Can You Take Lexapro and Melatonin?

When two generally safe drugs are combined, your brain may be affected in unexpected & possibly hazardous ways. Here's what you should know.

The function of the brain is to integrate and regulate the relationship between sensory organs, nerve cells, neurotransmitters, and hormones to govern your body. This complex balancing effort may be aided or hindered by the medications you take and the meals you consume. When two generally safe drugs are combined, your brain may be affected in unexpected and possibly hazardous ways. It is recommended to consult your healthcare professional before using a dietary supplement like melatonin with any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the pineal gland, and levels of the hormone rise in the evening as light levels drop to get the body ready for bed. The body is stimulated by morning light to stop making melatonin and become more attentive. Melatonin is a synthesized hormone used in dietary supplements.

It can be used by people who need to change their sleep schedule, whether they have jet lag, delayed sleep phase, or job shifts that cause them to sleep throughout the day. Additionally, it aids in the circadian rhythm readjustment in those who are blind.

What is Lexapro?

Lexapro is used as an antidepressant. It is a prescription medicine, and its generic name is  Escitalopram. Managing depression with Lexapro is done through preventing the loss of serotonin from synapses, a space between nerve cells. As a result, the antidepressant effects of serotonin are increased and prolonged. However, common side effects reported for Lexapro include sleepiness, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, altered sexual function, sweating, dizziness, heartburn, stomach pain, severe fatigue, flu-like symptoms, visual and auditory hallucinations, fever, and sweating.

Studies related to Interactions between Melatonin and Lexapro

There are many known interactions of Lexapro with a wide range of medications. However, no studies have yet shown any interactions with melatonin or melatonin analogs such as ramelteon or agomelatine. Melatonin was investigated in a 2009 review article that appeared in the journal “Natural Medicine Journal.” There is no reference to Lexapro or antidepressant interactions in the reviews. Melatonin is not included among the medication interactions for Lexapro in the official prescription information. Cytochrome P4502D6, the enzyme that aids in the body’s removal of Lexapro, remains unaffected by melatonin.

Interaction between Lexapro and Melatonin 

Using escitalopram and melatonin may intensify negative symptoms, including fatigue, distraction, and difficulty focusing. In certain persons, especially the elderly, thinking, judgment, and motor control may also be impaired. By using these drugs, alcohol usage should be avoided or restricted. Additionally, unless you are familiar with how the medications affect you, refrain from engaging in activities like driving or using potentially dangerous machinery. In case of any problems or doubts, see your healthcare professional. Informing your doctor about all additional prescriptions you take, like vitamins and herbal remedies, is vital. Never stop the treatment without consulting your healthcare provider.

The combination of melatonin and escitalopram may increase your lethargy, sleepiness, and dullness of thought, increasing your risk of harm from falls, car accidents, or mishaps when using dangerous machinery. Also, when used with blood thinners, melatonin and Lexapro may raise the risk of bleeding. Melatonin, Lexapro, and anticlotting medications used together may exacerbate the interaction and increase the danger of heavy bleeding.

If you have any questions about your prescription medications please reach out to your pharmacist or doctor.

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