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Lexapro" is an antidepressant that is the newest member of the family of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Lexapro was developed by isolating a part of the Lexapro (citalopram HBr) molecule, known as an isomer. As a result, Lexapro appears to offer some particular advantages in the treatment of depression:
In clinical trials, Lexapro 10 mg/day demonstrated comparable efficacy to a higher dose of Celexa 40 mg/day.
Lexapro significantly improved depression for many patients beginning at week 1 or 2 (full antidepressant effect may take 4 to 6 weeks).
Lexapro effectively treats anxiety symptoms associated with depression.
At 10 mg/day, overall incidence of side effects and drop-out rates due to adverse events were comparable to placebo.
Simple 10 mg/day starting dose for all patients.
Lexapro weight gain:
People treated with Lexapro experienced no clinically important weight gain as a result of therapy. If you have concerns about any other side effects, you should talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional.
Lexapro Side Effects:
The most common side effects reported with Lexapro vs. placebo were nausea, insomnia, problems with ejaculation, somnolence, increased sweating, and fatigue. Lexapro is contraindicated in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or in patients with a hypersensitivity to escitalopram oxalate or any of the ingredients in Lexapro. As with other SSRIs, caution is indicated in the coadministration of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) with Lexapro.
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Lexapro and call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment: an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); an irregular heartbeat or pulse; low blood pressure (dizziness, weakness); high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision); or chills or fever. If you experience any of the following less serious side effects, continue taking Lexapro and talk to your doctor: headache, tremor, nervousness, or anxiety; nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, or changes in appetite or weight; sleepiness or insomnia; or decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm. Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
Take Lexapro exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you. Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. To ensure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid form of Lexapro with a dose-measuring spoon, cup, or dropper, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one. Lexapro may be taken with or without food. Lexapro is usually taken once a day. Follow your doctor's instructions. Take the dose at the same time each day. Do not stop taking Lexapro without first talking to your doctor. It may take several weeks for you to start feeling better.
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Lexapro may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking Lexapro or affect your condition.
Do not take Lexapro if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) during the last 2 weeks. A dangerous drug interaction can occur when Lexapro is combined with any of these medications. Before taking Lexapro, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines: another antidepressant such as citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), trazodone (Desyrel), or nefazodone (Serzone); a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil), doxepin (Sinequan), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and others; a seizure medication including carbamazepine (Tegretol) or felbamate (Felbatol); a stomach medicine such as cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB), ranitidine (Zantac, Zantac 75), or omeprazole (Prilosec); an antibiotic such as erythromycin (Eryc-Tab, E-Mycin, E.E.S., Erythrocin, P.C.E., others) or clarithromycin (Biaxin); an antifungal medication such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), or ketoconazole (Nizoral); or a migraine medication such as almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex), or zolmitriptan (Zomig); the asthma medication zafirlukast (Accolate); or lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid, Lithonate, Lithotabs). You may not be able to take Lexapro, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above. Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Lexapro. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.
If you take too much:
Seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms of a Lexapro overdose include nausea, vomiting, tremor, drowsiness, dizziness, sweating, and a fast heartbeat.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Store Lexapro at room temperature away from moisture and heat.