Lexapro, also known as escitalopram, is classified as a selective serontonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It is an antidepressant prescribed to treat symptoms associated with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
Half-life is referred to the average time a drug takes to peak in the body. According to Forest Pharmaceuticals, the half-life of Lexapro is 27 to 32 hours. In elderly patients, the half-life increases by approximately 50 percent.
Depending on how the body metabolizes medication, it can take approximately four half-lifes for the medication to be excreted from the body. That can mean 108 to 128 hours for Lexapro.
As with all medications, symptoms of withdrawal may occur while discontinuing Lexapro. Withdrawal symptoms include confusion, insomnia (trouble sleeping), nervousness, headache, numbness and tingling. Consult a physician prior to discontinuing Lexapro.
It is suggested to avoid monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) for 14 days before starting therapy with Lexapro, or adverse reactions can occur.
While taking Lexapro, increased risk of suicide was reported in individuals under age 24. Regular doctor appointments are required for the first 12 weeks of treatment. If suicide thoughts occur, seek medical attention immediately.