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Escitalopram Oral tablet

What is this medicine?

ESCITALOPRAM (es sye TAL oh pram) is used to treat depression and certain types of anxiety.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly except upon the advice of your doctor. Stopping this medicine too quickly may cause serious side effects or your condition may worsen.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • confusion

  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls

  • fast talking and excited feelings or actions that are out of control

  • hallucination, loss of contact with reality

  • seizures

  • suicidal thoughts or other mood changes

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • blurred vision

  • changes in appetite

  • change in sex drive or performance

  • headache

  • increased sweating

  • nausea

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • cisapride

  • citalopram

  • linezolid

  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate

  • methylene blue (injected into a vein)

  • pimozide

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol

  • aspirin and aspirin-like medicines

  • carbamazepine

  • certain medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances

  • certain medicines for migraine headache like almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan

  • cimetidine

  • diuretics

  • fentanyl

  • furazolidone

  • isoniazid

  • ketoconazole

  • lithium

  • medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin, enoxaparin, and dalteparin

  • medicines for sleep

  • metoprolol

  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen

  • procarbazine

  • rasagiline

  • supplements like St. John's wort, kava kava, valerian

  • tramadol

  • tryptophan

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • bipolar disorder or a family history of bipolar disorder

  • diabetes

  • glaucoma

  • heart disease

  • kidney or liver disease

  • receiving electroconvulsive therapy

  • seizures (convulsions)

  • suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt by you or a family member

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to escitalopram, the related drug citalopram, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to become pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse. Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Because it may take several weeks to see the full effects of this medicine, it is important to continue your treatment as prescribed by your doctor.

Patients and their families should watch out for new or worsening thoughts of suicide or depression. Also watch out for sudden changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose, call your health care professional.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 7/11/2014
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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