Escitalopram is a drug that is commonly used to treat depression. This medication is also used to treat anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, or social phobia .
Escitalopram works by restoring the balance of serotonin levels in the brain. This way of working will help control moods. Thus, the symptoms of depression will subside and the mood will be better.
Escitalopram trademarks: Cipralex, Depram, Escipra, Escitalopram oxalate, Talox
What is Escitalopram
Precautions Before Taking Escitalopram
There are several things that must be considered before using escitalopram, including:
- Do not take escitalopram if you have an allergy to this drug.
- Do not give escitalopram to children under 12 years of age.
- Tell your doctor if in the last 14 days you have recently used an MAOI class of drugs , such as isocarboxaz. Escitalopram should not be taken by patients who have recently had treatment with this drug.
- Tell your doctor if you have had or currently have liver disease, kidney disease, seizures , bleeding disorders, hyponatremia , glaucoma, stomach or duodenal ulcer, hypertension, arrhythmia , or stroke.
- Tell your doctor if you have bipolar disorder , have any thoughts of suicide or self-harm, or have a history of substance abuse.
- Do not consume alcoholic beverages while taking escitalopram. Consult your doctor if you are addicted to alcohol or have difficulty stopping drinking alcohol.
- Tell your doctor if you have a heart disease, such as angina pectoris , a heart rhythm disturbance, or an abnormal EKG result . Also tell if you have a family history of sudden cardiac arrest at a young age.
- Do not immediately drive a vehicle or operate tools that require alertness after taking escitalopram, because this drug can cause dizziness or drowsiness.
- Immediately go to the doctor if your condition does not improve, gets worse, or there is a desire to hurt yourself or commit suicide .
- Tell your doctor if you are taking certain drugs, supplements or herbal products, to anticipate drug interactions.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
- Immediately consult a doctor if you have an allergic drug reaction , serious side effects, or an overdose, after taking escitalopram.
Dosage and Rules for Using Escitalopram
The following is the general dosage for escitalopram based on the patient's condition:
Condition: Depression, anxiety disorder , or obsessive compulsive disorder ( OCD )
- Adult: 10 mg once daily. The dose may be increased after 7 days of use to a maximum of 20 mg once daily, depending on the patient's response to the drug.
- Children >12 years: 10 mg once daily. If necessary, the dose may be increased after 3 weeks of use to a maximum of 20 mg once daily.
- Elderly: 5 mg once a day. The dose may be increased to 10 mg per day, depending on the patient's response to the drug.
Condition: Social phobia
- Adult: 10 mg once daily. The dose may be reduced or increased to a maximum of 20 mg once daily, after 7 days of use, depending on the patient's response to the drug.
- Elderly: 5 mg once a day. The dose may be increased to a maximum of 10 mg per day, depending on the patient's response to the drug.
Condition: Panic disorder with or without agoraphobia
- Adult: 5 mg once daily for 7 days. The dose may then be increased to a maximum of 20 mg per day, depending on the patient's response to the drug.
- Elderly: 5 mg per day. The dose may be increased to 10 mg per day, depending on the patient's response to the drug.
How to Take Escitalopram Properly
Follow the doctor 's recommendations and read the instructions for use listed on the package before using escitalopram.
Escitalopram can be taken before or after meals. Try to take escitalopram at the same time each day for maximum benefit. If you suffer from sleep disturbances, it is advisable to take escitalopram in the morning.
If you forget to take escitalopram, consume it as soon as you remember if the break with the next schedule is not too close. If it is close, ignore the missed dose and do not double the next dose.
Do not stop taking escitalopram suddenly without consulting your doctor first. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms which may include dizziness, nausea, insomnia, headaches or tremors.
Perform routine checks with your doctor while undergoing treatment with escitalopram so that the condition and response to therapy can be monitored.
Store escitalopram at room temperature. Do not store it in a damp place or in direct sunlight. Keep out of reach of children.
Interactions of Escitalopram with Other Drugs
The use of escitalopram together with other drugs can cause drug-drug interactions, including:
- Increased risk of escitalopram side effects, such as serotonin syndrome , when used with MAOIs
- Increased risk of developing arrhythmia or sudden cardiac arrest when used with antiarrhythmic drugs, antimalarial drugs, astemizole, or moxifloxacin
- Increased side effects of escitalopram when used with tramadol , buspirone , lithium , fentanyl , cimetidine , fluconazole , omeprazole , or fluvoxamine
- Increased risk of bleeding when used with anticoagulant drugs, antiplatelet drugs, antipsychotics or NSAIDs
- Increased risk of seizures when used with other antidepressants, mefloquine, bupropion or antipsychotics
- Increased risk of side effects of metoprolol
- Increased risk of hypoglycemia when used with antidiabetic drugs
Escitalopram Side Effects and Dangers
Some side effects that may appear after taking escitalopram are:
- Dry mouth
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Excessive sweating
- Decreased sexual desire
Check with your doctor if the side effects above don't go away or get worse. See a doctor immediately if you have an allergic drug reaction or more serious side effects, such as:
- Blurred vision, pain in the eyes, or seeing halos around lights
- Restlessness, confusion, or hallucinations
- Headaches, unusual tiredness, vomiting, or balance disturbances
- Stiff muscles, high fever, tremors , or feeling like you might pass out
- Fast or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, or difficulty breathing
- Having thoughts of self-harm or suicide