2016-06-30

On this page, Beliefnet is publishing articles provided by Forest Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Lexapro. Forest Pharmaceuticals is solely responsible for this content.

FAQs about Lexapro®

What is LEXAPRO?
LEXAPRO is an antidepressant and a member of the family of medicines known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). LEXAPRO was developed by isolating the medicinal component of CELEXA® (citalopram HBr), a molecule known as an isomer. As a result, LEXAPRO is able to provide effective and well-tolerated therapy for patients.

How does LEXAPRO work?
LEXAPRO helps to restore the brain's chemical balance by increasing the available supply of serotonin, a substance in the brain believed to influence mood.

When will I start feeling better?
In clinical studies, many patients treated with LEXAPRO began to feel better within 1 or 2 weeks, although the full effect may take 4 to 6 weeks. You should follow up with your healthcare professional and report your progress.

Can I stop taking LEXAPRO once I feel better?
No. You should take your medicine for as long as your healthcare professional advises, even if you start feeling better; otherwise your symptoms could return or worsen. Your healthcare professional may ask you to keep taking LEXAPRO even if you are feeling better.

Can I take LEXAPRO with other medicines?
LEXAPRO has a low risk of interacting with other medicines in general. One important exception is the family of antidepressants called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). LEXAPRO and MAOIs should not be taken together or within 14 days of each other. As with other medicines in this class (SSRIs), caution is indicated when taking LEXAPRO with tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) or with a class of drugs known as triptans. Lexapro should also not be taken with the drug pimozide.


As with other psychotropic drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake, patients should be cautioned regarding the risk of bleeding associated with the concomitant use of LEXAPRO with NSAIDs, aspirin, or other drugs that affect coagulation. Before you begin taking LEXAPRO, make sure to tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other medicines, including over-the-counter medicines, herbal remedies, diet supplements, etc.

Does LEXAPRO cause weight gain?
In controlled studies clinically important changes in body weight were similar for patients treated with LEXAPRO and those treated with placebo (sugar pill). If you have concerns about any side effects, you should talk with your healthcare professional.

Will LEXAPRO affect my sex drive?
Although changes in sexual desire, sexual performance, and sexual satisfaction may occur during a depressive episode, they may also be a consequence of treatment with SSRI therapies. Reliable estimates of changes in sexual behavior related to medicines are difficult to obtain, because patients and physicians are often reluctant to discuss them. In clinical trials, a low percentage of patients taking LEXAPRO have reported sexual side effects, primarily ejaculatory delay in men. If you have questions about sexual dysfunction, speak with your healthcare professional.

FAQs about Depression


Won't depression just go away on its own?
Everyone gets sad sometimes—a brief "blue mood," disappointments, grief after losing a loved one. Depression, though, is different. You can't just "snap out of it"—no more than you could snap out of a case of diabetes. Depression is a disease that requires medical attention and treatment. Otherwise, if left untreated, depression can last months or, in some cases, years. In order to help you get better, you need treatment, which is why your healthcare professional may prescribe LEXAPRO®.

What causes depression?
The causes of depression are not always clear. It may be caused by an event or for no apparent reason at all. Genes may also play a role in not providing your brain with enough serotonin.

What are the available treatments for depression?
There are two major approaches to treating depression that can be used alone or together. Counseling, or psychotherapy, can help people find new ways to cope with problems and understand more about depression and how to avoid it. Antidepressant medicines relieve the symptoms of depression by restoring chemical imbalances in the brain. These medicines may take several weeks to be effective, but they work well and are generally safe.

How do I know if I suffer from depression?
If you think you may be suffering from depression, take our Depression Self-Screener. The results are anonymous. Be sure to share your answers with your healthcare professional so he or she can properly diagnose your condition and provide appropriate treatment. Only a qualified healthcare professional can diagnose depression.

FAQs about Anxiety

What causes anxiety?
The exact causes of generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, are difficult to explain. Research suggests that environmental and genetic factors may make a person more likely to develop the disorder. GAD may also be caused by an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain—in particular, dopamine and serotonin, which are believed to regulate mood and behavior.

Isn't anxiety a normal part of life?
It is normal to feel anxious from time to time (eg, when running late for an appointment, or before a job interview), and for some people that anxiety is manageable and mild, but for others it can present serious problems. When the severity or the duration of anxiety and tension interfere with your everyday life, it may be a good idea to seek the advice of a healthcare professional. It could be a sign of an underlying anxiety disorder such as GAD.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?
People with generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, suffer from persistent worry and tension that is much worse than the anxiety most people experience from time to time. The main symptom of GAD is an exaggerated or unfounded state of worry and anxiety, often about such matters as health, money, family, or work. Many GAD sufferers seem unable to relax and may startle easily. In addition, GAD is often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, and muscle tension.

What are the available treatments for GAD?
There are two major approaches to treating GAD that can be used alone or together. Counseling, or psychotherapy, can help people find new ways to cope with problems and understand more about anxiety and how to avoid it. There are also several types of antianxiety medicines. These use different approaches to relieve the symptoms of anxiety. The most widely used type is called an SRI. These work by changing the balance of a substance in the brain believed to influence mood, called serotonin. These medicines may take several weeks to be effective, but they work well and are generally safe.

 


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