FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - Drug Database - Lexapro

 

Search Site 
DATABASE INFO
Disability Attornies
Find A Doctor
Drugs Used In FM & CFS/ME
In-Person Support Groups

INFORMATION
Abbreviations
Archived Poll Results
Candles of Hope
CMP Info.
Family and Friends
Financial Help
FM/CFS/ME Facts
Letter To Loved Ones
Living With FM & CFS/ME
Newly Diagnosed
Rate Your Meds  -  Results
Recommend Doctor
Researchers Spotlight

QUIZ & SURVEY
Take Quiz
Quiz Winners
Patient Surveys

Drug Database - Lexapro Lexapro 20 mg. tablet

Generic Name: escitalopram (EE-si-TAL-o-pram)

Brand Names: Lexapro®

Classification: Antidepressant - Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

Issue Date: 2002

Lexapro is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression or anxiety. Lexapro is used to treat anxiety and major depressive disorder.

  • Before Using This Medicine
  • How To Use This Medicine
  • Precautions While on this Medicine
  • Side Effects
  • If You Miss A Dose
  • Drug Interactions
  • Divider
    Before Using This Medicine

    You may have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior at the start of treatment with an antidepressant medication, especially if you are under 18 years old. Talk with your doctor about this risk. While you are taking Lexapro you will need to be monitored for worsening symptoms of depression and/or suicidal thoughts during the first weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed. In addition to you watching for changes in your own symptoms, your family or other caregivers should be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

    Contact your doctor promptly if you have any of the following side effects, especially if they are new symptoms or if they get worse:

    • mood changes
    • anxiety
    • panic attacks
    • trouble sleeping
    • irritability
    • agitation
    • aggressiveness
    • severe restlessness
    • mania (mental and/ or physical hyperactivity)
    • thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself

    Do not take Lexapro together with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as:

    • Isocarboxazid (Marplan®)
    • Phenelzine (Nardil®)
    • Rasagiline (Azilect®)
    • Selegiline (Eldepryl®, Emsam®)
    • Tranylcypromine (Parnate®)

    You must wait at least 14 days after stopping an MAOI before you can take Lexapro. After you stop taking Lexapro, you must wait at least 14 days before you start taking an MAOI.

    SSRI antidepressants may cause serious or life-threatening lung problems in newborn babies whose mothers take the medication during pregnancy. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant during pregnancy. If you are planning a pregnancy, or if you become pregnant while taking Lexapro, do not stop taking the medication without first talking to your doctor.

    Return to top of page

    How To Use This Medicine

    Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from the medication.

    Take each dose with a full glass of water. Try to take the medicine at the same time each day. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

    To be sure you get the correct dose of liquid Lexapro, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

    It may take 4 weeks or longer before you start feeling better. Do not stop using Lexapro without first talking to your doctor. You may have unpleasant side effects if you stop taking this medication suddenly. Store Lexapro at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

    Return to top of page

    Precautions While on this Medicine

    Before taking Lexapro, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

    • Liver or kidney disease
    • Seizures or epilepsy
    • Bipolar disorder (manic depression)
    • History of drug abuse or suicidal thoughts

    If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use Lexapro, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

    SSRI antidepressants may cause serious or life-threatening lung problems in newborn babies whose mothers take the medication during pregnancy. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant during pregnancy. If you are planning a pregnancy, or if you become pregnant while taking Lexapro, do not stop taking the medication without first talking to your doctor.

    Lexapro can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

    Return to top of page

    If You Miss A Dose

    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 extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

    Return to top of page

    Side Effects

    Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:

    • skin rash or hives
    • difficulty breathing
    • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

    Contact your doctor promptly if you have any of the following side effects, especially if they are new symptoms or if they get worse:

    • Mood changes
    • Anxiety, panic attacks
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Irritability, agitation, aggressiveness
    • Severe restlessness
    • Mania (mental and/ or physical hyperactivity)
    • Thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself

    Call your doctor at once if you have any of these SERIOUS side effects:

    • Seizure (convulsions)
    • Tremors, shivering, muscle stiffness or twitching
    • Problems with balance or coordination
    • Agitation, confusion, sweating, fast heartbeat

    Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

    • Feeling nervous, restless, or unable to sit still
    • Headache, trouble concentrating
    • Drowsiness, dizziness
    • Sleep problems (insomnia)
    • Nausea, diarrhea, heartburn
    • Weight changes
    • Decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm
    • Dry mouth, ringing in your ears

    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.

    Return to top of page

    Drug Interactions

    Talk to your doctor before taking any medicine for pain, arthritis, fever, or swelling. This includes:

    • aspirin
    • ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®)
    • naproxen (Aleve®, Naprosyn®)
    • diclofenac (Voltaren®)
    • indomethacin
    • piroxicam (Feldene®)
    • nabumetone (Relafen®)
    • etodolac (Lodine®), and others

    Taking any of these drugs with Lexapro may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

    Before taking Lexapro, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following medicines:

    • carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Tegretol®)
    • cimetidine (Tagamet®)
    • lithium (Lithobid®, Eskalith®)
    • warfarin (Coumadin®)
    • amitriptyline (Elavil®)
    • citalopram (Celexa®)
    • fluoxetine (Prozac®, Sarafem®)
    • fluvoxamine (Luvox®)
    • imipramine (Tofranil®)
    • nortriptyline (Pamelor®)
    • paroxetine (Paxil®)
    • pertraline (Zoloft®)
    • almotriptan (Axert®)
    • frovatriptan (Frova®)
    • sumatriptan (Imitrex®)
    • naratriptan (Amerge®)
    • rizatriptan (Maxalt®)
    • zolmitriptan (Zomig®)

    If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use Lexapro, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

    There may be other drugs not listed that can affect Lexapro. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

    Return to Top