Escitalopram (By mouth)
Treats depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- Take this medicine as directed. You may need to take it for a month or more before you feel better. Your dose may need to be changed to find out what works best for you.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
- Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Do not use this medicine together with pimozide. Do not use this medicine and an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) within 14 days of each other.
- Some medicines can affect how escitalopram works. Tell your doctor if you are using the following:
- Buspirone, carbamazepine, fentanyl, lithium, St John's wort, tramadol, or tryptophan supplements
- Blood thinner (including warfarin)
- Diuretic (water pill)
- NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (including aspirin, celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)
- Triptan medicine to treat migraine headaches (including sumatriptan)
- Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, bleeding problems, glaucoma, heart disease, or a seizure disorder.
- For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine may increase mental or emotional problems. This may lead to thoughts of suicide and violence. Talk with your doctor right away if you have any thoughts or behavior changes that concern you. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has a history of bipolar disorder or suicide attempts.
- This medicine may cause the following problems:
- Serotonin syndrome (more likely when taken with certain medicines)
- Low sodium levels
- Increased risk of bleeding problems
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Your doctor may want to monitor your child's weight and height, because this medicine may cause decreased appetite and weight loss in children.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
- Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Anxiety, restlessness, fever, sweating, muscle spasms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
- Confusion, weakness, and muscle twitching
- Eye pain, vision changes, seeing halos around lights
- Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
- Feeling more excited or energetic than usual, racing thoughts, trouble sleeping
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or others, unusual behavior
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Dizziness, drowsiness, or sleepiness
- Dry mouth
- Nausea, constipation, diarrhea
- Sexual problems
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last reviewed on 10/4/2017
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