Lyrica and Lexapro (How do they interact)

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Page last updated: 15/05/2022

Lyrica and Lexapro (How do they interact)

In this blog post, we are going to talk about the possible interactions between lyrica and lexapro. These two meds are often used together in clinical practices and this blog is all about the risks and benefits associated with this combination. 

Is there any possible interaction between lyrica and lexapro? 

The only possible interaction between lyrica and lexapro is hyponatremia, a condition caused by sodium deficiency. However, this interaction is not common at lower doses. 

One important thing to mention here is the importance of the strength of your doses when it comes to drug interactions. 

There are plenty of medications that are meant to be used together but they could still cause side effects if you’re taking a high dose of one or more of these prescription meds. Lexapro and lyrica are often prescribed together for the treatment of depression and anxiety in epileptic patients.

Both lyrica and lexapro are used for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). A 2014 study concluded that lyrica can provide relief from the symptoms associated with GAD, including insomnia and gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. 

Lexapro, on the other hand, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment and management of GAD. One study indicated the beneficial effects of lyrica in the treatment of fibromyalgia in patients taking antidepressants. 

It clearly indicates that taking these two medications together is safe and is, in fact, clinically significant in so many conditions. However, more research is required for understanding the better efficacy vs toxicity profile of this combination and the researchers are on it at the moment. 

It is also very important to mention the significance of your body’s response to the combination of meds. Sometimes, your physiological composition does not seem to bear the use of two or more meds together. 

It depends on your level of tolerability. Several surveys indicate that some people are too sensitive to medications that they can’t even bear a common painkiller or fever reducing drugs. In fact, they can’t even tolerate the mineral or vitamin supplements. 

How do lyrica and lexapro produce their effects? 

Lyrica, brand name for Pregabalin, is an antiepileptic drug. It is used to tone down the frequency of epileptic seizures or convulsions. The exact mechanism through which it produces its effects is not fully known, but it can decrease the excessive neuronal firing which results in seizures. 

Experts believe that it can bind to alpha2 subunits of calcium channels and decrease the release of certain excitatory neurotransmitters. 

Lexapro, on the other hand, is the brand name for sertraline. It is an antidepressant which blocks serotonin transporters (SERT) and inhibits the reuptake of serotonin. 

This results in an increased amount of active serotonin to bind to its receptors. It is an excitatory neurotransmitter which is responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. 

If we look closely, both of these drugs have opposite mechanisms of action. One is responsible for increasing the amounts of excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain, while the other one works in the opposite way and decreases the availability of such neurotransmitters. 

It is extremely important to make sure if the concomitant use is absolutely required and there’s no other way around, because it is not recommended to use medications in combination when you can benefit from a single agent. 

Lyrica and Lexapro (How do they interact)

What kind of side effects are associated with the use of lyrica and lexapro? 

Every single medication on this planet is associated with different side effects and interacts uniquely with every other human body. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons before continuing the treatment with any medicine. 

The common side effects of lyrica include:

  • Xerostomia or dry mouth 
  • Weight gain 
  • Dizziness 
  • Somnolence
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Headache
  • Vision problems 
  • Cloudy mind
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Joint pain 
  • Difficulty in remembering things
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Muscle twitching 

Lyrica can cause some serious side effects. These include:

  • Suicidal behavior 
  • Impaired motor coordination 
  • Thrombocytopenia or decreased levels of platelets
  • Water retention
  • Rhabdomyolysis, a condition associated with abnormal breakdown of muscles
  • Hypersensitive allergic reaction which may cause difficulty in breathing, tightening of chest skin rash, redness, blisters, etc. 

The common side effects associated with the use 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 

Some serious and rare side effects include:

  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 
  • Angle-closure glaucoma causes symptoms like eye pain, vision changes, or swelling or redness in your eyes.
  • It could cause low sodium levels which can result in psychological symptoms like confusion, agitation, inability to understand surroundings, memory loss etc.
  • It can cause elongation of QT interval, causing increased heartbeat or arrhythmia
  • Teeth grinding
  • Convulsions 

Now, the above mentioned side effects of both lyrica and lexapro are variable in different individuals. Some people tolerate either one of them or the combination of these meds pretty well. 

Studies suggest that lexapro is associated with very rare and serious convulsions which may counteract the beneficial effects of lyrica. 

There are several side effects which are similar, including weight gain, dizziness, sleepiness, muscle twitching, fatigue etc. We can also clearly see some of the serious side effects being similar, including suicidal behavior, confusion, vision problems etc.

This clearly indicates that the use of these two agents together can cause something known as synergistic side effects. The concomitant use can highly increase the incidence of suicidal attempts in younger population. 

Make sure these two meds are used together only when your doctor has advised it. Using two medications together which affect your brain is not something ideal and should not be encouraged unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. 

How to ensure the proper use of lyrica and lexapro? 

Immediately talk to your healthcare provider if you experience unusual side effects while taking valium and lexapro together. Do not recommend this combination to someone else and use it as long as your doctor has advised. 

Inform your doctor if you’re pregnant or trying to conceive. It is extremely important to ensure safety of your meds during your pregnancy. Some meds can cross placenta and are capable of causing unwanted side effects in the growing fetus. 

Inform your doctor if you’re a breastfeeding mother. Both of these drugs are capable of passing into the breastmilk and may cause side effects in newborns. 

Lexapro may induce suicidal behavior in users younger than 24 years of age. If you have someone who shows suicidal behavior or you see hopelessness in them, make sure you keep an eye on them and get medical attention as soon as you can. 

Do not stop lyrica or Lexapro abruptly. If it’s time for you to stop one or both of these meds, your doctor will simply recommend a taper schedule for you, which should be followed vigilantly if you wish to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. 

Conclusion 

In this blog, we have discussed the possible interactions between lyrica and lexapro. Hyponatremia was found to be the interaction between these two. It is a condition caused by sodium deficiency. However, this interaction is not common at lower doses. 

Both lyrica and lexapro are used for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). Lyrica is believed to provide relief from the symptoms associated with GAD, including insomnia and gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. 

Lexapro, on the other hand, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment and management of GAD. These two meds are associated with multiple side effects which affect people differently. 

FAQs: lyrica and lexapro 

What medications should not be taken with Lexapro?

  • Monoaminoxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). The combination use can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome. 
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). The combination use can increase the risk of bleeding. 
  • Pimozide. The concomitant use can increase the plasma concentration(availability of a drug in the blood) of pimozide to much higher levels. It can result in life-threatening arrhythmia.
  • Controlled substances, including all narcotic 
  • Analgesics. The concomitant use can cause severe psychological side effects. 
  • Mood stabilisers 
  • Alcohol 

Can you take gabapentin while taking Lexapro?

You can take Gabapentin with lexapro only if your healthcare provider has prescribed this combination. Make sure you don’t use any other medication with your antidepressant without your doctor’s approval. The concomitant use of these two may increase the risk of hyponatremia, a condition associated with sodium deficiency. 

Does Pregabalin increase serotonin?

Studies suggest that pregabalin does not affect the quantity of neurotransmitters in your body. It does not inhibit the reuptake of any excitatory neurotransmitter including serotonin, dopamine or norepinephrine. This drug controls the frequency of seizures and nerve pain. 

What medications should not be taken with pregabalin? 

Lyrica can interact with the following drugs:

  • Narcotic analgesics: Both narcotic opioid analgesics and lyrica decrease the amount of excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain. This can slow down your physiological functions including breathing rate. 
  • Alcohol can also act as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. The synergistic effects of alcohol and lyrica can cause severe depression and suicidal behavior.
  • Certain diabetic agents may react with lyrica and cause increased water retention, which results in swelling or edema in upper and lower extremities, or any other part of the body.

Is Lexapro good for anxiety?

Lexapro is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). 

Should I take 10mg or 20mg of Lexapro?

Your lexapro dose is determined by your healthcare provider and it is not something to be done by you. If you’re new to depression, it’s best to start your antidepressant from the lowest effective dose because antidepressants behave differently in different individuals. 

There is no way to predict how your body responds to lexapro and the only way to learn this is by actually taking the meds. Make sure you follow your doctor’s advice and do not deviate from the prescribed dose. 

References 

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