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escitalopram - Patient Medicine Information

> Why do I need this medicine?
> How do I take this medicine?
> What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
> When should I not use this medicine?
> What should I take note of while using this medicine?
> What side effects could I experience?
> Can I take this with other medicines?
> What special dietary instructions should I follow?
> How should I store this medicine?

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Why do I need this medicine? Escitalopram is used to treat depression.

It can also be used to treat anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Escitalopram belongs to a group of antidepressants known as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).
How do I take this medicine? Take Escitalopram exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

You may need to take Escitalopram for some weeks before the full benefits can be felt. Do not be discouraged if you do not feel better soon after taking the medicine. Escitalopram must be taken regularly for it to work well.

Do not stop taking Escitalopram unless instructed by your doctor. You may feel unwell if Escitalopram is stopped suddenly. When your doctor decides that you no longer need Escitalopram, he will usually reduce your dose gradually before stopping it. Follow the doctor's instructions carefully.

You may take Escitalopram with or without food. Try to take it at about the same time each day.

Escitalopram may be available as tablets or as oral drops (solution).

If you have been given the tablet, swallow it with a glass of water.

If you have been given the oral drops (solution), use the dropper provided to measure out your dose accurately. Dilute your dose in a glass of water, apple or orange juice (about 120mL) just before you take it. After dilution, drink it immediately.
What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine? Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
When should I not use this medicine? Do not take Escitalopram if you are taking or have taken other mood medicines known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) in the last 14 days. Some examples of MAOIs include isocarboxazid, phenelzine, moclobemide, selegiline and tranylcypromine. Alert your doctor immediately if you are taking or have taken any of these medicines or other MAOIs.

Alert your doctor if you are taking an antipsychotic medicine known as pimozide or an antibiotic known as linezolid.
What should I take note of while using this medicine? Alert your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while being treated with Escitalopram.

Alert your doctor if you suffer from any of these conditions:

- mood disorders including bipolar disorder (mania and hypomania)
- diabetes
- epilepsy (fits)
- liver or kidney disease
- heart disease, recent heart attack or an abnormal heart rhythm
- a history of bleeding disorders

Alert your doctor if you are undergoing electro-convulsive therapy (ECT).

Escitalopram is not meant for children and teenagers younger than 18 years old.

Antidepressants such as Escitalopram increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviour in children, teenagers and young adults. As depression and some psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with an increased risk of suicide, it is important for you or your family members to monitor your condition especially at the start of treatment and if your dosage is still being adjusted. If you experience new or sudden changes in mood, behaviour, thoughts or feelings or a worsening of your depression with suicidal thoughts or attempts, harm to self or harm to others, contact your doctor immediately.
What side effects could I experience? Escitalopram may cause drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision. If you are affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or be able to see clearly. Dizziness may be worse especially when you have been standing for some time. Avoid standing still at one spot for too long, always move your legs around.

Other common side effects of Escitalopram include nausea, dry mouth, indigestion, stomach discomfort, stomach wind, diarrhoea, constipation, weight gain, headache, difficulty sleeping, unusual dreams or nightmares, ejaculation delay, tiredness, weakness, sweating, joint pain, muscle ache, agitation and nervousness.

Alert your doctor if any of these side effects are severe or refuse to go away.

Other side effects are less common but may need medical help. Alert your doctor if you develop any of these symptoms:
- hallucinations
- unusual restlessness and the inability to rest or sit still
- agitation or extreme, unexplained excitement (non-stop talking, moving or gesticulating)
- very fast, irregular or pounding heartbeat
- difficulty breathing
- severe muscle spasm or stiffness
Can I take this with other medicines? Do not take Escitalopram if you are taking or have taken other mood medicines known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) in the last 14 days. Some examples of MAOIs include isocarboxazid, phenelzine, moclobemide, selegiline and tranylcypromine. Alert your doctor immediately if you are taking or have taken any of these medicines or other MAOIs.

Alert your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, especially those listed here:

- mood medicines and other antidepressants such as venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine, nefazodone, milnacipran, buspirone
- blood-thinning medicines such as warfarin, clopidogrel, dipyridamole or ticlopidine
- painkillers of the NSAID type such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen, aspirin
- other painkillers such as tramadol
- medicines to treat mental illness such as chlorpromazine, haloperidol, thioridazine, lithium
- isoniazid (tuberculosis or TB medicine)
- antifungal medicines such as fluconazole
- an antibiotic known as linezolid
- diet pills such as sibutramine
- hay fever medicines such as astemizole
- carbamazepine (epilepsy medicine)
- migraine medicines such as sumatriptan, naratriptan, zolmitriptan or eletripan
- stomach medicines such as metoclopramide, cimetidine, omeprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole
- St John's wort or tryptophan (herbal remedies)

Always inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow? Avoid alcohol. Alcohol, even in small amounts, can worsen the drowsiness caused by Escitalopram. It can also affect your reaction time and make it unsafe for you to drive or take part in activities in which you need to be alert.
How should I store this medicine? Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

If you have been given the oral drops (solution), throw it away 8 weeks after you first open it. Write the date of opening on the bottle so that you can keep track of when it should be thrown away.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.

This information is independently developed by MIMS based on escitalopram and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2012 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by MIMS.com



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