Taking Lithium and Lexapro together (is it a good idea)

In this article, we will explain if taking lithium and lexapro together is a good idea or not. What precautions need to be taken and what side effects might occur.

Lithium is used to treat bipolar depressive disorder as it helps reduce the number of manic episodes as well as suicidal thoughts in a person. Lithium targets the central nervous system and helps balance the mood swings by increasing the secretion of certain neurotransmitters and chemicals in the brain. 

Lexapro (escitalopram) is used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder as an antidepressant medicine, due to it being a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Taking lithium and lexapro together

Consuming lexapro (escitalopram) alongside lithium can affect the chances of an abnormal heartbeat that may be severe and life-threatening, but this is a pretty unusual complication. You could be more vulnerable if you have a cardiovascular disorder called congenital long QT syndrome, similar heart problems, conduction defects, or electrolyte disorders (for example, magnesium or potassium loss). If you have any doubts or worries, speak to the doctor.

Your physician may also be conscious of the hazards but has decided that this is the safest form of action for you as well as has undertaken sufficient measures and is watching you carefully for any consequences. You must obtain emergency medical care if you experience extreme dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, difficulty breathing, or heart palpitations during medication with these drugs, whether alone or together. It is vital to notify your doctor about the other drugs you take, including supplements and herbal. Do not stop taking some drugs without consulting the physicians first.

Herbal Medicine, such as Kratom. Check the Best Kratom for Depression and Anxiety.

Lithium and Lexapro can give rise to some danger when used in combination. Each of these medications can boost the number of serotonin in one’s bloodstream. High serotonin problems can indicate physical changes in body temperature, blood pressure and behavior, leading to a medical disorder called Serotonin Syndrome. Serotonin Syndrome could be potentially fatal.

Common antidepressants are known to be “exploratory” in the management of bipolar illness in that neither has been found to be better than placebo (sugar pill) in bipolar I disorder. When administered individually, others can potentially intensify bipolar symptoms or expose a depressive episode. Researchers have also indicated that they do not provide extra advantages for bipolar disorder if used simultaneously with psychiatric drugs such as lithium or Depakote.

However, the doctor can recommend modern antidepressants such as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) for the treatment of depression in bipolar disorder—along with lithium or other mood-stabilizing medications like valproate, carbamazepine or atypical antipsychotics.

If and when an antidepressant is beneficial for those with bipolar disorder, it is suspected that it operates by stimulating the processing of neurons in the brain that interact via the chemical (neurotransmitter) serotonin.

Lithium as an antidepressant

Lithium is a component. Lithium is FDA approved as a controlled substance for use in bipolar disorder. Individuals also often use lithium products as medications, although these products contain far smaller levels of lithium.

Lithium is often used for psychiatric disorders, like bipolar disorder, addiction, as well as schizophrenia. Lithium medicines are sometimes used in other circumstances, although there is insufficient clinical evidence to support these users.

It is not clear precisely how lithium functions, but it can improve psychiatric illnesses by stimulating the production of chemical messengers in the mind. Lithium may also be essential for other systems in the body, such as the production of blood cells.

Lithium is FDA approved as a prescription drug for bipolar disorder. It helps to calm clients rapidly. It is often used in smaller quantities to avoid additional episodes. No study has tested the use of lithium products for bipolar disorder. Should not use lithium products to cure bipolar illnesses.

Lithium is ideal for most individuals with depression. That being said, similar, more popular, medications are used to deal with depression initially. No study has tested the use of lithium products for depression. Can not use lithium products for the treatment of depression.

Lithium is also used for schizophrenia in conjunction with antipsychotic medications. However, no study has tested the use of lithium supplementation for schizophrenia. Should not use lithium supplementation for schizophrenia.

Lithium is also used in people with aggression including ADHD. Even then, most drugs are generally first attempted. No study has tested the use of lithium products for ADHD. Do not use lithium products for the treatment of ADHD.

Side effects of Lithium

If taken orally Lithium is probably SAFE for a majority of individuals when taken properly by a medical professional. Lithium carbonate and lithium citrate have been licensed as prescription drugs even by the FDA. But there is not enough knowledge to determine whether lithium extracts are safe to use.

Lithium can induce nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, changes in the rhythm of the heart, muscle exhaustion, exhaustion, and dizziness. These undesirable side effects are also improved with continuous use. Fine tremor, recurrent urination and thirst may occur and may continue with prolonged usage. Weight gain or swelling from extra fluid may also happen.

Lithium can also induce severe skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and rash. It may also lead to complications with the thyroid gland. The quantity of lithium in the bloodstream should be closely regulated and tracked by blood testing.

Lithium is likely to be dangerous when used during breastfeeding. It may infect the unborn infant (fetus) and may raise the risk of complications, including heart attacks. However, lithium usage may be regulated by a medical professional where the benefits of lithium distribution to the patient outweigh the benefits to the child.

Lithium medication is possibly dangerous for women who are breast-feeding. Lithium can enter breast milk and induce undesirable side effects in a nursing baby. It can only be used under extremely exceptional cases with careful supervision by the medical professional.

Lithium improves the chemical of the brain called serotonin. Few drugs for depression sometimes raise serotonin levels. Taking lithium with all of these depression drugs can boost serotonin even more and cause severe side effects, including heart attacks, chills, and anxiety. Do not take lithium while you are on medicine for depression. Some of these medications for depression include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Tofranil), and others.

Lexapro as an antidepressant

Lexapro (escitalopram) is used for the management of depression as well as anxiety. It functions by attempting to improve the equilibrium of a natural drug (serotonin) in the mind. Lexapro (escitalopram) is a family of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). It will increase your strength and well-being and reduce your anxiety.

Taking this drug by oral both with and without food as instructed by your physicians, usually once a day in the morning or evening. The dose is dependent on your medical diagnosis, therapy outcome, age, and other drugs that you might be taking. Please make sure to tell the physician and clinician about all the medications you consume.

If you are taking the liquid version of this drug, properly weigh the dosage using a specific measurement device/spoon. Should not use a domestic tablespoon as you would not have the right dosage.

To lessen your incidence of side effects, your physician can guide you to begin taking this medication at a small concentration and slowly raise your prescription. Obey the guidance of the doctor closely. Do not raise your dosage or take this medication more frequently or longer than necessary. Your health will not change sooner, and your chance of side effects will intensify. Taking this drug daily and getting the best of it. To make you remember, take it every day at a fixed moment.

Side effects of Lexapro

Nausea, dry mouth, difficulties sleeping, constipation, tiredness, somnolence, dizziness, and increased sweating can occur. If all of these symptoms continue or intensify, inform the doctor immediately.

Know that the physician has recommended this drug because he or she has decided that the advantage to you is higher than the risk of adverse reactions. Many patients who take this drug have no significant side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if you have any significant side effects, including a diminished desire for sex, improvements in sexual capacity, quick bruising/bleeding. Seek medical attention immediately if you’ve any significant side effects, such as bloody/black/tarry stools, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, vomit that looks like coffee beans, epilepsy, eye pain/swelling/redness, swollen pupils, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night, blurred vision).

This medicine can enhance serotonin and occasionally cause a very bad rare condition serotonin syndrome/toxicity. Risk rises if you are still taking other medications that enhance serotonin, so tell the physician about all the drugs you are consuming.

In this article, we explained if taking lithium and lexapro together is a good idea or not. What precautions need to be taken and what side effects might occur.

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FAQs: Taking lithium and lexapro together

Can lithium be taken with antidepressants?

Lithium is only licensed for bipolar disorder-induced depression. It can also be beneficial for other forms of depression when it is applied to the medication, but further trials are required. If you are taking an antidepressant yet still have effects, consult a physician as to whether incorporating lithium might work.

What should you not take with Lexapro?

Lexapro medication reactions comprise monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tryptophan, St. John’s wort, meperidine, lithium, triptans, tramadol, warfarin, aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), and other medicines that trigger inflammation.

What is the best antidepressant to take with lithium?

Olanzapine, quetiapine as well as valproate are prescribed as second-line therapy when there is no reaction or just a partial response to lithium. The recommendation points forth the relevance of non-pharmacological intervention, such as psychiatric therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

What drugs should not be taken with lithium?

Consuming lithium alongside NSAIDs can affect the possibility of lithium complications. Do not take lithium products and NSAIDs around the same period. Some NSAIDs contain ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, others), indomethacin (Indocin), naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), aspirin, among others.

Can lithium increase suicidal thoughts?

Patients who consumed lithium just once saw a 4.86-fold rise in suicidal thoughts (95% CI, 3.20-7.39) relative to those who did not consume lithium. Patients who consumed lithium frequently or more saw a 2.11-fold rise in suicide (95% CI, 1.66-2.68) relative to those who did not consume lithium.

What are the 3 main symptoms of lithium toxicity?

The symptoms of lithium toxicity include diarrhea, stomach pains, tremors, vomiting, fatigue, uncontrollable movements, drowsiness, and muscle weakness.  

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

References

https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/lexapro-with-lithium-1013-565-1477-0.html#:~:text=lithium%20escitalopram&text=Using%20escitalopram%20together%20with%20lithium,a%20relatively%20rare%20side%20effect.

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-63990/lexapro-oral/details/list-interaction-details/dmid-1169/dmtitle-ssris-snris-lithium/intrtype-drug

https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-ssris

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