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Lexapro (Escitalopram)

It is a widely recognised medication in the treatment of depression and anxiety.

Last Modified: 22 Mar 2024

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Overview

What is Lexapro (escitalopram)?

Lexapro, known chemically as escitalopram, is a prescription antidepressant belonging to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. It works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which can improve mood and reduce anxiety.  

Contents and Ingredients 

  • Active Ingredient: Escitalopram oxalate 

  • Inactive Ingredients: Various excipients that make up the tablet or liquid form. 

Chemical Structure and Manufacture 

The drug's structure is designed to selectively target serotonin reuptake receptors. Lexapro is synthesised through a complex chemical process ensuring purity and consistency. 

Global Name

  • Generic Name: Escitalopram 
  • Brand Name: Lexapro 

Usage

What is Lexapro used for?

It is a widely recognised medication in the treatment of depression and anxiety. Lexapro is used to manage: 

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) 
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) 
  • Other conditions as determined by a healthcare provider. 

How do you use Lexapro? 

Availability  

Lexapro (escitalopram) is typically available in tablet form and oral solution. 

Dosage Information 

  • Adults: 10 mg once daily; may increase to a maximum of 20 mg daily. 
  • Adolescents (12-17 years): 10 mg once daily. 

Suitability 

  • Suitable for adults and adolescents. 
  • Not typically recommended for children under 12 years of age. 
  • During Pregnancy and Lactation: It is essential for pregnant or lactating women to consult with their healthcare providers before starting, continuing, or stopping Lexapro. A healthcare provider can help navigate the risks and provide the most appropriate advice for the individual's specific circumstances.  

Contraindications 

  • It is not for use in individuals taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or those allergic to escitalopram or citalopram. 

Allergy Information 

  • Individuals with known hypersensitivity to escitalopram or citalopram. 

Warnings and Precautions 

  • Monitor for worsening symptoms or suicidal thoughts, especially during the first few weeks of treatment or dose changes. 
  • Lexapro may be taken with or without food. 

Interactions and Contraindications 

  • Risk of serotonin syndrome with MAOIs, other SSRIs, SNRIs, tryptophan, and other serotonergic drugs. 
  • Caution with drugs that affect coagulation, such as NSAIDs and aspirin. 

Side Effects

Common side effects may include nausea, sleepiness, weakness, dizziness, anxiety, trouble sleeping, sexual problems, sweating, shaking, not feeling hungry, dry mouth, constipation, infection, and yawning. 
Note: Contact your doctor if you experience severe side effects. 

Pharmacist Tips

Storage Information 

  • Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. 

Handling Instructions 

  • Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. 
  • Measure liquid medicine with the supplied syringe or a dose-measuring device, not a kitchen spoon. 

Availability

Where is Lexapro available in Hong Kong?

Lexapro is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers.

FAQs

Can Lexapro be used for anxiety?

Yes, it's approved for treating generalised anxiety disorder. 

How long does it take for Lexapro to work for anxiety?

It may take 1 to 4 weeks to feel a benefit from Lexapro and up to 6 to 8 weeks to feel the full effect. 

Can I drink alcohol while taking Lexapro?

It's best to avoid alcohol as it can increase the risk of side effects.

Does Lexapro cause weight gain?

Some people may experience changes in weight when taking Lexapro.

What should I do if I miss a dose of Lexapro?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember unless it's almost time for your next dose. 

Disclaimer
This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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