Escitalopram is often prescribed for the treatment of depression and generalized anxiety disorder, among other conditions of the brain. Part of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, the medicine works by acting on a specific chemical within the brain known as serotonin. Escitalopram comes in tablet and liquid form, and is taken by mouth, usually once a day.
What Is Escitalopram?
Who Makes It?
Escitalopram is manufactured by Forest Pharmaceuticals.
What Is Escitalopram Used for?
This medication is licensed to treat the following conditions:
- Depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression)
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
How Does It Work?
Escitalopram 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. Escitalopram 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.