You’ve probably heard of the drug Lexapro® if you suffer from depression or certain types of anxiety. One of many antidepressant drugs frequently prescribed to treat psychiatric disorders like depression.
There are some side effects related to taking Lexapro, just like with any other drug. They may be felt by some people but not by others. The first week or so after starting Lexapro (and some other medications like it) can be a particularly problematic time for side effects. Knowing what these side effects are and when you should consult a doctor about them can be useful before you start taking Lexapro.
Escitalopram, Lexapro’s generic name, is frequently used. This medication, which belongs to the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, requires a doctor’s prescription (SSRIs).
These drugs function by raising the concentrations of the neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain, which can then aid in your ability to keep a stable mental state.
Escitalopram is used to treat both depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which is identified when people experience excessive worry for six months or longer. It may take up to four weeks after starting Lexapro for your depression or anxiety symptoms to start improving.
Lexapro Negative Side Effects
Escitalopram has several common side effects.
Potential side effects of the medication, whether taken as a tablet or in liquid form, include:
• Changes in sex drive
• Appetite suppression
• Loss of weight
• Joint discomfort
• Stomach ache
Some people have reported that these side effects are most severe during the first week of taking escitalopram. Sweating, headaches, nausea, sleep problems, and nervousness may become more noticeable during the first week of use.
Check out this article for more information on Lexapro and tiredness as a side effect.
Fortunately, these feelings and side effects usually start to fade after a few weeks of treatment and are completely gone after a few months. There are also more serious side effects that, while extremely rare, must be understood.
High blood pressure, an elevated heart rate, low sodium levels, and serotonin syndrome, a potentially fatal condition, are examples. Low-angle glaucoma is another potential risk. If you notice anything that appears to be serious, contact a medical professional right away.
Before starting any new medication, inform your healthcare provider if you have any other medical conditions or are taking any other medications to avoid potential drug interactions. You should also inform them if you are allergic to anything so that you can avoid an allergic reaction.
Managing Lexapro’s Initial Week of Side Effects
Especially in the first few weeks of treatment, your healthcare provider will be able to keep an eye out for any negative reactions to escitalopram.
For the first few weeks of treatment with escitalopram, some patients may be instructed to take a benzodiazepine as well, as benzodiazepines have been shown to mitigate the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms associated with starting an SSRI.
A combination of an SSRI and a benzodiazepine, as reported in 2008, can quickly reduce anxiety symptoms. In addition, it can help patients manage the agitation that sometimes occurs at the start of taking an SSRI. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, benzodiazepines and SSRIs can work together to treat GAD and ease the transition to SSRI treatment.
However, you should be aware that the addictive potential of benzodiazepines makes them unsuitable for long-term use. Your healthcare provider will likely begin gradually reducing your benzodiazepine dosage after a few weeks.
Making It Through the First Week of Lexapro
Okay, so you’ve decided to, or have already begun, use Lexapro to combat your depression or GAD. Congrats! Perhaps now you can start working on regaining your former self-confidence and excellence.
There are some potential adverse reactions and side effects, some of which may be more noticeable in the first couple weeks of use, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed this medication safe and effective, so it is prescribed to millions of people every year for the treatment of everything from major depressive disorder to, in some cases, bipolar disorder. Lexapro’s first-week side effects include nausea, dizziness, and s£xual side effects. The good news is that they typically fade away on their own.
Your doctor will give you all the information you need to get through the first week of taking Lexapro, which may be combined with a benzodiazepine. The most critical aspect of taking Lexapro is maintaining open lines of communication with your healthcare provider, not just in the first week but throughout your entire course of treatment.