Generic Name: Escitalopram (ess-sye-TAL-oh-pram)

Drug Class: Antidepressant, SSRI


Drug Uses

Escitalopram is used to treat depression. This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor or healthcare provider.

General Information

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

How it Works

This medicine works by blocking the reuptake of serotonin (a neurotransmitter) back into the nerve cell. This increases the amount of serotonin that is available.

How to Take It

Follow your doctor's directions. This medicine is taken orally and may be taken with food or on an empty stomach.

Possible Side Effects

    • Side effects that this medicine may cause include:
      • nausea
      • vomiting
      • diarrhea
      • dizziness and/or drowsiness
      • dry mouth


    • Alcoholic beverages can increase the effects of this medicine and should be avoided.

    • This medicine can cause dizziness or drowsiness.

    • Other sedatives can increase the drowsy effects when taken together with this medicine.

    • This medicine may take several weeks to reach its full effect. Do not stop taking this medicine without talking to your doctor.


    • Seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

    • This medication should not be taken with MAO inhibitors. Your doctor or pharmacist can give you more information on MAO inhibitors. Wait 5 weeks after stopping escitalopram before starting a non-selective MAO inhibitor. Wait 2 weeks after stopping an MAO inhibitor before starting escitalopram.

    • Do not take escitalopram with the herb, St. John's Wort.

    • If you are taking medications for migraines such as Imitrex, talk to your doctor before starting escitalopram.

Missed Dose

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


If you are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medicine during your pregnancy. Escitalopram is excreted in the breast milk and should be avoid if you are nursing.

More Information

For additional information on escitalopram, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 May 2015
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.