Lexapro Abuse and Withdrawal


Lexapro Abuse and Withdrawal

Lexapro is also known as escitalopram oxalate, and is a prescription only antidepressant medication that is used for the treatment of a number of specific conditions. Lexapro is currently manufactured by a company known as Forest Pharmaceuticals. Currently, Lexapro is licensed for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder or GAD and depression, known either as clinical depression or as major depression disorder.


Lexapro belongs to a class of drugs regarded as SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors that are designed to act on a specific chemical within your brain which is known as serotonin. This is one of several different chemicals that are used for the sending of messages from nerve cell to nerve cell within the brain. By modifying the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, Lexapro is capable of treating depression and similar brain disorders. It is used to treat chemical imbalances that involve serotonin, and this imbalance can cause a wide variety of different types of depression that Lexapro is therefore capable of treating. This is just one of many different types of anti-depressant drugs that can be prescribed for such a purpose.

As an anti-depressant medication, it is not common for Lexapro to be an abused drug. However, there are some types of Lexapro abuse that are different from how the drug might be used on the street. While the illicit uses for Lexapro are minimal, someone who was originally taking Lexapro according to their prescription may suddenly start taking it in an off label manner, which is how a physical dependency is going to cause abuse of the drug over time.

As an example, someone who develops a physical dependency on the Lexapro may suddenly feel as if their original dosage is not getting the same results that it once did. As a result, this person might start taking larger or more frequent dosages of the medication looking to achieve the same results. They may also take the drug for a longer period of time than was recommended by a physician.

Some people take the Lexapro abuse even further. They crush the small tablet up to create a powder, then try to get the powder into their system more quickly by mixing it with water and drinking the diluted form, by injecting the diluted form into their blood stream or by snorting the dry powder in through the nose. Unfortunately, these types of Lexapro abuse can lead to serious complications because the medication was simply not designed to work in that manner.

Lexapro Withdrawal Symptoms

Once a person develops a physical dependence on a drug, withdrawal is simply an inevitable process that comes with stopping taking that drug. SSRI drugs are known to cause a number of specific withdrawal symptoms when someone suddenly stops taking them, and this is simply part of the process and why it is not recommended that you ever stop taking the drug "cold turkey."

Some of the symptoms that are associated with Lexapro withdrawal include:

  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Agitation
  • Feelings of Fatigue or Tiredness
  • Insomnia or Difficulty Sleeping
  • Headaches or Worsening Migraines
  • Feelings of Confusion or Cloudy-Minded Feelings
  • A Burning or a Tingling Sensation
  • Feelings of Anxiety

In some people, depression symptoms worsen as well as a response to the sudden stopping, and some people that stop taking their Lexapro cold turkey experience thoughts of suicide soon after the withdrawal symptoms kick in.

For most people who experience Lexapro withdrawal, the symptoms do improve with time and do not require medical treatment, but the withdrawal symptoms can vary significantly and it is best to wean yourself slowly off of the drug with medical help.

Lexapro Abuse Treatment Options

It is important to consider what your treatment options are when it comes to Lexapro withdrawal symptoms. Oftentimes the best course of action is going to be to visit a drug rehab center where you can get professional medical and rehabilitation help while you are weaning yourself off of the medication slowly. A drug rehab center is going to be best equipped to make sure that you avoid any serious withdrawal symptoms while overcoming your physical and emotional dependency on the drug Lexapro.

Make sure that you choose a drug rehab center that is well versed not only in prescription drug abuse but also in depression as well. They will be able to take a dual approach to treating your drug dependency so that you can overcome the physical hold of the drug without allowing your depression to worsen at the same time.

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