Caffeine & Lexapro

Overhead view of cappuccino in white cup
The caffeine in coffee does not interact with Lexapro. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Many people can pick and choose their foods however they please, keeping only nutrition and calories in mind. But when you're taking medications, you may have to be a bit choosier about the foods you eat, because of their potential interactions. For example, foods high in vitamin K decrease the effectiveness of the blood thinner warfarin, and grapefruit juice affects the metabolism of the cholesterol medication Lipitor. Caffeine interacts with more than 80 medications, according to Drugs.com. But if you take Lexapro and simply must have your cuppa Joe in the morning, you can relax. It's perfectly OK.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a substance naturally found in a number of foods and drinks, including coffee, cocoa beans and tea. It's added to other foods, such as soft drinks, to enhance flavor. Although it is natural, caffeine is a chemical that affects your central nervous system, making you more alert and boosting your energy levels. However, consuming too much caffeine can cause you to feel agitated, irritable, restless and anxious. It can also affect your ability to sleep and cause headaches or an abnormal heartbeat.

Caffeine and Medication

As a chemical substance, caffeine interacts with a number of medications. For example, it can interact with Cymbalta -- an antidepressant -- increasing your blood pressure and heart rate. In rare cases, it can also cause serotonin syndrome, which overstimulates the brain stem. Serotonin syndrome is a serious condition that causes confusion, altered-consciousness, confusion and coma and can ultimately lead to death. Eating and drinking foods that contain caffeine is a serious concern if you're taking Cymbalta.

Lexapro

Lexapro is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI. It helps to balance chemicals in the brain that cause depression and anxiety. It is used to treat anxiety in adults and major depressive disorder in both adolescents and adults. You should only take Lexapro as prescribed by your doctor. Some people have thoughts of suicide when they're taking antidepressants, especially those younger than 24, and need to be closely monitored by a physician.

Lexapro and Caffeine

While Lexapro is an antidepressant like Cymbalta, it is not metabolized in the same manner, and therefore does not interact with caffeine. In fact, according to the Drugs.com, Lexapro does not interact with caffeine at all. However, if you take Lexapro for anxiety, be aware that the caffeine in coffee may make you agitated and anxious. The only food you need to be really concerned about when you're taking Lexapro is alcohol, which can increase the side effects associated with Lexapro, including suicidal thoughts.

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