Lexapro is one of the effective (though not approved) options for the treatment of social anxiety disorder symptoms. Here is a brief review of the treatment using this multi-purpose antidepressant.

Lexapro (escitalopram) is an antidepressant, belonging to a group of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs). It is a proven effective medication for a number of mental health conditions, including depression, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder among others. Though it is not FDA-approved treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD), it is often prescribed to the patients suffering from this condition. And here is some information you need to know if it is your case.

Lexapro Instructions for Use

Lexapro exists in the forms of tablets and oral solution — which one you choose, depends on what is more convenient to you. Doctors usually recommend taking the medication in the morning or in the evening. Lexapro is taken regardless of the meal, i.e. it may be taken either with or without food.

Recommended Dosages

The most common recommended daily dose of Lexapro the treatment usually starts with is 10 mg. Depending on your condition, age, weight, and other factors, your doctor may start with a smaller dosage. If necessary, the dose may be gradually increased to 20mg or sometimes even higher.

Who Shouldn’t Take Lexapro

People hypersensitive or allergic to escitalopram oxalate are forbidden to take Lexapro. It is also not recommended to people, younger than 18, pregnant and nursing women. Another type of medication should be considered in case of too severe side effects or idiosyncrasy.

Precautions and Interactions

This drug is never used together with monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Taking it together with aspirin, warfarin, and NSAIDs is associated with the risk of bleeding, so the patients shouldn’t take these agents during the Lexapro therapy unless their doctors recommend the opposite.

It is sometimes prescribed together with other SSRIs and SNRIs. Much less often it is combined with St. John’s Wort. Lexapro should not be combined with any other medication without the medical guidance due to possible serotonin syndrome, worsening of side effects, and increased toxicity. At last, the patients need to avoid taking alcohol during their treatment because it increases the toxicity of the drug greatly.

Common Side Effects and Potential Risks

Just like all the other antidepressants with comparable effectiveness, Lexapro is associated with the number of potential side effects and possible risks. As for side effects, the most typical are disturbed sleep, dizziness and nausea, headaches, fatigue, and nervousness.

As for serious risks, Lexapro may be responsible for suicidal thoughts and behavior, especially in the younger patients. It may also cause swelling, seizures, vomiting, serotonin syndrome, and withdrawal symptoms. This means that close medical attention is absolutely necessary during the whole course of your treatment.

Other Medications to Consider in Case of Anxiety

If Lexapro is not suitable for you for this or that reason, your doctor may offer you other medications with the comparable effect. They are, for instance, Ativan, BuSpar, Effexor XR, Klonopin, Luvox CR, Paxil, Prozac, Valium, Vistaril, Xanax, Zoloft. All of these drugs are associated with their own risks and side effects. And just like in case of Lexapro itself, patients taking them require medical attention and they need to follow the dosages and instructions carefully.