Lexapro (escitalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant medication. It is commonly used to treat anxiety in adults, depression in adults and adolescents who are at least 12 years old, tension, and excessive worry. It works by primarily increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin. It does this by preventing its reuptake into the presynaptic cell membrane. This SSRI drug is available by a doctor or psychiatrist’s prescription only.
- How can I get the best results from treatment with this drug?
Many conditions for which Lexapro is prescribed also show positive results from treatment with psychotherapy. Medication may dull the debilitating symptoms of anxiety and depression, but medication does not teach a person healthy ways to cope when symptoms, emotions, or behaviors arise or become triggered by mental health conditions. If you are prescribed an SSRI antidepressant, consider finding a qualified therapist or counselor to learn more about what you are experiencing and help you discover healthy ways to improve the quality of your life. Additionally, many people experiencing anxiety and depression have reported positive results from exercises like yoga, meditation, and breathwork activities. Many therapists offer specialized training in these mental health treatments that may reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression.
- How should I take this medication?
Lexapro may be prescribed as a tablet or in liquid form. It is usually taken once per day, with or without food. For best results, take this medication at the same time each day. Your doctor may gradually increase the amount of medication you take in order to find the best dosage for you. It could take about 30 days to feel the full effects of this medication. Keep taking this medication as directed by your doctor, even if you begin to feel well. Do not let others take your medication even if they have similar symptoms. This drug is not approved for children under the age of 12.
- What should I do if I forget to take my medication?
Take the medication you missed as soon as you remember it. If you are close to the time for your next dose, then do not take the dose you missed. Simply maintain your regular medication schedule. Taking too much of this SSRI too quickly may contribute to an overdose.
- What should I do if I overdose on this medication?
Seek urgent medical attention or call a poison control center as soon as possible. Signs of overdose include sweating, drowsiness, fast heartbeat, seizures, nausea, or loss of consciousness.
- What is the best way to store this medication?
Do not store this medication in your bathroom or kitchen. Keep this medication tightly closed in its original container at room temperature. Avoid exposing the container to excess heat or moisture. Keep this drug out of the reach of children.
- Are there any interactions with other medications I should know about?
Lexapro may interact negatively with some medications and supplements, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI), aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), migraine treatments, anticoagulants, antihistamines, antidepressants, antacids, anxiolytics, drugs for sleep issues, typical and atypical antipsychotics, blood pressure medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products (particularly the herb St. John’s wort), products containing tryptophan, and more. Do not take this medication with other SSRI medications, especially Celexa.