OverviewDosageSide EffectsInteractionsHalf-Life

The FDA states doctors should only prescribe Lexapro (escitalopram) to a pregnant patient if the potential benefit justifies the risk to the fetus. Always speak with your physician before taking Lexapro if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant or want to become pregnant.

Can Lexapro cause birth defects?

According to the FDA, infants exposed to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), like Lexapro, during pregnancy may have an increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).

Additionally, the FDA reports that neonates exposed to SSRIs, including Lexapro, in the late third trimester may develop complicated medical issues, including but not limited to:

  • Respiratory distress
  • Cyanosis
  • Apnea
  • Seizures
  • Temperature instability
  • Vomiting
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypotonia
  • Hyperreflexia
  • Hypertonia
  • Tremors
  • Constant crying

These conditions, according to the FDA, may require prolonged hospital stays, respiratory support and even feeding tubes for the infant.

Lisinopril, Labor and Delivery

The FDA states the effects of Lexapro on labor and delivery are unknown.

Lexapro and Lactation

The FDA states that doctors should be cautious when prescribing Lexapro to a breastfeeding woman. Lexapro is excreted in human breast milk. If a woman continues treatment with Lexapro while breastfeeding, her physician should continue to monitor any symptoms the newborn experiences.

Lexapro and Fertility

Rat studies have shown a decrease in mating and fertility after rats were administered racemic citalopram. There is not, however, enough information on whether or not Lexapro affects human fertility.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.


More about Lexapro

Written by

Medically reviewed by