Lexapro is used for treating depression and anxiety. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Use Lexapro as directed by your doctor.
Lexapro comes with an additional patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully and reread it each time you get Lexapro refilled.
Lexapro may be taken with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
Several weeks may pass before Lexapro reaches full effect.
Continue to use Lexapro even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Lexapro.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) type of antidepressant. It works by increasing the activity of a chemical in the brain called serotonin, which helps to elevate mood.
If you miss a dose of Lexapro, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Store Lexapro at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Lexapro out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Possible Side Effects
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
back pain; constipation; decreased sex drive; diarrhea; delay in ejaculation; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; impotence; increased sweating; lack of orgasms; loss of appetite; nausea; trouble sleeping; unusual fatigue; upset stomach; vomiting.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); agitation; anxiety; black or tarry stools; changes in amount of urine; chest pain; hostility; impulsiveness; irritability; mania; muscle cramps; painful or prolonged erection; panic attacks; restlessness; seizures; sleeplessness; stomach pain; suicidal thoughts; thoughts of hurting yourself; uncontrolled movements (tremors); unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual or severe mental/mood changes; unusually fast or slow heartbeat; vision changes; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; worsening of depression.
Lexapro is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
Lexapro - contraindications, warnings and precautions
Do not use Lexapro if:
you are allergic to any ingredient in Lexapro or to citalopram;
you are taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, phenelzine) in the last 14 days;
you are taking citalopram, linezolid, pimozide, selegiline, tramadol, or any weight loss medicines (e.g., phentermine).
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
Avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medications that cause drowsiness (eg, sedatives, tranquilizers) while taking Lexapro . Lexapro will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines are depressants.
Antidepressants can increase suicidal thoughts and actions in some children and teenagers. This risk may be higher in individuals with bipolar illness (also called manic-depressive illness), a family history of bipolar illness, or a history of attempting suicide. Pay close attention to changes in moods or actions, especially if changes occur suddenly. Contact your doctor right away if any of the following effects occur or worsen: depression, anxiety, restlessness or irritability, panic attacks, thoughts or attempts of suicide, or other unusual changes in behavior or mood.
Use Lexapro with caution in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
Lexapro is not recommended for use in children. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Lexapro , especially during the third trimester. Lexapro is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Lexapro, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.
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