Affecting over 40 million adults, anxiety is the most common mental disorder in the United States. Although the condition can severely impact the quality of life, only about one-third of sufferers seek treatment. As more patients learn about the benefits of using Lexapro for anxiety, it’s hopeful that this number will increase.

Are you wondering if this medication might be right for you? Here’s what you need to know about how the drug works and whether it’s considered effective.

What is Lexapro?

Lexapro, also called Escitalopram, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It treats anxiety by balancing out the body’s serotonin levels. It’s currently one of the most popular prescription drug treatments for generalized anxiety disorder.

Other SSRIs you may have heard of include Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.

Benefits of Lexapro

A study found that Lexapro is more effective than the popular drug Paxil. It also causes fewer side effects. Overall, patients who use Lexapro for anxiety over the long-term reported a decrease in symptoms and improvement in overall quality of life.

In addition to treating generalized anxiety disorder, Lexapro is also approved for treating symptoms of depression. In some cases, doctors have found success using it to treat social anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Possible Side Effects

Side effects are generally tolerable and typically go away after you’ve been taking the medication for a while. The most common things you may experience include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Blurred vision
  • Stomach pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Increased appetite

If your symptoms are severe or don’t quickly subside, you’ll need to discuss it with your doctor.

This medication is not addictive, but abruptly stopping your dosage can cause undesirable effects. Never stop taking your medication without informing your doctor, and always taper your dose.

Dosage Options

Lexapro comes in 5, 10, and 20 mg. pills and oral drops. The starting dose is usually 10 mg and it’s typically taken once a day. It can be taken any time of the day or night, either with or without food.

The proper dosage amount is affected by other prescription medications, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter medications. Be sure to clearly communicate with your doctor about anything else you’re taking.

Doctors usually start patients off with a low dose of Lexapro to minimize side effects. The dosage is then increased as needed. It may take a couple of weeks before you start feeling the effects of this medication, and up to a month before it’s reached its full effectiveness.

Talk to Your Doctor About Using Lexapro for Anxiety

If you think you might be a good candidate for using Lexapro, speak to your doctor about it. Once you’ve agreed on the course of treatment, we can help you save money on your prescriptions.

Compare prices for Lexapro using our handy search tool. Don’t forget to check for valuable coupons that can further reduce your cost.