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Can You Mix Lexapro and Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription stimulant drug that contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. This medication is used to treat mental health conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While Adderall is effective in managing ADHD, it can be addictive to those without the disorder.

On the other hand, Lexapro is the brand name for a medication known as escitalopram. It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that is used to treat depression and anxiety. Because Lexapro does not cause mind-altering effects, it is not considered addictive or habit-forming.

Both medications are useful in managing a range of mental health conditions, but can you combine them?

Some people might be prescribed both Adderall and Lexapro. While you can take them together, doing so comes with some risks. Mixing Lexapro and Adderall can lead to increased side effects and the development of a condition known as serotonin syndrome.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant. Adderall works by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in your brain. This is beneficial for people with ADHD, as this results in improved focus and lessened impulsivity.

People without ADHD will experience heightened energy, increased heart rate, a rush of euphoria, and an inability to sleep. As a result, many people become addicted to Adderall.

The possible side effects of Adderall include:

  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Changes in sex drive or ability
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • Trouble sleeping

If you are taking Adderall and experience irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure, hostility, or aggression, talk to your doctor immediately. These are signs that your body is not tolerating Adderall.

Adderall interacts negatively with other medications, particularly certain antidepressants like monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and a supplement known as St. John’s Wort. Your doctor can advise you about any interactions between Adderall and your existing medications.

What is Lexapro?

Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). This prescription medication can be used to treat depression, anxiety, or a combination of the two. It works by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin in your brain, making higher levels of it available.

The possible side effects of Lexapro include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Sexual problems
  • Dizziness and drowsiness
  • Yawning
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Heartburn and stomach pain
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • Flu-like symptoms

Most of the side effects of Lexapro will resolve once your body adjusts to the medication. Contact your doctor to discuss changing your dose if any side effects become difficult to cope with.

While Lexapro is generally a safe drug to take, it can cause interactions when mixed with other substances. For example, the effects of alcohol will increase if you are on Lexapro. Thankfully, your doctor will warn you about any possible interactions before you begin Lexapro treatment.

Can You Combine Lexapro and Adderall?

Yes, Lexapro and Adderall can be taken together. However, there are some risks to doing so. You should only take these medications together if the benefits outweigh the risks.

The two medications might be prescribed together if you have ADHD and co-occurring depression or anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), “About 50 percent of adults with ADHD also suffer from an anxiety disorder.”

Combining Lexapro and Adderall comes with risks, so they should only be mixed if the conditions cannot be managed solely with therapy. Additionally, a doctor must weigh the benefits and risks to determine if the risks are worth it.

You should never misuse Adderall if you are taking Lexapro regularly. Unfortunately, doing so could cause increased side effects and an increased risk of serotonin syndrome.

Risks of Mixing Lexapro and Adderall

Using Adderall and Lexapro together could cause a dangerous condition known as serotonin syndrome. Additionally, combining them could cause the side effects of each medication to increase.

The dangers of mixing Adderall and Lexapro include:

Increased Side Effects

Taking Lexapro and Adderall together can lead to a long list of side effects. Usually, these are existing side effects of each medication that become exacerbated because of the interactions between the drugs.

The possible side effects of mixing Adderall and Lexapro include:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lessened appetite and weight loss
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Changes in sexual function and libido
  • Loss of appetite
  • Worsened symptoms depression
  • Drowsiness and dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting

Serotonin Syndrome

The main risk of taking Lexapro and Adderall together is serotonin syndrome. This condition occurs when a person has too much serotonin available in their brain. Unfortunately, serotonin syndrome can quickly become life-threatening.

The symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:

  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Disorientation
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Abnormally high body temperature
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle rigidity or overactive reflexes
  • Involuntary twitching of muscles
  • Dilated pupils
  • Flushed skin
  • Hallucinations

If you believe you are experiencing serotonin syndrome, contact a medical professional immediately. This condition can be life-threatening without medical assistance.

Ways to Reduce the Risks of Mixing Adderall and Lexapro

If you have to take Adderall and Lexapro together, there are ways to reduce the risks of doing so. You should always follow your prescriber’s directions exactly and avoid taking too large of a dose at once.

The ways to reduce the risks of combining Adderall and Lexapro include:

  • Discuss With Your Provider – Be open with your doctor about what medications and substances you might take. Doing so could help them identify any risks you could be facing.
  • Take Medications as Prescribed – Follow your prescriptions exactly to avoid overdosing yourself on Lexapro or Adderall. Taking too much of one of these medications could lead to serotonin syndrome.
  • Adjust Your Dosage – Talk with your doctor about your dosages. They might feel like lowering the dose of one of your medications will decrease the risk of adverse effects.
  • Adjust the Time You Take Medications – Taking the medications at different times of the day could reduce some side effects. For example, you could take Adderall in the morning and Lexapro at night. Of course, this should also be discussed with your prescriber.

Find Help for Drug Abuse and Addiction

If you or a loved one suffers from substance abuse, it’s time to seek help. Whether you are abusing Adderall or another type of substance, Mandala Healing Center is here to support you.

We offer our clients compassionate and evidence-based care. Whether you need treatment for childhood trauma or co-occurring mental health conditions, we can help you recover.

Contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol rehab program.