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Lexapro Side Effects

Over the years, Lexapro has been prescribed to many individuals with depression as a prescription medicine that can help to alleviate the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in adults. Lexapro works by boosting levels of serotonin, one of the chief chemical messengers in the brain. Lexapro is also a close chemical cousin of the antidepressant medication Celexa. Other antidepressants that work by raising serotonin levels include Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.

Common Lexapro Side Effects

Dry mouth, ejaculation disorder, fatigue, decreased sex drive, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, constipation, decreased appetite, dizziness, impotence, indigestion, insomnia, nausea, runny nose, sinusitis, sleepiness, sweating.

Less Common Lexapro Side Effects

Chest pain, coughing, pain in arms or legs, palpitations, rash, ringing in the ears, earache, fever, gas, heartburn, abdominal pain, abnormal dreaming, allergic reactions, blurred vision, bronchitis, high blood pressure, hot flushes, increased appetite, irritability, joint pain, lack of concentration, lack of energy, lack of orgasm, light-headedness, menstrual cramps, migraine, muscle pain, nasal congestion, neck and shoulder pain, sinus congestion, sinus headache, stomachache, tingling, toothache, tremors, urinary problems, vertigo, vomiting, weight changes, yawning.

A variety of very rare side effects have also been reported in the past. It is quite possible for side effects other than those listed here to occur so if this happens and/or if any seem particularly strange or bothersome, be sure to contact a healthcare provider.

Special Lexapro Precautions

Lexapro must not be taken for 2 weeks before or after taking any drug that is classified as an MAO inhibitor. These include the antidepressants Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate. Combining these drugs with Lexapro can cause serious and even fatal reactions marked by such symptoms as rigidity, twitching, fever, and agitation leading to delirium and coma.

If you find that you're allergic to Lexapro and/or you've had an allergic reaction to the related drug Celexa in the past, you should not take Lexapro.

Lexapro causes some individuals to feel sleepy. Until you know how Lexapro affects you specifically, you should exercise caution if driving a car or operating other hazardous machinery while taking it.

In rare cases, Lexapro has been known to trigger mania (unreasonably high spirits and excess energy). If you've ever had this problem, be sure to let the doctor know. The doctor should also be alerted if you have liver problems or severe kidney disease (as a result, your dosage may be adjusted).

Although Lexapro does not interact with alcohol, the manufacturer recommends avoiding alcoholic beverages while taking it.

If Lexpro is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Lexapro with any of the following drugs - Carbamazepine (Tegretol); Cimetidine (Tagamet); Desipramine (Norpramin); Drugs that act on the brain, including antidepressants, painkillers, sedatives, and tranquilizers; Ketoconazole (Nizoral); Lithium (Eskalith); Metoprolol (Lopressor); Narcotic painkillers; and Sumatriptan (Imitrex).

Warning: This information is intended to supplement, not be a substitute for the expertise and judgment of a doctor. Please consult a doctor for final and more detailed information about the possible side effects of this prescription medication.
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