Before taking escitalopram,
tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to escitalopram, citalopram (Celexa), or any other medications.
tell your doctor if you are taking pimozide (Orap) or a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate), or if you have stopped taking an MAO inhibitor within the past 14 days. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take escitalopram. If you stop taking escitalopram, you should wait at least 14 days before you start to take an MAO inhibitor.
you should know that escitalopram is very similar to another SSRI, citalopram (Celexa). You should not take these two medications together.
tell your doctor or pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications and vitamins you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); antihistamines; aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); carbamazepine (Tegretol); cimetidine (Tagamet); ketoconazole (Sporanox); lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid, Lithotabs); linezolid (Zyvox); medications for anxiety, mental illness, or seizures; medications for migraine headaches such as almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex), and zolmitriptan (Zomig); metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL); other antidepressants such as desipramine (Norpramin); sedatives; sibutramine (Meridia); sleeping pills; tramadol; methylene blue; and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
tell your doctor what nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking, especially products containing St. John's wort or tryptophan.
tell your doctor if you have recently had a heart attack and if you have or have ever had seizures or liver, kidney, thyroid, or heart disease.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, especially if you are in the last few months of your pregnancy, or if you plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking escitalopram, call your doctor. Escitalopram may cause problems in newborns following delivery if it is taken during the last months of pregnancy.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking escitalopram.
you should know that escitalopram may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.
you should know that escitalopram may cause angle-closure glaucoma (a condition where the fluid is suddenly blocked and unable to flow out of the eye causing a quick, severe increase in eye pressure which may lead to a loss of vision). Talk to your doctor about having an eye examination before you start taking this medication. If you have nausea, eye pain, changes in vision, such as seeing colored rings around lights, and swelling or redness in or around the eye, call your doctor or get emergency medical treatment right away.