Having depression or anxiety changes how you look at life on a daily basis. It can stop you from enjoying the simple things as well as having healthy relationships with your loved ones. The staff at Atlanta Integrative Psychiatry understands how these mental health disorders manifest, and we work hard to help you overcome them. For many, part of the path to feeling better is taking Lexapro. How long does Lexapro take to work? We discuss this and other questions about this popular prescription medication.

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What is Lexapro?

Lexapro is a prescription drug that is a brand-name version of the generic drug called escitalopram. It is classified as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI), which is a popular prescription drug in the U.S. This drug comes in tablet and liquid solution form and is usually taken once a day. It should only be used as directed by someone who has a prescription for it.

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    What Does Lexapro Treat?

    Lexapro is prescribed to treat people who have depression, including adults and children aged 12 and up. It can also be prescribed to treat anxiety disorders for people aged seven and up. Lexapro helps elevate a person’s mood and promotes a sense of calmness. It is often used in conjunction with therapy sessions but can also work well on its own.

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    How Does Lexapro Work?

    Lexapro works by increasing the activity of a chemical in the brain called serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects a person’s mood. When it’s not being produced naturally or the brain does not produce enough, it can contribute to low moods, emotions, and anxiety. This is because serotonin carries signals from nerve cells to the brain. Serotonin is then reabsorbed by the nerve cells in a process called “reuptake”. Lexapro blocks the brain from the reuptake process, which allows more serotonin to be available to the individual.

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    How Long Does It Take Lexapro To Work?

    Whenever someone starts taking a new medication, they want to know how long until it takes effect. How long does Lexapro take to work? That depends on a few factors. First, prescribing doctors often start a person on a low dosage of a new medication like Lexapro. This helps their system get used to taking it. The dosage may be increased after one or more weeks or after two to three weeks for children and teenagers. 


    Each person’s system is different, so how long it takes for Lexapro to work can vary. In general, someone taking the medication for depression will begin to notice their symptoms improving within one to two weeks after they begin taking it. They typically find it takes full effect between four to six weeks after they start taking it. However, it can take longer for someone with depression to get the full benefits of the drug. 


    Someone taking Lexapro for anxiety can expect their symptoms to improve around the one to two-week mark. After that, the full effects usually happen between four to six weeks after taking the medication. 


    Some people feel better more quickly. Each person should discuss how they react to Lexapro so any dosage adjustments can be made in a timely manner.

    Lexapro Side Effects

    Another common question after, “How long does Lexapro take to work?” has to do with what type of side effects may occur. Like any medication, side effects are possible. Any that occurs should be discussed with the prescribing clinician. Most side effects stop happening after a few weeks, but some may linger longer. 


    Common side effects that may occur include:


    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Nausea
    • Constipation
    • Headaches
    • Dry mouth
    • Drowsiness
    • Dizziness
    • Abdominal pain
    • Reduction in sex drive
    • Weight gain

    How Do I Know I Need Lexapro?

    Now that you know how long it takes Lexapro to work, you may wonder if it’s the right medication for you. If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, it can be an avenue worth exploring. Someone who may need Lexapro will exhibit some of the symptoms of depression or those that occur with an anxiety disorder.

    If you aren’t sure if what you have qualifies as a mental health disorder, talk to a doctor or therapist and get an assessment. Once a diagnosis is established, a treatment plan can begin. It will consist of attending therapy sessions and a discussion about which prescription medications can help. Talking to a prescribing clinician will help determine if Lexapro can help minimize the symptoms of a person’s depression or anxiety.

    Begin Treatment For Depression and Anxiety Today

    Do you live with depression or anxiety and want to find a way out of it? Atlanta Integrative Psychiatry uses highly effective types of therapy to help ease the symptoms of these mental illnesses. Included as part of our treatment program is using proven FDA-approved medications like Lexapro. We believe in the power you have to overcome poor mental health and learn to live with positivity and peacefulness in your life again.

    If you would like to talk to us about how our program can help you feel better, contact us now. We are happy to explain how to begin getting the help you deserve.

    You are not alone. You deserve to get help.

    Atlanta Integrative Psychiatry is an Industry leader in mental health treatment . Our team of top medical experts specialize in dual diagnosis treat and are committed to ensuring that each patient is treated as an individual.
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