How Long Can You Take Lexapro
SSRIs are long-term treatments for depression. In general, people need to take escitalopram for six to 12 weeks to achieve satisfactory remission of depression symptoms and another six months to a year to fully resolve an episode of major depression. People with chronic forms of depression may need to take Lexapro or another SSRI for two years or more to manage symptoms. Fortunately, Lexapro, like other SSRIs, has not been shown to cause serious problems when taken over the long term.
Interference With Cognitive And Motor Performance
In a study in normal volunteers, Lexapro 10 mg/day did not produce impairment of intellectual function or psychomotor performance. Because any psychoactive drug may impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills, however, patients should be cautioned about operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that Lexapro therapy does not affect their ability to engage in such activities.
What Happens If I Miss A Dose Of Lexapro
Take a dose as soon as its remembered. If it is almost time for the next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
For Lexapro to work, it is important to take the medicine faithfully every day for weeks and months. If doses are being skipped frequently, consider setting up an alarm, phone app, or alarm to serve as a reminder. A pharmacist or other healthcare provider can provide other tips for managing a dosing schedule.
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Animal Toxicology And/or Pharmacology
Retinal Changes in Rats
Pathologic changes were observed in the retinas of albino rats in the 2-year carcinogenicity study with racemic citalopram. There was an increase in both incidence and severity of retinal pathology in both male and female rats receiving 80 mg/kg/day. Similar findings were not present in rats receiving 24 mg/kg/day of racemic citalopram for two years, in mice receiving up to 240 mg/kg/day of racemic citalopram for 18 months, or in dogs receiving up to 20 mg/kg/day of racemic citalopram for one year.
Additional studies to investigate the mechanism for this pathology have not been performed, and the potential significance of this effect in humans has not been established.
Cardiovascular Changes in Dogs
In a one-year toxicology study, 5 of 10 beagle dogs receiving oral racemic citalopram doses of 8 mg/kg/day died suddenly between weeks 17 and 31 following initiation of treatment. Sudden deaths were not observed in rats at doses of racemic citalopram up to 120 mg/kg/day, which produced plasma levels of citalopram and its metabolites demethylcitalopram and didemethylcitalopram similar to those observed in dogs at 8 mg/kg/day. A subsequent intravenous dosing study demonstrated that in beagle dogs, racemic DDCT caused QT prolongation, a known risk factor for the observed outcome in dogs.
Drugs Metabolized By Cytochrome P4502d6
In vitro studies did not reveal an inhibitory effect of escitalopram on CYP2D6. In addition, steady state levels of racemic citalopram were not significantly different in poor metabolizers and extensive CYP2D6 metabolizers after multiple-dose administration of citalopram, suggesting that coadministration, with escitalopram, of a drug that inhibits CYP2D6, is unlikely to have clinically significant effects on escitalopram metabolism. However, there are limited in vivo data suggesting a modest CYP2D6 inhibitory effect for escitalopram, i.e., coadministration of escitalopram with the tricyclic antidepressant desipramine , a substrate for CYP2D6, resulted in a 40% increase in Cmax and a 100% increase in AUC of desipramine. The clinical significance of this finding is unknown. Nevertheless, caution is indicated in the coadministration of escitalopram and drugs metabolized by CYP2D6.
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Use In Patients With Concomitant Illness
Clinical experience with Lexapro in patients with certain concomitant systemic illnesses is limited. Caution is advisable in using Lexapro in patients with diseases or conditions that produce altered metabolism or hemodynamic responses.
Lexapro has not been systematically evaluated in patients with a recent history of myocardial infarction or unstable heart disease. Patients with these diagnoses were generally excluded from clinical studies during the product’s premarketing testing.
In subjects with hepatic impairment, clearance of racemic citalopram was decreased and plasma concentrations were increased. The recommended dose of Lexapro in hepatically impaired patients is 10 mg/day .
Because escitalopram is extensively metabolized, excretion of unchanged drug in urine is a minor route of elimination. Until adequate numbers of patients with severe renal impairment have been evaluated during chronic treatment with Lexapro, however, it should be used with caution in such patients .
Prozac Vs Lexapro Label Indications & Off
|Fluoxetine||Bipolar major depression Bulimia nervosa Major depressive disorder Obsessive-compulsive disorder Panic disorder Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, Treatment-resistant depression||Binge eating disorder Body dysmorphic disorder Fibromyalgia, refractory Generalized anxiety disorder Posttraumatic stress disorder Premature ejaculation Selective mutism Social anxiety disorder|
|Escitalopram||Major depressive disorder Generalized anxiety disorder||Binge eating disorder Body dysmorphic disorder Bulimia nervosa Obsessive-compulsive disorder Panic disorder Posttraumatic stress disorder Premature ejaculation Premenstrual dysphoric disorder Vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause|
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Side Effects With Other Health Conditions
If you have certain health conditions, you likely should not take Lexapro. In some cases, your doctor may lower your dosage or watch you more closely during your treatment with it. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following health conditions before taking Lexapro.
- A history of suicidal thoughts or behaviorsLexapro can increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior, especially in children, teens, and young adults.
- Bipolar disorderif you take Lexapro without taking other medications for bipolar disorder, Lexapro may bring on a manic episode.
- Seizuresthis drug may cause seizures and make your seizure disorder worse.
- Glaucomathis drug may bring on a glaucoma attack.
- Low salt levelsLexapro can further lower your salt levels.
- Pregnancyit isnt known if Lexapro will harm your unborn baby.
- BreastfeedingLexapro may pass into breast milk and cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.
Certain medications can interact with Lexapro. Be sure to tell your doctor about all over-the-counter and prescription drugs, supplements, and herbs you take. Lexapro may interact with the following drugs:
- blood thinners such as warfarin to increase your risk of bleeding
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin to increase your risk of bleeding
- other drugs used to treat depression to increase the level of serotonin in your body, which can cause serotonin syndrome
Demographic And Clinical Characteristics
The demographic characteristics of the subjects are shown in Table . Distributions of age, gender, educational level, and head motion were not significantly different among the patients with MDD and the HCs . The HAMD-17 total scores of the patients were significantly decreased after 12-week treatment . Among the patients, 28 achieved response defined as a reduction of 50% or more in the HAMD-17 score, and 19 patients showed clinical remission with HAMD-17 score7. The PHQ-9 total scores of patients with MDD were also significantly decreased after 12-week treatment . Moreover, both of the scores of patients with MDD at baseline and after 12 weeks were significantly higher than those of the HCs , in whom no difference in the PHQ-9 total scores was found at baseline and after 12 weeks , and the scores of the HCs were all below 5.
Who Shouldnt Take Celexa Or Lexapro
You shouldnât take Celexa or Lexapro if you:
- Are allergic to any of the ingredients
- Take another type of antidepressant called monoamine oxidase inhibitors
- Stopped taking an MAOI less than 2 weeks ago. You also shouldnât start taking an MAOI within 2 weeks of stopping Celexa/Lexapro.
Celexa isnât recommended for people who have:
- Congenital long QT syndrome
- High blood pressure
- Have or had bleeding issues
Young adults under 24, teens, and children usually shouldnât take antidepressants because studies show the drugs may especially raise suicidal thoughts and actions in these groups. But clinical trials show that Lexapro is safe for adolescents ages 12 to 17 who have major depressive disorder.
If you have thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately.
Mayo Clinic: âSelective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ,â âMonoamine oxidase inhibitors ,â âBradycardia,â âLow potassium .â
Hormone Health Network: âWhat is Serotonin?â
Australian Prescriber: âSwitching and stopping antidepressants.â
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry: âCitalopram and escitalopram in the treatment of major depressive disorder: a pooled analysis of 3 clinical trials.â
U.S. National Library of Medicine: âCitalopram,â âEscitalopram,â âMagnesium deficiency.â
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Correlations Between The Dmn Subsystem Connectivity And Clinical Improvements
No significant correlations between the changes of within-subsystem and between-subsystem rsFC values and the clinical improvement were observed among the patients with MDD . However, a significant negative correlation was found between the rsFC within the MTL subsystem at baseline and the clinical improvement, suggesting that the low rsFC within the MTL subsystem at baseline was associated with good clinical improvement .
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Other Serious Side Effects
Lexapro can also cause other serious side effects. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or local emergency services if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think youre having a medical emergency.
Severe allergic reactions
You should not take Lexapro if youre allergic to it, its ingredients, or the antidepressant Celexa. Symptoms can include:
- breathing trouble
- swelling of your face, tongue, eyes, or mouth
- severe rash, hives , or blisters that may come on with fever or joint pain
Seizures or convulsions
There have been reports of some people having seizures while taking Lexapro. People with a history of seizures are at higher risk.
This is a serious condition. It happens when the levels of serotonin in your body get too high. Its more likely to occur if you also take other drugs that increase serotonin, such as other antidepressants or lithium. Symptoms can include:
- talking quickly or more than normal
Lexapro may dilate your pupils. This may trigger a glaucoma attack, even if you dont have a history of eye problems. Symptoms can include:
- swelling or redness in or around your eye
What Interacts With Lexapro
A number of drugs can interact with Lexapro. Some drugs can cause hazardous drug interactions with Lexapro, so its vitally important to inform all healthcare professionals providing care about taking Lexapro. Do not start or stop any medicationincluding over-the-counter medications or supplementsuntil talking to a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. Avoid Lexapro with the following:
Drugs that also raise serotonin levels. Examples include other SSRIs and SNRIs, sumatriptan, lithium, and tramadol. Popular home remedies such as St. Johns wort and tryptophan also raise serotonin levels.
All SSRIs can affect heart rhythm, but there is a greater potential for this with Lexapro. Tell your healthcare provider about any personal or family history of heart disease or abnormal heart rhythms.
Because Lexapro increases the risk of bleeding, tell your doctor if you are at risk for bleeding or are taking an anticoagulant . Be careful about drugs that can be purchased without a prescription, too. Over-the-counter NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen also thin the blood.
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Can You Overdose On Lexapro
Do not exceed the recommended daily dose of Lexapro. An overdose of Lexapro will require medical attention, especially if other drugs or alcohol are also involved. Symptoms of a Lexapro overdose include dizziness, low blood pressure, drowsiness, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, and low blood pressure. More serious side effects include changes to the hearts rhythm, coma, and kidney failure. If theres any suspicion of a Lexapro overdose, call a poison helpline and go to an emergency room.
How Long Does It Take Lexapro To Work
It takes several weeks of daily dosing for Lexapro or other SSRIs to improve major depression or anxiety symptoms. Improvement should become noticeable in one or two weeks, and symptoms should steadily get better over the next six weeks. Some people, however, may need to take SSRIs for as long as six weeks before they notice any improvement in symptoms. Escitalopram, however, has a more rapid onset of action than other antidepressants.
Even after symptoms have improved, Lexapro maintenance treatment will need to continue for at least several months and often longer to prevent depression or anxiety from recurring.
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How To Take And Store Lexapro
Taking and storing Lexapro properly helps keep the medication both safe and effective. Lexapro is typically taken as a tablet or oral solution once daily, in the morning or evening, with or without food.
If you miss a dose, take your prescribed dose as soon as you remember unless it is very close to your next dose. In that case, take your regular dose instead. Never take two or more doses of Lexapro at the same time.
Doses higher than 20 mg are not approved by the FDA. Staying within the recommended dose helps to reduce the risk of side effects or adverse reactions.
It’s important to recognize that you will not experience immediate relief from taking Lexapro. It can take anywhere from one to four weeks to feel better once you start taking this drug.
You might notice improvements in your sleep, energy levels, and appetite within the first week or two. But you may not experience the full benefits of the medication until you’ve been following a recommended treatment plan for a couple of months.
Taking your medication as prescribed will ensure that you experience its full effectiveness. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about this medication.
Suicidal Thoughts And Behaviors In Adolescents And Young Adults
In pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs that included approximately 77,000 adult patients and 4,500 pediatric patients, the incidence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in the antidepressant-treated patients age 24 years and younger was greater than in placebo-treated patients. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among drugs, but there was an increased risk identified in young patients for most drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors across the different indications, with the highest incidence in patients with MDD. The drug-placebo differences in the number of cases of suicidal thoughts and behaviors per 1000 patients treated are provided in Table 1.
|â¥65 years old||6 fewer patients|
It is unknown whether the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, adolescents, and young adults extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond four months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance trials in adults with MDD that antidepressants delay the recurrence of depression and that depression itself is a risk factor for suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Comparison With Ssris Or Snris
Escitalopram was compared to other SSRIs or SNRIs in a meta-analysis of patient data from 16 double-blind, controlled studies.41 When attention was focused on adverse events that occurred at a frequency of 5% or more, escitalopram showed significantly lower frequencies of diarrhea, dry mouth, and the presence of more than one adverse event compared to the other SSRIs. Escitalopram was also associated with significantly lower frequencies of nausea, insomnia, dry mouth, vertigo, excessive sweating, constipation, and vomiting than the SNRIs.
Lexapro Dosage For Pets
The FDA has not approved Lexapro or its active ingredient, escitalopram, for use in animals. However, a veterinarian may prescribe escitalopram to treat problem behaviors in dogs. Because of the lack of studies, escitalopram dosing for animals has not been defined, so individual veterinarians may use different dosages. As with humans, escitalopram will be administered to the dog once per day over a period of months as part of a larger behavior treatment plan.
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Relapse And Recurrence Prevention Study
An MDD relapse prevention study37 was carried out in another group of patients aged 65 and older. Escitalopram was administered at a dose of 10 or 20 mg/day for 12 weeks. Patients that reached remission were allocated to receive either escitalopram at 10 or 20 mg/day or placebo. The two groups were followed to determine the relapse rate. The cumulative non-relapse rate remained high in the escitalopram group but decreased over time in the placebo group . At the end of study, relapses were observed in only 9% of the escitalopram group and 33% of the placebo group thus, the relapse rate was significantly lower in the escitalopram group.
Changes in the cumulative non-relapse rate.
Notes: Escitalopram exhibits a low relapse rate, demonstrating a significant relapse-preventing effect compared to placebo. Copyright © 2007, Wolters Kluwer Health. Adapted with permission from Gorwood P, Weiller E, Lemming O, Katona C. Escitalopram prevents relapse in older patients with major depressive disorder. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007 15:581593.37
An MDD recurrence prevention study38 examined recurrences after 16 weeks of continuous therapy with escitalopram. Patients given escitalopram at a fixed dose of 10 or 20 mg/day were compared to controls given placebo for 52 weeks of maintenance therapy. MDD recurrence was 27% in the escitalopram group significantly lower than the 65% observed in the placebo group.