happens if you accidentally overdose on lexapro? 

Following are the symptoms of escitalopram overdose:

  • Seizures 
  • Unconsciousness or coma
  • Vertigo 
  • Drowsiness/sleepiness
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Insomnia or poor quality of sleep
  • Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat 
  • Nausea and vomiting 

It is important to monitor your dose closely. Do not deviate from the prescribed dose. Do not drink alcohol while you’re on antidepressants. The combination can make your symptoms or your side effects even worse. Cut back as much as you can. 

Important considerations before setting an appropriate dose

Following are a few important factors which should be considered before setting an appropriate dose:

Allergies 

Your allergies are considered when your doctor recommends you a medicine. Sometimes, people are allergic to the active ingredient present in the med or to any excipient. 

In case of an allergy, your body suddenly reacts to the med. You may experience rashes all over your skin, bruises, tightening of chest, breathing problems, wheezing, rapid heartbeat etc. 

Medication history

You must have noticed how you need to give your medical history whenever you visit your healthcare provider. This plays an important role in dose determination. 

If you have a chronic condition, like diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, asthma etc, for which you’re taking meds, it is crucial to check for any drug interaction, you might end up having, between your routine medicines and newly prescribed antidepressant.

Paediatric population

It is crucial to determine appropriate dose for the paediatric population as there are various factors to consider in this situation, including the availability of liver enzymes, proper kidney function and immunity. 

Geriatric population

Elderly patients are more likely to have hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood), age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems. For them, dose adjustment is required.

Breastfeeding 

Several studies suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Severity of your condition

The severity of your symptoms sets your dose. If you’re highly depressed and you are taking a much lower dose, it will not work, as it doesn’t suit your condition. The amount of lexapro in your body would be too low. 

Drug tips 

  • Take your lexapro properly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • Do change the dose or frequency without you doctor’s approval 
  • It is not safe to stop the treatment abruptly 
  • If you fail to understand how to use the drug properly or have any other question, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • In case of overdose, immediately reach out to the hospital. Make sure you properly guide them about how much drug you have taken and when. 
  • If you experience unusual side effects, immediately contact your healthcare provider.
  • Lexapro can induce suicidal behavior in its users. If you have someone who shows suicidal behavior or you see hopelessness in them, make sure you keep an eye on them and get medical attention as soon as you can. 

Conclusion 

In this blog, we discussed what one should expect when the doctor increases the lexapro dose from 10mg to 15mg. In usual practice, higher dose is preferred to achieve better therapeutic response. It is a good option for people who tolerate lexapro well but their dose is too low.

When the dose is increased, side effects can get a bit pronounced too, but they remain till your body adjusts to the new increased dose. After that, you begin to settle down on your new dose and hopefully start achieving better outcomes. 

Make sure you only increase your dose if your doctor suggests you. It is not your job to do that on your own. Ensure the proper use and stick to your doctor’s recommendations. Adopt a healthy lifestyle and surely everything will go just fine. 

FAQs: increasing lexapro dosage from 10mg to 15mg

What to expect when increasing Lexapro dosage from 10mg to 15mg? 

When your lexapro dose is increased from 10 mg to 15 mg, you can expect a better therapeutic response. The higher dose aims to target your depression more effectively. Healthcare professionals do not increase the dose if your current dose provides sufficient therapeutic response. 

Better therapeutic response is not the only thing that comes with a high dose. You can also experience side effects more pronounced than your previous dose. Some side effects are most common when your dose is increased and they begin to fade away once your body adjusts to the new increased dose.

Does upping Lexapro 10 to 15mg help with depression? 

Yes, upping your lexapro dose can help with your depression but this is not your decision to make. Only your healthcare provider can decide whether you need to up your dose or you should stay on the current one a bit longer. Antidepressants usually take time to start making changes in your system. Make sure you give your body enough time to adjust to the med first before going for a higher dose. 

Any success with increasing Lexapro dose?

Yes, you can achieve a better therapeutic response by increasing your lexapro dose if you function well with it. Some people can not tolerate lexapro, no matter the dose. If you can take it well and actually achieve benefits from it, but your current dose is too low for you, the higher dose will definitely help you in a much better way. Make sure not to increase your dose without your doctor’s approval. 

What is the dose of lexapro for anxiety? 

10 mg, once a day, is recommended. The dose may increase to 20 mg/day after 1 week. It’s best to maintain therapy at the lowest effective dose. 

How long does it take for Lexapro to work for anxiety? 

It usually takes 4 to 5 weeks to start seeing beneficial results of lexapro in the treatment of anxiety. Make sure you give your body enough time to adjust to the med and do not stop your treatment halfway. 

What are the most common side effects of lexapro? 

Common side effects of Lexapro include:

  • Loss of appetite 
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Sexual issues
  • Difficulty in falling asleep
  • Vertigo 
  • Decreased salivation or dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety 
  • Infections caused by decreased immunity
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness and fatigue

References 

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