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Lexapro (Escitalopram Oxalate) - Side Effects and Adverse Reactions

 
 



ADVERSE REACTIONS

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Clinical Trial Data Sources

Pediatrics (6 -17 years)

Adverse events were collected in 576 pediatric patients (286 Lexapro, 290 placebo) with major depressive disorder in double-blind placebo-controlled studies. Safety and effectiveness of Lexapro in pediatric patients less than 12 years of age has not been established.

Adults

Adverse events information for Lexapro was collected from 715 patients with major depressive disorder who were exposed to escitalopram and from 592 patients who were exposed to placebo in double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. An additional 284 patients with major depressive disorder were newly exposed to escitalopram in open-label trials. The adverse event information for Lexapro in patients with GAD was collected from 429 patients exposed to escitalopram and from 427 patients exposed to placebo in double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

Adverse events during exposure were obtained primarily by general inquiry and recorded by clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. Consequently, it is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of individuals experiencing adverse events without first grouping similar types of events into a smaller number of standardized event categories. In the tables and tabulations that follow, standard World Health Organization (WHO) terminology has been used to classify reported adverse events.

The stated frequencies of adverse reactions represent the proportion of individuals who experienced, at least once, a treatment-emergent adverse event of the type listed. An event was considered treatment-emergent if it occurred for the first time or worsened while receiving therapy following baseline evaluation.

Adverse Events Associated with Discontinuation of Treatment

Major Depressive Disorder

Pediatrics (6 -17 years)

Adverse events were associated with discontinuation of 3.5% of 286 patients receiving Lexapro and 1% of 290 patients receiving placebo. The most common adverse event (incidence at least 1% for Lexapro and greater than placebo) associated with discontinuation was insomnia (1% Lexapro, 0% placebo).

Adults

Among the 715 depressed patients who received Lexapro in placebo-controlled trials, 6% discontinued treatment due to an adverse event, as compared to 2% of 592 patients receiving placebo. In two fixed-dose studies, the rate of discontinuation for adverse events in patients receiving 10 mg/day Lexapro was not significantly different from the rate of discontinuation for adverse events in patients receiving placebo. The rate of discontinuation for adverse events in patients assigned to a fixed dose of 20 mg/day Lexapro was 10%, which was significantly different from the rate of discontinuation for adverse events in patients receiving 10 mg/day Lexapro (4%) and placebo (3%). Adverse events that were associated with the discontinuation of at least 1% of patients treated with Lexapro, and for which the rate was at least twice that of placebo, were nausea (2%) and ejaculation disorder (2% of male patients).

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Adults

Among the 429 GAD patients who received Lexapro 10-20 mg/day in placebo-controlled trials, 8% discontinued treatment due to an adverse event, as compared to 4% of 427 patients receiving placebo. Adverse events that were associated with the discontinuation of at least 1% of patients treated with Lexapro, and for which the rate was at least twice the placebo rate, were nausea (2%), insomnia (1%), and fatigue (1%).

Incidence of Adverse Reactions in Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials

Major Depressive Disorder

Pediatrics (6 -17 years)

The overall profile of adverse reactions in pediatric patients was generally similar to that seen in adult studies, as shown in Table 2. However, the following adverse reactions (excluding those which appear in Table 2 and those for which the coded terms were uninformative or misleading) were reported at an incidence of at least 2% for Lexapro and greater than placebo: back pain, urinary tract infection, vomiting, and nasal congestion.

Adults

The most commonly observed adverse reactions in Lexapro patients (incidence of approximately 5% or greater and approximately twice the incidence in placebo patients) were insomnia, ejaculation disorder (primarily ejaculatory delay), nausea, sweating increased, fatigue, and somnolence.

Table 2 enumerates the incidence, rounded to the nearest percent, of treatment-emergent adverse events that occurred among 715 depressed patients who received Lexapro at doses ranging from 10 to 20 mg/day in placebo-controlled trials. Events included are those occurring in 2% or more of patients treated with Lexapro and for which the incidence in patients treated with Lexapro was greater than the incidence in placebo-treated patients.

TABLE 2 Treatment-Emergent Adverse Reactions observed with a frequency of ≥ 2% and greater than placebo for Major Depressive Disorder

1Primarily ejaculatory delay.

2Denominator used was for males only (N=225 Lexapro; N=188 placebo).

3Denominator used was for females only (N=490 Lexapro; N=404 placebo).

Adverse Reaction Lexapro Placebo
(N=715)
%
(N=592)
%
Autonomic Nervous System Disorders
Dry Mouth6%5%
Sweating Increased5%2%
Central & Peripheral Nervous System Disorders
Dizziness5%3%
Gastrointestinal Disorders
Nausea15%7%
Diarrhea8%5%
Constipation3%1%
Indigestion3%1%
Abdominal Pain2%1%
General
Influenza-like Symptoms5%4%
Fatigue5%2%
Psychiatric Disorders
Insomnia9%4%
Somnolence6%2%
Appetite Decreased3%1%
Libido Decreased3%1%
Respiratory System Disorders
Rhinitis5%4%
Sinusitis3%2%
Urogenital
Ejaculation Disorder1,29%<1%
Impotence23%<1%
Anorgasmia32%<1%

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Adults

The most commonly observed adverse reactions in Lexapro patients (incidence of approximately 5% or greater and approximately twice the incidence in placebo patients) were nausea, ejaculation disorder (primarily ejaculatory delay), insomnia, fatigue, decreased libido, and anorgasmia.

Table 3 enumerates the incidence, rounded to the nearest percent of treatment-emergent adverse events that occurred among 429 GAD patients who received Lexapro 10 to 20 mg/day in placebo-controlled trials. Events included are those occurring in 2% or more of patients treated with Lexapro and for which the incidence in patients treated with Lexapro was greater than the incidence in placebo-treated patients.

TABLE 3 Treatment-Emergent Adverse Reactions observed with a frequency of ≥ 2% and greater than placebo for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

1Primarily ejaculatory delay.

2Denominator used was for males only (N=182 Lexapro; N=195 placebo).

3Denominator used was for females only (N=247 Lexapro; N=232 placebo).

Adverse Reactions Lexapro Placebo
(N=429)
%
(N=427)
%
Autonomic Nervous System Disorders
   Dry Mouth9%5%
   Sweating Increased4%1%
Central & Peripheral Nervous System Disorders
   Headache24%17%
   Paresthesia2%1%
Gastrointestinal Disorders
   Nausea18%8%
   Diarrhea8%6%
   Constipation5%4%
   Indigestion3%2%
   Vomiting3%1%
   Abdominal Pain2%1%
   Flatulence2%1%
   Toothache2%0%
General
   Fatigue8%2%
   Influenza-like Symptoms5%4%
Musculoskeletal System Disorder
   Neck/Shoulder Pain3%1%
Psychiatric Disorders
   Somnolence13%7%
   Insomnia12%6%
   Libido Decreased7%2%
   Dreaming Abnormal3%2%
   Appetite Decreased3%1%
   Lethargy3%1%
Respiratory System Disorders
   Yawning2%1%
Urogenital
   Ejaculation Disorder1,214%2%
   Anorgasmia36%<1%
   Menstrual Disorder2%1%

Dose Dependency of Adverse Reactions

The potential dose dependency of common adverse reactions (defined as an incidence rate of ≥5% in either the 10 mg or 20 mg Lexapro groups) was examined on the basis of the combined incidence of adverse reactions in two fixed-dose trials. The overall incidence rates of adverse events in 10 mg Lexapro-treated patients (66%) was similar to that of the placebo-treated patients (61%), while the incidence rate in 20 mg/day Lexapro-treated patients was greater (86%). Table 4 shows common adverse reactions that occurred in the 20 mg/day Lexapro group with an incidence that was approximately twice that of the 10 mg/day Lexapro group and approximately twice that of the placebo group.

TABLE 4 Incidence of Common Adverse Reactions in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder
Adverse Reaction Placebo 10 mg/day 20 mg/day
(N=311) Lexapro Lexapro
(N=310) (N=125)
Insomnia 4%7%14%
Diarrhea 5%6%14%
Dry Mouth 3%4%9%
Somnolence 1%4%9%
Dizziness 2%4%7%
Sweating Increased <1%3%8%
Constipation 1%3%6%
Fatigue 2%2%6%
Indigestion 1%2%6%

Male and Female Sexual Dysfunction with SSRIs

Although changes in sexual desire, sexual performance, and sexual satisfaction often occur as manifestations of a psychiatric disorder, they may also be a consequence of pharmacologic treatment. In particular, some evidence suggests that SSRIs can cause such untoward sexual experiences.

Reliable estimates of the incidence and severity of untoward experiences involving sexual desire, performance, and satisfaction are difficult to obtain, however, in part because patients and physicians may be reluctant to discuss them. Accordingly, estimates of the incidence of untoward sexual experience and performance cited in product labeling are likely to underestimate their actual incidence.

TABLE 5 Incidence of Sexual Side Effects in Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials
Adverse Event Lexapro Placebo
In Males Only
(N=407)(N=383)
Ejaculation Disorder
(primarily ejaculatory delay)

12%

1%
Libido Decreased6%2%
   Impotence2%<1%
In Females Only
(N=737)(N=636)
Libido Decreased3%1%
Anorgasmia3%<1%

There are no adequately designed studies examining sexual dysfunction with escitalopram treatment.

Priapism has been reported with all SSRIs.

While it is difficult to know the precise risk of sexual dysfunction associated with the use of SSRIs, physicians should routinely inquire about such possible side effects.

Vital Sign Changes

Lexapro and placebo groups were compared with respect to (1) mean change from baseline in vital signs (pulse, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure) and (2) the incidence of patients meeting criteria for potentially clinically significant changes from baseline in these variables. These analyses did not reveal any clinically important changes in vital signs associated with Lexapro treatment. In addition, a comparison of supine and standing vital sign measures in subjects receiving Lexapro indicated that Lexapro treatment is not associated with orthostatic changes.

Weight Changes

Patients treated with Lexapro in controlled trials did not differ from placebo-treated patients with regard to clinically important change in body weight.

Laboratory Changes

Lexapro and placebo groups were compared with respect to (1) mean change from baseline in various serum chemistry, hematology, and urinalysis variables, and (2) the incidence of patients meeting criteria for potentially clinically significant changes from baseline in these variables. These analyses revealed no clinically important changes in laboratory test parameters associated with Lexapro treatment.

ECG Changes

Electrocardiograms from Lexapro (N=625), racemic citalopram (N=351), and placebo (N=527) groups were compared with respect to (1) mean change from baseline in various ECG parameters and (2) the incidence of patients meeting criteria for potentially clinically significant changes from baseline in these variables. These analyses revealed (1) a decrease in heart rate of 2.2 bpm for Lexapro and 2.7 bpm for racemic citalopram, compared to an increase of 0.3 bpm for placebo and (2) an increase in QTc interval of 3.9 msec for Lexapro and 3.7 msec for racemic citalopram, compared to 0.5 msec for placebo. Neither Lexapro nor racemic citalopram were associated with the development of clinically significant ECG abnormalities.

Other Reactions Observed During the Premarketing Evaluation of Lexapro

Following is a list of treatment-emergent adverse events, as defined in the introduction to the ADVERSE REACTIONS section, reported by the 1428 patients treated with Lexapro for periods of up to one year in double-blind or open-label clinical trials during its premarketing evaluation. The listing does not include those events already listed in Tables 2 & 3, those events for which a drug cause was remote and at a rate less than 1% or lower than placebo, those events which were so general as to be uninformative, and those events reported only once which did not have a substantial probability of being acutely life threatening. Events are categorized by body system. Events of major clinical importance are described in the Warnings and Precautions section (5).

Cardiovascular - hypertension, palpitation.

Central and Peripheral Nervous System Disorders - light-headed feeling, migraine.

Gastrointestinal Disorders - abdominal cramp, heartburn, gastroenteritis.

General - allergy, chest pain, fever, hot flushes, pain in limb.

Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders - increased weight.

Musculoskeletal System Disorders - arthralgia, myalgia jaw stiffness.

Psychiatric Disorders - appetite increased, concentration impaired, irritability.

Reproductive Disorders/Female - menstrual cramps, menstrual disorder.

Respiratory System Disorders - bronchitis, coughing, nasal congestion, sinus congestion, sinus headache.

Skin and Appendages Disorders - rash.

Special Senses - vision blurred, tinnitus.

Urinary System Disorders - urinary frequency, urinary tract infection.

Post-Marketing Experience

Adverse Reactions Reported Subsequent to the Marketing of Escitalopram

The following additional adverse reactions have been identified from spontaneous reports of escitalopram received worldwide. These adverse reactions have been chosen for inclusion because of a combination of seriousness, frequency of reporting, or potential causal connection to escitalopram and have not been listed elsewhere in labeling. However, because these adverse reactions were reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. These events include:

Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders: anemia, agranulocytis, aplastic anemia, hemolytic anemia, idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia.

Cardiac Disorders: atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, cardiac failure, myocardial infarction, tachycardia, torsade de pointes, ventricular arrhythmia, ventricular tachycardia.

Ear and labyrinth disorders: vertigo

Endocrine Disorders: diabetes mellitus, hyperprolactinemia, SIADH.

Eye Disorders: diplopia, glaucoma, mydriasis, visual disturbance.

Gastrointestinal Disorder: dysphagia, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, gastroesophageal reflux, pancreatitis, rectal hemorrhage.

General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions: abnormal gait, asthenia, edema, fall, feeling abnormal, malaise.

Hepatobiliary Disorders: fulminant hepatitis, hepatic failure, hepatic necrosis, hepatitis.

Immune System Disorders: allergic reaction, anaphylaxis.

Investigations: bilirubin increased, decreased weight, electrocardiogram QT prolongation, hepatic enzymes increased,hypercholesterolemia, INR increased, prothrombin decreased.

Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders: hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, hypokalemia, hyponatremia.

Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders: muscle cramp, muscle stiffness, muscle weakness, rhabdomyolysis.

Nervous System Disorders: akathisia, amnesia, ataxia, choreoathetosis, cerebrovascular accident, dysarthria, dyskinesia, dystonia, extrapyramidal disorders, grand mal seizures (or convulsions), hypoaesthesia, myoclonus, nystagmus, Parkinsonism, restless legs, seizures, syncope, tardive dyskinesia, tremor.

Pregnancy, Puerperium and Perinatal Conditions: spontaneous abortion.

Psychiatric Disorders: acute psychosis, aggression, agitation, anger, anxiety, apathy, completed suicide, confusion, depersonalization, depression aggravated, delirium, delusion, disorientation, feeling unreal, hallucinations (visual and auditory), mood swings, nervousness, nightmare, panic reaction, paranoia, restlessness, self-harm or thoughts of self-harm, suicide attempt, suicidal ideation, suicidal tendency.

Renal and Urinary Disorders: acute renal failure, dysuria, urinary retention.

Reproductive System and Breast Disorders: menorrhagia, priapism.

Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal Disorders: dyspnea, epistaxis, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary hypertension of the newborn.

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders: alopecia, angioedema, dermatitis, ecchymosis, erythema multiforme, photosensitivity reaction, Stevens Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria.

Vascular Disorders: deep vein thrombosis, flushing, hypertensive crisis, hypotension, orthostatic hypotension, phlebitis, thrombosis.



REPORTS OF SUSPECTED LEXAPRO SIDE EFFECTS / ADVERSE REACTIONS

Below is a sample of reports where side effects / adverse reactions may be related to Lexapro. The information is not vetted and should not be considered as verified clinical evidence.

Possible Lexapro side effects / adverse reactions in 41 year old male

Reported by a health professional (non-physician/pharmacist) from Denmark on 2011-10-04

Patient: 41 year old male

Reactions: Agitation, Weight Decreased, Tinnitus, Vomiting, Drug Effect Decreased, Nausea, Drug Withdrawal Syndrome, Headache, Hyperhidrosis, Suicidal Ideation, Paraesthesia, Panic Attack, Palpitations, Dizziness, Sinusitis, Decreased Appetite

Suspect drug(s):
Lexapro
    Dosage: 15 mg (15 mg, 1 in 1 d), oral; 10 mg (10 mg, 1 in 1 d), oral; 15 mg (15 mg, 1 in 1 d),oral
    Administration route: Oral
    Indication: Depression
    Start date: 2011-05-23
    End date: 2011-07-18

Lexapro
    Dosage: 15 mg (15 mg, 1 in 1 d), oral; 10 mg (10 mg, 1 in 1 d), oral; 15 mg (15 mg, 1 in 1 d),oral
    Administration route: Oral
    Indication: Depression
    Start date: 2011-07-19
    End date: 2011-08-09

Lexapro
    Dosage: 15 mg (15 mg, 1 in 1 d), oral; 10 mg (10 mg, 1 in 1 d), oral; 15 mg (15 mg, 1 in 1 d),oral
    Administration route: Oral
    Indication: Depression
    Start date: 2011-08-10
    End date: 2011-08-22

Lexapro
    Dosage: 20 mg (20 mg, 1 in 1 d), oral
    Administration route: Oral
    Indication: Depression
    Start date: 2011-08-23
    End date: 2011-09-20

Lexapro
    Dosage: 10 mg (10 mg, 1 in 1 d), oral
    Administration route: Oral
    Indication: Depression
    Start date: 2011-04-18
    End date: 2011-05-22

Other drugs received by patient: Alprazolam (Alprazolam) (Tablets) (Alprazolam)



Possible Lexapro side effects / adverse reactions in 74 year old male

Reported by a health professional (non-physician/pharmacist) from Denmark on 2011-10-05

Patient: 74 year old male

Reactions: Electrocardiogram QT Prolonged, Contusion, Circulatory Collapse, Fall

Adverse event resulted in: hospitalization

Suspect drug(s):
Atorvastatin Calcium

Atenolol
    Dosage: 50 mg (1 time),oral
    Administration route: Oral
    End date: 2006-11-06

Aspirin
    Dosage: 150 mg (1 time)

Lexapro
    Dosage: 10 mg (1 time)
    Start date: 2006-10-03
    End date: 2006-10-28



Possible Lexapro side effects / adverse reactions in 63 year old female

Reported by a consumer/non-health professional from United States on 2011-10-05

Patient: 63 year old female

Reactions: Mania, Fatigue, Fungal Infection, Palpitations, Drug Interaction, Depression

Suspect drug(s):
Lexapro
    Dosage: 10 mg (10 mg,1 in 1 d),oral
    Administration route: Oral
    Indication: Depression
    Start date: 2005-01-01

Lexapro
    Dosage: 20 mg (20 mg,1 in 1 d),oral ; 10 mg (10 mg,1 in 1 d),oral
    Administration route: Oral
    Indication: Depression
    Start date: 2011-08-01

Lexapro
    Dosage: 20 mg (20 mg,1 in 1 d),oral ; 10 mg (10 mg,1 in 1 d),oral
    Administration route: Oral
    Indication: Depression
    End date: 2011-08-01

Fluconazole
    Dosage: daily (1 in 1 d),oral
    Administration route: Oral
    Indication: Fungal Infection
    Start date: 2011-08-12
    End date: 2011-09-01

Other drugs received by patient: Deplin (Calcium Levomefolate) (Calcium Levomefolate)



See index of all Lexapro side effect reports >>

Drug label data at the top of this Page last updated: 2009-03-26

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