Lexapro is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, and other related disorders. And with record levels of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication use attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lexapro and other options to help with these symptoms may continue to fill medicine cabinets across the globe.1 But how safe is Lexapro and what are the risks involved? We’ll take a look at how Lexapro works to ease anxiety, common side effects of taking the drug, and alternative non-prescription medications worth exploring.
What Is Lexapro?
Escitalopram, sold under the brand name Lexapro, is a prescription drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI. It is often prescribed to treat major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, including symptoms such as low mood, restlessness, irritability, and loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities.
How Lexapro Works to Ease Anxiety
Like other SSRIs, Lexapro works by increasing the amount of the chemical serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that carries signals between brain nerve cells and acts as a mood stabilizer. SSRIs block the reabsorption of serotonin into neurons, which makes more serotonin available. This increased amount of serotonin is effective in easing depression and anxiety for many users, but it comes with a caveat: side effects.
Common side effects of Lexapro include:2
- Dry mouth
- Increased sweating
- Fatigue or insomnia
- Weight changes
- Sexual side effects, such as problems with orgasm or ejaculatory delay
Though most symptoms are said to diminish over time, sexual side effects typically do not diminish. In addition to these common side effects, other possible side effects of taking this drug include developing serotonin syndrome and increased risk of bleeding. For younger users, Lexapro may lead to increased anxiety or suicidal ideation, which should be monitored.
The Brillia Story
Non-prescription homeopathic medication like Brillia offers a gentle and impactful approach to reducing anxiety, irritability, and restlessness without using synthetic chemicals or producing harmful side effects. Unlike SSRIs, which consist of synthetic chemicals, the active ingredient in Brillia consists of antibodies to the brain-specific S100 protein (S100B), an important regulator of various different intracellular and extracellular brain processes. Brillia is part of a multi-faceted holistic approach, known as the 5 Pillars, which combines antibody science with healthy lifestyle factors like proper nutrition, adequate sleep, controlled screen time, and mindfulness practices to provide long-term relief from stress and anxiety. This approach ensures that users have a plethora of tools and resources available to them to tackle life’s stressors with ease.
How Brillia Works to Ease Anxiety
Studies show that anxiety and depression stem from an imbalance of the S100B protein.3 This protein acts as a key, binding to a specific target to unlock symptoms like anxiousness, hyperactivity, irritability, and moodiness. The antibodies in Brillia work to reduce these symptoms by attaching to the S100B protein and regulating its activity by preventing it from binding to (unlocking) its target. Brillia does not alter the concentration of the S100B protein nor does it cause any changes to blood chemistry. This process is highly specific so that Brillia does not affect any other systems in the body or negatively interact with other medications or supplements. The effect is a more balanced mood, reduced anxiety and irritability, and improved focus and attention.
Brillia vs. Lexapro Dosage
Lexapro is commonly prescribed at 10 mg to start, although doctors may adjust this dosage and increase it for effectiveness. It is not recommended to stop taking Lexapro suddenly as sudden cessation may lead to withdrawal symptoms such as increased anxiety, burning or tingling feelings, confusion, dizziness, headache, or unusual weakness.4 Lexapro is not recommended for children under age 12.5
Available without an official diagnosis or prescription, Brillia can be taken by children as young as five or adults. Dosing is based on the severity of the symptoms: moderate or severe. It takes about two to three weeks for the medication to build up in the system and produce desired results. Unlike SSRIs, which may lead to dependence, Brillia is not habit-forming, it does not cause drowsiness, lethargy or depression, nor does it cause weight changes.6 There are also no withdrawal symptoms associated with taking Brillia should you decide to stop or take a break.
How to Add Brillia to Your Regimen
Since there are no contraindications associated with Brillia, it is safe to add to your regimen at any time. If you have found that prescription pharmaceutical products are causing undesirable side effects, Brillia is an effective alternative. While many people have replaced their current medications with Brillia, it’s best to wait until the product builds up in the system and after you’ve discussed this plan with your doctor.
Some individuals also choose to keep taking their current prescribed medications but add Brillia to their regimen in place of increasing dosage. While this can be an effective option for you, please keep in mind that Brillia will not reduce the side effects of being on other prescription medications.
As effective as Brillia is in reducing anxiety, it is a gentle and cumulative medication. The standard window for seeing desired effects is two to three weeks, but it may take longer. We recommend using Brillia alongside your current prescription medications for at least three to four weeks to ensure it successfully builds up in the system. If you are still intent on switching over completely, do so under the care of your physician. Remember to be consistent and patient, and monitor progress for three months to see if the product is working for you. If you plan on stopping medication, start taking Brillia early (around three to four weeks) for the best results.
Learn more about how Brillia works.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and a certificate in Narrative Therapy. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, and VICE.