I just started on Lexapro 5 days ago. The doctor prescribed 10mg but told me to break it in half and take 5mg for the first week. She told me I could take it in the morning, but that it might make me feel tired and if it did I could just take it at night. So I actually just began by taking it at night since I didn't want to feel sleepy at work. I'm also taking Vyvanse for ADHD, but I've been taking that for years. My question is how long until I start to feel better? I'm feeling anxious and worried pretty much all the time, but I notice it gets especially bad in the afternoons and evenings. By around 2:30pm every day it gets so bad all I want to do is go home and lay in bed. My relationships are suffering and I really just want to feel normal. I'm trying to be patient and give it time to work (I know it can take up to six weeks to be fully effective). I just wanted to hear from someone who had been there and maybe could give me some advice. I know what works for some people may not work for others. Help?
How long until Lexapro starts to make me feel better?
Question posted by dc0311 on 22 Oct 2013
Last updated on 29 July 2022 by Slitherz
For anxiety I started Lexapro on 10mg for 3 days. Had some effects dry mouth, nausea and mainly increased anxiety and panic attacks to the max and ER 2 or 3 times. I went down to 5 mg and all side effects went away. Completed exactly 14 days on 5mg and gradually noticeable felt some effect (that's 17 days on Lexapro). Upped to 10mg with no side effects. Its been 26 days on 10mg I felt improvement in energy level, sleep, mode. Anxiety getting under control, no panic attacks and even restarted socializing! Much better day by day. I believe side effects gradually go away in full in 2 weeks, you start noticing a difference after in 3 weeks and it "Kicks in in full in 4 about weeks/One month". Hope this helps :)
The official answers from the National Alliance on Mental Illnes:
How Long Does It Take For Escitalopram To Work?
Sleep, energy, or appetite may show some improvement within the first 1-2 weeks. Improvement in these physical symptoms can be an important early signal that the medication is working. Depressed mood, anxiety. and lack of interest in activities may need up to 4-8 weeks to fully improve."
"Side effects have been reported to be generally mild and transient. They are most common during the first 2 weeks of treatment and decrease in intensity and frequency with continued treatment. They generally do not lead to treatment cessation."
Hard to say. I have been stuck on it for years b/c my doctor refuses to take me off it. When I get anxious, this magnifies it to horrific levels!! Absolutely impossible to deal with this on a daily basis!!!
Ask for 20 mg it helps
I started lexapro about 3 weeks ago and I feel it setting in a little. But it could take up to 6-8 weeks for full benefits. I do not suggest going on a benzodiazepine drug. I’m tapering off mine now and it’s not fun. Make sure you look at withdrawal symptoms. If you do decide to go on it only stay on it only up to 2 weeks.
Hang in there. The first two weeks I would have to say the lexapro actually seemed to make me feel worse, I was more anxious than ever I took it in the morning & like you felt worse in the afternoons. But my advice is stick it out!! It gets better. I have now been taking 10mg for 4 months & I feel way better than before! You will feel “normal” again. Just give it time, each day you will start to feel better. I would say by day 10 I felt right again.
My Doctor put me on 20mg Escitalopram around 12 months ago.
I mainly suffer from Anxiety & Panic Attacks - not really depression.
This Medication has definitely helped me in so many ways.
Before taking it I had terrible mood swings & I now I feel so much stable & calm.
It does take a few weeks to work.
I have started lexapro and its been 1 week. I still feel wierd in my head so perhaps this is the sign that its working.
I would say that Vyvanse will contribute pretty strongly to anxiety. Its almost like a speed. Not sure if there are alternatives for you but Vyvanse certainly will add to anxiety.
I have been taking 10mg of Lexapro for 3 days. I am feeling like my symptoms are getting worse. I’m extremely anxious especially in the mornings, can’t sleep throughout the night, & am feeling depressed. I called my doctor who said that if I wanted to I could cut it down to 5mg until my body gets used to the medication. Has anyone else had this problem? If I cut it down will it take me longer to feel relief? I’ve never experienced anxiety or depression before this & it’s been a very difficult few months.
How are you feeling now?
Unfortunately medications in general do take some time to make changes in the body. From my personal experience and research, lexapro works fairly fast. I was upped dosage after two months and could have sooner but I really wanted 10mg to work for me. Once switching to 20mg by the time I refilled my script I was feeling better mentally.
No one warned me about the side effects, though. If you experience side effects but dont feel as though lexapro is helping your anxiety, make sure you talk to your doctor.
Whenever you start a new medication I tell all my patients to keep a log of things they notice with their bodies and minds so we can discuss them and see if it is a side effect of the medication or a coincidence, as well as see if in a few months time these side effects go away. The more detail you can give your doctor, the better they can help you.
I think it's very important to be very honest with your Dr. about the severity of your feelings. I started Lexapro almost two weeks ago, 10 mg. And im already starting to feel better! I was a mess. I felt the was no answer to how I was feeling. My thoughts wouldn't turn off, and I began to withdraw feeling as if I just couldn't handle being around anyone. I didn't like being with me! But, thank God it is improving. I was very straight forward with my Dr. and I'm very lucky to have such a great Dr.! He immediately started me on the 10 mg. I take in the morning. I haven't experienced any side effects at all. I'm sleeping great and feel more positive than I have for some time. It's a tough road to go down, but you're not alone. Hang in there and things should start to level off. If not. You probably need a change in your dosage. Don't be afraid to contact your Dr. good luck to you...
I have been on cipralex for a month. As far as i know It is european form of lexapro. First two weeks, no effect for mild anxiety. Totally no effect. But then thing has changed rapidly. I started taking 5mg and two weeks later i switched to 10. After 4 weeks im feeling relaxed positive and calm and its getting better for me.
Hi dc0311 when I started taking Lexapro I was feeling better in just five days. My doctor had me taking it at 7:00a.m. everyday. I was a little sleepy. But I found out just a little walk everyday(some fresh air )and the sleepiness past. I have been on this for six months and I do feel so much better. I hope this helps and good luck.
Adding my two cents and looking for advice and/or encouragement. I'm on my third time of fighting off anxiety and going on my usual dosage of generic escitalopram. Previously my therapeutic dose was 10 mg and it has worked well for me for at least a year.
This time it's been a bit over 4 weeks since I resumed medication. I started on 5 mg, mixed with clonazepam 0.5 mg and then lorazepam 0.5 mg when the clonazepam stopped working. I was stable and improving on 5 mg, then increased to 7.5 mg five days ago. In the past doing this 5->7.5 increase was nothing, but this time I'm getting the worst depression and increased anxiety. It also doesn't help that it's the thick of winter and there are some personal issues to deal with.
Prior to the two weeks on 5 mg, I was on 7.5 but backed down to 5 mg due to worsening sleep. This time I intend to stay on the dosage.
I'm reading the 6-8 weeks is the full duration to expect for an almost full recovery. Anyone experience similar issues by stepping up the dosage by such a small amount?
- Lexapro uses and safety info
- Lexapro prescribing info & package insert (for Health Professionals)
- Side effects of Lexapro (detailed)
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