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Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD. Last updated on Dec 10, Lexapro escitalopram is an antidepressant belonging to a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs. Escitalopram affects the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that may be altered in people suffering from depression or anxiety. Lexapro is used to treat major depressive disorder in adults and adolescents at least 12 years old. You should not use Lexapro if you also take pimozide or citalopram Celexa.
Do not use Lexapro within 14 days before or 14 days after you have used an MAO inhibitor , such as isocarboxazid , linezolid , methylene blue injection, phenelzine , rasagiline , selegiline , or tranylcypromine. Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor. Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation , hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate , muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea , vomiting , or diarrhea.
Do not use Lexapro within 14 days before or 14 days after you have used an MAO inhibitor. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take stimulant medicine, opioid medicine, herbal products , or medicine for depression , mental illness, Parkinson's disease , migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting.
These medicines may interact with escitalopram and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Ask your doctor about taking this medicine if you are pregnant. Taking an SSRI antidepressant during late pregnancy may cause serious medical complications in the baby.
However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Do not start or stop taking Lexapro without your doctor's advice. If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of escitalopram on the baby. If you are breastfeeding, tell your doctor if you notice drowsiness, agitation, feeding problems, or poor weight gain in the nursing baby. Take Lexapro exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device not a kitchen spoon. It may take up to 4 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve. Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. taking Lexapro should be checked for height and weight gain. Do not stop using Lexapro suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.
Initial dose: 10 mg orally once a day; increase if necessary after at least 1 week of treatment to 20 mg once a day Maintenance dose: 10 to 20 mg orally once a day Maximum dose: 20 mg orally once a day Comment: Treatment should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for ongoing treatment; efficacy beyond 8 weeks has not been systematically studied.
Use: Acute treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Initial dose: 10 mg orally once a day; increase if necessary after at least 1 week of treatment to 20 mg once a day Maintenance dose: 10 to 20 mg orally once a day Maximum dose: 20 mg orally once a day Comments: -Acute episodes may require several months or longer of sustained pharmacological therapy beyond response to the acute episode.
Use: Acute and maintenance treatment of major depressive disorder. Recommended dose: 10 mg orally once a day Use: Acute and maintenance treatment of major depressive disorder. Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time. Ask your doctor before taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug NSAID such as aspirin , ibuprofen Advil , Motrin , naproxen Aleve , celecoxib Celebrex , diclofenac , indomethacin , meloxicam , and others.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired. Get emergency medical help if you have s of an allergic reaction to Lexapro: skin rash or hives ; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks , trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive mentally or physically , more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. Using Lexapro with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines, especially a blood thinner such as warfarin , Coumadin , or Jantoven.
Many drugs may interact with escitalopram, and some drugs should not be used at the same time. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins , and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Lexapro only for the indication prescribed. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this applies to your personal circumstances.
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