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Symptoms & Problems With Lexapro

author image Lauren McGregory
Educated at the University of Alabama, Lauren McGregory has been writing since 2000. She currently writes for eHow and LIVESTRONG.COM, as well as several private clients. McGregory holds a Master of Science in nursing and currently works in the intensive care unit at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) Hospital as a registered nurse.
Symptoms & Problems With Lexapro
A woman is taking a capsule from a pill holder. Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Depression is a serious illness that plagues many Americans. Lexapro is a medication to help with depression, and is exactly like all other medications that will cause side effects in the user. According to the Food and Drug Administration, women who take Lexapro while pregnant are much more likely to give birth to infants who will suffer from persistent pulmonary hypertension. When a person has taken Lexapro for six weeks, it is not advised that they stop taking it immediately. Withdrawals can occur, and according to the American Family Physician, these withdrawals are referred to as antidepressant discontinuation syndrome.

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Drowsiness and Dizziness

The drowsiness and dizziness caused by Lexapro occurs because these medications have a tendency to lower blood pressure. These symptoms may intensify if the drug is taken with alcohol or other medications that cause drowsiness. There are ways to minimize the drowsiness and dizziness associated with antidepressants. According to, a person should rise from sitting slowly in order to minimize dizziness. A greater fluid intake, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, could also ease the effect of drowsiness.

Sleep Problems

Some people react to antidepressants in a way that causes more energy than usual. This can result in trouble sleeping. A person can suffer from insomnia or wake up on and off through the night once they fall asleep. The best way to avoid these sleep problems is for the person to take the medication in the morning upon waking. They should also avoid caffeine products that will make this problem worse.

Sexual Side Effects

Antidepressants commonly cause sexual side effects. These side effects can affect one or more of the phases of sexuality, including sex drive, arousal, and climax. It is possible for someone to have no sex drive or less than normal sex drive. According to the Mayo Clinic, when a person’s sex drive is less than optimal, it can be difficult for the person to achieve orgasm.

Digestive Problems

Digestive problems occur with antidepressants like Lexapro because they change the balance of hormones in the body. Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems, but others can occur. Nausea, increased occurrence of gas, or diarrhea is possible. Weight changes can also occur, with the person either gaining weight or losing weight.

Side Effects Specific to Women

Breast tenderness has been known to develop within women taking Lexapro. The reason for this could be that antidepressants can change the body’s natural production of prolactin, which is the hormone associated with the breast tissue. Pregnant women should talk with their doctor before taking Lexapro in the third trimester of pregnancy, because the United States Food and Drug Administration shows a higher chance of the baby being born with persistent pulmonary hypertension.

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