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Dealing with Lexapro Weight Gain

Overcoming Guilt and Shame in Addiction Recovery

Dealing With Lexapro and Weight Gain

It is common for prescribed medication to cause side effects in the minds and bodies of those who take it. A well-known example of this phenomenon can be seen in correlations between taking Lexapro and weight gain. It explains the clear-cut warnings many of these drugs disclaim in their commercials and packaging. Learn how to address this unpleasant side effect with the Stuart, Florida, Banyan Treatment Center.

How Does Lexapro Work?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for carrying messages between nerves in the brain and throughout the rest of the body. This SSRI operates by inhibiting the recycling of serotonin in the brain. By causing the brain to remove less of this chemical, it helps balance out its levels, reducing symptoms of depression in users. Unfortunately, the side effect of weight gain might make it harder for a person to experience the relief they seek if they are taking this drug.

Why Does Lexapro Cause Weight Gain?

Although medical professionals are not exactly certain why antidepressants like Lexapro result in weight gain, most assume that it affects the appetite and metabolism of the user.1 Research shows that this type of drug treatment can cause the body to burn fewer calories over time, slow down the metabolism, or cause cravings to overeat foods like carbohydrates and sugar.1

This can ultimately result in a number of other adverse effects on the body, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Stroke
  • Joint pain
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain cancers

It is important to discuss these potential risks with your doctor before taking Lexapro, as well as any pre-existing conditions that could heighten the chances of excessive weight gain. Unexpectedly gaining weight, paired with being unable to lose it, can greatly damage a person’s levels of anxiety, depression, and self-esteem. This, in turn, defeats the original purpose of taking Lexapro.

Addressing Weight Gain From Lexapro

There are numerous steps that a person can take to mitigate instances of Lexapro weight gain. The most obvious is to modify one’s diet and amp up their exercise regimen. This does not necessarily mean that a person needs to spend hours at the gym or only eat greens. Rather, practicing mindful eating, listening to one’s body, nourishing it, and prioritizing movement can all help manage a person’s physical and mental health.

It may also be worth discussing a shift in medications with your doctor. Antidepressants like Wellbutrin and Effexor are less likely to cause the same issues seen with Lexapro and weight gain.2 Even so, a person who shifts their prescriptions should continue to closely monitor themselves for other symptoms in case they are not as responsive to the drug.

It is also important to consider that these antidepressants hold the potential for abuse and addiction. Although not as common, any substance can cause dependency, and relying too heavily on any drug or taking more or less without speaking to a doctor can cause serious issues. To address these issues, Banyan Stuart offers Florida addiction treatment for prescription drugs. Patients can also access life-changing therapies that can help them learn to manage symptoms of depression and anxiety.

What Is The Difference Between Celexa And Lexapro?

Celexa and Lexapro are both medications used to treat depression, but they differ in composition and scope of use. Celexa consists of a mixture of two stereoisomers, making it less specific in its action, whereas Lexapro is composed solely of the active isomer, enhancing its efficacy and potentially reducing the occurrence of side effects. Additionally, Lexapro is also prescribed for generalized anxiety disorder, an approval not shared by Celexa. Both drugs function by boosting serotonin levels in the brain to help modulate mood.


For more information about the treatment options offered at Banyan, call us today at 888-280-4763 and speak with one of our specialists.


  1. Hindawi - Weight Gain, Obesity, and Psychotropic Prescribing
  2. ACP Journals - Comparative Benefits and Harms of Second-Generation Antidepressants for Treating Major Depressive Disorder

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Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Dealing with Lexapro Weight Gain
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