The trademark name for the generic antidepressant escitalopram, Lexapro, is one of the most prescribed drugs for treating the major depressive disorder, anxiety, and mood disorders.
Let’s say you’ve recently started taking Lexapro and are confident it will solve all of your problems. “When is the best time to take Lexapro for anxiety?” you might ask.
In this article, we will go over all the topics and answer all your potential questions. We will also put you through all you need to know about the optimal time to take Lexapro for your treatment. So, to get all the information you need, read on.
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What is the Best Time to Take Lexapro for Anxiety?
Every drug has a different set of side effects, and it’s essential to know which ones you can be exposed to if you take it. In this case, the ideal time to take Lexapro will be determined by which of the drug’s adverse effects you are experiencing.
If you have been prescribed Lexapro and are trying to figure out when to take it to get the most benefits, consider making your lifestyle the foundation for how you should use a prescription. Look at the side effects of Lexapro and how they influence the quality of your life. This can help you figure out the “best time” to take Lexapro.
Best Time to Take Lexapro for Anxiety
Your doctor is responsible for incorporating Lexapro into your daily routine because they are the most familiar with you and how the drug will affect you. They can provide you with detailed information and guide you on how to use Lexapro without side effects by advising you on when to take it to avoid them. The chart below will enlighten you on antidepressants, their side effects, and the best time to take each one.
Take the chart above as a starting point for managing side effects and preventing them from lowering your quality of life.
If you can’t and aren’t supposed to determine when to take your particular drug for mental health treatment, asking your medical health professional is always the way.
Anxiety And Drug Treatment
Ten different drug classes are noted to treat anxiety and anxiety disorder effectively. In a study that focused on pharmacological treatments of anxiety disorder, as reviewed in the table below, most anxiety disorder types were first treated with SSRIs and possibly SNRIs. These two drug classes became the first choice of medical professionals. At the same time, the other eight were effective in specific types of anxiety disorder to varying degrees.
|Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)||1||1||1||1||1a|
|Shift to a different SSRI or SNRI||2||2||2||2||2|
|Augmentation with additional SSRI or SNRI||3||3||3||3||3|
|Other antidepressants (MAOIs, other)c||4||3||3||2||4|
|Augmentation with atypical antipsychotics||4||4||4||4||4|
Note: 1 = First-line intervention:multiple randomized control trials (RCTs) showing efficacy.
2 = Secondary intervention: often used as an intervention for non- or partial-response of first-line intervention, with some RCTs showing efficacy, though evidence may be mixed.
3 or 4 = Alternative intervention after 1st and 2nd line interventions, often with less RCT support or a more significant side effect profile.
SP = specific phobia; PTSD = posttraumatic stress disorder; PD = panic disorder; SAD = social anxiety disorder; GAD = generalized anxiety disorder; OCD = obsessive–compulsive disorder; SNRI = serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor; MAOI = monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
a-Higher dosage than for other anxiety disorders.
c-Examples include bupropion (Wellbutrin), mirtazapine (Remeron) and nefazodone (Serzone).
Nevertheless, patients usually showed partial response to SSRIs or SSNIs, along with no response, and induced an alteration in their current medication or an addition of a drug they hadn’t taken.
Treatment Options for Anxiety
Treatment of anxiety is highly possible with medication, psychological therapy, and lifestyle adjustments. An individual’s anxiety disorder type will affect what kind of treatment each person needs as their symptoms and underlying conditions will vary.
Learning and adjusting how you react to triggers and stressful life events is possible. In addition, psychological therapies like CBT can help individuals looking for medical options to ease anxiety.
Medication treatment is also essential for those struggling with anxiety symptoms. After consulting a doctor and speaking with them to learn about each drug’s severe side effects or withdrawal symptoms, you can be prescribed medication that will suit your lifestyle and help you on your journey to recovery. Medical professionals count antidepressants, benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, and tricyclic drugs as options for treating anxiety.
Choosing the Right Anti-Anxiety Medication
Although medication is sometimes viewed as a magic pill that will clear all your problems, some people suffering from anxiety may find that lifestyle adjustment or psychological therapy treatments are more effective than medication.
If you are trying to decide whether anxiety medication is something you need or if it’s right for you, try to make a self-assessment. If anxiety starts to cripple your ability to function daily, then yes. Anxiety medication may be necessary for you.
You should reach out to a doctor to know which anxiety medication is the best for you if you continue to feel overwhelmed, paralyzed, or can’t focus at work. In addition, if your health and relationships deteriorate, you should also contact a doctor.
Cautions and Concerns Regarding Lexapro
There are some critical points to know when getting ready for a treatment of Lexapro.
Cautions and drug interactions related to Lexapro can be listed as:
Don’t use Lexapro if you take citalopram (Celexa) or pimozide.
Don’t use Lexapro within 14 days before or after using MAOIs, such as tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline, rasagiline, linezolid, or methylene blue injection to treat depression.
Don’t give Lexapro to those under the age of twelve.
Don’t end Lexapro treatment before consulting your doctor first.
Suicidal thoughts in young patients can be detected after using antidepressants. This is why the FDA mandates that the drug’s label include a black box warning of a heightened risk of suicide. Stay alert to your mood shifts, look out for serotonin syndrome symptoms, and make sure that you report any unexpected or worsened symptoms to your doctor.
Seek medical help as soon as you experience serotonin syndrome symptoms, such as:
- Loss of Coordination
- Muscle Stiffness
- Fast Heart Rate
Recommendations To Curb Anxiety
Anxiety can be managed in various ways. If you are contemplating how to refrain from using Lexapro and find other ways to cope with your anxiety symptoms, these might help:
- Thought reframing,
- Deep breathing,
- Behavioral therapy,
- Talk to your health care provider.
Alternatives to Lexapro for Anxiety
Other options are available if you don’t want to use Lexapro for your anxiety medication. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Different Anxiety Medicines
As any other drug has the potential to, Lexapro can be ineffective in treating your symptoms. One particular drug can’t be expected to fit every patient prescribed it. In this case, taking another antidepressant that comes in a different dose and can treat symptoms and conditions you are suffering can be much more beneficial than taking Lexapro for your anxiety disorder.
Alternative anxiety medicines with similar treatment profiles include, but are not limited to:
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Citalopram (Celexa)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Paroxetine (Paxil)
Remember this concise list of the most prescribed antidepressants as an alternative to Lexapro. If Lexapro didn’t help you treat your anxiety symptoms, consult your doctor about your diagnosis, symptoms, and alternative medication.
Therapy is the second most important tool in treating anxiety. Your doctor might advise you to go through therapy to help with your symptoms. Getting therapy is very common for the vast majority of psychiatric health conditions. In addition, the efficacy of this treatment can be multiplied with the right anxiety medicine.
Various types of therapy can help you get better on the road to recovery from anxiety. The most appropriate treatment can be carefully selected with the help of a professional after a thorough personal assessment.
Types of therapy include but are not limited to:
- Mindfulness-based therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Emotion-Focused Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Integrative therapy
- Group therapy
Lexapro vs. Zoloft for Anxiety
If we try to answer the question, “Which one is better for anxiety treatment: Lexapro or Zoloft?, we will see that both drugs fall into SSRIs. But this doesn’t make them the same thing.
Despite being different drugs, both Lexapro and Zoloft are effective in treating anxiety disorder. A 2018 study published by the Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy revealed that Lexapro and Zoloft reduced anxiety symptoms and successfully treated them much more than placebos. The two drugs also came with side effects that were tolerated easier by those who took them.
If you are developing a depression or anxiety treatment plan, Lexapro and Zoloft are worth considering for treatment. However, don’t forget that each drug has unique pros and cons. Although they seem similar in most ways, they have some essential differences. And their first difference to look at is the conditions they treat.
Lexapro treats major depressive disorder (MDD) and GAD (chronic anxiety neurosis). In contrast, Zoloft is usually used to treat:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD),
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
- Panic disorder, depression,
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Zoloft is also an off-label treatment for chronic anxiety neurosis, but this treatment rarely involves Zoloft compared with Lexapro.
Another critical distinction between Lexapro and Zoloft is that, even though both medications were equally effective in treating anxiety and MDD, a study indicated that more people stopped taking them due to their more severe side effects. However, they both come in pill form or as an oral solution.
When to See a Doctor for Anxiety
Being highly self-aware and managing your anxious feelings can play a big part in achieving success in treating your anxiety.
Effective time management, an active lifestyle, and relaxation techniques can help patients on the road to recovery. However, if the improvement is not noticed with these measures and anxiety levels aren’t under control with these applications, consulting your doctor about alternative treatments would be highly beneficial.
If your anxiety is on a severe level right from the beginning and manifests as panic attacks, seeing a doctor will become a must.
Frequently Asked Questions
When we are particularly interested in the potential of treatment of Lexapro becoming successful, there are some questions we might ask.
SSRIs are among the most prescribed drugs to treat anxiety, and Lexapro is classified as an SSRI. Consequently: Lexapro is good for anxiety treatment.
As mentioned above, clinical data proved that an approximate Lexapro dosage of 10-20 mg per day showcased efficacy for those being treated for anxiety symptoms.
You certainly can. You can use Lexapro if the side effects mentioned above are not of concern. In addition, you can also use Lexapro if you aren’t taking any additional drugs that will cause hazardous interactions. Ensure this is after the careful assessment of a medical professional.
Get Help With Doctor Alexa
Psychiatric health treatment needs to be handled with care. We know this will require further caution and stricter measures to achieve higher standards for your health. When prescribed Lexapro, you might need a medical professional always to be there where you can reach them when you have a query or concern.
As Doctoralexa, we are here to help you make things easier. Our assistance makes reaching out for medical help relatively easy and accessible.
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Our goal is to provide affordable, world-class healthcare services and an overall patient experience. You deserve nothing less.
To explore the options of getting the proper treatment you want in an affordable way and from the comfort of your home, reach out to Doctoralexa today.