Lexapro causes weight gain as a side effect. This is becauses it inhibits the reabsorption of serotonin by nerves resulting to an increased levels in the brain. Increased levels of serotonin in the brain is used to regulate emotions and make people with depression or anxiety feel good.  At the same time, it also leads to increase appetite and decrease metabolism which results to weight gain. Research shows that about half of people who take Lexapro will experience weight gain of 7.0% or more while taking the medication. Compared to other antidepressants like paroxetine, mirtazapine, or doxepin, Lexapro is associated with far less weight gain, while it is still higher than fluoxetine. Patients who smoke have a greater chance of gaining weight while using Lexapro.

Weight gain while using Lexapro can become visible within 6 to 8 weeks. However, this might go away once the body adjusts to the drug and your metabolism returns to normal. But in some cases, weight gain persists. To completely overcome weight gain caused by Lexapro, you should couple its intake with regular exercise and healthy daily diet. For example, take a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, and avoid processed or fast foods. Also, monitor your weight regularly and quickly adjust your lifestyle to maintain a healthy body weight.

Stopping Lexapro due to weight gain is not recommended, since most antidepressants used as alternative also cause weight gain. But, if you must stop Lexapro due to weight gain, then talk to your doctor about it first. Stopping Lexapro abruptly is not recommended and can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and a return of depression or anxiety.