Dosage Form: Tablet
- Treatment of major depressive episodes.
- Treatment of panic disorder with or without agoraphobia.
- Treatment of social anxiety disorder (social phobia).
- Treatment of generalised anxiety disorder.
- Treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Escitalopram is an orally administered selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Escitalopram is the pure S-enantiomer of the racemic bicyclic phthalate derivative citalopram. Escitalopram is at least 100 fold more potent than the R-enantiomer with respect to inhibition of 5-HT reuptake. Escitalopram has no or very low affinity for serotonergic or other receptors including alpha- and beta-adrenergic Dopamine, Histamine, Muscarinic and benzodiazepine receptors.
Safety of daily doses above 20 mg has not been demonstrated. Escitalopram Oxalate is administered as a single daily dose and may be taken with or without food.
Major depressive episodes: Usual dosage is 10 mg once daily. Depending on individual patient response, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 20 mg daily. Usually, 2-4 weeks are necessary to obtain an antidepressant response. After the symptoms resolve, treatment for at least 6 months is required for consolidation of the response.
Panic disorder with or without agoraphobia: An initial dose of 5 mg is recommended for the first week before increasing the dose to 10 mg daily. The dose may be further increased, up to a maximum of 20 mg daily, dependent on individual patient response. Maximum effectiveness is reached after about 3 months. The treatment lasts several months.
Social anxiety disorder: Usual dosage is 10 mg once daily. Usually, 2-4 weeks are necessary to obtain symptom relief. The dose may subsequently, depending on individual patient response, be decreased to 5 mg or increased to a maximum of 20 mg daily. Social anxiety disorder is a disease with a chronic course, and treatment for 12 weeks is recommended to consolidate response. Long-term treatment of responders has been studied for 6 months and can be considered on an individual basis to prevent relapse; treatment benefits should be re-evaluated at regular intervals. Social anxiety disorder is a well-defined diagnostic terminology of a specific disorder, which should not be confounded with excessive shyness. Pharmacotherapy is only indicated if the disorder interferes significantly with professional and social activities. The place of this treatment compared to cognitive behavioural therapy has not been assessed. Pharmacotherapy is part of an overall therapeutic strategy.
Generalised anxiety disorder: Initial dosage is 10 mg once daily. Depending on the individual patient response, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 20 mg daily. Long term treatment of responders has been studied for at least 6 months in patients receiving 20 mg/day. Treatment benefits and dose should be re-evaluated at regular intervals.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Initial dosage is 10 mg once daily. Depending on the individual patient response, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 20 mg daily. As OCD is a chronic disease, patients should be treated for a sufficient period to ensure that they are symptom-free. Treatment benefits and dose should be re-evaluated at regular intervals.
Route of administration: Orally
As SSRI or related antidepressants should not be started until 2 weeks after stopping an MAOI. Conversely, an MAOI should not. be started until at least a week after an SSRI or related antidepressant has been stopped (2 weeks in the case of paroxetine and sertraline, at least 5 weeks in the case of fluoxetine).
Escitalopram is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to Escitalopram or Citalopram or any of the inactive ingredients of the drug product. Concomitant use of escitalopram in patients taking monoamine oxidase/pimozide is contraindicated.
SSRIs are less sedating and have fewer antimuscarinic and cardiotoxic effects than tricyclic antidepressants. Side-effects of the SSRIs include gastrointestinal effects (dose-related and fairly common include nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation), anorexia with weight loss (increased appetite and weight gain also reported) and hypersensitivity reactions including rash, urticaria, angioedema, anaphylaxis, arthralgia, myalgia, and photosensitivity; other side-effects include dry mouth, nervousness, anxiety, headache, insomnia, tremor, dizziness, asthenia, hallucinations, drowsiness, convulsions, galactorrhoea, sexual dysfunction, urinary retention, sweating, hypomania or mania, movement disorders and dyskinesias, visual disturbances.
Pregnancy & Lactation:
When treating a pregnant woman with Escitalopram during the third trimester, the physician should carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of treatment. It is excreted in human breast milk. The decision whether to continue or discontinue either nursing or Escitalopram therapy should take into account the risk of citalopram exposure for the infant and the benefits Escitalopram treatment for the mother.
Precautions & Warnings:
SSRIs should be used with caution in patients with epilepsy (avoid if poorly controlled, discontinue if convulsions develop), concurrent electroconvulsive therapy (prolonged seizures reported with fluoxetine), history of mania, cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus, angle-closure glaucoma, concomitant use of drugs that increase risk of bleeding, history of bleeding disorders (especially gastro-lntestinal bleeding), hepatic and renal impairment.
SSRIs & related anti-depressant drugs
Store below 30°C temperature and protect from light & moisture. Keep the medicine out of the reach of children.
Manufactured by: Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd.