Taking Sudafed With Lexapro

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not the nasal decongestant Sudafed can safely be taken with Lexapro (escitalopram).

Question

My nose is congested, and I can't breathe through my nose. I take 10 mg of Lexapro (escitalopram). What would be the best over the counter medicine to take to help me breath through my nose?

Asked by Jenny On Oct 28, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Oct 28, 2022
Last updated Jul 18, 2024

Key points

  • There is no known drug interaction between Lexapro (escitalopram) and Sudafed (pseudoephedrine).

Answer

It is always a good idea to look into potential drug interactions if you are taking a prescription medication and looking to add on over-the-counter medication. This is especially true if you are on antidepressants, such as Lexapro (escitalopram), as they have numerous drug interactions with over-the-counter products.

Fortunately, Lexapro (escitalopram) is safe to take with most nasal decongestants and there is likely a safe and effective option for you to use.

You are likely to get the most benefit from Sudafed (pseudoephedrine). Sudafed is safe to take with Lexapro as there is no drug interaction between the two medications.

Taking Lexapro With Nasal Decongestants

There are four commonly used nasal decongestants available over the counter that have no interaction with Lexapro and are safe to use. They are:

  • Sudafed (pseudoephedrine)
  • Sudafed PE (phenylephrine)
  • Afrin nasal spray (oxymetazoline)
  • Saline nasal spray

Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) is likely the most effective nasal decongestant over the counter and it is safe to use with Lexapro. Sudafed works by shrinking swollen nasal membranes to relieve nasal congestion. Sudafed also acts to increase nasal airflow and drainage of sinus secretions.

While Sudafed is generally safe to use in most individuals, there are some contraindications (such as uncontrolled high blood pressure) so it would be prudent to speak with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure the use of Sudafed is appropriate in your situation.

Sudafed PE (phenylephrine) is also safe to take with Lexapro and there is no drug interaction between the two. However, Sudafed PE, for most people, is not as effective as Sudafed.

Your other options include nasal sprays such as Afrin and saline sprays. Afrin is effective but cannot be used for more than 2 to 3 days continuously due to the risk of rebound congestion. Saline sprays can be used as often as needed.

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About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 13 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical, program development, and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Dr. Brian Staiger also has herbalist training and educational certificates in the field of medical ethnobotany. Feel free to send him an email at [email protected]! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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