Published on 17 May 2022

Lexapro & Weight Gain: Causes And Experts Solutions

Escitalopram (Lexapro) does-lexapro-cause-weight-gain
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Being mentally healthy extends our life by allowing us to experience more joy and happiness. Mental Health is a condition in which people identify their abilities and try to cope with each crisis.

But Nowadays, Mental disorders are rapidly increasing and are experienced by every age group. Mental illnesses diminish mental health stigma and take away the opportunity for a better life.

The WHO reported that anxiety disorders are more common mental disorders worldwide, with specific phobia, major depressive disorder (MDD), and social phobia being the most common anxiety disorders. According to WHO,1 in 13 globally suffers from anxiety.

In the U.S., Anxiety disorders are the most commonly occurring mental illness. Forty million adults in the United States are affected by an anxiety disorder, about 18 years and older, or 18.1% of the population, every year. This study was conducted by

What Is Lexapro?

Lexapro is a prescribed medication under the brand name Escitalopram. Lexapro is an antidepressant used to treat types of anxiety disorders and depression.

Lexapro is an over-the-counter medication for depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). You can Buy Lexapro online from a certified online pharmacy, but getting a doctor's prescription is recommended first.

Lexapro is used off-label to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and hot flashes in menopause.

How Does Lexapro Work?

Lexapro is one group of antidepressants called Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Lexapro works by increasing serotonin, a significant neurotransmitter in your brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a brain chemical messenger that helps regulate mood, sleep, pain, etc.

Low serotonin levels have been connected with depression and anxiety. When serotonin levels are normal in range, you feel happier, calmer, less anxious, and more focused. By increasing the serotonin levels, Lexapro helps to reduce depressive symptoms such as decreased mood, insomnia, and fatigue. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Lexapro will take at least two weeks unless and until the medicine starts to work on your body. It will differ for different individuals.
There might be changes in your sex life, but you will be all back with the same interest after a while.
You are not advised to use heavy machinery or drive during Lexapro consumption.

Does Lexapro Cause Weight Gain?

Most weight gain is possible by intake of Lexapro, and mild weight gain itself is the potential side effect of Lexapro. The weight gain observed is less than 0.5 percent.

Lexapro is an antidepressant that causes changes in appetite. Many antidepressant SSRI drugs like Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft can cause weight gain of 10 pounds(4.5kg).

At the start of treatment, you will notice slight weight changes, that you will lose weight in the initial period,d and if Lexapro is consumed for a long term and more than 6 to 9 months can result in weight gain.

Why Does Lexapro Cause Weight Gain?

There is a link between depression and obesity; thus, many reasons behind weight gain. Lexapro increases the craving for food or rediscovers the pleasure of eating food which causes overeating or binge disorder and results in weight gain.

It affects the metabolism process and makes it low, and you cannot burn calories quickly; this increases fats in the body. A person's lifestyle also plays an essential role in weight gain.

If the person's Body Mass Index(BMI) is above 30, they are obese or overweight. The weight gain by Lexapro is mainly seen among young adults.

The study below states that 2334 adults were under observation for four years but were separated into two groups. The weight gain was more substantial among those with an unhealthy or poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, etc. Overall weight gained was about 0.2kg.

When people are depressed, their appetite changes; some people may not desire to eat, and others may overeat. The effect of Lexapro may be different for each person. People may experience weight gain, and some might lose weight.

How Can You Manage Your Weight While Taking Lexapro?

If you gain weight through medication, it bothers you, and you think to stop the medication by observing changes in your body. Don't stop the drug immediately. Rather than follow some tips to manage your weight. It will not add extra fats and doesn't result in weight gain.

  • Keep a healthy routine to reduce extra weight and height without sacrificing Lexapro.
  • Many factors result in unintentional weight gain, so eat food that is not a source of fats, oils, etc. Avoid eating unprocessed foods, refined grains,s, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Pay attention to your hunger level, bring yourself to the present moment, slowdowns while you eat,t and improve mindful eating habits.
  • Physical activity or Exercise reduces the symptoms of depression. So try to perform physical activity in your free time,e like jogging, going to a gym, or playing any sport, which will help to keep your body moving. This is like eating green fruits and vegetables and consuming protein-related food when a food craving increases with the intake of Lexapro. You should also invest your time in performing physical activity, etc.
  • You can switch your medication if the effect of Lexapro results in moderate weight gain. You can consult your healthcare provider for a better alternative to replace Lexapro. 

How To Consume Lexapro And Avoid Weight Gain?

You must know the advantages of knowing the amount of medicine you consume. You must down the right amount of medication and in a proper way of consumption. 

  • Lexapro is available in oral tablets and oral solutions taken orally daily with or without food.
  • Consume Lexapro at the same time every day to set a daily routine.
  • For children and adults with major depressive disorder(MDD), the usual dose is 10-20 mg once per day.
  • The dose is ten days for older people and people with liver problems.
  • Do not take a double dose or exceed the recommended dose.
  • If you forget to take the dose, take it when you remember or skip the dose altogether.
  • Lexapro may start working within four weeks or longer, so don't worry if you don't see improvement in your health immediately.
  • Don't stop consuming Lexapro when you feel better; your healthcare provider will gradually decrease your dose if necessary.
  • If you suddenly stop taking Lexapro, you will experience withdrawal effects like anxiety, changes in mood, irritability, confusion, etc.

Possible Side Effects

You should know all the possible side effects you might be affected by. If you are facing severe consequences, you should consult the doctor immediately. Common effects can go off as time passes. Lexapro may affect each person differently. Besides weight gain, the most common symptoms of Lexapro are-

Common Side Effects

Severe Side Effects


Suicidal thoughts


Allergic reactions




Reckless behavior


Low blood pressure


Sexual dysfunction

When To Consult A Doctor?

If your symptoms are bothersome and worsen daily, you immediately need medical advice. Below mentioned are some severe side effects which are dangerous and life-threatening-

  • Severe allergic reactions (mouth, lips, tongue, and skin rash swelling are swollen, itchy, red, or peeling skin).
  • Difficulty or Trouble breathing.
  • Trouble talking
  • Hallucinations
  • Tightness in throat
  • Wheezing
  • Worsened depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Consult your healthcare provider if you have taken too much or overdosed on Lexapro because it can cause symptoms like vomiting, shaking, fast heart rate, etc.


Precautions help you from not getting affected by the side effects. If you follow the protection and the advice given by the doctor, you will be on the safer side. So before consuming Lexapro, your healthcare provider should know if you ever experience the condition mentioned below.

  • If you ever had an allergic reaction to other medication or Lexapro
  • If you take another antidepressant(SSRI), other medicines, or nutritional supplements.
  • If you have ever had epilepsy
  • If you ever had heart, liver, or kidney problems.
  • If you are pregnant or trying to conceive a baby and breastfeeding a mother
  • If you are older and above 65 years of age
  • Children younger than 12 years.
  • Do not take lexapro and alcohol together.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Weight gain or obesity is a natural factor affecting everyone's life. By consuming Lexapro, you may notice changes in your appetite. The effect of Lexapro on weight may differ from person to person, some people may experience weight gain, and some may not.

The weight gain by Lexapro is less than 0.5 percent. So it doesn't make you overweight or obsessed. The risk of weight gain is more in adults who follow an unhealthy diet, sedentarism, smoking, etc. If the weight gain by Lexapro is more bothersome, don't stop immediately but consult a healthcare provider and follow the health tips to manage your weight appropriately.