Lexapro is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. It belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Lexapro is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. In this article, we will discuss the uses of Lexapro, how it works, and its potential side effects.
What is Lexapro?
Lexapro is the brand name for escitalopram, which is an antidepressant medication. It works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which helps to regulate mood and reduce anxiety. Lexapro is available in tablet form and is usually taken once a day.
What is Major Depressive Disorder?
Major depressive disorder is a mental health condition that affects millions of Americans each year. It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. People with major depressive disorder may also experience changes in appetite, sleep patterns, and energy levels. Lexapro is approved by the FDA to treat major depressive disorder in adults and adolescents over the age of 12.
What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Generalized anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by excessive and persistent worry about a variety of different things. People with generalized anxiety disorder may experience physical symptoms such as muscle tension, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. Lexapro is approved by the FDA to treat generalized anxiety disorder in adults.
How Does Lexapro Work?
Lexapro works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is involved in regulating mood, sleep, and appetite. By increasing serotonin levels, Lexapro helps to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
What are the Potential Side Effects of Lexapro?
Like all medications, Lexapro can cause side effects. Common side effects of Lexapro include nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, and dizziness. In some cases, Lexapro may also cause sexual side effects such as decreased libido and difficulty achieving orgasm. More serious side effects of Lexapro can include suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially in children and adolescents.
How is Lexapro Prescribed?
Lexapro is usually prescribed by a healthcare provider such as a psychiatrist or primary care physician. The dosage of Lexapro will vary depending on the individual and the condition being treated. It is important to take Lexapro exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Can Lexapro be Taken with Other Medications?
Lexapro can interact with other medications, so it is important to tell your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements that you are taking. In particular, Lexapro should not be taken with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or the anti-migraine medication, triptans.
Lexapro is a medication that is commonly used to treat major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. It works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which helps to regulate mood and reduce anxiety. Like all medications, Lexapro can cause side effects, and it is important to take it exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. If you have questions about Lexapro or its uses, talk to your healthcare provider.