Escitalopram, a common antidepressant drug, is often prescribed to those dealing with depression or anxiety. This drug is commonly identified by one of its brand names, Lexapro. On average, the generic version of the drug (Escitalopram oxalate) costs $61.59 for a 10 mg, 30 tablet prescription.
Cost of Lexapro (Escitalopram) Without Insurance
From the data shared below, the average cost of generic Escitalopram among six major U.S. pharmacy chains is $22.36 using prescription coupons or membership benefits. The highest price was observed at Rite Aid, while the lowest was observed at Costco.
Here are the costs of generic Escitalopram Oxalate at six major pharmacy chains in the U.S.
Cost of Escitalopram Without Insurance
|Pharmacy||Dosage||Generic Escitalopram||Brand (Lexapro)|
|CVS||10 mg, 30 tablets||$56||$469|
|Walgreens||10 mg, 30 tablets||$61||$488|
|Walmart||10 mg, 30 tablets||$15||$452|
|Rite Aid||10 mg, 30 tablets||$120||$533|
|Ralphs||10 mg, 30 tablets||$46.54||$503.49|
What is Escitalopram?
Escitalopram belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which work to improve or restore serotonin levels in the brain. Typically, it is used as a treatment for those experiencing depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Because of the wide range of possible side effects of taking this medication, Escitalopram is strictly a prescription drug in the United States.
Depression and anxiety-related mental health issues are relatively common. Nearly 40 million U.S. adults suffer from anxiety disorders and make up almost 18.1 percent of the population. A typical treatment plan for such individuals often includes medication. In 2020, the American Psychological Association found that more than 12 percent of Americans are on antidepressant medication.
Such treatments and prescription medications can often add costs for those struggling with mental health issues. It was found that, on average, a patient with major depression may spend close to $10,836 in medical expenses (including treatment, diagnosis, and medication) every year. Find more information on cost estimates for related medication and treatments here.
Factors that Influence the Cost of Lexapro (Escitalopram)
Just like with most prescription drugs, the cost of Lexapro (Escitalopram) per individual will vary from patient to patient. A few factors might determine the cost of your prescription, such as dosage, quantity, type of drug, location, and insurance coverage. It can be helpful to keep these in mind when trying to estimate your expenses.
Lexapro (Escitalopram) is typically administered in 10 or 20 mg doses once a day. Most pharmacies hand out a 30-day supply per bottle. However, your net effective cost per month may be lower if you request a higher quantity supply per bottle. For instance, Costco Pharmacy offers a 30-day 10 mg supply of generic Escitalopram starting at $6.99. In comparison, their 90-day supply of the exact dosage is priced at $10.99, which turns out to be only $3.66 per month.
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Generic vs. Brand
As mentioned above, the average cost of generic Escitalopram is about $61.59 without insurance for 30 10 mg tablets. However, if you choose to buy a similar dosage under a name-brand product such as Lexapro, your cost will typically be $490.18 for 30, 20 mg tablets. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clarifies that there are no differences in treatment between patients taking a generic and name-brand prescription of Escitalopram.
Your cost of prescription medication can also vary greatly depending on which pharmacy you choose to get them at. As evidenced above, the cost of generic Escitalopram varies among some of the major U.S. pharmacy chains. Each pharmacy location works a different negotiation deal with the drug manufacturers.
Most health insurance plans offer coverage for antidepressant medications such as Escitalopram or its name-brand equivalents. As with all medical costs, having health insurance coverage can help bring your medication costs down significantly. If you have a private health insurance plan, you might have to bear a partial co-pay each time you get a prescription. If you are covered under Medicare, you may consider enrolling in Medicare Part D to get coverage for prescription drugs. In case you are in need of a medication that is not on your health plan’s coverage list, you can try to request your plan’s approval, especially if the medication is deemed necessary by your physician.
Even if you do not have health insurance, there are many ways to make your prescription drugs more affordable. There are various online tools that can help you find coupons and discounts for your particular medications. Here are some well-known websites for the same.
You may also choose to get a prescription discount card that offers discounted prices at various pharmacies. America’s Pharmacy, ScriptSave, and GoodRx are some popular companies that offer savings cards to their members. Enrolling in such programs is often straightforward. You just need to visit their website, enter your details, and get the card delivered to you virtually (via email) or physically (in your mail).
If you do not have health insurance or your plan does not cover the medications you need, Mira may be a great fit for you. Mira members get coupon codes that can help you save up to 80% on prescription medications. Additionally, Mira’s prescription portal can be used to see the prices of medications at various pharmacies near you.
Lexapro (Escitalopram) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Lexapro is a commonly used medication for those experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety. It is regularly prescribed by doctors and nurse practitioners. Find below some frequently asked questions about this drug.
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Does Lexapro (Escitalopram) interact with alcohol?
A regular intake of Lexapro (escitalopram) may carry certain side effects to the individual. Consuming alcohol has been found to increase or intensify the effects of this drug on your nervous system. These include side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and trouble concentrating. It is also possible to experience an increased impairment in thinking or judgment. Even a small intake of alcohol can lead to unpleasant outcomes for patients who are being treated with Escitalopram.
What are some side effects of taking Lexapro (Escitalopram)?
Regular intake of Escitalopram, or its common name brand alternatives such as Lexapro, can have a range of side effects. Some common side effects include
- Dry Mouth
- Increased sweating
The drug may also have certain sexual side effects which include:
- Inability to orgasm
- Ejaculatory delay
Some other, more serious but rare side effects include:
- Low sodium blood levels
- Teeth grinding
- Angle-closure glaucoma
- Changes in vision
- Serotonin syndrome
- Bleeding events
Is Lexapro (Escitalopram) covered by Medicare?
To get help in paying for Lexapro or any other name brand alternative to Escitalopram, you need to be enrolled under Medicare Part D. This is Medicare’s drug coverage plan which helps patients pay for medical prescriptions by lowering or completely covering their costs. This plan is open to all those covered under Medicare. However, it is important to remember that you are not automatically enrolled in Part D coverage. Since this is an optional plan, you might have to contact your provider to officially enroll in Medicare Part D.
Is Lexapro (Escitalopram) the same as Xanax?
No, Lexapro and Xanax are two different drugs. Lexapro is a brand-name version of Escitalopram oxalate and is commonly prescribed to those with depression and anxiety-related issues. Whereas, Xanax is a brand-name version of Alprazolam which is prescribed to those with anxiety or panic disorders. Both these drugs, while might be used for similar conditions, are chemically very different and are classified as two different types of drugs. Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that works to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain. While, Xanax is classified as a benzodiazepine, which is a sedative medication that slows down the brain’s functioning.
Affording treatment for mental health issues can prove to be expensive, especially for those without health insurance. Escitalopram (Lexapro) is just one of the many prescription drugs used to treat depression and anxiety. Most people taking such medication, also bear the cost of other medical services such as doctor visits, therapy sessions, lab tests, and more.
If you are looking for a way to save money on Lexapro, Mira may be a great fit. For an average of $45 per month, Mira members get access to urgent care visits, telehealth appointments, and up to 80% off any prescription medications. Sign up now and start saving today.
Girisha is a second-year graduate student at Columbia University, pursuing a Master's in Public Health. She is excited to combine her passion for Public Health and writing with the hopes of delivering quality health information, one article at a time!