Depression is damaging and taking so much of our life away from us. To deal with all these pressures and conditions that make life hard for us it is important to take help. When you are on your journey to fight depression and anxiety it is necessary to take the right steps. Lexapro is one of the authentic and known medicines that are suggested by the clinical psychiatrists to help depression. It is one of the best antidepressants that help you to deal with the complications and get out of the trouble.
Lexapro is a prescription drug and it is not right to take it as self-medication. The professionals consider some of the important factors to make a decision about the medication so it is necessary to consult a professional at first. Here is more information about the drug.
The film-coated tablets come in multiple strengths of 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg. these are commonly referred to treat the severe and mild cases of depression and anxiety as well. During the depression or anxiety conditions, it is hard for the brain to maintain balance in the change of mood. It happens due to the unbalanced substances in the brain, Lexapro helps to restore the natural balance of the serotonin in the brain. It improves the energy level and feeling of wellbeing. Overall, it helps to reduce nervousness and other major depressing threats or suicidal thoughts.
The drug is one of the efficient supports that make it easy to fight with anxiety and control human emotions properly. It is clinically proven and trusted by the professionals to help patients genuinely with their psychological conditions. Normally, professionals may no prescribe the medicine but for the immense need for stability, it is widely used.
Dosage and uses
Before taking the drug, it is necessary to have in detail discussion with your doctor and go through the medication guide available in the package. The pharmacist or doctor will provide you with a detailed prescription along with the dosage and uses too. Since it is a prescription medicine so it is not possible to have one random dosage for all the patients. Everyone gets the specific limit of dosage as per the body requirements and conditions.
Lexapro is an oral medicine and commonly prescribed to take with or without food orally. Based on the medical conditions doctor guides you about taking it for once or twice per day in the morning or evening. Your medical history, age, response to treatment and other medication history help the doctor to define a specific dosage for you.
It is necessary to get your define dosage by the physician and in case of any confusion, you can discuss it with the pharmacist. Make sure to consider the dosage limitation in order to avoid any kind of side effects. Since it is one of the reactive drugs so there can be lethal side effects if you are not paying attention to the right limits of use.
Directions of uses
If you are taking, Lexapro as per the prescription then makes sure to use it just according to the instructions. It is necessary to have the accurate measurements of the medicine so you will use the right potency and quantity of the medicine. Make sure to ask the pharmacist to give you the right potency of the tablet and take it with plain water before or after your meals as per prescription. Make sure to never crush the tablet or mix it in water. Take the medicine in its original form to avoid any reactions.
If you are using the liquid form of the Lexapro then use the measuring cup to take the accurate dosage of the medicine. Do not use any of the household spoons to measure the millilitres and use only the medicine measuring spoon or cup to get the right amount of the medicine. Another important thing to consider while taking Lexapro is the timings and dosage. You need to take the medicine at specific timing and do not alternate these timings as per your convenience. Make sure that the interval between the medicine should be the same every time.
Do not skip or mix any dosage. In case you forgot to take any dosage, then skip it for the time and go for the next coming dosage on time. Do not take the double dosage as it can trigger some adverse reactions in your body. In case, if you take the double dosage then contact your doctor immediately and seek the medical help. To ensure your medicine schedule it is good to use the medicine planner that helps you to section the dosage and have them in time.
Moreover, it is necessary to keep using the medicine until the next prescription by your doctor. Even if you are feeling well, it is not ideal to stop taking the medication without consultation. Moreover, do not exceed the use of medicine from the prescription, as taking it for the long term will cause you to have some diverse side effects.
To prevent any of the bad impacts, it is necessary to observe the conditions and take appropriate actions as per your observation. If you are not feeling comfortable with the prescription dosage then you should consult the doctor immediately. The instant discussion will help you to get instant help and avoid any of the further damage.
Reactions or side effects
Lexapro is safe to use prescription medicine that comes with a lost range of side effects in the users. Since it is prescribed by the doctor so the dosage is according to the patient’s age, nature of the problem, response to the medicine and another medical history. In this case, chances of reactions or side effects are limited. However, in case of sudden discontinuation of the use, the patient can face some of the following mild reactions such as:
- Sleep changes
- Mood swings
- Tingling sensations
- Sensations of electric shocks
Generally, with the use of Lexapro, some of the patients might feel some minor reactions with initial use. Following are some of the reaction you may feel:
- Dry mouth
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased Sweating
These are the mild reaction you may feel initially but there is not a point of concern as far as these are low profile. If you are facing issues frequently then you need to consult your doctor for further help. Doctor suggests the medication after going through all your case and body needs so some of the side effects are greater than your health. However, these mild effects are not one of the crucial reactions that are alarming. If you are facing some of the adverse reactions, such as bruising or bleeding, changes in sexual desires and ability then you need to consult the doctor immediately.
Moreover, here are some serious problems that need special attention if you are facing any of these:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Black or tarry stools with blood
- Darker vomit colour
- Eye pain
- Widened pupils
- Frequent vision changes
- Swelling and redness in eyes
- Rashes on different body parts
Sometimes Lexapro can cause some of the rear but disturbing reactions or allergic reactions. Sometimes males may have a painful erection that lasts for more than 4 hours. It can lead to some allergic reactions on the skin with rashes, swelling, and itching on tongue, throat, and face as well. In such cases, it is highly recommended to discontinue the use of Lexapro and consult the doctor immediately.
Moreover, the longer or unattended use of Lexapro can cause the serotonin syndrome that leads the patient towards hallucinations, loss of coordination, unexplained fever, restlessness, severe dizziness and nausea. In any of these conditions, the person needs immediate medical attention and treatment to recover from the situation.
It is not necessary that everyone will have any or some of these reactions by using Lexapro. There are rare chances of side effects after the consumption of the medicine. There can be other reactions the people might face and should consult the doctor immediately.
Before taking Lexapro, you are supposed to consider some of the important precautions that help to avoid any of the side effects and have the right results. It is necessary to have a detail discussion with your doctor about your medical history that includes any of the previous health-related issues, medicine reacting, allergies, and other problems as well.
Lexapro can be reactive to some of the medicines as well so you need to tell your doctor about medical history. Let your doctor know if you have a family history of bipolar depressive disorder, liver disease, intestinal ulcer, bleeding problems, low sodium in the blood, history of suicidal attempts or glaucoma. After revising these conditions, the doctor can give you a better recommendation for the medicine and will adjust the dosage according to your condition.
Moreover, if you are going to have any kind of surgery or dental treatment let you doctor know about the use of Lexapro. While using the drug it is not favourable to have any surgery as it can affect the overall healing process of your skin. Older adults are more sensitive to the side effects of Lexapro such as OT prolongation, loss of coordination and bleeding. Therefore, they should observe the reactions and changes in the body and feel to the core.
Lexapro comes with some specific limitations when it comes to the combination with other medications. Drug interactions can affect the outcomes of any medicine and sometimes cause side effects. On interaction with other drugs, Lexapro can cause bleeding or bruising. Ibuprofen, NSAIDs and Clopidogrel are one of these medicines.
The use of aspirin in combination to Lexapro can trigger some of the adverse reactions such as bleeding and other fatigue too. It is necessary to discuss your medicines intake with the doctor or pharmacist before taking another medicine with Lexapro. It helps you to avoid any of the diverse effects of the reactions. It is suggested to avoid any of the combinations to medications when you are dealing with the sensitive drugs. Moreover, take the drug only with plain water. Avoid the use of any carbonated or energy drinks with it. Consumption of alcohol or tobacco can cause reactions and side effects of the medicine so you need to avoid its use.
Discuss any of your previous medicine allergies or history of drug or alcohol abuse with the doctor before getting a prescription. It will help you to have the right kind of prescription with fewer risks of side effects and reactions as a whole.
Disposal and storage
For storage, you need to place the medicine at room temperature away from direct sunlight and moisture. Make sure to store the medicine in its own container or if you are using a medicine planner even then keep it airtight. It is not ideal to store the medicine in the bathroom or moist place.
It is ideal to have only required supply that can be used in the scheduled timings. Do not store any excessive amount of drug at your place and keep it away from the children.
The leftover medicine should be disposed of properly as per the guidelines. If you have, some of the medicine left then make sure to pass it to the pharmacist to have instructions related to disposal or consult your local waste disposal company. Do not flush or throw the drug in the local waste spots.
Lexapro is one of the successful and helpful medicines to treat anxiety and depression. It is a sensitive medicine that is why it requires so much care and concern. To get the best results of the medicine it is necessary to use it for the recommended time. Do not exceed the usage from the time limit neither quit using it before the limit. Consult your doctor if you are feeling any reactions. Do not forget to discuss your complete medical history with the doctor even after using Lexapro for any other health problem.
Escitalopram is mainly used for the treatment of (GAD; outrageous tension and worry which damages the daily life and lasts for at least six months or more) Generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, (OCD) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, (SAD) social anxiety disorder and depression. This medicine falls in the class of (SSRIs) anti-depressants.
Escitalopram usually works by expanding the quantity of serotonin that is a natural matter in the brain, which aids in maintaining the mental balance. It also helps the patients to recover from anxiety and depression through fewer and unwanted side effects as compared to older anti-depressants.
Many types of research have proved that escitalopram is effective and safe for treating depression even for young people under the age of 12 to 17 yet not suitable for children under 12 years. Generally, doctors do not prescribe escitalopram for the treatment of GAD among young people that is under the age of 18.
Usage of Escitalopram
Escitalopram is found on prescription and is also available in the form of tablets as well as liquid drops (solution) which you add in your drink and take in through the mouth. Usually, it is taken with or without any food once a day. For the assistance of remembering the intake of Escitalopram, take it at the same time every day, either in the morning or evening. Carefully follow the directions of your prescription and ask the pharmacist or doctor to explain the details of any portion you are not able to understand.
Make sure to take the right amount of Escitalopram directed by your pharmacist or doctor. It can be harmful or have side-effects if you take less or more amount of Escitalopram as prescribed by the doctor. At first, your doctor may start with a low dose, and after a week he will increase the dosage. It can take one to four or even more weeks before you notice the complete benefits of this medicine. Even if you feel better within a few weeks, continue the medicine as suggested by the doctor, do not pause or stop the intake of Escitalopram before consulting your doctor.
In case you suddenly stop the intake of Escitalopram, you will experience the symptoms of withdrawal like mood changes, agitation, numbness and tingling in the feet or hands, confusion, tiredness, irritability, dizziness, anxiety, headache and trouble in staying or falling asleep. The usage of your dose will gradually be decreased by your doctor officially.
Before the intake of Escitalopram
- Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you have any allergies to citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram or other medicines.
- Inform your doctor if you intake pimozide (Orap) or (MAO) monoamine oxidase inhibitors like isocarboxazid (Marplan), selegiline (Eldepryl, Zelepar, Emsam), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and phenelzine (Nardil), or within the previous 14 days, you have terminated the use of an MAO inhibitor. The doctor will eventually tell you to stop the intake of escitalopram. After you stop taking escitalopram, the time of taking another MAO inhibitor should be at the minimum 14 days.
- You should keep in mind that escitalopram is quite similar to SSRI, citalopram. It is not healthy for you to take both these medicines together.
- You need to consult your doctor about the herbal products and nutritional supplements you are taking. Mainly the products that contain tryptophan or St. John’s wort.
- Tell your pharmacist or doctor, what nonprescription or prescription vitamins and medications you are using or plan to take. Make sure you mention the following if you take any: anticoagulants (used for thinning blood) like (Coumadin) warfarin; antihistamines; aspirin and additional (NSAIDs) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like (Aleve, Naprosyn) naproxen and (Advil, Motrin) ibuprofen; carbamazepine (Tegretol), ketoconazole (Sporanox); lithium (Lithobid, lithotabs, Eskalith); linezolid (Zyvox); cimetidine (Tagamet); medicines for mental illness, seizures or anxiety, methylene blue; sleeping pills, tramadol; and tranquilizers. The doctor may change the dose of the medicine or observe you attentively for any side-effects.
- Inform your doctor in case you have been through a heart attack recently and if you have had or are still going through any seizures or thyroid, liver, heart or kidney diseases.
- Tell your doctor in case you are pregnant, for the most part, if you are in the final stage of your pregnancy, or in case you are breast-feeding or plan to give birth. Call the doctor if you get pregnant in the process of taking escitalopram. Escitalopram can cause difficulties in the delivery of newborns in case it is taken through the last stage of pregnancy.
- Consult your doctor if you are having any kind of surgery that includes dental surgery, that you are using escitalopram.
How to take escitalopram?
The drug should be taken exactly as the doctor has prescribed it. Make sure you follow all the conditions that are directed on the prescription label. Your doctor may also change the dosage with the change time. Do not intake the medicine in smaller or larger amounts for any longer than it is recommended.
Its intake of medicine can be done with or without solid food. However, try taking medicine the exact time every day. You are also provided with a dosing syringe or a medicine cup or a dose-measuring spoon, measure the liquid with the syringe for every intake. Do not take the medicine without the exact amount. If you intake too much of the medicine, you will have a dangerous level of the drug in the body and face symptoms of the overdose, i.e. low blood pressure, dizziness, sleep problems, seizures or coma, nausea, vomiting and fast heart rate.
If you end up missing your dose, then take it as soon as you remember. If you remember just a few hours before the schedule of the next dosage then just take a single dose. Trying to catch up to the dosage by taking a double dose at a time could result in many dangerous side effects. Usually, the symptoms take about four weeks to start improving or even two months. If no change in symptoms is found, consult your doctor, and he may increase the dosage or even alternate your medication accordingly. Do not quit using escitalopram all of a sudden or you will have to face troublesome withdrawal symptoms.
Get rapid medical aid in case you go through signs of the allergic reaction caused by escitalopram like hives or skin rash, swelling of your lips, throat, face or tongue, and breathing difficulty.
You need to report any worsening or new symptoms directly to the doctor like behaviour or mood changes, panic attacks, anxiety, trouble sleeping or in case you feel agitated, impulsive, hostile, irritable, restless, hyperactive (physically or mentally), more depressed or aggressive. Escitalopram can cause common side effects, yet you need to inform your doctor if the following symptoms continue to occur or get severe:
- Changes in ability or sex drive
- Increased sweating
- Excessive tiredness
- Increased appetite
- Runny nose
- Stomach pain
- Dry mouth
- Flu-like symptoms
Few side effects can get serious, in case you experience any of the following symptoms inform your doctor straight away.
- Hearing voices or seeing things which do not exist – hallucinating
- Unusual excitement or sadness, racing thoughts, risk-taking behaviour
- Sweating, confusion, irregular or fast heartbeat, fever or severe stiffness of muscles
- Manic episodes
- Suicidal actions or thoughts
- Bad allergic reaction
- Vision changes – blurred vision, eye swelling or pain, tunnel vision or seeing halos surrounding lights
- A decrease of sodium in blood – confusion, severe weakness, depletion of coordination, headache, slurred speech, vomiting, or feeling unsteady.
- The severe reaction of the nervous system – high fever, uneven or fast heartbeats, very rigid or stiff muscles, sweating, tremors, confusion or feeling that you might faint.
Escitalopram comes with some important warnings for people with serious health conditions are given below:
- People with a background of suicidal behaviour or thoughts. Escitalopram is a drug that can highly increase the chance of suicidal behaviour and thoughts. This possibility is higher in teenagers, young adults and children. Make sure that you let your doctor know about your history of suicidal behaviour and thoughts.
- People suffering from glaucoma. You might get your pupils dilated, i.e. making them wider, hence triggering a glaucoma attack. Inform your doctor about your eye condition before taking medicine.
- People suffering from bipolar disorder. In case you have a history regarding this disorder, inform your doctor, or else the intake of the drug may trigger a manic or mixed episode.
- People suffering from seizure disorders. There are high possibilities of the drug causing seizures, in case you take medicine and you have a history with this disorder then it might return and cause you pain making the cause even severe.
- People suffering from heart problems. The intake of the drug causes a prolonged QT interval. It causes your heartbeat to function in an abnormal rhythm. This drug increases the risk of prolongation of the QT interval. Talk to the doctor before the intake of this drug.
- Pregnant women. Escitalopram is a C category pregnant drug and has two meanings:
1. When the mother intakes the drug, the research done with animals shows the adverse result to the fetus.
2. Not enough study has taken place in humans about how it may affect the fetus.
- Women who breastfeed. Escitalopram tends to pass into the milk of the breasts and can cause certain side effects to the child who is being breastfed. Consult your doctor if you breastfeed your little one before taking the drug.
Interference with other medications
Escitalopram tablets can also interact with certain other medicines, herbs or vitamins that you may take. By interaction, it means when the medicine changes the way of the drug works. It may also lead in opposite results and cause harm. To avoid the interaction, let your doctor know about all the medicines, herbs and vitamins you are taking so that he may manage your medications carefully keeping the other drugs in mind. Interaction with promethazine are given below:
Escitalopram tends to thin your blood to some level. If you are taking escitalopram with blood thinners, you are highly risked in increased bleeding. Blood-thinning drugs are warfarin, ketorolac, diclofenac, meloxicam, etodolac, indomethacin, ibuprofen, naproxen, rivaroxaban, apixaban, edoxaban and dabigatran.
Some migraine drugs are called triptans and work similarly to the drug escitalopram. Taking these two drugs together can highly increase the risk of side effects. Some migraine drugs are eletriptan, naratriptan, sumatriptan, almotriptan, rizatriptan, frovatriptan and zolmitriptan.
Some water pills tend to decrease the level of sodium in your body, and so does the drug escitalopram. Taking these water pills may result in a severe drop in sodium levels. These drugs involve torsemide, spironolactone, furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide.
Many psychiatric medications work exactly like escitalopram. Taking these together might increase the possibility of side effects.
- Don’t intake MAOI with escitalopram or after or within the two weeks of stopping the intake of escitalopram unless or until you doctor recommends one. Don’t start the dosage of escitalopram after you quit taking an MAOI unless you are directed to do so. The drugs include phenelzine, tranylcypromine and isocarboxazid.
- Antidepressants drugs such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, citalopram, sertraline and fluvoxamine.
- Drugs that influence the nervous system like gabapentin, sleeping pills; temazepam, estazolam, zolpidem and triazolam and benzodiazepines.
The intake of these type of drugs with escitalopram can increase the chance of serotonin syndrome, however, is fatal. The syndrome includes sweating, confusion, muscle twitches and agitation. The drugs are SSRIs, SSNRIs, TCAs, the anxiolytic buspirone, tramadol and the opioids fentanyl, lithium, triptans, St.John’s wort, tryptophan and amphetamines.