Sydney is a contributing health writer and editor who enjoys shedding light on health topics, making information available to anyone who wants it, and ending stigmas or lack of access to care and treatment.
Leann Poston, M.D.
Leann Poston, M.D. earned her medical degree from the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. She completed an MBA from Raj Soin College of Business, focusing on healthcare. She is a full-time medical communication writer and educator.
March 18, 2021
Yes, Lexapro can be prescribed remotely through telehealth services.
While Lexapro cannot be bought online without a prescription, it can be prescribed and purchased online, as long as a licensed physician is involved in the process and has formally assessed you as a patient.
If you would like to make an appointment with a doctor and get a Lexapro prescription, you can go through our partner site, PlushCare, a trusted telehealth company that partners with top board-certified doctors to provide affordable, secure, convenient healthcare from the comfort of your home.
Lexapro is an antidepressant categorized as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.
Escitalopram is the active ingredient in Lexapro. Escitalopram, and thus also Lexapro, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that is responsible for mood regulation. SSRIs don’t actually create any serotonin in the body. They help keep serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter, in your nervous system longer, allowing it more time to have an effect. The idea behind medications like Lexapro is that by helping the brain maintain a higher level of serotonin, the patient will have better control over their moods, happiness, and anxiety. The actual mechanism of how Lexapro decreases depression and anxiety is not fully known.
SSRIs are often used in combination with psychotherapy. It is believed that SSRIs help make the brain more “plastic,” meaning that it is more open to change. Thanks to this effect, users were able to receive psychotherapy more openly and had better results. This is why doctors will likely suggest you attend therapy in addition to beginning a Lexapro prescription.
Like many antidepressants, Lexapro can be used to treat more illnesses than just depression. Lexapro is approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression and generalized anxiety disorders. Lexapro has also seen off-label use for:
In order to be prescribed Lexapro, you must be diagnosed with a mental health disorder for which Lexapro is an effective treatment, and legally you must see a medical professional before you can receive a prescription.
It is possible to do this consultation with a doctor online and have the doctor send your prescription to your preferred pharmacy. Our partner PlushCare can help you get an appointment with a doctor and have them prescribe you Lexapro online, either through a phone call or video conference.
Through PlushCare, you can even have your Lexapro prescription delivered to your door.
Lexapro is not a short-term solution for anybody experiencing depression, social anxiety, or generalized anxiety. Lexapro must be taken regularly in order to have any kind of significant effect. It can take anywhere from two to six weeks for Lexapro to have the desired effect, depending on the user.
No, Lexapro is not the same as Xanax. Lexapro and Xanax are both used in treating anxiety disorders but are very different drugs.
Lexapro is an SSRI that functions primarily by keeping serotonin in the brain longer and is typically only taken once per day. Xanax, by contrast, is a sedative benzodiazepine that can be taken as much as four times per day. Xanax is better suited for quick anxiety relief, whereas Lexapro can take weeks before having a noticeable effect. Lexapro is more commonly prescribed for long-term use, while Xanax is not intended to be taken consistently as a solution for anxiety or depression.
Unlike Xanax, Lexapro is not a controlled substance. This means you can get a prescription for Lexapro online and have it sent to your favorite pharmacy.
Overtime, Lexapro should help you with balancing and, hopefully, improving your mood. Mood improvement typically does not happen immediately after you start taking Lexapro, though.
Lexapro can have a wide variety of effects on users, some more serious than others. Typically many of these side-effects are most prominent at the beginning of treatment when the body is still adjusting. Some users report feeling sleepy and having difficulty concentrating. Many report decreased libido, and others report feeling dizzy.
Antidepressants are not a one-size-fits-all, and your reaction to Lexapro may vary. For some, it works great, and others report having a very bad experience with Lexapro.
“Stopping escitalopram abruptly,” warns NAMI, the National Alliance of Mental Illness, “may result in one or more of the following withdrawal symptoms: irritability, nausea, feeling dizzy, vomiting, nightmares, headache, and/or paresthesias (prickling, tingling sensation on the skin).”
Lexapro has a black box warning for suicidal thinking. The risk is higher in children, teenagers, and young adults, especially in the first few months of drug use or after changing the Lexapro dose.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
Lexapro has some side effects, most of which are minor. It is important to note that there is a huge variety of antidepressants available that are FDA approved. If you are having a negative experience with your current antidepressant, do not hesitate to contact your doctor about potentially switching to another antidepressant. It is very common for those struggling with mental illness to try multiple antidepressants before finding what works for them.
After the first few weeks of taking Lexapro, it is typical for the less serious side effects to abate as the body adjusts to the medication. These side effects include:
More serious side effects may also occur, such as:
There are recorded cases of Lexapro having the opposite effect as intended and actually exacerbating the symptoms. It is possible that Lexapro makes your anxiety or depression worse or causes suicidal ideation for some. If you are experiencing this, contact a healthcare professional immediately, and work on weaning off Lexapro and trying out a new antidepressant (which is a very common process for anyone new to antidepressants, so don’t feel discouraged).
Abruptly stopping Lexapro can cause severe withdrawal symptoms, including:
It is highly recommended that you do not abruptly stop taking Lexapro. Talk to your doctor if you wish to stop taking Lexapro and work out a schedule for reducing your dosage before stopping.
Lexapro is known to interact with other medications in a negative way, especially other antidepressants.
It is important you tell your doctor all the medications you are taking before starting Lexapro in order to avoid this. Lexapro is known to interact poorly with blood thinners like aspirin and warfarin and increase the risk of bleeding. Taking Lexapro with other SSRIs greatly increases the chance of experiencing Serotonin Syndrome. It is not recommended that you take Lexapro if you are already taking:
It is not recommended to take Lexapro while pregnant or mix Lexapro with alcohol or recreational drug use. The side-effects of Lexapro may be more severe in older adults. Discuss any side-effects you are having with your doctor so your dosage can be adjusted as needed.
Lexapro is available as a tablet or oral solution. The tablets are available in 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg doses. The recommended dosage depends on the age and intended use of the patient.
For patients attempting to treat major depressive disorder, the recommended dose is 10mg per day and can be increased to 20mg per day if necessary. For those attempting to treat generalized anxiety disorder, the recommended dose is 10 mg per day. Mediation dosing is based on size, age, the condition being treated, having other medical conditions, and anticipated differences in metabolizing the medication.
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