What is Lexapro?
Lexapro is a trade name used by Forest Pharmaceuticals for escitalopram, an SSRI antidepressant. It is used for treating major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Lexapro has been demonstrated as effective in relieving depression in adults and adolescents aged between 12 and 17. Like many other SSRIs it has been used off-label for the treatment of premature ejaculation in males. Other off-label uses include the treatment of fibromyalgia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, migraines and Tourette syndrome.
How does Lexapro work?
Like all SSRIs, Lexapro acts by blocking the reuptake of serotonin in the synaptic gap, thus making more serotonin available to activate serotonin receptors. Lexapro has high selectivity of serotonin reuptake inhibition.
What does Lexapro look like?
Lexapro is sold as a round white tablet in strengths of 5, 10 and 20 mg. The tablets are imprinted with FL 5, FL 10 and FL 20 respectively.
Lexapro dosing and administration
The standard starting dose of Lexapro for depression or generalized anxiety disorder is 10 mg once a day. If this is not effective your doctor may increase the dosage incrementally until the desired effect is achieved. Typically, Lexapro treatment will continue for a period of several months or more. Patients with liver disorders should not take more than 10 mg per day.
Common adverse effects from Lexapro
Lexapro may have all the side effects usually associated with SSRIs. These include insomnia, constricted pupils, dry mouth, sleepiness, vertigo, sweating, constipation, fatigue and dyspepsia. There may be a number of sexual side effects including decreased libido and delayed ejaculation or failure to ejaculate. These are usually reversible after cessation of Lexapro treatment. There is an increased incidence of suicidal ideation. The use of Lexapro for depression is known to result in weight gain.
Lexapro warnings and precautions
Before taking Lexapro you should tell your doctor if you have bipolar disorder or a family history of bipolar disorder, recent heart problems, diabetes, epilepsy or any liver disease.
Interactions with Lexapro
St John’s wort may potentiate Lexapro as much as 50%. Like all SSRIs, Lexapro may interact with a wide range of drugs and you should tell you doctor about any other medications you are using. The use of alcohol should be avoided while you are taking Lexapro.
Lexapro and migraine
Lexapro may be used of-label for the prevention of migraines. It has been observed to be of particular use in patients who have more than two migraines per week and who also suffer from depression or anxiety.
Withdrawal symptoms may occur in patients who cease taking Lexapro abruptly. These symptoms may include irritability, vertigo, anxiety, confusion, headache, insomnia and fatigue. When ceasing treatment the dosage should be tapered down over a number of weeks to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
What if I take an accidental overdose of Lexapro?
If you suspect that you or another person may have taken an overdose of Lexapro you should seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, tachycardia, coma or seizures. There is no specific antidote for Lexapro so treatment for overdose will be symptomatic and may include assistance with breathing and hydration through an infusion.
What is Meridia?
Meridia is a trade name for sibutramine, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor used to suppress appetite in cases of obesity. It was originally launched by Knoll Pharmaceuticals before being marketed by Abbott Laboratories. Meridia is chemically related to amphetamine although it has a different mechanism of [...] Continue Reading…
What is Phentermine?
Phentermine is an appetite suppressant used for weight reduction in obese patients in combination with reduced calorie diet. It is an amphetamine and phenethylamine whose mode of action is to manipulate neurotransmitters in the brain to control appetite. It is generally used in the short [...] Continue Reading…
What is Ismo?
Ismo is a brand name for isosorbide mononitrate, a vasodilator used mainly for the preventative treatment of angina pectoris, to reduce the frequency and severity of angina episodes and reduce the need to use nitrate medications in sublingual pill or spray form. Ismo does not reduce [...] Continue Reading…
What is Ativan?
Ativan is Biovail Pharmaceuticals’ brand name for lorazepam, a strong and moderately long-acting benzodiazepine. It is used in oral form to treat anxiety and in an injectable form to lower nervous tension and treat seizures. Ativan is also used for the short-term treatment of insomnia and [...] Continue Reading…
What is Xanax?
Xanax is Roche’s trade name for the short-acting benzodiazepine drug alprazolam. It is used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety associated with depression and panic disorder. It is also used for the specific panic condition of agoraphobia.
How does Xanax work?
Xanax binds to GABA receptors modulating [...] Continue Reading…
What is Klonopin?
Klonopin is Roche’s trade name for clonazepam, a nitrobenzodiazepine used as an anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and anxiolytic. It is used to treat panic disorders and seizures is sometimes used in the treatment of epilepsy. It has a half-life of up to 50 hours, making it [...] Continue Reading…
What is Ambien?
Ambien is the trade name of French pharmaceutical concern Sanofi-Aventis for zolpidem, a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic used for short-term intervention in insomnia. It is also of use in certain brain disorders. Ambien is very effective in helping a patient get to sleep but does not act [...] Continue Reading…
Valium is the Hoffman-La Roche proprietary name for diazepam, a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy, muscle spasm, restless legs syndrome, seizures and alcohol withdrawal. It may also be used to reduce anxiety before distressing medical procedures and to induce amnesia during some surgical procedures. As [...] Continue Reading…