Lexapro, aka escitalopram is an antidepressant that belongs to the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) class. It is used to treat major depressive disorder and anxiety. It works by restoring a natural balance in the brain of serotonin. When it works you may feel improved energy levels and mental wellbeing, as well as reduced anxiety.
This Lexapro review will go through a few facts and common questions regarding the drug and I will also share my experience of being on it. Read to the end to find out what I do now that works better than Lexapro ever did for me.
Starting Lexapro What To Expect
When you first start Lexapro, it is unlikely you will feel any benefit for several weeks. What is more likely unfortunately, is that you will experience some of the side effects of Lexapro. Some of those side effects are listed below in the next section.
Lexapro Side Effects
Just like with most antidepressants, there are numerous possible side effects that you may experience. Some of those side effects may include:
You should be talking to your doctor who prescribed you Lexapro about any side effects that you may be experiencing. Especially if the side effects are more severe. Your doctor may adjust your dosage, tell you to ride it out as the side effects are generally only short term, or they may even take you off Lexapro altogether if the side effects are too severe.
How Long Does It Take For Lexapro To Work?
Lexapro is similar to other antidepressants in that you should not expect to see any results for 6-8 weeks. There is a chance that you may see a small improvement to your sleep, appetite and energy levels in the first 1-2 weeks.
How Long Does Lexapro Stay In Your System?
Lexapro has a half life of 27-32 hours. That is how long it takes your body to process half of the drug out of your system. It will take approximately 6 days for the drug to leave your system totally.
Best Time Of Day To Take Lexapro
It depends on what side effects you are experiencing as to when you should take Lexapro. If it is causing drowsiness and tiredness, then it may be best to take it at night as it will help you sleep. Due to its 27-32 hour half life it will still be in your system and giving you its benefits the next day.
If you are not experiencing tiredness or drowsiness from Lexapro, then you may wish to take it in the morning. Peak blood levels are reached approximately 5 hours after taking it, so by taking it in the morning you are more likely to feel its full benefits throughout the day.
Ultimately, your doctor should advise you on when is the best time of the day to take Lexapro for your specific situation. They know you best and can give advice accordingly.
Switching Lexapro From Night To Morning
If you have been advised to switch taking Lexapro from night to morning, then the process of changing is quite easy. All you need to do is to skip your night time dose and take it in the morning instead.
This should not have much impact on how you are feeling as the drug stays in your system for a while so delaying your dose for 8-12 hours should not change much.
Lexapro And Alcohol
Drinking alcohol while taking Lexapro should be avoided where possible. Although you won’t feel any more drunk, there are certain side effects that that are caused by the combination of Lexapro and alcohol.
These side effects will make you feel drowsy, less coordinated and also less alert. This obviously makes it harder to complete tasks and function as normal. In extreme cases, drinking alcohol and taking Lexapro may lead to more severe side effects such as becoming violent.
There is also the benefit to your mental health from avoiding alcohol. Drinking does not have a positive effect on your depression symptoms, so it is better to avoid alcohol and give your antidepressant a proper chance to help you to feel better.
The longer you take any antidepressant the harder it is to come off it. In saying that, Lexapro is not known as a particularly difficult drug to stop taking as something like Effexor is.
You may experience some withdrawal symptoms, such as increased anxiety, headaches, insomnia and what is known as brain zaps (it feels like a small electrical pulse is zapping your brain).
It is important that you withdraw from Lexapro following your doctors advice. They will taper you off it gradually and they can monitor your side effects and what to do about them as you go. Everyone is different and some people may experience more severe side effects from stopping Lexapro, so it is important that you are regularly communicating with your doctor.
My Experience With Lexapro
I first went on Lexapro for major depression and anxiety. Initially, the side effects I suffered were a dry mouth and a headache, along with tiredness. We switched my dose from morning to night because of the tiredness it was causing. These side effects wore off after several weeks.
After a couple of months on Lexapro with no real change to my symptoms, we decided to increase the dose that I was taking. I don’t remember what the exact doses were, but it was within the normal ranges.
After changing the dose a few times and even mixing in a mood stabiliser (Lithium) nothing had really changed for me. So after talking to my doctor we decided it would best to switch to another antidepressant and cross Lexapro off my ever growing list of antidepressants that didn’t help me.
I had no trouble coming off Lexapro and there were no withdrawal symptoms associated with it. We tapered down carefully and slowly to give me the best chance of avoiding any withdrawal effects.
Although Lexapro did not do much for me, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with it as an antidepressant. It also doesn’t mean that everyone will have the same experience as what I did. Everyone is different, and for some people Lexapro works well for them. Unfortunately, I was not one of those people.
All in all it wasn’t a bad experience being on Lexapro when compared to some other antidepressants. The side effects were minimal and coming off the drug was a fairly straight forward process. I have been on other antidepressants that were very difficult to stop taking and also some where the initial side effects were a lot more extreme than Lexapro.
My Preferred Alternative To Antidepressants
I spent over 10 years on lots of different antidepressants, all without having any great impact on my overall mood. When I realized antidepressants were not the thing that was going to help me, I started searching for alternative ways to treat depression and anxiety.
I came across a course called Destroy Depression. They seemed to know what they were talking about and they backed their product with a 60 day money back guarantee, so it seemed like it would be worth spending my money on.
After going through the course and implementing all of the strategies that it teaches, I was finally able to get on top of my depression and stay on top of it. Best of all there were no side effects, and I was able to stop taking antidepressants and haven’t needed to go back to them.
This course was a real life changer for me and there is no reason why it can’t work for everyone who is fighting mental illness. The only thing you need to really do is actually implement what it teaches you. If you are anything like me then if you do that, results will follow fairly quickly.
Please note – the product links on this page are affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission if you make a purchase through that link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps me to keep the website running.