Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) for PTSD

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LEXAPRO (escitalopram oxalate) is an orally administered Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). Lexapro comes in tablet and oral solution form, though tablet is the general method of prescription. Lexapro is made to systematically treat both Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), not just one or the other.

Lexapro is the only current drug that actively targets the primary area of cause for PTSD, being the chemical imbalance between the right and left brain hemispheres. Lexapro was designed to rebalance the chemical imbalance caused by PTSD, thus allowing the brain to function more accurately, compared to other drugs that merely target the symptom, and not the cause.


Lexapro is suitable for those who are 18 years plus. Lexapro is not suitable for adolescents or women who are pregnant.


The recommended dosage stems between 10 - 20 mg per day, however; as I was actually part of the trial for Lexapro, those with PTSD are more likely to be dosed at 30mg per day, because PTSD generally contributes both depression and anxiety. The recommended dosages are for MDD or GAD, so having both within PTSD, generally requires that increased dose.

If you required 40mg+ of Lexapro per day, you would then be looking at being locked up for treatment, as your mentally unstable if that dosage is required full-time.

Side Effects

All drugs have possible side effect/s, which need to be taken into consideration when being prescribed.

You have approximately a 1:39 chance of having any side effect/s with Lexapro from the clinical studies performed.

Lexapro has the following possible side effects:
  • Autonomic Nervous System Disorders
    • Dry Mouth
    • Sweating Increased
  • Central & Peripheral Nervous System Disorders
    • Dizziness
    • Headache
    • Paresthesia
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
    • Nausea
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Indigestion
    • Abdominal Pain
    • Vomiting
    • Flatulence
    • Toothache
  • General
    • Influenza-like Symptoms
    • Fatigue
  • Musculoskeletal
    • Neck/Shoulder Pain
  • Psychiatric Disorders
    • Insomnia
    • Somnolence
    • Appetite Decreased
    • Libido Decreased
    • Dreaming Abnormal
    • Lethargy
    • Yawning
  • Respiratory System Disorders
    • Rhinitis
    • Sinusitis
  • Urogenital
    • Ejaculation Disorder
    • Impotence
    • Anorgasmia
    • Menstrual Disorder
Further categorization of possible side effects are listed in decreasing order:
  • Frequent: palpitation, hypertension.
  • Infrequent: bradycardia, tachycardia, ECG abnormal, flushing, varicose vein.
Central and Peripheral Nervous System Disorders
  • Frequent: light-headed feeling, migraine.
  • Infrequent: tremor, vertigo, restless legs, shaking, twitching, dysequilibrium, tics, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle contractions involuntary, sluggishness, coordination abnormal, faintness, hyperreflexia, muscular tone increased.
Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Frequent: heartburn, abdominal cramp, gastroenteritis.
  • Infrequent: gastroesophageal reflux, bloating, abdominal discomfort, dyspepsia, increased stool frequency, belching, gastritis, hemorrhoids, gagging, polyposis gastric, swallowing difficult.
  • Frequent: allergy, pain in limb, fever, hot flushes, chest pain.
  • Infrequent: edema of extremities, chills, tightness of chest, leg pain, asthenia, syncope, malaise, anaphylaxis, fall.
Hemic and Lymphatic Disorders
  • Infrequent: bruise, anemia, nosebleed, hematoma, lymphadenopathy cervical.
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders
  • Frequent: increased weight.
  • Infrequent: decreased weight, hyperglycemia, thirst, bilirubin increased, hepatic enzymes increased, gout, hypercholesterolemia.
Musculoskeletal System Disorders
  • Frequent: arthralgia, myalgia.
  • Infrequent: jaw stiffness, muscle cramp, muscle stiffness, arthritis, muscle weakness, back discomfort, arthropathy, jaw pain, joint stiffness.
Psychiatric Disorders
  • Frequent: appetite increased, lethargy, irritability, concentration impaired.
  • Infrequent: jitteriness, panic reaction, agitation, apathy, forgetfulness, depression aggravated, nervousness, restlessness aggravated, suicide attempt, amnesia, anxiety attack, bruxism, carbohydrate craving, confusion, depersonalization, disorientation, emotional lability, feeling unreal, tremulousness nervous, crying abnormal, depression, excitability, auditory hallucination, suicidal tendency.
Reproductive Disorders/Female*
  • Frequent: menstrual cramps, menstrual disorder.
  • Infrequent: menorrhagia, breast neoplasm, pelvic inflammation, premenstrual syndrome, spotting between menses.
*% based on female subjects only: N= 905
Respiratory System Disorders
  • Frequent: bronchitis, sinus congestion, coughing, nasal congestion, sinus headache.
  • Infrequent: asthma, breath shortness, laryngitis, pneumonia, tracheitis.
Skin and Appendages Disorders
  • Frequent: rash.
  • Infrequent: pruritus, acne, alopecia, eczema, dermatitis, dry skin, folliculitis, lipoma, furunculosis, dry lips, skin nodule.
Special Senses
  • Frequent: vision blurred, tinnitus.
  • Infrequent: taste alteration, earache, conjunctivitis, vision abnormal, dry eyes, eye irritation, visual disturbance, eye infection, pupils dilated, metallic taste.
Urinary System Disorders
  • Frequent: urinary frequency, urinary tract infection.
  • Infrequent: urinary urgency, kidney stone, dysuria, blood in urine.

As Lexapro is an SSRI, being that it is used as an anti-depressant, all anti-depresants pose a risk of increased suicidal thoughts, or suicidality. The following symptoms; anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric.

Patients should be advised to inform their physician if they are taking, or plan to take, any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, as there is a potential for interactions.

Patients should be cautioned about the concomitant use of LEXAPRO and NSAIDs, aspirin, or other drugs that affect coagulation since the combined use of psychotropic drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and these agents has been associated with an increased risk of bleeding.

Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during therapy.

Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they are breast feeding an infant.

Read more from the fact sheets on Lexapro:
  • [DLMURL="http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/lexapro.htm"]Lexapro Description[/DLMURL]
  • [DLMURL="http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/lexapro_cp.htm"]Lexapro Pharmacology[/DLMURL]
  • [DLMURL="http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/lexapro_ids.htm"]Lexapro Indications and Dosage[/DLMURL]
  • [DLMURL="http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/lexapro_ad.htm"]Lexapro Side Effects and Drug Interactions[/DLMURL]
  • [DLMURL="http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/lexapro_wcp.htm"]Lexapro Warnings and Precautions[/DLMURL]
  • [DLMURL="http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/lexapro_od.htm"]Lexapro Overdose Information[/DLMURL]
  • [DLMURL="http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/lexapro_pi.htm"]Lexapro Patient Information[/DLMURL]
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