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Doctors commonly prescribe Lexapro (escitalopram) for anxiety, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), a mental health condition characterized by ongoing anxiety that interferes with a person’s life. Lexapro can also help with the anxiety that often accompanies Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).


Lexapro doses for anxiety may vary, depending on the individual’s symptoms, health history and sensitivity to side effects. Doctors often prescribe a small dose of Lexapro at the beginning of treatment and sometimes increase the dosage over time, depending on the patient’s needs.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

The FDA recommends (in tablet form) 10mg as the starting dose of Lexapro for treating GAD. Lexapro does, however, also come in a 5mg dose.

If the physician and patient agree to increase the dose to 20mg, this should only occur after a minimum of one week, according to the FDA. For adolescents, however, an increase in dosage should occur after a minimum of three weeks.

Please note that dosage, as well as time between increase in dosage (if/when the physician and patient decide), will differ for everyone. It is essential to monitor any side effects you experience while taking Lexapro, especially at the beginning of treatment.

For more in-depth information about Lexapro dosage, please visit our dosage page.

Side Effects

Just like with any medication, side effects of taking Lexapro will differ for everyone. Side effects of taking Lexapro include but are not limited to:

  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Change in appetite
  • Constipation
  • Sexual problems
  • Dry mouth

If you experience any of the following side effects of taking Lexapro, call your doctor or 911 immediately:

  • An increase in suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Aggressive/violent behavior
  • New or worse depression, anxiety and/or anxiety/panic attacks
  • Acting on dangerous impulses.

For more in-depth information about Lexapro side effects, please visit our side effects page.

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.

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