Side Effects of Lexapro: Depressed by Antidepressants?

by | Jun 14, 2024 | Personal Injury

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The advancements in medicines and treatments to safeguard people from the past to the 21st century is just unimaginable.

The findings of various diseases result in the discovery of different new medications.

Though these medications help people to overcome their pain and suffering, a lot of them carry some lethal side effects too. One such medication is Lexapro.

Through this blog, let me explain to you what Lexapro is, what are the side effects of Lexapro, and finally, make you know what to do if you are injured from the side effects of Lexapro.



Before learning about Lexapro, you should be familiar with the most often prescribed antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Serotonin is a chemical that acts as a messenger, carrying signals between neurons in the brain. SSRIs, such as Zoloft and Lexapro, prevent serotonin from being reabsorbed, increasing the amount of serotonin that is available in the brain.

SSRIs are the front-line treatment solution for depression. Lexapro is one of the antidepressants from the group of drugs in SSRIs.

It is the brand name of Escitalopram. Some of the other SSRIs are Celexa, Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, Zoloft, etc..

History of Lexapro

  1. Lundbeck A/S and Forest Laboratories Inc. are the two pharmaceutical companies that developed the medication Lexapro in 1997.

In 2002, Lexapro was approved by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In 2003, after the article published by “Time” against Lexapro that it may cause birth defects and lead teenagers to suicidal thoughts, a lot of lawsuits were filed against Forest Laboratories.

In 2009, the United States Justice Department filed charges against Forest Laboratories, claiming that they hid the study’s report that the medication was unsuitable for adults.

In 2020, with more than 30 million prescriptions, Lexapro became the 15 most commonly prescribed medication in the United States.

Lexapro Uses

Lexapro is used to treat anxiety and depressive disorder in adults over the age of 12. Lexapro balances the level of serotonin in the brain and nerves.

When serotonin levels decrease, people may suffer from anxiety and depression. Serotonin is the hormone that plays a significant role in body functions such as mood, sleep, nausea, sexual desire, etc.

Lexapro also improves the energy level of people and decreases nervousness.

Lexapro side effects

Like many other medications, Lexapro also carries deadly side effects, not for everyone who consumes it, but for many people.

Some of the common Lexapro side effects are as follows.

  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Increased muscle movements
  • Nausea
  • Painful urination
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Nose bleed
  • Increased sweating

If these Lexapro side effects last long or get worse, consult your doctor immediately. Most of the people who are using Lexapro do not suffer from severe side effects.

However, while taking the medication with other medications, which also increases the level of serotonin, the risk of serotonin syndrome may cause.

Therefore, make your doctor know what medications you are consuming before taking Lexapro.

Though the escitalopram side effects are severe, these effects are not considered deadly.

But the deadliest side effects that led Forest Laboratories Inc. to face a lot of lawsuits are Lexapro’s birth defect and the thought that leads adults to suicide after consuming it.

Pregnancy and Lexapro

The possibility of birth defects is high when the mother consumes Lexapro during pregnancy.

Lexapro has been identified as a category C pregnancy drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because the drug has been shown to cause birth defects in animals.

Though the medication causes some side effects, sometimes its benefits outweigh the risks in many situations.

Birth defects caused by Lexapro include:

The infant’s mother should need to be aware that Lexapro can travel through the placenta and put themselves and their infant at risk. Some of the possible birth defects are as follows.

  • Cleft Lip– Cleft lip or cleft palate is the gap in the mouth, it may occur when the part of the mouth does not properly fuse together while the infant in the womb.

Sometimes it may lead to speech impairment. A cleft lip can be corrected by surgery.

  • Anencephaly- Anencephaly, a neural tube defect is a deadly disorder, which is characterized by the absence of a huge part of the brain and skull.

Infants in the womb are twice at the risk of anencephaly when exposed to Lexapro.

  • Heart Defects– Heart defects like an atrial septal defect, hypoplastic heart syndromes, and tetralogy of Fallot may obtain if the infant’s mother had taken Lexapro during pregnancy.

Not only Lexapro, but all SSRI drugs also imposes a heightened risk of heart defects in newborns.

  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of Newborns (PPHN)- PPHN is the deadliest side effect among the above-mentioned birth defects. It affects the heart and lungs of newborns.

Infants’ mothers should consider their health as well as that of their child and understand the potential risks and benefits of Lexapro from their doctor.

Lexapro suicidal thoughts

Can Lexapro cause suicidal thoughts? Anyone with a child or young adult taking Lexapro is urged to look for signs of suicidal thoughts. These include sudden mood swings, unusual behavior changes, taking risks, and engaging in impulsive activities.

Immediate medical attention should be sought for anyone whose depression worsens, who talks about suicide, who experiences a sudden burst of energy, or irritability, or who just starts acting in ways that are unusual or troubling.

The FDA added these additional warnings to Lexapro labeling in 2007. As the medication had already been on the market for five years, many children and teens suffered from the side effects before the inclusion of the black box warning.

Doctors may prescribe Lexapro to children and young adults, but they are supposed to do so with caution when other treatments are not possible.

Side effects of stopping Lexapro

You might feel compelled to quit taking an antidepressant or lower your dose if the side effects from Lexapro become severe.

Please don’t do it. Your symptoms might come back, and abruptly discontinuing your antidepressant could result in many other side effects like rashes.

To determine the best solutions for your problem, consult your doctor.

Lexapro and suicidal thoughts- victims stories

In May 2022, Erika Jayne, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star mixed her anti-depressant Lexapro with alcohol. She shares her experience of the incident in an interview with U.S. news.

In October 2022, Princeton student Misrach Ewunetie died by suicide. The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office reveals that the 20-year-old took her life by ingesting a deadly dose of bupropion, escitalopram, and hydroxyzine.

How to avoid the Lexapro severe side effects?

Doctors always prescribe Lexapro only when the benefits of the medication are higher than the risk associated with that.

However, it is better for us to minimize any effects of the drugs we consume. The following are some of the precautions you can follow to avoid some negative side effects of Lexapro.

  • Unless prescribed by your doctor, take your antidepressant with food.
  • Consume a lot of fluids, such as cold water. Try an antacid or bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol).
  • Consult your doctor about changing the dosage or switching to a gradual type of medication.
  • Avoid sweets and sugary drinks.
  • Get some physical activity, such as walking.
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything with alcohol, particularly in the evening.
  • Rise slowly from sitting to standing positions.
  • Practice deep-breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, or yoga.

Following these precautions doesn’t mean that you are free from suffering fatal effects but, it may lessen the possibility of side effects.

Lexapro side effects claims

Claims against Forest Laboratories allege that the manufacturer failed to warn the general public about the side effects of Lexapro.

Researchers found that the company was aware of the chances of birth defects associated with their dangerous drug Lexapro, but chose to keep this information away from the public.

Lawsuits filed against Forest for birth defects caused by Lexapro have stated that the women may not have taken the drug if they had been appropriately informed of the risks.

Though Forest has faced numerous lawsuits for defects caused by Lexapro, most of these lawsuits have settled, been dismissed, or otherwise resolved.

What can I do if I suffered from the side effects of Lexapro?

People or family members of those who suffered after taking Lexapro should seek legal advice and file a Lexapro lawsuit.

Not only claiming a case is enough; you should prove that your sufferings are due to the medication you consumed.

How to prove the side effects of Lexapro in the trial?

Medical records are one of the best pieces of evidence you can have. Your medical record contains the complete detail of your medical history including, medical test results, lab reports, medical bills, discharge summary, and so on.

Therefore, it is the best evidence to aid your Lexapro lawsuit. The one thing that you need to do with your medical record is to make your medical records clear and error-free.

How can I make an error-free medical record for legal proceedings?

Your medical records not only carry evidence for your Lexapro lawsuit but also a lot of information that is entirely unnecessary for your lawsuit against the side effects of Lexapro.

Therefore, it is difficult for the attorney who is handling your case to go through the complete medical record.

To make your medical records clear and error-free, attorneys always prefer medical record review.

How medical record review helps you to succeed in your Lexapro side effects lawsuit?

Medical record review is nothing but reviewing your medical records and highlighting the essential points required for your lawsuit.

The process of medical record review involves

  • Sorting and indexing
  • Arranging medical chronology
  • Making medical summaries
  • Identifying missing records
  • Categorizing medical records

Through this process of medical record review, attorneys save their time and utilize it to concentrate more on other parts of your Lexapro lawsuit. This aids the attorneys to succeed in your case.

But, in most cases, it is difficult for the attorneys to review medical records because they find it difficult to understand many medical terms and terminologies.

In such cases, attorneys join hands with the best medical record review companies to review their clients’ medical records.

How does a medical record review company assist attorneys in a Lexapro lawsuit?

Companies specializing in medical record reviews will have a staff of knowledgeable reviewers. As they are well-versed in medical terms and terminologies, they can review any sort of medical records.

The quality they provide, the time they take, the data they safeguard, and the price they demand medical record review are all highly advantageous to the lawyers.

Professional medical record reviewers have the experience to handle all types of medical records for cases like personal injury, product liability, worker’s compensation, etc., and therefore, reviewing your medical records for the Lexapro lawsuit is not at all a huge task for them.

Therefore, to make sure the success of your litigation, it is thus highly beneficial for the attorneys to work with the top medical record review company.

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