Escitalopram is the most serotonin-selective of the SSRIs, has relatively little effect on the cytochrome P450 system, and is less protein bound than other SSRIs.
It is also well-tolerated and may offer a quicker onset of therapeutic action than citalopram in depressed patients.
Like other SSRIs, it is also effective in relieving anxiety symptoms associated with depression.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are first-choice antidepressants for most depressed individuals.
As a class, they possess demonstrated efficacy and a relatively low rate of side effects.
In addition to existing SSRIs in the United States market (fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline, citalopram, and paroxetine), escitalopram was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2002 for treatment of major depressive disorder and for prevention of relapse.
Citalopram is a racemic mixture of R- and S-enantiomers.