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Old 06-01-2009, 03:32 PM
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Anyone Taken Lexapro?

My doc gave me a prescription for this today for my anxiety. I am currently on Buspar, but it just does not seem to be working anymore, and I've been so anxious about everything lately, even really stupid stuff that doesn't matter. When I first started the Buspar about 7 years ago, I felt like it save my life because I wasn't having all those racing annoying anxious thoughts all day long. I've had to up my dose from time to time, but it hasn't helped recently, so my doc decided I should try something new.

I'm always scared when I have to start a new drug because I'm terrified of side effects which lead me to have panic attacks. Anyway, I'm hoping someone has had a good experience using it for anxiety/panic, because I just haven't felt good at all lately.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:00 PM
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Steph, I'm sorry to hear about this. Anxiety is just awful to try and live with.

I can understand why you must be feeling a bit wary of taking a new drug as there are always side effects attached to them. I'm a counsellor, not a psychologist which means I know about these drugs however don't prescribe them - so don't take my word as gospel as it is third party info being passed on to me. However, I have had clients who have had positive experiences with this drug and have reported a lessening of the anxiety.

If I am not out of place, might I suggest some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? I don't want to pry, but it depends on the level of anxiety and what the anxiety is around. If it is over some quite specific issues, CBT has an excellent success rate. It may also be of assistance for generalised anxiety disorder. Have a think about it - I know it might sound daunting going to see a therapist/counsellor/psych but we don't bite too hard ;)

Sorry again to hear this, I am well aware of the life consequences that this can cause and truly hope you get it all sorted out soon.

xx
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:02 PM
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I actually used to take both Lexapro & Buspar along with Ambien (which was only for about two weeks). Took the Lexapro & Buspar together for about a year and a half with no problems. I had severe anixety and mild depression. I believe at the time (about 7 years ago) they gave me the Lexapro for depression and Buspar for my anxiety. Together they really helped me so much!! I had no side effecs with either of them.

Good luck with the new meds, I hope they help you!
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:56 PM
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I have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) which you are anxious ALL time time over nothing. I have this, along with mild depression. In the past I have taken Lexapro, and personally it had awful side effects on me. It made more depressed and made my panic attacks more intense and frequent. Right now I am taking Ambien (for sleep) and Xanax (for moments of intense anxiety) and it seems to be working well for me. Medications for anxiety and depression really vary from one person to another, so Lexapro might be the medication for you. Good luck with finding one that suits you best.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:52 AM
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I took it for 4 months and gained 20 pounds. I just got off it cold turkey and luckily the withdrawals haven't been too horrible, although the drug did help my anxiety but depression from weight gain was not worth it. It slows your metabolism and is one of the top weight gaining drugs.
Psychology Today: Fat Pharms: Prescription for Weight Gain
Doctors will swear up and down it doesn't cause weight gain, but the clinical trials for this drug weren't long enough to evaluate the long term effects.
I agree with the poster who mentioned CBT as a form of therapy. I know every person is different and many benefit from this drug without any side effects, so do your research and do whatever is best for you.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:05 PM
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i have been taking lexapro for 3 years now for treatment of endolymphatic hydrops (similar to meniere disease). i was having constant dizzy spells for a couple of months before i started this medication. the medication worked and i no longer have dizzy spells.

anyway, i know my usage of this medication was for a different health issue than yours. i have never had serious anxiety except for when i was having the dizzy spells (i was terrified of driving b/c of the dizzy spells). i have never had depression either. so i didn't notice any changes when it came to anxiety/depression b/c that is not what i was treated for.

i will say this though... i totally agree with what jetta is saying about weight gain 100%!!! i am actually currently tapering off of this drug b/c i am tired of the 20 pounds i have gained on this pill!!! next week i will be off of it completely. i gained exactly 20 pounds from this medication. and yes, that is DEPRESSING!! esp. when i weighed 105 lbs when i started this medication... hopefully once i am off lexapro completely the extra weight will come off...

jetta, did the weight come off fast once you stopped taking lexapro??

eta: my doctor also told me that i would not gain weight on lexapro...
side effects are different for everyone though. it did help with my symptoms, hopefully it will help with yours too
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:26 PM
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I took Lexapro for over 2 years...and I also gained weight, 25 lbs. And unfortunately, it did not come off when I stopped the medication. I have been off of it now for about 2 1/2 years and am more or less the same weight. BUT, I haven't really tried to lose it, to be fair, I think with diet and exercise, it wuold come off.
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jen5276 View Post
I took Lexapro for over 2 years...and I also gained weight, 25 lbs. And unfortunately, it did not come off when I stopped the medication. I have been off of it now for about 2 1/2 years and am more or less the same weight. BUT, I haven't really tried to lose it, to be fair, I think with diet and exercise, it wuold come off.
ugh!!! i have been running 3 miles again every day for the last two weeks. so, hopefully it will come off!!!
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:49 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys.

I've taken it for 3 days, and so far so good, no side effects yet. In reply to others, I have done counseling, and it helps to a point, but I have a tendency to ruminate over things so much that my doctor wants me to take a break to see if I can get my mind off of my problems sometimes.

I know this is just a tough time for me, and I have felt great before, just have to be patient with myself.

As far as the weight gain goes, I am actually going to be stopping amitriptyline, which causes major weight gain, and I've heard lexapro is less likely to. Obviously no weight gain yet, and I hope it doesn't happen.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:01 PM
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I've been on a very small dose of Lexapro for almost three years now and have experienced pretty much no weight gain. That's me, though.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:58 PM
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I have been taking Lexapro (15mg) for about 9 months now. I was the same as you as far as being super nervous to try something new. Luckily I tolerated it very well. The only side effect I ever noticed was nausea for about the first week or so and every time I upped my dose. But it didnt last long. I have had to up my dose a few times which I guess is normal as my doctor says the medication has a tendancy to level off. Which sound like what happened to you with your old med. I really hope that you have good luck with it. I know how hard it is to live with anxiety. Just stay strong On a side note, I am currently thinking about getting pregnant again. I know this may sound like a stupid question, But how do you know when your o.k to go off it? My biggest fear is going off the meds and getting pregnant and having the same issues that led me on the medication to begin with. And that is NOT something I would want to deal with while pregnant. Anyone have any advice???
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:54 PM
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^I'm not really sure, but I would think you would want to wean off and be off of it completely for a few months so you can make sure you're still feeling good before you get pregnant.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:29 PM
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I tried taking it, and other SSRI's but can not tolerate them. I get really sick. I fare much better on dopamine antagonist meds like Remeron or Welbutrin. I have taken Xanex and Klozopam and other Benzodiazapines for anxiety, but not really now as I am trying to get pregnant, so I just have to deal with it Oh well, it could be worse. I dont think you are meant to stay on antidepressants forever.
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:34 PM
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I just got off it not that long ago. I have lost a few pounds so far, so at least I'm not gaining every time I look at the scale. I have read that weight gain on Lex is especially bad for women who start off with a few extra pounds.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:40 PM
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What doses (esp. those who've noticed weight gain) are you taking? I take 20mg which I feel isn't working as well as it was. It doesn't make me feel wonky, but I had the nausea when I started, so I take it at night. I'm having severe panic attacks and anxiety lately...so wondering if Buspar would be the way to go (I've taken it a long time ago before Lexapro).
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:29 PM
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my best friend is a rep for them (forrest pharm) out on the west coast, i can ask him certain questions if there was something specific you never had answered by your pharmacist or dr... just lmk.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:17 AM
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i am bumping this b/c i have questions for those of you who have tapered/stopped taking lexapro....

it has been 6 days now since i have taken any lexapro. my doctor had me wean off of it over a three week period. anyway, the only major withdrawal symptom i am having is not being able to fall asleep/stay asleep at night. for anyone else who weaned off and had this symptom how long did it take until you were able to get back to a normal sleep pattern?? last night i finally fell asleep at 5:30 am and woke up today at 8:30 am!! i am so tired but can't go back to sleep!! and i think the lack of sleep has been making me bitchy as well!! my poor boyfriend!!
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:26 AM
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^I haven't completely stopped taking it ever, but every time I've weaned down, it took me about 2 weeks to adjust. Also, it turned me into a bitch too, but I don't think it was because of lack of sleep, I think it just makes you irritable when you wean.

Your body is used to the amount of serotonin the ssri is helping produce, and it takes time for it to begin making it's own sufficient amount again. The debatable part is if your body ever made enough in the first place...that's why you take the drug.

Do you mind me asking why you decided to stop? I would love to not be on meds, but every time I've tried to stop taking it, my anxiety comes back ten fold it seems.
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:01 AM
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steph read this from one of my earlier posts in the thread:

Quote:
i have been taking lexapro for 3 years now for treatment of endolymphatic hydrops (similar to meniere disease). i was having constant dizzy spells for a couple of months before i started this medication. the medication worked and i no longer have dizzy spells.

anyway, i know my usage of this medication was for a different health issue than yours. i have never had serious anxiety except for when i was having the dizzy spells (i was terrified of driving b/c of the dizzy spells). i have never had depression either. so i didn't notice any changes when it came to anxiety/depression b/c that is not what i was treated for.
that was my response to you when you first started this thread.

i haven't had any dizzy spells since i started this med and am just tired of being on it!! i am tired of the weight gain i experienced and would just like to have to take as little medication as possible. i just want to be off of it. hopefully the dizzy spells won't come back though... if they do, i will get back on it for sure!! i would rather have a little extra weight gain than be dizzy 24/7!!

i still haven't been able to fall asleep until around 5am... it is going on week 2 now so hopefully after next week i will be sleeping better. the first few days i was a little nauseous... i am still having some bitchy moments as well too... hopefully it will all pass within the next few weeks though.

steph, i am sorry i am not much help with the anxiety part of your question since i was never using this med for treatment of anxiety!! i was only on a 10 mg dose and did a 3 week taper. maybe b/c i was on a lower dose my withdraw symptoms haven't been too bad?? i have never had anxiety before so i haven't noticed a change in anxiety or mood other than me feeling/being bitchy at times!!
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:17 AM
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It took a while for me, and I stopped taking it cold turkey because my Dr. was trying to wean me off as well. My best advice (and dr's) is to take melatonin, a natural sleep aid. Otherwise I think it took me about a month to a month a half to get back to normal.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:58 AM
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Ambien really helps me with the insomnia.
I stopped taking Lexapro in 2006, and it took me a while to start to feel normal again. I had only been on it for a little over a year and gained almost 30 lbs!!
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prettyinblack222 View Post
steph read this from one of my earlier posts in the thread:



that was my response to you when you first started this thread.

i haven't had any dizzy spells since i started this med and am just tired of being on it!! i am tired of the weight gain i experienced and would just like to have to take as little medication as possible. i just want to be off of it. hopefully the dizzy spells won't come back though... if they do, i will get back on it for sure!! i would rather have a little extra weight gain than be dizzy 24/7!!

i still haven't been able to fall asleep until around 5am... it is going on week 2 now so hopefully after next week i will be sleeping better. the first few days i was a little nauseous... i am still having some bitchy moments as well too... hopefully it will all pass within the next few weeks though.

steph, i am sorry i am not much help with the anxiety part of your question since i was never using this med for treatment of anxiety!! i was only on a 10 mg dose and did a 3 week taper. maybe b/c i was on a lower dose my withdraw symptoms haven't been too bad?? i have never had anxiety before so i haven't noticed a change in anxiety or mood other than me feeling/being bitchy at times!!
lol, sorry, I should have read back. I forget that of course there are other/off label uses for meds. Anyway, it's definitely one of those things you have to wait out when you wean. I have weaned completely off other meds, and my body definitely notices.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jen5276 View Post
Ambien really helps me with the insomnia.
I stopped taking Lexapro in 2006, and it took me a while to start to feel normal again. I had only been on it for a little over a year and gained almost 30 lbs!!
I have gained some weight as well. Right now I am in the process of trying to lose it, but I know it's the Lexapro. I had maintained my weight for 2 years and started gaining when I started taking it.

It's hard to say, but the benefits of the drug for me does outweigh the weight gain.
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:54 AM
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OMG I did NOT like Lexapro. I started taking this for mild depression and it started giving me panic attacks. I had 2-3 a week while I was on it. I know for some people it may help but in no way did Lexapro help me. I quit taking it cold turkey. I felt better immediately, probably because the panic attacks went away.

The only thing that has helped my anxiety is taking 1-2 mg of Klonopin (Clonazepam) a day, typically I just take it at night before bed and I'm fine the next day. However, I do carry it with me just in case. I started taking Zyban (Bupropion) a couple months ago to quit smoking and it actually helped with the anxiety and gave me energy. BUT, I could not take the recommended 300 mg twice a day...just 150mg once in the morning or it made me feel too amped up.
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:17 PM
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^Zyban is Wellbuterin right? Yeah, I tried that and it gave me horrible panic attacks.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by all4oldchevys View Post
^Zyban is Wellbuterin right? Yeah, I tried that and it gave me horrible panic attacks.
It sucks that drugs don't work the same on everybody.

You basically have to try them until you find one that works for you.
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