Can Lexapro make me tired? 

Can Lexapro make you tired? 

Yes, Lexapro (Escitalopram) can make you feel tired, especially during the early course of your treatment. This usually happens when you’re new to Lexapro or antidepressants in general and your body is trying to adjust to the medication. 

Lexapro is an antidepressant and it increases the amount of serotonin in your body. Now, this can cause a number of different side effects. Some people may feel weary and sleepy all the time, while others may find it difficult to fall asleep and suffer from insomnia

These side effects vary from person to person and depend on how well your body generally responds to Lexapro. 

What does research suggest?

There are a number of research studies on the effects of Lexapro and SSRI antidepressants in general on energy levels and sleep architecture. Tiredness and daytime sleepiness are listed as side effects of Lexapro and it can affect people differently. 

A research review discussed a study which compared the effects of Lexapro and a tricyclic antidepressant on sleep patterns. The review indicated that both antidepressants are somewhat equally responsible for causing tiredness by affecting REM sleep and increasing nighttime wakefulness (1).

This can result in daytime sleepiness and fatigue. Several other studies have also indicated the exact same reason for Lexapro-induced tiredness – that is lack of sleep. 

However, most studies added that these side effects are common during the early course of treatments and they do begin to get better as the user’s body starts to adjust to Lexapro.

Should you be concerned about Lexapro-induced tiredness? 

Lexapro is generally not associated with troublesome tiredness or fatigue and it generally begins to fade away within a few weeks as your treatment continues. 

However, some people may not recover that well from the side effects caused by this antidepressant. Lexapro is generally well tolerated, but might not be the best choice of antidepressant for every other individual. 

If your tiredness increases day by day or your mental alertness seems affected, it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider. 

What to do if Lexapro makes you tired? 

If Lexapro makes you tired, there are a few things you can do. These include:

Consult your healthcare provider 

Consulting your healthcare provider in case of a side effect should be your first approach. I have seen people who stop using the medication abruptly just to get rid of the side effects, but that’s the worst thing you could do to yourself. 

Lexapro and other antidepressants affect your brain chemistry and they should never be stopped cold turkey. 

In some cases, the dose of the patient is reduced and that works just fine. If your doctor thinks dose reduction can fix your problem, you won’t even need to stop the medication and your depression treatment will not be disturbed. 

If your side effects are unbearable, that’s when your doctor will determine the best taper schedule for you to stop using Lexapro safely

The time required for the safe discontinuation of Lexapro depends on your current dosage strength and your overall duration of treatment with this medication. 

This is not something you should ever do on your own. So, if you feel Lexapro is making you feel tired, sleepy, or exhausted – just reach out to your doctor. 

Take Lexapro at bedtime

The time at which you take Lexapro can also help you deal with some of the side effects. If the drug is making you feel tired, or sleepy, or reduces your mental alertness, I recommend taking it at bedtime. 

If you’re already taking it at night but continue to feel tired the following morning, dose reduction seems to be a better option for you. However, if you’re taking it in the morning, you can ask your doctor to switch it to bedtime. 

Don’t pair Lexapro with alcohol 

Alcohol is a depressant and taking it with Lexapro can not only cause tiredness but a number of other disturbing side effects. Alcohol can enhance Lexapro-induced side effects and can interact with the medication. 

This not only makes your health worse but also affects your body’s own ability to recover. This is why you should never pair alcohol with antidepressants, no matter which one you’re currently taking. 

Maintain a healthy lifestyle 

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating good food and staying active can significantly help you recover from the side effects caused by your antidepressant. 

Your body’s own strength is the key to enhancing the positive effects of the medication while making you strong against the negative effects. So make sure you pay enough attention to your health and do everything you can to make your body and immunity stronger.

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Doerr JP, Spiegelhalder K, Petzold F, Feige B, Hirscher V, Kaufmann R, Riemann D, Voderholzer U. Impact of escitalopram on nocturnal sleep, day-time sleepiness and performance compared to amitriptyline: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in healthy male subjects. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2010 Jul;43(5):166-73. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1249049. Epub 2010 Jul 5. PMID: 20603788. Available from:

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