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Lexapro Pros & Cons

Sometimes medication is necessary to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety if these symptoms interfere in a person's ability to handle daily life events. Lexapro is an antidepressant that can significantly improve the symptoms of depression and anxiety for many patients 1. Therefore, if a patient suffers from either depression or anxiety, Lexapro may be beneficial in relieving symptoms 1. Working with your physician to find the right medication will help in reclaiming a fulfilling life.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Type of Medication

Lexapro is a member of the group of prescription drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) 1. It is an oral medication that is usually taken once a day. Lexapro has been prescribed to over 18 million people 1. Lexapro is typically classified as an antidepressant but is used to treat anxiety as well 1. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is believed to influence mood.

How it Works

Symptoms When Stopping Lexapro

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SSRIs such as Lexapro help relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety by increasing the available supply of serotonin in the brain with minimal effect on many of the other chemicals in the brain 1. An imbalance in serotonin may be an important factor in the development of depression and anxiety. The balancing act is created when serotonin is released from one nerve cell and becomes accessible to the next, but in the process some of the serotonin released is reabsorbed by the first nerve cell. Lexapro blocks the re-absorption of serotonin into the first cell, which causes an increased amount of serotonin to become available 1.

Benefits

Depression and anxiety can be debilitating, preventing many patients from functioning fully in life and leaving an impact on their families. Lexapro has proven placebo-controlled trials in patients and is used widely with research on various side effects and drug interactions 12. This medication is not a controlled substance, fairly inexpensive and will not cause dependency issues. Many patients have relieved symptoms within two to four weeks. The medication improves mood, sleep, energy and appetite, as well as alleviating the symptoms of depression and anxiety helping patients regain a fulfilling life. However, this medication is not intended for pediatric patients under the age of 12.

  • Depression and anxiety can be debilitating, preventing many patients from functioning fully in life and leaving an impact on their families.
  • The medication improves mood, sleep, energy and appetite, as well as alleviating the symptoms of depression and anxiety helping patients regain a fulfilling life.

Precautions

How Long Do You Need to Take Lexapro?

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As with any medication, side effects are possible. For pediatric and young adult patients, additional side effects were reported, such as:

  • back pain
  • urinary tract infection
  • vomiting
  • nasal congestion

Patients of all ages who are using an antidepressant therapy should be monitored closely for clinical worsening, suicidal tendencies or unusual changes in behavior.

Future

Lexapro should be taken even if you start feeling better, otherwise your symptoms could return or worsen 1. This medication should be used in conjunction with psychotherapy. Although Lexapro is not considered addictive, there are withdrawal symptoms reported when ending treatment 1. These include:

  • irritability
  • dizziness
  • sensory disturbances
  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • headache
  • unstable mood
  • insomnia

Many patients many require medication long-term, while others may only need it for a shorter period.

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