July 29, 2014
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Drug Factsheets

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Cipralex

(escitalopram)

DIN (Drug Identification Number)

02263238 CIPRALEX 10MG TABLET
02263254 CIPRALEX 20MG TABLET

How does Cipralex work? What will it do for me?

Escitalopram belongs to the group of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It works by increasing levels of a neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain. Increased serotonin levels can lead to an improved mood.

The medication usually begins to work within 2 to 4 weeks. However, it may take several weeks of treatment before the full effects are seen.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use Cipralex?

The recommended dose is usually started at 10 mg daily, preferably at the same time each day. Escitalopram should be taken once daily in the morning or evening, with or without food. The dose can be increased by your doctor as needed to a maximum of 20 mg daily. In some cases, the doctor may recommend a 5 mg starting dose.

The tablets should be swallowed whole (not chewed) with a glass of water.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue on with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.





What form(s) does Cipralex come in?

10 mg
Each film-coated, white, oval, scored tablet, marked with "EL" on one side, contains escitalopram 10 mg (as escitalopram oxalate). Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol 400, talc, and titanium dioxide (white E-171).

20 mg
Each film-coated, white, oval, scored tablet, marked with "EN" on one side, contains escitalopram 20 mg (as escitalopram oxalate). Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol 400, talc, and titanium dioxide (white E-171).

Who should NOT take Cipralex?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to escitalopram, citalopram, or any ingredients of the medication
  • are taking the medication pimozide
  • have taken a MAO inhibitor medication (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine, moclobemide) in the past 2 weeks - MAO inhibitors should not be taken until at least 2 weeks after stopping treatment with escitalopram

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Depression Symptom Checker Tool

The Depression Symptom Checker tool can help you learn about depression. Use this tool to create a list of your symptoms and rate how much the symptoms impact your life on a daily basis. The checklist is divided into 6 symptom categories that are associated with depression. You can also learn more about symptoms of depression here.

For each statement choose a number from 0 to 4 that describes the impact on your daily life, where 4 has the highest impact and 0 has no impact:

  • 0 = no impact on daily life/no symptoms
  • 1 = mild impact on daily life
  • 2 = moderate impact on daily life
  • 3 = severe impact on daily life
  • 4 = debilitating impact on daily life

It is important to remember that this is not a “score” but a way to help you communicate how much you feel the symptom impacts your daily life. When you finish you will be able to print out your symptoms and share this information with your doctor. Use the Doctor Discussion Guide to prepare for your doctor’s visit.

Rate how much the following symptoms apply to you.

1. Emotions

Depression can affect anyone at any age, although it most commonly appears between 15 and 45 years of age.

0 1 2 3 4
0 1 2 3 4
0 1 2 3 4
0 1 2 3 4

Visit your doctor with these results, when booking your appointment inform your doctor that you may need extra time to discuss these matters. Getting help for your depression can change your life. Don’t wait- depression is an illness that can, and should be treated.

Thoughts about death or suicide are common in depression, and it’s important to take such thoughts seriously. If you feel like giving up or as if you might hurt yourself, get help immediately: call your doctor, go to the emergency room or call 911.

This tool is adapted with permission from similar content found on www.depressionhurts.ca.


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