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GoinMad

How Long Until Lexapro Kicks In And At What Dosage?

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Started Lexapro 4 weeks ago for severe depression, 10mg for first 18 days and 15mg for last 10 days. Really struggling and needing some positive feedback or personal experiences. Thanks in advance

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By the way this is my first Ssri, so don't have any idea what I should be expecting in terms of improvements. Side effects don't bother me with medications as long as my condition is helped considerably.

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GM,

Has there been any change at all in the last few days? Journalising is good to keep record as we tend to write off a whole day as being bad, where it is really a process of making the darker hours grow shorter and shorter. I assume you have been in contact with your GP.

My own experience was that on the second time I was on Lex that I was brought up to 20 mgs after 2 weeks and it took another 4-5 before a REALLY noticable change occured. Then, I was stable enough to make worthwhile progress. This is different for everyone but first time people on a specific med are usually quicker to acclimatise. I was on 20 mgs for 6 months and am now back to 10mgs (speaking to the doc in a few weeks about possibly weaning off VERY slowly).

My symptoms:

1. Anxiety at first lasting until about 3.00 in the afternoon - this disappeared slowly at first, but it did go noticably about 6 weeks in. It was really like a switch being switched on at 6.30 in the morning and switched off at 3.00.

2. Headaches and dizziness

3. Upset digestive system

4. Urge for nicotine and caffeine out of this world!

Any different ones?

It does take what seems an eternity getting used to them and/or wondering if they are doing any good at all. Thats where the journal and meeting with a good theraphist helps, just to remind you of progress. Was lucky that I had two friends who were also on Lex at about the same time so we helped each other. If that is not an option, we are here and we do care and know what its like. You will get there. It is over years now and I still am amazed at how far I have come since then. You will get there.

Other tips: Water, water ... and even more water. Fruit, fruit ... oh, and you guessed it, more fruit. As for the headaches and dizziness, I took a regular painkiller about once every two days and that took the worst of the sting away.

Keep it going and as crass as this sounds, treat it like a work in progress, with the journal being your means of reporting.

Stonium

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Tnx Stonium, I have been seeing a phsycologist regularly for 2 years now, When I started seeing him I was a mess but still able to work part-time barely. I was on 450mg of Effexor, 15 mg of Remeron and 150mg of Seraquel(wow). I tapered of all of those meds over the space of 18 months while digging through all of my issues with the therapist. I was only able to show some emotions once I dropped to about 75mg of Effexor. I was seeing some signs of getting better or feeling more like my self again after a very long time. So we kept dropping the meds but after I dropped to 37.5mg of effexor the emotional kettle opened up(therapists words) and I started being emotional over everything. I kept going though and we dropped the effexor completely, at which point I became even more emotional. It settled for a while and I had days where I felt better than I have in a very long time, but then the emotions came back and we decided to go onto a milder antideppresant that wouldn't just make me numb and a robotic zombie. And that's where I'm at now having started lexapro. Sorry for the long post

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Long post? If you mean detailed and informative, yes. If you mean long and tedious, no.

I was going to state this in the last post about the whole topsy turvy nature of getting used to ADs but think you know it all too well. Also, I didn't want to say it, but would an increase to 20mg be on the cards? It deffo steadied the ship as regards myself.

Was on Effexor myself and while had a bit of trouble at the end, coming to think of it, Lex suited me better I feel (but then I was on 75mgs of Effexor). Lex is a good AD but it takes a bit more time. You know of the worth of having a journal so sorry for sounding patronising, but maybe you need a reminder.

Keep writing - we're here for ya

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I've been on 20mg for over a week now and I think it's really starting to work. I STILL have lingering and breakthrough anxiety but I'm able to do pretty much anything now without worrying about entering the tower of terror. Depression is def gone.

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Hey I was on lexapro for 6 weeks before it started working at all, the first 6 weeks were terrible. When we bumped it up to 20mg it finally kicked in and worked great, no more crying and wild emotions etc. Don't give up if you think it may be helpful in the long run and good luck!

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Thank you guys for your support, as of today I bumped up my Lex to 20mg. Hoping that the crying spells will come to an end soon so that I can go back to work( which I am on leave from for the last 2 1/2 months) And not avoid leaving the house and making excuses to my friends for avoiding them. Kinda running out of excuses :(

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GM,

Hope ya can see here that you are not alone and you contact us here at any stage.

Tell maybe one or two friends what is happening and you'll see that they are not judgemental and in fact want to help. You are under no pressure to have a sing and dance ... just be yourself and chillax around them, like all good friendships.

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Problem is I'm a 32 yo Male, and my ego is too big for me to share my problem with my friends. I never have, since my first episode back in 2003 I haven't shared it with anyone. I have a very supportive family with a mother that has been through all of it aswel. I also have a brother who's 25 and I just want him to see the real me(the person he used to look up to) for the first time in a very long time. That's my wish anyway

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Oh don't get me wrong - I am not suggesting hiring a sandwich board and telling everyone, but you would be surprised at the stats, especially in your demographic, of who is suffering. If you know 10 people, chances are 1 more is going through the same thing now and at least 3 will have already suffered from it. You know well what friends you can open up to and the ones who are the good-time buds. There are ones who will be there for the party and others whowill stay behind and help with the clean-up.

You will get back to that state and hey, chances are your bro already suspects something anyways. My bro's and my friends are the main reason I am here. But again, it is down to family dynamics. Had 2 bouts in my 30s and as I grow older, am noticing that it is so common amongst males in their 30s. It is only through helping each other and being there we get through (I have helped about 4-5 friends with their episodes as well and if anything it has strengthened the friendship). Not going to labour the point, but ask yourself if your best bud came to you and asked for help, what would you do?

Remember one thing: The true mark of a person is not what they achieve, but what they overcome.

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My bro knows my whole story, we both still live at home. So it's kinda hard to miss ccc I do understand what you are saying though with sharing with friends but I have been a sobbing mess for 3 1/2 months now and I avoid even my bro when I can't hold it back. The biggest issue for me currently is that in 2 months my brother and I are meant to be in Brazil for the World Cup with everything already paid for, so I'm kinda on a bit of a timeline. I feel if I have to pull out of that it would just break me. But I'm hopeful that by then I should be well enough to go and maybe even enjoy something that was once a dream of mine. Tnx for your support stonium

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The World Cup!!! :shocked: - Wow! that is something really to look forward to. You will be fine dude - you will be fine. At the moment, it probably seems an impossible task, but you'll be up for it. Goiong green with envy, although a slight tint of red rage coming in too he he. That is brilliant. Trust me, in a few weeks time, you will look back and say "Was I really like that?". Just be patient.

Maybe alleviate any kinda tensions like having a back-up of all perscriptions and one lot of Lex ALWAYS in the toilet bag.

Tip for the final? It'll be Argentina v Brazil final ... with Messi hat-trick cancelling out a Neymar brace.

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Goinmad,

My problem was anxiety and panic attacks, not depression. Though I went through periods of depression because of my anxiety.

And stoniuim is so right about talking to people. I thought I was going to be some freak who needs meds to get through life but when I spoke to my friends about it I actually found that 3 of them were on SSRIs...and even my own father! You'd be amazed how well people can hide their issues, and you probably know first hand.

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Arrggghh! Still hopping mad about the World Cup GM he he (although if Ireland got there it'd be like '94 all over again with the Paddies wilting in the heat)! That is some adventure to look forward to.

henley is spot on, especially about people hiding it. It was only through sheer fluke that I found out that my cous (and one of me best friends) was on Lex (for another ailment) and we both helped each other through the initial few weeks ... and it helped big-time. There is no shame at all ... in fact, standing up to the issue takes great courage. What is the alternative to guys? If not bottling it up, there would be other forms of bottles involved. Talking is essential as by doing so, it helps us get over a bout of it, but more importantly, prepare us for the future. Hey, even if its only here, please do so.

One thing I would strongly advise is go to some theraphy, especially one who uses CBT. Even if you stated that you are anxious about the World Cup, it'd be a focus point and although it is intensive, I found the benefits almost instantenously.

We can't force you or tell you to do anything, just relaying what we felt worked for us.

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I am having a really down day, heaps of negative thoughts :( It will be 5 weeks on the Lex tomorrow and 5 days on the 20mg. I am recording my moods using a chart, I am drinking heaps of water and eating a piece of fruit every day. I am getting roughly 6-7 hours of sleep every night. My appetite isn't good, I barely force a couple of meals during the day. I am having a hard time occupying myself, even though I do watch a lot of TV shows and do some things around the house like washing the dishes. I try to do some exercise every day but it's really hard. I don't cry as often as I used to, maybe two or three times a week. I'm really hopeful about the Lex, I really need it to work. So far I have had two days where I felt a bit of a lift that lasted for a couple of hours. So I'm hoping the lex is doing something.

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Stonium if you are reading this I could use some feedback. I increased the dosage of Lexapro 6 days ago and today I'm feeling anxious, is that to be expected coz anxiety wasn't my problem to begin with. Severe depression is my main issue. My psychologist postponed our appointment from today to Thursday so I could really use a positive outlook on what's going on. Does this mean that the Lex is going to work for me?

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Any feedback from anyone that went through the same thing would be much appreciated. I have been on the Lex 5 weeks now. 18 days at 10mg, 10 days at 15mg and now 6 days at 20mg. Really hoping a lift in depression happens soon :(

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Hang in there, GoingMad. I just switched from Celexa to Zoloft and Mirtazapine, and I might just now be leveling off after almost 2 months.

The trick is that you need to be on a steady dosage for a few weeks when you hear 2-4 weeks or whatever. 6 days is short. But...it will get better, and you won't beleive how bad you felt before!!

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Thanks for your input inbetween, I am really struggling to force my self to get anything done right now, it's making me feel really down. I almost don't remember what it feels like to be normal anymore(my self).

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GM,

Sorry for not being there for you (time differences etc.,). No point saying that you'll be ok as that is probably the furthest thing you think you will be. 5 days is too short a time, but I think you may need someone local to help. There are various support groups of sufferers that meet weekly (well it happens here in Ireland so assuming the same there).

Ok I am going to be specific here and some of this maybe unsettling but here goes:

Three years I had my last bout. There was a full two months of upheaval and all I know was that it took the guts of three months before I felt capable enough to move on to do a course ... but I got there. It was the worst ever bout in my life. Every other one - two weeks and back in the saddle, but this one was probably building up. Here is the routine of my days getting used to it

1. Sleep - All over the place. If I slept 4-5 hours, I was doing well. It is now my barometer. It did settle

2. Waking up - Usually with a bit of a jolt and 10 mins later, almost like a cold sweat, the anxiety hit. That stayed until 3.00 but then lessened. Did I have dark thoughts then? Hell yes! How did I overcome those? Wrting down reasons for carrying on and running up huge bills in calling support lines. In hindsight, it was only to hear a voice and somehow think that they would have the answer, but in reality, it was there all along ... I was capable of making changes in my life, but in that reduced state, I could not see at all.

3. How did I get through the day? By surrendering to the notion that I was not well and had to accept that I had to take it slow. Very slow. Write out a plan of action and stick to one thing at the time. I now know that I cannot answer all of life's problems. But I can break them down into manageable subtasks. That is something that I now really practise. That and decisiveness. I decided to take a step back professionally and it was a case of "one step back to take a better view of the horizon". Best decision of my life!

4. Volunteering - I realised that I was not going to be working for a while so as a means of being productive, I started volunteering. Voluntary work is unreal at showing that you are not defined by your possessions or your work, but your character. And speaking of which, it does get you to meet some of life's more interesting characters.

Looking through the forum, I am amazed at how people can drag themselves back and really make something of their lives. You will too. Forget about the old perceptions and constraints ... what essentially defines GM as a PERSON. I defined myself as an academic first and person second - that was a huge mistake and I realised that. Now, I define myself as generally a cantankerous but caring person who just happens to have some semblance of intelligence.

Other things:

1. Reading - join the library. I used get a few books. A few of personal interest but then one always on the issue of depression. Not a heavy one, but one which just relayed tales from survivors.

2. Mindfullness and listening to easy going music.

You have a great adventure to look forward to. But in the meantime, do small things to address why you are in the state you are in. Is a career change needed? It can be done! Is it a personal issue? It can be sorted but needs to be done slowly.

Sorry again for missing you earlier,

Stonium

Edited by StoniumFrog

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Thanx Stonium, I really appreciate your feedback and support. The problem is that right now I really have to be forced into doing anything. Keeping my mind occupied right now is really difficult, I'm hoping that the medication will give me a bit of a lift so that I can really work on things that will get me better in the long run.

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I just really hope that in 2 or 3 weeks I will be back here and telling you how the light switch turned on and I'm feeling much better, in the meantime I will concentrate on eating well, exercising and being as productive as possible. I really do appreciate your support!

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