Lexapro is a medication that is gaining increasing support for its ability to help with neuropathy, despite the fact that it was originally intended for curing symptoms of depression. Lexapro is considered to be very helpful for neuropathic pain, and side effects are relatively minor and manageable.
Lexapro is the brand name for the drug escitalopram oxalate. It is manufactured by Forest Pharmaceuticals and was approved by the FDA in August 2009.
Neuropathy and Nerve Pain
Neuropathy is a disorder that causes a variety of problems due to damage of the peripheral nervous system. Dull or sharp pain and numbness is often felt in the hands and feet, and it can be extremely debilitating, depending upon which nerves are affected.
Lexapro comes in two different forms, a non-chewable tablet and an oral solution. Lexapro can be taken on a full or empty stomach.
Lexapro and Neuropathy
Lexapro falls under the category of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Serotonin helps to fight pain, and Lexapro works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin so that neuropathic pain is less noticeable in the body.
As with any medication, Lexapro has potential side effects that you may experience while taking it. These include but are not limited to dry mouth, decreased libido, sleeplessness, abdominal pain, or trouble sleeping. Some people will experience rare side effects when taking Lexapro. Some of these may include dizziness, tachycardia, headache, convulsions, shortness of breath and nausea or vomiting.
Lexapro can have a fatal reaction when taken in concurrence with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as Eldepryl, Nardil and Marplan, and there must be a 14-day period where neither of these medications is in your system. Antidepressant medications such as Lexapro also come with the risk of increased suicidal tendencies, especially in teenagers and young adults.