Lexapro is the commercial name of a drug or active substance called: escitalopram. Lexapro is indicated for people suffering from any of these conditions: depression, anxiety, anxiety disorder with or without agoraphobia (phobia to be in open spaces), obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Lexapro is a medicine that must be prescribed by your doctor because its function is in the nervous system, which makes it medicine that can have undesirable effects and it is recommended that its use is monitored by a health professional.
An action of Lexapro in the body
The drug Lexapro, escitalopram is an inhibitor of serotonin reuptake. The Serotonin is a substance that is involved in mood.
Serotonin participates in the control of sleep and wakefulness (awake), in the exaltation of mood, contributes to the decrease of sensitivity to pain, to the regulation of appetite and affective state.
Changes in the levels of this neurotransmitter influence diseases related to mood, sensitivity to pain and appetite.
Serotonin transmits signals in neurons and is responsible, in part, for generating a balance in the mood, for this reason, its deficiency can produce low moods as in the case of depression.
The receptors and enzymes are the targets of actions of drugs that act on the central nervous system. Sometimes, it is a matter of modifying the action of these neurotransmitters on their receptor, while in others, the receptor is directly occupied to block it and on the enzymes, acting inhibits them reversibly or irreversibly.
The inhibition of serotonin reuptake is the only mechanism of action likely to explain the pharmacological and clinical effects of escitalopram. It is a drug that does not affect other important substances in the brain such as noradrenaline, dopamine, etc.
It is important to mention it because other antidepressants with other ways of acting do influence other substances besides serotonin.
The advantage of escitalopram in not acting on the recapture of other substances is that it has a lower incidence of adverse effects than other antidepressants present. In case of being presented, they are of a mild and transitory nature.
Symptoms of a depression
You can know if you have depression data if you submit:
Depressed affect: it is usually less in the afternoon. It is defined as a feeling of sadness or emptiness and sad appearance. In children and adolescents, it appears as an irritable mood.
Insomnia: occurs in 80 to 85% of cases, with early awakening.
Loss of appetite and sexual dysfunction: serotonin regulates appetite and noradrenaline sexual function. The lack of these neurotransmitters causes the symptoms.
Lack of ability to experience pleasure and emotions: often lose sexual desire and may lose the ability to lose the ability to experience normal emotions such as crying. The things that used to excite you, no longer cause the same thing.
Psychomotor disorders: may be agitated or nervous or may have decay, fatigue, slow responses.
Cognitive disorders: low self-esteem, pessimism, despair, thoughts of death or suicide.
Disorders of the recent memory: it is due to the obsessions that occupy the mind, added to the lack of attention characteristic of the psychomotor alteration.
The diagnosis of depression can only be confirmed by a doctor. If you get to feel most of these symptoms, you can ask your doctor.
Types of depression
The classification of depression has changed over the years. Currently, the following habitual disorders stand out:
Major depressive disorder with melancholic characteristics: marked agitation, delay, and anorexia. Responds well to antidepressants and not just to psychotherapy.
Seasonal major depressive disorder: episodes that occur in autumn or winter and remit in spring. It is due to the lack of sun exposure, does not require social stress. The recommended treatment is sunlight for 20 minutes a day.
Geriatric depression: it is due to old age, presents nonspecific symptoms (the person is not well) and does not report mood problems. They usually respond well to antidepressants and remain over time. Care must be taken to reduce the metabolism of the liver as well as other diseases of age.
Dysthymia: it is a mild but lasting depression (more than two years) and tends to be recurrent. It usually begins in adolescence and alternates with short periods of well-being. It presents the normal symptoms of depression without alterations of the appetite, sexual or psychomotor.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: symptoms occur during the menstrual period (without being premenstrual syndrome). It is recommended to make changes in diets such as avoiding alcohol and coffee; you can add vitamin B6 and B12, exercise, antidepressants, and so on.
Recurrent brief depression: short depressive episodes, once a month and not related to the menstrual cycle.
How Long Does Lexapro Stay in Your System?
Lexapro has a half-life (time needed to release 50% of the drug from the body and therefore to decrease its amount to 50% within the body) of 30 hours. The drug is eliminated through the urine and a small part in the stool.
Side effects with the use of Lexapro
Current scientific data indicate that adverse or undesirable events that could cause the use of Lexapro are mild and transient and are more noticeable during the first two weeks of treatment and usually disappear when the depressive state improves.
It is important that you know that after prolonged use of escitalopram, it is suddenly stopped, adverse reactions may occur such as nausea, diarrhea, and dry mouth.
Adverse reactions reported with the use of escitalopram are decreased appetite, libido and anorgasmia, insomnia, drowsiness, dizziness, taste and sleep disorders, diarrhea, nausea, constipation, sinusitis, yawning, increased sweating, ejaculation disorder, impotence, fatigue, abnormal vision.
Stages of treatment for depression
Acute phase: lasts several weeks until a positive response is achieved.
Continuation phase: from 4 to 9 months are symptomatology; the doctor can gradually withdraw the medication or continue to one:
Maintenance phase: to avoid relapses
Considerations to take into account if you decide to abandon the treatment with Lexapro
Because it is a drug that acts on your brain, a sudden suspension is not recommended; This is because you may have a relapse of your depression or have symptoms of serotonin syndrome.
* WARNING: This article should not be considered as an equivalent of professional medical consultation. Consult your trusted doctor if you have any questions about this or any other issue related to your health. *