Escitalopram (Page 5 of 8)

7.15 Triazolam

Combined administration of racemic citalopram (titrated to 40 mg/day for 28 days) and the CYP3A4 substrate triazolam (single dose of 0.25 mg) did not significantly affect the pharmacokinetics of either citalopram or triazolam.

7.16 Ketoconazole

Combined administration of racemic citalopram (40 mg) and ketoconazole (200 mg), a potent CYP3A4 inhibitor, decreased the C max and AUC of ketoconazole by 21% and 10%, respectively, and did not significantly affect the pharmacokinetics of citalopram.

7.17 Ritonavir

Combined administration of a single dose of ritonavir (600 mg), both a CYP3A4 substrate and a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4, and escitalopram (20 mg) did not affect the pharmacokinetics of either ritonavir or escitalopram.

7.18 CYP3A4 and -2C19 Inhibitors

In vitro studies indicated that CYP3A4 and -2C19 are the primary enzymes involved in the metabolism of escitalopram. However, coadministration of escitalopram (20 mg) and ritonavir (600 mg), a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4, did not significantly affect the pharmacokinetics of escitalopram. Because escitalopram is metabolized by multiple enzyme systems, inhibition of a single enzyme may not appreciably decrease escitalopram clearance.

7.19 Drugs Metabolized by Cytochrome P4502D6

In vitro studies did not reveal an inhibitory effect of escitalopram on CYP2D6. In addition, steady state levels of racemic citalopram were not significantly different in poor metabolizers and extensive CYP2D6 metabolizers after multiple-dose administration of citalopram, suggesting that coadministration, with escitalopram, of a drug that inhibits CYP2D6, is unlikely to have clinically significant effects on escitalopram metabolism. However, there are limited in vivo data suggesting a modest CYP2D6 inhibitory effect for escitalopram, i.e., coadministration of escitalopram (20 mg/day for 21 days) with the tricyclic antidepressant desipramine (single dose of 50 mg), a substrate for CYP2D6, resulted in a 40% increase in C max and a 100% increase in AUC of desipramine. The clinical significance of this finding is unknown. Nevertheless, caution is indicated in the coadministration of escitalopram and drugs metabolized by CYP2D6.

7.20 Metoprolol

Administration of 20 mg/day escitalopram oxalate for 21 days in healthy volunteers resulted in a 50% increase in C max and 82% increase in AUC of the beta-adrenergic blocker metoprolol (given in a single dose of 100 mg). Increased metoprolol plasma levels have been associated with decreased cardioselectivity. Coadministration of escitalopram oxalate and metoprolol had no clinically significant effects on blood pressure or heart rate.

7.21 Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

There are no clinical studies of the combined use of ECT and escitalopram.


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Exposure Registry

There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy. Healthcare providers are encouraged to register patients by calling the National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants at 1-844-405-6185 or visiting online at

Risk Summary

Available data from published epidemiologic studies and postmarketing reports have not established an increased risk of major birth defects or miscarriage. There are risks of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) (see Data) and poor neonatal adaptation (see Clinical Considerations) with exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including escitalopram oxalate, during pregnancy. There are risks associated with untreated depression in pregnancy (see Clinical Considerations).

In animal reproduction studies, both escitalopram and racemic citalopram have been shown to have adverse effects on embryo/fetal and postnatal development, including fetal structural abnormalities, when administered at doses greater than human therapeutic doses (see Data).

The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in the clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.

Clinical Considerations

Disease-associated maternal risk and/or embryo/fetal risk

Women who discontinue antidepressants are more likely to experience a relapse of major depression than women who continue antidepressants. This finding is from a prospective longitudinal study of 201 pregnant women with a history of major depression, who were euthymic and taking antidepressants at the beginning of pregnancy. Consider the risk of untreated depression when discontinuing or changing treatment with antidepressant medication during pregnancy and postpartum.

Fetal/Neonatal adverse reactions

Neonates exposed to SSRIs or SNRIs, including escitalopram oxalate, late in third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding. Such complications can arise immediately upon delivery. Reported clinical findings have included respiratory distress, cyanosis, apnea, seizures, temperature instability, feeding difficulty, vomiting, hypoglycemia, hypotonia, hypertonia, hyperreflexia, tremor, jitteriness, irritability, and constant crying. These features are consistent with either a direct toxic effect of SSRIs and SNRIs or, possibly, a drug discontinuation syndrome. It should be noted that, in some cases, the clinical picture is consistent with serotonin syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.2)].


Human Data

Exposure to SSRIs, particularly later in pregnancy, may increase the risk for PPHN. PPHN occurs in 1 to 2 per 1000 live births in the general populations and is associated with substantial neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Animal Data

In a rat embryo/fetal development study, oral administration of escitalopram (56, 112, or 150 mg/kg/day) to pregnant animals during the period of organogenesis resulted in decreased fetal body weight and associated delays in ossification at the two higher doses [approximately ≥ 55 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 20 mg/day on a mg/m 2 basis]. Maternal toxicity (clinical signs and decreased body weight gain and food consumption), mild at 56 mg/kg/day, was present at all dose levels. The developmental no-effect dose of 56 mg/kg/day is approximately 27 times the MRHD of 20 mg on a mg/m 2 basis. No malformations were observed at any of the doses tested (as high as 73 times the MRHD on a mg/m 2 basis).

When female rats were treated with escitalopram (6, 12, 24, or 48 mg/kg/day) during pregnancy and through weaning, slightly increased offspring mortality and growth retardation were noted at 48 mg/kg/day which is approximately 23 times the MRHD of 20 mg on a mg/m 2 basis. Slight maternal toxicity (clinical signs and decreased body weight gain and food consumption) was seen at this dose. Slightly increased offspring mortality was also seen at 24 mg/kg/day. The no-effect dose was 12 mg/kg/day which is approximately 6 times the MRHD of 20 mg on a mg/m 2 basis.

In two rat embryo/fetal development studies, oral administration of racemic citalopram (32, 56, or 112 mg/kg/day) to pregnant animals during the period of organogenesis resulted in decreased embryo/fetal growth and survival and an increased incidence of fetal abnormalities (including cardiovascular and skeletal defects) at the high dose, which is approximately 18 times the MRHD of 60 mg/day on a mg/m 2 basis. This dose was also associated with maternal toxicity (clinical signs, decreased body weight gain). The developmental no-effect dose was 56 mg/kg/day is approximately 9 times the MRHD on a mg/m 2 basis. In a rabbit study, no adverse effects on embryo/fetal development were observed at doses of racemic citalopram of up to 16 mg/kg/day, or approximately 5 times the MRHD on a mg/m 2 basis. Thus, developmental effects of racemic citalopram were observed at a maternally toxic dose in the rat and were not observed in the rabbit.

When female rats were treated with racemic citalopram (4.8, 12.8, or 32 mg/kg/day) from late gestation through weaning, increased offspring mortality during the first 4 days after birth and persistent offspring growth retardation were observed at the highest dose, which is approximately 5 times the MRHD of 60 mg on a mg/m 2 basis. The no-effect dose was 12.8 mg/kg/day is approximately 2 times the MRHD on a mg/m 2 basis. Similar effects on offspring mortality and growth were seen when dams were treated throughout gestation and early lactation at doses ≥ 24 mg/kg/day, approximately 4 times the MRHD on a mg/m 2 basis. A no-effect dose was not determined in that study.

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