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Does Lexapro Help With Anxiety

What The Science Says

6 months on Lexapro for Anxiety, Depression, PMDD life update

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, clinical studies of Prozac show it to be effective in managing symptoms of certain anxiety disorders like panic disorder.

There arent, however, a lot of that show Prozacs effectiveness for generalized anxiety disorder, or how it compares with other medications approved to treat symptoms of anxiety disorders.

Other SSRI

How Do You Wean Yourself Off Of Lexapro

You should never stop taking Lexapro abruptly. If you do, you can experience withdrawal symptoms, including irritability, dizziness, nightmares, headaches, nausea, or a tingling sensation on your skin. Your healthcare provider will slowly decrease your dose of Lexapro to help avoid these symptoms as you wean off the medication. Speak with your doctor before making any changes to your medications.

Ssris And Benzodiazepines For General Anxiety Disorders

Feeling anxious, worried, and tense? You are not alone! Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, and General Anxiety Disorder affects 6.8 million adults every year . When feeling overwhelmed with worries and tension, the first step many people take is to ask their doctors about medication. If you struggle with GAD, and are thinking about starting medication, here is some information about two of the most commonly prescribed types of medication: SSRIs and benzodiazepines.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors include medications such as Zoloft , Prozac , Celexa , and Lexapro . These medications work on serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that plays a role in feelings of well-being and happiness, as well as thinking, memory, sleep, digestion, and circulation. SSRIs are currently considered the first-line medication for many forms of anxiety. If you are considering starting an SSRI, here are some important things to consider:

Benzodiazepines include medications such as Xanax , Ativan , and Valium . These medications strengthen the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is the primary inhibitory signaler in the brain. GABA plays a role in sleep, feeling calm, muscle relaxation, and reduction in brain activity. If you are considering starting a benzodiazepine, here are some important things to consider:

Regardless of who you are or your thoughts on these medications, here are some essential things to know and do when taking medication:

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Precautions Of Lexapro Use

As its the case with all prescription medication, there are quite a few warnings and precautions for Lexapro .

Who should NOT take Lexapro:

  • Patients with hypersensitivity to Escitalopram Oxalate
  • Children younger than 18 years of age
  • Older adults, as they are more likely to experience potentially severe side effects
  • Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers as the medication can be passed to the child
  • People taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors .

Please note that Warfarin, Aspirin, medication for seizures, anxiety, depression, or migraines, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aleve or Motrin can interact with Lexapro and should be used with wariness.

People taking Tryptophan, other SSRIs, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , and St. Johns Wort should take Lexapro with significant caution and close monitoring due to the potential for serotonin syndrome.

Get A Prescription For Lexapro Online

how long does it take for lexapro to work for anxiety

Did you know you can get a refill prescription for Lexapro online* without having to go to a providers office? With GoodRx Care, you can connect with a licensed healthcare provider for a virtual visit from the comfort and privacy of your home. And with GoodRx Gold Mail Delivery, you can order your Lexapro prescription and have it mailed right to your door.

Connect with a provider within minutes

Pick up your prescription at your pharmacy or get it discreetly delivered

No insurance needed

* Lexapro is a refill-only medication. We cant start you on Lexapro if you dont have an existing prescription.

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Strategy No : When Needed Use Inexpensive Treatments

One barrier to adequate treatment of panic disorder is the potentially high cost of therapy .1,46 The monthly cost of SSRI therapy can exceed $100 for the higher dosages of medication that are often required.21 Imipramine has proven efficacy in treating panic disorder, depression, and generalized anxiety disorder. The monthly cost of therapy can be as low as $8.21 Generic benzodiazepines are also inexpensive .1,46

Formal CBT programs can cost more than $1,000 for one course of treatment. Anecdotally, self-help groups like Agoraphobics in Motion, 1719 Crooks Rd., Royal Oak, MI 48067 telephone: 248-547-0400, can be inexpensive and helpful.

How To Cope With Side Effects

What to do about:

  • a dry mouth – chew sugar-free gum or sugar-free sweets
  • sweating a lot – try wearing loose clothing, using a strong anti-perspirant, and keeping cool using a fan, if possible. If this doesn’t control the problem, talk to your doctor. You may need to try a different antidepressant.
  • being unable to sleep – take escitalopram first thing in the morning
  • feeling sleepy– take escitalopram in the evening and cut down the amount of alcohol you drink. Do not drive or use tools or machinery if you’re feeling sleepy. If this doesn’t help, talk to your doctor.
  • feeling tired or weak – stop what you’re doing and sit or lie down until you feel better. Do not drive or use tools or machinery if you’re feeling tired. Do not drink alcohol as it’ll make you feel worse.

Also Check: How To Manage Anxiety Attacks

Lexapro Anxiety Drug Dosage

Escitalopram dosages vary depending on your condition, which is why it is crucial to go along with your physicians prescription.

Your doctor can prescribe escitalopram oxalate as an oral solution, or 5 to 20 mg pills depending on your condition, usually prescribed as once-daily doses.

It is crucial for future reference to note that the FDA does not approve doses higher than 20 mg.

A health professional should also define the period you should take Lexapro to treat your anxiety, and it is essential to continue your dosage even if you are feeling better.

If you forget to take your medication, make sure you take the dosage immediately you remember, which should too close to your next dosage to avoid overdosing.

Drug Interactions Of Lexapro Vs Xanax

Anxiety update, Lexapro and a few tips

Lexapro and Xanax can interact with some of the same medications such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors , opioids, anticonvulsants, triptans, and serotonergic drugs. Taking these drugs together may affect the level of drug in the body which can increase the risk of adverse effects.

SSRIs like Lexapro can also interact with NSAIDs and other blood thinners like warfarin. Taking these medications together may cause an increased risk of bleeding.

Xanax can also interact with birth control medications. Oral contraceptives may increase the side effects of benzodiazepines.

Because Lexapro and Xanax are processed by certain liver enzymes, they can interact with other drugs that affect these enzymes. Lexapro and Xanax can interact with CYP3A4 enzyme inhibitors and inducers. Consult a doctor or pharmacist to determine which drugs may interact with Lexapro or Xanax.

Drug
NoYes

This may not be a complete list of all possible drug interactions. Consult a doctor with all medications you may be taking.

Read Also: What Can I Do To Help With Anxiety

What Are Lexapro And Xanax

Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Other SSRIs include citalopram , fluoxetine , paroxetine , and sertraline . SSRIs affect neurotransmitters in the brain, the chemical messengers that nerves use to communicate with one another. An imbalance of neurotransmitters is believed to cause depression. Lexapro prevents the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which results in more serotonin in the brain to attach to receptors.

Xanax is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety. Other benzodiazepines include diazepam , clonazepam , lorazepam , and flurazepam . Xanax acts by enhancing the effects of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain. It is believed that excessive activity in the brain may cause anxiety or other psychiatric disorders.

How Much To Take

Escitalopram tablets come in different strengths ranging from 5mg to 20mg.

The usual dose of escitalopram is 10mg a day in adults. But you may start on a lower dose and increase to a maximum dose of 20mg a day.

If you have liver problems, the maximum recommended dose is 10mg a day.

With liquid drops of escitalopram, 1 drop is equivalent to 1mg, 10 drops is 10mg, 20 drops is 20mg.

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Lexapro Vs Zoloft: Differences Similarities And Which Is Better For You

Drug overview & main differences | Conditions treated | Efficacy | Insurance coverage and cost comparison | Side effects | Drug interactions | Warnings | FAQ

Lexapro and Zoloft are SSRIs indicated for the treatment of depression and other psychological conditions. An SSRI works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which helps improve symptoms. Both prescription drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration . Other drugs in the SSRI class of medications are Prozac , Celexa , and Paxil . Although Lexapro and Zoloft are similar, they have notable differences in their indications as well as cost.

Interactions With Other Drugs

how long does it take for lexapro to work for anxiety

Tell your doctor about any other medicine you take. Certain medications can interact with Lexapro. This includes prescription and nonprescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness , Lexapro should not be taken with or within two weeks of taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors .

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Will Lexapro Help Me Sleep

Yes, Lexapro does help people sleep after around 1 week of starting medication, according to most studies.

It has been seen that certain SSRIs and SNRIs may disrupt sleep, however, one study indicates that treatment with escitalopram, better known as Lexapro, at standard clinical doses of around 5mg daily may actually improve sleep quality over time.

Citations

Lexapro Vs Zoloft: Which Works Faster

Both Lexapro and Zoloft can take several weeks for improvement in your depression or anxiety symptoms to become noticeable. Because neither medication has a lead over the other in this area, it usually is not a factor in decision-making when choosing between these two medications.

In general, you might notice your sleep, energy, and appetite get better within the first two weeks of starting Lexapro or Zoloft. It can take 6 to 8 weeks for other symptomsâsuch as depressed mood or lack of interest in day-to-day activitiesâto improve as well.

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A Closer Look At Lexapro

Lexapro is the brand name of the generic drug escitalopram. It is used to treat generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder .

Lexapro may also sometimes be prescribed for âoff-labelâ uses. âOff-labelâ use means taking a medication for a condition that it has not been approved by the FDA to treat. This is a common and acceptable medical practice. Lexapro may be used âoff-labelâ to help treat obsessive-compulsive disorder , eating disorders , panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder , and premenstrual dysphoric disorder .

Lexapro is available in tablet and liquid forms:

Lexapro tablet

Lexapro liquid

  • 1 mg/ml

The recommended starting dose for Lexaproâwhether you are taking it for depression or anxietyâis typically 10 mg taken once a day. Your doctor or prescribing nurse may gradually increase the dosage over the course of several weeks, if necessary. The maximum recommended dose is 20 mg, though some people need higher doses to achieve symptom relief.

Lexapro is taken once a day, with or without food. It can be taken in the morning or the evening, whichever is more convenient for you.

If you miss a dose of Lexapro, you will want to either take the missed dose as soon as you remember, or if it is closer to the time when you would take your next dose, just take the next dose.

Escitalopram May Interact With Other Medications

Life with Anxiety – Lexapro Side Effects and Results: Anti-Anxiety Medication

Escitalopram oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs youre taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else youre taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with promethazine are listed below.

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Lexapro Vs Zoloft Overview

Antidepressant medications are typically grouped by how and which neurotransmitters they primarily affect in order to relieve depression symptoms. As mentioned above, both Lexapro and Zoloft are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , a type of antidepressant medication that also may be used to treat anxiety.

As their name implies, SSRIs affect the levels of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin helps to keep your mood balanced and plays a role in feelings of contentment, optimism, and satisfaction, as well as your overall sense of well-being. SSRIs increase the serotonin levels in your brain by preventing serotonin from being reabsorbed into the neurons and thus inactivated.

When looking at Lexapro vs Zoloft, both are SSRI medications, but that does not mean they are exactly the same. Looking more closely at each of these medications can help you determine which medication might be a better choice for your treatment plan.

Warnings For Other Groups

For pregnant women: Escitalopram is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  • Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  • There havent been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.
  • Talk to your doctor if youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should be used only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

    For women who are breastfeeding: Escitalopram may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

    For seniors: Seniors are more likely to have lowered sodium levels. Because this drug can decrease sodium levels, seniors may be at even higher risk for low sodium levels.

    For children: Children who take drugs like escitalopram may have a decreased appetite and weight loss.

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    Coping With Lexapro Side Effects

    Generally, Lexapro’s side effects are mild and can be managed. Your doctor may recommend strategies such as:

    • Changing the timing of dosesto reduce the effects for example, taking your medication after meals if you experience gastrointestinal symptoms, before bed if it gives you insomnia, or after sex if you’re experiencing sexual side effects
    • Increasing physical activity to help manage side effects related to anxiety, sleep problems, or constipation
    • Practicing relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation to improve anxiety or insomnia
    • Using lubricants to make sex more comfortable

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