Drug and Alcohol

How Long Does Lexapro Stay in Your System? Facts & More About Escitalopram

How Long Does Lexapro Stay In Your System?

How long does Lexapro stay in your system? Our blog gives you the facts about Lexapro, how long it lasts, and more. Learn more in our blog.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

April 26, 2024

How long does Lexapro stay in your system? This is a common question that many people have when taking this medication. Lexapro, also known as escitalopram, is a prescription antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. It belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which helps regulate mood and emotions.

What Is Lexapro?

Lexapro is a brand name for the generic drug escitalopram. It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for the treatment of major depressive disorder. In 2012, it was also approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.

Lexapro is available as an oral tablet or liquid solution and comes in various strengths ranging from 5mg to 20mg. It is usually taken once a day and can be taken with or without food.

How Lexapro Works

Lexapro, a friend to your brain when it's feeling a bit off, works by adjusting the balance of serotonin, a key mood influencer.

Think of it as tuning your brain's radio to the right station for a clearer, happier sound. It helps smooth out the emotional bumps, making daily life feel more manageable.

Are you curious about the duration of Lexapro's presence in your system? Its effects are crafted to unfold gradually, guiding your mood toward a more positive outlook. This careful design ensures that its supportive benefits persist for the duration required.

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Primary Medical Uses of Lexapro

Lexapro, a well-known medication, serves a few key roles in managing your health, particularly when it comes to your mental well-being. Here's how it can be beneficial for you:

Treating Depression

It's a powerful ally in your fight against depression, helping to balance the chemicals in your brain that affect your mood and emotions.

Easing Anxiety

If you're dealing with anxiety, Lexapro can help reduce the symptoms, making daily life feel a bit more manageable.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Relief

For those wrestling with persistent worry and anxiety about various aspects of life, Lexapro offers a sense of calm.

One question you might have is, "How long does Lexapro stay in your system?" Typically, it takes about 27 to 32 hours for half of the dose to leave your body, but the noticeable effects might take longer to fade as your body adjusts to the change.

Importance of Medical Supervision

Medical supervision is like having a guiding hand while navigating the journey of your health and well-being. Here's why it's so crucial:

  • Personalized Care: Your body is unique. Medical supervision ensures treatments and medications, like Lexapro, are tailored to your specific needs, considering how long they stay in your system.

  • Safety First: You might not always know the side effects or interactions of medications. A medical professional does, keeping you safe from potential harm.

  • Informed Decisions: With access to your health history, doctors can make informed decisions, guiding you toward the best outcomes.

  • Early Detection: Regular check-ups can catch health issues early, often before you notice symptoms, leading to better recovery chances.

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing a professional is overseeing your health journey offers immense peace of mind, allowing you to focus on living your life to the fullest.

Remember, your health journey is personal and unique. Medical supervision ensures you're not walking it alone but with expertise by your side.

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Factors Influencing Lexapro Clearance From the Body

When you're wondering about "how long does Lexapro stay in your system," it's crucial to consider several factors that influence its clearance from your body. Here's a concise rundown:

  • Metabolism Speed: Your metabolism plays a significant role. If you have a faster metabolism, Lexapro is likely to leave your system quicker.

  • Age: Generally, younger people process medications faster than older adults, meaning the drug might linger longer if you're older.

  • Liver Function: Your liver is vital in breaking down Lexapro. Any liver issues can slow this process, extending the drug's stay.

  • Dosage and Duration: Higher doses and longer use can mean it takes more time for Lexapro to clear out.

  • Body Mass and Composition: Your body size and the amount of fat you have can affect how long the drug stays in your system, as Lexapro can be stored in fat tissue.

  • Hydration and Diet: Staying hydrated and having a healthy diet might help your body metabolize Lexapro more efficiently.

Remember, these factors combine uniquely in each person, so the exact time Lexapro stays in your system can vary.

Understanding these nuances is crucial, and it's equally important to have a support system tailored to your unique needs. If you or someone you care about is seeking personalized treatment care plans, consider reaching out to The Edge Treatment Center. Their expertise can guide you in crafting a care plan that aligns with your specific requirements.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms and Duration

When you decide to stop taking Lexapro, a common question might be, "how long does Lexapro stay in your system?" Understanding this can help you anticipate the withdrawal symptoms and their duration. Here’s a concise breakdown:

  • Anxiety and Mood Swings: It's not uncommon to feel an increase in your anxiety levels or experience mood swings. These emotional fluctuations are typical as your body adjusts to the absence of the medication.

  • Dizziness and Headaches: You might feel dizzy or have headaches. This is your brain's way of readjusting to the change.

  • Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired or lethargic is common. Your energy levels may dip temporarily.

  • Sleep Disturbances: Whether it's trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, changes in your sleep patterns can occur.

  • Flu-like Symptoms: Some people report feeling "flu-like" symptoms, including nausea, sweating, and general discomfort.

The duration of these withdrawal symptoms can vary widely among individuals, often depending on how long you've been taking Lexapro and your dosage. Typically, these symptoms can last from a few weeks to a month. Remember, your body needs time to adjust, and these symptoms are a part of the process. If you're concerned about how you're feeling, reaching out to a healthcare professional is always a good idea.

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Metabolism and Elimination of Lexapro

Let's dive into how Lexapro, a common medication used to treat anxiety and depression, is processed and removed from your body. Understanding this can help you grasp how long Lexapro stays in your system and what factors influence this duration.


Once you take Lexapro, your body starts breaking it down. This process mainly happens in your liver, where the drug is metabolized by specific enzymes. Think of it as your liver working hard to simplify Lexapro into smaller components, making it easier for your body to handle.

Primary Metabolite

The main product of Lexapro's metabolism is a substance called S-desmethylcitalopram. It's less active compared to Lexapro but still plays a role in your treatment. This step is crucial because it determines how long the active effects of the medication last in your system.


After metabolism, the next step is getting these substances out of your body, primarily through your kidneys. Your kidneys filter out the metabolites of Lexapro, which then leave your body through your urine. A small amount may also be eliminated through feces.


A key term to understand is 'half-life', which refers to how long it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated from your system. For Lexapro, this is about 27 to 32 hours, meaning it takes roughly this amount of time for the concentration of Lexapro in your blood to reduce by half. This half-life varies slightly among individuals due to differences in liver function and other factors.

Complete Elimination

Generally, it's estimated that Lexapro takes about 5 to 6 half-lives to be nearly completely removed from your system. So, you're looking at around 6 to 7 days for Lexapro to be cleared from your body, though this can vary based on your health, age, and how long you've been taking the medication.

Understanding these points can help you have a clearer picture of how Lexapro works within your body and reassure you about the process of taking and discontinuing the medication, should that need arise.

Finding Clarity: Personalized Care at The Edge

Lexapro, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, can linger in your system for varying durations, influenced by several factors unique to you—like metabolism, age, and health conditions. Just to answer the frequently asked question: “How long does Lexapro stay in your system,” generally, it takes about 5 to 6 half-lives for Lexapro to be almost completely eliminated from your body.

Remember, it's essential to consult healthcare professionals for guidance tailored to your specific needs. For a more personalized treatment care plan, consider reaching out to The Edge Treatment Center. We're ready to support you or your loved ones through every step of the journey.

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