Escitalopram: What Does it Have to Offer?

Steven P. Wengel, William J. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Where does escitalopram, the latest antidepressant, fit in the universe of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSPIs)? SSRIs, including fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline, citalopram, and paroxetine, are among the most commonly prescribed antidepressants due to their demonstrated efficacy and relatively benign side-effect profile. Citalopram is a racemic mixture of R- and S-enantiomers. The S-enantiomer, escitalopram, is the therapeutically active portion of the parent compound, whereas the R enantiomer does not contribute to clinical efficacy and may account for some of the side effects of citalopram. 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-70
Number of pages4
JournalPrimary Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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