An everyday use of Escitalopram is for treating major depressive disorders and generalized anxiety disorders. Although uncommon, escitalopram overdose can lead to life-threatening consequences.
This article explains how much Escitalopram is necessary for a patient and what happens if they overdose. Moreover, in this article, we’ll discuss escitalopram overdose treatment, precautions you can take to prevent an overdose, and what to do when someone overdoses.
What is Escitalopram?
It’s a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that is used to treat major depressive disorders (MDD) such as anxiety, obsessive compulsory disorder, panic attacks, and other psychiatric disorders. It has helped many people recover from depression and has fewer side effects than other antidepressants. It works by increasing the activity of the chemical serotonin in the brain.
What is Escitalopram Used For?
It treats generalized anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive order. It’s available on a doctor’s prescription and comes as tablets and liquid drops.
How to use Escitalopram oxalate?
As directed by your healthcare provider, take this medication once daily in the morning or evening with or without food. The dosage is based on your medical situation, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all the products that you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and other botanical products).
If you’re using this medicine in liquid form, measure the dose carefully using a particular measuring device or spoon. Only use a household spoon if you get the correct amount.
To reduce the risk of side effects, your healthcare provider may direct you to take this drug at a low dose at first and gradually increase the quantity. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Don’t increase the amount or use this drug more often or longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects may increase. Take this medication routinely to get the most benefit from it.
Escitalopram Dosing Information?
The dose of Escitalopram varies from person to person. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions or the directions mentioned in the medicine. The amount of medication you take depends on the strength of the drug. Also, the number of doses and duration depend on your medical problem. The following information includes only average escitalopram dosages:
- For depression:
o Adults and children 13 years of age and older—10 milligrams (mg) once daily, taken either in the morning or evening. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose according to its need. However, it is usually not more than 20 mg per day.
o Older adults—10 mg once daily, taken in the morning or evening.
o Children younger than 13 years—your healthcare provider must determine the use and dose.
- For anxiety disorder
- Adults: At first, 10 mg once daily. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose according to its need. However, it is usually at most 20 mg per day.
- Older adults—10 mg once a day. It can be taken either in the morning or evening.
- Children—your healthcare provider must determine the use and dose.
In Case of Overdose?
An escitalopram overdose occurs when an individual takes more than the recommended or prescribed amount of the medication. The recommended starting dose of Escitalopram across all age groups is 10mg once a day. Approximately 5 to 20 mg of Escitalopram is considered an overdose dosage by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, the average starting dose for this medication is regarded as 10mg, and the window for overdose is probably much more expansive.
Some common escitalopram overdose symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
- Dilated pupils
- High blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Serotonin syndrome
- Sinus tachycardia (fast heart rate)
Serotonin syndrome is a widespread side effect of escitalopram overdose. When these medicines are taken in high doses, serotonin levels increase above the desired or healthy level.
Serotonin syndrome can be deadly if not treated on time. Symptoms include agitation, restlessness, confusion, rapid heart rate, dilated pupil, high blood pressure, twitching muscles, and more. Also, remember that escitalopram overdose is more likely to occur when mixed with other substances, such as alcohol or other medications.
In the event of a Forgotten Dose, What Should You Do?
If you forget a dose of Escitalopram, take it as soon as possible. However, if it’s almost time for the next dosage, skip the missed dose and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
What Precautions Should you Follow?
This medicine can cause some people to become heavy-eyed, dozy, and have trouble thinking or controlling their body movements. Make sure you understand how Escitalopram affects your body before using any machines, driving, or doing any other activity that could cause danger if you are not vigilant or well-coordinated.
- The use of alcohol is not recommended if you’re taking Escitalopram
- Do not take nonprescription or herbal medicines.
- Do not take Escitalopram and citalopram together.
Side Effects of Escitalopram
Like all medicines, this medicine can also cause side effects in some people, but many experiences only minor ones.
Some common side effects of Escitalopram are mentioned below.
- A dry mouth
- Sweating a lot
- Being unable to sleep
- Feeling sleepy
- Feeling tired or weak
- Decreased sex drive in males and females
Serious side effects
- Losing or gaining weight without trying
- Changes in your menstrual cycle, such as heavy bleeding or spotting
- Hives or blisters
- Painful urination
Storage and Disposal of This Medication
Keep this medicine in the container it came in. Always tightly close the container and keep it out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and avoid excessive heat and moisture.
Unessential medicines should be disposed of in particular ways to make sure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. Do not flush this medication down the toilet. The best way of disposing of the drug is by contacting your local garbage/recycling department. Because many medicine containers aren’t child-resistant, and young children can easily open them, keeping all medicines out of children’s reach is essential. To save your children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and place the medication in a safe location right away.
What Should you Avoid When Taking Escitalopram?
Avoid taking Escitalopram with buspirone, fentanyl, lithium, or some painkillers. Check with your healthcare provider first before taking any other medicines with Escitalopram. Also, avoid the use of alcohol. A decrease in sexual drive, a delay or inability to have an orgasm, or a loss of sexual ability, desire, or performance should be addressed by your healthcare provider immediately. These could be symptoms of sexual dysfunction.
Is Escitalopram the Same as Xanax?
There are many medications available for anxiety. Escitalopram and Xanax are two different prescription drugs used to treat general anxiety and panic attacks. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that is responsible for mood swings and well-being. Hence, Escitalopram works by blocking the serotonin reuptake so that there is an increased level in the brain. Escitalopram is usually taken once daily and may take a few weeks to reach maximum therapeutic potential.
In comparison, Xanax is an FDA-approved brand-name medication to treat anxiety and panic disorders. The generic name for Xanax is alprazolam. It increases the effects of GABA ( it’s an inhibitory molecule that calms down the nerve activity in the brain). It is usually taken 3 to 5 daily for stress or panic attacks.
Factors that Increase the Risk of a Reaction
Alcohol interaction can increase the nervous system’s side effects, such as drowsiness, dizziness, and difficulty focusing. That is why you should avoid alcohol if you are taking Escitalopram. Also, avoid activities that require mental alertness.
Citalopram and escitalopram interaction:
Both of these medicines are highly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Using citalopram and Escitalopram together can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome. The symptoms can include hallucinations, confusion, rapid heart rate, and high blood pressure.
Things You Should Consider If You Have an Allergy, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, Or Any Other Disease
Escitalopram can be taken during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or any other disease. Research has suggested that Escitalopram might sometimes affect the development of a baby’s heart. However, the risk is small, and most babies born to females taking Escitalopram will have a normal heart.
When Escitalopram is taken weeks before delivery, it can rarely cause breathing problems in babies. The baby will be checked after birth and given extra care if needed.
You can take Escitalopram while breastfeeding if your healthcare provider tells you to.
Escitalopram passes into breast milk in small quantities. It does not usually cause problems but has been linked with side effects, including being unusually irritable or restless and sick in a few breastfed babies.
Talk to the healthcare provider as soon as possible if:
- the baby is unusually irritable or restless
- the baby is exceptionally sleepy
- the baby is not feeding well
- if you have any other concerns about the baby
It is essential to continue taking Escitalopram to keep yourself fine. Although other medicines might be preferred while breastfeeding, you must accept the best medication. Your healthcare provider can help you decide what is best for you if you are nursing or plan to breastfeed.
How Long do Side Effects Last?
Escitalopram side effects are usually temporary. Many symptoms, such as dry mouth, headache, and nausea, disappear within two weeks as the body adjusts to them. Unfortunately, severe side effects may stay longer.
There are 671 drugs known to interact with Escitalopram, nine disease interactions, and one alcohol/food interaction. Of the total drug interactions, 254 are major, 372 are moderate, and 46 are minor.
Drug interactions may change the working mechanism of a medicine or can increase the risk of side effects.
Aspirin can increase your risk of bleeding if used in combination with Escitalopram. Taking MAO inhibitors such as (isocarboxazid, linezolid, metaxalone, methylene, moclobemide, and safinamide) with this medication can cause serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction.
Do not take MAO inhibitors for two weeks before and after treatment with this medication. Always ask your healthcare provider when to start or stop taking this medication.
How To Get an Escitalopram Prescription?
You can get a prescription for escitalopram online without going to a doctor. Consult with online doctors at Your Doctors Online and get a prescription within minutes. Skip the waiting rooms and connect with real doctors to get medical advice for escitalopram.
FAQs About Escitalopram Answered by Your Doctors Online Team
Escitalopram is an antidepressant that is used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. It increases the amount of serotonin that helps maintain mental health.
It is an effective and well-tolerated treatment of OCD, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Its strength ranges from 5mg to 20mg.
Yes, Escitalopram is an effective treatment for stress and anxiety. It increases the serotonin level over time and changes other brain systems, which are also responsible for mood swings.
It can make you feel nauseous. You may also experience some common symptoms, such as diarrhea, dry mouth, increased sweating, nervousness, restlessness, tiredness, or insomnia. These will often improve over the first or second week as you continue to take medicine.
You may feel an improvement in your sleep cycle, appetite, and energy. These physical improvements indicate that the medicine you are using is working.
Escitalopram may cause a small amount of weight gain. If you notice any rapid or dramatic increase in your weight, you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible.
Yes, this medicine can make you feel drowsy or heavy-eyed. You may even find it difficult to control your body movements which could be dangerous if you’re not alert.
Taking it on the same schedule every day is fine as long as you keep to it. However, taking it in the morning is best if you have trouble sleeping.