Does Lexapro Work for Depression

Does Lexapro Work for Depression

Lexapro for Depression

Lexapro is an effective medicine for depression and anxiety, but it does not work for everyone. The generic medication Escitalopram is prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, depression, and other mood disorders, sometimes in combination with other medications.

Escitalopram is one of several commonly prescribed medications to treat depression and anxiety disorders.

For most adults and teens who suffer from depression or anxiety, Escitalopram is a safe, effective drug that causes only mild side effects.

Escitalopram can also be useful when prescribedoff-labelfor obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders like binge eating disorder or bulimia nervosa, panic disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Lexapro and Other Conditions 

At their discretion, clinicians may prescribe Lexapro for other conditions, including panic disorder, social phobia, OCD, bulimia, and PTSD.

Lexapro can also be prescribedoff-labelto treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and binge-eating disorder (BED) (Zutshi, 2007; Guerdjikova, 2007).

 This antidepressant can be prescribed for major depression to adults and adolescents, but it is approved only for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder to adults by the FDA.

Lexapro (escitalopram) has been shown in clinical trials to be significantly more effective than placebo for treating both major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.

As with all medications effective for treating bipolar disorder, Lexapro should be used with caution in patients who have a history of mania.

Lexapro, a prescription drug used for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), can take considerably longer to begin taking effect.

How Lexapro Works

Patients using Lexapro for treating mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety should not expect Lexapro to begin working immediately.

If you wish to discontinue Lexapro, it is important to work with your health care professional to gradually taper off of the drug.

As with other medications, it is always best to seek the assistance of a health care professional if you have questions or concerns about using escitalopram or another medication for depression or anxiety.

If you are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant, or think you might become pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider right away about the benefits and risks of using escitalopram while pregnant.

Because untreated mental/mood problems (such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder) can be serious conditions, do not stop using this medicine unless directed to do so by your doctor.

You should be aware that your mental health can change in unexpected ways when taking escitalopram or other antidepressants, even if you are an adult older than 24 years.

Anyone taking antidepressants should be watched carefully for worsening depression or unusual behaviors.

Monitoring Lexapro

You should be careful to monitor any changes in your behavior or mental health, including worsening depression, panic attacks, and thoughts or attempts of suicide, when you first start using Lexapro or when you change your dosage.

Stopping treatment with an antidepressant suddenly or missing a few doses may cause withdrawal-like symptoms.

It is important to gradually taper off medications such as Lexapro, and monitor for withdrawal symptoms as you decrease the dosage.

Sudden discontinuation of treatment with escitalopram can also make depression and/or anxiety symptoms recur.

If you suddenly stop taking Lexapro, you may experience Lexapro withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, agitation, dizziness, anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, and insomnia.

You may experience side effects like fatigue, diarrhea, or headache during the first week or two after starting Lexapro.

Lexapro Timeframe 

It may take anywhere from one to four weeks to start feeling better after starting escitalopram, the generic medication, and you may not feel the full benefits of the drug until you follow the recommended treatment plan for a couple months.

If you are experiencing your first episode of depression or anxiety, you might want to take Lexapro for a defined period, like between six months and a year.

If the generic drug, escitalopram, is not effective for you, your healthcare provider will try to find another drug that might be helpful, such as another SSRI or a different class of antidepressant medications.

Lexapro Pharmacology 

Lexapro belongs to a type of antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which were first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1986;

Lexapro received its approval in 2002. Lexapro (escitalopram) and Zoloft (sertraline) are SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) indicated to treat depression and other psychological conditions.

MAO inhibitors, such as selegiline, should not be used within 14 days of Lexapro (escitalopram) or Zoloft (sertraline); this combination can increase your risk for serotonin syndrome, a potentially deadly medical emergency caused by an overabundance of serotonin.

Triptans used for treating migraine headaches, such as Imitrex (sumatriptan), and other antidepressants, such as Elavil or Cymbalta, should not be used together with Lexapro (escitalopram) or Zoloft (sertraline), because of the risk of serotonin syndrome.

Patients should be cautioned about the risk of serotonin syndrome with concomitant use of Lexapro with other serotonergic medications.

including triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, tryptophan, buspirone, amphetamines, and St. Johns Wort, and with medications that impair serotonin metabolism (particularly MAOIs, both those intended to treat mental disorders and others such as linezolid)

Patients should be cautioned about the risk of serotonin syndrome with the concomitant use of Lexapro with other serotonergic drugs including triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, tryptophan, buspirone, amphetamines and St. Johns Wort.


And with drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin (in particular, MAOIs, both those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid)

In fact, SSRIs like escitalopram are often prescribed primarily for depression, especially since these medications are much less likely to cause side effects, interactions, and other problems.

Lexapro (escitalopram) is an SSRI indicated for the acute and maintenance treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adolescents aged 12-17 years and adults, as well as the acute treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in adults.

Although Lexapro, a generic medication, is currently approved only for treatment of depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is prescribed for many other conditions.

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