Lexapro, also known as its generic name of escitalopram, is in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are mainly used to help treat depression and anxiety and has also been known to help people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic disorder. Among Lexapro in the SSRI class of medications there are other well-known medications, celexa (citalopram), prozac (fluoxetine), paxil (paroxetine), and Zoloft (sertraline). Even though they are all part of the same class lexapro most closely relates to celexa. Lexapro was approved for use by the food and drug administration in august of 2002.
Most doctors believe that the main cause of depression and anxiety is an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Lexapro works to help with one specific neurotransmitter, serotonin. What the believe happens is when the serotonin is released it is intended to travel and attach to receptors to complete the signal or message delivery, some of this serotonin that is released does not attach to the receptors and is instead taken back into the nerve that created in a process called “reuptake”. Lexapro stops the reuptake of serotonin, which results in more serotonin to be built up and attach to the receptors.
Lexapro comes in 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg tablets. The usual dosage starts at 10 mg’s a day and can in time be increased to 20 mg’s a day, other methods include starting at a smaller dose of 5 mg a day for two weeks and if needed to increase to the 10 mg a day. Lexapro is safe to take with or without food. Lexapro should not be taken with antidepressants of the MAO (mono-amine oxidase) inhibitor class, which may cause complications.
The most common side effects associated with lexapro are agitation or restlessness, blurred vision, diarrhea, insomnia, drowsiness, dry mouth, fever, frequent urination, headache, indigestion, nausea, increased or decreased appetite, increased sweating, sexual difficulties, taste alterations, tremor (shaking), weight changes. There is also a chance of mild withdrawal when a person stops taking lexapro or other SSRI’s.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.