Lexapro is a form of the generic drug citalopram, specifically the s-isomer. Citalopram is sold under the brand name Celexa. Both Celexa and Lexapro are antidepressants that work as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. Because the action of the drug impacts serotonin, avoid any supplements that may interfere with serotonin or magnify the effects of the drug.
You can use multivitamins while you are taking Lexapro or Celexa, but be sure that they do not contain any of the substances that are not permitted. Avoid taking doses of vitamins that exceed the dietary reference intakes to minimize your risk of a negative reaction. Be especially cautious to avoid taking doses above the recommended levels for vitamins A and K because of their potential blood-thinning properties. As always, consult your doctor before you start taking any supplements or make any changes to your prescription drug regimen.
Do not take tryptophan supplements or mixed supplements that contain tryptophan while you are on Lexapro or Celexa. Tryptophan changes the concentration of serotonin in the brain, magnifying the effects of Lexapro. It may sound as though tryptophan would help Lexapro by increasing its effect, but combining the two places you at risk of developing serotonin syndrome, which is a potentially life-threatening condition. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome range from diarrhea to seizures.
St. John's Wort
Avoid St. John's wort when you are taking Lexapro or any other antidepressant. St. John's wort has the potential to speed up the metabolism of antidepressants. This means that the drugs will leave your system earlier and you will have lower levels in your bloodstream between doses rather than the relatively constant level anticipated by your prescribing physician. Taking St. John's wort also places you at risk of developing serotonin syndrome.
Food and Alcohol
Lexapro and Celexa can be taken either with or without food based on your preferences and schedule. As with most drugs, you should not drink alcohol while you are taking Lexapro or any other antidepressant.
- "Food & Medication Interaction, 15th Edition"; Zaneta M. Pronsky; 2008
- MayoClinic.com; Serotonin Syndrome; February 2011
- "Archives of General Psychiatry"; Short-term and Repetitive Administration of Oral Tryptophan in Normal Men: Effects on Blood Tryptophan, Serotonin, and Kynurenine Concentrations; Arthur Yurwiler, et al.; June 1981
- Forest Laboratories: Lexapro