IMPORTANT NOTE: The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Lexapro
USES: Escitalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters).
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth usually once daily with or without food; or as directed by your doctor. You should take your dosage at the same time each day, either in the morning or in the evening. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. It is important to continue taking this medication as prescribed even if you feel well. Also, do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. It may take up to several weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, stomach pain, dizziness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, fatigue, increased sweating, or dry mouth may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: changes in sexual ability/interest. Males - If you experience a painful and prolonged erection, stop using this drug and seek immediate medical attention. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
PRECAUTIONS: Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: liver problems, kidney problems, seizures, heart problems, other mental/mood disorders (e.g., bipolar disorder), thyroid problems, mineral (electrolyte) problems (e.g., hyponatremia, SIADH), any allergies. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Certain medications taken with this product could result in serious, even fatal, drug interactions. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, selegiline, tranylcypromine) within 2 weeks before or after treatment with this medication. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for additional information. Do not take this medication with citalopram because the two agents are very similar. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: weight loss drugs (e.g., sibutramine, phentermine). Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use, especially: other SSRI antidepressants (e.g., fluoxetine, sertraline), nefazodone, trazodone, tramadol, venlafaxine, "triptan" migraine drugs (e.g., sumatriptan, zolmitriptan), tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, desipramine, nortriptyline), carbamazepine, cimetidine, lithium, metoprolol, any herbal/natural products (e.g., melatonin, St. John's wort, ayahuasca). Tell your doctor if you take any drugs that cause drowsiness such as: medicine for sleep (e.g., sedatives), tranquilizers, anti-anxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam), narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., phenytoin), muscle relaxants, antihistamines that cause drowsiness (e.g., diphenhydramine). Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include: irregular heartbeat, fainting, severe dizziness or lightheadedness, seizures.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests may be performed to monitor your progress.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature (77 degrees F or 25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom.
Developed by First DataBank, Inc., San Bruno, CA
Copyright 2004 by First DataBank, Inc.