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Escitalopram Alternatives

This entry was posted in Antidepressant on by .
Medically Reviewed

Last Updated on November 1, 2021 by Diane Ridaeus

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Escitalopram alternatives (sold as Cipralex® or Lexapro®) are not taught in medical school. Natural alternatives to escitalopram can be utilized gently and safely to reduce and eliminate symptoms. Orthodox medical doctors automatically rely on prescribing toxic drugs as first-line treatment. We’re all about natural alternatives for better health at Alternative to Meds Center.

Escitalopram may have been useful during a time of dire crisis. After a crisis has stabilized, or where there is time to consider other options, there are sound reasons to explore alternatives to escitalopram for superior health benefits.

Do Your Symptoms
Require Escitalopram?

successful escitalopram alternatives
Thankfully, Alternative to Meds Centers uses its 15 years of experience to help clients reach their health goals, and our published evidence clearly shows our success. If you would like to address and resolve root causes and underlying issues in much less toxic ways and explore alternatives to escitalopram, we can help. It could very well be that biological, environmental, or medical conditions were missed, or that precursors that contributed to the original crisis have since been resolved, or that you were simply misdiagnosed.
This video covers the remarkable recovery journey of a woman who was technically disabled, had lost the ability to work, and could barely walk. It was an overwhelmingly dismal situation. Her story of getting off of antidepressants and benzos is truly heroic. She also went back to work as a professional counselor and can even power-walk. Most people calling ATMC think they are the worst. This video should bring you comfort that there is hope.
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Alternatives to Escitalopram Can Be Safer, More Effective.

escitalopram alternative therapiesWe invite any person to take a new look at escitalopram alternatives, especially if the drug could not be tolerated, or caused concern because of burdensome side effects. Escitalopram carries a risk of heart damage, and as with all SSRI drugs, comes with a black-box warning for suicidality.1  We know from our own experience at the center as well as from a wealth of clinical research, that natural alternatives to prescription medications can be as effective or even more so, and safer to use. This could be especially true over the long term. We developed our programs on several fundamental pillars that support mental health. First, we provide the opportunity to achieve natural mental health without drugs. Our safe tapering programs allow the CNS to adjust without distress. We also acknowledge that addressing toxic overload with deep cleansing is crucial to the full restoration of health.2  Nutrition is another fundamental based on orthomolecular principles, including diet and supplementation. In addition to these fundamentals, a wealth of adjunctive holistic therapies including CBT 3 and relaxation techniques as outlined below in more detail, can provide opportunities for calming, invigorating restoration of the person as a whole. 

Alternatives to Escitalopram Include:

  • holistic alternatives to escitalopramColon hydrotherapy, chelation, sauna in conjunction with  nutrients (convert fat-soluble toxins to water-soluble for elimination) 2,16
  • CBT & other personal counseling for relief of stress and getting ahead of problematic triggers 3,17
  • Orthomolecular diet to avoid blood sugar issues, improve mood and sleep 5,6
  • Test for deficiencies and supplement vitamins and minerals 7
  • Test for food or other allergies 8
  • Avoid toxic molds in the home and workplace 9
  • Switch to toxin-free personal products, paint, cleaning products, dental work 10.18
  • Support microbiome health through diet and supplementation 11
  • Acupuncture 12
  • Therapeutic massage and relaxation therapies 13
  • Exercise 14
  • Bright Light therapy, exposure to sunlight 15
  • Stay hydrated4*

*The World Journal of Psychiatry has published research on how drinking enough plain water can improve both physical and mental health in significant ways.4

Cleansing is Important for Mental Health

escitalopram clean out toxinsNeurotoxins are often overlooked in assessing mental health issues. In a review article published in the Journal of Neurotoxicology, Genuis sounds the alarm on the “swelling repertoire of potentially toxic chemicals” that we may easily come into contact with on a daily basis.16 Toxic mold is another factor that is important to check for where symptoms resembling psychiatric disorders may be stemming from mycotoxins in the home, or workplace.9 The 2021 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published a brand new meta-analysis of 49 studies that outlined the dangers of some of the most common volatile organic compounds found in households in what are termed “high-income countries”.  Underscoring the problem, authors Alford and Kumar note that in HICs, people spend about 2% of their time outdoors. There is an increasing need for awareness of what’s in our food, air, water, personal and cleaning products, homes, and workplaces. In high-tech regions, we need to keep pace with health technology and information that can be used to minimize these risks.  And we need to get outside and breathe more! 18

Chelation is one cleansing strategy that can help reduce toxic accumulations in the body. Other methods include sauna, colon hydrotherapy, ionized foot baths, mineral baths, and nebulized glutathione. Heavy metals are vital to clear out such as mercury from dental amalgams, pesticides, contaminations from food, or other exposures.10  Specially designed protocols are used to gently and safely deep-clean the body at Alternative to Meds Center. When the toxic effects on the body and neurochemistry are eliminated, positive changes are typical, such as improved quality of sleep, appetite, mood, and more. Clearing out accumulations of neurotoxicity as an alternative to escitalopram is a major player in the quest for natural mental health and reaps great rewards.

Cleansing the body down to the cellular level gives the body its best chance to reset. One important goal of therapy at Alternative to Meds Center is to normalize neurochemistry. A well-functioning CNS is vital for that process, supporting natural mental wellness.

Counseling a Proven Alternative to Escitalopram

The World Health Quality of Life Questionnaire was used in a controlled research study by Carta et al, published in the Journal of Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, that showed a statistically significant improvement in quality of life over the control (no counseling) group. 17

The 6-month trial aimed to show the effectiveness of CBT (cognitive behavioral counseling) in the treatment of depression and clearly did so. There are many genres of counseling that one may choose from at Alternative to Meds Center. 

Escitalopram Alternatives Include Nutrition and Exercise

In addition to purging out the burden of toxic load from the body, nutrition 5 and exercise 14  are two other essential elements that each play vital roles in the support of natural mental health. For this reason, during escitalopram recovery, we give our clients detailed and individualized programs. We give each person the appropriate corrective nutrition regimen, and, of course, we use testing to determine exact individual parameters. In addition, we give each client many opportunities for trainer-led or freeform exercise, equine therapy, hiking, and more. Programs tailor the classes and activities to the ability level and personal preferences of the client.2,3

The nutritional therapeutics in the program include restoring the microbiome to a robust level of function, another key factor in maintaining natural mental health.11

Using orthomolecular principles of nutrition and supplements, program participants are tested for deficiencies, food allergies, blood sugar levels, and other factors commonly overlooked in diagnosing what look like mental health issues, that can be fully resolved through correct dietary choices.5  Clients enjoy a delicious menu of clean, mostly organic foods prepared in gourmet style for delicious meals, snacks and smoothies daily. 

Supplements can also be instrumental for reducing and eliminating symptoms, ranging from amino acids, IV NAD treatments, to a wide range of proven plant-based aids for sleep, mood, and discomfort all without the side effects or danger of developing tolerance or addiction associated with drugs such as escitalopram. 

Joyful Alternatives to Antidepressants

Indeed, spiritual health is also essential. Spiritual wellness, happiness, joy can mean different things to different people. For this reason, the center provides many types of counseling, life coaching, peer support, and more for supporting spiritual and emotional health goals. A person may benefit from re-designing their life so that it produces joy rather than stress. These changes can be worked out, and with guidance, put into place in the real world.

Sunlight and bright light therapy have been shown highly effective for treating depression! What a lovely way to get well! A contemplative or energetic walk can boost the benefits. Bring your favorite purified water to stay well-hydrated, and enjoy the flood of oxygen, improved circulation, and mood-brightening effects of naturally created vitamin D.4,15,21

Alternative to Meds Center wants you to know that there are many churches of diverse denominations in the vicinity. Transport is easy to arrange if attendance is desired.

Many other joyful alternatives to escitalopram such as yoga, Qi Gong, acupuncture, learned relaxation techniques, therapeutic massage, art therapy, and more can be found on our Lexapro Alternatives page.

Should Antidepressants like Escitalopram Be Called Depressants?

counseling alternatives to escitalopram Commonly known as an antidepressant, drugmakers market escitalopram under the brand name Lexapro®. This SSRI drug has become one of the most prescribed drugs in its class. Notably, some experts feel that antidepressants should more correctly be called depressants. As evidence of their depressive effects on certain populations, these drugs cause vastly increased suicidality rates, most pronounced in the 25 and under age range.1,19

In addition to dizziness, headache, worsened depression, and too many other side effects to list here, there is also a stimulant effect that SSRIs cause in many persons. Their stimulant effects may account for the artificial (and temporary) lift in mood. The drug also can lead to impulsive or unusual actions and even mania. Over time a person can develop a tolerance to escitalopram.  With time, the stimulating effect fades and the person may start taking in higher doses and more frequently to recreate those initial effects. This is how psychological and physical addiction begins.20 One may want to consider using non-addictive alternatives to escitalopram medications to avoid developing tolerance and dependence on SSRIs,  a very common development. Many of our clients who come to the center for help are seeking help with these types of tolerance-related issues.

Alternative to Meds Center Information on Alternatives to Escitalopram

If you would like to find out more information on the programs available at the center, please contact us directly and we will take time to speak with you personally.

For your benefit, we are happy to take the time to discuss any questions you or a loved one may have about our escitalopram alternatives and various treatment options including our world-class, in-patient tapering programs.


1. FDA label  Lexapro (escitalopram oxylate) [online] [cited 2021 Oct 28] 

2. Jackson E, Shoemaker R, Larian N, Cassis L. Adipose Tissue as a Site of Toxin Accumulation [published correction appears in Compr Physiol. 2018 Jun 18;8(3):1251]. Compr Physiol. 2017;7(4):1085-1135. Published 2017 Sep 12. doi:10.1002/cphy.c160038 [cited 2021 Oct 28]

3.  Gautam M, Tripathi A, Deshmukh D, Gaur M. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression. Indian J Psychiatry. 2020;62(Suppl 2):S223-S229. doi:10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_772_19 [cited 2021 Oct 28]

4. Haghighatdoost F et al., “Drinking plain water is associated with decreased risk of depression and anxiety in adults: Results from a large cross-sectional study.” World J Psychiatry 2018 Sep 20; 8(3): 88-96 PMID 30254979 [cited 2020 Dec 17]

5. Gangwisch JE, Hale L, Garcia L, Malaspina D, Opler MG, Payne ME, Rossom RC, Lane D. “High glycemic index diet as a risk factor for depression: analyses from the Women’s Health Initiative.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Aug;102(2):454-63. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.103846. Epub 2015 Jun 24. PMID: 26109579; PMCID: PMC4515860.nutrition [cited 2020 Dec 17]

6.  Lachance L, Ramsey D. Food, mood, and brain health: implications for the modern clinicianMo Med. 2015;112(2):111-115. [cited 2021 Nov 1]

7.  Sizar O, Khare S, Goyal A, Bansal P, Givler A. Vitamin D Deficiency. 2021 Jul 21. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–. PMID: 30335299. [cited 2021 Nov 1]

8.  Hidese S, Nogawa S, Saito K, Kunugi H. Food allergy is associated with depression and psychological distress: A web-based study in 11,876 Japanese. J Affect Disord. 2019 Feb 15;245:213-218. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.10.119. Epub 2018 Oct 26. PMID: 30408639. [cited 2021 Nov 1]

9.  Empting LD. Neurologic and neuropsychiatric syndrome features of mold and mycotoxin exposure. Toxicol Ind Health. 2009 Oct-Nov;25(9-10):577-81. doi: 10.1177/0748233709348393. PMID: 19854819. [cited 2021 Nov 1]

10.  Ayuso-Álvarez A, Simón L, Nuñez O, Rodríguez-Blázquez C, Martín-Méndez I, Bel-Lán A, López-Abente G, Merlo J, Fernandez-Navarro P, Galán I. Association between heavy metals and metalloids in topsoil and mental health in the adult population of Spain. Environ Res. 2019 Dec;179(Pt A):108784. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.108784. Epub 2019 Sep 28. PMID: 31606614. [cited 2021 Nov 1]

11.  Malan-Muller S, Valles-Colomer M, Raes J, Lowry CA, Seedat S, Hemmings SMJ. The Gut Microbiome and Mental Health: Implications for Anxiety- and Trauma-Related Disorders. OMICS. 2018 Feb;22(2):90-107. doi: 10.1089/omi.2017.0077. Epub 2017 Aug 2. PMID: 28767318. [cited 2021 Nov 1]

12.  Hempel S, Taylor SL, Solloway MR, et al. Evidence Map of Acupuncture [Internet]. Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs (US); 2014 Jan. EVIDENCE MAP OF ACUPUNCTURE FOR MENTAL HEALTH. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK185076/ [cited 2021 Nov 1]

13.  Platania-Solazzo A, Field TM, Blank J, Seligman F, Kuhn C, Schanberg S, Saab P. Relaxation therapy reduces anxiety in child and adolescent psychiatric patients. Acta Paedopsychiatr. 1992;55(2):115-20. PMID: 1585802.

14.  Craft LL, Perna FM. The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically DepressedPrim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2004;6(3):104-111. doi:10.4088/pcc.v06n0301 [cited 2021 Nov 1]

15.  Prasko J. Bright light therapy. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2008 Nov;29 Suppl 1:33-64. PMID: 19029878. [cited 2021 Nov 1]

16.  Genuis SJ. Toxic causes of mental illness are overlooked. Neurotoxicology. 2008 Nov;29(6):1147-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2008.06.005. Epub 2008 Jun 24. PMID: 18621076. [cited 2021 Nov 1]

17.  Carta M, Petretto D, Adamo S, et al. Counseling in primary care improves depression and quality of lifeClin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health. 2012;8:152-157. doi:10.2174/1745017901208010152 [cited 2021 Nov 1]

18.  Alford K, Kumar N, Pulmonary Health Effects of Indoor Volatile Organic Compounds–A Meta-analysis International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health [2021 Feb] [internet] [cited 2021 Nov 1] 

19.  Fergusson D, Doucette S, Glass KC, Shapiro S, Healy D, Hebert P, Hutton B. Association between suicide attempts and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: systematic review of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2005 Feb 19;330(7488):396. doi: 10.1136/bmj.330.7488.396. Erratum in: BMJ. 2005 Mar 19;330(7492):653. PMID: 15718539; PMCID: PMC549110. [cited 2021 Nov 1]

20.  Fujii K, Suzuki T, Mimura M, Uchida H. Psychological dependence on antidepressants in patients with panic disorder: a cross-sectional study. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2017 Jan;32(1):36-40. doi: 10.1097/YIC.0000000000000143. PMID: 27496597. [cited 2021 Nov 1]

21.  Anglin RE, Samaan Z, Walter SD, McDonald SD. Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Psychiatry. 2013 Feb;202:100-7. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.106666. PMID: 23377209. [cited 2021 Nov 1]


Originally Published Mar 10, 2020 by Diane Ridaeus


This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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Escitalopram Alternatives
Medical Disclaimer:
Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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