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Escitalopram oxalate

From Academic Kids

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Escitalopram.png
escitalopram (free base) structure

Escitalopram oxalate (also known as LexaproTM and CipralexTM) is a medication developed by the Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck, that acts as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI. It is typically used as an antidepressant to treat depression associated with mood disorders although also may be used in the treatment of body dysmorphic disorder and anxiety.

Escitalopram is the pure S-enantiomer (single isomer) of the racemic bicyclic phthalane derivative citalopram. Escitalopram oxalate is designated S-(+)-1-[3-(dimethylamino)propyl]-1-( p -fluorophenyl)-5-phthalancarbonitrile oxalate with the molecular formula:

C20H22FN2O+ C2HO4-

and the molecular weight is 414.40.

Escitalopram oxalate is derived from the drug citalopram which is made up of two mirror-image isomers, only one of which is thought to be an effective medication. Lundbeck has split the isomers apart, taken the active isomer and has licensed it as the new drug 'escitalopram'.

It is notable that escitalopram was released shortly before the patent for citalopram was due to expire. The expiration of a patent means other companies can legally produce cheaper generic versions. Escitalopram is subject to a new patent. Critics have argued that escitalopram, and the subsequent marketing campaign to persuade mental health professionals to prescribe it, is a cynical ploy to promote sales of a virtually identical but considerably more expensive drug. In defence of the new drug, Lundbeck have claimed that the drug has additional benefits over the older citalopram and other antidepressant drugs on the market.

In the United States, the drug is marketed under the name LexaproTM by Forest Laboratories, Inc.

In Canada, the drug is marketed under the name Cipralex TM by Lundbeck Canada, Inc.

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