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Lexapro

What is Lexapro

Lexapro is in a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Lexapro affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression.

Lexapro is used to treat depression.

Lexapro may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Lexapro

Do not stop taking Lexapro without first talking to your doctor. It may take several weeks for you to start feeling better.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Lexapro may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking Lexapro or affect your condition.

What you should find out before taking Lexapro

Do not take Lexapro if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) during the last 2 weeks. A dangerous drug interaction can occur if Lexapro is combined with any of these medications.

Before taking Lexapro, tell your doctor if you
- have liver disease,
- have kidney disease,
- suffer from seizures, or
- suffer from mania or have suicidal thoughts.

You may not be able to take Lexapro, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Lexapro should not be taken during treatment with citalopram (Celexa). Also, if you have had an allergic reaction to citalopram (Celexa), you may also have an allergic reaction to Lexapro. Do not take Lexapro without first talking to your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to either medication in the past.

Lexapro is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Lexapro it will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take Lexapro without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

Lexapro passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing infant. Do not take Lexapro without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should take Lexapro

Take Lexapro exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

To ensure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid form of Lexapro with a dose-measuring spoon, cup, or dropper, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Lexapro may be taken with or without food.

Lexapro is usually taken once a day. Follow your doctor's instructions. Take the dose at the same time each day.

Do not stop taking Lexapro without first talking to your doctor. It may take several weeks for you to start feeling better.

Store Lexapro at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a Lexapro overdose include nausea, vomiting, tremor, drowsiness, dizziness, sweating, and a fast heartbeat.

Avoid while taking Lexapro

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Lexapro may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking Lexapro or affect your condition.

Possible side effects of Lexapro

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Lexapro and call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- an irregular heartbeat or pulse;
- low blood pressure (dizziness, weakness);
- high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision); or
- chills or fever.

If you experience any of the following less serious side effects, continue taking Lexapro and talk to your doctor:
- headache, tremor, nervousness, or anxiety;
- nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, or changes in appetite or weight;
- sleepiness or insomnia; or
- decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Lexapro

Do not take Lexapro if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) during the last 2 weeks. A dangerous drug interaction can occur when Lexapro is combined with any of these medications.

Before taking Lexapro, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- another antidepressant such as citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), trazodone (Desyrel), or nefazodone (Serzone);
- a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil), doxepin (Sinequan), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and others;
- a seizure medication including carbamazepine (Tegretol) or felbamate (Felbatol);
- a stomach medicine such as cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB), ranitidine (Zantac, Zantac 75), or omeprazole (Prilosec);
- an antibiotic such as erythromycin (Eryc-Tab, E-Mycin, E.E.S., Erythrocin, P.C.E., others) or clarithromycin (Biaxin);
- an antifungal medication such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), or ketoconazole (Nizoral); or
- a migraine medication such as almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex), or zolmitriptan (Zomig);
- the asthma medication zafirlukast (Accolate); or
- lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid, Lithonate, Lithotabs).

You may not be able to take Lexapro, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Lexapro. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

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H
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K
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L
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T
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