Best Time to Take Lexapro for Anxiety

When to take Lexapro, or any medication, for managing anxiety can depend on several factors including individual reaction to medication, the severity of the symptoms, any other drugs you're taking, and your lifestyle.

Generally, Lexapro can be taken at any time of day, but it's typically taken once per day. It's also important to take it at the same time each day for maximum effectiveness.

Some people may prefer to take Lexapro in the morning to prevent insomnia, a common side effect of this medication. However, if it causes drowsiness, it might be better to take it in the evening. Others may choose to take it at a time when their anxiety is most severe.

Moreover, if you experience side effects like nausea, taking Lexapro with food can help alleviate these symptoms.

What is Lexapro?

Lexapro, also known as escitalopram, is an antidepressant medication belonging to the class of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). It is a popular first-line treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Lexapro is approved by the FDA for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in adults and adolescents aged 12 and older, as well as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in adults.

Lexapro has also been used off-label to treat other mental health conditions such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), and certain eating disorders like bulimia nervosa.

Lexapro is available in brand-name and generic forms. It comes as a tablet with strengths of 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg, and as a liquid solution (5 mg per 5 mL).

5 Tips for Taking Lexapro

Ideal time of day to take Lexapro

You can take Lexapro at any time of day, as it is typically prescribed once per day. If you have trouble sleeping after starting Lexapro, it might be beneficial to take it in the morning.

Should Lexapro be taken with food?

Lexapro can be taken with or without food. However, if you experience nausea - a side effect reported by about 15% of Lexapro users - taking the medication with food could help.

Interaction with other medications

Lexapro can interact with certain medications. It is important to inform your healthcare provider and pharmacist about all the medications you are taking, allowing them to check for possible drug interactions. This doesn't mean you can't take other medications with Lexapro, but certain drug interactions may alter how Lexapro works in your body.

What if a dose is missed?

If you miss a dose of Lexapro, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at once.

Side effects and what to do about them

Like all medications, Lexapro has potential side effects. These include nausea, trouble sleeping, diarrhea, drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, sweating, and a decrease in sexual desire. If any side effects become.Today we'll be providing answers to some frequently asked questions.


  1. Is Lexapro addictive? Lexapro is not considered addictive. However, stopping the medication abruptly can lead to withdrawal-like symptoms, which is why it's important to talk with your healthcare provider before making changes to your dosage.
  2. Can Lexapro cause weight gain? Weight changes can occur with Lexapro use. Some people might gain weight while others may lose weight. It's important to discuss any significant changes in weight with your healthcare provider.
  3. Can I drink alcohol while taking Lexapro? Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of Lexapro such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. It's generally recommended to avoid or limit alcohol consumption while taking Lexapro.
  4. What should I do if I miss a dose of Lexapro? If you miss a dose of Lexapro, take it as soon as you remember, unless it's almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not double your dose to make up for the missed one.
  5. What is the difference between Lexapro and other SSRIs? Lexapro (escitalopram) and other SSRIs are all designed to treat depression and anxiety by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. However, they can vary in their specific mechanisms of action, side effects, and interactions with other medications. It's always best to discuss with your healthcare provider which medication is right for you.
Wynne Lee, MD

Dr. Wynne Lee is a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where she provides primary care.

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