This article discusses Lexapro 5mg effectiveness, working of Lexapro, facts about Lexapro, precautions and tips for taking it, common and serious side effect of it, dosage, treatment, drugs that interact with Lexapro, getting over with it, breastfeeding, pregnancy and Lexapro and finally with some FAQs.
Lexapro 5mg is effective because:
- It relieves the symptom of both depression and anxiety.
- It is less likely than other antidepressants to cause drowsiness.
- Lexapro is better tolerated than other antidepressants.
- Lexapro is more effective and efficient than other SSRIs.
- Lowers the likelihood of depressive episode comeback.
- Can be used for youth as young as 12 years
- It can be taken without having food once a day.
- Retore the balance of natural substance and neurotransmitter in the brain.
- Improves the energy level.
- Decrease nervousness
- Increase well-being.
It belongs to an antidepressant group of drugs called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Escitalopram is the generic form of Lexapro. Lexapro is used to treat anxiety as well as Major Depression. It can be taken alone as well as with other medication. It is administered orally and available in both tablets and oral solution.
Working of Lexapro
Lexapro belonging yo SSRI works by acting on the neurotransmitters in the brain. It blocks the reuptake of serotonin, thus leaving more serotonin in the brain to attach with the receptors. Serotonin being a mood-enhancing chemical, Lexapro treats anxiety as well as depression.
Facts about Lexapro
- Lexapro take 4-6 weeks to work
- It is an effective antidepressant which has less adverse effect compared to other anti-depressants.
- Lexapro is the brand name of a drug called Escitalopram.
- Lexapro is not a controlled medication.
- It is available only on prescription base.
- The dosage form of Lexapro are Oral Solution and Tablet, the dosage of the tablet are 5mg, 10mg and 20mg while the oral solution is 5mg/5ml.
- The typical dosage of Lexapro is 10mg daily.
- It should be stored at room temperature.
- It is FDA approved and thus is available with a prescription.
Precautions Before taking the medicine
There are certain caveats before taking the medicine and one should consult with general physician or doctor well enough to avoid any adverse side effects and proper recovery.
Some of the precautions before taking the medicine are:
- Check if an individual has an allergic reaction to any medicine
- Had epilepsy in past or received any electroconvulsive treatment: because it increases the risk of getting a seizure.
- Have a cardiac or heart problem: it will speed up the heart rate.
- Have ever taken medication for depression: some antidepressants interact with Lexapro causing elevated and high blood pressure.
- Whether the individual is breastfeeding or planning for pregnancy
- Have an eye problem: because it increases pressure in the eye.
- Whether the individual has diabetes: the medicine makes it more difficult to stabilize the blood sugar level.
- Whether the individual is taking other blood-thinning drugs like aspirin: because Lexapro increases bruising and risk of bleeding if the individual is taking aspirin. And the bleeding can be life-threatening.
- The low sodium level in the body: Lexapro will reduce sodium level in the blood resulting in weakness, confusion, lack of concentration and memory impairment.
- Ever had stoke
- Bipolar or Manic episode: treating a bipolar patient with antidepressant will result in a manic episode.
- Drug addiction or suicidal thoughts: the medicine tends to cause increase and recurring thoughts about death and suicide. And especially during the initial weeks of medication.
Tips before starting the medication
- One shouldn’t stop or quit the medication abruptly
- If there is any noticeable mood change, one should consult a doctor
- To observe the full effect, it should be taken for 12 weeks at least
- One can take it any time of the day.
- Do not operate or drive after taking the medicine since it makes one drowsy and hampers our judgement.
- Taking the medicine in the morning helps in sleep problem caused.
- Not to take other medicine along with Lexapro
- Visit the doctor if there is an allergic reaction.
The common side effects of Lexapro
Following are a few of the common side effects associated with Lexapro medication.
- Dry mouth
- Feeling sleep and lanky
- Tired and weakness
- Unable to sleep
- Loss of appetite
- Weight changes or fluctuation
- Feeling shaky and nauseous
- Decreased sexual drive
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blurred vision
- Swelling of eye
- Irritable bowel movements
Serious or Adverse health effect of Lexapro:
Some of the serious effects of Lexapro that should be taken care of are mentioned below:
- Blurred vision
- Racing thoughts
- Risk-taking behaviour
- Severe mood swing
- Loss of motor coordination
- Unsteady feeling
- Stiff muscles
- Uneven heartbeat
- Serotonin syndrome
- Suicidal thoughts
- Abnormal bleeding
- Manic Episodes
- Slurred Speech
Dosage of Lexapro
- The tablet strength varies from 5mg to 20mg
- The usual dose taken is 10mg per day in adult, however, a lower dose can also be taken and increase gradually.
- Those with the underlying liver problem can take 10mg per day.
- The liquid Lexapro can be taken as 1 drop which is equivalent to 1mg tablet, 10mg equal 10 drops.
- For Generalised Anxiety Disorder, 10 mg is treatable.
- The dose of Lexapro higher than 20mg is not approved yet.
It is the caveat for taking Lexapro since it induces suicidal risk and thoughts, particularly in children, adolescent and in young adults. Thus, it is an integral role of psychiatrist and medical professional to track the intake of dosage by the patient.
Treatment of Lexapro
- Lexapro can be used for the treatment of Major Depression in adolescence as well as an adult. The recommended dose of Lexapro for an adolescent is 10mg daily, however,, if it is being increased to 20mg, it should be taken only after three weeks. For an adult, the recommended dosage is 10-20mg. The use of Lexapro for an extended time should be check periodically and assessed.
- The recommended dosage for an adult with Generalised Anxiety disorder is 10mg once a day however, 20mg should be taken only after a week.
- The efficiency of 5mg, 10mg and 15mg for people with Generalised Anxiety Disorder is observed.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder patient can also be treated via Lexapro with 10 and 20mg daily.
Drugs that interact with Lexapro
Most of the SSRI shouldn’t be combined with Anti Depressant like Marplan, Parnate, Zyvox and etc. It results in high blood pressure, fever, tremor, muscle agitation, increased activity and confusion.
A 14 days gap should be there before taking an MAO inhibitor and after quitting Lexapro.
Similarly, when SSRI are taken along with the other drugs like lithium, triptans, Demerol, there is increased production of serotonin resulting in gastrointestinal bleeding, serotonin syndrome which can be life-threatening.
Coping with the side effect of Lexapro
Some of the coping mechanism or strategies for the side effect of Lexapro are
- Taking chewing gum or sweets to get rid of dry mouth.
- Taking different antidepressant to reduce sweating.
- Escitalopram to deal with a sleep problem
- Relaxation technique and muscle relaxation when exhausted and tired.
- Not drive or do any risky activities when sleepy and lanky.
Lexapro, Breastfeeding and Pregnancy
Lexapro has a small risk associated with the unborn child, however, if the depression during pregnancy remains untreated, there is a risk of a problem for the unborn baby.
Even when breastfeeding, Lexapro can pass to the child via breastmilk consequently, have certain side effects to the child.
FAQs: Lexapro 5mg effectiveness
How does Lexapro work?
It is one type of Antidepressant and works by increasing the level of serotonin in our brain which is a mood-enhancing chemical.
When will I feel better with Lexapro?
The effect of Lexapro will be observed between 4-6 weeks of medication. Within a week or two, there won’t be any observable effect thus, shouldn’t stop the medication. Ideally, within 6 weeks, there will be changes in the body.
How will Lexapro make me feel?
It helps in elevating our mod resulting in better sleep, less anxious, evokes euphoric feeling and rejuvenates your mood.
How long should I take the medicine?
The decision to carry on with the medication depends on the severity and type of symptom. Consulting with a doctor is the ideal option. Even if one started feeling better, the medication should be continued in order to prevent relapse.
How does one come off fro Lexapro?
In most of the case, if the symptoms get better by six months of medication, the dosage will be reduced however, it will not be stopped abruptly so as to prevent the side effect of it.
Is it safe to take Lexapro for a long time?
Yes, it is safe to take it for a prolonged time. Only a few people get side effect else, there isn’t any noticeable or severe effect by taking Lexapro for a long time.
Is Lexapro same as Xanax?
No, despite the similar side effect of this medication, they belong to a different class, Lexapro is SSRI while Xanax is a benzodiazepine.
At what time of the day should we take Lexapro?
Since it causes insomnia and difficulty in sleep, it is ideal to take the medicine in the morning.
Can I drink alcohol while on Lexapro medication?
No, drinking alcohol is not recommended if a person is on Lexapro medication since it makes the person drowsy and impairs the coordination.
Does Lexapro help with Anxiety symptoms?
Yes, it does help with anxiety symptoms since it is a first choice or preferred treatment for anxiety as well as anxiety overlapping with depression.
Is Lexapro 5mg effective?
Yes, it is effective in alleviating anxiety as well as depressive symptoms although the doctor usually starts with 10mg.
How long does 5mg of Lexapro take to work?
Ideally, it takes 4-6 weeks to work and make you feel the full benefit of the medication.
What is the success rate of Lexapro?
The response, as well as remission rate after Lexapro medication, is 68.4% and 46.4% respectively.
How do I know if Lexapro is working?
Some of the indicative signs of Lexapro working in your body are:
You can sleep better
You are less emotional throughout the day.
Depressive symptoms get less severe
Get more from the therapy.
What does Lexapro do to your brain?
Lexapro affects our brain by blocking the reuptake of serotonin.
Can Lexapro cause memory loss?
Yes, reducing the level of sodium in the blood can cause memory problem and confusion. If a person consumes it too much then it might result in forgetfulness, especially for older people.
Can Lexapro cause hallucination?
No, there are cases of hallucination when Lexapro is taken in the normal limit, however, if there is excess serotonin in the brain, it results in a hallucination.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
This article discussed Lexapro 5mg effectiveness, working of Lexapro, facts about Lexapro, precaution and tips of taking it, a common and serious side effect of it, dosage, treatment, drugs that interact with Lexapro, getting over with it, breastfeeding, pregnancy and Lexapro and finally provided with some FAQs.
What we recommend for depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.
Some site for detailed information
Cuncic, A. (2020, 3 21). An Overview of Lexapro for Mental Health Conditions. Verywellmind. https://www.verywellmind.com/anxiety-treatment-and-lexapro-dosage-and-side-effects-3024961
Escitalopram. (2014, 12 14). NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/escitalopram/#:~:text=How%20does%20escitalopram%20work%3F,called%20serotonin%20in%20the%20brain.
Ogbru, O. (n.d.). Lexapro ( escitalopram). Medicine Net. https://www.medicinenet.com/escitalopram/article.htm#what_is_lexapro_escitalopram_how_does_it_work
Sinha, S. (2018, 12 14). Lexapro. Drug.com. https://www.drugs.com/lexapro.html#:~:text=Lexapro%20(escitalopram)%20is%20an%20antidepressant,to%20treat%20anxiety%20in%20adults.
WebMD. (2020). Lexapro. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-63990/lexapro-oral/details