Lexapro is a prescription drug commonly used for treating depression and generalized anxiety disorder. As part of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, it works by helping to block the reuptake of a chemical in the brain called serotonin. The medicine is available in both tablet and liquid form, and is not approved for use in children. Common Lexapro side effects include nausea, insomnia, and headache.
What Is Lexapro?
Lexapro® (escitalopram oxalate) is a prescription antidepressant medication used to treat a few conditions of the brain.
Who Makes Lexapro?
Lexapro is manufactured by Forest Pharmaceuticals.
What Is It Used For?Lexapro is licensed to treat the following conditions:
- Depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression)
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
How Does Lexapro Work?
Lexapro is part of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short. SSRIs act on a specific chemical within the brain known as serotonin. Serotonin is one of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release serotonin. The serotonin enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough serotonin reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell, and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any serotonin that remains in the gap between cells. This is called "reuptake."
Normally, this process works without any problems. But when the levels of serotonin become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression. Lexapro helps to block the reuptake of serotonin so that more remains in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives the serotonin a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell.