On March 14, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic version of the antidepressant Lexapro (escitalopram).
The generic version of the drug will be manufactured by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries/VAX Pharmaceuticals, an American company which produces many generic medications, and they will be the sole provider of the generic form of the drug for six months.
Teva will provide the drug in 5-, 10- and 20-mg doses, and, like the brand-name version, it is approved for the treatment of adult depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
Escitalopram belongs to a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), whose mode of action involves blocking the reuptake of serotonin by brain cells causing more of this important mood regulator to be available for use.
Common side effects of SSRIs include insomnia, ejaculation disorder, nausea, increased sweating, fatigue, sleepiness and decreased sex drive.
As with other antidepressants, escitalopram may cause increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, teens and young adults under the age of 25 when treatment is first begun.