Lexapro (escitalopram) is a medication used to treat anxiety and depression; it belongs to a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is an antidepressant that works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin by the nerves, and it restores the balance of serotonin in the brain. Lexapro can improve energy levels and well-being and decrease nervousness.
The dosage for Lexapro depends on the patient’s condition, age, other medications they are taking and response to treatment. So, you need to speak to a healthcare provider to determine your dosage.
However, the dosage for a generalised anxiety disorder is 10mg daily to be taken orally. It can be taken in the morning or evening, but you need to take it at the same time every day. Your doctor can increase your dose to 20mg if need be, but the starting dose is usually 10mg.
In addition, treatment should be reassessed periodically by your doctor to determine the need for ongoing treatment and the appropriate dosage according to your improvement. Mind you, the efficacy of this drug beyond eight weeks has not been studied.
Side Effects Of Lexapro
Lexapro may cause some allergic reactions, like swelling of the face, lips, and throat, difficulty breathing, and skin rash or hives. It may also cause severe symptoms like changes in behaviour and mood, trouble sleeping, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, hyperactiveness, restlessness, racing thoughts, hostile aggressiveness, agitation and so on.
Some more common side effects of Lexapro may include:
- Feeling agitated or anxious.
- Painful urination.
- Drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, or tiredness.
- Decreased sex drive.
- Increased muscle movement.
- Dry mouth, sweating, loss of appetite and increased thirst.
- Nose bleeds and heavy menstrual periods.
- Weight loss or weight gain.
This is not a complete list of side effects, so you may experience something different from what is here, or you may not experience any side effects at all. However, contact your doctor immediately or seek medical advice if you notice these side effects.
- This antidepressant medication can cause allergic reactions, so speak to your doctor or pharmacist to confirm your allergies.
- Before using Lexapro, speak to your doctor about your medical history.
- Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially weight loss and loss of appetite.
- During pregnancy, the drug should only be used when needed and prescribed, as it may cause harm to an unborn baby. Also, pregnant women who use this drug during their last trimester can have babies with health issues like seizures, breathing and feeding difficulties and so on.
- If you are breastfeeding, let your doctor know before taking this drug, as it may have undesirable effects on an infant.
- Let your doctor know if you are planning to get pregnant or are already pregnant.
- Do not stop taking the medication unless you are asked to.
- Older adults may be more sensitive to this drug.
- This medication may make you sleepy or drowsy so do not drive or operate machinery after taking it.