Best Time to Take Lexapro for Anxiety

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When it comes to managing anxiety, medication can be an effective tool. One commonly prescribed medication is Lexapro, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that helps alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, the timing of taking Lexapro can impact its effectiveness. In this article, we will discuss the best time to take Lexapro for anxiety and provide valuable insights to help you optimize your treatment.

Understanding Lexapro

Lexapro, also known by its generic name escitalopram, is a prescription medication classified as an SSRI. It is primarily prescribed to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). By increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, Lexapro helps regulate mood and reduce anxiety symptoms.

How Lexapro Works for Anxiety

Lexapro works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood. By blocking the reabsorption of serotonin, Lexapro increases the availability of this chemical messenger in the brain. This leads to improved communication between neurons, which can alleviate anxiety symptoms and promote a sense of calmness.

Factors to Consider When Determining the Best Time to Take Lexapro

Several factors should be taken into account when determining the optimal time to take Lexapro for anxiety. These factors can vary from person to person and may include:

Individual Response

People may respond differently to medications, including Lexapro. Some individuals may find it more effective when taken at a specific time of the day. It is essential to pay attention to how your body reacts to Lexapro and consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

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Side Effects

Lexapro may cause certain side effects, such as drowsiness or insomnia, depending on the individual. Taking it at the most suitable time can help minimize these effects and ensure better tolerance.

Daily Routine

Considering your daily routine is crucial for finding the best time to take Lexapro. You may want to choose a time when you can consistently remember to take your medication, making it easier to establish a routine.

Sleep Patterns

Lexapro can affect sleep patterns in some individuals. If you experience drowsiness after taking the medication, you may want to consider taking it in the evening to align with your sleep schedule.

Morning Dosing: Pros and Cons


  • Better alignment with the daily routine: Taking Lexapro in the morning can help establish a routine as part of your morning ritual.
  • Minimizes sleep disturbances: By taking Lexapro in the morning, you reduce the risk of experiencing insomnia or sleep disturbances that could be caused by the medication.
  • Increased daytime energy: Lexapro may cause drowsiness in some individuals. Taking it in the morning can help counteract this effect and provide an energy boost throughout the day.


  • Morning anxiety: If you typically experience higher levels of anxiety in the morning, taking Lexapro during this time may not provide optimal relief.
  • Potential drowsiness: While some individuals may experience increased energy levels, others may feel drowsy or fatigued after taking Lexapro in the morning.

Evening Dosing: Pros and Cons


  • Reduced daytime side effects: By taking Lexapro in the evening, you have the advantage of sleeping through any potential side effects, such as drowsiness.
  • Alleviates evening anxiety: If you tend to experience heightened anxiety in the evening, taking Lexapro during this time can help manage those symptoms more effectively.
  • Improved sleep quality: Some individuals find that taking Lexapro in the evening promotes better sleep quality and reduces sleep disturbances.
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  • Potential morning drowsiness: Taking Lexapro in the evening may lead to drowsiness upon waking up, which could impact your morning routine.
  • Disruption of sleep: In some cases, Lexapro can cause vivid dreams or nightmares, which may disturb your sleep if taken too close to bedtime.

Personal Factors to Consider

Determining the best time to take Lexapro for anxiety should be based on personal factors and preferences. It is crucial to listen to your body and evaluate how Lexapro affects your daily routine, sleep patterns, and overall well-being. Consulting with your healthcare provider is essential to ensure the most suitable dosing schedule for you.

Consulting Your Healthcare Provider

When starting or adjusting the timing of your Lexapro dosage, it is vital to consult with your healthcare provider. They have the expertise to evaluate your situation, consider any other medications you may be taking, and provide personalized recommendations. Your healthcare provider can guide you in finding the optimal time to take Lexapro that suits your needs.

Tips for Taking Lexapro

To maximize the effectiveness of Lexapro and minimize potential side effects, consider the following tips:

  1. Take Lexapro at the same time every day to establish a routine.
  2. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding dosage and timing.
  3. Avoid abruptly stopping Lexapro without consulting your healthcare provider.
  4. Be patient with the medication, as it may take several weeks to experience its full benefits.
  5. If you have any concerns or questions, do not hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for guidance.

Potential Side Effects of Lexapro

As with any medication, Lexapro may cause side effects. Common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness or insomnia
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
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If you experience any severe or persistent side effects, contact your healthcare provider promptly.


Finding the best time to take Lexapro for anxiety is a highly individualized process. It requires consideration of personal factors, side effects, and daily routines. By working closely with your healthcare provider, you can determine the optimal dosing schedule that maximizes the benefits of Lexapro while minimizing any potential drawbacks.


1. Can I take Lexapro on an empty stomach?

It is generally safe to take Lexapro with or without food. However, if you experience stomach upset, you may want to take it with a light meal.

2. Can I drink alcohol while taking Lexapro?

It is advisable to avoid alcohol while taking Lexapro. Alcohol can increase the risk of side effects and reduce the effectiveness of the medication.

3. How long does it take for Lexapro to start working?

The effects of Lexapro may not be immediately noticeable. It typically takes a few weeks of consistent use to experience the full benefits of the medication.

4. Can I adjust the timing of my Lexapro dose without consulting my healthcare provider?

It is essential to consult your healthcare provider before adjusting the timing of your Lexapro dose. They can provide guidance based on your individual needs and circumstances.

5. Are there any natural alternatives to Lexapro for managing anxiety?

While there are natural alternatives available, it is crucial to consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your medication regimen. They can guide the most suitable options for your specific situation.

Dr. Emily Roberts is a licensed medical professional with a specialization in dermatology. With over 10 years of experience in the field, she's dedicated to sharing her knowledge on health, skincare, and beauty. Her articles provide actionable insights to help readers achieve healthy skin and overall well-being.

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