What is this medication for?
Escitalopram belongs to the group of medications called selective serotonin
reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is used to treat depression and generalized
anxiety disorder. It works by increasing levels of a neurotransmitter called
serotonin in the brain. Increased serotonin levels can improve mood.
The medication usually begins to work within 2 to 4 weeks. However, it may take several weeks of treatment before the full effects are felt.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Lexapro® is available as:
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended dose of escitalopram is usually started at 10 mg daily
and increased by your doctor as needed. This medication should be taken
once daily in the morning or evening, with or without food.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
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Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to escitalopram, citalopram, or any of the ingredients of the medication
- are taking a MAO inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine, moclobemide) or have taken a MAO inhibitor within the past 2 weeks (MAO inhibitors should not be taken until at least 2 weeks after stopping treatment with escitalopram)
- are taking pimozide