Lexapro Information Center
Welcome to the Lexapro Information Center. Get Lexapro drug information, including uses of Lexapro, Lexapro side effects, Lexapro dosage and Lexapro weight gain info.
What Is LEXAPRO?
LEXAPRO (escitalopram oxalate) is a medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) and as maintenance therapy to prevent people with depression from experiencing relapse. It is an effective and well-tolerated selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). SSRI medications work by increasing the activity of serotonin, a brain chemical involved in depression.
Clinical trials suggest that many patients' depressive symptoms may begin to improve within a week or two after taking LEXAPRO. Full antidepressant effects may take 4 to 6 weeks.
LEXAPRO is also approved by the FDA for treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Many SSRIs are prescribed for this purpose and your doctor may prescribe LEXAPRO to treat anxiety problems.
Important Safety Information
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION - Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidality (suicidal thinking and behavior) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of antidepressants in children, adolescents or young adults must balance the risk to clinical need. Patients of all ages started on antidepressant therapy should be closely monitored and observed for clinical worsening, suicidality or unusual changes in behavior, especially at the beginning of therapy or at the time of dose changes. This risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Lexapro is not approved for use in pediatric patients.
Lexapro is contraindicated in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), pimozide (see DRUG INTERACTIONS - Pimozide and Celexa), or in patients with hypersensitivity to escitalopram oxalate. As with other SSRIs, caution is indicated in the coadministration of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) with Lexapro. As with other psychotropic drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake, patients should be cautioned regarding the risk of bleeding associated with the concomitant use of Lexapro with NSAIDs, aspirin, or other drugs that affect coagulation. The most common adverse events with Lexapro versus placebo (approximately 5% or greater and approximately 2x placebo) were nausea, insomnia, ejaculation disorder, somnolence, increased sweating, fatigue, decreased libido, and anorgasmia.
How Is LEXAPRO Related to Celexa®?
LEXAPRO (escitalopram) is the active component of the antidepressant Celexa (citalopram). It was created using a relatively new approach that removed inactive ingredients in Celexa - yielding a safer and more potent form of the medication.
But because LEXAPRO contains a more purified form of the active ingredient in Celexa, it can be given at a much lower dose, providing powerful therapy in a well-tolerated SSRI. A clinical trial of LEXAPRO in people with moderate to severe depression found that a dose of 10 mg per day of LEXAPRO was as effective as a dose of 40 mg a day of Celexa.
Lexapro and Celexa are registered trademarks of Forest Laboratories, Inc.
Last Updated: 14 January 2014
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD