• Announcements

    • Lindsay

      Depression Forums Are Back Online!   02/09/2016

      Hello Members! Please understand that this upgrade was huge and is a process that will be ongoing for a tad longer. Somethings may not seem 'right' or look a bit 'strange' at the moment, such as your profile page or "Quotes" etc.. Some things may not work as expected... for the time being, but please appreciate that we have to prioritize function over appearance. Eventually DF will all come together and be wonderful! It will be as if nothing had ever changed... As an afterthought...DF will be ACCESSIBLE ANYTIME/ANYWHERE
      Whether you’re on your smartphone, tablet or computer, access to Depressionforums.org/forums is right at your fingertips with our new upgrade. The
      refreshing, dynamic look translates across all platforms and devices.
      Come join up, become a member if not already! It’s free to post to your peers about anything that is troubling you.  We are certain there is a Forum for that. Tomorrow we will have a Forum set up for members to answer any questions that you may have about the upgrade. We really appreciate all of your feedback! Your Forum Administrators
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
KPS

Lexapro And Fatigue

27 posts in this topic

Posted (edited) · Report post  

I've been taking Lexapro for about 3 months and have been slowly going up to 20mg. I've been on the 20mg for about a week the problem is I feel extremely fatigued, foggy headed and have been waking up 2-3 hours before my alarm. I was on risperidone but my pdoc thought it might be making me more tired and switched me to abilify about 2 weeks ago. I think the Lexapro is more likely to be causing the fatigue than the abilify. Has anyone experienced extreme fatigue and fogginess after going up on their lexapro? Can I expect this to get better or should I consider starting to taper my lexapro?

Edited by KPS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

Hi KPS,

I would give the new dose some more time before reaching any conclusions. An increase often causes side effects similar to those of the activation phase. If you are still experiencing these side effects after a few weeks, talk to your doctor before making any adjustments. Have you tried incorporating exercise into your daily routine? This can be very helpful for low energy levels, and may also help you sleep better.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post  

Hi there KPS,

I'm glad you posted as I am having the exact same side effect of fatigue and fogginess. I had it for several weeks when I was first taking 10mg, and now I've increased to 15 mg it has come back.

I've been on the increased dose for 8 days now and I do feel the fatigue has *slightly* lessened over the past few days, if I'm not imagining it. I plan to give it another week. My pdoc spoke of going to 20mg but I'm not sure I can take it.

I haven't been waking early. When do you take yours? I take 5mg in the morning and 10mg at night (nobody told me to do this. I was planning to switch the whole dose to night but didn't end up doing it).

Keep in touch. Hopefully we'll both get past the fatigue soon.

Hugs,

Lauryn

Edited by LaurynJcat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

I haven't been waking early. When do you take yours? I take 5mg in the morning and 10mg at night (nobody told me to do this. I was planning to switch the whole dose to night but didn't end up doing it).

I take my whole dose at night, but I'm prone to sleep disturbances so it might not have anything to do with the Lexapro. I feel very reassured knowing someone else is having the same trouble. I'll give it another couple of weeks and hopefully I'll start feeling better!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

Glad to help. I'll be interested in hearing if your fatigue subsides as I'm hoping mine will too!

Fatigue or somnolence is actually one of the listed common side effects of Lexapro/Cipralex according to several pharmaceutical websites I checked. One site said 13% of their subjects taking Lexapro reported "extreme tiredness."

The problem is, they're always really vague about how long the side effects last... huh.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

Feeling a little less foggy today, hopefully it continues to improve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

I take my whole dose at night, but I'm prone to sleep disturbances so it might not have anything to do with the Lexapro. I feel very reassured knowing someone else is having the same trouble. I'll give it another couple of weeks and hopefully I'll start feeling better!

SSRIs like Lexapro can cause sleep disturbances particularly in the start-up phase or after a dosage increase. They can basically cause all the side effects you listed. I took Celexa for about 5 years, but if I remember correctly, all the side effects dissapated after the first 2 months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

This is more Celexa related, but its pretty similar to Lexapro.

I was originally on Zoloft 50mg. several years ago. My depression wasn't severe, but it was enough that it affected my social activity, and was affecting my overall mood. I was consistently down, and I was much younger at that time because I was going through the whole "high school thing".

Went off Zoloft. Took me so many tries because the withdrawal was the first. My ONLY withdrawal symptoms was the electric shock sensation that comes along with withdrawal. Like it hurts to be touched when you have the cold or the flu. I forgot to bring it with me to the beach and I had to go a week without it. It was awful. Tried about 3 or 4 times to go off of it but unsuccessful every time.

Just early last year I had a relapse and my depression came back 10 times worse. I was crying for no explainable reason. I was stressed about some things that were going on in my life but even in relaxing situations I couldn't help but cry. If the wrong song even came on the radio I would have to pull over because I would break down in tears.

Started seeing a counselor this time around, and shortly afterwards went back into my GP to talk over medications again and he educated me on how some of them work pharmacologically. He said that if any of his patients that he placed on Zoloft had even one complaint he was switching them to something else with fewer side effects and better efficacy. On Zoloft I felt like a robot. I remember when when I first started them the first month was a roller coaster ride of elation and depression until my very first SSRI stabilized in my system, however, after it did stabilize, I was no longer depressed. Instead, I felt like a flat soda. Like my mood had completely flatlined. Neither happy nor sad. In that gray area of no emotions and total apathy. I told this to my doctor and he said he was hearing that from quite a few of his patients. He went on to say that he was doing a schedule with his patients where Sunday and Monday the patient would take Zoloft and Tuesday they would take the new antidepressant. Then Wednesday and Thursday, Zoloft. Friday: new AD. And so on and so forth finally after about two weeks changing it to even every other days. He even said he had a few patients on Paxil that we trying to switch. As I'm seeing elsewhere in these forums, a lot of doctor's are starting to move people off of Paxil.

My GD and I agreed that we would look into other medications. Depression runs on both sides of my family. On my Mom's side though, my aunt takes Lexapro 20mg. My aunt takes Wellbutrin XL 300mg. And my cousin was being treated for depression at the same time that I was. More on that in a minute.

Because Celexa got consistently good reviews in the efficacy department and generic cost, he placed me on Celexa 10mg for the first 2 weeks then up to 20mg. He chose it also because it has one of the much longer half lives of the SSRIs. I can miss a day and not even skip a beat as long as I take the next dose on time. Its been a while now though and certain side effects have not faded the way most day. Namely the usual culprits: drowsiness, fatigue, AND insomnia. I work overnight shifts at a gas station. I consistently get 8-9 hours of sleep at the same time every day. I go to sleep around 8am and wake up around 4 or 5pm. I continue to get physical exercise and i eat well. I walk to and from work and i'm on my feet for 8 hours straight at work. Even completely rested I feel like I haven't slept the day before!

I found some studies that said In some patients who haven't responded fully to SSRIs alone that Wellbutrin works really well as an adjunctive treatment to counteract not only the side effects of the SSRI that you are taking but also to deal with some of the depression symptoms that the SSRI doesn't cover like motivation and energy.

I'm about to see a psychiatrist for the first time September 15th, and I'm going to talk to him about these issues. Celexa has worked really well and I cant remember the last time I couldn't handle a situation without breaking down in tears. But the energy levels I'm at just aren't satisfactory. Another thing is the lethargy and fatigue are affecting my motivation. Procrastinating is a character flaw. But no matter how much sleep I get I just wanna sleep some more and its been cutting into my school work. I think I might talk to my psych about a low dose of Wellbutrin and possibly Vyvanse. I know I'm not supposed to but on occasion I use my cousin's Adderall XR pills to go on homework binges when I just can't quite make the cut on my own. When I take the Adderall I feel like I can literally focus on anything. Granted she's on 30mg and I could feel throughout my body that that was way too much but a low dose would do wonders i'm SURE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

Hi. When I first went up to 20mg (a month after being on 10mg), I was EXTREMELY tired for 4-5 days. So tired that I wondered if I'd be able to continue, as I could barely function at work. It went away and now (going on 6 months) I am not tired at all. In fact, I feel just a tad more energetic. Strange how that happens!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

hi everyone. im a 25 year old male , i was just perscribed lexapro 10mg for anxiety and depression. i took it back in 09' and didnt feel any side effects whatsoever, i even drank on the medication and didnt feel any different, over time it helped me over come my depression. unfortunitly i went off of it and its biteing me in the *** now but i have such horrible anxiety. the depression is bad too but the anxiety is much much worse. i started taking 5mg tablets on the 4th of this month and went up to 10 mg everyday after. since than i've had a loss of appetite, been dizzy, had even worse anxiety, been shaky jittery, and i dont know if its the meds that are causing this one because i noticed it before i started the medication, but i feel a shortness of breathe sometimes, and almost like a sore feeling in my chest. but like i said ive felt that before the meds but notice it alot more now. i'm a constant worry wart, i dont know why. i worry about everything. and im agoraphobic and emetophobic. i cant enjoy anything anymore. and i always have a hard time with food, especially when im out of the house. i just got a new girlfriend and things have been great but i recently broke down and explained eveything thats been wrong with me, and shes gonna stay by my side, which is amazing.

i called my therapist today, told her how i've been feeling and she recommended i be brought back down to 5mg again. im just looking for help from you guys, i feel like crap. is there anyone else out there thats feeling my pain? and if so how long does these side effects last?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

i called my therapist today, told her how i've been feeling and she recommended i be brought back down to 5mg again. im just looking for help from you guys, i feel like crap. is there anyone else out there thats feeling my pain? and if so how long does these side effects last?

I haven't felt any side effects with Lexapro besides reduced tolerance to alcohol and lack of motivation, but hope everything turns out better. Keep us updated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

Almost 2 weeks into the higher dosage. I still feel really tired but at least I'm getting more sleep at night. I have an appointment with a new pdoc in a couple weeks, if it's not better by then I think it will be time to try something else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

I am on 20 mgs of Lexspro. I self destructed and ran out of pills when my therapist was out of town. After a week off, I went back on and it wiped me out for a few weeks. I missed a dose yesterday and have bounced back today. I am 230 lbs, so I may have more resistance. When I first started I was in a psych ward and can't recall how i reacted other than a lot of sleep. But I was a train wreck, so I don't know.

Best wishes,

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post  

Hi everyone. Browri, I think I'm going to ask my pdoc for Wellbutrin as an add-on as well. She previously mentioned that even a very low dose of Wellbutrin/bupropion could improve certain side-effects of Escitalopram/Lexapro.

I found the following on Wikipedia:

According to several surveys, the augmentation of a prescribed SSRI with bupropion is the preferred strategy among clinicians when the patient does not respond to the SSRI.[17] For example, the combination of bupropion and citalopram (Celexa) was observed to be more effective than switching to another antidepressant. The addition of bupropion to an SSRI (primarily fluoxetine or sertraline) resulted in a significant improvement in 70–80% of patients who had an incomplete response to the first-line antidepressant.[18][19] Bupropion improved ratings of "energy", which had decreased under the influence of the SSRI; also noted were improvements of mood and motivation, and some improvement of cognitive and sexual functions

Edited by LaurynJcat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

I'm experiencing similar side effects. I've been on 10g of Cipralex for the past 4 months and have lately been experiencing seveer fatigue. I have trouble waking up in the morning, sleeping sometimes 10 hours right through my alarm. I feel really foggy headed as a result, but feel as though I could just keep on sleeping. I've tried taking the meds at different times of the day, but to no avail. I've taken Cipralex before and always with this same side effect. It's beginning to affect my work as I never make it in on time. I really don't want to come off the medication because the anxiety I experience without it just isn't worth it, but this can't go on either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post  

I felt really tired the first few weeks. Maybe because it was working but my depression wasn't getting better. I mean, maybe my body was adjusting but my mind wasn't catching up.

I'm still on 5mg only but I plan to increase to 10mg soon. I had the tiredness but like someone else said, I have the exact opposite now. I wake up early naturally like a normal person. I used to sleep really late and wake up really late hoping the day would just go by quick so I can be back in bed to sleep again. But now, I wake up early and want to do stuff, its great.

Hang in there!

We're all different in a way so you might need to try a different medication if the extreme fatigue interferes with your everyday life. In my experience, Cipralex worked for me in the past and i'm sure it will only get better.

Edited by gs1003

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

Hi everyone. Browri, I think I'm going to ask my pdoc for Wellbutrin as an add-on as well. She previously mentioned that even a very low dose of Wellbutrin/bupropion could improve certain side-effects of Escitalopram/Lexapro.

I found the following on Wikipedia:

According to several surveys, the augmentation of a prescribed SSRI with bupropion is the preferred strategy among clinicians when the patient does not respond to the SSRI.[17] For example, the combination of bupropion and citalopram (Celexa) was observed to be more effective than switching to another antidepressant. The addition of bupropion to an SSRI (primarily fluoxetine or sertraline) resulted in a significant improvement in 70

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

I've been on Lexapro and haven't felt an increase in fatigue, although I've always had fatigue throughout the day before going on Lexapro because of severe depression. I did notice an decrease in concentration and focus though. And only other side effects I've notice have been a decrease in alcohol tolerance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

Still experiencing fatigue and somnolence even in spite of being on 375mg of Welbutrin, so I've decided to start tapering my Lexapro. If anything the fatigue is making my symptoms worse which is not good. Hopefully I'll start having more energy in a week or so and the Welbutrin and Abilify will keep me stable. Wish me luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

Still experiencing fatigue and somnolence even in spite of being on 375mg of Welbutrin, so I've decided to start tapering my Lexapro. If anything the fatigue is making my symptoms worse which is not good. Hopefully I'll start having more energy in a week or so and the Welbutrin and Abilify will keep me stable. Wish me luck!

I wish you luck. Is your doctor on board with tapering off the Lexapro?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

Still experiencing fatigue and somnolence even in spite of being on 375mg of Welbutrin, so I've decided to start tapering my Lexapro. If anything the fatigue is making my symptoms worse which is not good. Hopefully I'll start having more energy in a week or so and the Welbutrin and Abilify will keep me stable. Wish me luck!

I wish you luck. Is your doctor on board with tapering off the Lexapro?

I'm actually in between pdocs right now but I will see a new doc in 10 days. But I have tried to contact my old pdoc on the phone for advice, hopefully he gets back with me soon. I've tapered off a SSRI before so I know what to expect. I'm going to slowly taper in 5mg increments so hopefully the effects are less drastic if I have any.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

How long have you been on the Wellbutrin? It seems to me like you might want to give it a few weeks to see if the combo works. Maybe if you just reduced the Lex by 5mg?

I'm actually in between pdocs right now but I will see a new doc in 10 days. But I have tried to contact my old pdoc on the phone for advice, hopefully he gets back with me soon. I've tapered off a SSRI before so I know what to expect. I'm going to slowly taper in 5mg increments so hopefully the effects are less drastic if I have any.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

Just a brief update. I've been taking the meds at 10:00 pm for the pas few nights, just as I get in bed, and so far it's relieved me of the fatigue and several side effects. Maybe I'm sleeping through them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

Been 15mgs of Lexapro for about 5 days now and my fatigue has definitely improved some. My new Doc wants me to taper to 5mg before he starts me on Prozac which will hopefully not make me as tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post  

Just wanted to update everyone.

I'm on 15 mg/day of Cipralex (Lexapro/escitalopram). I've been at 15 mg for over 3 weeks and I'm still experiencing a lot of fatigue (I take 5mg in the morning and 10 at night). I also have delayed orgasm and lack of motivation/apathy.

One thing I should also mention is I take a stomach medicine (Losec/omeprazone) which is known to increase blood concentrations of escitalopram. So the effect of my Cipralex is probably more like 20 mg now, even though I take 15.

My pdoc has now added Wellbutrin to the mix to help with fatigue and other side effects. If that doesn't work I'll be going back to 10 mg of Cip.

Glad to hear that for most people, the fatigue was temporary.

Lauryn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0