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Lexapro (Escitalopram) is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor or SSRI used to treat depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.


Escitalopram (es-sye-TAL-oh-pram) is used for the treatment of major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD); other indications include social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

How to take

Take Escitalopram tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Escitalopram can be taken with or without food. If Escitalopram upsets your stomach, taking it with food may help. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber or health care professional's advice.

Side effects

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome): agitation or restlessness; blurred vision, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, drowsiness, dry mouth, fever, frequent urination, headache, indigestion, nausea; increased or decreased appetite; increased sweating, sexual difficulties (decreased sexual ability or desire); taste alterations, tremor (shaking); weight changes. Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible: Rare or uncommon: confusion, dizziness or lightheadedness; skin rash, itching (hives); fast talking and excited feelings or actions that are out of control; suicidal thoughts, vomiting.


Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Continue to take your tablets even if you do not immediately feel better. It can take 1-2 weeks or longer before you feel the first effects of escitalopram. If you have suicidal thoughts, call your prescriber or health care professional at once. If you have been taking Escitalopram regularly for some time, do not suddenly stop taking it. You must gradually reduce the dose, or your symptoms may get worse. Ask your prescriber or health care professional for advice. You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how Escitalopram 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 Escitalopram. Avoid alcoholic drinks. Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or allergies without asking your prescriber or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients can increase possible side effects. Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water will help. If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking Escitalopram.

Drug interactions

Do not take Escitalopram with any of the following medications: cisapride; citalopram; MAO inhibitors such as phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), isocarboxazid (Marplan), selegiline (Eldepryl). Escitalopram may also interact with the following medications: alosetron; alprazolam; amphetamine; buspirone; carbamazepine; Certain diet drugs (dexfenfluramine, fenfluramine, phentermine, sibutramine); clarithromycin; cimetidine; cyproheptadine; dexamethasone; dextromethorphan; dextroamphetamine; diazepam; diltiazem; erythromycin; ethosuximide; furazolidone; grapefruit juice; itraconazole; kava kava; ketoconazole; linezolid; lithium; Medicines that treat depression or other mood problems; Medicines that treat HIV infection or AIDS; Migraine headache medicines (almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan); Medicines for psychosis or severe mood problems; methadone; modafinil; nefazodone; phenobarbital; phenytoin; Prescription pain relievers (codeine, hydrocodone, meperidine, morphine, tramadol, oxycodone); primidone; procarbazine; quinine; rifabutin; rifampin; St. John's Wort; troglitazone; tryptophan; valerian; verapamil; voriconazole.
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of grapefruit juice, drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

Missed dose

If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses. Follow your prescriber or health care professional's advice on missed doses.


Keep out of reach of children in a container that small children cannot open. Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.