Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on
March 7, 2022
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

Do you feel like your brain is in a fog? Have you been taking Lexapro and noticed that your thinking isn’t as clear as it used to be? You’re not alone.

Many people report experiencing brain fog while taking prescribed Lexapro for their depression, bipolar disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about the causes of Lexapro brain fog, the symptoms, and how to remedy the situation.

Let’s get started.

What exactly is brain fog?

Brain fog is a term used to describe feeling like your mind is cloudy and not functioning as well as it should. 

It can be caused by a number of factors, including medication side effects, anxiety, stress, fatigue, and serious mental illness. 

For some people, brain fog is a temporary feeling that goes away after a short period of time. For others, it can be a chronic condition that persists long-term

What is Lexapro?

Lexapro is one of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), a type of antidepressant that is used to treat certain kinds of mental illness, such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder.

The active ingredient in Lexapro, escitalopram, works by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in your mood, appetite, and sleep cycle.

Lexapro is approved for use in adults and children over the age of 12. 

It’s important to note that Lexapro is only available by prescription. You should never take Lexapro or any other medication without a doctor’s supervision. 

Can Lexapro cause brain fog?

Yes, Lexapro can cause brain fog.

Most people report experiencing brain fog when starting Lexapro. In fact, this is one of the most common side effects associated with the drug. 

Brain fog is most likely to occur in the early stages of treatment but can persist long-term for some people.

The precise reason for Lexapro fog is unknown, although it’s believed to be linked to brain cells—significant changes in the brain’s resting functional network connectivity.

Lexapro can also cause other side effects that may contribute to brain fog, such as fatigue and drowsiness.

Some people also experience brain fog as one of Lexapro’s withdrawal symptoms. This is because when you suddenly stop taking the drug, your brain chemistry can become unbalanced, leading to symptoms like brain fog.

Brain Fog Lexapro: Common Symptoms

The symptoms of brain fog can vary from person to person. They may include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble remembering things
  • Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out
  • Feeling like you can’t think straight
  • Fatigue and yawning more than usual
  • Having difficulty making decisions 
  • Trouble sleeping

The good news is that, for most people, Lexapro fog is a temporary side effect that goes away with time.

Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing brain fog while taking Lexapro. They may be able to adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication. 

How to Relieve Brain Fog While Taking Lexapro

If you’re struggling with brain fog while taking Lexapro, there are a few things you can do to help relieve the symptoms.

Here are a few tips:

Get plenty of rest.

When you’re exhausted, it’s harder to concentrate and think clearly. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and take breaks during the day if you feel tired.

Exercise regularly.

Exercise has been shown to improve mental clarity and cognitive function. A healthy lifestyle can also help reduce stress levels, which may contribute to brain fog. 

Exercising regularly can also help alleviate symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder.

Eat healthy foods.

A balanced diet is essential for maintaining your mental health. Make sure you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Avoid processed foods.

Processed foods are high in sugar and unhealthy fats, leading to inflammation and contributing to brain fog. 

Avoid too much caffeine and alcohol.

Overconsumption of caffeine and alcohol can both contribute to brain fog.

Avoid drinking too much coffee, soda, and energy drinks during the day and limit alcohol consumption to one or two drinks per week, especially if you’re dealing with generalized anxiety disorder. 

Manage your stress levels.

Chronic stress can lead to brain fog. Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises if you’re feeling overwhelmed.  

Take breaks.

When you’re working on a task, take short breaks to give your mind a chance to rest. This can help reduce fatigue and improve concentration.

If you’re still experiencing problems with brain fog after trying these tips, talk to your doctor about other possible remedies

Other Remedies for Lexapro Brain Fog

Some people find relief from brain fog by making changes to their lifestyle or taking supplements.

Here are a few suggestions:

Take omega-three supplements.

Omega-three fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to improve cognitive function. 

Try B vitamins.

B vitamins, especially vitamin B12, are essential for healthy brain function. Deficiencies in certain B vitamins can cause brain fog. 

Get more magnesium.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and is essential for good health. Low levels of magnesium have been linked to brain fog.

Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D is essential for brain health and has been linked to improved cognitive function. 

Take probiotics.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help keep your gut healthy. Recent research suggests they may also improve cognitive function. 

If you’re experiencing brain fog while taking Lexapro, talk to your doctor about these supplements and see if they might be right for you.

Try evidence-based therapies.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based therapies have been shown to be effective in treating brain fog.

Other therapy treatments you might want to consider include the following:

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization (EMDR)
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
  • qEEG/Brain Mapping
  • Neurofeedback
  • Group/Family Therapy
  • Spravato Therapy

These therapies can help you learn how to manage your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in a more productive way. 

Other Lexapro Side Effects

In addition to brain fog, Lexapro can also cause other side effects. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Acne
  • Numbness
  • Brain zaps
  • Weight gain
  • Vivid dreams
  • Triggering mania
  • Decreased libido
  • Sexual dysfunction

If any of these side effects are becoming severe, talk to your doctor. They may be able to change your dosage or prescribe you another medicine if necessary.

Does Lexapro cause cognitive impairment?

There is more research needed to conclude whether or not Lexapro causes cognitive impairment. 

However, a randomized trial of the effect of escitalopram on the cognitive function of healthy individuals, who are first-degree relatives of people with depression, suggests that the drug does not improve or impair their cognitive function. 

On the other hand, escitalopram did improve the cognitive function of patients diagnosed with depression, and the improvement seems to be related to the effect of their depressive symptoms rather than to a direct result of the drug. 

If you’re experiencing problems with memory, concentration, or decision-making, talk to your doctor. They may be able to switch you to a different medication.

How does Lexapro affect the brain?

Lexapro is one the most commonly prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressants.

It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, in the brain.

Serotonin plays a role in cognitive function, and its imbalance is linked to the development of depression and other mental health conditions.

A few studies have looked at the effect of Lexapro on the brain.

One study found that Lexapro may help protect the brain from aging by reducing inflammation and preserving cognitive function.

Another study found that Lexapro may help improve memory and decision-making in people with depression. 

Still, more research is needed to determine the full effect of Lexapro on the brain.

How does Lexapro make you feel?

Lexapro is a medication that can help relieve mental and physical symptoms of major depressive disorder and intense anxiety.

It works by balancing the amount of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, in the brain.

How it makes you feel depends on your individual case and Lexapro dosage.

Some people report feeling better after taking Lexapro, while others may experience side effects like brain fog, headaches, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and trouble sleeping—these can also manifest as discontinuation symptoms, more commonly known as withdrawal symptoms.

If you’re experiencing any severe side effects, talk to your doctor about changing your dosage or switching to another medication.

What happens during the first week of Lexapro?

The first week of Lexapro is often the most challenging. This is because your body is adjusting to the medicine and it may take some time for the full effect to kick in.

Some people may experience side effects like brain fog, headaches, trouble sleeping, and weight gain. 

Others may feel better after taking the medication. 

If you’re experiencing any severe side effects, talk to your doctor about changing your dosage or switching to another medication.

What are the long-term effects of Lexapro?

The long-term effects of Lexapro are not fully known.

Lexapro is generally considered safe for most people, but there is a risk of developing serotonin syndrome if it is taken with other medications that increase serotonin levels.

Serotonin syndrome can cause symptoms like agitation, hallucinations, and fever.

If you’re taking Lexapro, talk to your doctor about any other medications you’re taking to avoid this potential side effect. 

Concluding Thoughts

If you’re experiencing Lexapro fog, especially some adverse side effects, talk to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe a different medication.

Lexapro is generally considered safe, but there are some potential side effects that you should be aware of.

The long-term effects of Lexapro are not fully known, so if you’re taking the medication, be sure to talk to your doctor about any other medications you’re taking to avoid experiencing the counter-productive side effects.

If you want to learn more about brain fog and how to treat it effectively, here are some more helpful articles to read. Also, feel free to join this online community of brain health advocates.

Join The Mental Health Community You've Been Dreaming Of


This discord family is a safe place where we can all (anonymously if we choose) talk about and seek help for what is going on in our heads.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
Insert About the Author
>