Lexapro chest pain (5 ways to get rid of it)

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In this blog, we will talk about lexapro induced chest pain. Lexapro is an antidepressant and it is associated with a lot of side effects, one of which include chest pain. This blog will cover how lexapro can cause this side effect and what you can do to get rid of it. 

Does lexapro cause chest pain?

Lexapro can cause chest pain. This side effect is reported by multiple users and can begin within a few days of your treatment. There are multiple factors which may contribute to this chest pain. 

Several studies suggest that lexapro may cause chest pain during the first two weeks of treatment by causing anxiety. You have probably heard of the fact that antidepressants make you feel worse before making you feel better. 

This is because it starts producing side effects much earlier than producing beneficial effects. The most common side effects are heightened anxiety and increased frequency of panic attacks, which may cause chest pain, pressure or tightening. 

There are several studies which reveal that chest pain in early lexapro treatment can be a result of muscular spasms caused by anxiety or panic attacks. 

It may cause hyperventilation and increase heartbeat, which in-turn increases the overall tension and pressure in your thoracic region, which can result in chest pain, tightness and an overall feeling of discomfort. 

When it comes to this side effect, people get concerned about their heart health. Lexapro is generally considered safe to be used in people who suffer from cardiovascular and coronary artery diseases. 

One study indicated that lexapro can be used to treat anxiety and depression in people living with cardiac malfunctioning. 

In fact, some studies suggest that lexapro may even prevent a heart attack by reducing anxiety and depression and enhancing the mood and mental health of such patients. However, some research studies also link arrhythmia with lexapro. 

In some patients, the treatment with lexapro resulted in QT elongation and irregular heart rhythms along with palpitations. It is advised to ask your healthcare provider if your antidepressant is compatible with your pre-existing cardiac diseases, if any. 

If you’re among the normal blessed individuals who have a normal heart function, there is no need to be worried about it. Your chest pain is more likely to be a result of increased anxiety, muscle tension or acid reflux.

Make sure you keep your doctor updated with your side effects and give your body enough time to adjust to lexapro and wait for it to kick in. Once your antidepressant will start working, your side effects will slowly start to fade away. 

Is there something you can do to help relieve your chest pain? 

There are a few things you can do in order to treat your chest pain. These include:

Talk to your healthcare provider 

You should discuss your side effects with your healthcare provider and ask if you are at the most appropriate dose according to your condition.

Some medications are just not meant for you and no matter how properly you take them, they just don’t work for you. Make sure this is not the case with your lexapro. If it is, your doctor will slowly taper it off and start another antidepressant. 

OTC pain relievers

Over-the-counter painkillers can be used to help relieve your chest pain. Make sure you ask your healthcare provider first before starting any OTC pain killer. 

If we specifically talk about non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), the most commonly used OTC painkillers, they should not be used with lexapro without your doctor’s approval. 

The concomitant use can increase the risk of bleeding and can cause severe gastrointestinal side effects. Paracetamol is considered safe to take with Lexapro. However, make sure you don’t take too much. 

OTC acid reducers

Over-the-counter acid reducers can be used to help tone down your chest pain if it is associated with increased stomach acidity. These agents include:

  • Antacids. Examples include milk of magnesia, Alternagel, Alka-Seltzer, Gaviscon, Pepto Bismol etc. 
  • Histamine-2-blockers. Examples include cimetidine, Famotidine, rimantadine etc. 
  • Proton pump inhibitors. Examples include lansoprazole, omeprazole, esomeprazole etc. 

Do not overeat

If your chest pain is a result of acid reflux, flatulence and bloating, avoid overeating. Filling your stomach up with large quantities of food puts a burden on it and increases acid secretion which may cause a reflux and you feel pain or tightness in your chest. 

Avoid spicy and oily foods 

Avoid spicy food while you feel pain in your chest and stomach. Even if your chest pain is unrelated to your stomach acidity, excessive spicy and oily food can still make a negative impact on your pain. 

Hot beverages 

Hot beverages can help relieve your chest pain and acid reflux. One study revealed the effects of hibiscus to help relieve excess stomach acid reflux. It can also lower down your blood pressure and high density lipids. 

When to see your doctor 

Immediately reach out to your healthcare provider if you:

  • Experience excessive chest pain coupled with breathlessness, tightness of chest or blackouts
  • Find your heart beating louder and faster
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Pain in your left arm or shoulders
  • Experience vomiting with or without blood, blood in stool, mouth ulcers, throat pain or swelling, and sharp stomach aches. All of these symptoms can indicate the presence of ulcers in your stomach. 

Chest pain could be tricky especially for people who are suffering from any cardiovascular disease. They should never sit back and wait for it to go away as you can never be sure what might be causing your chest pain. It shouldn’t necessarily relate to your antidepressant.

Patients with angina and coronary artery diseases have a risk of heart attack without having an impact of any medication. For people who are healthy, it shouldn’t be a problem or anything to be worried about. 

If it’s acid reflux, you can try OTC meds and home remedies to reduce such symptoms. If it causes too much discomfort, talk to your doctor. 

Other medications which may cause chest pain

Medications which possess higher cardiac risk include:

  • Drugs used to reduce migraine. 
  • Calcium channel blockers 
  • Nicotine
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) 
  • Antidiabetic agents 
  • Some nasal decongestants 

Other side effects of lexapro 

Common side effects of Lexapro include:

  • Loss of appetite 
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Sexual issues
  • Difficulty in falling asleep
  • Vertigo 
  • Decreased salivation or dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety 
  • Infections caused by decreased immunity
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness and fatigue
  • Weight gain 

Make sure you’re using your antidepressant properly 

In order to achieve the maximum therapeutic response from a drug, it is extremely important to use it right. Make sure lexapro is the right choice of antidepressant for you. Stick to your doctor’s recommended dose.

Do not take more or less than that and if you fail to understand how to use the drug properly or have any other question, ask your doctor or pharmacist again. In case of overdose, immediately reach out to the hospital. 

Make sure you properly guide them about how much drug you have taken and when. If you have missed a dose, try taking it as soon as you remember, but if a lot of time has passed and your next dose is near, do not take it. 

It’s better to skip the missed dose and take the next one. Make sure you keep the bottle away from children and pets.

Conclusion 

In this blog, we discussed lexapro induced chest pain. It is a side effect reported by many people and could be present because of a number of reasons. Researchers indicate that acid reflux is one of the main reasons behind chest pain and discomfort. 

Few more studies reveal that lexapro may cause chest pain during the first two weeks of treatment by causing anxiety. You have probably heard of the fact that antidepressants make you feel worse before making you feel better. 

This is because it starts producing side effects much earlier than producing beneficial effects. Studies reveal that anxiety and panic attacks may cause hyperventilation and increase heartbeat, which can result in chest pain, tightness and a feeling of overall discomfort. 

Make sure you discuss your side effects with your healthcare provider and rule out any underlying heart disease. We have also discussed some ways to help relieve your chest pain. It is always recommended to ask your doctor before using any OTC medication. 

FAQs: lexapro chest pain 

Does Lexapro cause chest tightness?

Lexapro may cause tightness in your chest. This effect is commonly seen earlier in the treatment and is often related with panic attacks, anxiety and muscle tension. 

Can antidepressants cause chest pain?

Antidepressants may cause chest pain. The severity depends on your dose and the type of antidepressant you take. SSRIs are considered safe and do not possess any cardiac side effects, apart from arrhythmia and heart palpitations, which are not common in every individual taking them. 

Other antidepressants, like tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) have more affinity with different types of receptors in your body and may cause unusual side effects. 

Does Lexapro have cardiac side effects?

Lexapro may cause heart palpitations and arrhythmia in some of the people taking it. Cardiac side effects are not common in people taking lexapro. 

Studies have indicated that lexapro is safe and effective for the treatment of anxiety and depression in people living with cardiac disease including coronary artery diseases and congestive heart failure. 

Do Lexapro side effects go away?

Lexapro associated side effects begin to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. This time duration can vary from person to person. Some people may recover earlier and experience mild side effects. Others, however, may take much longer to recover and suffer from unusual side effects. 

Can you take antacids while on Lexapro?

It’s safe to ask your healthcare professional before using any other medication along with lexapro. OTC antacids are considered safe to take with Lexapro, but it may cause interaction in some individuals. Ask for your doctor’s advice regarding the choice and dose of antacids.

Can I take Tylenol with Lexapro?

Yes, you can take lexapro and tylenol together. In fact, tylenol is considered the safest painkiller to use when you’re being treated with lexapro. It is still advised to ask your doctor first, in order to stay safe. 

References 

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