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Cipralex Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

January 23, 2019

Cipralex is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that controls the rate of serotonin absorption in the brain and helps the body to better regulate the user’s mood. This medication is not highly addictive, but, like most drugs, still carries a risk of addiction.

Cipralex is the brand name for escitalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication used to treat a variety of mental disorders, including clinical depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Cipralex has also been shown to be effective in treating premenstrual syndrome. Benefits of the drug are not seen until two to four weeks of continued use. The active ingredient in Cipralex, escitalopram, is also found under the brand names Lexapro and Nexito.

The active ingredient for Cipralex was first introduced to American markets in 2002. In 2004, the drug manufacturer was sued for wrongful marketing of the drug to children under 12 years of age. Studies had indicated previously the drug is ineffective for that age range. The drug is available in tablet form. Some people attempting to abuse Cipralex have been known to crush and snort the tablet.

How Cipralex Works

How we feel, react to things, and even behave, is governed in large part by a series of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters acting on nerve cells within our bodies. One of these neurotransmitters, serotonin, plays a large role in regulating our moods, sleep cycles, and even appetite.

We don’t yet know a lot about how serotonin works in the brain but can measure serotonin levels in the blood. Scientists have discovered that a person demonstrating clinical anxiety or depression tends to have lower levels of serotonin. Whether this is the root cause of depression or a symptom of depression, is not known. What is known is that increasing the availability of serotonin in the body improves the moods of those suffering from depression and anxiety.

Cipralex is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. This means when serotonin is released, the drug prevents its re-absorption by neighboring nerve cells. The result is more serotonin available to regulate mood.

Women are twice as likely to experience anxiety as men. They are also born with lower levels of serotonin. One theory behind this disparity is that women are hard-wired to worry. Speaking in terms of the evolution of the species, this anxiety kept them more alert and aware of dangers posed to their offspring. Whether or not this is the case is not known, but it offers one possible explanation for the natural disparity between men and women when it comes to anxiety and serotonin and affords an insight in the impacts of serotonin on mood.

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Serotonin is linked to avoidance behaviors. The lower the level of serotonin, the more withdrawn and isolated a person will become. This is a protective mechanism, keeping humans out of trouble for hundreds of thousands of years, but when serotonin is too low, it can generate crippling social anxiety disorders and agoraphobia.

A healthy person might contribute “gut instinct” to the avoidance of a dangerous situation. This is an accurate assessment as nearly all serotonin is manufactured in the gut, with only about 10% manufactured in the brain and along the central nervous system. Serotonin generally works to inhibit the excitability of nerve cells by external stress factors. In a healthy individual, a stress response is met by an increase in serotonin. In someone with low serotonin levels, external stress factors may further depress serotonin levels, generating severe anxiety and depression.

Cipralex Addiction

Cipralex is not highly-addictive, but someone suffering from anxiety or depression for a prolonged period may become psychologically addicted to the medication. Underlying mental disorders increase the risk factor for addiction and when someone with those risk factors experiences relief from a drug like Cipralex, they are more likely to associate a need for the drug with a need to achieve normalcy.

Some people who use SSRI medications have a higher likelihood of experiencing more severe withdrawal symptoms over a longer duration. Flu-like symptoms including nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal upset, fatigue, and sweating, along with the co-occurrence of anxiety or depression, can be a concerning experience for someone tapering off the drug and may perpetuate its use.

Cipralex Withdrawal

Cipralex withdrawal side effects can occur when someone suddenly reduces or stops taking the drug. Someone taking Cipralex should taper the medication under the supervision of a medical doctor or treatment specialist to reduce the severity or occurrence of these side effects.

Cipralex Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability and other mood changes
  • Excessive sweating
  • A headache

Adverse Health Effects From Cipralex

Cipralex can cause a number of uncomfortable side effects These include a headache, stomach upset, and insomnia. Use of SSRIs like Cipralex has been linked to sexual dysfunction and memory loss. Changes in serotonin levels can affect sleep cycles and dreams. Someone may experience strange dreams or have trouble adjusting to new sleep patterns when first taking the drug. Serious side effects can occur with use of the drug and should be addressed immediately by your physician.

Serious Side Effects from Cipralex Include:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Impotence
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Restlessness
  • Flu-like achiness
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • Significant changes in appetite
  • Significant changes in mood or personality

Cipralex Overdose

While it is rare, excessive abuse of Cipralex can result in overdose. Signs of overdose include changes in heart rate, muscle spasms, and convulsions.

Treatment For Cipralex Addiction

If you or someone you know is abusing Cipralex, help is here. can connect you with the resources and treatment options available to end the cycle of addictive behavior. A comprehensive treatment plan will address underlying issues, like the depression or anxiety that may have led to abuse of the drug. You’re not alone. Contact to take back your life and start a new path to recovery today.

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