Adverse reactions are most frequent during the first or second week of treatment and usually decrease in intensity and frequency with continued treatment.
Adverse drug reactions known for SSRIs and also reported for escitalopram in either placebo-controlled clinical studies or as spontaneous post-marketing events are listed as follows by system organ class and frequency.
Frequencies are taken from clinical studies; they are not placebo-corrected. Frequencies are defined as: very common (≥1/10), common (≥1/100 to <1/10), uncommon (≥1/1000 to <1/100), rare (≥1/10000 to <1/1000), very rare (<1/10000), or not known (cannot be estimated from the available data). (See Table.)
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Cases of QT-prolongation have been reported during the post-marketing period, predominantly in patients with pre-existing cardiac disease. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled ECG study in healthy subjects, the change from baseline in QTc (Fridericia-correction) was 4.3 msec at the 10 mg/day dose and 10.7 msec at the 30 mg/day dose.
Epidemiological studies mainly conducted in patients 50 years of age and older, show an increased risk of bone fractures in patients receiving SSRIs and TCAs. The mechanism leading to this risk is unknown.
Discontinuation symptoms seen when stopping treatment: Discontinuation of SSRIs/SNRIs (particularly when abrupt) commonly leads to discontinuation symptoms. Dizziness, sensory disturbances (including paraesthesia and electric shock sensations), sleep disturbances (including insomnia and intense dreams), agitation or anxiety, nausea and/or vomiting, tremor, confusion, sweating, headache, diarrhea, palpitations, emotional instability, irritability, and visual disturbances are the most commonly reported reactions. Generally, these events are mild to moderate and are self-limiting, however, in some patients,they may be severe and/or prolonged. It is therefore advised that when escitalopram treatment is no longer required, gradual discontinuation by dose tapering should be carried out (see Dosage & Administration and Precautions).