Lexapro Side-Effects in Adults and Children

Comprehensive information on side effects of Lexapro in adults and children and how best to handle Lexapro side effects.

SSRIs have rapidly become the drugs of choice for many doctors for the treatment of depression, but the drugs can take up to 6 weeks to provide relief and they are accompanied by some side effects. These side effects - including nausea, anxiety, problems sleeping, loss of sexual desire, headaches, or dizziness - are not life-threatening, but can be problematic for many SSRI users.

Possible Side Effects of Lexapro

While LEXAPRO is well tolerated by most people, it is important to keep in mind that medicines can affect each person differently. Some may experience no or very minor side effects, while others may find the antidepressant drug more difficult to tolerate. Most of the side effects experienced by patients taking LEXAPRO are mild to moderate and go away with continued treatment, and usually do not cause patients to stop taking LEXAPRO.

The most common adverse events reported with LEXAPRO vs placebo (approximately 5% or greater and approximately 2X placebo) were nausea, insomnia, ejaculation disorder, somnolence, increased sweating, fatigue, decreased libido, and anorgasmia.

Less common side effects have also been reported and may include a variety of very rare side effects. Check with your doctor if you develop any new or unusual symptoms.

If you experience any of the following Lexapro side effects, continue taking LEXAPRO and talk to your doctor:

  • headache, nervousness, or anxiety
  • nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, or changes in appetite or weight
  • sleepiness or insomnia
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm

Lexapro side effects other than those listed here may also occur. For a list of side effects, see the LEXAPRO package insert. Talk to your doctor about any side effect of Lexapro that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

Lexapro Side-Effects in Children

Lexapro is not approved for use in children less than 12 years old.

Lexapro side effects in children (pediatric patients) were generally similar to those seen in adults. There are additional side-effects reported in children taking Lexapro. These include back pain, urinary tract infection, vomiting, and nasal congestion.

Additional Lexapro Side Effects Details

Adults with Major Depressive Disorder may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality), whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Patients being treated with antidepressants should be observed closely for clinical worsening and suicidality, especially at the beginning of a course of drug therapy, or at the time of dose changes, either increases or decreases. Lexapro is contraindicated in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), pimozide (see DRUG INTERACTIONS - Pimozide and Celexa), or in patients with a hypersensitivity to escitalopram oxalate. As with other SSRIs, caution is indicated in the coadministration of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) with Lexapro. As with other psychotropic drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake, patients should be cautioned regarding the risk of bleeding associated with the concomitant use of Lexapro with NSAIDs, aspirin, or other drugs that affect coagulation. The most common adverse events reported with Lexapro vs placebo (approximately 5% or greater and approximately 2x placebo) were nausea, insomnia, ejaculation disorder, somnolence, increased sweating, fatigue, decreased libido, and anorgasmia

Does LEXAPRO cause weight gain?

In studies, people treated with LEXAPRO experienced no clinically important weight change as a result of therapy. If you have concerns about any side effects, you should talk with your healthcare professional or doctor.

Does LEXAPRO affect sex drive?

Although changes in sexual desire, sexual performance, and sexual satisfaction may occur during a depressive episode, they may also be a consequence of treatment with SSRI therapies. Reliable estimates of changes in sexual behavior related to medication are difficult to obtain, because patients and physicians are often reluctant to discuss them. In clinical trials, a low percentage of patients taking LEXAPRO have reported sexual side effects, primarily ejaculatory delay in men. If you have questions about sexual dysfunction, speak with your healthcare professional.

Here are some tips for handling antidepressant side-effects.

LEXAPRO is a registered trademark of Forest Laboratories, Inc.

next: Handling the Side Effects of Antidepressant Medications

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, March 15). Lexapro Side-Effects in Adults and Children, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Last Updated: January 14, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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