Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

Lexapro side effects: Is breast tenderness common?

I'm taking Lexapro, and my breasts seem unusually tender to the touch. For women, do Lexapro side effects include breast tenderness?

Updated: 06-19-2013

Answer

Escitalopram (Lexapro) is a prescription drug commonly used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Breast tenderness isn't among the published Lexapro side effects, but some studies and unofficial reports have linked Lexapro and breast tenderness.

Lexapro may interfere with the normal processing of prolactin — a hormone that affects breast tissue. It's possible that this could lead to breast tenderness. Breast pain has been documented as a rare side effect of other antidepressants, including citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft), venlafaxine (Effexor XR) and mirtazapine (Remeron).

Keep in mind that a number of other things can cause breast pain. Your doctor will consider any possible underlying causes for your symptoms. Your doctor may have you stop taking Lexapro for a period of time to see whether your breast tenderness improves. But don't change your dose or quit taking your antidepressant until you talk to your doctor. If you stop taking Lexapro too fast, you could get serious symptoms such as anxiety, headache or dizziness.

If your breast tenderness seems to be related to Lexapro, your doctor may recommend another antidepressant.

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