Can you take Lexapro with Suboxone? Discover the Potential Interactions.9 min read

Are you considering taking both Lexapro and Suboxone? It’s essential to understand potential interactions between medications to ensure your safety and well-being. In this article, we’ll explore whether it’s safe to use Lexapro with Suboxone and shed light on important points you should know before combining these medications.

  • Understanding Lexapro: Learn how Lexapro works and its common uses.
  • Insight into Suboxone: Explore the mechanism of Suboxone and its primary applications.
  • Potential Interactions: Discover possible interactions when taking Lexapro and Suboxone together.
  • Risks and Precautions: Uncover the risks associated with this combination and how to take precautions.
  • Consulting a Healthcare Professional: Know the importance of seeking expert advice.
  • Managing Anxiety and Opioid Dependence: Explore alternative treatments and therapy options.

The Role of Lexapro in Mental Health

Lexapro, also known as escitalopram, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) commonly used to treat anxiety and depression. It works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which helps regulate mood and emotions. Lexapro is prescribed to improve symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, and other related conditions.

Suboxone for Opioid Dependence Treatment

Suboxone is a combination medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone. It is primarily used for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) of opioid dependence and addiction. Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings, while naloxone helps prevent misuse.

Potential Interactions and Risks

  • Serotonin Syndrome: When combining Lexapro and Suboxone, there is a risk of developing serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by excessive serotonin levels.
  • Respiratory Depression: Both medications can cause respiratory depression, and the combination may exacerbate this effect, leading to breathing difficulties.
  • Central Nervous System Depression: The combination of Lexapro and Suboxone can depress the central nervous system, resulting in drowsiness and impaired cognitive function.
  • Other Possible Interactions: It’s crucial to consider other medications and substances the individual is taking, as they might interact with Lexapro and Suboxone.

Consulting a Healthcare Professional

Before taking Lexapro and Suboxone together, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional. They can assess your medical history, current medications, and individual circumstances to provide personalized guidance. Always follow their advice and report any side effects promptly.

Managing Anxiety and Opioid Dependence

  • Alternative Treatments for Anxiety: In addition to medication, therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and relaxation techniques can help manage anxiety.
  • Therapy Options for Opioid Dependence: Alongside Suboxone treatment, behavioral therapies and support groups can aid in overcoming opioid dependence.

Precautions for Taking Lexapro with Suboxone

Understanding Potential Side Effects

Combining Lexapro with Suboxone may increase the risk of certain side effects. These can include dizziness, nausea, and difficulty concentrating. It’s crucial to be aware of these potential effects and discuss them with your healthcare provider.

Common Side Effects:

  • Dizziness: Feeling lightheaded or dizzy can be a common side effect when using both medications.
  • Nausea: Some individuals may experience stomach discomfort or nausea when taking Lexapro and Suboxone together.
  • Difficulty Concentrating: The combination may affect cognitive function, leading to difficulties with focus and memory.

Managing Side Effects:

  • Communicate with Your Doctor: If you experience any side effects, inform your doctor promptly to discuss possible solutions.
  • Adjusting Dosages: Your healthcare provider may need to adjust the doses of either medication to minimize side effects.
  • Stay Hydrated: Keeping yourself hydrated can help alleviate some side effects like dizziness and nausea.

Drug Interactions with Lexapro and Suboxone

Understanding Potential Drug Interactions

Both Lexapro and Suboxone can interact with other medications, leading to adverse effects or reduced efficacy. It’s essential to inform your doctor about all the medications you are currently taking to avoid potential complications.

Medications to Avoid:

  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs): Combining Lexapro with MAOIs can lead to dangerous serotonin syndrome.
  • Other Antidepressants: Taking multiple antidepressants together can increase the risk of side effects and interactions.

Safe Medications:

  • Discuss with Your Doctor: Your doctor can recommend safe medications to use alongside Lexapro and Suboxone if needed.
  • Regular Medication Reviews: Regularly review all your medications with your healthcare provider to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Managing Drug Interactions

Consulting a Pharmacist

Pharmacists play a crucial role in managing drug interactions. They can review your medication list, including Lexapro and Suboxone, and provide valuable insights on potential interactions.

Pharmacist’s Recommendations:

  • Timing of Medications: Your pharmacist may suggest specific times for taking Lexapro and Suboxone to minimize interactions.
  • Over-the-Counter Medications: Inform the pharmacist about any over-the-counter drugs or supplements you’re using to check for potential issues.

Monitoring for Adverse Effects

Regularly monitoring for adverse effects is essential when using Lexapro with Suboxone. Pay attention to any changes in mood, physical symptoms, or discomfort.

Signs to Watch For:

  • Mood Changes: Report any sudden shifts in mood or behavior to your healthcare provider.
  • Physical Symptoms: Be vigilant for any new physical symptoms and communicate them to your doctor.

Personal Factors to Consider

Individual Health History

Each person’s health history is unique, and this can influence how medications interact in their body.

Relevant Health Factors:

  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions may affect how Lexapro and Suboxone interact. Share your medical history with your healthcare provider.
  • Allergies: Inform your doctor of any known allergies to medications or substances.

Psychological and Emotional Well-Being

Combining medications can impact psychological and emotional well-being, so it’s essential to address any concerns with your healthcare provider.

Open Communication:

  • Share Your Feelings: Discuss any emotional changes or concerns you may have during treatment.
  • Seek Support: Consider therapy or support groups to help navigate emotional challenges.

Alternative Medication Options

Discussing Alternatives with Your Doctor

If taking Lexapro with Suboxone poses too many risks or interactions, your doctor may suggest alternative medications for anxiety or depression.

Possible Alternatives:

  • Other SSRIs: Your doctor might consider prescribing a different SSRI with a lower likelihood of interactions.
  • Non-SSRI Antidepressants: There are various classes of antidepressants that may be suitable for your specific needs.

Combining with Non-Drug Therapies

In some cases, non-drug therapies can be effective in managing anxiety and depression, either as standalone treatments or in conjunction with medications.

Non-Drug Therapies:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a well-established therapy for anxiety and depression that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors.
  • Mindfulness and Meditation: Mindfulness practices can help reduce stress and improve emotional well-being.

Long-Term Treatment Considerations

Regular Medication Reviews

Long-term use of both Lexapro and Suboxone requires periodic medication reviews to ensure their continued effectiveness and safety.

Monitoring Progress:

  • Effectiveness of Treatment: Your doctor will assess how well the medications are managing your symptoms and make adjustments if necessary.
  • Side Effect Management: Addressing any persistent side effects is vital for long-term adherence to treatment.

Open Communication with Healthcare Providers

Maintaining open communication with your healthcare providers is crucial throughout your treatment journey.

Being Proactive:

  • Update on Symptoms: Inform your healthcare providers of any changes in your symptoms or how you’re feeling.
  • Sharing Concerns: Don’t hesitate to discuss any worries or questions you may have regarding your medications.

Monitoring for Tolerance and Dependence

Developing Tolerance to Medications

Over time, some individuals may develop tolerance to the effects of Lexapro or Suboxone, which can reduce their efficacy.

Recognizing Tolerance:

  • Consult Your Doctor: If you feel that the medications are no longer as effective, speak with your doctor about possible solutions.
  • Adjusting Dosages: Your healthcare provider may consider adjusting the dosages to manage tolerance.

Understanding Dependence

Both Lexapro and Suboxone have the potential for physical dependence, which can lead to withdrawal symptoms if discontinued abruptly.

Withdrawal Management:

  • Tapering Off Safely: If you need to stop taking the medications, your doctor will likely recommend a gradual tapering schedule to minimize withdrawal effects.
  • Medical Guidance: Always follow your doctor’s guidance when discontinuing any medication.

The Importance of Lifestyle Changes

Healthy Habits for Mental Health

In addition to medication, incorporating positive lifestyle changes can significantly impact mental well-being.

Key Lifestyle Factors:

  • Regular Exercise: Engaging in physical activity can improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression.
  • Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet with essential nutrients supports overall health and mental well-being.
  • Sleep Quality: Prioritize sufficient and restful sleep to promote emotional resilience.

Support Systems and Coping Strategies

Building a strong support system and learning coping strategies can aid in managing stress and emotional challenges.

Building Support Networks:

  • Family and Friends: Share your experiences with loved ones who can provide understanding and encouragement.
  • Therapy and Counseling: Seek professional therapy or counseling to develop effective coping mechanisms.


Taking Lexapro with Suboxone requires careful consideration and consultation with a healthcare professional. Potential interactions, side effects, and individual health factors must be taken into account to ensure safe and effective treatment. Additionally, exploring alternative therapies and adopting healthy lifestyle changes can complement medication management. Remember to communicate openly with your healthcare providers to optimize your treatment plan and prioritize your overall well-being.

FAQs – Can you take Lexapro with Suboxone?

1. Can Lexapro and Suboxone be taken together?

While it’s generally not recommended to combine these medications, your doctor may prescribe them together if the benefits outweigh the risks. It’s essential to discuss your specific situation with a healthcare professional to ensure safety and effectiveness.

2. What are the risks of taking Lexapro and Suboxone concurrently?

The combination of Lexapro and Suboxone can potentially lead to serotonin syndrome, respiratory depression, and central nervous system depression. It’s crucial to be aware of these risks and work closely with your doctor to manage them.

3. Can I experience withdrawal symptoms if I stop taking both medications at once?

Stopping Lexapro or Suboxone abruptly can lead to withdrawal symptoms. If you need to discontinue either medication, your doctor will likely recommend a gradual tapering schedule to minimize withdrawal effects.

4. Are there any alternatives to Lexapro and Suboxone for anxiety and opioid dependence?

Yes, there are other medications and non-drug therapies available for anxiety and opioid dependence. Talk to your doctor about alternative treatments that may be suitable for your condition.

5. Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking Lexapro and Suboxone?

Combining alcohol with Lexapro and Suboxone can increase the risk of adverse effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired judgment. It’s best to avoid alcohol or limit its consumption while on these medications.

6. How long does it take for Lexapro and Suboxone to start working?

The effects of Lexapro and Suboxone can vary among individuals. It may take several weeks to notice the full benefits of these medications. Be patient and consistent with your treatment plan.

7. Can I adjust the dosage of Lexapro and Suboxone on my own?

No, you should never adjust the dosage of any medication without consulting your healthcare provider. Changes in dosage should only be made under their supervision to avoid potential complications.

8. Can I take over-the-counter medications with Lexapro and Suboxone?

Some over-the-counter medications may interact with Lexapro and Suboxone, so it’s essential to consult your doctor or pharmacist before using any new medications, including supplements and herbal remedies.

9. Will Lexapro and Suboxone affect my ability to drive or operate machinery?

Both Lexapro and Suboxone can cause drowsiness and impaired cognitive function. If you experience these side effects, avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how the medications affect you.

10. Can I take Lexapro and Suboxone if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals should not take Lexapro or Suboxone without consulting a healthcare professional. These medications can have potential risks for the baby, and alternative treatments may be considered.