What is Lexapro® (escitalopram) used for?
Lexapro® is commonly used to treat anxiety in adults. Lexapro® is also used to treat major depressive disorder in adults and adolescents who are at least 12 years old.
Lexapro® may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should I take Lexapro® (escitalopram)?
Take Lexapro® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label.
Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take Lexapro® by mouth with a full glass of water, do not chew or break it, swallow the whole tablet
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use this medication.
How do I store Lexapro® (escitalopram)?
Lexapro® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Lexapro® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Lexapro® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Lexapro® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Lexapro® (escitalopram)?
Consult with your doctor or pharmacist, if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Lexapro® or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from Lexapro® (escitalopram)?
Lexapro® may cause following side effects, such as:
- Ejaculatory disorder
- Delayed ejaculation
- Decreased libido
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Lexapro® (escitalopram)?
Lexapro® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
- Bupropion, a medicine helping to treat nicotine dependence
- Medicines used to treat reflux and ulcers, such as cimetidine, omeprazole, esomeprazole and lansoprazole
- Medicines known to prolong bleeding, e.g., Aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
- Ticlopidine and warfarin, medicines used to prevent blood clots
- Mefloquine, an anti-malaria medicine
- Sumatriptan, used to treat migraines
- Tramadol, used to relieve pain
- Medicines affecting the chemicals in the brain
- Some heart medications, e.g. Flecainide, propafenone, metoprolol
- Tryptophan, an amino-acid
- Lithium, used to treat mood swings and some types of depression
- Antipsychotics, a class of medicines used to treat certain mental and emotional conditions, e.g. Risperidone, thioridazine and haloperidol
- Tricyclic antidepressants, e.g. Imipramine, desipramine
- St john’s wort (hypericum perforatum), a herbal remedy
- Any other medicines for depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder or pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder
Does food or alcohol interact with Lexapro® (escitalopram)?
Lexapro® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Lexapro® (escitalopram)?
Lexapro® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
Especially if you have:
- Liver or kidney disease
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Narrow-angle glaucoma
- Heart disease
- Bipolar disorder (manic depression)
- A history of drug abuse or suicidal thoughts
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.
What is the dose of Lexapro® (escitalopram) for an adult?
The standard dose is 10 mg per day. (This may be increased by your doctor to 20 mg per day.)
Maximum dose in elderly patients is 10 mg per day.
Patients with liver disease:
- An initial dose of 5 mg daily for the first two weeks.
- Your doctor may increase the dose to 10 mg daily.
Your doctor may have prescribed a different dose.
What is the dose of Lexapro® (escitalopram) for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Lexapro® (escitalopram) available?
Lexapro® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Lexapro® 5 mg film-coated tablets
- Lexapro® 10 mg film-coated tablets
- Lexapro® 15 mg film-coated tablets
- Lexapro® 20 mg film-coated tablets
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Lexapro®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Escitalopram (Rx). http://reference.medscape.com/drug/Lexapro-escitalopram-342961. Accessed February 25, 2017.
Lexapro®. http://www.nps.org.au/medicines/brain-and-nervous-system/antidepressant-medicines/escitalopram/for-individuals/escitalopram-brands/Lexapro-tablets-antidepressant-medicines. Accessed February 25, 2017.
Lexapro®. http://www.medicines.ie/medicine/4753/SPC/Lexapro+Tablets/. Accessed February 25, 2017.
Review Date: June 2, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019