For some people, Lexapro cannot handle all of the symptoms of depression and/or generalized anxiety disorders. For others, the side effects of Lexapro are too much to bear and they would prefer to be off of it. Still others may not be able to take Lexapro because of pre-existing health conditions or age. You may even decide that Lexapro is not suitable for you because you cannot afford it. Either way, there are alternatives to Lexapro that can be looked at if the drug isn't working for you.
The most obvious Lexapro alternative is to switch to another antidepressant. Some drugs that are given in lieu of Lexapro are Celexa, Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, or Zoloft. These are SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) just like Lexapro and so will have the same positive effect on your depression, but have different or fewer side effects that are easier to bear. If you are having difficulties with Lexapro, but you still want to be on drugs to handle your depression, your doctor will probably prescribe something new for you to take. Prozac for example is a popular replacement for Lexapro because of its effectiveness and the fact that there are generic brands of Prozac on the market which makes it cheaper.
You can also take serotonin-norepinephrine drugs that treat the norepinephrine chemicals in the brain instead of serotonin (another chemical which has an impact on mood). These drugs include: Prestiq, Cymbalta, and Effexor. These drugs also treat depression and you might choose to be on one of them because the side effects are easier to put up with and/or they are better for treating your depression.
There are other antidepressants which can replace Lexapro. These include monoamine oxidase inhibitors like Marplan or Nardil and tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil, Sinequan, and Pamelor, to name a few. Finally, there are other miscellaneous antidepressants such as Wellbutrin, Remeron, or Serzone. Any of these drugs might be better able to help your depression than Lexapro.Alternative Medicine
Some people may decide that drug use in general is not for them and they will opt for more natural healing remedies to handle the problem. Some natural alternative medicines include changing your diet to include more omega-3 fatty acids which are good mood lifters and vitamin B6. You may also find some success with things like St. John's Wart, valerian, or acupuncture. While taking more natural remedies may not always be recommended, especially in cases of severe depression, they can be used to at least supplement drugs so that you can have a natural way of bolstering the effects of the drugs without worrying as much about overdosing and other issues. However, it's still best to discuss alternative medicines with your doctor before embarking on them make certain that they won't interfere with your medication or cause other problems.
Other alternatives include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) which has been used when the case of depression or anxiety disorder is so severe that it's not responding to any medications. You may also be advised to change your diet and add more exercise to your daily lifestyle since these things can aid in the alleviation of depression symptoms without drug intervention.
The most important thing to remember is that even if you are prescribed Lexapro, you do not have to stay with it if it's not working for you. If the side effects are too bothersome, or your depression isn't getting any better (or even getting worse), then you should tell your doctor and look for an alternative to help your depression. There is nothing wrong with asking and it can save you a great deal of energy and heartache in the end.