How Effective Is Lexapro in Treating Anxiety?


Escitalopram Oxalate (Lexapro) associates with a group of drugs known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).

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Using SSRIs to treat mental health disorders started in 1980, after which the FDA approved Lexapro as a preferred drug in the treatment of GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) in 2012.

SSRIs also have minimal effects during usage making them preferred over other antidepressants.

Before discussing Lexapro and its use to treat anxiety, we should briefly discuss what anxiety is, its causes, and its symptoms.

What Is Anxiety?

This is an emotion characterized mostly by feelings of worry and tension. Individuals with anxiety disorders suffer from intense feelings of fear about everyday situations, leading to panic attacks.

Anxiety disorders develop naturally or because of medical conditions and traumatic events.

Your doctor can identify if you are suffering from a general anxiety disorder when you frequently worry about an issue or issues for not less than six months while exhibiting three or more symptoms of the condition.

Statistics show that GAD affects 3.1% of adults and 8% of people below 18 years in the U.S in a year.

Some common manifestations of GAD are:

  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • High irritability
  • Sleeplessness
  • Uneven breathing
  • Headache
  • Muscle tension and ache
  • Trembling
  • Frequently using the bathroom

Now that we understand GAD, let’s look into Lexapro anxiety drugs in the treatment of GAD.

How Does Lexapro Work for Anxiety?

As mentioned, earlier health professionals use escitalopram to treat GAD and other conditions such as depression. Escitalopram oxalate works by rehabilitating the balance of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter.

Serotonin sends messages between nerve cells and carries out other body functions such as sleep. Lexapro restores the balance of serotonin by increasing its amount in your brain.

The drug achieves this balance when it inhibits serotonin’s reabsorption back into the never cells, which reduces GAD symptoms.

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When You Should Not Take Lexapro?

The use of Lexapro to treat anxiety is not suitable for everyone, which is why you should discuss its use with your doctor.

Alerting your doctor of any allergic reactions to Lexapro is essential to assist them in giving you advice on its usage. Note that no factual findings highlight the benefits of using Lexapro in children between 12 and 18 years, and it’s suitable for children under 12 years.

If you have confirmed or suspect you are pregnant, ensure you discuss it with your physician to understand any inherent risks of using escitalopram.

Lexapro also increases the chances of spasms for epileptic patients, which is why you should use it as advised. Remember to brief your physician of other preexisting conditions such as diabetes or heart issues to avoid occurrences such as elevated blood sugar levels or cardiac arrest.

Lexapro Anxiety Drug Dosage

Escitalopram dosages vary depending on your condition, which is why it is crucial to go along with your physician’s 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.

Lexapro Usage Tips

Tips to Follow When Using Lexapro

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.

How Long Does Lexapro Take to Work for Anxiety?

GAD can feel crippling since it affects your ability to function normally. Therefore, it is normal for you to ask if Lexapro works right away.

Escitalopram does not have a specific timeline in which it should work. This is because the drug works differently for different symptoms.

For example, Lexapro works fasts for sleep, energy, and appetite-related symptoms taking even 1 to 2 weeks after treatment.

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However, it takes 1 to 4 weeks to feel the positive effects once you are on Lexapro, and about 6 to 8 weeks for symptoms to improve.

The time taken by Lexapro to work highly depends on how long the drug takes to suppress previously active serotonin.

To ascertain that you get the best results when using Lexapro to treat your anxiety, ensure you:

  • Keep taking Lexapro until advised otherwise by your doctor
  • Ensure you keep appointments with your doctor
  • Avoid using alcohol and other drugs while using Lexapro

Symptoms That Lexapro Treats

Although there is a delay in the onset of action when using the Lexapro anxiety drug, it is an effective medicine against anxiety.

We realize how burdening anxiety is to you, and we have geared our services towards helping you get better. At EZCare Clinic, we focus on your treatment’s overall results and strive to ensure we meet all your healthcare needs.

Please schedule an appointment or contact us now, and let us help you get rid of your anxiety problem.


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Evidence Based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.