Does Lexapro decrease appetite? 

Does Lexapro decrease appetite? 

Lexapro may or may not decrease your appetite. Lexapro causes different appetite-related side effects in different individuals. Some people experience a loss of appetite and they restrict their calorie intake. Eventually, this leads to weight loss and weakness (1). 

On the contrary, some people may begin to eat more while being treated with Lexapro and they gradually gain weight. The effect of Lexapro on your appetite can also be related to your depression symptoms. Some people begin to eat more when they are depressed or stressed out.

Lexapro can help reverse binge eating behaviour, although it is not approved by the FDA for eating disorders. Similarly, some people completely lose their appetite out of depression and when they begin to take Lexapro, it helps regulate their appetite and they begin to eat normally (2). 

The incidence of reduced appetite on Lexapro

The incidence of appetite changes with Lexapro has not been established yet and the exact mechanism behind this side effect is not fully understood.

However, it is believed to be related to how Lexapro affects certain chemicals in the brain, particularly serotonin (1,3). Serotonin plays a role in regulating appetite, so alterations in its levels can lead to changes in hunger and satiety.

It’s important to note that while reduced appetite is a common occurrence, different individuals can have varied responses to Lexapro when it comes to weight changes. 

Some people may experience weight gain while taking the medication, while others may experience weight loss. These individual differences can be influenced by factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and overall health.

What to do if you suffer from Lexapro-induced loss of appetite? 

Lexapro-induced appetite changes are usually temporary and they begin to subside once your body is completely adjusted to the antidepressant. However, if your side effect persists, talk to your healthcare provider. 

In some cases, your healthcare provider may adjust the dosage of Lexapro to help minimize the side effect of reduced appetite. They will determine the best approach based on your individual needs.

It’s also essential to maintain proper nutrition even if you have a decreased appetite. Your healthcare provider may recommend working with a registered dietitian to ensure you are getting adequate nutrients and calories.

While managing your appetite, it’s important to stay hydrated. Drink enough water and fluids throughout the day to maintain proper hydration. Focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods even if you have a reduced appetite.

Remember, it’s crucial to follow your healthcare provider’s guidance throughout this process. 

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Landy K, Rosani A, Estevez R. Escitalopram. 2022 Oct 24. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 32491666.


Wade A, Friis Andersen H. The onset of effect for escitalopram and its relevance for the clinical management of depression. Curr Med Res Opin. 2006 Nov;22(11):2101-10. doi: 10.1185/030079906X148319. PMID: 17076970.


Rao N. The clinical pharmacokinetics of escitalopram. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2007;46(4):281-90. doi: 10.2165/00003088-200746040-00002. PMID: 17375980.

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