Escitalopram is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Escitalopram affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression or anxiety. It is used to treat anxiety and major depressive disorder.
Before taking escitalopram, inform your doctor if you have any of the medical conditions: liver or kidney disease; seizures or epilepsy; bipolar disorder (manic depression); or a history of drug abuse or suicidal thoughts.
Escitalopram can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. This drug may also harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or have plans to get pregnant, and if breast-feeding an infant during treatment.
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. While you are taking escitalopram 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. Contact your doctor immediately if there will be new symptoms or those previous symptoms get worse such as mood changes, anxiety, panic attacks, sleep problems, irritability, agitation, aggressiveness, severe restlessness, mania (mental and/or physical hyperactivity), thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself. It is important to have regular visits to your doctor for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment. It may take 4 weeks or more for you to start feeling better. Do not stop using escitalopram without first talking to your doctor. You may have unpleasant side effects if you stop taking this medication suddenly.
Taking too much of this medication may lead to overdose symptoms which include nausea, vomiting, tremor, sweating, rapid heartbeat, confusion, dizziness, seizures, and coma. Seek consult immediately once any of the suspected overdose symptoms appear.
These are things to be avoided while taking escitalopram.
1 Alcohol use . Alcohol can increase some of the side effects of escitalopram like
dizziness or drowsiness.
2. Medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold medicine, other pain medication,
muscle relaxants) which can add to sleepiness caused by escitalopram.
3. Driving and any other activity that requires alertness and fully awake. Escitalopram
can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions.
4. Do not take escitalopram together with MAO inhibitors such as isocarboxazid
(Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), or selegiline (Eldepryl,
Emsam). Serious and sometimes fatal reactions can occur when these medicines are
taken with escitalopram. You must wait at least 14 days after stopping an MAO
inhibitor before you can take escitalopram.
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.
Serious side effects that needs medical attention immediately are: seizure (convulsions);
tremors, shivering, muscle stiffness or twitching; problems with balance or coordination; or agitation, confusion, sweating, fast heartbeat.
Other less serious side effects that are more likely to occur include: 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; or dry mouth, ringing in your ears.
Inform your doctor about any other unusual side effect not listed here.
To avoid 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. These drugs with escitalopram may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.
Do not use any of the following medicines without telling your doctor first. These are : carbamazepine (Tegretol); cimetidine (Tagamet); lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith); a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin); any other antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft); or almotriptan (Axert), frovatriptan (Frova), sumatriptan (Imitrex), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), or zolmitriptan (Zomig).
Before taking any prescription and over-the-counter medications, always inform your doctor to be safe and avoid unexpected drug interactions. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors.
The molecular formula is C20H21FN2O • C2H2O4 and the molecular weight is 414.40. Escitalopram oxalate occurs as a fine white to slightly yellow powder and is freely soluble in methanol and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), soluble in isotonic saline solution, sparingly soluble in water and ethanol, slightly soluble in ethyl acetate, and insoluble in heptane. Escitalopram tablets are film coated, round tablets containing escitalopram oxalate in strengths equivalent to 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg escitalopram base. The 10 and 20 mg tablets are scored. The tablets also contain the following inactive ingredients: talc, croscarmellose sodium, microcrystalline cellulose/colloidal silicon dioxide, and magnesium stearate. The film coating contains hypromellose, titanium dioxide, and polyethylene glycol.
Escitalopram has the following structural formula: