Lexapro Drug Interactions

by on April 22, 2012

Lexapro, generic name Escitalopram, has the potential to negatively interact with a number of other drugs. As Lexapro is an antidepressant that is in the family of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), it is very important to avoid certain other types of antidepressants that may have a negative impact on the prescription.

Serious Drug Interactions

The most significant Lexapro drug interaction is with the monamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) class of drugs. MAOI examples include: isocarboxazid (Marplan), furazolidone (Furoxone), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), and selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar). Side effects may include mental and emotional changes, tachycardia, fever and sweating, and diarrhea. The most severe side effect is serotonin toxicity, which could lead to coma and death. There must be at least a two week period between taking MAOI and SSRI medication to ensure there is no overlap to minimize the risk of a negative interaction between the drugs.

Additional Lexapro Drug Interactions

Other drugs that may interact with Lexapro include:

  • Aspririn – Aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding when taking Lexapro. In some cases, doctors may prescribe low-dose aspirin prescriptions; only when prescribed should a patient take any form of aspirin while being treated with Lexapro.
  • NSAIDS – Drugs that are known to thin blood, such as ibuprofen or warafin should be avoided when taking Lexapro. SSRIs can have an effect on the coagulation of the blood, and this type of drug can adversely affect bleeding in the case of accident or surgery.
  • Linezoid
  • Metoprolol
  • Lithium
  • Ketoconazole
  • Cimetidine
  • Warfarin
  • Tryptophan
  • SSRI or SNRI medications such as Zoloft, Effexor, Prozac and Paxil
  • Other antidepressants
  • Pimozide
  • Triptans
  • Tramadol
  • St. John’s Wort

Important Drug Considerations

If taking any drugs that increase serotonin in the bloodstream, even if not prescribed by a physician, it is important to ensure this has been considered by the prescribing physician before starting Lexapro treatment. Over the counter home remedies like St. John’s Wort can increase serotonin, and street drugs like MDMA, also known as ecstasy, can have a similar effect. This sort of unexpected addition of serotonin to the bloodstream can result in serotonin syndrome, resulting in possible coma or death. Physicians should also be made aware of any herbal or naturopathic remedies being employed.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are concerned about drug interactions. Inserts with the prescription will give a complete listing of all possible drug interactions and a list of what symptoms require immediate medical attention.