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TiffanyC

Do I Need A Higher Dose Of Lexapro For It To Work For Me?

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I'm still feeling really depressed and anxious. It's not the same as when I first bumped up to 15 mg, or when I did any other dose increases. The extra anxiety and jittery feeling has gone away, but I have my baseline anxiety and depression. It feels like I'm not even taking an AD because it isn't helping. I'm going to bump up to 20 mg tomorrow. Is there a "magic dose" for each person to be on before it starts working? I guess that's a silly question, I know everyone is different and responds to different dosages. I guess what I mean is more like, do you have to actually hit a certain dose before it will be effective/therapeutic at all? I would think that having had some amount of Lex in my system now for 32 days would have at least given me slight improvement. Anyone know the answer to this?

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I totally understand, you want to know that you're taking the correct dose, and you want to feel the positive effects of the right dose.

What was your doctor's original prescription for starting dose and bumping up dose? Follow your doctor's instructions and understand that it can take as long as 8 to 12 weeks to feel the full positive effects.

For many people, a typical prescription is 20 mg daily, that's the "magic dose" for many people. Let's just pretend for now that 20 mg with your doctor's approval is your "magic dose"...well, you haven't gotten to that level yet, and after you bump up to 20mg it might take a few more weeks for full effect.

Your post is not entirely specific about when you started Lexapro at what dose, when you bumped up, how long you stayed at each level.

Some people think that you should taper up gradually to begin a medication, and maybe they believe that because it's so important to taper gradually when you're getting off a drug. But my psychiatrist told me that 20 mg is very common dosage, and she recommended that I get to that level very quickly, meaning I took 10 mg daily just for 4 days, then increased to 20 mg where I've been now for years.

We all understand that everyone is different, but my general message to you, Tiffany, is follow your doctor's advice re dosage level, don't make dosage level decisions on your own, and give the medicine time to "do it's thing" even though it's hard to wait for the full positive effects.

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I was on 15 for a couple weeks and it didn't do anything.

Finally went up to 20 and have been feeling great! Don't be afraid to increase, seriously.

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See henley's post as regards my experience of Lex. It might take a few days to notice, but it deffo helped.

Keep journalising as well. We tend to mark a day down as bad, not realising that the bad time in the days actually gets shorter and shorter. For me, it was until about 3.00 and then ok, but then on 20mg that came way down ... it wasn't overnight mind, but it did happen.

Keep in there Tiff - remind yourself of the good things that you are doing (like that other thread you started about the one positive thing in a day). Make note of those events as well.

You WILL get there.

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Thanks for the encouragement, all. That's promising to hear that at 20mg you both felt better, henley and stonium. I hope that is what happens for me as well.

Lynn, I was having a really difficult time with start-up side effects (worsened anxiety and depression), so I tapered up very slowly. I started off at 5 mg, but had to decrease to 2.5mg. I went from 2.5 to 5 to 10 to 15, and have spent one week at each different dose. My doctor is on board with this, it is actually his recommendation.

So tomorrow I should increase to 20mg. I'm just hoping that I'll finally start feeling better when I hit 20 mg. I know I'll need to give that at least a good 4-6 weeks to see if it actually works.

I'm so weary from feeling depressed. Today was bad in the morning. I woke up at 4 am, as seems to be my pattern for months now, very anxious and dreading getting out of bed and facing another day with depression. Had a very weepy morning and sat around doing nothing but browsing the forum here, having very negative thoughts about how bad I am feeling. But then in the early afternoon I started feeling better, and it was a nice day so I took my dog for a walk and I came home feeling even better. So, yeah, I know I need to focus on the hours when I feel good. I am greedy, I want to feel that way all the time! Or at least most of the time.

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Hi TiffanyC,

I actually started on 10mg for a week, 20mg for 3 weeks, and then 30mg ever since (9 months). After 3 weeks on 30mg, I started to feel better--it was surprising in a way when it started working.

One thing you may consider when you've gotten the full effects of the lexapro might be to ask your p-doc about an add-on. I started with a low dose of wellbutrin four weeks ago and it really helped to erase all of the remaining issues related to depression (lack of motivation) and side-effects of the lexapro (tired all the time).

It can be so hard dealing with severe depression while starting up the meds! I just want to let you know that, for me at least, it got way better over time.

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Thanks Pablito! I started feeling improvement about a week ago, now that I am on 20 mg. I still have bad days, but by improvement I mean that I am having good days at all. I'm hoping that I'm over the hump with the start up side effects and that I'll continue to feel better.

I know what you mean about being surprised when it started working....it was like I suddenly had a day when I woke up and wasn't immediately consumed by anxiety and depression, and as the day went on I felt a little amazed that I was glimpsing my old self again. Almost like it was too good to be true.

Thanks for your advice and encouragement :)

Edited by TiffanyC

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Tiffany,

That is great news. It is almost shocking the transformation alright, but remember one thing - while the meds may help, it is YOUR strength of character that is the real component that has worked. Yes, as you rightly acknowledge there will still be bad days but the role of the meds is to provide the balance needed that you are able to cope.

Keep on journalising to help you see that yes, good days are possible, for when you might start to slump. Once you do feel up to it, try to get some therapy or start reading up on depression. It is when we become complacent that it comes back.

But ya know what - it is great to open the first email of the day and to see good news - thanks and keep it going. It helps everyone to know one more of us is getting there.

Stonium

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