Escitalopram, the S-enantiomer of citalopram, belongs to a class of antidepressant agents known as selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Despite distinct structural differences between compounds in this class, SSRIs possess similar pharmacological activity. As with other antidepressant agents, several weeks of therapy may be required before a clinical effect is seen. SSRIs are potent inhibitors of neuronal serotonin reuptake.
They have little to no effect on norepinephrine or dopamine reuptake and do not antagonize α- or β-adrenergic, dopamine D2 or histamine H1 receptors. During acute use, SSRIs block serotonin reuptake and increase serotonin stimulation of somatodendritic 5-HT1A and terminal autoreceptors.
Chronic use leads to desensitization of somatodendritic 5-HT1A and terminal autoreceptors. The overall clinical effect of increased mood and decreased anxiety is thought to be due to adaptive changes in neuronal function that leads to enhanced serotonergic neurotransmission.
Escitalopram may be used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Escitalopram is one of a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is used to treat the depression associated with mood disorders. It is also used on occassion in the treatment of body dysmorphic disorder and anxiety.
The antidepressant, antiobsessive-compulsive, and antibulimic actions of escitalopram are presumed to be linked to its inhibition of CNS neuronal uptake of serotonin. In vitro studies show that escitalopram is a potent and selective inhibitor of neuronal serotonin reuptake and has only very weak effects on norepinephrine and dopamine neuronal reuptake.
Escitalopram has no significant affinity for adrenergic (alpha1, alpha2, beta), cholinergic, GABA, dopaminergic, histaminergic, serotonergic (5HT1A, 5HT1B, 5HT2), or benzodiazepine receptors; antagonism of such receptors has been hypothesized to be associated with various anticholinergic, sedative, and cardiovascular effects for other psychotropic drugs. The chronic administration of escitalopram was found to downregulate brain norepinephrine receptors, as has been observed with other drugs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder. Escitalopram does not inhibit monoamine oxidase.
Mechanism of action
The antidepressant, antiobsessive-compulsive, and antibulimic actions of escitalopram are presumed to be linked to its inhibition of CNS neuronal uptake of serotonin. Escitalopram blocks the reuptake of serotonin at the serotonin reuptake pump of the neuronal membrane, enhancing the actions of serotonin on 5HT1A autoreceptors.
SSRIs bind with significantly less affinity to histamine, acetylcholine, and norepinephrine receptors than tricyclic antidepressant drugs.
Labeled indications include major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Unlabeled indications include treatment of mild dementia-associated agitation in nonpsychotic patients.
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.Some medical conditions may interact with Escitalopram.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions.
Common escitalopram side effects may include: dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, sweating, feeling shaky or anxious, sleep problems (insomnia), dry mouth, loss of appetite, nausea, constipation, yawning, weight changes or decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.
Signs of overdose include convulsions, coma, dizziness, hypotension, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, sinus tachycardia, somnolence, and ECG changes (including QT prolongation).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.