Pexeva vs. Lexapro

Are Pexeva and Lexapro the Same Thing?

Pexeva (paroxetine mesylate) and Lexapro (escitalopram) are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants used to treat depression and anxiety.

Pexeva is also used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Side effects of Pexeva and Lexapro that are similar include nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, trouble sleeping (insomnia), dry mouth, yawning, constipation, weight changes, decreased sex drive, impotence, difficulty having an orgasm, and ringing in your ears.

Side effects of Pexeva that are different from Lexapro include loss of appetite, weakness, sweating, blurred vision, headache, restlessness, and nervousness.

Side effects of Lexapro that are different from Pexeva include upset stomach, gas, and heartburn.

Both Pexeva and Lexapro may interact with aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), other drugs that make you sleepy (cold or allergy medicines, sedatives, narcotics, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, medicines for seizures or anxiety), other antidepressants, medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, St. John's wort, tramadol, tryptophan, blood thinners, and "triptans" for migraine.

Pexeva may also interact with cimetidine, fentanyl, fosamprenavir, linezolid, ritonavir, tamoxifen, theophylline, and heart medications.

Lexapro may also interact with alcohol, lithium, and stimulants or ADHD medication.

Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking Pexeva or Lexapro.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Pexeva?

Common side effects of Pexeva include:

  • nausea,
  • drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia),
  • loss of appetite,
  • weakness,
  • dry mouth,
  • sweating,
  • blurred vision,
  • yawning,
  • headache,
  • restlessness,
  • nervousness,
  • constipation,
  • weight changes,
  • decreased sex drive,
  • impotence,
  • difficulty having an orgasm, or
  • ringing in your ears.

Report any worsening depression or suicidal thoughts you may have while taking Pexeva to your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Pexeva including:

  • shakiness (tremor),
  • inability to keep still,
  • numbness or tingling,
  • easy bruising or bleeding,
  • fast or irregular heartbeat,
  • muscle weakness or spasm, or
  • seizures.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Lexapro?

Common side effects of Lexapro include:

  • drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • sleep problems (insomnia),
  • nausea,
  • upset stomach,
  • gas,
  • heartburn,
  • constipation,
  • weight changes,
  • dry mouth,
  • yawning,
  • ringing in the ears,
  • decreased sex drive,
  • impotence, or
  • difficulty having an orgasm.

What Is Pexeva?

Pexeva (paroxetine mesylate) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) type of antidepressant used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

What Is Lexapro?

Lexapro is a prescription medicine used to treat depression. It is important to talk with your healthcare provider about the risks of treating depression and also the risks of not treating it. You should discuss all treatment choices with your healthcare provider. Lexapro is also used to treat:

Talk to your healthcare provider if you do not think that your condition is getting better with Lexapro treatment.


Learn to Spot Depression: Symptoms, Warning Signs, Medication See Slideshow

What Drugs Interact With Pexeva?

Pexeva may interact with cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotics, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, medicine for seizures or anxiety, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), blood thinners, cimetidine, fentanyl, fosamprenavir, linezolid, ritonavir, St. John's wort, tamoxifen, theophylline, tramadol, tryptophan, heart medications, other antidepressants, medicine to treat psychiatric disorders, almotriptan, frovatriptan, sumatriptan, naratripta, rizatriptan, or zolmitriptan. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Pexeva is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus. Babies born to mothers who have used this drug during the last 3 months of pregnancy may develop withdrawal symptoms such as feeding/breathing difficulties, seizures, muscle stiffness, or constant crying. If you notice symptoms in your newborn, tell the doctor. Since untreated depression can be a serious condition, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking this medication.

What Drugs Interact With Lexapro?

Do not take Lexapro if you:

  • are allergic to escitalopram oxalate or citalopram hydrobromide or any of the ingredients in Lexapro. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in Lexapro.
  • take a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if you take an MAOI, including the antibiotic linezolid.
  • take the antipsychotic medicine pimozide (Orap®) because taking this drug with Lexapro can cause serious heart problems.

Do not take an MAOI within 2 weeks of stopping Lexapro unless directed to do so by your physician.

Do not start Lexapro if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 2 weeks unless directed to do so by your physician.

People who take Lexapro close in time to an MAOI may have serious or even life-threatening side effects. Get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms:

Before starting Lexapro, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Are taking certain drugs such as:
    • Triptans used to treat migraine headache
    • Medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, including tricyclics, lithium, SSRIs, SNRIs, amphetamines, or antipsychotics
    • Tramadol
    • Over-the-counter supplements such as tryptophan or St. John's Wort

It is not known if Lexapro will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of treating depression during pregnancy are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. Some Lexapro may pass into your breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby while taking Lexapro. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines that you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Lexapro and some medicines may interact with each other, may not work as well, or may cause serious side effects.

Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can tell you if it is safe to take Lexapro with your other medicines. Do not start or stop any medicine while taking Lexapro without talking to your healthcare provider first.

How Should Pexeva Be Taken?

The recommended initial dose of Pexeva is 20 mg/day.

How Should Lexapro Be Taken?

Take Lexapro exactly as prescribed. Your healthcare provider may need to change the dose of Lexapro until it is the right dose for you.

Lexapro may be taken with or without food.

If you miss a dose of Lexapro, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Lexapro at the same time.

If you take too much Lexapro, call your healthcare provider or poison control center right away, or get emergency treatment.


Depression is a(n) __________ . See Answer

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You may also report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA by visiting the FDA MedWatch website or calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

FDA. Pexeva Product Information.

Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals. Lexapro Side Effects Drug Center.

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