Lexapro (Escitalopram): for anxiety and depression

Psychiatry appointments online, from anywhere. Get medication for anxiety and depression prescribed by our licensed psychiatric clinicians. Create a treatment plan with medications like Lexapro.

What is Lexapro?

Lexapro (or Escitalopram) is a type of antidepressant medication known as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). It treats mental health conditions like general anxiety disorder and depression by increasing the level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, to help improve your mood.

What is Lexapro used for?

Lexapro (and its generic version, escitalopram) can be prescribed to treat a number of mental health conditions including depression and anxiety. It is also prescribed “off-label” for other conditions like obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, panic disorder, or PTSD. “Off-label” drug uses are when the FDA hasn’t labeled that medication for treatment of certain specific conditions but doctors have found it effective in certain cases. Some conditions Lexapro treats include:

How Talkspace psychiatry works

Complete a brief assessment

Answer a few questions and we’ll match you with an online prescriber who meets your needs

Schedule your initial session

Once matched, schedule your live video psychiatry session.

Begin your treatment

Your online psychiatry prescriber will personalize your treatment, which may include medication and follow-ups.

Connect with a licensed prescriber

Get specialized psychiatric treatment from a licensed prescriber — all from the comfort of your home.


With Talkspace Psychiatry, the first step is to complete a brief assessment that helps match you with a qualified psychiatric clinician. Once you’re matched with a psychiatric clinician, you’ll have a live video session where you’ll share how you’ve been feeling and your symptoms. From there, they’ll prescribe a treatment plan specific to your needs and medical history. Your provider may prescribe you Lexapro or its generic form. You can get medications sent to your local pharmacy or directly to your door.

Lexapro (escitalopram) is taken in different forms, dosages, and frequency, depending on your mental health condition and the treatment plan prescribed by your provider. Lexapro is generally taken orally in pill form, although it can be taken in liquid form if needed. This medication is typically taken once a day, either with or without food. Consistency is key. Your prescriber will likely start you on a lower dose and increase it gradually as needed to treat your symptoms. 


It’s important to take Lexapro and its generic form, escitalopram, exactly as prescribed by your clinician. Side effects of Lexapro are often mild and can include dry mouth, sweating, insomnia, sleepiness, fatigue, and more. For many people, these side effects reduce as you continue taking Lexapro and your body gets used to it.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience thoughts of self-harm or suicide, excessive bleeding, erections that last four hours or longer, a high temperature, constant headaches, confusion, unexplained weight changes, changes to your period, or other side effects as indicated on your prescription label. 

You should only take Lexapro or its generic form if prescribed by a licensed psychiatric clinician. Do not take Lexapro if you’re allergic to it or any of its ingredients like escitalopram. Make sure your provider is aware of all other medications you’re taking, whether they’re for your mental or physical health, so they can judge whether lexapro is safe for you to take. If you are pregnant or may become pregnant, you may need to avoid Lexapro as it can have serious effects on late term pregnancy.

It’s important to talk to your doctor to get the right medication for your situation. Do not stop taking Lexapro suddenly as it needs to be gradually stopped, and always consult your psychiatrist before stopping medication. 

Lexapro and Xanax are not the same medication or in the same medication class. They are both brand name prescription-only medications for mental health disorders, but Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) while Xanax is a benzodiazepine. Both Lexapro and Xanax are commonly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders or panic disorders. Lexapro can also treat depression. Xanax is a controlled substance while Lexapro is not. 

Weight loss or weight gain varies from person to person when taking any antidepressant, including Lexapro. Some people may lose weight when first taking Lexapro but other people might gain weight.  For example, Lexapro can cause weight loss if it increases a person’s energy levels and pushes them to exercise more. However, it can cause weight gain because of an increase in appetite or because people might eat more as a result of feeling less depressed or anxious. It all depends on the individual person and their circumstances.

There are several different medications your psychiatrist may prescribe for anxiety or depression. 

Other medications for anxiety include:

  • Propranolol
  • Trazodone
  • Buspar
  • Cymbalta
  • Neurontin
  • Fluoxetine
  • Escitalopram

Other medications for depression include:

  • Citalopram
  • Fluoxetine
  • Paxil
  • Prozac
  • Wellbutrin
  • Abilify
  • Lithium 
  • Seroquel
  • Zyprexa
  • Remeron
Talk to your psychiatrist or healthcare professional about the possible risks and benefits associated with the above medications before starting treatment. It’s up to your psychiatric clinician’s professional judgment whether medication is prescribed. If you are in a life threatening situation – don’t use this site. Call +1 (800) 273-8255 or use these resources to get immediate help.