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In clinical trials of escitalopram, there were reports of escitalopram overdose, including overdoses of up to 600 mg, with no associated fatalities. During the postmarketing evaluation of escitalopram, Lexapro overdoses involving overdoses of over 1000 mg have been reported. As with other SSRIs, a fatal outcome in a patient who has taken an overdose of escitalopram has been rarely reported.
Symptoms most often accompanying escitalopram overdose, alone or in combination with other drugs and/or alcohol, included convulsions, coma, dizziness, hypotension, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, sinus tachycardia, somnolence, and ECG changes (including QT prolongation and very rare cases of torsade de pointes). Acute renal failure has been very rarely reported accompanying overdose.
Management of Overdose
Establish and maintain an airway to ensure adequate ventilation and oxygenation. Gastric evacuation by lavage and use of activated charcoal should be considered. Careful observation and cardiac and vital sign monitoring are recommended, along with general symptomatic and supportive care. Due to the large volume of distribution of escitalopram, forced diuresis, dialysis, hemoperfusion, and exchange transfusion are unlikely to be of benefit. There are no specific antidotes for Lexapro.
In managing overdosage, consider the possibility of multiple-drug involvement. The physician should consider contacting a poison control center for additional information on the treatment of any overdose.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
The use of MAOIs intended to treat psychiatric disorders with Lexapro or within 14 days of stopping treatment with Lexapro is contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. The use of Lexapro within 14 days of stopping an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders is also contraindicated [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Starting Lexapro in a patient who is being treated with MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue is also contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Concomitant use in patients taking pimozide is contraindicated [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Hypersensitivity to escitalopram or citalopram
Lexapro is contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to escitalopram or citalopram or any of the inactive ingredients in Lexapro.
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/18/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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