How to Use Lexapro

Instructions for taking Lexapro, how to handle a missed dose of Lexapro, and Lexapro effectiveness.


LEXAPRO tablets or oral solution should be taken once daily morning or evening, with or without food, and followed by a full glass of water. Take LEXAPRO exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

If your physician has prescribed the oral solution of LEXAPRO, be sure to use a dose-measuring spoon, cup, or dropper, not a regular tablespoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Do not stop taking LEXAPRO without first talking to your doctor. Remember that you must allow time to feel the full benefit of drug therapy for depression. It may take several weeks for you to start feeling better.

Store LEXAPRO at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

LEXAPRO Effectiveness

In clinical studies, many patients treated with LEXAPRO began to feel better within 1 or 2 weeks, although the full effect may take 4 to 6 weeks. You should follow up with your healthcare professional or doctor and report your progress.

Remember to take your medication as long as your healthcare professional advises, even if you start feeling better; otherwise your symptoms could return or worsen.

Missed a Dose of Lexapro

If you forget to take your prescribed dose of LEXAPRO, take the missed dose that same day as soon as you remember, then call your healthcare professional or doctor for more information. The next day, resume according to your regular dosing schedule. Doubling a daily dose to compensate for a missed dose is not recommended. If you have additional questions about dosing, please talk to your healthcare professional.

What to Avoid While Taking LEXAPRO

Because drugs of this type may impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills, they should be used with caution in patients operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until patients are reasonably certain that LEXAPRO does not affect their abilities to engage in such activities.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking LEXAPRO or may affect your condition.

LEXAPRO should not be taken concurrently with citalopram (Celexa™).

See Drug Interactions.

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

next: LEXAPRO Side-Effects Profile

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, March 15). How to Use Lexapro, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 19 from

Last Updated: January 14, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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