For those of you who have seen my med fact sheets for ADHD and mood disorders, this is the third installment for the selective serotonin uptake inhibitors/SSRIs. Escitalopram is also known as commonly known as Lexapro (brand name).
Escitalopram is used as a second line agent for pediatric depression and anxiety. It is NOT approved for children under the age of 12 years of age. It is approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adolescents ages 12 to 17.
After taking the medicine, it is 80% bioavailable and the good news is that food does not alter how it is absorbed. Maximal effect is approximately 3 hours after taking it in adolescents compared to 5 hours in adults.
Just as with other SSRIs, there is a black box warning reminding caution around its use and suicidality. However in all pediatric trials, there were NO completed suicides. Providers are cautioned to screen for suicidality and talk with families about warning signs and other symptoms such as agitation, irritability, impulsivity or other changes in mood/behavior.
Don’t forget to check out the other med fact sheets:
- Methylphenidate Med Fact Sheet
- Amphetamine-Mixed Salts Med Fact Sheet
- Atomoxetine Med Fact Sheet
- Guanfacine Med Fact Sheet
- Clonidine Med Fact Sheet