What are the risks of taking Lexapro?

Lexapro is in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. A more well-known drug from this class is Prozac. Common risks of this class of drugs include:
  • increase in suicidal thoughts
  • insomnia
  • sexual dysfunction
The most worrisome risk for this class of medications is serotonin syndrome, which can be life threatening.

All antidepressants, including Lexapro, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior, especially in individuals under the age of 24. Lexapro has not been approved for use in children under the age of 12. All individuals on Lexapro and other antidepressant medications should be monitored for changes in behavior or mood and new or existing symptoms that worsen. These rare but serious symptoms may include:

hostility, aggressiveness, agitation, or irritability
anxiety or panic attacks
impulsiveness, restlessness, or abnormal hyperactivity
difficulty sleeping
high fever
muscle rigidity or shaking
confusion or hallucinations
rapidly changing heart rate or blood pressure

Contact the doctor immediately if these symptoms are present or you have any other concerns.


Continue Learning about Antidepressant

Are Antidepressants Safe to Take During Pregnancy?
Are Antidepressants Safe to Take During Pregnancy?
Research suggests that depression is diagnosed twice as often in women as it is in men, and it typically presents during a woman’s childbearing years....
Read More
Can teens take antidepressants for bipolar disorder?
John Preston, PsyDJohn Preston, PsyD
The use of antidepressants in the treatment of bipolar disorder is fraught with problems. There is g...
More Answers
Is it safe to take antidepressants during pregnancy?
John Preston, PsyDJohn Preston, PsyD
Most experts agree that some new-generation antidepressants (e.g., Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, Well...
More Answers
What Is Treatment-Resistant Depression?
What Is Treatment-Resistant Depression?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.