Antidepressants are amongst the most popular methods of treating depression in the United States. These drugs are almost among the most prescribed medications across the nation, and data proves that American’s consume these drugs to manage mental health needs. An official report released by CBS News highlights that antidepressant use skyrocketed 65 percent in a short period.
322 million people are estimated to be struggling with depression worldwide, which is described as persistent sadness accompanied by losing interest in activities someone once found joy. Those who struggle with depression are more likely to abuse drugs. Unfortunately, antidepressant drugs like escitalopram that do not provide euphoria are also at risk of being misused or abused.
Escitalopram is provided to patients to treat mental health disorders or symptoms of depression.
Escitalopram provides neurotransmitters in the brain, which are tied to mood, emotions, and behavior with balance. The drug can also be used to treat hot flashes, Tourette syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Antidepressants are categorized by how they affect chemicals in our brains. There are five different types of antidepressant drugs, but escitalopram is classified as an SSRI. Escitalopram was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat depression, according to sources at the Mayo Clinic.
Although antidepressants like Escitalopram are not considered addictive, that does not mean someone who uses the drug will not experience symptoms that you would expect from drug withdrawal. With that said, you may wonder if someone will abuse escitalopram? Research shows that an estimated 20 percent of individuals who cease the use of their antidepressants after six weeks will deal with withdrawal symptoms.
The Mayo Clinic goes on to mention that individuals who go through withdrawal from escitalopram deal with “antidepressant discontinuation syndrome,” which can last weeks or months. The medication may also cause adverse side effects, and because of this, someone may continue abusing the substance to avoid the symptoms.
You can also develop a tolerance for the medication if you are exposed to substantial amounts in a short period. You can also become tolerant if you use it regularly for an extended period. Those who misuse the drug will also cause themselves to build up a tolerance much faster.
As you might assume, when it pertains to other drugs, you must stop escitalopram gradually over an extended period to avoid withdrawal symptoms. While others may experience severe symptoms when they stop using, others might deal with something less mild. Either way, you must speak to a doctor to determine a course of action. As we’ve described throughout this article, Escitalopram abuse is not common, but that does mean it does not exist.
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Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression Mundell, E.J. “Antidepressant Use in U.S. Soars by 65 Percent in 15 Years.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 16 Aug. 2017. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/antidepressant-use-soars-65-percent-in-15-years
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). (2018, May 17). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/ssris/art-20044825
Warner, Christopher H., et al. “Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome.”American Family Physician, 1 Aug. 2006. Retrieved from https://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0801/p449.html
Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. “Abruptly Quitting an Antidepressant May Cause Symptoms.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 29 Jan. 2019. Retrieved from https://www.ma