Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking escitalopram and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the morning or evening. Take it at the same time each day. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
If you are using the rapidly dissolving tablets, dry your hands before peeling back the foil on the blister pack to carefully remove a tablet. Do not push the tablet through the foil. The tablet is fragile and is not intended to be cut, split, or broken. Place each dose on the tongue, allow it to dissolve completely, then swallow it with saliva. Do not remove the tablet from the blister pack until just before taking. You do not need to take this medication with water.
To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start taking this drug at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Do not take more or less medication or take it more frequently than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as nervousness, headache, numbness, tingling, trouble sleeping, confusion) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
It may take 1 to 2 weeks to feel a benefit from this drug and 4 weeks to feel the full benefit of this medication. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.