When you are prescribed medication, you should always let your doctor or pharmacist know of any other substances you take. Whether it’s another prescription, over-the-counter medicine, a vitamin or an herbal substance, your doctor should know. Doing this ensures that you don’t experience any adverse reactions caused by drug interactions.

Two commonly prescribed substances are Xanax and Lexapro, and many wonder if it’s safe to take both together. This overview discusses the effects of taking Xanax and Lexapro separately, as well as their possible interactions.

Is it Safe to Take Xanax and Lexapro Together?

It is usually safe to use Xanax and Lexapro together. Although both drugs relieve anxiety, they do so via different mechanisms in the brain and do not have a drug interaction. Further, Xanax is often considered a short-term medicine that shouldn’t be used for long periods of time, while Lexapro is a long-term anxiety treatment option.

Possible Side Effects of Mixing the Two

aking Xanax and Lexapro together may be fine in most cases, but people should be aware that one drug can sometimes worsen the side effects of the other. For example, a person who takes Xanax and Lexapro together may find that they’re extremely drowsy or fatigued.

The objective of taking Lexapro, however, should be to alleviate the anxiety which used to be managed through Xanax. Ideally, taking Lexapro will control mood and allow someone to reduce or stop taking Xanax.

Summing Up — Xanax and Lexapro

  • Xanax is a short-term treatment for anxiety and panic that is prescribed frequently in the United States.
  • Lexapro is a long-term treatment option for depression and anxiety that doesn’t carry Xanax’s risks of abuse or addiction.
  • Since Xanax is a controlled substance that can cause dependence and addiction, it’s important to closely follow the doctor’s directions when using it.

Other FAQs about Xanax and Lexapro

  • Is Xanax a controlled substance?

    Yes, this is the reason Xanax is not intended as a long-term treatment for anxiety because it is a controlled substance that has the potential to be habit-forming. A person can also form a physical dependence on Xanax, meaning that when they use it, their body will become used to its presence. If someone with dependence suddenly stops taking the drug, they may have withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, the withdrawal symptoms of Xanax can be severe and may include seizures.

  • Is Xanax an opioid?

    No, Xanax (alprazolam) is an FDA-approved benzodiazepine used for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders, and it’s one of the most widely prescribed substances in the United States.

  • What is Lexapro?

    Lexapro (escitalopram) is a prescription antidepressant that’s classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Lexapro and other SSRIs work by increasing the amount of serotonin available in the brain, which improves a person’s sense of well-being and reduces anxiety.

    Lexapro is FDA-approved for the use of major depressive disorder and anxiety. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue and insomnia. Unlike Xanax, Lexapro is not a controlled substance.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or a co-occurring mental health disorder, The Recovery Village can help. Our services provide a full continuum of care, ranging from drug and alcohol detox to inpatient programming and aftercare. Contact us today to learn more about addiction treatment programs that can work well for your situation.

  • Sources

    U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Xanax.” February 14, 2020. Accessed June 27, 2020.

    U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Lexapro.” January 22, 2019. Accessed June 27, 2020.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.