- that what I am providing is NOT meant in any way to replace the conversation between you, your doctor, or your pharmacist
- please do not self-diagnose or make medical decisions about this drug without talking with qualified professionals
- the information provided here is the reference sheet you would find at WebMD. During my journey I found this site to be helpful in providing support. All credit for this information belongs to them. I copied it right from their website and I have removed the hyper-links. Please visit their site if you would like to read further.
For this installment, I have chosen Lexapro Oral (Escitalopram Oxalate)
**Please read this information carefully** If you have any questions about what is provided here....talk with your doctor or pharmacist please.
GENERIC NAME(S): ESCITALOPRAM OXALATE
Escitalopram is used to treat depression and anxiety. It works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural substance (serotonin) in the brain. Escitalopram belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors (SSRI). It may improve your energy level and feelings of well-being and decrease nervousness.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved US professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This medication may also be used to treat other mental/mood disorders (such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder) and hot flashes that occur with menopause.
How to use Lexapro Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking escitalopram and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the morning or evening. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start taking this drug at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience symptoms such as mood swings, headache, tiredness, sleep changes, and brief feelings similar to electric shock. To prevent these symptoms while you are stopping treatment with this drug, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Report any new or worsening symptoms immediately.
It may take 1 to 2 weeks to feel a benefit from this drug and 4 weeks to feel the full benefit of this medication. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Conditions What conditions does Lexapro treat?
Lexapro oral is used to treat the following: Major Depressive Disorder, Repeated Episodes of Anxiety
Lexapro oral may also be used to treat: Bipolar Depression, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Syndrome, "Change of Life" Signs
Side Effects See also Warning section.
Nausea, dry mouth, trouble sleeping, constipation, tiredness, drowsiness, dizziness, and increased sweating may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, easy bruising/bleeding.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: bloody/black/tarry stools, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, seizures.
This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.
Rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. If this occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Side Effects List Lexapro
side effects by likelihood and severity. The following side effects are associated with Lexapro:
Common side effects of Lexapro: ·
- Chronic Trouble Sleeping Less Severe
- Diarrhea Less Severe
- Dizzy Less Severe
- Dry Mouth Less Severe
- Excessive Sweating Less Severe
- Feel Like Throwing Up Less Severe
- Inability to have an Erection Less Severe
- Incomplete or Infrequent Bowel Movements Less Severe
- Low Energy Less Severe
- Problem with Ejaculation Less Severe
Infrequent side effects of Lexapro: ·
- Flu-Like Symptoms Less Severe
- Gas Less Severe
- Indigestion Less Severe
- Inflammation of the Nose Less Severe
- Loss of Appetite Less Severe
- Numbness and Tingling Less Severe
- Sexual Problems Less Severe
- Sinus Irritation and Congestion Less Severe
- Stomach Cramps Less Severe
- Toothache Less Severe
Rare side effects of Lexapro: ·
- Abnormally Low Blood Pressure Severe
- Acute Inflammation of the Pancreas Severe
- Aggressive Behavior Severe
- Atrial Fibrillation Severe
- Behaving with Excessive Cheerfulness and Activity Severe
- Bleeding of the Stomach or Intestines Severe
- Blood Clot in a Deep Vein Severe
- Blood Clot in Lung Severe
- Decreased Blood Platelets Severe
- Extra pyramidal Reaction Severe
- Giant Hives Severe
- Hallucination Severe
- Having Thoughts of Suicide Severe
- Heart Attack Severe
- Hemorrhage Severe
- Hepatitis Severe
- High Blood Pressure Severe
- Inflammation of the Lining of the Stomach and Intestines Severe
- Involuntary Quivering Severe
- Kidney Failure Severe
- Low Amount of Sodium in the Blood Severe
- Mental Disorder with Loss of Normal Personality & Reality Severe
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome Severe
- Prolonged Q-T Interval on EKG Severe
- Rapid Ventricular Heartbeat Severe
- Seizures Severe
- Serious Muscle Damage that may Lead to Kidney Failure Severe
- Serotonin Syndrome - Adverse Drug Interaction Severe
- Slow Heartbeat Severe
- Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Severe
- Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone Secretion Severe
- Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Severe
- Very Rapid Heartbeat - Torsades de Pointes Severe
- Abnormal Manner of Walking Less Severe
- Altered Interest in Having Sexual Intercourse Less Severe
- Blood coming from Anus Less Severe
- Bronchitis Less Severe
- Collection of Clotted Blood in an Organ, Space or Tissue Less Severe
- Double Vision Less Severe
- Drowsiness Less Severe
- Easily Angered or Annoyed Less Severe
- Feeling Restless Less Severe
- Frequent Urination Less Severe
- Heart Throbbing or Pounding Less Severe
- Hemorrhage of Blood Under the Skin Less Severe
- Hives Less Severe
- Increased Hunger Less Severe
- Increased Levels of Prolactin in the Blood Less Severe
- Inflammation of a Vein Less Severe
- Joint Pain Less Severe
- Muscle Pain Less Severe
- Nosebleed Less Severe
- Painful Periods Less Severe
- Rash Less Severe
- Ringing in the Ears Less Severe
- Sensation of Spinning or Whirling Less Severe
- Sluggishness Less Severe
Before taking escitalopram, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to citalopram; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: personal or family history of bipolar/manic-depressive disorder, personal or family history of suicide attempts, liver disease, seizures, intestinal ulcers/bleeding (peptic ulcer disease) or bleeding problems, low sodium in the blood(hyponatremia).
Escitalopram may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can infrequently result in serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using escitalopram, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, recent heart attack, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using escitalopram safely.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
The liquid form of this medication may contain sugar and/or aspartame. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, phenylketonuria (PKU), or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this medication safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, such as QT prolongation (see above), loss of coordination, or bleeding. They may also be more likely to lose too much salt (hyponatremia), especially if they are also taking "water pills" (diuretics) with this medication. Loss of coordination can increase the risk of falling.
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially loss of appetite and weight loss. Monitor weight and height in children who are taking this drug.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Also, babies born to mothers who have used this drug during the last 3 months of pregnancy may infrequently develop withdrawal symptoms such as feeding/breathing difficulties, seizures, muscle stiffness, or constant crying. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn, tell the doctor promptly.
Since untreated depression can be a serious condition, do not stop using this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Interactions Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: other drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, "blood thinners" such as warfarin).
Aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding when used with this medication. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Taking MAO inhibitors with this medication may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with this medication. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before and after treatment with this medication. Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking this medication.
The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin. Examples include street drugs such as MDMA/"ecstasy," St. John's wort, certain antidepressants (including other SSRIs such as fluoxetine/paroxetine, SNRIs such as duloxetine/venlafaxine), tryptophan, among others. The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may be more likely when you start or increase the dose of these drugs.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy, pain/fever reducers, or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness or increase the risk of bleeding. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
Many drugs besides escitalopram may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including amiodarone, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, among others.
Escitalopram is very similar to citalopram. Do not use medications containing citalopram while using escitalopram.
This medication may interfere with certain medical/laboratory tests (including brain scan for Parkinson's disease), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Keep all regular medical and psychiatric appointments.
If you miss a dose, take 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.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised December 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.