When a doctor advises starting an antidepressant like Lexapro, people frequently worry about changes in their body weight.
While a few of these drugs may lead to weight loss, the majority of them list weight gain as a potential side effect.
Different effects of Lexapro seem to manifest in various individuals.
When selecting an antidepressant, it’s crucial to discuss the advantages and potential disadvantages with your doctor, just like with any medication.
In this piece, I’ll go into great detail about Lexapro. I’ll go over its functions, applications, and relationship to the risk of weight gain.
I’ll also cover other side effects, how to take Lexapro, and pre-medication advice.
Finally, I’ll discuss when to consult a physician about Lexapro.
Why Is Lexapro Used?
Escitalopram is marketed under the name Lexapro.
The drug is a member of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors class of drugs (SSRIs).
In comparison to older antidepressants like nortriptyline, Lexapro is a more recent antidepressant and has fewer side effects.
Only prescriptions are accepted for Lexapro.
Both generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder are treated with it.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and hot flashes during menopause are also treated with it off-label.
Functions of Lexapro
An inhibitor of selective serotonin reuptake is Lexapro (SSRI).
By preventing the reabsorption of serotonin by brain nerve cells, SSRIs raise the level of serotonin that is readily available.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or chemical in the brain, which controls, among other things, mood, sleep, pain, and digestion.
Anxiety and depression have been linked to low serotonin levels.
By increasing the availability of serotonin in the brain, SSRIs aid in the reduction of depressive symptoms like low mood, insomnia, and fatigue.
Weight Gain Caused by Lexapro
Numerous antidepressants frequently cause weight gain as a side effect.
But every person’s response to medication is unique.
Lexapro may result in weight gain or loss, which only serves to further complicate matters.
This may be because serotonin regulates appetite, so taking Lexapro may cause an increase or decrease in appetite.
What the Studies Reveal
SSRIs have a lower risk of contributing to weight gain than older antidepressants like MAOIs and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).
Researchers in one study compared those taking escitalopram and nortriptyline to those taking Lexapro, focusing specifically on Lexapro (Pamelor, a tricyclic antidepressant).
In 12 weeks, escitalopram-taking study participants gained, on average, less than a third of a pound.
Nearly ten times as much weight was gained by those taking nortriptyline.
Additionally, while taking Lexapro, some individuals may be more likely to put on weight than others.
One study found that individuals who smoke, don’t exercise, and consume a Western diet heavy in fast food, processed meats, and snacks are more likely to put on weight while taking any SSRI.
Lexapro Common Adverse Reactions
Along with changes in appetite, Lexapro frequently causes the following side effects:
- Relationship problems (such as problems with ejaculation, decreased libido, and difficulty reaching orgasm)
- elevated sweating
- mouth arid
- stomach ache
Weight Changes and Depression
Depression frequently causes weight changes even when no medication is used.
Some people may become completely food indifferent or feel undeserving as a result, which can result in weight loss.
Other people might use food as a form of solace or lose the desire to exercise and prepare healthy meals.
Weight gain may result from these factors.
How to Consume Lexapro?
Lexapro is available as a tablet or liquid to be ingested once daily with or without food.
You’ll be less likely to forget a dose if you take Lexapro at the same time every day.
If you do remember, take the medication right away.
However, skip the missed dose entirely if it is almost time for the next dose.
Do not ever take two doses.
Don’t be alarmed if you do not notice changes right away; it could take four weeks or longer for Lexapro to take effect.
When you feel better, keep taking Lexapro.
As a result, one might experience withdrawal symptoms like irritability, confusion, abnormal excitement, and mood changes.
Your dosage will be gradually reduced if your doctor decides you should stop taking Lexapro.
Lexapro Safety Measures
If you take Lexapro with other medications or under specific circumstances, it may have serious negative side effects.
your safety, inform your doctor if:
- escitalopram or any other medication has ever caused an allergic reaction in you.
- A monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) is something you’re taking or have recently stopped taking.
- You are taking an additional SSRI.
- You use any additional prescription medications or dietary supplements.
- You either have epilepsy or are receiving electroconvulsive therapy.
- You experience heart issues.
- You’re sick with kidney or liver disease.
- You are breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant, or both.
Following the use of Lexapro, some people report worsening depression and suicidal thoughts.
In case your depression worsens or you develop thoughts of harming yourself, let your doctor know.
In case of a mental health emergency, dial 911 or visit the closest emergency room. Additionally, you can reach a suicide and crisis expert for free, round-the-clock support by dialing or texting 988.
Visit the Lifeline Chat to speak with a suicide and crisis expert if you’d rather do it over the internet.
Whenever to Visit a Doctor
Your physician will keep track of your responses if you use Lexapro.
If you suspect you are having an allergic response, which can be seriously dangerous and result in:
- breathing issues
- a rash of the skin accompanied by puffy, itchy, red, or peeling skin
- a throaty tightness
- difficulty speaking
- tongue, lips, and mouth swelling
If you believe you have taken too much Lexapro, speak with your doctor right away.
Vomiting, trembling, a rapid heartbeat and seizures may result from a Lexapro overdose.
Last but not least, if you have unsettling or suicidal thoughts, get immediate medical help or dial 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
It is readily available around the clock, anonymous, and free.