When Is The Best Time To Take Lexapro For Anxiety? Symptoms, Risks, and Mechanisms of Lexapro for Anxiety.

The best time to take Lexapro for anxiety depends on individual preferences and potential side effects. Some people find it beneficial to take it in the morning to boost energy levels, while others prefer taking it in the evening to reduce the risk of interference with sleep.


We Level Up FL Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: August 7, 2023

Best Time to Take Lexapro for Anxiety

Determining the best time to take Lexapro for anxiety can vary depending on individual factors and personal preferences. In general, it is recommended to take Lexapro at the same time every day to establish a consistent routine. Some people find taking it in the morning helpful, as it can boost energy and reduce the risk of insomnia. However, others may prefer taking it in the evening to minimize any potential side effects during the day. The best time to take Lexapro for anxiety should be discussed with a healthcare provider, who can consider an individual’s response, lifestyle, and potential interactions with other medications.

Symptoms of Using Lexapro for Anxiety

  • Nausea: One of the most common side effects of Lexapro is nausea. It may range from mild discomfort to more pronounced queasiness or an upset stomach.
  • Headache: Headaches can occur as a side effect of Lexapro use. They can range from mild to moderate in intensity.
  • Dizziness: Some individuals may experience dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when standing up quickly. It is advisable to be cautious and avoid activities requiring alertness until these sensations subside.
  • Insomnia or drowsiness: Lexapro can affect sleep patterns. While some individuals may experience difficulty sleeping or insomnia, others may feel drowsy or have increased fatigue.
  • Sexual side effects: A common side effect of Lexapro and other SSRIs is a potential impact on sexual functioning. This can manifest as decreased libido (sex drive), difficulty achieving orgasm, or erectile dysfunction in men.
  • Gastrointestinal issues: Lexapro may cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation.
  • Sweating: Some individuals may experience increased sweating while using Lexapro.
  • Weight changes: Lexapro use has been associated with weight gain and weight loss in some individuals.
  • Mood changes: While Lexapro is primarily used to improve mood, in some cases, it can cause mood swings, irritability, or anxiety.
  • Dry mouth: Lexapro can lead to a dry mouth sensation, which may be alleviated by staying hydrated and using sugar-free candies or gum.
It may take several weeks for Lexapro to reach its full therapeutic effect in managing anxiety symptoms. Some individuals may notice improvements within the first few weeks, but others may require up to 6-8 weeks to experience the medication's full benefits.
It may take several weeks for Lexapro to reach its full therapeutic effect in managing anxiety symptoms. Some individuals may notice improvements within the first few weeks, but others may require up to 6-8 weeks to experience the medication’s full benefits.

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Anxiety and Lexapro Fact Sheet

What is Anxiety?

  • Anxiety is a normal and often temporary response to stress or a perceived threat.
  • It involves feelings of unease, worry, fear, or apprehension.
  • Anxiety becomes a concern when it is persistent, excessive, and interferes with daily life.

Types of Anxiety Disorders:

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):
    • Characterized by excessive, uncontrollable worry and anxiety about various aspects of life.
    • Symptoms may include restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.
  2. Panic Disorder:
    • It involves recurrent and unexpected panic attacks and intense periods of fear or discomfort.
    • Panic attacks can cause a rapid heartbeat, sweating, shortness of breath, chest pain, and a sense of impending doom.

3. Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD):

  • It involves an intense fear of social situations and being judged or embarrassed.
  • People with SAD may avoid social interactions, leading to significant distress and impairment.

4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):

  • Characterized by intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions) performed to alleviate anxiety.
  • OCD can interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress.

10 vs 20 mg for Lexapro Anxiety

When it comes to the dosage of Lexapro (escitalopram) for anxiety, the appropriate dose can vary depending on individual factors such as the severity of symptoms, individual response, and the recommendation of a healthcare professional. The typical range for Lexapro dosage in the treatment of anxiety is between 10 to 20 mg per day.

Anxiety and Lexapro Statistics

Anxiety is a common mental health condition characterized by excessive worry, fear, and apprehension. It can manifest in various forms, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. Anxiety can significantly impact a person’s daily life, relationships, and well-being. Lexapro is a commonly prescribed medication for individuals struggling with anxiety. It is known for its effectiveness in alleviating symptoms and relieving those dealing with anxiety disorders.


264 million

An estimated 264 million people globally were living with anxiety disorders in 2017.

Source: WHO

50%

Depression and anxiety frequently coexist. 50% of people with anxiety disorders develop depression.

Source: ADAA

$42 billion

Anxiety disorders cost more than $42 billion annually in healthcare expenses and lost productivity in the United States.

Source: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry


When Is The Best Time To Take Lexapro For Anxiety?

The best time to take Lexapro (Escitalopram) for anxiety typically depends on your response to the medication and any specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider. However, it is often recommended to take Lexapro once daily, either in the morning or evening.

Here are some considerations regarding the timing of Lexapro intake for anxiety:

  1. Consistency: Take Lexapro at the same time every day to maintain consistent levels of the medication in your system, which can enhance its effectiveness.
  2. Morning Dosing: Some individuals find that taking Lexapro in the morning helps boost energy and mood throughout the day. It may also reduce the likelihood of interference with sleep, as insomnia is a potential side effect for some people.
  3. Evening Dosing: Others prefer taking Lexapro in the evening because it can help promote relaxation and mitigate daytime drowsiness. Plus, it may be more convenient for individuals who experience sleep disturbances with the medication.
  4. Personal Preference: Ultimately, the best time to take Lexapro for anxiety depends on your preference and any specific side effects you may experience. If you are unsure about the timing, discuss it with your healthcare provider, who can help tailor the dosing schedule to your needs.
  5. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions: Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding the dosage and timing of Lexapro intake. They will consider your medical history, other medications you may be taking, and individual responses to Lexapro to provide your best recommendations.

Remember that it may take several weeks for Lexapro to reach its full therapeutic effect, so it’s essential to be patient and consistent with your medication regimen. If you have any concerns or experience unusual side effects while taking Lexapro, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider for guidance.

Lexapro for Anxiety

One of the advantages of Lexapro is its ability to address anxiety and depression. It is often prescribed for individuals who experience both conditions simultaneously, providing a dual benefit. By targeting the chemical imbalances in the brain, Lexapro helps regulate mood and reduce anxiety symptoms. When using Lexapro for anxiety, finding the correct dosage is crucial. A lower starting dose is often recommended to minimize potential side effects, with the dosage gradually increasing if necessary. Doctors closely monitor their patient’s progress to ensure optimal results.

Lexapro’s effectiveness is also evident in the positive feedback from patients. Many individuals have reported significantly reduced anxiety levels, improved sleep patterns, and improved quality of life while taking Lexapro. However, it’s important to note that individual responses may vary, and it may take some time to find the correct dosage that works best for each person.

While Lexapro is generally well tolerated, some individuals may experience side effects such as nausea, dizziness, or changes in appetite.

Abruptly stopping Lexapro can lead to withdrawal symptoms. If you wish to discontinue the medication, talk to your healthcare provider, who will likely recommend a gradual tapering schedule to minimize the risk of withdrawal effects.
Abruptly stopping Lexapro can lead to withdrawal symptoms. If you wish to discontinue the medication, talk to your healthcare provider, who will likely recommend a gradual tapering schedule to minimize the risk of withdrawal effects.
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10 vs 20 mg Lexapro Anxiety

The choice between 10 mg and 20 mg of Lexapro for anxiety treatment depends on various factors, including the severity of the anxiety, individual response to the medication, and guidance from a healthcare professional. Here’s a brief comparison:

  1. 10 mg Lexapro: This is a typical starting dose for anxiety treatment. It is usually prescribed to assess how well an individual responds to the medication and to minimize the risk of side effects. Many people find 10 mg to be effective in managing their anxiety symptoms.
  2. 20 mg Lexapro: If the initial 10 mg dose does not relieve symptoms, a healthcare provider may consider increasing the dosage to 20 mg. This higher dose is more potent and may be necessary for individuals with more severe or treatment-resistant anxiety.

It’s crucial to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding Lexapro dosage adjustments. They will consider your specific situation, response to the medication, and potential side effects to determine the appropriate dose for you. Avoid self-adjusting the dosage without consulting your healthcare provider, as abrupt changes in dosage can lead to adverse effects or reduced efficacy.

Lexapro vs Zoloft for Anxiety

FeatureLexaproZoloft
Drug NameEscitalopram (Lexapro)Sertraline (Zoloft)
Brand NamesLexapro, CipralexZoloft, Lustral, and Serlain
FDA ApprovalApproved for anxietyApproved for anxiety
Mechanism of ActionSelective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)
Indicated forGeneralized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorderGeneralized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder
Common Side Effects– Nausea– Nausea
– Headache– Headache
– Dry mouth– Dry mouth
– Drowsiness– Drowsiness
– Insomnia– Insomnia
– Sexual dysfunction– Sexual dysfunction
Dosage Forms– Tablets– Tablets
– Oral solution– Oral solution
– Disintegrating tablets– Disintegrating tablets
Dosage FrequencyUsually once dailyUsually once daily
Half-LifeApproximately 27–32 hoursApproximately 25 hours
InteractionsAvoid MAOIsAvoid MAOIs
Certain medications may interact, consult with a healthcare provider before useCertain medications may interact; consult with a healthcare provider before use
Precautions– Risk of suicidal thoughts in children, adolescents, and young adults– Risk of suicidal thoughts in children, adolescents, and young adults
– Gradual tapering when discontinuing treatment is recommended– Gradual tapering when discontinuing treatment is recommended
– Not recommended during pregnancy unless benefits outweigh risksCertain medications may interact; consult with a healthcare provider before use
– Caution in individuals with liver or kidney problems– Caution in individuals with liver or kidney problems
– Avoid alcohol and other CNS depressants– Avoid alcohol and other CNS depressants
– May cause dizziness or drowsiness; use caution when operating machinery– May cause dizziness or drowsiness; use caution when operating machinery
Lexapro vs Zoloft for Anxiety

Please note that this table is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. If you are considering medication for anxiety, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment for your specific needs and medical history.

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Maximum Dose of Lexapro for Anxiety

Lexapro can be taken with or without food. Some people prefer taking it with a meal to minimize stomach discomfort, while others find it easier to take it on an empty stomach. The choice depends on individual tolerance and any potential gastrointestinal reactions.
Lexapro can be taken with or without food. Some people prefer taking it with a meal to minimize stomach discomfort, while others find it easier to take it on an empty stomach. The choice depends on individual tolerance and any potential gastrointestinal reactions.

The initial dose of Lexapro for anxiety is often lower, typically starting at 10 mg daily. This allows the individual to adjust to the medication and minimizes the potential for side effects. If necessary, the prescribing healthcare professional may gradually increase the dosage based on the individual’s response and needs.

The initial dose of Lexapro for anxiety is often lower, typically starting at 10 mg daily. This allows the individual to adjust to the medication and minimizes the potential for side effects. If necessary, the prescribing healthcare professional may gradually increase the dosage based on the individual’s response and needs.

Lexapro vs Prozac for Anxiety

FeatureLexaproProzac
Drug NameEscitalopram (Lexapro)Fluoxetine (Prozac)
Brand NamesLexapro, CipralexProzac, Sarafem, Rapiflux, Selfemra
FDA ApprovalApproved for anxietyApproved for anxiety
Mechanism of ActionSelective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)
Indicated forGeneralized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorderGeneralized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bulimia nervosa
Common Side Effects– Nausea– Nausea
– Headache– Headache
– Dry mouth– Dry mouth
– Drowsiness– Drowsiness
– Insomnia– Insomnia
– Sexual dysfunction– Sexual dysfunction
Dosage Forms– Tablets– Capsules
– Oral solution– Delayed-release capsules
Dosage FrequencyUsually once dailyUsually once daily
Half-LifeApproximately 27-32 hoursApproximately 4-6 days
InteractionsAvoid MAOIsAvoid MAOIs
Certain medications may interact, consult with healthcare provider before useCertain medications may interact, consult with healthcare provider before use
Precautions– Risk of suicidal thoughts in children, adolescents, and young adults– Risk of suicidal thoughts in children, adolescents, and young adults
– Gradual tapering when discontinuing treatment is recommended– Gradual tapering when discontinuing treatment is recommended
– Not recommended during pregnancy unless benefits outweigh risks– Not recommended during pregnancy unless benefits outweigh risks
– Caution in individuals with liver or kidney problems– Caution in individuals with liver or kidney problems
– Avoid alcohol and other CNS depressants– Avoid alcohol and other CNS depressants
– May cause dizziness or drowsiness, caution when operating machinery– May cause dizziness or drowsiness, caution when operating machinery

Lexapro vs Prozac for Anxiety

Please remember that this table is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. If you are considering medication for anxiety, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment for your specific needs and medical history.

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Does Lexapro Help with Anxiety?

Yes, Lexapro (generic name: Escitalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant that the FDA has approved for treating anxiety disorders. It is commonly prescribed for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, and panic disorder.

The mechanism of action for Lexapro involves increasing the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps regulate mood and emotions. By doing so, it can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and improve overall well-being.

Splitting Lexapro doses should be done only under the guidance of your healthcare provider. SSRIs like Lexapro are typically designed for once-daily dosing. Changing the dosing schedule without professional advice may affect its effectiveness.

If you miss a dose of Lexapro, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it's close to the time of your next scheduled dose, skip the missed one and resume your regular dosing schedule. Avoid taking double doses to make up for the missed one.
If you miss a dose of Lexapro, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s close to the time of your next scheduled dose, skip the missed one and resume your regular dosing schedule. Avoid taking double doses to make up for the missed one.

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Anxiety Treatment at We Level Up WA

The choice between other anxiety prescriptions depends on individual factors, including the specific anxiety disorder, previous treatment response, side effect profile, and personal preferences. Consulting with a healthcare provider is crucial in determining the most appropriate medication and dosage for your anxiety disorder. They can evaluate your situation and guide you in making an informed decision.

Contact We Level Up Washington mental health treatment center for more information. Our mental health specialists can help you explore treatment options and provide further resources.

  1. Does Lexapro help with anxiety?

    Yes, Lexapro (escitalopram) is commonly prescribed to help manage anxiety. As a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Lexapro works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is crucial in regulating mood and emotions.

  2. Can Lexapro cause anxiety?

    In rare cases, Lexapro (escitalopram) can cause a paradoxical reaction that may increase anxiety symptoms instead of reducing them. While this is not a common side effect, being aware of this possibility is crucial.

  3. Is Lexapro for anxiety or depression?

    Lexapro (escitalopram) is a medication commonly prescribed for anxiety and depression. It belongs to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), widely used to treat various mental health conditions.

Powerful Coping Skills for Anxiety. Top Mental Health and Anxiety Tips. Advice from a Therapist.

Search Drug & Alcohol Rehab / Detox & Mental Health When Is The Best Time To Take Lexapro For Anxiety? Topics & Resources
Sources
  1. National Institute of Mental Health – “Anxiety Disorders” Link: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – “Mental Health – Anxiety and Depression” Link: https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm
  3. MedlinePlus – “Anxiety” Link: https://medlineplus.gov/anxiety.html
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – “Anxiety Disorders” Link: https://www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/anxiety-disorders
  5. Office on Women’s Health – “Anxiety Disorders” Link: https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/anxiety-disorders
  6. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health – “Anxiety” Link: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/anxiety-at-a-glance
  7. National Library of Medicine – “Anxiety” Link: https://medlineplus.gov/anxiety.html