An overview of Lexapro
What is Lexapro?
Lexapro is a potent antidepressant that helps restore the balance of specific natural substances such as serotonin in the brain. People buy Lexapro online for the treatment of depression and anxiety.
Lexapro generic version is available with the name citalopram at a comparatively lesser rate, but you may not get the strength your doctor assigned. It belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) category of drugs.
Lexapro affects specific brain chemicals that may be altered in patients suffering from anxiety or depression. In adults and adolescents of at least 12 years of age, Lexapro helps treat the major depressive disorder. This medication is also effective in treating anxiety in adults.
Lexapro is a medically prescribed drug for the following conditions:
Major Depressive Disorder
Doctors prescribe Lexapro to adults and adolescents of 12 years to 17 years for acute and maintenance treatment of major depressive disorder.
A major depressive attack implies a prominent and persistent depressed mood that typically interferes with daily functioning and may include the following symptoms:
- Loss of interest in day to day activities;
- Depressed mood;
- Significant changes in the appetite or weight;
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation;
- Insomnia or hypersomnia;
- Impaired concentration or slowed thinking;
- Feeling of worthlessness or guilt;
- Increased fatigue; or
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Doctors worldwide prescribe Lexapro to adults for acute treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This medical condition is characterized by excessive anxiety that may or may not have any reason.
In Generalized Anxiety Disorder, the anxiety and worry are persistent for at least six months which the patient finds difficult to control. The symptoms may include any three or all of the following:
- Restlessness or feeling on edge;
- Being easily fatigues;
- Trouble concentrating or blankness in mind;
- Sleep disturbance; or
- Muscle tension
What are the risks and warnings of taking Lexapro?
Along with the positive effects, Lexapro can also cause some severe health issues. The risks are higher in people belonging to specific criteria.
Suicidal thoughts and behavior
Lexapro contains the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. It would help if you watched for any new or worsening depression with suicidal thoughts or behavior, especially during the initial phase of treatment or during changes in the dosing schedule.
Serotonin syndrome is quite rare, but too much active serotonin in the brain is a potentially life-threatening condition. Be careful if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Sweating, fever;
- Rapid heart rate;
- Muscle stiffness or spasms; and
Stopping treatment with Lexapro suddenly with prior medical consultation can result in unpleasant Lexapro withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, nausea, trouble sleeping, agitation, dizziness, and flu-like symptoms.
It usually starts within three days of discontinuing the medication. Take the help of your medical healthcare provider to stop treatment with this medicine properly.
Higher bleeding risk
Lexapro can increase the risk of unusual bleeding or bruise, primarily if you use aspirin, NSAIDs, or blood thinners. The bleeding phenomenon can be life-threatening, so tell your medical healthcare provider if there is no improvement in your bruises, pink or red urine, black-colored stools, or bleeding from the nose or gums.
Abnormal heart rhythm
Lexapro can affect the natural rhythm of the heart and lead to beating abnormally. You need medical attention if you experience such symptoms: dizziness, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, with chest pain.
Pregnancy and lactation warnings
Taking an SSRI antidepressant during the final phase of pregnancy may cause medical complications that can harm the baby. So, tell your doctor about taking this medication as you may face a relapse of depression if you stop using your antidepressant.
In the case of breastfeeding, you should inform the medical healthcare provider if you notice poor weight gain, agitation, feeding problems, or drowsiness in the nursing baby while you are breastfeeding.
Things to do before taking Lexapro
Firstly, have a proper check-up to know if you are allergic to the components of Lexapro. Do not take Lexapro if you are allergic to this drug or other SSRIs such as citalopram.
Some medicines may interact with Lexapro and cause a severe medical condition known as serotonin syndrome or toxicity. Before taking this medication, ensure that your doctor knows if you also take:
- Any stimulant medicine;
- Drug for prevention of nausea or vomiting;
- Herbal products;
- Opioid pain medication; or
- Treatment for mental illness, depression, migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, or severe infection
Before taking Lexapro, ensure that it is safe and effective for you by telling the medical healthcare provider about your medical history, especially if you have ever had:
- Liver or kidney disease;
- Low sodium levels in your blood;
- Seizures (or convulsions);
- Bleeding problems;
- A stroke or attack;
- High blood pressure, heart disease;
- Bipolar disorder, popularly known as a manic disorder;
- Drug addiction or alcoholism; or
- Suicidal thoughts
How to take Lexapro safely?
It would help if you took Lexapro precisely as per the prescription your doctor assigned. Occasionally, your medical healthcare provider may change your dosage or dosing schedule depending upon your medicinal needs and condition.
To get the best outcome, take the drug at the exact time each day, with or without food. If you are nauseated, we recommend you to take Lexapro with food only. You need to carefully measure the liquid medicine using the available dosing syringe or a dose-measuring device rather than a kitchen spoon.
It may take up to 28 days (four weeks) for your depression or anxiety symptoms to improve. Keep using the medicine as per the doctor’s directions and tell your medical healthcare provider if your symptoms do not improve.
The medical healthcare provider may ask you to come for a regular check-up to monitor your condition. Doctors also need to check the height and weight of a child before recommending it to a child.
Adult dosage of Lexapro for a generalized anxiety disorder:
- The typical initial dose is 10 mg orally one day; your medical healthcare provider may increase the amount to 20 mg once a day after at least a week of treatment, if necessary.
- The maintenance doses may vary from 10 mg to 20 mg orally once a day.
- The maximum amount of Lexapro per day should not exceed 20 mg.
Adult dosage of Lexapro for depression:
- The usual initial dose is 10 mg orally one time a day; your doctor may increase the amount to 20 mg once a day after at least a week of treatment, if necessary.
- The maintenance doses may vary from 10 mg to 20 mg orally once a day.
- The maximum amount of this medication should not exceed 20 mg per day.
Lexapro primarily works as an acute and maintenance treatment of the major depressive disorder. The typical senior (ages 65 years or older) dose for depression is 10 mg orally once a day.
Pediatric dosage of Lexapro for depression in children of 12 years and older:
- The typical initial dose is 10 mg orally one day; your child’s doctor may increase the amount to 20 mg once a day after at least a week of treatment, if necessary.
- The maintenance doses may range from 10 mg to 20 mg orally once a day.
- The maximum amount of this antidepressant should not exceed 20 mg per day.
Lexapro overdose can occur rarely. Take this medicine precisely as per the dosing schedule your medical healthcare provider assigned to avoid any such condition.
What are the side effects of Lexapro?
Allergic reaction: Lexapro can rarely cause an allergic reaction, and the symptoms may include hives or skin rash; swelling of your face, throat, lips, or tongue; difficulty breathing.
You need to report any intensifying or new symptoms to your medical healthcare provider, especially:
- Anxiety, mood or behavior changes,
- Trouble sleeping, panic attacks, or
- If you feel irritable, impulsive, hostile, agitated, restless, aggressive, more depressed, hyperactive (physically or mentally), or
- If you have various thoughts about hurting yourself or committing suicide
Severe side effects of Lexapro:
- Pain or burning while urination;
- Tunnel vision, halos around the lights, blurred vision, eye pain, or swelling;
- Unnecessary risk-taking behavior with racing thoughts, a sudden feeling of extreme happiness or sadness;
- Weight gain or slow growth rate in a child taking Lexapro;
- Severe nervous system reaction- confusion, high fever, sweating, very stiff or rigid muscles, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling lightheaded; or
- Low sodium levels in your body- extreme weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, headache, slurred speech, vomiting, feeling unsteady,
Common side effects of Lexapro:
- Drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, tiredness;
- Painful urination; heavy menstruation with severe pain;
- Feeling shaky, increased muscle movements;
- Feeling agitated or anxious;
- Dry mouth, sweating, loss of appetite, increased thirst;
- Sleep problems (insomnia);
- Yawning; nosebleed;
- Nausea, constipation; or
- Impotence, difficulty having an orgasm, or reduced sex drive