In our recent question and answer, our pharmacist discusses over the respond to cold medicines that room safe come use v Lexapro (escitalopram).

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Sandy asked

What safe cough and also mucus medicine deserve to I integrate with Lexapro (escitalopram)?


According to the National facility for health Statistics, over 13% the Americans space on antidepressant medication and the most typically used course of antidepressants is the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) class. Lexapro, a SSRI, is very effective in the treatment of depression and associated disorders. However, it does ( as do all SSRI medications) have potential side effects and drug interactions the you have to be aware of.

How to safely and effectively law cough and cold symptoms through over the counter medicine deserve to sometimes be difficult if you space on prescription medication, specifically ones that are recognized to have actually drug interactions. You desire to uncover the ideal product or assets to treat your symptoms but need to save in complications. While most over the counter medications are generally safe come use, they are not without their precautions and can communicate with SSRI medications.

Below, us will discuss over the respond to cough and also cold medications that are taken into consideration safe come use through Lexapro (escitalopram).

OTC Medications taken into consideration Safe v Lexapro (Escitalopram)


Antihistamines (e.g. Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl) are generally thought about OK come use. Lock can help with a variety of cold symptoms such together a runny nose, write-up nasal drip and itchy, watery eyes. They have the right to also assist on occasion v "drying" out the sinuses and also relieving congestion.

While there are no "drug-drug" interactions in between Lexapro and also antihistamines, be mindful that there might be a slight hazard of additive adverse reactions such together dry mouth and also dry eyes.


Tylenol (acetaminophen) is one analgesic used to law pain, ill throat, fevers and muscle aches. In most cases, the is recommended end NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) medicines as those should be used with caution in people taking Lexapro (as questioned below).


Mucinex (guaifenesin) is generally thought about OK to use as there are no reported medicine interactions between it and also Lexapro. That is an expectorant and also helps come thin out excess mucus and also relieve chest congestion.​​

Zinc/Vitamin C

Lexapro is compatible with other cold publication such as Zinc lozenges and vitamin C. Be mindful that there are plenty of herbal products that DOinteract v Lexapro, yet vitamin C and zinc are taken into consideration safe.

Cough/Cold drugs To Use through Caution

NSAIDs (e.g. Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Aspirin):

NSAIDs on your own have the right to increase the threat for cradle bleeding.The linked use the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors choose Lexapro and also NSAIDs only increases this risk. NSAID medications have actually known anti-platelet effects. SSRI medications, which influence serotonin, can also have blood thinning effects.

The danger of GI bleeds is especially increased if you have actually a history of lock or ulcerations in the past. NSAIDs are often used in combination with many over the counter cold products, so be sure to read product labels. This precaution likewise includes bismuth subsalicylate, among the ingredient in PeptoBismol, and aspirin comprise products.

Dextromethorphan (Delsym)

Perhaps the most famous interaction in regards to OTC medication and also SSRI drugs is with the sneeze suppressant dextromethorphan. Fist is advised once using Lexapro and also dextromethorphan together. Dextromethorphan, at high doses. Can increase serotonin level in the body and also has the potential of causing serotonin syndrome when offered with other medications that impact serotonin. Serotonin syndrome is defined by:

Rapid advancement of hyperthermiaHigh blood pressureMental condition changesRigidity

​​​ although uncommon, that is very serious if that does occur. There are cases where the mix of dextromethorphan and also SSRIs can be used, yet should only be considered after speaking through your doctor.

Psuedoephedrine (Sudafed)

​Sudafed products, supplied for sinus and also nasal congestion, can be supplied on occasion but must be offered cautiously if you have a background of arrhythmia (e.g. QT prolongation) or various other heart issues as the combination of SSRI medication and also Sudafed deserve to potentially make these problems worse.

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As you have the right to see, friend have numerous over the counter alternatives for safely dealing with cough and also cold symptoms while top top Lexapro. When looking for a product to combat excess rubber specifically, it is for sure to use Mucinex (guaifenesin). However, be sure to look in ~ the product labels of her medication choice as countless Mucinex assets contain lot of ingredients, not simply guaifenesin.