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MichaelBlue

Day 16 On Lexapro: Help!

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I was prescribed Lex for Panic Disorder and Major Depression and it took it's good old time to cover the anxiety, so this might be why it isn't prescribed for this disorder. Don't get me wrong. It covered the symptoms of both disorders well after taking it for a full 8 weeks, and I returned to driving long distances and my sleep and concentration we much improved, but I also took ativan in small doses to help it along.

I'd recommend it to another person. I just happened to get off it after 15mo., because another ad came out that was also approved to help with neuropathy, which I have in both legs and feet. I'm now on Cymbalta, and it covers all these symptoms, too.

Jackie

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Jackie-

Thanks for sharing this. It makes me feel much better. I also just saw some info on the internet that many PDocs believe that once the anxiety is under control, the panic may be under control as well. But you raise a good point. Lex may not be fast-acting on panic (specifically) like other meds are.

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Hi everyone.

Today concludes my 7th week on Lexapro. I spent the first 3 weeks at 10mg a day, and the past 4 weeks at 15mg. (I was prescribed the Lex for severe depression and anxiety.)

I think my depression tendency is genetically-based, as well as currently situational. So the latter does add some recurring daily stress. (Then again, don't we all have that?)

I've certainly had some 'okay' days and nights (some of which felt even euphoric, as if I could physically sense the medicine actually kicking in). But overall I'm not very pleased. If I had to put a figure on it, I'd say my depression has lifted by about 30%. I'd probably use the same figure for the anxiety.

The good news: I no longer have the desire to hide in bed every morning, my ability to concentrate has improved a little, and I don't feel zoned out like I did for many weeks. I also don't automatically shun social events. The bad news: The anxiety I do feel is CONSTANT and never seems to go away for more than an hour at a time. Also, I almost never feel real joy or peace of mind. In other words, I certainly do NOT feel anything like the 'old me' from just before the summer. And while I don't shun all social events this month, I don't particularly see the point of participating in them either.

I hesitate increasing the dose, as I fear that I would simply wind up feeling a "stronger" and perhaps more intense and agitated version of what I feel right now -- which clearly isn't satisfactory. I sometimes find myself staring sadly (at nothing), or even squinting (since I'm not feeling good) -- and that's probably the only visible sign to others that there's is something wrong.

The morning chills are now on-again, off-again -- which is certainly an improvement over where things stood even a week ago, when the shivering was constant every morning.

I understand that the 15mg of Lex is often equated to 150mg of Zoloft. Years ago I had a very successful time with Zoloft during a depression (and yet I don't recall even needing 150mg of it back then.) So I'm beginning to think that I may have to start considering a switch to Zoloft, in the hope that it would work on me like it did in the past.

I'm going to certainly stay at least another week on the Lex, to give it 8 full weeks. And during that time I will hang dearly onto the stories of people here at the forum who said it took at least 8 weeks to work. But I'm feeling real down about it -- anxious, nervous, frustrated.

What's especially frustrating is that I really thought the medicine was kicking in just two days ago. And then I dipped. The anxiety, in fact, kept me awake for most of last night -- which is so rare for me. (That said, my sleep NEVER feels very deep or very restful.)

I can't help feeling that the Lexapro is basically a weaker medicine than the Zoloft was.

Yep, Michael is Blue over this.

Edited by MichaelBlue

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Hi Michael,

I am starting on my ninth week on celexa and I, too, have felt the same as you. I just recently upped my dosage from 20mg to 30mg( 6 days ago) I felt very frustrated as well, thinking the drugs aren't helping. But the good news is, I am finally feeling better. Not 100%, more lke 50%. I have found that reading people's experience with the drugs kicking in after a couple weeks or a month really made me go crazy thnking "" well, it's been 6 weeks and I feel no better, it must not be working".I find comfort in the messages that state it can take up to 3 months to work, and it's a subtle increase after that, even.

I think that if it is working at least 30% for you, at least it is working, and you may be one of the unlucky ones (like me) that take a little longer for the drugs to kick in. I would say, hang in there, it will get better.

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Thanks, Flowergal - this is much appreciated. And I'm so glad for you! Do you think it's the increased dose 6 days ago that has finally kicked in the med for you? But did the increase not kick in a new round of start-up side effects?

In my case, I'm almost sorry my doctor had me boost the dosage 5 weeks ago, when I told him I was experiencing a lot of anxiety then. For many weeks, I felt it actually had the opposite effect of what he intended. This is all so confusing, and I'm so tired of all the unknowns.

Edited by MichaelBlue

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Hi, Michael. I'm sorry you're so discouraged about your progress with Lexapro. It would be nice if we all had the same response to the same med doses so those who don't respond as quickly--or on such a low dose--wouldn't feel that way. I've been on Lex twice and the second time I did have to increase my dose to really feel better, but then later on I reduced the dose back down again and still felt fine. Go figure. And whenever I've had to increase a dose I've only had minimal new side effects kick in--it wasn't anywhere near as bad as it was when I first started the meds. People starting up CAN experience a temporary increase in anxiety, which seems counterintuitive, but when the meds have fully kicked in for me the anxiety totally went away and stayed away. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the meds kick in for you soon. I don't blame you for being tired of the uncertainty of it all, but as you probably discovered on Zoloft, the relief you feel when the meds really do kick in is SOOOOO worth the struggle to get there!

((((((Michael))))))

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Thanks, Flowergal - this is much appreciated. And I'm so glad for you! Do you think it's the increased dose 6 days ago that has finally kicked in the med for you? But did the increase not kick in a new round of start-up side effects?

In my case, I'm almost sorry my doctor had me boost the dosage 5 weeks ago, when I told him I was experiencing a lot of anxiety then. For many weeks, I felt it actually had the opposite effect of what he intended. This is all so confusing, and I'm so tired of all the unknowns.

Hey Michael...

I really think that the 20 mg finally kicked in, rather than the 30mg (I think that it would be too soon). As far as more side effects from the increased doasge, they are minimal. A little nausea, but I still have way more anxiety since starting these meds. When it gets really bad I break an Ativan in half and take that to take the edge off. I have also been in therapy, and my therapist explained anxiety really well to me: basically, it's the "feelings" of anxiety that get me (and most people) freaked out: the racing heart, the tingly arms/head, the fogginess, etc, but what the body is doing is no different than if you were to work out, have sex, anythng that is usually a great experience. Instead of the brain telling you that you are having the feelings due to sex/workout, it is telling the body that it is scared of something, thus the extra adrenaline kicking in. I am working right now on what I am afraid of (which I have decided is actually being afraid of the anxiety and depression and that I will have an attack out of nowhere). The anxiety is just a feeling, that's it. It won't **** you, or hurt you. I have a long way to go, but just knowing this has helped me so much. You will get better on your current meds....good luck!

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Thank you Flowergal. Thank you Kim.

I've been doing CBT therapy, as well as the Lexapro, so I'm especially appreciative of what you (flowergal) shared just now about anxiety.

But what is so disturbing to me is that your anxiety (and I suspect mine) has INCREASED since starting a medicine two months ago that is supposed to be effective for treating anxiety! (And we know that my Lex is very, very chemically-related to your Celexa).

I'm so whipped up right now that I probably shouldn't even be posting. Sigh. (I think I barely slept 2 hours last night -- as I was wired by anxiety.)

Kim, thanks very much for your response. Your posts were so comforting when I joined the forum a month ago and started searching these topics. What I'm having trouble determining is whether the Lex really will kick in fully -- or whether what I'm experiencing now is "it." I guess there is no way to know. So after 8 weeks, it will all come down to a crapshoot:

1. Keep doing what you've been doing (dosage), and hope for the best.

2. Increase the dosage and hope you don't suffer WEEKS of those terrible side effects (anxiety, lack of focus) only to land you exactly where you are today.

3. Start all over again -- back to scratch -- with a new med.

Does one just flip a coin?

Sorry so cynical today. I'm usually sooooo hopeful.

Edited by MichaelBlue

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Michael Blue :hearts:

You have been strong and stuck with this trial for 7 weeks! I certainly hope you give it another one or two. What I found helpful was adding a small dose of a sedative AD at nighttime. Remeron (mirtazapine) is a good one. A very small dose can improve sleep 100%! The AD effects also seem additive to the SSRI and makes for a good combo. With sleep improved, a person will naturally feel better during the day and not so anxious. Something to think about since you seem to have a sleeping disorder caused by anxiety and depression. Some of us have had great results with Lexapro on the AD/Anxiety symptoms, but it doesn't work for everyone. The fact that you remember how well Zoloft worked is interesting. That may well be the next trial you should ask to go on, since you have had positive experiences with it. Hang in there! Cheryl

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I was looking through the older posts and came across this.

I'm almost into my 3rd week on lexapro and I can really relate with what MichaelBlue has gone through as I experienced similar emotions and concerns.

Though lexapro has helped to calm me a little, I still feel anxious and have to depend on xanax at times to take the edge off. I've also been experiencing extreme tiredness, muscle aches and feel that my mental processes are slower than usual. I'm not sure if it's because of the lack of sleep. After I started on lexapro, I haven't been sleeping well. I'll wake up in at 4-5am in the morning, get up the next day groggy and sometimes have to drag myself out of bed.

I've spoken to my doc and also from what I gathered from the posts on this forum, these seem to be common SE of lex but I don't seem to feel any improvement after the 1 week mark on the med. On the contrary, I've observed the disturbance on my sleep at night seems to be getting worse and I have to rely on half a tab of xanax and stilnox to fall asleep.

Another SE that I've difficulties getting used to is the more severe IBS (everyday!) since I started on lex....

Sigh....hoping things will improve after the 3 week mark....

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Ahaes --

Like MichaelBlue, I had an especially rugged build up on Lex. I experienced added anxiety well into my first month of taking it --well beyond the typical first 2 weeks. And I too, had weird body aches, fatigue, slower mental processes and GI upset. All of these things gradually improved. At week 7, I was feeling more like myself and had shaken most of these. It does take time, Ahaes. It's tough when you're feeling so lousy, but try to hang in there. It does get better. Glad to hear that you have a benzo to help you drop off at night. I had some insomnia too and used Ambien to get me over the hump. At 5 months in, I'm sleeping very well now without a sleep aid.

Hope you'll be feeling better soon! Hang in there...

Best,

HopefulOne

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I am on Day 10 of Lex and feel great, most SE are gone, just some stomach upset everynow and then. The first 7 days were rough, but I now feel like my old self, I have more energy, I am sleeping well, anxiety has been non-exsitant, and I no longer am worrying about things. I also dont have any PMS, which is one of the reasons I am taking it (PMDD). I dont have depression so maybe that is why it has worked quicker for me??? I think everyones bodies adjust differnently, I read it can be anywhere from 1 week- 8weeks to feel the full effects of the Lexapro depending on what you are taking it for.

Hope you are all feeling this good soon!

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day 16 of lexapro for me- I started taking it for anxiety- and today I feel low energy and down in the dumps. I've also been taking 1 mg of klonipin a day- could this be why? I'm nervous to stop taking klonipin... I haven't felt anxious- but maybe that has nothing to do with lexapro and everything to do with klonipin.

Hope to be feeling better soon. Hope you do too.

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I am a very sensitive person and I had to go slow with medication increase .... from 5 mg to 7.5mg to 10 and so at week 4 I feel like I have been constantly adjusting my dose and I have not started the balancing out yet ! Very frustrating but I KNEW that when I decided to go for help that it was not a bandaid and that it would be a journey. Ups and downs for sure. I have had a variety of weird side effects, but nothing I have been feeling is anywhere as bad as the anxiety I have been having for the past few months. I would trade a whole wagon full of side effects to feel like myself again !! The only down side for me is that I am suffering from agoraphobia .... and for now feel worse not better. My anxiety is up and my bubble is smaller ... BUT I know that will change and hopefully I will remember this time and I will be even better able to appreciate the good times when they return.

Hoping everyone finds peace on this journey ~

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noah,

i'm in the same boat as you. about to enter my 5th week but haven't been more than 2 weeks on a single dose yet! i also feel like I'm still adjusting when I should at least be evening out. on top of that my doc wants me to go up AGAIN so even more adjusting to come....

agreed about trading the side effects to feel normal again. honestly, i don't even remember what it feels like to not have constant anxiety...

I'm definitely not depressed anymore so the lex has helped me in some regards..but the constant butterflies in my stomach put huge limits on living.

hoping the move up to 20 mg will do the trick.

good luck to everyone!

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