Depression is a very common mental disorder affecting more than 300 million people around the world, according to the World Health Organization. There are several ways to treat depression and anxiety, including psychological and prescription medication treatments. One well known medication is generic escitalopram, which is the generic equivalent of the brand name medications Cipralex® and Lexapro™
Lexapro™ is an antidepressant in the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Escitalopram has also been used to treat mild dementia associated agitation in non-psychotic patients.
Prescription Lexapro™ works by boosting the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that, when increased, can lead to improvement of mood. Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression. Serotonin also helps regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycles as well as helps to maintain an even mood balance. It takes approximately 2-4 weeks for this medication to work.
Your doctor will prescribe the dosage you need according to your unique medical conditions, other medications you are taking, how you react to this medication, as well as according to your body weight and age.
Note: The active ingredient in all three of these medications is escitalopram oxalate.
Lexapro™ is usually taken with or without food once per day, in the morning or evening. Doctors will usually start patients off at a 10 mg per day dose, and gradually increase the dose to a maximum of 20 mg if needed. Do not change the way you are prescribed this medication based on information on this page. Always speak to your doctor and pharmacist if you have questions about your particular prescription or about the instructions for use of your medication.
Do not dispose of this medication in the toilet, down the sink or in the garbage. If your medication has expired, ask your pharmacist for instructions on how to best dispose of your medication.
Some side effects for this medication can vary in severity depending on the patient taking the medication. Not everyone will feel the same side effects, and many side effects may actually go away after a short period of time and/or can be managed. Side effects of escitalopram include:
Speak to your doctor about any of these listed side effects.
If you experience any of the following side effects, speak to your doctor:
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following:
Talk to your Doctor! Considering the use of this medication, it is important to know all the facts. Speak openly with your doctor and pharmacist about what other medications you are on and any medical conditions you might have before taking escitalopram.
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This article contains medical information provided to help you better understand this particular medical condition or process, and may contain information about medication often used as part of a treatment plan prescribed by a doctor. It is not intended to be used as either a diagnoses or recommendation for treatment of your particular medical situation. If you are unwell, concerned about your physical or mental state, or are experiencing symptoms you should speak with your doctor or primary health care provider. If you are in medical distress please contact emergency services (such as 911).