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Lexapro Stopped Working

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In case of severe depression or episodes of clinical depression and anxiety, Lexapro is the prescribed drug of choice. Read the article to know more.

Written by

Dr. Kirti Maan

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi

Published At September 21, 2022
Reviewed AtApril 10, 2024

What Are Antidepressants?

Antidepressants, based on their namesake, are the type of medicinal substance used for relieving and treating episodes of clinical depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, seasonal affective disorders, persistent depressive disorders, mild depression, or other mental illnesses.

Antidepressants work towards balancing neurotransmitters, namely serotonin and noradrenaline (these are the neurochemicals responsible for bridging the communication between neurons) present in the brain, solely responsible for mood and emotional changes. While it has been proven that antidepressants help alleviate the pain and symptoms of depression, there is no proof or theory that antidepressants work or eliminate the cause of depression. Due to this specific reason, the modern treatment plan for depression uses antidepressants in conjunction with psychotherapy.

What Is Lexapro?

Escitalopram (Lexapro) is an antidepressant belonging to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that first came into effect in the early 1980s. Escitalopram is often prescribed for major depressive disorder (MDD) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). SSRIs have fewer side effects as compared to the earlier family of antidepressants. Lexapro is available in various forms, such as pills or liquids.

What Is the Mechanism of Action of Lexapro?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors act on the brain by shooting up serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger) that works by carrying and transmitting signals between neurons (nerve cells of the brain). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors then act on the neurons and block the reabsorption of serotonin, leading to increased amounts of serotonin in the brain, which is responsible for mood, emotional or bodily changes. This counteracts the symptoms of depression and anxiety, distresses the human mind or body, and works as a mood enhancer.

Mechanism of action of SSRI's

What Are the Uses of Lexapro?

Lexapro is used for the treatment of many mental health disorders and conditions. Some of the mental health disorders for which Lexapro is prescribed are:

  • Clinical depression.

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • Migraines.

  • Disorders related to social anxiety.

  • General anxiety disorders.

  • Major depressive disorder.

  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

  • Mood enhancers.

  • Panic disorders.

  • Bulimia.

  • Phobias such as agoraphobia and social phobia.

  • Chronic pains.

  • Stress disorders.

  • Insomnia.

But many experts believe the issues mentioned above can be tackled more effectively if the medicinal therapy is complimented with psychotherapy.

What Causes Lexapro to Stop Working?

Several factors or aspects cause antidepressants such as Lexapro to stop working. Some of these factors are discussed below-

1. Overuse of Antidepressants: Antidepressants lose their effectiveness when overused. Many people complain of its ineffectiveness after consumption for an extended period of time (after continuous use for more than six months). A licensed mental health expert should treat such cases.

2. Substance Abuse: Alcohol or drug abuse often results in the ineffectiveness of these antidepressants since they may cause extreme changes in the mood. Several chronic smokers also have complaints about the same issue.

3. Age: As individuals grow older, their body experiences changes in their composition, metabolism, and hormones. Due to these factors, the body tends to lose its ability to determine how effectively medicines get absorbed, dispersed, and metabolized in the body. Growing health concerns with age also do not ease one’s mind or help either, and hence these medicinal drugs may lose their effectiveness.

4. Stressful Situations: Individuals experiencing other stressful situations in personal or professional life may lead to mood changes that antidepressant medicines such as Lexapro fail to counter.

5. Undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder: An Individual suffering from untreated bipolar disorder may reciprocate a weak response to these drugs. The presence of the alternative mental health condition may lead to occasional mood swings, which can be a cause behind these antidepressants not working. Such individuals should consult medical experts as a priority.

6. Additional Health-Related Issues: Additional health conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, or continuous exposure to highly stressful situations or stress disorders, do not help to maximize the effectiveness of these drugs. Patients should treat these health concerns prior to jumping from one antidepressant to another.

7. Tolerance: With the persistent use of these antidepressants, the human body may develop a form of intolerance towards these drugs. These circumstances may emerge with any selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) generally prescribed to treat chronic depression. Many studies suggest that individuals or patients may notice decreased effectiveness over time towards these selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).

8. Pregnancy: Pregnancy may lead to the reduction of the effectiveness of these medicines. Appropriate advice must be taken from the doctors for the proper diagnosis and treatment.

What Are the Signs of Ineffectiveness of Lexapro?

The body gives various signals pointing towards the ineffectiveness of the antidepressants. These signs should not be ignored in the first place, but with the persistence of these signs, individuals should be treated by consulting a licensed healthcare professional. Some of these signs are as follows-

  • Short-lived Effects:

Antidepressants try to balance out the neurochemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine present in the brain. As a result, these medicines produce immediate results, but they may produce neutral responses when taken as the body gets accustomed to them. In such cases, a patient should try to alter their medication on the advice of their physician.

  • Inability to Sleep Desirefully:

The antidepressants such as Lexapro may lead to disturbances in the sleeping pattern of the individuals. These medicines can make the concerned person more sleepy and languish, as antidepressants have also been used to treat insomnia. Such concerned individuals should try to adjust their sleep time to correct these conditions in order to sleep for an adequate amount of time.

  • No Sign of Improvement:

If individuals complain of no improvement even after a couple of months, then in such cases, they should consult their psychologist and physicians. Generally, this could be due to the unresponsive behavior from the individual's body due to the prior excessive exposure to these types of drugs, or in many cases, the drug did not suit the individual.

  • Symptoms of Serotonin Syndrome:

Serotonin syndrome is a condition where an excess amount of serotonin gets accumulated inside an individual's body. This could occur due to the interaction between the prescribed antidepressants and the additional drugs taken by the individual or patient. These may cause an individual to experience several bouts of headaches, confusion, irritation, fever, or body aches. This buildup of serotonin in the human body than the desired level is known as serotonin syndrome.

  • Worsening of Depression:

Several individuals may experience almost zero effects of these medications. However, in some cases, they might feel the opposite effect of antidepressants such as Lexapro than desired, causing an increase in symptoms related to depression. In such cases, individuals should immediately stop taking medicine and consult with their doctors as a priority.

What to Do When Lexapro Stops Working?

Individuals observing signals of the antidepressant's ineffectiveness must do the following actions in order to address these issues adequately. These are some of the suggestions which can help the individual to diagnose this issue:

  • Consult a licensed healthcare professional.

  • Alter the intake of the dose.

  • Avoid alcohol and drug consumption.

  • Use medicinal therapy as an adjunct to psychotherapy.

  • Avoid overstressing.

  • Change in the medication or the amount of medication on the medical health expert's suggestion.

  • Regularly monitor the progress of these medicines.

  • Try to maintain a proper schedule for the day.

  • Develop and follow a sleeping pattern.

Conclusion:

Lexapro is an antidepressant used mainly for the treatment of depression. Theories and experiments have proven that antidepressants can be prescribed in order to treat other mental illnesses. Antidepressants are prescribed in order to provide symptomatic relief. However, only offering relief to the symptom is not enough for treating mental illnesses; individuals require psychotherapy, too, to talk about their issues, conditions, fears, and emotions. Treatment of depression is essential in order for an individual to be mentally stable and live a relatively normal life. Noticing the signs of the ineffectiveness of antidepressants at an early stage is vital during the treatment as it can worsen the condition if not prompted at the earliest sight.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

How Do You Know the Ineffectiveness of Lexapro?

The body gives various signals pointing towards the ineffectiveness of the antidepressants. Of course, these signs should not be ignored in the first place, but with the persistence of these signs, individuals should be treated by consulting a licensed healthcare professional.

2.

What Are Antidepressants?

Antidepressants, based on their namesake, are the type of medicinal substance used for relieving and treating episodes of clinical depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, seasonal affective disorders, persistent depressive disorders, mild depression, or other mental illnesses.

3.

What Is Lexapro?

Escitalopram (Lexapro) is an antidepressant belonging to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that first came into effect in the early 1980s. Escitalopram is often prescribed for major depressive disorder (MDD) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Lexapro is available in various forms, such as pills or liquids.

4.

What Does Lexapro Do for You?

Lexapro is an antidepressant belonging to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs block the reabsorption of serotonin, leading to increased amounts of serotonin in the brain, which is responsible for mood, emotional, or bodily changes. This counteracts the symptoms of depression and anxiety, distresses the human mind or body, and works as a mood enhancer.

5.

Is Lexapro Used for Anxiety?

Lexapro is used for the treatment of many mental health disorders and conditions. For example, disorders related to social anxiety, general anxiety disorders, and major depressive disorders can be treated with Lexapro. However, such situations can be tackled more effectively if medicinal therapy is complemented with psychotherapy.

6.

What Causes Lexapro to Stop Working?

Antidepressants such as Lexapro lose their effectiveness when overused. Many complain of its ineffectiveness after consumption for an extended period (after continuous use for more than six months). A licensed mental health expert should treat such cases.

7.

What Should I Avoid While Taking Lexapro?

Alcohol or drug abuse often results in the ineffectiveness of these antidepressants since they may cause extreme changes in the mood. In addition, several chronic smokers also have complaints about the same issue. Hence, the consumption of alcohol must be avoided during Lexapro therapy.

8.

Can I Stay On Lexapro Forever?

Lexapro is an antidepressant used mainly for the treatment of depression. However, only offering relief for the symptom is not enough for treating mental illnesses; individuals also require psychotherapy to talk about their issues, conditions, fears, and emotions.

9.

What to Do When Lexapro Stops Working?

 
- Consult a licensed healthcare professional.
- Alter the dose's intake.
- Avoid alcohol and drug consumption.
- Use medicinal therapy as an adjunct to psychotherapy.
- Avoid overstressing.
- Regularly monitor the progress of these medicines.
- Develop and follow a sleeping pattern.

10.

Will Lexapro Affect Sleep?

Antidepressants such as Lexapro may lead to disturbances in the sleeping patterns of individuals. These medicines can make the concerned person sleepy and languish, as antidepressants have also been used to treat insomnia. Such concerned individuals should try to adjust their sleep time to correct these conditions and sleep for an adequate amount of time.
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi
Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi

Psychiatry

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