Table of Contents (hide)
- 1. Brand & Generic Names; Drug Class
- 2. What is Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) Used For?
- 3. When Will Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) Start Working?
- 4. Will Lexapro Really Work for What You Have?
- 5. How to Take Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate)
- 6. How to Stop Taking Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate)
- 7. Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) Pros and Cons
- 8. Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) Side Effects
- 9. What You Really Need to be Careful About with Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate)
- 10. Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) Half-Life & How Long Until Lexapro Clears Your System
- 11. How Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) Works
- 12. Comments, Lexapro PI Sheet, and More
Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) highlights: side effects, dosage, reviews, how to take & discontinue, uses, etc. The “More…” links are to pages with greater detail. The Comprehensive Lexapro pages have all information from all the “More about…” pages, but with less explanatory material.
§1. Brand & Generic Names; Drug Class
|US brand name:||Lexapro|
|Generic name:||escitalopram oxalate|
|What is Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate)?|
|Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) is in the Antidepressants class of drugs.|
§2. What is Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) Used For?
§2.1 US FDA Approved Treatment(s)
Major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults & adolescents. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in adults.
§2.2 Popular Off-Label Uses
The entire panic-anxiety spectrum, including: Social anxiety disorder(SAnD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. Also bipolar depression.
§3. When Will Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) Start Working?
Lexapro can start working within one week. You should still give it at least three weeks. Unless the side effects hit hard and fast.
§4. Will Lexapro Really Work for What You Have?
If you’ve never taken an antidepressant before, and for all you and your doctor know serotonin is p big part of your problem, the odds are pretty damn good that Lexapro will help for MDD. Although the odds of Lexapro working may not be statistically much better than Celexa (citalopram), they both have better chances of working for MDD than all the other SSRIs, and most other antidepressants. I.e. around a 60–75% chance of response (they’ll do something positive) and 50–70% chance of remission (kiss that MDD goodbye, as long as you’re taking your meds).
The odds are similar for GAD.
§5. How to Take Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate)
Lundbeck & Forest say: 10mg once a day, that’s it. We say: Start at 5mg a day, increase only if needed.
§6. How to Stop Taking Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate)
Decrease your dosage by 5mg every week. So if you’re taking 10mg a day, take 5mg for a week, then you can stop. 2.5mg a day if you really need to. If you experience severe SSRI discontinuation syndrome that’s not going away, talk to your doctor about a prescription for flouxetine or Lexapro oral solution for a slow tapering off.
§7. Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) Pros and Cons
Lexapro works faster than other serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Many people who take Lexapro have reported that it has better effects and lower chances for side effects than other SSRIs (especially weight gain), and when side effects do strike most of them tend to be less harsh. Fewer drug-drug interactions than any other SSRI.
Few dosage options with the tablets. Some side effects (teeth grinding, TMJ, anorgasmia) can be way worse than with other SSRIs, and those first two can get really painful.
§7.3 Interesting Stuff your Doctor Probably didn’t Tell You about Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate)
Lexapro is the only true SSRI. All the others affect one or more other neurotransmitters to some extent, although only enough for side effects, off-label uses, or as the reason why only one SSRI works for somebody. Unfortunately its purity of serotonin action can lead to interference with dopamine and norepinephrine, and that can cause some problems.
§7.4 What Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) Is Best Known for
The Lexapro Yawn. It doesn’t matter that you’re not tired. Lexapro can make you yawn so intensely and so often that your jaw can pop out of its joints and you’ll need to see a doctor about that.
I’m sorry if reading this made you yawn, especially if you take Lexapro.
More pros, cons, and interesting stuff about Lexapro
§8. Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) Side Effects
§8.1 Typical Lexapro Side Effects
The usual for SSRIs: headache, nausea, dry mouth, sweating, sleepiness or insomnia (with insomnia more likely), diarrhea or constipation, and assorted sex problems. Weight gain is a lot less likely than with other SSRIs and all of the typical side effects tend to be milder. The most likely sexual side effect is anorgasmia, i.e. you can’t come, no matter how much romance and/or porn is involved. In the prudish language of PI sheets and clinical trials, anorgasmia affects only women. With men the problem is listed as an “ejaculation disorder.”
§8.2 Uncommon Lexapro Side Effects
SSRI-Induced Indifference / Apathy. Teeth grinding (bruxism). Yawning, jaw tightening and clenching to the point of temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) and a dental specialist’s intervention (e.g. wearing a mouth guard at night).
§8.3 Freaky Rare Lexapro Side Effects
Sexsomnia (I wish I could read Dutch), labial pigmentation and lichenoid eruption, and atypical jitteriness syndrome (which reads like a Prescott Pharmaceuticals’ product side effect).
More Lexapro side effects
§9. What You Really Need to be Careful About with Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate)
Heart arrhythmia problems like torsades de pointes (TdP)/prolonged QT interval (QTc). This happens more often than I had originally thought, as both Celexa (citalopram) and Lexapro (escitalopram) are on the list of drugs to totally avoid if you have a history of TdP/QTc/cardiac arrhythmia.
More Lexapro black box and other warnings, pregnancy category, etc.
§10. Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) Half-Life & How Long Until Lexapro Clears Your System
Half-life: 27–32 hours. Clearance: 6–8 days.
Drugs.com’s drug-drug and drug-food interaction checker
More Lexapro pharmacokinetics & noted drug-drug & drug-food interactions
Clearance given here is “plasma clearance,” or how long it takes to be out of your blood so there’s nothing swimming around to attach itself to your brain and start doing stuff. Complete clearance is a complex equation based on a lot of factors which may or may not be published in the PI sheet or even figured out by independent researchers. If we’ve found it and calculated it you’ll find that on the pharmacokinetics page.
§11. How Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) Works
the current best guess at any rate
Lexapro does what all SSRIs are supposed to do: increasing the transmission and levels of serotonin, inhibiting the serotonin reuptake pump, desensitizing 5HT1A receptors, and nothing else. As far as neurotransmitters are concerned.
More about how Lexapro works. AKA Lexapro mechanism/method of action, or pharmacodynamics.
§12. Comments, Lexapro PI Sheet, and More
Lexapro is probably the best-tolerated and most effective SSRI currently on the market. Mainly because it’s just a little better than Celexa (citalopram). Celexa was chosen as the first antidepressant used in the massive STAR*D study for being the best-tolerated SSRI and was considered the most effective. Lexapro was too new at the time. Is Celexa really more effective than all the other SSRIs? Yes, but not by all that much. It did rather well in the STAR*D study, with almost half the people responding, but a third of them relapsing. One thing Lexapro does well is preventing relapses.
More comments As if I didn’t go on long enough here.
Lexapro’s Full US Prescribing Information / PI Sheet
Consumer/patient comments about, reviews of, and experiences with Lexapro
If you have any questions about Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate), please see the Crazy Meds’ Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) discussion board
Allegedly Useful Links. Mostly official sites we could find for this med, PI sheets from countries other than the US, and reviews from consumer review sites.
Date created Sunday, 05 December 2010 at 13:49 Page Author: Jerod Poore Last edited by: Jerod Poore on January 01, 2013, at 03:34 PM
Lexapro is a trademark of someone else. Look on the the PI sheet or ask Google who the owner is. The way pharmaceutical companies buy each other and swap products like Monopoly™ real estate, the ownership of the trademark may have changed without my noticing.
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1 While there are plenty of books to help you with hypochondria, for some reason there’s not much in the way of websites. Then again, staying off of the Internet is a large part of curing/managing the disorder.
2 Have I mentioned how open source operating systems for commercial applications is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of dumb ideas?
[begin rant] I rent a dedicated server for Crazy Meds. It’s sitting on a rack somewhere in Southern California along with a bunch of other servers that other people have rented. The hardware is identical, but no two machines have exactly the same operating systems. I don’t even need to see what is on any of the others to know this. If somebody got their server at the exact same time, with the exact same features as I did, I’m confident that there would be noticeable differences in some aspects of the operating systems. So what does this mean? For one thing it means that no two computers in the same office of a single company have the same operating system, and the techs can spend hours figuring out what the fuck the problem could be based on that alone. It also means that application software like IP board that runs the forum here has to have so many fucking user-configurable bells and whistles that even when I read the manual I can’t find every setting, or every location that every flag needs to be set in order for a feature to run the way I want it to run. And in the real world it means you can get an MBA not only with an emphasis on resource planning, but with an emphasis on using SAP - a piece of software so complex there are now college programs on how to use it. You might think, “But don’t people learn how to use Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator in college?” Sure, in order to create stuff. And in a way you’re creating stuff with SAP. But do you get a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis on Photoshop?
Back in the Big Iron Age the operating systems were proprietary, and every computer that took up an entire room with a raised floor and HVAC system, and had less storage and processing power than an iPhone, had the same operating system as every other one, give or take a release level. But when a company bought application software like SAP, they also got the source code, which was usually documented and written in a way to make it easy to modify the hell out of it. Why? Because accounting principles may be the same the world over, and tax laws the same across each country and state, but no two companies have the same format for their reports, invoices, purchase orders and so forth. Standards existed and were universally ignored. If something went wrong it went wrong the same way for everyone, and was easy to track down. People didn’t need to take a college course to learn how to use a piece of software.
I’m not against the open source concept entirely. Back then all the programmers read the same magazines, so we all had the same homebrew utilities. We even had the forerunner to QR Code to scan the longer source code. Software vendors and computer manufacturers sponsored conventions so we could, among other things, swap recipes for such add-ons and utilities. While those things would make our lives easier, they had nothing to do with critical functions of the operating system. Unless badly implemented they would rarely cause key application software to crash and burn. Whereas today, with open source everything, who the hell knows what could be responsible some part of a system failing. [/end rant]
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