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Why Does Lexapro Cause Weight Gain: Facts With Precautions

Does Lexapro Cause Weight Gain

Weight gain is a cause for concern for many individuals. Almost everyone tries to live a healthy lifestyle, which includes trying to maintain a proper weight for their body. Due to some medical conditions or uses of medications, an individual gains weight suddenly, which is not good for their health. This blog describes a medication namely Lexpro that causes weight gain as a side effect in some individuals. But the question is Why Does Lexapro Cause Weight Gain? To know the reason to gain weight read the blog till the end.

What Causes Weight Gain?

When people consume more calories than they burn, it causes gain weight. Weight gain can be caused due to several reasons. Many people suffer from certain eating disorders, which often lead to an increase in weight. Some people just lose track of their calories while living a sedentary lifestyle.

In a few cases, availing of medical treatments can also cause weight gain. Treatments of different diseases require a patient to take medicines. And, such medicines can cause weight gain as a side effect. One of the medicines that is associated with weight gain, as a side effect, in certain individuals is Lexapro.

What is Lexapro?

It is an FDA-approved anti-anxiety medicine that is used in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The Lexapro generic name is Escitalopram and it belongs to a class of drugs called ‘selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or ‘SSRIs’. It is a branded drug that can only be purchased with a prescription.

Forms of Lexapro:

Lexapro is available in two forms:

(i) Tablets of strengths 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg.
(ii) Oral solution of strength 1 mg per ml.

If a patient misses a Lexapro dose, he/she should take it whenever they remember it. But, if the time is almost for the next dose, skip the missed dose.

The Mechanism of Lexapro Drug:

Lexapro for anxiety is an SSRI(Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). SSRIs work by blocking the reabsorption of a neurotransmitter called ‘serotonin’. It has effects on a person’s behavior, mood, appetite, etc. Inhibition of reuptake of this neurotransmitter allows its effects to last longer.

The release of serotonin makes us feel well and happy. Hence, its prolonged presence in the body can be useful in the treatment of MDD and GAD. Its effects on appetite can lead to an increase in weight.

Lexapro Uses:

Lexapro is an antidepressant, and it is used in the treatment of:

(i) Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

‘Major depressive disorder’ or ‘MDD’ is a disorder that affects the mood of a person. People suffering from this disorder experience persistent sadness and a lack of interest in activities.

Major depressive disorder is caused due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

(ii) Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

‘Generalized anxiety disorder’ or ‘GAD’ is a condition in which a person excessively and persistently worries about everyday things. This excessive worrying can lead to negative impacts on a person’s life and relationships. Symptoms of GAD are tiredness, worrying, difficulty in concentration, irritability, etc.

Treatments of both, MDD(Major Depressive Disorder) and GAD(Generalized anxiety disorder) require a combination of psychological therapy and medicine. Lexapro is often administered by healthcare professionals to help treat these conditions.

Does Lexapro Cause Weight Gain and Why?

Yes, Lexapro can cause weight gain in some individuals. This is so because it increases the duration for which serotonin stays in the body. Serotonin may have an effect on the metabolism and appetite of a person, which leads to weight gain in some people.

However, if rapid or excessive weight gain is noticed, the doctor should be informed immediately.

Weight gain from Lexapro appears as a side effect of it. It is an antidepressant, and changing appetite or weight is not the intended use of this drug. If a patient is looking for a medical treatment that can affect his/her weight, then healthcare professionals can administer a drug more curated to the patient’s needs.

Other Lexapro side effects and Precautions:

Some individuals may see the following side effects after using Lexapro:

  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Back pain
  • Increased appetite

Using Lexapro may lead to severe side effects. If any of these are experienced by a patient, he/she should urgently avail medical assistance:

  • Extreme shifts in mood
  • Swelling of the eye(s)
  • Seeing halos in the presence of light
  • Discomfort/pain while urinating
  • Headache, confusion, unsteadiness, and other symptoms of low sodium levels
  • Rigid muscles


  • Some precautions are to be followed while taking Lexapro, to ensure the treatment goes as intended. Precautionary measures also help keep the patient safe. A few precautions of Lexapro are as follows:
  • Lexapro should not be used by patients who have used an MAO inhibitor in the last 14 days or 2 weeks.
  • Consumption of alcohol should be avoided by a patient who is in the treatment course of this medicine.
  • Taking an SSRI in the later stages of pregnancy can lead to complications in the baby. Therefore, Lexapro should be avoided in pregnancy.
  • Lexapro is to be used at the same time every day. This medicine can be taken with or without food.
  • People taking Lexapro should not take any other medicines without the recommendation of their doctor.


So, concluding the blog on Why Does Lexapro Cause Weight Gain, we find the answer that it can cause weight gain that appears as a side effect of Lexapro in an individual. So, it is advised that people should not take this anxiety medicine without any consultation with the doctor. Hope, this blog will be informative and helpful for you!

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