Lexapro Withdrawal: Symptoms,, Side Effects, Timeline and Management

When trying to cease using Lexapro, it’s crucial to have expert assistance because abruptly stopping the drug use might result in some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Most people start experiencing withdrawal symptoms one to three days following their last dose of Lexapro, while others may not. Although they frequently go away in a few weeks, some symptoms may linger.

What Are The Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, and Duration?

When escitalopram withdrawal symptoms first appear, they can both aggravate already present symptoms and lead to the development of new ones. The most frequently reported symptoms during this time include agitation, headaches, sleeplessness, irritability, nausea, and “Zaps,” or the sensation of electrical jolts flowing through one’s body.

The second stage of escitalopram withdrawal begins a few weeks after the medicine is stopped. Sadly, many of the ailments present during this period don’t go away independently. Many people have the urge to terminate the withdrawal process entirely rather than continue to take the medication because the withdrawal symptoms that start to occur at this time can be so painful. 

Anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and depression manifest during the second phase, along with poor stress tolerance, disturbed mood, impaired memory, impaired focus, sleeplessness, irritability, and mood swings.How long withdrawal symptoms from Lexapro persist depends on how long someone has taken the medication and at what dosage. 

Additionally, withdrawal symptoms might last longer if you stop taking Lexapro suddenly rather than gradually. Because of this, it is difficult to predict with accuracy how long withdrawal symptoms from Lexapro will last. However, many assert that the most severe symptoms often worsen 90 or 3 months after the onset. Some claim it takes them months or even longer to recover fully.

Lexapro Detox and Withdrawal

Some patients who take the medication Lexapro (escitalopram) and see improvement could believe they no longer require it, so they stop taking it. It is not advisable to abruptly stop using Lexapro because the drug has a crucial interaction with serotonin. 

This neurotransmitter, which is connected to depression, is present in the central nervous system and blood platelets. As a result, you may have extremely severe emotional and physical symptoms when drugs like Lexapro that influence serotonin levels in the brain are abruptly withdrawn.

Discontinuing Lexapro

Weaning off Lexapro is based on how long and at what dose you have been taking the drug. If you have been taking Lexapro for longer than six weeks and at a higher dose, you will likely have a lengthier, more gradual taper than someone who has taken it for a shorter time or at a lower dose. This procedure might frequently take six to eight weeks.

Managing Lexapro Withdrawal Symptoms

To manage escitalopram withdrawal, doctors have developed a few strategies. Physicians frequently slowly take patients off the medicine because abrupt discontinuation also causes more dangerous complications. 

Some medical professionals assist patients in switching to another antidepressant with a shorter half-life, which is then gradually withdrawn in cases when symptoms are still present after going off the medicine.

Lexapro Restarting After Stopping

Your doctor might advise restarting your medicine if you have withdrawal symptoms from Lexapro after discontinuing it or quitting it too soon. Any severe symptoms you may have had will usually go away within three days of beginning. 

After Lexapro is restarted, symptoms frequently go away in less than 24 hours. To prevent any future unwelcome symptoms, your doctor may advise continuing at your initial dose and going down more gradually.

Lexapro: What Is It Used For & What Are The Side Effects? 

Prescription drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, like Lexapro (escitalopram), are used to treat anxiety and depression. 

Like Prozac and Zoloft, Lexapro also restores balance and lessens symptoms of sadness and anxiety by reducing serotonin absorption and increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Since it helps lessen alcohol cravings and improve depressive and anxiety symptoms, Lexapro is regularly used to help persons recovering from alcoholism and other drug use problems.

A 5, 10, or 20 mg pill or liquid form of Lexapro is available for a dose. A normal dose might range from 10 to 20 mg per day depending on the condition it is used to treat. Because Lexapro is considered less severe than other medications, there might be some, even if most people don’t have serious side effects.

Lexapro can be abused while being used for anxiety or depression, which is dangerous because discontinuation syndrome, which results in mild to severe physical withdrawal symptoms, affects about 20% of people using SSRIs like Lexapro

Although withdrawal symptoms may occur, Lexapro is not thought to be addictive and is not a controlled substance. If you are abusing Lexapro or have been taking it to treat depression or anxiety, don’t stop taking it suddenly because you can experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. 

lexapro immediate effects
Lexapro Withdrawal Symptoms

You can gently go off the drug with the aid of a medical detox program to lessen the possibility of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. It is believed that Lexapro does not cause addiction. This might be the case. However, a Lexapro addict who quickly stops using the drug will experience physical withdrawal symptoms. 

In addition to the physical withdrawal symptoms, a Lexapro addict will also face unfavorable psychological and social side effects. Here are a few effects of physical withdrawal. Erectile dysfunction symptoms include agitation, fatigue, electric shock sensations, nausea, flu-like symptoms, dizziness, insomnia, decreased libido, drowsiness, constipation, sexual dysfunction, and dry mouth.

Is There A Risk of Addiction?

In terms of the Prohibited Substances Act, escitalopram, widely known as Lexapro, is not considered a controlled substance. People who struggle with depression or substance abuse may have received a prescription for Lexapro as a treatment. 

Lexapro, which belongs to the group of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, is successful in lowering alcohol cravings, generalized anxiety, and principally depressive disorders. 

According to the FDA, Lexapro is not physiologically addictive; nonetheless, a psychological addiction could develop if the drug is misused, taken for fun, or otherwise not as directed. 

Despite this, several individuals reported acquiring alcohol addictions without a history of addiction. In those patients, stopping the drug also calmed and curbed any cravings.

What Are The Psychological Effects of Abusing Lexapro? 

Memory issues, panic attacks, depression, nervousness, anxiety, confusion, and disorganized thinking; irritability; hallucinations; aggression; and hostility

Social repercussions include:

  • Negative effects on friendships and family ties
  • Family dissolution 
  • Career instability
  • Financial instability 
  • Reclusive tendencies
  • Decreased or ceased personal activities

What Are The Methods For Quitting Lexapro? 

Always consult a doctor or antidepressant rehabilitation centers if you want to stop taking Lexapro. They can suggest a strategy to lessen the dangers of Lexapro withdrawal. This strategy often entails gradually lowering your dosage over a few days or weeks until you can stop taking Lexapro without risk.

Getting Support for Lexapro Withdrawal

People discontinue using SSRIs like Lexapro for a variety of reasons. Some people may discover that the prescription does not work, that it causes unpleasant side effects, or that they develop an immunity to the drug.

A professional antidepressant rehabilitation facility can help these individuals, as well as those who abuse the drug, recover from the severe adverse effects of Lexapro withdrawal.

However, choosing the right withdrawal facility can be difficult. Making sure that the program’s duration corresponds with the intensity of the patient’s symptoms is among the most crucial considerations when determining which program to utilize. 

Others may require the assistance of an extended care program, even if some may determine that an outpatient or 30-day program is best. Many patients learn with the aid of an appropriate facility that recovery is feasible and that they can wind up feeling better than before with addiction treatment


Although stopping antidepressants can be difficult, it is possible to do so smoothly with careful planning. Speak to your doctor about a gradual, protracted taper. Before you know it, your milligram count will be zero. Lastly, look for one of the best rehabilitation centers to help you quit Lexapro addiction correctly.