Escitalopram (Cipralex)

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Overview: Escitalopram, known by the brand name Cipralex, is an antidepressant of the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) class. Escitalopram is used to treat depression and sometimes anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. Escitalopram has helped many people recover from depression. It doesn’t have many side effects compared to older antidepressants. Escitalopram is only available on prescription.

 

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Key Facts: It will take around four to six weeks for Escitalopram to work, however minor improvements might be visible after around a week. There are a few side effects to Escitalopram, as mentioned below. Escitalopram should be used without interruption – you shouldn’t suddenly stop taking the medicine. The medication should help jump start your mood, and slowly make you feel like your old self again. Recent research suggested Escitalopram is one of the most effective antidepressants.

 

How do they work?: Unfortunately, it isn’t entirely known how antidepressants work. The most widely accepted belief is that antidepressants work by increasing levels of a group of chemicals in the brain named neurotransmitters. Some of these neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and noradrenaline, can help improve mood and emotion. How this process exactly works is unknown. It is recommended that Escitalopram is used in conjunction with therapy.

 

Dosage: You should take Escitalopram once a day. It doesn’t upset the stomach, and thus can be taken with or without food. You should take the tablet at the same time each day. The usual dose of Escitalopram is 10mg a day in adults. Sometimes, a lower dose will be prescribed, especially at the beginning of treatment. The maximum dose per day is 20mg. It can take some time to find the correct dose. A typical treatment course of Escitalopram is six months, though a longer treatment course is common.

 

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Side Effects

With each box of Escitalopram, there will be an information leaflet enclosed. This will provide an exhaustive list of side effects. Side effects from Escitalopram should only last a few days, and are relatively mild. It is natural to experience some side effects as your body gets used to the medication.

 

Common side effects of Escitalopram include a dry mouth, excessive sweating, insomnia, drowsiness and tiredness.

 

Serious side effects include suicidal thinking, seizures, chest pain and psychosis. An overdose should be avoided, as it can cause the potentially fatal Serotonin Syndrome. You should contact your doctor if any of these serious side effects take place.

 

 

Cautions

You should always read the information leaflet that comes with your medication as it will include important information there. You should tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication. It is important that you don’t use the herbal remedy St. Johns wort. You shouldn’t take any other antidepressant with Escitalopram unless directed by your doctor.  Popular opoid Tramadol should be avoided, as should Dextromethorphan. Always ask your doctor when in need of advice.

 

Alcohol acts as a depressant, therefore it is recommended that anyone taking an antidepressant stays away from drinking alcohol. Combining Escitalopram with  recreational drugs (especially Ecstasy) is also not recommended.

 

Escitalopram is not recommended in pregnancy or the breastfeeding stage. The medicine has been linked to problems for an unborn baby or in early life.

 

Escitalopram shouldn’t be taken by anyone under the age of 18. Antidepressants have been linked to a rise in suicidal thoughts when taken by adolescents. Instead, some form of psychotherapy is recommended.

 

Other SSRI’s:

 

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