Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Adjustment Disorder with Depression

// November 20th, 2010 // No Comments » // Depression

Adjustment disorder with depression is the term for the condition commonly referred to as situational depression or reactive depression. Individuals with this malady feel sadness about a loss or a major life change. The sadness, depressed mood, or sense of hopelessness begins within three months of a major stress and is excessive. People with this form of depression may find it difficult to carry on routine activities at home, at work, or at school. The depression gradually disappears once the stress is over and is not usually considered a serious depression, although it may be very uncomfortable. Often the support and advice of concerned friends, loved ones, or a doctor are enough to help sufferers manage until their mood improves following removal of stress or a decrease in its intensity.

Types of Depression

// November 20th, 2010 // No Comments » // Depression

Many different and sometimes complicated systems attempt to classify depressions according to their symptoms, severity, causes, and other characteristics. One reason for these rigorous attempts is the need to conduct research on relatively pure forms of the illness. Such research should result in improved treatment for the various forms of depression.

The two most common systems use similar terms in naming various types of depression. The international version is the ninth edition of the International Classification of Diseases, commonly referred to as ICD-9, which classifies all medical and mental disorders. The system used by most clinicians in the United States is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, or DSM-IV, produced by the American Psychiatric Association. Further attempts are made to standardize these common classification systems with each new edition.

Depression can take many forms, and these may be of varying degrees of severity with different natural courses. The types of depression commonly diagnosed in the United States include adjustment disorder with depressed mood; dysthymic disorder; major depressive disorder, single episode or recurrent; major depressive episode associated with bipolar disorder; and mood disorder associated with a general medical condition.

Mild mood alterations do not require help and therefore are not matters for diagnosis. For instance, a bad mood is just that— temporary frustration associated with current circumstances. A person exhibiting a somewhat more persistent alteration of mood is often described as being “blue, ” “bummed out, ” or mildly depressed. People with such negative feelings still enjoy their hobbies, family, and friends. Such mild depressions are usually time-limited and unlikely to require treatment.

Moderate-to-severe forms of depression frequently come to the attention of caregivers, although the initial complaint may not be depression. Those are the forms of depression that fall into formal diagnostic categories.

Costs of Depression

// November 20th, 2010 // No Comments » // Depression

Approximately one in five adults in the United States will suffer from depression at some time. Depression affects more than 17 million Americans each year. Mood disorders, including mania and various forms of depression, account for as many as 70 percent of psychiatric hospitalizations.

Sufferers of depression include some of the most creative and productive members of society, which means that the direct and indirect costs of this common illness are very high. The latest National Institutes of Health (U.S.) study on the cost of depression, reported for 1990, estimated the cost of depressive illness in the United States at between $33 billion and $44 billion annually (fig. 1.1), including direct treatment costs ($12.4 billion), absenteeism ($11.7 billion), lost productivity ($12.1 billion), and mortality costs ($7.5 billion). The number of lost work days due to depression may be as high as 200 million days per year.

On a more personal level, patients treated in psychiatric hospitals for serious depression may find themselves billed $1,000 to $1,500 a day or more for a hospitalization that may exceed five to seven days and occasionally last several weeks. Those charges may not even include the costs of physician visits, consultants, or special studies such as antidepressant medication blood levels or brain scans.

Most people, even solid middle-class individuals with good health insurance, will find themselves psychiatrically indigent if they require hospitalization for the treatment of depression. Health insurance policies, even good ones, commonly discriminate against psychiatric illness. Many policies have a poorer reimbursement rate for mental disorders, impose a lifetime maximum reimbursement limit (sometimes as little as $50,000), and require larger copayments for psychiatric treatment. The length-of-stay allowances for inpatient care of seriously depressed patients may also place the patient at significant risk. For example, a psychiatrist recently hospitalized a severely depressed woman on an emergency basis following her suicide attempt by overdose of prescribed medications. The insurance company ruled that the patient had to be discharged the day she no longer reported suicidal intent. The fragility of severely depressed patients in early recovery, including their increased risk for suicide, was apparently not a cost-efficient consideration.

Another problem is the stigma associated with mental illness, which can make treatment for depression and other brain disorders that are labeled as mental illnesses costly in personal ways. Traditionally, people with mental illnesses such as depression have been required to report their disorders on applications for a driver’s license, for employment, for security clearance, and for other routine purposes, while people with other medical conditions generally have not. Although the recent federal Americans with Disabilities Act attempted to correct that form of discrimination, the problem remains. When a physician recently changed her medical liability insurance policy, the application asked whether the applicant had ever been treated for mental illness. Nowhere on the policy was there another question about any other medical illness or treatment. Fearing discrimination in hiring, promotion, and other occupational and educational opportunities, many people who recognize their own depression will not seek treatment because of concerns that they may have to report it later.

What Is Depression?

// November 20th, 2010 // No Comments » // Depression

what is depression

The innocuous-sounding word “depression” refers to a potentially disabling illness that affects many but is understood by few. Sufferers often do not realize the nature of their terrible malaise until they are so devastated that they can no longer help themselves, or they may recognize what they have been through only after they are on their way out of the shadows. The reason is simple. Depression is a sneak thief, slipping into a life gradually and robbing it of meaning, one loss at a time. The losses are imperceptible at first, but eventually weigh so heavily that the person’s life becomes empty. Once begun, the course of depression varies with the individual and with the form of the illness. Untreated, it can last weeks, months, or even years.

In the general population, as many as one in five individuals may eventually suffer a significant depressive illness, although most will not seek treatment. During any year, one in ten people experience the sluggishness of mind, body, and spirit we know as depression. The risk is about the same in prepubertal boys and girls, but the ratio alters in adulthood, with females twice as likely as males to become depressed. This two-to-one ratio exists regardless of racial, ethnic, or economic background and has been reported in several countries.

Although depression can occur in very young children, even in those under five years of age, it is more likely to occur for the first time during teenage years or in early adulthood. Depression can also occur for the first time in midlife or later.

Depression tends to run in families. Children of depressed parents have a twofold-to-threefold greater risk of developing depression than children of non depressive parents. Studies of families with histories of depression in many of their members support the theory that predisposition to depression can be inherited. Since the family tendency could be explained by similar environments rather than by genes, twins who have been adopted outside their biological families and reared apart have been studied with regard to risk for depression. Most of those studies show that if one identical twin (identical twins share the same genes) suffers from depression, the second twin will have a 70 percent chance of also becoming depressed, while the risk for siblings who are not identical twins is only about 25 percent. If heredity were the only factor, the shared rate of depression in identical twins would be 100 percent. Since this is not the case, genetics cannot be the only factor involved. At this point, no single gene has been identified as the culprit in causing depression, and it is more likely that several genes are involved.

According to the fertile ground theory, heredity and environment collude to cause depression. Environmental factors that may be important in causing depression include loss of a parent early in life, separation or divorce of parents, rearing patterns, abuse, low socioeconomic class, and recent life stresses.

DEPRESSION DIET; Junk Food Link to High Risk of Mental Illness

// October 31st, 2010 // No Comments » // Depression, Obesity

SHUN fruit and veg in favour of fast food and you won’t just get fat – you’re more likely to end up feeling blue, too.

junk food

junk food

Research has found that gorging mainly on fried food, processed meats, sweets, chocolate and fatty dairy products increases the odds of you getting depression.

But eating a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruit and fish can protect against the mental illness.

The study is the first to look at overall diet and depression.

Previous research in this field has tended to focus on individual nutrients. A research team at University College London quizzed nearly 4,000 Whitehall civil servants, with an average age of 55 about their eating habits and whether they suffered from depression. They found that those who ate the most whole foods were less likely to report symptoms of depression.

And the opposite was true of those who ate the most junk food. Experts believe the high levels of antioxidants in fruit and veg, and of the B vitamin folate in broccoli, spinach and cabbage, may help to lower the risk of depression.

And fish contains polyunsaturated fatty acids – a major part of neuron membranes in the brain.

But it is not clear why junk food increases the risk of depression.

Dr Andrew McCulloch of Mental Health Foundation said: “Studies like this are crucial because they hold the key to us better understanding mental illness.”

18st.. I have to be obese

EIGHTEEN stone is the average weight at which people recognise obesity is a crisis, research shows.

It is the tipping point at which many seek surgery to turn their lives around.

Weight op experts The Hospital Group explained the obese “suffer in careers, family life and health”.

Fewer than one in five weighing above 18st earns more than pounds 20,000, a study of 2,056 obese adults questioned by YouGov found.

Four in 10 of those hitting 18st suffer back pain and one in five have diabetes.

BUN TO AVOID Fatty burger

Depression: A New Sexually Transmitted Disease

// October 31st, 2010 // No Comments » // Depression

Nearly every discussion about sexual education focuses on preventing sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. However, recent research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that, especially for girls, the discussion needs to include a third negative possibility: depression.

Most medical and mental health professionals would agree that there is a link between depression and sexual and drug using behavior in adolescents. However, it is commonly assumed that depressed teens use sex and drugs to “medicate” their depression. Thus, when faced with a depressed, sexually active teen, adults may overlook sexual or drug using behavior with the hope that the risky behavior will cease once the depression is gone.

Although the depression followed by sex and drugs link seems to make sense, a new study, which followed over 13,000 middle and high school students for two years in a row, found that depression did not predict risky sexual or drug using behavior.

Instead, the study found that depression often follows risky behavior. Lead author of the study, Dr. Denise Hallfors told me in an interview that her research team found evidence that heavy drug and alcohol use significantly increased the likelihood of depression among boys. For girls, the findings are stunning: Even low levels of alcohol, drug or sexual experimentation increased the probability of depression for girls.

Breaking down the results, Dr. Hallfors found that 25 percent of surveyed teens were complete abstainers, meaning they were virgins and used no substances, not even tobacco. Only 4 percent of these teens experienced depression.

Another group of teens could be considered dabblers in that they had experienced sexual intercourse and engaged in some kind of substance usage during the first 12 months of the study. For the boys, there was no increase in depression from this pattern of behavior (for boys, the significant risk was heavy drug use). However, for girls, the study revealed a more troubling pattern. Girls even experimenting with drugs were slightly more than two times as likely to be depressed (8-10 percent). Those experimenting with sex were three times more likely to be depressed than abstainers (12 percent versus 4 percent). For sexually promiscuous teen girls, the results are staggering: 44 percent of girls with multiple sexual partners during the study period experienced depression.

Did depression ever come first? Boys and girls were no more likely to begin or increase their sexual and drug use behavior when they were depressed than when they were not. In fact, depressed girls who were also abstinent were much less likely to engage in risky behaviors during the second year of the study. However, if they were already “dabbling” with substance use, depressed girls were more likely to go on to very risky sexual behaviors.

In other words, the sex and drug use are not only associated with depression but most often precede it. As a public policy matter, the drug use findings are not surprising and hardly controversial. For any teen, who advocates drug use of any kind?

On the other hand, for opponents of a strong abstinence message in schools, this study may be difficult to reconcile with their public policy activities. For instance, two groups opposed to abstinence education, Advocates for Youth and Sex Etc., are now sponsoring a contest for teens to promote condom usage. Teens can craft an e-postcard to send to their friends (and potential hook-up partners?) extolling the virtues of condom use. One such card has a picture of a heart and a condom with the caption: “Dream Team.” According to Dr. Hallfors’ research, for many teen girls, the caption should read: “Sad Nightmare.”

More research is needed to isolate the causes and cures for the link between experimentation and depression. However, there is no reason for policy makers to wait to encourage abstinence given these research findings. Citing the devastation and feelings of worthlessness that accompany depression, Dr. Hallfors warns, “Parents, educators and health practitioners now have even more reason to be concerned about teen risk behaviors and to take action about alcohol, drugs and sex.”

Instead of cheery postcards, teen girls need to know that their sexual behaviors may put them at risk for more than STDs and teen pregnancy. “Once a girl crosses that boundary, she puts herself at risk for a spiral of negative effects,” says Dr. Hallfors.

It seems to me that the evidence is consistent that teen sex is not a good idea, especially for girls. Why can’t everyone get behind that message?

Teens are nearly united in this sentiment. According to a poll conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, nine out of 10 adults and teens want society to send a clear message that abstinence is best for teens.

Whatever we think about the morality of sexual behavior, can’t we agree that teens should be given a clear and consistent message that it best to wait to engage in sex until they are ready to accept the financial, relationship and emotional consequences of making that choice? For nearly all teens, this would be adulthood.

My suggestion for a postcard? A picture of a gold nugget and a heart with the caption: “I’m worth the wait.”

Warren Throckmorton is associate professor of psychology and fellow for psychology and public policy in the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. He is past-president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association.


// October 30th, 2010 // No Comments » // Depression

Depression is different from sadness. We all get periodically despondent, unhappy, and disheartened over life’s disappointments. After a period of brooding and feeling sorry for ourselves, we usually resume normal function.

Depression, however, disables a person. People who are depressed frequently feel worthless, helpless, and guilt ridden. They cannot mobilize the energy, enthusiasm, and concentration needed for most activities, including sex. Impotence, predictably, reinforces the depression.

Depressed people have abnormal sleeping patterns. On the one hand, many depressed people develop insomnia; either they are unable to drop off to sleep or they tend to wake in the middle of the night and cannot fall asleep again. On the other hand, a significant number of depressed people sleep far too long and too much, yet still feel fatigued. They never feel refreshed after a good night’s sleep. Depressed individuals may be plagued by a variety of other physical symptoms, including headaches, persistent dry mouth, stomach aches, excessive belching, passing wind, occasional palpitations, frequent constipation, and inexplicable weight loss. Symptoms such as these should not be ignored, for they may be harbingers of serious physical problems. However, when medical investigation fails to disclose any physical cause, a diagnosis of depression must be considered.

Health professionals rely on information from patient interviews to establish the diagnosis of depression and then turn to standardized formats like the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D) to gauge the severity of depressive symptoms. The HAM-D explores and grades different aspects of depression, including mood, sleeping problems, feelings of guilt, suicidal thoughts, and sexual dysfunction, and then assigns a numerical score to reflect the intensity of each symptom. The greater the depression, the higher the score. As treatment alleviates depression, HAM-D scores return to normal.
The severity of the depression determines the therapeutic approach. Some depressed men may be incapacitated or suicidal. They may well require hospitalization. Less-severely impaired men who are troubled primarily by their depression-induced impotence and inability to function at work and in relationships can be treated as outpatients. Generally, treatment involves a combined approach utilizing psychotherapy and antidepressant medication.Wide ranges of drugs capable of stabilizing mood and relieving depression are available. The combination of antidepressant medications and psychotherapy is usually effective, and sexual potency frequently returns as treatment lifts the depression.However, antidepressant medication can create another sexual problem. About 25 to 50 percent of men treated with antidepressants experience some difficulty in ejaculating. This is sometimes overcome by switching to another medication.


// October 30th, 2010 // No Comments » // Impotence

Most medications useful in the treatment of anxiety, depression, mania, psychotic states, and other psychiatric disorders have sexual side effects. Sexual function, however, is rarely entirely normal in psychiatric patients. Like untreated hypertensive males, men plagued by anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric disorders commonly have impaired sexual function.

Psychiatric, or psychoactive, drugs interact with the network of chemicals called neurotransmitters that are present in the brain and elsewhere in the nervous system. Neurotransmitters allow nerve cells to interact with one another. Many experts postulate that psychiatric illness reflects an illdefined breakdown in the normal chemical communication among brain cells. This disruption favors a pattern of random, chaotic neurochemical signals that may cause depression, paranoia, psychosis, mania, or other forms of psychiatric dysfunction. Psychoactive medications are thought to be effective by virtue of their ability to redress this internal chemical turmoil and help realign neurochernical impulses so that normal communications can resume.Psychiatric medications also interrupt the neurochemistry required for the smooth progression of the normal male sexual response cycle. Like antihypertensive medications, some psychiatric medications have a negative effect on libido and/or impair the capability to have erections. But the most consistently reported sexual side effect is delayed ejaculation or a complete inability to ejaculate.

Lexapro escitalopram tablets

// October 23rd, 2010 // No Comments » // Antidepressants

Lexapro (escitalopram)

buy Lexapro online

buy Lexapro online

Generic name: Escitalopram

Available strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg tablets;

5 mg/5 mL oral solution

Drug class: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant


Like other SSRIs, Lexapro (escitalopram) is much safer in overdose than the older tricyclic antidepressants and some of the newer antidepressants. In the reported overdoses with Lexapro (escitalopram), the majority of fatalities were in combination with other medications and/or alcohol. However, fatalities were reported in several cases when Lexapro (escitalopram) alone was taken in very high doses.

Any suspected overdone should be treated as an emergency. The person should be taken to the emergency room for observation and treatment. The prescription bottle of medication (and any other medication suspected in the overdose) should be brought as well, because the information on the prescription label can be helpful in the treating physician in determining the number of pills ingested.

Special Considerations

Most cases of major depression can be treated successfully, usually with medication, psychotherapy, or both. The combination of psychotherapy and antidepressants is very effective in treating moderate to severe depression. The medications improve mood, sleep, energy, and appetite while therapy strengthens coping skills, deals with possible underlying issues, and improves thought patterns and behavior.

In general, antidepressants alone help about 60%-70% of those taking them. Although a few individuals may experience some improvement from antidepressants by the end of the first week, most of people do not see significant benefits from their antidepressants until after 3-4 weeks, and it can sometimes take as long as 8 weeks for the medication to produce its full effects. Thus it is critical that patients continue to take their antidepressant long enough for the medication to be beneficial and those patients not get discouraged and stop their medication prematurely if they do not fed better immediately.

In short-term studies, antidepressants were found to increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children and adolescents with major depression and other psychiatric disorders. The FDA requires the prescriber to warn of this risk in children and adolescents when starting antidepressant therapy. According to the FDA findings, the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors associated with antidepressants is age-related. This phenomenon tends to occur in the younger population and is most likely to occur early in the course of treatment. In adults over 24 years of age, there did not appear to be an increased risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared with placebo. In patients over age 65, the findings showed that antidepressants had a “protective effect” against suicidal thoughts and behavior. Other studies have found that when more people in a community are taking antidepressants, the suicide rate is lower.

The risk of suicide is inherent in depression and may persist until the individual responds to treatment. After starting or changing antidepressant therapy, the person, especially a child or adolescent, should be closely observed for worsening signs of depression, and the family or caregiver should communicate any concerns to the physician.

Warning: Always let your physician or a family member know if you have suicidal thoughts. Notify your psychiatrist or your family physician whenever your depressive symptoms worsen or whenever you feel unable to control suicidal urges or thoughts.

Do not discontinue Lexapro (escitalopram) abruptly. Your dosage should be tapered gradually to prevent discontinuation symptoms.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible, within 2-3 hours of the scheduled dose. If it is close to the next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular dosing schedule. Do not take double doses.

Lexapro (escitalopram) may be taken with or without food.

Store the medication in its originally labeled, light-resistant container, away from heat and moisture. Heat and moisture may precipitate breakdown of your medication, and the medication may lose its therapeutic effects.

Keep your medication out of reach of children.

General Information

Lexapro (escitalopram) is a purified molecule of Celexa (citalopram), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. Celexa has two mirror-image forms (designated as S and R forms), much like our left and right hands, which are mirror images hut opposite. Lexapro is made up of only the S form. What is the advantage of Lexapro over Celexa? It is thought that the primarily antidepressant action is from the S form and that the R form has little or no antidepressant activity and may interfere with the active molecule and contribute to side effects. Lexapro, containing only the purified S form, is presumed to provide better antidepressant activity than Celexa and, as reported in clinical trials, produce fewer side effects.

Lexapro approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat major depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder. The use of a medication for its approved indications is called its labeled use. In clinical practice, however, physicians often prescribe medications for unlabeled (“off-label”) uses when published clinical studies, case reports, or their own clinical experiences support the efficacy and safety for those treatments. Unlabeled uses of Lexapro (escitalopram) include treatment of other psychiatric disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphonic disorder.

Lexapro is a serotonin-specific medication that works by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin back into brain cells, thereby increasing its levels in the brain. Depression and other mental disorders may be caused by abnormally low levels of serotonin. This abnormality may in turn produce changes in affected areas of the brain, resulting in psychiatric symptoms such as depression or anxiety. The presumed action of Lexapro and other SSRIs is to increase serotonin levels, which may help to restore those areas of the brain to normal functioning.

Dosing Information

For depression and generalized anxiety disorder, the usual starting dosage ot Lexapro (escitalopram) is 10 mg once a day in the morning or evening. If improvement is not seen after 3-4 weeks, the dosage may be increased to 20 mg once a day. Generally, for treatment of depression, most people need a dosage of 10-20 mg/day, but some patients with more severe depression may require higher dosages. Treatment of other mental disorders may also require higher dosages than those used for depression. Seniors and people with severe or chronic medical illnesses may require a lower starting dosage of 5 mg/day as well as a lower maintenance dosage of 10 mg/day. For patients who cannot take a tablet. Lexapro (escitalopram) also comes in a liquid form.

For most people, it may take as long as 3-4 weeks to experience the optimal effects of the medication. The duration of medication treatment depends on the individual’s personal psychiatric history and family history. For instance, the length of medication treatment will be longer for those who have had two or more previous episodes of major depressive disorder. For most people, the medication may be tapered ft months after their depression responds to treatment. However, a small percentage of patients will continue to have depressive symptoms after their antidepressant is reduced or stopped. These individuals may benefit from continuing to take Lexapro (escitalopram) for 1 year or longer.

Common Side Effects

The most frequently reported side effects with Lexapro (escitalopram) are gastrointestinal disturbance, principally nausea, vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea, or loose stools. Nervousness, jitteriness, and trouble sleeping are other commonly reported side effects. Occasionally, individuals may experience headaches, sleepiness, and excessive sweating. Lexapro has very little influence on appetite and weight changes, unlike some of the other SSRIs such as Paxil.

Lexapro may induce sexual dysfunction in both men and women. The sexual side effects reported are delayed orgasm in women and retarded ejaculation in men. Some people may experience decreased desire or lack of interest in sexual activity. However, the adverse effects on sexual function with Lexapro (escitalopram) are generally less frequent than with Prozac or Paxil.

Patients should discuss these side effects with their physician, especially if they continue to be bothersome 3-4 weeks after the medication is started. If a rash or any other severe symptoms develop, patients should contact their physician immediately.

Adverse Reactions and Precautions

Lexapro (escitalopram) may cause drowsiness in some people. Patients should nut drive or operate machinery until they are certain that their alertness or coordination is not affected by the medication. Patients with a known allergy to Lexapro (escitalopram)or who have experienced a severe reaction after taking it should not take Lexapro (escitalopram).

Use in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Pregnancy Category C

Lexapro (escitalopram) has not been tested in women to determine its safety in pregnancy. The effects of the mediation on the developing fetus in pregnant women are unknown. However, newborn babies exposed to antidepressants such as SSRls late in the third trimester developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should discuss this with their physician. Some women may experience a recurrence of their depression when they stop their antidepressant. In these circumstances it may be necessary to restart the medication or seek an alternative medication or treatment.

Nursing mothers should not take Lexapro because small amounts will pass into breast milk and be ingested by the baby. If stopping the drug is not an alternative, breastfeeding should not be started or should be discontinued.

Possible Drug Interactions

The combined use of lexapro with certain other medications may result in adverse drug interactions, because one medication may alter the blood levels of the other. Fortunately. Lexapro i has a very low incidence of reported drug interactions than with some of the other SSRIs, such as Prozac, Paxil, or Zoloft.

Other medications, including herbal supplements (such as St. John’s Wort), that boost serotonin may result in excessive levels of that neurotransmitter when combined with Lexapro (escitalopram) and produce a toxic syndrome known as serotonin syndrome. The early signs of serotonin syndrome are restlessness, contusion, tremors, flushing, and involuntary muscle jerks. If the medications are not stopped, the individual may develop more life-threatening complications resulting in muscle disorders, high lever, respiratory problems, clotting problems, and destruction of red blood cells that may lead to acute renal failure. Patients taking Lexapro (escitalopram) should be alert to the possible signs of serotonin syndrome, which require immediate medical attention and discontinuation of the serotonin-boosting medications.

Antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOls) should not he taken together with Lexapro (escitalopram), because the combination may potentially produce a toxic reaction that includes elevated temperature, high blood pressure, and extreme excitation and agitation. Patients should consult their physician or pharmacist before taking any new medications, including over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements, with Lexapro (escitalopram).

Patients taking Lexapro (escitalopram) should avoid alcohol or should consume it in moderation because the combination may worsen depression.