Drugs A - Z

Escitalopram Oral tablet

It is used to treat depression and certain types of anxiety.

Generic Name: escitalopram

Brand Names: Lexapro

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

    Suicidality
  • Antidepressants may increase risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (18–24 years of age) with major depressive disorder and other psychiatric disorders; balance this risk with clinical need. Escitalopram is not approved for use in pediatric patients. (See Pediatric Use under Cautions.)
  • In pooled data analyses, risk of suicidality was not increased in adults >24 years of age and apparently was reduced in adults ≥65 years of age with antidepressant therapy compared with placebo.
  • Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with an increased risk of suicide.
  • Appropriately monitor and closely observe all patients who are started on escitalopram therapy for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior; involve family members and/or caregivers in this process. (See Worsening of Depression and Suicidality Risk under Cautions.)

What is this medicine?

ESCITALOPRAM (es sye TAL oh pram) is used to treat depression and certain types of anxiety.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • bipolar disorder or a family history of bipolar disorder
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • kidney or liver disease
  • receiving electroconvulsive therapy
  • seizures (convulsions)
  • suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt by you or a family member
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to escitalopram, the related drug citalopram, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly except upon the advice of your doctor. Stopping this medicine too quickly may cause serious side effects or your condition may worsen.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • cisapride
  • citalopram
  • linezolid
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • methylene blue (injected into a vein)
  • pimozide

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol
  • aspirin and aspirin-like medicines
  • carbamazepine
  • certain medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • certain medicines for migraine headache like almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan
  • cimetidine
  • diuretics
  • fentanyl
  • furazolidone
  • isoniazid
  • ketoconazole
  • lithium
  • medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin, enoxaparin, and dalteparin
  • medicines for sleep
  • metoprolol
  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • procarbazine
  • rasagiline
  • supplements like St. John's wort, kava kava, valerian
  • tramadol
  • tryptophan

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse. Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Because it may take several weeks to see the full effects of this medicine, it is important to continue your treatment as prescribed by your doctor.

Patients and their families should watch out for new or worsening thoughts of suicide or depression. Also watch out for sudden changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose, call your health care professional.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.


Last Updated: May 03, 2013
Licensed from
The Healthline Site, its content, such as text, graphics, images, search results, HealthMaps, Trust Marks, and other material contained on the Healthline Site ("Content"), its services, and any information or material posted on the Healthline Site by third parties are provided for informational purposes only. None of the foregoing is a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Healthline Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Please read the Terms of Service for more information regarding use of the Healthline Site.
Advertisement
Advertisement