Health A-Z

Lexapro Side Effects: Ways To Avoid Developing Side Effects And More!

lexapro side effects
Note:
The information in this article is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All images and text present are for general information purpose only.

Lexapro side effects have you rethinking treatment? Well, there are better ways to judge the side effects of a treatment option. When you are given a medication by your physician, they weigh the benefits that will be conferred to your health. There are potential side effects of a drug when you consider the additional factors such as a patient’s overall physical health.

Lexapro, also known as escitalopram is an antidepressant – meaning it is used for treating symptoms associated with depression. The drug belongs to a group known as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs.) The primary mental health conditions that this group treats are anxiety and depression.

The following article describes the side effects of the drug and other information such as the way it works, and the considerations that you need to take.

What is Lexapro?

Lexapro is an antidepressant that is thought to work by blocking the reuptake of serotonin by the nerves. The way this helps in reducing the symptoms associated with depression is remarkable. This effect of the drug blocking the reuptake of serotonin helps in increasing its concentration in the nerve synapse. The nerve synapse is a space between two nerves where the serotonin is now present.

How does this help you may wonder- well, the answer to this is that the accumulation of serotonin helps in alleviating one’s mood. The association of low levels of serotonin to the signs of depression is what makes the use of Lexapro essential.

What are the uses?

The primary known use of the drug is mainly in the regulation of mood through preventing the re-uptake of serotonin. Thus, it aids in treating conditions such as those where a person experiences drastic changes in mood. One such mental health condition is depression. The other uses of this drug are treating anxiety.

The drug is also known to help in the improvement of energy levels and decreasing nervousness as well as elevating the feelings of well-being.

What is the proper way of using Lexapro? (How you can avoid side effects.)

When you receive a prescription with the name of this drug, you are supposed to receive proper guidance on its usage. However, unless you are self-medicating or relying on the advice of a friend or someone else who has no authority (either of which you shouldn’t do!)- then this section is for you.

When you go to your pharmacist to get your dose of the drug you will receive a Patient Information Leaflet and Medication Guide. Both these documents are necessary for you before you start your course.

The basic information that you need to know is:

  • The medication is intended for oral administrtaion- meaning you need to take this drug through your mouth. The other necessary instructions depend on the doctor- they may or may not ask you to take the drug with or without food.
  • Do not take the medicine without prescription as its dosage varies with age and gender. Just how a condition does not affect two people similarly, same goes for a drug and its particular dosage.
  • Verify with your pharmacist that you have the correct dosage before starting your course.
  • The medication may also be made available to you in liquid form which requires careful measurement.
  • Only consume the liquid Lexapro using special measuring device or spoon provided with the medication.  

The risk of Lexapro side effects increases when the dosage is not aligned to your needs. It is necessary that your physician provide you with the strength of the medication that is appropriate for your age, gender, existing conditions and other medications that you may be taking. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

In the US – You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.In Canada – You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Lexapro Side Effects

The usual side effects of the drug that are reported by consumers include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Drowsiness
  • Excessive sweating

Additionally, these side effects are also observed in some people consuming Lexapro:

  • Changes in sexual ability
  • Decreased or no interest in sex
  • Easy bruising or bleeding

Immediate medical help may be required if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • Fainting
  • Black stool
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds (it does not always point to internal bleeding, yes, we’ve seen that reel too!)
  • Eye pain or swelling
  • Redness in eyes
  • Widening of pupils
  • Changes In vision

Rarely witnessed side effects:

  • Serotonin syndrome or toxicity
  • Hallucinations
  • Losing coordination
  • Severe nausea
  • Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
  • Twitching in muscles
  • Unexplained fever and unusual restlessness

Side effects based on gender:

Lexapro side effects in men can include painful erection or prolonged erection that may last 4 or more hours.

Lexapro side effects in women include taking a longer time to reach orgasm, a decrease in the desire to engage in sexual activities or a loss of libido.

If you are wondering what are the long-term side effects of this drug, here is your answer-  

  • Weight gain
  • Loss of libido
  • Decrease in appetite

Despite being rare occurences, it is important to be careful when you are taking drugs such as Lexapro or others belonging to the same class of drug.

What to keep in mind while taking the drug

Following the doctor’s instruction is necessary to avoid any side effects. This ensures that you start taking the medication only at a low dose, or whichever is best fit for your overall wellbeing. The need for the dose to be increased depends on the effect of the existing dose your diagnosed condition.

Conclusion

Thus, this was all on the Lexapro side effects. The article highlights the side effects that can occur with the consumption of Lexapro. The article also highlights the considerations that you must take before you proceed to start your course and the helpline/s you can contact during a severe event.

Know something on managing side effects of Lexapro? Let us know in the comments below!

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Harsha Sharma
Harsha is a senior content writer with numerous hobbies who takes great pride in spreading kindness. Earning a Postgraduate degree in Microbiology, she invests her time reading and informing people about various topics, particularly health and lifestyle. She believes in continuous learning, with life as her inspiration, and opines that experiences enrich our lives.

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