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Doctors can prescribe Lexapro (escitalopram) for treating depression, including Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), a mental health disorder characterized by persistent depression that often interferes in the person’s day-to-day life and livelihood.


Lexapro doses for depression 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.

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

The FDA recommends the following Lexapro dosage for treating MDD in these two age brackets:

  • Adolescents (ages 12-17 years)
    • Initial: 10mg once daily
    • Maximum: 20mg once daily
  • Adults
    • Initial: 10mg once daily
    • Maximum: 20mg once daily

The FDA states Lexapro’s safety and effectiveness has yet to be determined for patients under 12 years of age.

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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