Cipralex

Cipralex Medication Information:

Price Break On Cipralex
Generic is available for less money: Generic Escitalopram

Cipralex medication comes in several different strengths; click on the strength you need to view prices from pharmacies competing to earn your business.

Cipralex 10 mg
Cipralex 20 mg

Cipralex General Information

Cipralex is manufactured by H. Lundbeck A/S and has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in the treatment of major depressive episodes, panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

How Does Cipralex Work?

Cipralex is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and works by prolonging the mood lifting effects of the brain chemical serotonin by preventing serotonin from being reabsorbed by the brain cells.

When serotonin is released into the brain, it clarifies the mood of the person, but these effects are lost when the chemical is reabsorbed. The use of Cipralex increases the amount of serotonin in the brain, which in turn increases the mood lightening effects of the chemical.

Cipralex has been found to be highly selective with its effects on serotonin and has a minimal effect on other chemicals in the brain, including norepinephrine and dopamine. This decreases the risk of unintended side effects.

How Is Cipralex Taken?

Cipralex is available in both tablet and oral drop form. Both forms of the medication should be taken once per day every day. It can take between two and four weeks for the intended results of the medication to appear, so it is important that the medication is taken every day even if no difference in mood is apparent.

Cipralex can be taken with food or without food. The tablets should be swallowed whole unless indicated otherwise by your doctor. The oral drops can be administered by oral syringe or bottle with dropper application and can be mixed with water, orange juice, or apple juice for drinking.

Side Effects Of Cipralex

The most common side effects reported with the use of Cipralex include fever, increased sweating, rash or itching skin, and pain in the muscles and joints. Patients have also experienced uncontrollable tremors and sinusitis when using the medication.

Individuals taking Cipralex have reported instances of insomnia or somnolence, confusion, dizziness, nervousness, and seizures. Visual disturbances have also occurred to individuals taking this medication.

Issues with the digestive system have been reported, including decreased appetite, alteration in taste, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea. Sexual side effects such as ejaculation disorder, ejaculatory delay, anorgasmia, and decreased libido may also occur.

Other Brand Names For Cipralex

Lexapro

Safety Information:

Tell your physician if you have or have ever had heart, liver, or kidney disease, an enlarged prostate, difficulty urinating, an overactive thyroid gland, glaucoma, head injuries, or brain tumors. Your physician should also know if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding a child. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, your physician should be informed immediately.

Treatment with Cipralex can alter the control of blood sugar in individuals with diabetes and the dose of insulin or antidiabetic medication taken may need to be adjusted to continue its effectiveness. If you are planning on having surgery, including any type of dental surgery, the doctor or dentist needs to be informed that you are taking Cipralex.

Cipralex can cause drowsiness and can affect your ability to operate a vehicle or machinery. Alcohol can intensify this effect, so alcohol avoidance is recommended while taking this medication. Tobacco products and smoking can reduce the effectiveness of Cipralex.

Abruptly stopping this medication can cause numerous unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, including headache, dizziness, anxiety, nausea, and experiencing the feeling of pins and needles. When it is time to stop the medication, the dosage should be stepped down gradually under the supervision of your physician.

Dosage:

  • Tablet 5 mg
  • Tablet 10 mg
  • Tablet 15 mg
  • Tablet 20 mg
  • Oral Solution 10 mg/ml

Visual Description:

Cipralex tablets are round, white, film-coated tablets that are scored in the middle for each dosage above 5 mg and marked with the letter E and either K, L, M, or N on each side of the score on one side of the tablet. Cipralex oral solution is a clear, yellowish solution with a bitter taste.

About Cipralex

What Cipralex is used for

Cipralex has been prescribed to you by your doctor to relieve your symptoms of depression, anxiety, or obsessive compulsive disorder. Treatment with these types of medications is most safe and effective when you and your doctor have good communication about how you are feeling.

What Cipralex does

Cipralex belongs to a group of medicines known as antidepressants, more specifically to the family of medicines called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors).

Cipralex is thought to work by increasing the levels of a chemical in the brain called serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine).

When Cipralex should not be used

  • Do not use Cipralex at the same time as pimozide.

  • Do not use Cipralex if you are currently or have recently taken monoamine oxidase antidepressants (e.g. phenelzine sulphate, moclobemide).

  • Do not take Cipralex if you are allergic to it, or to any of the components of its formulation (for list of components see What the medicinal ingredient is: and What the nonmedicinal ingredients are:).

  • Stop taking Cipralex and contact your doctor immediately if you experience an allergic reaction or any severe side effect.

What the medicinal ingredient is

Escitalopram oxalate.

What the nonmedicinal ingredients for Cipralex are

Colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol 400, talc, titanium dioxide (white E-171).

What dosage forms Cipralex comes in

White 10 mg and 20 mg tablets in blister packs or bottles.


Warnings and Precautions

Treatment with these types of medications is most safe and effective when you and your doctor have good communication about how you are feeling.

Cipralex is not for use in children under 18 years of age.

New or Worsened Emotional or Behavioural Problems

Particularly in the first few weeks or when doses are adjusted, a small number of patients taking drugs of this type may feel worse instead of better; for example, they may experience unusual feelings of agitation, hostility or anxiety, or have impulsive or disturbing thoughts such as thoughts of self-harm or harm to others. Should this happen to you, or to those in your care if you are a caregiver or guardian, consult your doctor immediately. Close observation by a doctor is necessary in this situation. Do not discontinue your medication on your own.

Effects on Pregnancy and Newborns

Possible complications at birth (from taking any newer antidepressant, including Cipralex)

Post-marketing reports indicate that some newborns whose mothers took an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) such as Cipralex or other newer antidepressant during pregnancy have developed complications at birth requiring prolonged hospitalisation, breathing support and tube feeding. Reported symptoms include: feeding and/or breathing difficulties, seizures, tense or overly relaxed muscles, jitteriness and constant crying. In most cases, the newer antidepressant was taken during the third trimester of pregnancy. These symptoms are consistent with either a direct adverse effect of the antidepressant on the baby, or possibly a discontinuation syndrome caused by sudden withdrawal from the drug. These symptoms normally resolve over time. However, if your baby experiences any of these symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as you can.

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) and newer antidepressants

Preliminary information suggests that use of SSRIs during the second half of pregnancy may be associated with an increased rate of a serious lung condition (PPHN) that causes breathing difficulties in newborns soon after birth. According to the study, babies born with this condition were 6 times more likely than healthy babies to have been exposed to SSRIs. In the general population, PPHN is known to occur at a rate of about 1-2 per 1000 newborns.

If you are pregnant and taking an SSRI, or other newer antidepressant, you should discuss the risks and benefits of the various treatment options with your doctor. It is very important that you do NOT stop taking these medications without first consulting your doctor.

Before you use Cipralex, tell your doctor

  • All your medical conditions, including heart problems, history of seizures, manic-depressive illness, liver or kidney disease, diabetes or history of bleeding disorders.

  • Any medications (prescription or non-prescription) which you are taking or have taken within the last 14 days, especially monoamine oxidase inhibitors, pimozide, any other antidepressants, triptans used to treat migraines, lithium, tramadol or drugs containing tryptophan.

  • If you ever had an allergic reaction to any medication or any of the ingredients mentioned in this leaflet.

  • If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding.

  • Your habits of alcohol consumption.

  • If you drive a vehicle or perform hazardous tasks during your work.


Interactions with Cipralex

Serious Drug Interactions

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine, moclobemide or selegiline)

  • Pimozide

  • Linezolid (an antibiotic)

Other drugs that may interact with Cipralex include:

  • Other SSRIs (citalopram) or any other antidepressant (e.g., imipramine, desipramine)

  • Lithium

  • Tryptophan

  • Cimetidine

  • Triptans (e.g., sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, naratriptan)

  • Tramadol

  • Fluconazole

  • Ketoconazole

  • Itraconazole

  • Racemic Citalopram (Celexa)

  • Erythromycin

  • Warfarin

  • Omeprazole

  • Any herbal product such as St. John's Wort

  • Any medicine that affect the rate of clotting of the blood e.g., acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) or non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. and phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine.

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Cipralex.

Drugs from the class that Cipralex belongs to may increase the chance of a bleeding event such as nose bleeds, bruising and even life threatening bleeding. This is more likely if you have a history of a bleeding disorder or are taking other drugs that are known to affect your platelets.

Treatment with an SSRI in patients with diabetes may alter glycaemic control (hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia).

Tell your doctor all the medicines (prescription or over the counter) that you are using or thinking of taking.


Proper Use of Cipralex

Usual dose

  • It is important that you take Cipralex exactly as your doctor has instructed.

  • Usually your doctor will prescribe 10 mg per day, which you will take once daily preferably at the same time each day. If you are elderly, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose. This dose may be increased. Never change the dose of Cipralex you are taking, or that someone in your care is taking unless your doctor tells you to.

  • Swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not chew them. Cipralex can be taken with or without food.

  • You should continue to take Cipralex even if you do not feel better, as it may take several weeks for your medication to work. Improvement may be gradual.

  • Continue to take Cipralex for as long as your doctor recommends it. Do not stop taking your tablets abruptly even if you begin to feel better, unless you are told to do so by your doctor. Your doctor may tell you to continue to take Cipralex for several months. Continue to follow your doctor's instructions.

Overdose

  • If you have accidentally taken too much Cipralex contact your doctor, the Regional Poison Control Centre or nearest hospital emergency department immediately, even if you do not feel sick. If you go to the doctor or the hospital, take the Cipralex container with you.

Missed dose

  • If you miss a dose, do not worry. Do not take the missed tablet(s)—just take the next dose when it is due.


Side Effects for Cipralex and What to Do About Them

  • Cipralex may cause unwanted effects (side-effects). These may include nausea, increased sweating, diarrhoea, fatigue, fever, constipation, clogged or runny nose, sleep disturbance, loss of appetite, decreased interest in sex, decreased ability to reach orgasm, erectile dysfunction, difficulties falling asleep, drowsiness, yawning, dizziness, dry mouth, heartburn, stomach pain and changes in heart rate.

  • Particularly in the first few weeks or when doses are adjusted, a small number of patients taking drugs of this type may feel worse instead of better; for example, they may experience unusual feelings of agitation, hostility or anxiety, or have impulsive or disturbing thoughts such as thoughts of self-harm or harm to others. Should this happen to you, or to those in your care if you are a caregiver or guardian, consult your doctor immediately; do not discontinue your medication on your own.

  • Contact your doctor before stopping or reducing your dosage of Cipralex. Symptoms such as dizziness, abnormal dreams, electric shock sensations, agitation, anxiety, emotional indifference, difficulty concentrating, headache, migraine, tremor (shakiness), nausea, vomiting, sweating or other symptoms may occur after stopping or reducing the dosage of Cipralex. Such symptoms may also occur if a dose is missed. These symptoms usually disappear without needing treatment. Tell your doctor immediately if you have these or any other symptoms. Your doctor may adjust the dosage of escitalopram to reduce the symptoms.

  • Side effects are often mild and may disappear after a few days. If they are troublesome or persistent, or if you develop any other unusual side effects while taking Cipralex, please consult your doctor.

  • Usually Cipralex does not affect your ability to carry out normal daily activities. However, you should not drive a car or operate machinery until you are reasonably certain that Cipralex does not affect you adversely.

  • Post-marketing reports indicate that some newborns whose mothers took an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) such as Cipralex or other newer antidepressant during pregnancy have developed complications at birth requiring prolonged hospitalisation, breathing support and tube feeding. Reported symptoms include: feeding and/or breathing difficulties, seizures, tense or overly relaxed muscles, jitteriness and constant crying. In most cases, the newer antidepressant was taken during the third trimester of pregnancy. These symptoms are consistent with either a direct adverse effect of the antidepressant on the baby, or possibly a discontinuation syndrome caused by sudden withdrawal from the drug. These symptoms normally resolve over time. However, if your baby experiences any of these symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as you can.

    If you are pregnant and taking an SSRI, or other newer antidepressant, you should discuss the risks and benefits of the various treatment options with your doctor. It is very important that you do NOT stop taking these medications without first consulting your doctor.

    Serious Side Effects, How Often They Happen and What to Do About Them
    Symptom/Effect Talk with your doctor or pharmacist Stop taking drug and call your doctor or pharmacist
    Only if severe In all cases
    Uncommon Allergic reactions [skin rash, hives, swelling, trouble breathing]     a
    Alteration of blood sugar control in patients with diabetes: Low blood sugar [symptoms of dizziness, lack of energy, drowsiness, headache, trembling, sweating] or High blood sugar [symptoms of increased thirst, increased urination, weakness, confusion, fruity breath odour]    
    Bruising or unusual bleeding from the skin or other areas    
    Hallucinations [strange visions or sounds]    
    Mania [overactive behaviour and thoughts]    
    Uncontrollable movements of the body or face    
    Inability to urinate    
    Rare Serotonin syndrome [a combination of symptoms, possibly including: agitation, confusion, tremor, sudden jerking of muscles, high fever]   a  
    Low sodium level in blood [symptoms of tiredness, weakness, confusion combined with achy, stiff or uncoordinated muscles]    
    Very Rare Seizures [loss of consciousness with uncontrollable shaking (“fit”)]     a
    Liver disorder [symptoms include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite combined with itching, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine]   a  
    Gastrointestinal bleeding [vomiting blood or passing blood in stools]   a  
    See Warnings and Precautions: New or Worsened Emotional or Behavioural Problems   a  
    Akathisia [feeling restless and unable to sit or stand still]    
    a. If you think you have these side effects, it is important that you seek medical advice from your doctor immediately.

    This list is not a complete list of side effects. If you have any unexpected effects while taking this drug, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Cipralex Facts

Cipralex is one of the family of SSRIs used to treat depression by preventing the absorption of serotonin by the nerve cells.

Cipralex is sold in Canada, the U.K. and western Europe and is marketed in the U.S. under the brand name Lexapro.

Lundbeck, the maker of Cirpralex, announced worldwide sales of the medication amounting to $1.15 billion in 2007.

Cipralex helps keep the neurotransmitter serotonin active in the brain longer to help clarify and improve mood.

 

Technical Information

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