Skip Navigation

Search Knowledgebase

Escitalopram

Drug Information

Escitalopram is used to treat mental depression and is in a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants.

Common brand names:

Lexapro

Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • none

Reduce Side Effects

  • none

Support Medicine

  • none

Reduces Effectiveness

  • none

Potential Negative Interaction

  • 5-HTP

    Escitalopram increases serotonin activity in the brain. 5-HTP and L-tryptophan are converted to serotonin in the brain, and taking either of these compounds with escitalopram may increase escitalopram-induced side effects. Dietary supplements of L-tryptophan (available only by prescription from special compounding pharmacists) taken with paroxetine (a drug that has similar actions as escitalopram) caused headache, sweating, dizziness, agitation, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms.1

    Some doctors have used small amounts of L-tryptophan in combination with SSRIs, to increase their effectiveness. However, because of the potential for side effects, 5-HTP and L-tryptophan should never be taken in combination with escitalopram or other SSRIs, unless a doctor is closely monitoring the combination. Foods rich in L-tryptophan do not appear to interact with escitalopram or other SSRIs.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • L-Tryptophan

    Escitalopram increases serotonin activity in the brain. 5-HTP and L-tryptophan are converted to serotonin in the brain, and taking either of these compounds with escitalopram may increase escitalopram-induced side effects. Dietary supplements of L-tryptophan (available only by prescription from special compounding pharmacists) taken with paroxetine (a drug that has similar actions as escitalopram) caused headache, sweating, dizziness, agitation, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms.2

    Some doctors have used small amounts of L-tryptophan in combination with SSRIs, to increase their effectiveness. However, because of the potential for side effects, 5-HTP and L-tryptophan should never be taken in combination with escitalopram or other SSRIs, unless a doctor is closely monitoring the combination. Foods rich in L-tryptophan do not appear to interact with escitalopram or other SSRIs.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Explanation Required 

  • none

The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

References

1. Threlkeld DS, ed. Central Nervous System Drugs, Antidepressants, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. In Facts and Comparisons Drug Information. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons, 1997.

2. Threlkeld DS, ed. Central Nervous System Drugs, Antidepressants, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. In Facts and Comparisons Drug Information. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons, 1997.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.