Antidepressants are some of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States, and data has shown that American’s use these drugs to manage their mental health needs, which include mood disorders. A government report released by CBS News shows that antidepressant use has skyrocketed a staggering 65 percent from 1999 to 2014.
There are an estimated 322 million people worldwide struggling with depression, which is a condition described as persistent sadness accompanied by a loss of interest in activities they once found pleasurable. Due to the significant number of those dealing with the condition, it raises the possibility that drugs like Escitalopram can be misused or abused.
Escitalopram is given to patients to treat symptoms of depression or other mental health disorders, such as:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Manic-depressive disorder
- Major depressive disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Escitalopram helps balance natural chemicals in our brain, which are known as neurotransmitters tied to emotions, behavior, and mood. The drug may also be used to treat fibromyalgia, hot flashes, or Tourette syndrome.
Antidepressants are categorized by the chemicals in our brain that they affect. There are five types of antidepressants, but Escitalopram is considered an SSRI. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Escitalopram to treat depression according to the Mayo Clinic.
Is Escitalopram Addictive?
While antidepressants like Escitalopram is not addictive, and users will not crave it, that does not mean someone who uses the medication will not experience symptoms that you may expect from drug withdrawal. Does that mean someone will abuse Escitalopram? Well, according to research, nearly 20 percent of those who stop using antidepressants after six weeks will experience withdrawal symptoms.
The Mayo Clinic also writes that individuals going through withdrawal from drugs like Escitalopram are known as “antidepressant discontinuation syndrome,” which may last for several weeks. The drug has the potential to cause side effects, and because of this, an individual may continue to abuse the substance to avoid these symptoms.
When someone experiences psychological or physical change after a break from Escitalopram, it may indicate they’ve developed a tolerance to the drug. This is common when drug use is repeated, and it’s important to note that drug tolerance does not mean someone is dependent or addicted to Escitalopram.
Its possible to develop a tolerance for the drug if you exposed to it in a short time.
You may also become tolerant to Escitalopram if you use it regularly for an extended period, and misusing the medication will cause you to build a tolerance much faster.
How Can I Stop Using Escitalopram?
As you may expect with other drugs, you should gradually stop using Escitalopram over a period of time to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Some people will experience severe symptoms when they attempt to stop using antidepressants, and you must speak to the physician who prescribed you the medication to determine your best course of action. As we’ve noted, Escitalopram abuse is not common, but some may continue using it to defeat their withdrawal symptoms.