Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate)

lexapro pills

What is Lexapro Used to Treat?

Lexapro® is the brand name for the drug Escitalopram. It is used to treat depression, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) which is a feeling of excessive worry and tension lasting 6 or more months that disrupts a persons’ daily life.

How Does Lexapro Work?

Lexapro is an anti-depressant that is in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI’s) class of medications. It increases the amount of serotonin in the brain which is necessary to maintain a healthy mental and emotional balance. Lexapro comes in either liquid or tablet form with the effects being felt between 1-4 weeks.

What are the Possible Side Effects of Lexapro?

Lexapro may cause side effects. Anyone taking Lexapro should consult their health care provider if they experience any of the following that does not go away:

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Constipation/diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Changes in sexual function ability
  • Heartburn
  • Increased sweating
  • Stomach pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Runny nose/sneezing
  • Flu like symptoms
  • Changes in appetite
  • Excessive fatigue

Serious side effects that necessitate an immediate visit to your health care provider or the emergency room are:

  • Hallucinations
  • Hearing voices
  • Homicidal thoughts
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unusual excitement
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • Severe muscle stiffness

Precautions/Interactions

Patients who are using or considering using Lexapro should be aware of the following:

  • Some people under age 24 who have used Lexapro had increased thoughts of suicide
  • If taking Lexapro, do not discontinue it without supervision from your health care provider.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Lexapro as this can lead to withdrawal symptoms including changes in mood, depression, dizziness, numbness or tingling in extremities, irritability, anxiety, confusion and sleep disturbances.
  • Do not take Lexapro if you are taking Celexa as the two drugs are very similar and it could cause an overdose.
  • Provide your health care provider with a detailed list of all medications, prescription as well as over the counter, herbal and nutritional supplements you are currently taking so any harmful interaction can be avoided.
  • Notify your doctor if you have a history of heart attack, liver or kidney damage or problems, thyroid issues or heart disease.
  • Lexapro may not be indicated for someone who has a history of seizures.
  • Lexapro may cause drowsiness. As such, do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Lexapro affects you. Also do drink alcohol while taking Lexapro as it may increase the drowsiness effect.
  • If you are pregnant, considering pregnancy or currently nursing, do not take Lexapro without discussing it with your health care provider.
  • Be sure to tell your doctor or dentist you are taking Lexipro if you are scheduled for any surgery or dental procedures.
  • Lexapro should be stored at room temperature away from children’s reach and disposed of properly when expired.

As with any medication, do not take Lexapro without a prescription and a discussion with your health care provider to see if it is the best medication for you.

 
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