Whenever you’ve prescribed a new medication, you should let your doctor know about any other prescription drugs you’re taking to avoid any potential adverse reactions. Whether it’s another prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, vitamin, or even an herbal supplement, your doctor takes all of these into consideration when prescribing the medication, dosage, and frequency of use. Two commonly prescribed medications are Lexapro and Xanax. This overview discusses whether you can take Xanax with Lexapro and the possible side effects.
Lexapro is the brand name for escitalopram, an antidepressant from the class of drugs called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). It’s mainly prescribed to people diagnosed with major depressive disorder (depression) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Lexapro works by blocking serotonin receptors in the brain and preventing it from being reabsorbed, allowing neurons to use it. When this occurs, symptoms of depression and anxiety, like sadness, nervousness, and fear, are alleviated.
Xanax is the brand name for the sedative alprazolam, which belongs to the benzodiazepine drug class. Xanax and other benzos are normally used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. They alleviate anxiety symptoms like panic, nervousness, rapid breathing, and elevated heart rate by activating the release of the neurotransmitter GABA.
GABA inhibits neural activity, reducing the rate at which neurons communicate with each other. This medication impacts various systems and functions in the body to produce sedation, relaxation, and calm. It’s important to note that as effective as both medications are for their designated purposes, the misuse or abuse of either or both can lead to dependence, addiction, and life-threatening interactions.
You can take Lexapro and Xanax together only if prescribed by your doctor. Because both drugs have different mechanisms of action, they’re less likely to interact with each other than other drug combinations. However, mixing Lexapro and Xanax isn’t automatically safe.
Unfortunately, many people abuse these drugs by taking them in higher doses than directed by a doctor or mixing them with other drugs or alcohol (such as taking Xanax and Lexapro together.) Mixing any medications without the direction or approval of a doctor can lead to serious problems.
It’s also important to note that Xanax and Lexapro vary in how quickly they take effect and how long they can be taken. For instance, while Xanax is a short-term medication that shouldn’t be taken for long periods, Lexapro is a long-term medication for anxiety. Those who mix the two and take Xanax longer than they should risk not only experiencing a negative interaction but also increasing their risk of dependence and addiction.
Although using Lexapro and Xanax at the same time may be fine in most cases where the prescribing doctor is closely monitoring doses and frequency of use, you should be aware that one drug can intensify the effects of the other. Possible side effects of taking Lexapro and Xanax together include extreme sedation, dizziness, poor coordination, inability to concentrate, and impaired judgment.
What’s more, the purpose of taking a Lexapro and Xanax combination should be to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and/or depression rather than getting high. Many people may attempt to mix these drugs to experience euphoria, but in reality, they may only experience an extreme sense of sedation as well as confusion and impaired judgment.
Ideally, doctors often prescribe patients with Lexapro and Xanax together in hopes of eventually removing Xanax from their regimen altogether. Taking Xanax longer than the allotted period or even after a doctor has recommended it increases the individual’s risk of becoming physically dependent and possibly addicted.
Considering that Xanax is rarely ever prescribed for longer periods than Lexapro in the case where both are taken together, continuing to use them for long periods may be considered drug abuse and can place you at risk of addiction and overdose.
Unfortunately, many people believe that prescribed medications are safe to take however they like, but this is far from the truth. The misuse or abuse of any prescription medication – especially multiple at a time – can lead to dependence, addiction, and increase the potential of fatal overdose. If you or someone you know needs substance abuse, mental health, or dual diagnosis treatment, our Pompano substance abuse treatment center can help.
Not only do we offer prescription drug addiction treatment that addresses Xanax or Lexapro addictions, but we also offer mental health treatment for disorders like depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and more. Whether it’s addiction, mental illness, or both, we’re here for you.