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Lexapro - How Long Before It Starts Working?


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#1 ska123

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:47 PM

I've just started lexapro. I've taken it for the past two nights, and so far, so good in terms of side effects. I'm just wondering, for those of you on it, how long it took before it started to work for you?

#2 Pinga

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:02 PM

When I first started taking Lexapro it took about a good 4-6 weeks before I started to see the positive benefits. Unfortunately like with most SSRI's they aren't as immediate as we'd like but slowly I did notice a difference in my anxiety levels and energy levels.
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#3 Epictetus

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:12 PM

It took about six weeks for me to start to feel really better. I noticed some improvement after about two weeks. Everyone can respond differently to various meds like Lexapro.

If you will permitme; a non medical doctor, to make an observation . . . There is evidence that the anti-depressants actually go to work fairly quickly in altering brain chemistry. So why the lag in feeling improvement? Apparently there is some evidence that depression can involve changes in the brain beyond brain chemistry . . . that depression is sometimes linked to atrophy [loss of volume] in some areas of the brain, reduced brain cell growth in both neurons and glia, thinning of the cerebral cortex. And it is suspected, and I emphasize the word "suspected" that the anti-depressants actually stimulate new brain cell growth and reverse atrophy. And that this can take awhile depending on the gravity of the disease pathology in each person.

Now none of this has been conclusively proven to the satisfaction of all researchers and it could very well be interpreted differently or even refuted by further study. And some of the research is very limited and based on animal studies and port-mortem examinations. But if this research were to be finally validated, it might mean that perceived slow improvement from the anti-depressants is because they are helping the brain to heal and the brain cannot heal quickly. Even a broken leg cannot suddenly mend.

Now as a sufferer, I know all too well that the wait for improvement is agonizing. It is brutal and vicious and savage to have to live with depression for a single minute, let alone days and weeks. So I would just encourage you to work closely with your doc. CBT is very helpful too sometimes. I am so sorry you are suffering this. I hope you will feel better sooner rather than later!!!

Edited by Epictetus, 20 November 2012 - 06:15 PM.


#4 ska123

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:26 PM

Thank you both for your responses. Interesting observation, Epictetus. I wish I had a broken leg rather than depression lol. I want to feel better NOW. It truly is agonizing. I had a failed trial of Effexor which I just went off. Was on that for about 9 weeks, and it did nothing. Hoping and praying for a good response with the lexapro!




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