Escitalopram belongs to a class of medications known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). It is used to treat symptoms of depression (low mood) such as:
It may also be used to treat symptoms of anxiety such as:
This medication may be used for obsessive- compulsive disorders, eating disorders and other conditions. Check with your healthcare professional if you are unsure why you are given this medication.
Side effects that generally affect up to 10% of patients include:
Most of the side effects listed here will improve with time. Speak with your doctor if they continue, get worse or are affecting your daily life.
Very rarely (affect less than 1% of patients) this medication may cause:
The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.
Inform your healthcare professional if:
In some cases, particularly in young people below the age of 25 years, this medication may cause the following changes to a person's mental condition, especially in the first few weeks of treatment or during dose changes:
Please inform your doctor as soon as possible, or for your family or caregiver to inform your doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.
Do not stop taking this medication on your own without discussing with your doctor.
It is important to note that your doctor has prescribed this medication as he/she feels you will benefit more from taking this medication over the possible risks that it may cause, which have a low chance of occurring, and most people take this medication without any of such problems.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication as it may make you feel very drowsy and can worsen symptoms of depression or increase anxiety.
This medication may interact with other medications. If you intend to take any over the counter medication, supplements such as St John’s Wort, herbal remedy or traditional Chinese medicine, consult your doctor or healthcare professional first to confirm that it is safe to take with this medication.
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is more than half of the time to the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your usual timing. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.
Pack this medication into a trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.