NEW YORK, Sept. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Forest Laboratories, Inc.,
(NYSE: FRX) announced today that Lexapro(TM) (escitalopram oxalate), a
powerful, effective and well-tolerated selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
(SSRI), is now available in pharmacies nationwide. Lexapro, the single active
isomer of Celexa(TM) (citalopram HBr), was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) for the treatment of major depressive disorder on August
14, 2002. On August 29, the FDA approved new labeling for Lexapro as
Lexapro's efficacy and tolerability have been demonstrated in clinical
trials. The recommended dose of Lexapro is 10 mg daily, which was comparable
in a clinical trial to the higher titrated dose of Celexa at 40 mg daily.
Additionally, Lexapro 10 mg per day demonstrated a significant improvement in
depressive symptoms by comparison to placebo treatment beginning as early as
the first or second week of treatment in clinical studies.
Each year, nearly 19 million adult Americans suffer from a depressive
illness. One of every 4 women and 1 in 10 men can expect to be diagnosed with
depression during their lifetime. Depression costs the United States an
estimated $44 billion each year. The World Health Organization predicts
depression will become the leading cause of disability by the year 2020.
About Lexapro: An Isomer of Celexa
Lexapro is the product of a relatively new approach that involves the
removal of one of two enantiomers from Celexa to create a single-enantiomer
drug. Celexa is a racemic mixture of two mirror-image halves called the
S- and R-enantiomers. With Lexapro, the R-enantiomer (that does not
contribute to Celexa's antidepressant activity) has been removed, leaving only
the therapeutically active S-enantiomer. For more information on Lexapro,
please visit, http://www.lexapro.com.
Forest Laboratories licensed Lexapro from the Danish pharmaceutical firm
H. Lundbeck A/S, which developed both citalopram and escitalopram in Europe.
*Benicar is a registered trademark of Sankyo Pharma.