Can Lexapro cause a burning sensation in your chest?

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In this blog post, we are going to talk about the possibility of lexapro making you feel like your chest is burning. Lexapro is an antidepressant which is associated with a lot of different kinds of side effects. This blog will cover lexapro induced burning chest and what you can do about it. 

Can Lexapro cause burning sensation in your chest? 

Yes, Lexapro can cause a burning sensation in your chest and can also trigger gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is considered one of the most common causes of a burning chest. 

This side effect is not common, but it is reported by some of the people taking this antidepressant. One survey indicated that this side effect can start showing up soon after taking the first ever lexapro tablet. 

A minority of people have described it as a tingling or pins-and-needles sensation in the chest. This indicates that it may be caused as a side effect of skin and not inside your chest. 

Make sure you report your side effects to your healthcare provider and be certain that the continuation of lexapro is something that you can gain benefit from. 

Several studies have revealed that lexapro induced chest burning sensation, pain, and paresthesia (tingling sensation) can lead to the discontinuation of treatment, as not everyone can stand these types of side effects. 

Although GERD is considered the most common cause of lexapro induced burning chest, there is a possibility of another cause. It is a well known fact that lexapro may make you feel worse before starting to make you feel better. 

This is because the med takes around 4 weeks to kick in, but it starts to produce side effects way earlier than that. One of the most common early side effects of lexapro is heightened anxiety and panic attacks. 

Experts believe that panic attacks can cause heartburn, chest pain and discomfort. Make sure you ask your healthcare provider if you feel that your burning chest is coupled with other side effects. 

For all you know, Lexapro may be causing you to enter the panic mode which could easily make you feel like you have a fire going on in your chest. 

What is the relationship between lexapro and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)? 

Some studies indicate that there’s a close relationship between Lexapro and GERD. This antidepressant can trigger and enhance the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux, which can result in burning chest and throat sensation along with pain and severe discomfort. 

GERD is an actual disease which is caused when prolonged acid reflux damages the sphincter of the oesophagus. Experts revealed that lexapro can cause relaxation of these sphincter muscles which promotes the acid reflux and make you feel like your chest is on fire. 

It not just causes burning sensation, but also causes discomfort, pain and extreme discomfort. Not just this, GERD has a lot of symptoms, which include:

  • Damage to esophageal mucosa
  • Swelling or pain in throat 
  • Burning sensation in mouth, throat, chest and stomach. 
  • Inability to digest food
  • Difficulty in swallowing food
  • Blisters in mouth
  • Lump-in-throat feeling
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Cough
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Highly acidic vomiting, which further damages the upper gastrointestinal tract. 

What kind of people are at high risk of suffering from lexapro induced chest-burning sensation? 

  • People who are obese are more likely to suffer from this condition. Several studies suggest excess belly fat can result in GERD like symptoms. 
  • People living with underlying conditions like hiatal hernia. 
  • Pregnant women 
  • People who have prolonged gastric emptying time
  • Smoking
  • Heavily spiced and oily food
  • Overeating, which leads to higher gastric acid production in order to digest the excess amount of food.

What other medications are responsible for causing chest burning? 

Following are the drugs which can, to some extent, cause burning sensation in your chest:

  • Cardiac drugs: These include hydralazine, amiloride etc.
  • Antineoplastic agents or chemotherapeutic drugs which are used to treat cancer: These include pacitaxel, docetaxel, vincristine, vinblastine etc
  • Prescribed drugs to treat autoimmune disease: These include infliximab, etanercept etc.
  • Antiepileptics/anti-seizures/anticonvulsants: These include drugs like phenytoin, carbamazepine, sodium valproate etc. 
  • Drugs which treat infections: These include isoniazid, nitrofurantoin, metronidazole, thalidomide etc. 

Is there anything that can help you with your burning chest sensation?

The first thing that you should do when you suffer from such a condition is talk to your doctor. Although lexapro is well tolerated, it doesn’t mean that this antidepressant is for everyone

If you constantly feel like your chest is burning or you feel extreme discomfort in your chest following the gastroesophageal reflux, it clearly indicates that lexapro is disturbing the normal physiological functioning of your body.

You should definitely weigh out the pros and cons at this stage to ensure whether continuing the treatment with lexapro is a good option or not. 

Tips that might help

Let’s discuss a few tips that might help you relieve some of your chest burning sensation. 

If your burning chest sensation is associated with increased acid reflux or GERD

If you chest burning is a result of increased acid reflux, your doctor may prescribe some over-the-counter acid reducers which include:

  • Antacids: They are alkaline in nature and once inside your stomach, they neutralise gastric acid. Examples include Aluminium hydroxide gel (Alternagel), calcium carbonate (Alka-Seltzer), gaviscon, pepto-Bismol etc. 
  • Histamine-2-blockers: These OTC meds inhibit the production of gastric acid. Examples include cimetidine, famotidine, rimantadine, zantac 360 and nizatidine etc. 
  • Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs: They are also used to inhibit stomach acid secretion. These meds are used worldwide to treat heartburn and indigestion. Examples include lansoprazole (Prevacid), esomeprazole (Nexium), and omeprazole (Risek)

Let’s look at a few tips to help keep your increased stomach acidity at bay:

  • Don’t eat too many carbs. Some researchers suspected that undigested carbs may cause bacterial overgrowth and increased pressure inside the abdomen, which could contribute to acid reflux.
  • Do not eat heavy meals 3 hours before bedtime. When you lie down on bed, the process of digestion gets slower. So you need to digest your food before you go to sleep. 
  • Avoid drinking carbonated beverages. Studies have observed that regular consumption of carbonated or fizzy beverages, including soft drinks, club soda, and seltzer, could be linked to a higher risk of gastric esophageal reflux.
  • Walk a mile after dinner. It is a known fact that going for a short walk after dinner can help your body to produce more digestive enzymes and makes your stomach absorb the nutrients from your food. 
  • Heavily spiced food is your biggest enemy when it comes to coping with gastric acid reflux. Spicy food can mess up your stomach and is the most common cause of acid reflux in people who add high amounts of spices in their foods. 
  • Add probiotics to your diet. 

If your burning chest sensation is a direct side effect of lexapro

If you feel burning or tingling sensation in your chest as a direct side effect of lexapro, there are a few home remedies which can help you feel relaxed. These include:

  • Try applying cold compress on your chest. It may help reduce the heat you feel. It will also constrict your blood vessels which may reduce your burning sensation for a while. 
  • Massage is also a good option. You can use warm oil which can help you relax your chest muscles. 
  • Drink plenty of water. Hydration can help keep your chest cool and may tone down some of the burning sensation. 
  • Make sure you add plenty of good, nutritious foods in your diet. Good diet helps you a lot in boosting your immunity, which helps you recover, fight against infection, repair your damaged cells and replace worn out cells.

If your acid reflux is caused as a side effect of another medicine that you’re using concomitantly with lexapro, then your doctor will either reduce the dose or discontinue the other med to help relieve your burning chest. 

Make sure you don’t use any other medication along with your antidepressant, even over-the-counter drugs, before asking your healthcare provider. Make sure you avoid any other thing which might end up making your chest discomfort much worse.

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the possibility of lexapro making you feel like your chest is burning. It can cause a burning sensation in your chest and can also trigger gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is considered one of the most common causes of a burning chest. 

Experts believe that panic attacks can also cause heartburn, chest pain and discomfort. We have also discussed some tips which can help you get rid of the burning sensation, based on the probable cause of it. 

Make sure you properly inform your healthcare provider about your side effects, who will determine whether it is a good option for you to continue the treatment with lexapro or not. 

FAQs: lexapro burning chest 

Can Lexapro cause chest discomfort?

Lexapro can cause chest discomfort. It may be due to the increased stomach acidity or it could be a couple with arrhythmia, as lexapro can cause QT elongation in some people. 

Is reflux a side effect of lexapro?

Yes, lexapro may cause acid reflux. Some studies indicate that there’s a close relationship between Lexapro and GERD. This antidepressant can trigger and enhance the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux, which can result in burning chest and throat sensation along with pain and severe discomfort. 

Experts revealed that lexapro can cause relaxation of these sphincter muscles which promotes the acid reflux and make you feel like your chest is on fire. 

Can Lexapro affect breathing?

Lexapro can only affect your breathing if it triggers an allergic response in your. This antidepressant is not for everyone and it can cause severe allergic reactions associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 

Does Lexapro cause panic attacks?

Yes, lexapro can cause panic attacks as an early side effect.  It is a well known fact that lexapro may make you feel worse before starting to make you feel better. 

This is because the med takes around 4 weeks to kick in, but it starts to produce side effects way earlier than that. One of the most common early side effects of lexapro is heightened anxiety and panic attacks. 

How can I flush Lexapro out of my system?

You can flush lexapro out of your system by tapering it off. This is not a quick process and it could take up to months, depending on the duration of your lexapro treatment. 

However, flushing lexapro out should only be done if your healthcare provider decides that it’s time for you to stop the treatment with lexapro. Your doctor will then suggest a proper taper schedule in order to ensure safe withdrawal. 

What happens if you don’t take Lexapro for 3 days?

If you don’t take lexapro for 3 days, you will suffer from withdrawal symptoms, which include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Gastrointestinal side effects 
  • Headaches
  • Emotional stress or constant crying
  • Inability to concentrate or think clearly 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Awkward behaviour 
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Chills
  • Feeling suffocated with excessive sweating 
  • Insomnia or somnolence 

Other rare symptoms include:

  • Brain zaps
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations
  • Hypertension
  • Arrhythmia 
  • Heart palpitations

References 

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