How long does Lexapro take to start working?

Q. Does Lexapro take a long time to start working?

Answered by
Dr. Seikhoo Bishnui
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 17, 2016 and last reviewed on: Aug 07, 2023

Hi doctor,

I had recently had several hospital stays for spikes in blood pressure due to years of stress with a sick child. Nothing organically was found. Anxiety might be the key. I was put on 5 mg of Lexapro at night, which made me anxious and gave me insomnia. Then, another doctor gave me Buspar. But, I did not like it. I feel a lot of head pressure and weakness. I am trying to decide what to do. Please give some suggestion about the best medicine. Which one shall I take?



Welcome to

If Lexapro (Escitalopram) caused insomnia, then it is better to take the drug in the morning after breakfast. This drug is an SSRI drug (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and helps to reduce depressive symptoms when taken regularly. Buspirone is an anti-anxiety drug that helps to reduce the symptoms. In my opinion Lexapro is the better choice for mixed anxiety and depressive symptoms. Thank you.

Thank you doctor,

Does Lexapro take a long time to begin to work? Should I take low dose Benzo with it till it does? I am supersensitive to medicines and tend to have reactions of some sort or another. I tend to have a lot of problems at night that wake me up such as chills, shakes and weakness. This is the reason I hope for something that would work at night.



Welcome back to

Lexapro is an SSRI drug and it takes about 4 to 6 weeks to show its full effect. 5 mg dose is a low dose and this dose would not cause any significant side effects in you. So, you can continue to take 5 mg dose for at least four weeks. If needed, then the dose can be increased to 10 mg after four weeks. Weakness, chills and shakiness will decrease when the drug start showing its effects. Till then for control of anxiety symptoms you can take low dose benzodiazepines on the SOS basis (as and when required). Thank you.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
Thoughts about my breakup haunt me and I feel lonely. Please help.

SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Escitalopram and Sertraline will help you in early recovery ...   Read full

Will my anxiety relapse if I stop SSRI?

Initially, I was prescribed Paxil 20 mg, which helped treat my anxiety and depression but I started having side effects of weight gain, fatigue, and sexual dysfunction ...   Read full

Having depression and not getting well with SSRI. Can you suggest any treatment?

Hi doctor, I am suffering from depression, anxiety, and OCD ... Please suggest me the treatment for depression ...   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

PCOS and Liver Problems
The hormonal imbalances in polycystic ovary syndrome could cause liver diseases. Read the article to know the relationship between these medical conditions.  Read more»
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Lateralization Technique
The inferior alveolar nerve lateralization technique is a surgical lateralization technique to reposition the nerve. Read the article to know more about this.  Read more»
COVID-19 and Ebola: Similarities and Differences
This article gives a comparison and broader overview of the outbreak of the two deadliest diseases that showed a greater incidence over the last two decades.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Psychiatrist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.