Lexapro (escitalopram)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Understanding Depression Slideshow

GENERIC NAME: escitalopram

BRAND NAME: Lexapro

USES:

  • Lexapro is approved for the treatment of depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Drugs in the SSRI class also are used for treating obsessive compulsive disorders and panic disorders, although Lexapro is not approved for these purposes.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

SIDE EFFECTS WARNING:

  • Some patients experience withdrawal reactions upon stopping SSRI therapy. Symptoms may include dizziness, tingling, tiredness, vivid dreams, irritability, or poor mood. In order to avoid these symptoms, the dose of SSRI can be slowly reduced instead of abruptly stopped.
  • Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in short-term studies in children and adolescents with depression and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of Lexapro or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared with placebo in adults beyond 24 years of age. There was a reduction in risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared with placebo in adults 65 years of age and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients who are started on therapy with antidepressants should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior.

SIDE EFFECTS:

Common side effects associated with Lexapro are

Other side effects include

  • influenza-like symptoms and
  • pain in neck or shoulders.

Although changes in sexual desire, sexual performance, and sexual satisfaction often occur as a result of depression itself, they also may be a consequence of the drugs used to treat depression. In particular, about one in 11 men given Lexapro report difficulties ejaculating.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/28/2016

Quick GuideDepression Hurts: Physical Symptoms of Depression

Depression Hurts: Physical Symptoms of Depression
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