Escitalopram (Lexapro) Dosage, Side Effects and Withdrawal Symptoms

Escitalopram available under the brand names Lexapro, Cipralex, Seroplex, Lexamil is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment in adults with major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder , or panic disorder.
Escitalopram is the S-stereoisomer (enantiomer) of the earlier Lundbeck drug citalopram, hence the name escitalopram. According to a meta-analysis of 12 new-generation antidepressants, escitalopram and sertraline are the best in terms of efficacy and acceptability in the acute-phase treatment of adults with major depression.

Escitalopram - Contraindications

Escitalopram should be taken with caution when using St John's wort. Exposure to escitalopram is moderately, by about 50%, increased when it is taken with omeprazole. The authors of this study, employed by Lundbeck, suggested that this increase is unlikely to be of clinical concern.
Caution should be used when taking cough medicine containing dextromethorphan (DXM) as serotonin syndrome, liver damage, and other negative side effects have been reported.

Side effects of Escitalopram

Various side effects have been noted in patients during the clinical trials . The side effect profile of escitalopram is similar to that of other SSRIs. According to the FDA analysis of depression trials common side effects for the highest approved dose of escitalopram are insomnia (14% vs. 4% for placebo), diarrhea (15% vs. 5% for placebo), dry mouth (9% vs 3% for placebo), somnolence (9% vs 1% for placebo), dizziness (7% vs 2% for placebo), sweating (8% vs 1% for placebo), constipation (6% vs 1% for placebo), fatigue (6% vs 2% for placebo) and indigestion (6% vs. 1% for placebo).
Escitalopram, like other SSRIs, has been shown to affect sexual functions causing side effects such as decreased libido, delayed ejaculation, and anorgasmia.

Escitalopram Dosage

Dosage usually ranges from 10 mg/day ranging to a maximum recommended dose of 20 mg/day. For elderly people or people with GI problems, the maximum recommended dose is 10 mg/day.

Escitalopram Withdrawal Symptoms

Escitalopram discontinuation, particularly abruptly may cause certain withdrawal symptoms such as "electric shock" sensations (also known as "brain shivers" or "brain zaps"), dizziness, acute depressions and irritability.

Availability And Packaging

Escitalopram is available as Generic Lexapro Tablets in 5, 10, and 20 mg. It is also distributed as Solution 1 mg/ml. Escitalopram is also available under the trade name Cipralex, Seroplex, Lexamil.

Additional Information

Manufacturers pamphlet:

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