What LEXAPRO is used for
LEXAPRO is used to treat depression.
It belongs to a group of medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). They are thought to work by their actions on brain chemicals called amines which are involved in controlling mood.
Depression is longer lasting or more severe than the “low moods” everyone has from time to time due to the stress of everyday life. It is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in parts of the brain. This imbalance affects your whole body and can cause emotional and physical symptoms such as feeling low in spirit, loss of interest in activities, being unable to enjoy life, poor appetite or overeating, disturbed sleep, often waking up early, loss of sex drive, lack of energy and feeling guilty over nothing.
LEXAPRO corrects this chemical imbalance and may help relieve the symptoms of depression.
LEXAPRO may also be used to treat patients who may avoid and/or are fearful of social situations.
LEXAPRO may also be used to treat patients who have excessive anxiety and worry.
LEXAPRO may also be used to treat irrational fears or obsessional behaviour (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Obsessive-compulsive disorder involves having both obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted thoughts that occur over and over again. Compulsions are the ongoing need to repeat certain actions as a result of these thoughts.
Your doctor, however, may prescribe it for another purpose.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why it has been prescribed for you.
This medicine is only available with a doctor’s prescription.
LEXAPRO is not addictive. However, if you suddenly stop taking it, you may get side effects.
Tell your doctor if you get any side effects after stopping LEXAPRO.
Before you take it
When you must not take it
Do not take LEXAPRO if you are allergic to it, to any medicine containing escitalopram, citalopram, or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body, or rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Do not take LEXAPRO at the same time as the following other medicines:
- pimozide, a medicine used to treat mental disorders
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as phenelzine, tranylcypromine and moclobemide which are also used for the treatment of depression.
One day must elapse after you have finished taking moclobemide before you start taking LEXAPRO. If you have taken any other MAOI you will need to wait 14 days. After stopping LEXAPRO you must allow 14 days before taking any MAOI including moclobemide.
Taking LEXAPRO with MAOIs may cause a serious reaction with a sudden increase in body temperature, extremely high blood pressure and severe convulsions. Your doctor will know when it is safe to start LEXAPRO after the MAOI has been stopped.
Do not take it after the expiry date printed on the pack. If you take it after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well. The expiry date refers to the last day of the month.
Do not take it if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.