Depression Home > What Is Lexapro Used For?

Many people wonder, "What is Lexapro used for?" Lexapro is a prescription drug that is used for the treatment of depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Lexapro has not been approved for use in children. Some off-label uses for the medicine include the treatment of premature ejaculation, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, and migraines.

What Is Lexapro Used For? -- An Overview

Lexapro® (escitalopram oxalate) is a prescription antidepressant medication used to treat the following conditions:
Lexapro Use for Depression
Depression is more than just "feeling sad." Some common symptoms of depression include:
  • Changes in sleep (sleeping too much or not enough)
  • Eating too much or too little (and weight gain or weight loss)
  • Having little interest in things that you used to enjoy
  • Physical pain
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Suicidal thoughts.


In large clinical trials, Lexapro has been shown to be effective at helping adults with depression. It is also approved to treat depression in adolescents age 12 to 17 years old. Keep in mind that many antidepressants, including Lexapro, take several weeks to begin working.
Sometimes, other people will notice an improvement in your depression symptoms before you do. Often, the physical symptoms of depression (such as pain or changes in sleep) will improve first, sometimes within the first few weeks of treatment. It usually takes at least four to six weeks before significant changes in mood occur. It is important to give Lexapro a chance to work before becoming discouraged.
Counseling and therapy (see Psychotherapy for Depression) are often used along with antidepressant medication to treat depression. Ask your healthcare provider if counseling or therapy would be good options for you (see Depression Treatment).
Lexapro Use for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is much more than the normal anxiety people experience from day to day. It is chronic and fills one's day with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it. Having this disorder means always anticipating disaster, often worrying excessively about health, money, family, or work. Sometimes, however, the source of the worry is hard to pinpoint. Simply the thought of getting through the day provokes anxiety.
There are several different treatments available for generalized anxiety disorder, including cognitive behavioral therapy and various different types of medications. Lexapro is one of those medications approved to treat generalized anxiety disorder.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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