Lexapro – Uses, Side Effects, and More




Lexapro: Escitalopram is a medication used to treat anxiety and depression. It functions by assisting in the brain’s natural chemical (serotonin) balance restoration. The class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors includes escitalopram (SSRI). Your energy level, sense of well-being, and anxiousness may all be enhanced.

How to use Lexapro

Before starting to take escitalopram and after each refill, read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Booklet that your pharmacist has given you. Ask your physician or pharmacist if you have any queries.

As prescribed by your doctor, take this medication by mouth once daily in the morning or evening, with or without food. Your medical condition, treatment response, age, and any additional drugs you may be taking will all factor into the dosage. Inform your physician and pharmacist of all the products you consume (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Use a special measuring tool or spoon to precisely measure the dose if you are taking the drug in liquid form. Avoid using a regular spoon because you could not get the right dosage.

Your doctor might advise you to begin using this medication in small doses and gradually increase them in order to lower your chance of side effects. Carefully adhere to your doctor’s directions. Use this medication just as directed and never up the dosage, frequency, or duration of usage. Your condition won’t get better any faster, and your chance of experiencing negative effects will rise. To reap the greatest benefits from this drug, take it frequently. Take it at the same time every day to aid in memory.

Even if you feel OK, continue taking this medication. Without first consulting, your doctor, do not discontinue using this drug. When this medication is abruptly stopped, certain conditions could get worse. You might also encounter symptoms like mood fluctuations, headaches, fatigue, difficulties in sleep, and transient electric shock-like sensations. Your doctor may gradually lower your dose to prevent these symptoms as you quit taking this medication. For more information, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Right once report any new or escalating symptoms.

A benefit from this medication may not be felt for 1–2 weeks, and it may take up to 4 weeks to get its full effects. If your disease doesn’t get better or gets worse, let your doctor know.

Side Effects

Also, see the Caution section.

It’s possible to have nausea, a dry mouth, difficulties sleeping, constipation, fatigue, drowsiness, dizziness and increased sweating. Inform your doctor right away if any of these side effects persist or worsen.

Keep in mind that your doctor has recommended this medication because they believe it will benefit you more than it will harm you. Many users of this medicine report no significant negative effects.

If you experience any severe adverse effects, such as decreased sex desire, changes in sexual ability, or quick bleeding or bruising, call your doctor straight once.

Seek medical attention right away if you experience any very serious side effects, including as bloody, black, or tarry stools, dizziness, a quick or irregular heartbeat, coffee-ground-like vomit, seizures, eye pain or swelling, dilated pupils, or changes in vision (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night, blurred vision).

A highly hazardous condition known as serotonin syndrome/toxicity, which is caused infrequently by this medicine, may raise serotonin levels. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the medications you use because the risk increases if you also take other medications that boost serotonin (see Drug Interactions section). If you have any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention: rapid heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, extreme nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, jerking muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.

Males rarely experience painful or protracted erections that last four hours or longer. If this happens, stop taking the medication and seek medical attention straight soon to avoid permanent issues.

Rarely will this medication cause a very serious allergic reaction. But, if you experience any major adverse reaction symptoms, such as a rash, itching, or swelling (particularly of the face, tongue, or throat), severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention right away.

The list of potential negative effects is not exhaustive. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any other side effects not covered above.

Contact your doctor for medical advice about side effects if you’re in the US. You can contact the FDA to report side effects at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Contact your doctor for medical advice about side effects if you’re in Canada. Call 1-866-234-2345 to report side effects to Health Canada.


Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergies before taking escitalopram, or citalopram, or if you are allergic to any other substances. This product can include inactive components that could lead to allergic reactions or other issues. For more information, consult your pharmacist.

Inform your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history before taking this medication, especially of: liver disease, seizures, intestinal ulcers/bleeding (peptic ulcer disease), low sodium in the blood (hyponatremia), personal or family history of glaucoma, and bipolar/manic-depressive disorder, as well as any history of these conditions. You should also mention any history of suicide attempts or personal or family history of liver disease (angle-closure type).


Escitalopram may result in a disorder that changes the rhythm of the heart (QT prolongation). Rarely, QT prolongation can result in a fast/irregular heartbeat that is significant (rarely fatal) and other symptoms including acute dizziness and fainting that require immediate medical intervention.

If you take other medications or have certain medical problems that could raise your risk of QT prolongation, you should consult your doctor. Tell your doctor or pharmacist before using escitalopram if you have any of the following conditions: a history of certain heart issues in your family, heart failure, a slow heartbeat, a recent heart attack, QT prolongation in the EKG, or sluggish heartbeat (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).

The risk of QT prolongation may also increase if your blood contains too little potassium or magnesium. Your risk could rise if you take specific medications (such as diuretics or “water pills”) or experience symptoms like excessive sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Consult your physician about the safe use of escitalopram.

You can feel lightheaded or sleepy after taking this medication. You may become more woozy or sleepy after consuming alcohol or marijuana (cannabis). Till you can do it safely, avoid operating machinery, driving, or doing anything else that requires alertness. Avoid drinking alcohol. Consult your physician if you use marijuana (cannabis).

This medication’s liquid form can have aspartame or sugar in it. If you have diabetes, phenylketonuria (PKU), or any other condition that calls for you to limit or avoid these compounds in your diet, you should proceed with caution. To learn how to use this drug safely, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Inform your surgeon or dentist of all the products you use prior to surgery (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

The adverse effects of this medication, such as QT prolongation (see above), lack of coordination, or bleeding, may be more severe in older persons. Additionally, if they are also taking “water pills” (diuretics) along with this medication, they may be more likely to experience hyponatremia, which is excessive salt loss. Lack of coordination can make falling more likely.

Children may be more sensitive to this medication’s negative effects, including appetite loss and weight loss. Children receiving this medication should have their weight and height measured.

This drug should only be taken during pregnancy if absolutely necessary. A developing child could be harmed. Also, kids born to moms who used this substance in the final three months of pregnancy may sporadically exhibit withdrawal symptoms such as difficulty eating or breathing, convulsions, muscle rigidity, or unceasing wailing. Inform the doctor right away if you observe any of these in your newborn.

Do not stop taking this medication until your doctor instructs you to do so since untreated mental/mood issues (such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder) can be serious illnesses. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using this medicine during pregnancy with your doctor as soon as you become pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or suspect that you may be pregnant.

This medicine is excreted in breast milk and could harm a nursing newborn. Before breastfeeding, speak with your doctor.


Medication interactions could alter how your medications function or raise the possibility of major negative side effects. All probable medication interactions are not included in this document. Maintain a list of everything you use, including herbal products, prescription, and over-the-counter medications, and provide it to your doctor and pharmacist. Without your doctor’s approval, never start, stop, or change the dosage of any medications.

Some medications that can cause bleeding or bruising are other goods that may interact with this medication (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, and “blood thinners” such as warfarin).

When used with this drug, aspirin can raise the risk of bleeding. However, if your doctor has advised you to take low-dose aspirin (about 81–162 milligrams a day) to prevent heart attacks or strokes, you should keep doing so unless your doctor gives you another order. For more information, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

This medication may interact negatively (and even fatally) with MAO inhibitors. When using this drug, do not take MAO inhibitors such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, metaxalone, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, or tranylcypromine. The majority of MAO inhibitors should be avoided for two weeks before and following treatment with this drug. When to begin or stop using this medication? See your doctor.

If you are also taking other medications that elevate serotonin, your chance of developing serotonin syndrome or poisoning rises. Street drugs like MDMA/”ecstasy,” St. John’s wort, some antidepressants (including other SSRIs like fluoxetine/paroxetine, SNRIs like duloxetine/venlafaxine), and tryptophan are a few examples. When you first start taking these medications or raise the dose, the risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may increase.


Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are using any other sedatives, such as alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), antihistamines (such as cetirizine and diphenhydramine), sleep or anxiety medications (including zolpidem, alprazolam, and diazepam), muscle relaxants, or opioid painkillers (such as codeine).

Any of your medications, including allergy, pain/fever-relieving, or cough-and-cold drugs, should have their labels read carefully because they may contain substances that make you drowsy or raise your risk of bleeding. Consult your pharmacist about using those products safely.

In addition to escitalopram, several other medications, such as amiodarone, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, and sotalol, may influence the cardiac rhythm (QT prolongation).

Escitalopram and citalopram are fairly comparable drugs. When taking escitalopram, avoid taking any drugs that contain citalopram.

This medicine may affect the findings of some medical and laboratory tests, including brain scans for Parkinson’s disease. Make sure all of your doctors and the lab staff are aware that you use this medication.


Call 911 if someone has overdosed and is exhibiting significant symptoms like fainting out or difficulty breathing. If not, immediately dial a poison control hotline. Call 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison control center if you’re a US citizen. Residents of Canada can dial a regional poison control center.


  • Don’t give anyone else this medication.
  • Keep all scheduled appointments with your doctor and the therapist.

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it if you miss it. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for the subsequent dose. At the scheduled time, take your subsequent dose. To catch up, do not increase the dose.


  • Away from light and moisture, keep items at room temperature. Keep out of the bathroom. Keep children and pets away from any drugs.
  • Unless specifically instructed to do so, avoid flushing drugs down the toilet or pour them into drains. When the product is no longer needed or has expired, dispose of it properly. Contact your pharmacist or the neighborhood waste management firm.

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