TherapyMantra

Lexapro: A Medical Guide

lexapro cover

Escitalopram, the generic name for Lexapro, is a medication used to treat depression and anxiety. It belongs to a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Escitalopram can help restore balance and improve mood. In this guide, we will provide important information about Escitalopram that you should know before taking it. We will also cover common side effects and risks associated with its use.

Understanding Lexapro (Escitalopram)

lexapro formula

Lexapro is a medication used to treat depression and anxiety. It is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for these conditions. Lexapro belongs to a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

NOTE: Escitalopram is the generic name for Lexapro.

How Does It Work

lexapro working

While the specific way that Escitalopram works is not fully understood, it is thought to increase serotonin availability in the brain. Increased serotonin levels are associated with improved mood and balance.

NOTE: SSRIs work by blocking the absorption of serotonin in the brain, which increases its availability. This can help improve mood and balance in people with depression or anxiety.

Most Important Information I Should Know About Escitalopram

There are some important things that you should know about Escitalopram before taking it.

  • Escitalopram should not be used by people under 18 years of age.
  • Escitalopram can cause sleepiness, dizziness, and blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Escitalopram affects you.
  • Escitalopram can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults. If you are taking Escitalopram and have any signs of suicidal thoughts or behavior, call your health care provider immediately.
  • Escitalopram can cause QT prolongation. This is a problem with the heart rhythm that can lead to serious problems such as fainting, seizures, and sudden death. Your health care provider may do tests to check for this problem.

Specific Concerns About Escitalopram And Pregnancy

Escitalopram should not be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It can cause serious birth defects or problems in the baby. If you are pregnant, talk to your health care provider about the best treatment options for you.

Escitalopram can cause problems in the baby if it is taken during pregnancy. These problems include birth defects, low birth weight, and withdrawal symptoms in the baby after delivery.

Things I Discuss With My Doctor Before Taking Escitalopram

Before taking Escitalopram, you should discuss the following with your health care provider:

Any medical conditions you have: Escitalopram can cause problems in people with certain medical conditions.

Any allergies you have: Escitalopram may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems.

Other medications you are taking: Escitalopram can interact with other medications, including over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements.

Administering Lexapro

dosage lexapro

How Escitalopram Is Available

Escitalopram is available as a tablet and an oral solution.

How Should I Take Escitalopram

The recommended dose of Escitalopram for adults is 20 mg per day, taken once daily in the morning. The dose may be increased to 30 mg per day if needed.

If I Miss A Dose Of Escitalopram

Take your dose as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take two doses of Escitalopram at the same time.

Things Should I Avoid While Taking Escitalopram

There are several things that you should avoid while taking Escitalopram. Do not:

  • Drink alcohol: This can increase the side effects of Escitalopram.
  • Take other medications without talking to your health care provider: Escitalopram can interact with other medications.
  • Drive or operate heavy machinery: Escitalopram can cause sleepiness, dizziness, and blurred vision.

If I Overdose With Escitalopram

If you think you may have overdosed on Escitalopram, call your health care provider or local poison control center immediately.

Time Escitalopram Takes To Work

lexapro time

It can take several weeks for Escitalopram to work. If you do not feel better after taking Escitalopram for several weeks, consult with your physician.

Evaluating Lexapro

There is no definitive test to determine if Escitalopram is the best treatment for you. Your health care provider will evaluate your condition and decide if Escitalopram is the best treatment for you.

Possible Side Effects Of Escitalopram

side effects lexapro

Most people who take Escitalopram do not have any serious side effects.

Common side effects

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight gain
  • Sexual problems

Rare/serious side effects of Escitalopram can include:

  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • QT prolongation
  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Withdrawal symptoms in the baby after delivery

Medications That May Interact With Escitalopram

Some medications can interact with Escitalopram and may increase the risk of serious side effects. For example:

Theophylline (used to treat asthma): This medication can increase the risk of seizures if taken with Escitalopram.

Herbal supplements: Herbal supplements can also interact with Escitalopram and may increase the risk of serious side effects.

Tramadol (a pain medication): This medication can increase the risk of seizures if taken with Escitalopram.

Clonidine (used to treat high blood pressure): This medication can increase the risk of seizures if taken with Escitalopram.

Triptans (used to treat migraine headaches): These medications can increase the risk of a serious reaction called serotonin syndrome if taken with Escitalopram.

NOTE: Your health care provider may need to change the dose of your other medications if you are taking them together with Escitalopram.

If Lexapro Is Not Right For Me

If you find that Escitalopram is not working for you, talk to your health care provider about other treatment options. However, do not stop taking Escitalopram without talking to your health care provider. Since stopping Escitalopram suddenly can cause serious side effects.

Alternatives To Lexapro

Several other medications may be prescribed if Escitalopram is not the best treatment for you. However, some of these medications include:

Citalopram (Celexa): A medication that is helpful to treat depression.

Fluoxetine (Prozac): A medication that is helpful to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bulimia nervosa.

Sertraline (Zoloft): A medication that is helpful to treat depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, posttraumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Paroxetine (Paxil): A medication that is helpful to treat anxiety disorders, social phobia, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Bupropion (Wellbutrin): A medication that is helpful to treat depression and seasonal affective disorder.

Venlafaxine (Effexor): A medication that is helpful to treat anxiety disorders, social phobia, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Summary Of FDA Black Box Warnings

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a black box warning for Escitalopram. A black box warning is the most serious type of warning that experts issue for a medication. Since the warning indicates that there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening side effects.

The FDA has issued black box warnings for the following:

  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • QT prolongation
  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Withdrawal symptoms in the baby after delivery

DISCLAIMER: This information is not a substitute to replace the advice of your health care provider. Therefore, you should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting your health care provider.

Expert Opinion On Lexapro

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether or not Lexapro is the best medication for you. As it is necessary to consider each person’s situation when deciding on treatment.

Furthermore, there is a lot of information available on the internet about Escitalopram. It can be difficult to determine what is accurate and what is not. When looking for information about a medication, it is important to seek out sources that are reliable.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a policy statement on antidepressant medications in children and adolescents. The policy statement was written by a team of experts, including psychiatrists and pediatricians.

NOTE: The AAP recommends Escitalopram as a first-line medication for the treatment of depression in children and adolescents.

Case Study

A 35-year-old woman was on treatment with Escitalopram for anxiety and depression following the birth of her son. Consequently, she reported feeling better after taking Escitalopram for six weeks and had no side effects.

Conclusion

Escitalopram is a medication that is helpful to treat depression and other mental health conditions. It can take several weeks for the medication to work, and you may experience side effects while taking it. Professionals may prescribe several other medications if Escitalopram is not the best treatment for you.

However, if you decide that Escitalopram is not right for you, talk to your health care provider about other treatment options. Nonetheless, do not stop taking Escitalopram without consulting with your doctor. Since stopping Escitalopram suddenly can cause serious side effects.

A Word From Therapy Mantra

Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.

At TherapyMantra, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.