Escitalopram review

Escitalopram is an approved medication for depression. More specifically, it is recommended as treatment for conditions like major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. It may also be applicable to other disorders such as social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Developed by Forest and Lundbeck laboratories, Escitalopram was approved as treatment for major depressive disorder in 2002. Later, in 2003, it was also approved as treatment for generalized anxiety disorder.

It is sold under the brand name, Lexapro.

Escitalopram is classified under the category called, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other drugs like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft also belong to this category.

Escitalopram functions by affecting the activity of the neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters are the medium through which the nerves are able to communicate with one another. Once released by the nerves, these neurotransmitters are supposed to travel to the other nerves. Then, they must attach themselves to the other nerve and the deliver the message. However, there are unique cases where the neurotransmitter does not travel to other nerves and is unable to bind to other receptors. In this case, a reuptake happens. The nerve simply takes back the very neurotransmitter is produced.

Since scientists believe depression is caused by an imbalance in neurotransmitters, Escitalopram works by maintaining the balance of one specific neurotransmitter, Serotonin. Serotonin is believed to be responsible for a mood lightening effect. So by preventing its uptake, the neurotransmitter can travel to another nerves and perform its mood-altering mechanisms. As a result of Escitalopram’s actions, more neurotransmitters are able to attach to the nerves in the brain.

The medicine is available in both tablet and solution.

Usually, the patient starts treatment by taking Escitalopram once a day, using a 10 mg dosage. Eventually and as the situation dictates, the dosage can be doubled to 20 mg. It can be taken with either a full or an empty stomach.

Also, the patient must be patient. The effects of the treatment are usually visibly only after four weeks of treatment.

Patients who are already taking anti-depressants must consult their doctor if they consider switching to Escitalopram. If they take Escitalopram with other depression medications, the interaction may be extremely dangerous to their health. Usually, the patient must stop Escitalopram and then wait for fourteen full days before embarking on a new form of treatment for depression.

Also, Escitalopram can be excreted through breast milk. As such, breastfeeding women must consult their doctor if they are thinking about starting treatment.

Moreover, Escitalopram must not be taken with medicines like aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs since the interaction can cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.

Taking Escitalopram may cause the patient to develop restlessness, insomnia, drowsiness and agitation. He may also experience diarrhea, blurred vision, fever, nausea and head ache. It is also reported that drinking Escitalopram may alter the patient’s libido and sexual performance.

Also, the patient should not stop the medication abruptly. He may experience withdrawal symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, increased irritability, poor disposition and vivid dreams.

Escitalopram has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of escitalopram

• Molecular formula of escitalopram is C20H21FN2O
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 1-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-1-(4-fluorophenyl)-1,3-dihydroisobenzofuran-5-carbonitrile
• Molecular weight is 324.392 g/mol
Escitalopram available : 5mg/5ml solution, 5mg tablets, 10mg tablets, 20mg tablets

Brand name(s): Cipralex, Lexapro

  Your Escitalopram review