How long does Lexapro stay in your system?

If you’re taking Lexapro, it’s important to know how long it may stay in your system. Keep reading to know more information about Lexapro, its side effects, how it works, the risks associated with taking it, and potential withdrawal symptoms.

Lexapro (Escitalopram)

TL;DR: Lexapro (escitalopram) is detectable in the system for approximately 1-2 weeks after the last dose, depending on various factors and the type of drug test used.

How Long Does Lexapro Stay In Your System?

If you’re taking Lexapro, it’s important to know how long it may stay in your system. Lexapro is the brand name of the drug escitalopram, an antidepressant that requires a doctor’s prescription. It’s in the same drug class as citalopram (brand name: Celexa). Your body can continue to metabolize Lexapro for up to six days after the last time you take it. Factors such as age, weight, and liver function can influence how long the medication stays in your system.

Everyone’s body is different, so the amount of time will vary from person to person. However, even large doses of Lexapro will be gone from the body within one to two weeks. Your doctor can help you figure out exactly how long Lexapro will remain in your system based on your personal medical history.

Half-life of Lexapro (Escitalopram)27-32 hours
Time to Clear from SystemGenerally, it takes about 5.5 half-lives for a drug to be eliminated from your system. For Lexapro, this means it could take approximately 148.5 to 176 hours (about 6 to 7.3 days) to clear from your body.
Factors Affecting ClearanceAge, liver function, kidney function, other medications, and overall health can influence how quickly Lexapro is metabolized and cleared.
Detection in TestsBlood Test: Up to 5 days
Urine Test: Up to 4 days
Saliva Test: 1 to 4 days
Hair Follicle Test: Up to 90 days

What Is Lexapro?

Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which is a type of antidepressant that requires regular administration to be effective. It’s a standard treatment for medical conditions like major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. Like other SSRIs, Lexapro works by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that transmits messages between nerve cells in the brain. Increased serotonin levels may help to improve mood, reduce anxiety and relieve symptoms of depression. Lexapro works by blocking the reuptake of serotonin in neurons.

Lexapro is available as a capsule or an orally disintegrating tablet. You should take Lexapro with plenty of water, and you may choose to take it with or without food. The usual starting dose is 10 mg once a day. If necessary, and with medical advice from your doctor, the higher dose may be prescribed to 20 mg a day after the first week.

Lexapro can interact with other medications such as warfarin, lithium, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drug interactions can increase the risk of bleeding or other problems. Therefore, it’s important to tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking before starting treatment with Lexapro.

How Long Does Lexapro Stay In Your System?

Dosage can play a role in how long Lexapro stays in the system. In general, from the last dose, it takes about four to six days for the body to metabolize and excrete escitalopram. However, this process may be faster or slower depending on factors such as the immune system and kidney function.

Additionally, different people may metabolize escitalopram at different rates due to individual differences in genetic makeup. For most people, Lexapro will be completely out of the system within two weeks of stopping treatment. However, traces of the drug may remain in some people for longer periods.

Typically, you’ll begin to see the effects of Lexapro within one to four weeks of beginning a prescription. The half-life of escitalopram is approximately 27 to 32 hours, which means it takes about that long for the body to eliminate half the drug.

Before you start taking Lexapro, you should understand that large amounts of it can remain in your system for three or four days after you stop taking it. The length of time that Lexapro stays in your system also depends on factors such as BMI, metabolic health, and other medications you may be taking.

What Are the Side Effects of Lexapro?

The most common side effects of Lexapro include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Yawning
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Decreased libido
  • Delayed ejaculation

Some people may also experience decreased appetite, weight loss, changes in mood, or even thoughts of suicide. If you experience any of these side effects, you should talk to your doctor right away. A physician may be able to recommend a different medication or offer strategies for managing the side effects.

While Lexapro’s side effects can be unpleasant, they’re usually mild and don’t last long. If they do occur, they’re most likely to happen during the first few weeks of treatment.

How to Reduce the Side Effects of Lexapro?

To help reduce the risk of side effects, there are a few simple steps you can take. For example, take the medication at the same time each day and drink plenty of fluids when you take it. You should strongly consider avoiding alcohol and caffeine while taking Lexapro.

If side effects do occur, you can effectively treat them as they come. For example, treat dry mouth by sucking on sugarless candy or chewing gum. Treat headaches with over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

If side effects persist, worsen, or become severe, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately. However, with proper treatment and care, most people can tolerate Lexapro well and experience significant improvements in their symptoms.


How Can You Tell if Lexapro Is Working?

If your Lexapro treatment is successful, you may notice improvements in your mood. For instance, you may have an increased ability to focus and concentrate, improved energy levels, and a decrease in negative thinking or ideation.

After one to four weeks of taking Lexapro, you may notice that you no longer miss work or school or require psychiatric hospitalization as often. Of course, everyone responds differently to medication, so you should work closely with your psychiatrist or healthcare provider to determine if Lexapro really is working well for you.

What Are the Risks of Taking Lexapro?

While most people are able to tolerate Lexapro, the drug is associated with some risks. They can include physical symptoms that may make you feel ill or uncomfortable. Lexapro may also have minor mental side effects, such as intrusive thoughts or unwanted ideation.

In rare cases, Lexapro can also cause more serious side effects, such as seizures or allergic reactions. If you’re concerned about the side effects of taking Lexapro, talk to your doctor about the potential risks before starting a prescription.

What Is the Half-Life of Lexapro?

Lexapro has a half-life of about 27 to 32 hours, which means most of the drug will stay in your system for over a day. This is relatively long compared to other drugs in its class. Lexapro’s long half-life may be why it’s so effective at treating both depression and anxiety.

It takes several weeks for Lexapro to reach its full effect, so you’ll need to keep taking it as prescribed even if you don’t feel better right away. If you have any concerns about the half-life of Lexapro or how it will affect you, ask your doctor about your personal risk factors.

What Factors Influence How Long Lexapro Stays in Your System?

The amount of time that Lexapro will stay in your system depends on a variety of factors, including your gender and genetic predisposition. Additionally, a few other factors can influence the amount of time it takes for the drug to completely leave your body.

For example, if you have liver or kidney disease, Lexapro may stay in your system for a longer period. Children and elderly individuals typically clear drugs from their system more slowly than adults do. Similarly, obese people may have a slower clearance rate than people of average weight.

Ultimately, there’s no set answer for how long Lexapro will stay in your system, as it depends on a variety of individualized factors. In general, however, the drug will completely disappear from your body within a week after you stop taking it.

Potential Withdrawal Symptoms

If you’re taking any kind of antidepressant medications, do not stop cold turkey unless indicated by your healthcare provider. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome may lead to unpleasant side effects and can potentially do more harm than benefit. Discontinuation of escitalopram treatment may result in withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Sensory disturbances
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Gastrointestinal complaints
  • Head pressure
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Crying spells
  • Fatigue

In some patients, discontinuation may also result in an increased sensitivity to the drug. Therefore, it’s important to slowly taper the dose when discontinuing treatment and avoid discontinuation symptoms. To ensure a safe and effective withdrawal from escitalopram, patients should consult with their healthcare provider before discontinuing the medication.


Lexapro is a powerful SSRI, which is a class of drugs that includes antidepressants such as Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac. Lexapro is generally considered safe and effective for most people, with the most common side effects being nausea, headache, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction.

However, in some cases, Lexapro can cause serious side effects such as suicidal thoughts, compulsive behaviors, mania, or seizures. Therefore, you should discuss the potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider before beginning treatment.

On the other hand, if you’re ready to get off Lexapro but aren’t sure how to begin, call us today at Allure Detox for information and guidance in your effort.


  • Will I experience withdrawal symptoms if I stop taking Lexapro?
  • What are the side effects of Lexapro?
  • Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking Lexapro?
  • Can I take other medications while taking Lexapro?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Lexapro?
  • What are the symptoms of Lexapro overdose?

Published on: 2022-11-15
Updated on: 2024-06-19