Escitalopram for Anxiety

Escitalopram oxalate is an SSRI anxiety and anti-depressant medication made by Lundbeck, a pharmaceutical company based in Danemark who also produced Citalopram, the forerunner of escitalopram. It is commonly prescribed for anxiety, depression and OCD.

Escitalopram is more commonly known by marketing names such as:

  • Lexapro
  • Cipralex
  • Esertia

One doctor told me that escitalopram is effectively identical to citalopram, and that the manufacturers just released it with a minor change when the patent on the drug expires and other companies make cheap generics. Whether this is true or not cannot be verified at this time. That said, Wikipedia entries for each drug show the chemical make-up and to the untrained eye they look suspiciously similar.

The makers claim escitalopram is more effective at lower doses and has a much better side effect profile, meaning that it is well tolerated with fewer side effects and easier withdrawal.

Here are some opinions of people who have used this drug for anxiety, panic attacks or depression.

“Thank you Lexapro!”

“I take escitalopram (Lexapro) for fairly mild depression, anxiety and shyness. I think that taking Lexapro has made me less shy and more assertive socially and professionally. I have been on it for six years and on balance the improvements have been marvelous! There have been some side effects though. Gradually I have put on the pounds, no one warned me I might gain weight. My libido has suffered and my dreams are like strange LSD trips! I can put up with this in order to have my life back!”

“No panic Disorder…and no sleep! Insomnia!”

“I had only had two panic attacks (which occurred after difficult traumatic personal events) and with hindsight maybe going straight for medication was a mistake when I should have tried to deal with what I was going through.

The first three or four days were WEIRD (my doctor said they might be) but it is hard to put into words how weird they were. I felt “spacey” and tingly all over, especially in my hands and feet.

The side effects went away after a few days and I felt better however no matter what I couldn’t sleep the whole time I took Lexapro. Too many days I was still awake when the sun came up and started to shine through my bedroom window. I have had insomnia before, but not like this! Mornings were a nightmare and I slept all weekend to make up for it.

So most of the panic was removed from my life but the insomnia was too much to bare, so I changed medication.”

For more information on escitalopram why not visit the official manufacturers site. Also read this blog entry on SSRI withdrawal.

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