Brand name: Lexapro Generic name: Escitalopram oxalate
Why is Lexapro prescribed?
Lexapro is prescribed for major depression—a persistently low mood
that interferes with daily functioning. To be considered major, depression must
occur nearly every day for at least two weeks, and must include at least five of
the following symptoms: low mood, loss of interest in usual activities,
significant change in weight or appetite, change in sleep patters, agitation or
lethargy, fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or lack
of concentration, and thoughts of suicide. Lexapro is also prescribed for
generalized anxiety disorder, a condition marked by excessive worry and anxiety
that is hard to control and interferes with daily life.
To be diagnosed with this disorder, your symptoms must have lasted at least 6 months and you must
have at least three of the following: restlessness, fatigue, poor concentration,
irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances. Lexapro works by boosting
levels of serotonin, one of the chief chemical messengers in the brain. The drug
is a close chemical cousin of the antidepressant medication citalopram. Other
antidepressants that work by raising serotonin levels include fluoxetine,
paroxetine, and sertraline. Lexapro may also be used for purposes other than
those listed in this medication guide.
Please consult your physician before taking any medication.