Results 1 to 9 of 9
Lexapro: working or not for you?
  1. #1
    bluglass2 is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    , , .
    Posts
    11

    Default Lexapro: working or not for you?

    Hi everyone. I was actually looking for a lot of information and hopefully, success stories. I assume there are a few here but for the most part it seems as if most are not happy about having taken this drug. But, many seem extremely well read which is more important to me at the moment -- though I wish your experiences were more positive...

    I am being described as major depression. I may possibly have been this way since birth as an outgrowth of my natural temperment stuck in the particular disfunction of my family. I can now recognize the minor bouts of depression starting in my teenage years. They would subside and then a new situation would set me off again. I am not bipolar with a long swing. I did have undiagnosed post-partum depression with my first and got by by the skin of my teeth. It worsened with my second child and I spent three years in therapy and refused drugs because I was a nursing mother. I held my own but true to life another incident set me off and it was too much. After much resistance I agreed to try this medication.

    I started with 5mg and had several side effects, heart pounding, sweats, shakes, dizziness, euphoria and the feeling as if I were trying to run though water. But while on the one hand I was forgetful, I also had an immediate increase in concentration and the beginnings of hyperfocus. A great thing in my case. My anger, agitation, frustration and anxiety went from 200% awful to 200% great. It was a wonderful feeling to still have a full range of emotions but not be ruled by them. I had a great sense of time dilation. I had enough time to think before acting and use all my Rational Emotive Behavioral skills. I was tired and lethargic to begin with and lost most of my appitite which was fine. And I finally was able to sleep as I had not in several years. And while my intimate desires aren't overwhelming it did improve my enjoyment level!!! Something I haven't had in years as well. A new lease on my marriage which is strained.

    I did 5mg at bedtime for two weeks and then switched to 5mg morning and then again at bedtime. The recommendation was to take the meds at bedtime to sleep though the worst of the initial lethargic response.

    After two weeks I moved the entire dose to bedtime which is were I have been for 4 more weeks and will stay at this dose for a full 12 weeks, possibly longer. All my symptoms have subsided. Even the jaw clenching is subsiding as of today. I still have some balance problems but it doesn't effect the quality of my life. The only thing remaining is the water weight gain and carb cravings at night. But they are easily satisfied by fruit and I actually have the self-dicipline to act on that. My hormonal balance has shifted but I'm in perimenopause so everything is shifting anyway. And for once in my life I am not having PMS. I can see why Serafem works!

    I am actually looking forward to the three years I am supposed to spend on this drug. We have discussed methods for increasing dosages and will take it extremely slowly. Each change did bring a increase in symptoms that took about 3-4 days to subside. Supposedly my brain will rewire and with an equally long weaning period I am hoping to have a long period of relief in my life.

    I would like to hear about vitimines, Omega fatty acids and whether I can take Magnesium to help with muscle pain. A great deal of my body pain has subsided and I see a Chiropractor who wants me to take magnesium to assist keeping it that way. But you are so limited on what you can take with this drug so I'm scared.

    Thanks for listening.
    Blu

  2. #2
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA.
    Posts
    922

    Default

    Blue,

    All I can say is that when you do try and stop the Lexapro you will wish that you never took it to start with. It is a horrible drug. Look on the lexapro withdrawal forum and read the side effects and withdrawal effects. It will initailly make you lose weight then in about three months you will pack weight on by 10 to 70 pounds.

    Could you not try another less potent SSRI??

  3. #3
    bluglass2 is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    , , .
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Well there is a problem with the choice of drugs. I have heart problems and hypoglycemia and there are a couple of medical problems that run in my family that preclude me from other drugs. I am also a highly allergic person and have highly allergic reactions or suffer the rare side effects to many medications. Lexapro was the drug of choice despite its long list of side effects. Not taking it was not an option. I was at a point of being non-functional. Given my history it is possible I might never go off the drug but that remains to be seen. In the mean time I am scheduled to be on it for a good three years. Going off this drug any sooner than 1 year is a certain sentence that I WILL have more frequent and more serious bouts of depression. This is not an option. I am trusting, in the mean time, for science to move forward. My current seems very considerate of my needs and concerns. He is being very prudent and judicious in how much drug I take. From what I've been reading about seratonin toxcicity or overdose that is what my initial symptoms sound like. I can understand that there should be some initial reaction but, if you aren't being given too much symptoms theoretically should subside but it can take as much as 12 weeks. Given they type of drug and what teh body has to accomplish I don't think this is unreasonable. I am at almost 8 weeks and just passing out of the honeymoon phase. I am back to a point where it seems as if the drug has stopped working but I know this is not possible. It is just my brain making the adjustment and so rather than panic or up the dosage the prudent path is to be patient.

    I've read through the withdrawal board, all of it. It makes me sad to see so many people having such a difficult time. There is little talk of the interaction with your doctors so it seems as if so many are going it alone in a vaccuum. Is this possible or do you just not talk about your relationships with your doctors. I see talk of adding or adjusting meds but I don't see indepth discussions about micromanagement of drugs in small amounts. Then again I still learning about dosages so I'm sure I'm misunderstand a lot of what I'm reading.

    As to water retention and weight gain. It is very interesting. Even those who exercise say they gain. I would really like to read their food diaries. I'm working with my urologist and the answer to bloating is drink more water. All my muscles have slowed down or feel so. But it is my understanding that what I am noticing is my body relaxing. Even my chiropractor noticed that my back was not nearly as tense and my neck issues have improved. So it feels as if I am moving though molassas but that is my lifetime lack of knowing what it feels like to not be stressed and tense. It is overwhelming. I can't say I have more energy but I have more ability to focus and participate in exercise, or play with my kids, or do serious housework much more regularly. The drug has changed my body and has aggrivated my allergic symptoms so my allergist is helping me change my care. Again, one of the answers is more water, less caffine, no pop, limited milk and juice. More fruit and veggies, oatmeal for breakfast, limited "white" foods (I'm allergic to wheat anyway). So I'm back to watching glycemic index. Portion control is critical so I'm trying to add back in two very small snacks at 10 and 2 which seem to cut the carbo cravings in the afternoon.

    So despite all the bad experiences, have you learned anything about how to manage it more successfully?
    Blu

  4. #4
    tiger is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    , , .
    Posts
    46

    Default

    I'm on 5 m.g. of lexipro. And i'll say there are great things. I'm more focused, emotions are consistently steady, less headaches, no anxiety attacks---and if i feel one coming i can talk myself down, i'm not crying or stressing like before...basically, i feel like i can deal with anything. But....honestly, you guys have me SCARED to get off of it. I've been on only 7 months and want to stop. That's all i'm taking. What are YOU GUYS THOUGHTS? WILL I SUFFER? Do you think there's less withdrawls by being on only one drug and such a low dose???? All of you are so strong. I don't know if i want to go through any more suffering.





    quote:Originally posted by bluglass2

    Well there is a problem with the choice of drugs. I have heart problems and hypoglycemia and there are a couple of medical problems that run in my family that preclude me from other drugs. I am also a highly allergic person and have highly allergic reactions or suffer the rare side effects to many medications. Lexapro was the drug of choice despite its long list of side effects. Not taking it was not an option. I was at a point of being non-functional. Given my history it is possible I might never go off the drug but that remains to be seen. In the mean time I am scheduled to be on it for a good three years. Going off this drug any sooner than 1 year is a certain sentence that I WILL have more frequent and more serious bouts of depression. This is not an option. I am trusting, in the mean time, for science to move forward. My current seems very considerate of my needs and concerns. He is being very prudent and judicious in how much drug I take. From what I've been reading about seratonin toxcicity or overdose that is what my initial symptoms sound like. I can understand that there should be some initial reaction but, if you aren't being given too much symptoms theoretically should subside but it can take as much as 12 weeks. Given they type of drug and what teh body has to accomplish I don't think this is unreasonable. I am at almost 8 weeks and just passing out of the honeymoon phase. I am back to a point where it seems as if the drug has stopped working but I know this is not possible. It is just my brain making the adjustment and so rather than panic or up the dosage the prudent path is to be patient.

    I've read through the withdrawal board, all of it. It makes me sad to see so many people having such a difficult time. There is little talk of the interaction with your doctors so it seems as if so many are going it alone in a vaccuum. Is this possible or do you just not talk about your relationships with your doctors. I see talk of adding or adjusting meds but I don't see indepth discussions about micromanagement of drugs in small amounts. Then again I still learning about dosages so I'm sure I'm misunderstand a lot of what I'm reading.

    As to water retention and weight gain. It is very interesting. Even those who exercise say they gain. I would really like to read their food diaries. I'm working with my urologist and the answer to bloating is drink more water. All my muscles have slowed down or feel so. But it is my understanding that what I am noticing is my body relaxing. Even my chiropractor noticed that my back was not nearly as tense and my neck issues have improved. So it feels as if I am moving though molassas but that is my lifetime lack of knowing what it feels like to not be stressed and tense. It is overwhelming. I can't say I have more energy but I have more ability to focus and participate in exercise, or play with my kids, or do serious housework much more regularly. The drug has changed my body and has aggrivated my allergic symptoms so my allergist is helping me change my care. Again, one of the answers is more water, less caffine, no pop, limited milk and juice. More fruit and veggies, oatmeal for breakfast, limited "white" foods (I'm allergic to wheat anyway). So I'm back to watching glycemic index. Portion control is critical so I'm trying to add back in two very small snacks at 10 and 2 which seem to cut the carbo cravings in the afternoon.

    So despite all the bad experiences, have you learned anything about how to manage it more successfully?
    Blu

  5. #5
    debbie724 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    USA.
    Posts
    267

    Default

    Blu, please don't get snippy... we are all here for a reason... we all have our own stories. Don't assume that we haven't trusted or confided in our doctor's. Many of us have years and years of experience with large varieties of medications and doctors. But, the fact of the matter is that they DON'T know US better than we do! I had no problem with lexapro... or so I thought. I even recommended it for my brother. Yes, it helped me with my anxiety, my panic attacks, and kept me more in control of my life... or so I thought. Today I hit bottom with my withdrawls. I had a really good first couple weeks and four days ago I started with the negative... and hit bottom today. I couldn't take it any more this morning so I decided to pop a lexapro. I decided that I was better off fat and happy... than skinny and depressed. It was my 21 year old daughter that brought to my attention where I have been of late. Little did I know how much she hears and how much she observes. She told me to hang on... I can get through these withdrawls. She reminded me that even though there were some good things... or so I thought... about the lexapro... I had stopped existing! I was a zombie... I was living in a fog. The last few years of my life have been spent on a couch or in bed... sleeping or watching TV and being perfectly happy with that! She said she wants more for me than that. She wants me to be able to go outside and enjoy the beauties of the world (of which I truly used to do)... the sun, the trees, the flowers, the beach, the stars, etc. Don't get me wrong... I'm not fat... yes, I've gained nearly 40 pounds... and yes, a lot of that is muscle and fortunately for me it has been evenly distributed. But, when you are used to being a size 8 all of your life and suddenly you are a very tight 10... and nothing you do helps to take off that weight... it just keeps creeping on slowly but surely. I am a "PROFESSIONAL" dieter. I lost 30 pounds in the 9th grade and have maintained my weight (not easily) since then. I don't eat sweets... even though I would die for a dozen doughnuts. I rarely eat carbs. The fact of the matter is that I am doing nothing different now than I did before starting the lexapro... with the exception of having ZERO energy! I am speaking only of what I have experienced and of what I have read. Keep searching... if you want to find more "good" stories about lexapro. I've searched and searched and searched. We are the majority. I don't know your history... or why this is the "only" med you can take. I know what it's like to live with anxiety, ocd, depression, bi-polar, panic attacks, abuse, rape, and MANY other things. You won't know you are in to deep until you are in to deep.


    debbie

  6. #6
    bluglass2 is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    , , .
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Sorry don't mean to be snippy, but it is hard to come in and read such a huge series of derpessing posts. In general the regulars are used to each other and, perhaps, don't realize how they appear to others. I too have been in deep. Very deep. And I don't compare my life experiences to any one else because it is apples and oranges. What you experienced is unique to you and your responses are your own. What I do discuss is how we respond to situations. How much we damn ourselves or how low our frustration tollerance is. I don't see a lot of discussion about talk therapy or cognitive therapy or REBT therapy as a support or adjunct to drugs. I'm a firm believer that you can't do drugs alone. I spent most of my life doing the talk thing and not getting any relief unless I was in a less depressive swing and I'm not bipolar. When I found rational emotive behavioral therapy it made immense sense but I could only get to it intellectually. I couldn't live it. I hold such tight control that I've never hit bottom but one day I let go and let myself go there. Even I could see that the last choice was to try adding drugs to the mix and see what happened. It was a great leap of faith on my part. I did the group thing and found conventional group of no benefit to anyone because it doesn't teach the mechanisms of coping skills just that you need them. I watched thousands of dollars being spent going down the drain and most of the people I was in group with backsliding or getting worse and being rehospitalized. I was the only one doing cognitive therapy in addition and the only one for whom the whole thing wasn't one big gripe session/pitty party. And the professionals in charge of the program dissed me for my choice of therapy as well. The more interesting thing about it all was that the instant I was on this drug was that I internalized the lessons of REBT that I have worked so hard to learn and use and they just simply worked. My therapist has encountered this a couple of other times and not made the connection I made -- that perhaps for some, there can truly be a chemical imbalance which precludes the ability to actually learn how not to be frustrated and raise your tollerance level.

    Sure I'm tired and sure I loose it at the end of the day and I don't have a lot left over on weekends but it was worse before drugs. The apathy is gone now I'm just tired. And sure my attitude about things is different and one could use the zombie term but I choose to say I'm more tollerant than I was. My emotions are just as strong but the don't rule me. Do I miss the hot edge of anger, yes, but it is totally distructive. Do I miss the sharp knife of dispare, yes but it too will kill you and my art work was never better for any of it. I'm an artist by temperment but I'm not a production or functional artist. But I know I am still me because I still feel just as strongly for the sadder emotions in life. I still cry and am hugely moved by starving children, the devistation of war and nature. And more importantly, the happy emotions I feel in the presense of my children are overwhelming which they never were before. That is a great gift to me.

    I've always been a pear shaped woman who was a size 6. Two kids after 40 put on 20 pounds that I have had a very hard time getting rid of. But look at the reality. I was depressed, not sleeping, had sleep deprivation and consequently ADHD behavior. Lack of sleep jacks up cortisol as well so it makes sense why a woman in perimenopause who doesn't sleep no matter what she does can't loose weight. Also, no joy in life, no intimate interest whatsoever. I don't think I need to go on because I know you know the drill. So now I take a drug that helps me get to sleep and stay asleep. My dreams are weird and sometimes vivid but I am a lucid dreamer anyway so I recognize my subconscious and unconscious dealing with issues in my dreams and when I've worked them out they cease. Now that I am more normalized my brain is working out all the things it couldn't before. And so I tollerate it. More sleep less cortisol, but perhaps it is a trade off for me. We shall see. So perhaps I've mistaken these boards for support boards when in they are really functioning more like a debate board would. If I come looking for support I was a little put out to be told I had made the mistake of my life. Almost dieing would be a mistake, doing something to save myself is hardly a mistake. Are drugs perfect, no! Are they a cure all, no. Can they have their own difficulties to deal with, sure. But just as my mom is willing to risk heart failure to take Vioxx so am I willing to risk side effects that are not life threatening to have a mind that works. Not everyone has the bad experience you may have. Cyber hugs to you that it was so bad and that you are on a better path to healing. If you know of a board that offers support and as much knowledge as there seems to be here I would be intersted in knowing. It is very hard to take advantage of all the great knowledge that is here when it is couched in such negativity.

  7. #7
    debbie724 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    USA.
    Posts
    267

    Default

    Blu, Lexapro does work for some people and that's why you probably won't find a discussion board on the likes of Lexapro. If you feel that it's working for you and your therapy is going well... that's terrific for you. We are here to support each other regarding our experiences and throughout our withdrawls. I can see where you find it depressing to read our stories. I think I can speak for most of us by saying that we wish we didn't have a story. But then again, if we didn't... we would not have met each other here... where it is filled with caring, loving, giving people. Maybe it's best that you stick to what is working for you... and if in the future for whatever reason you stop taking Lexapro... please come back.


    debbie

  8. #8
    Rdhd66 is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    .
    Posts
    9

    Default

    I just breifly wanted to share my experience with Lexapro. I have been on the drug rollercoaster for about 4 years. I have tried Paxil, Lexapro, and Zoloft and I just stared Effexor, which actually seems to be working for me for my debillitating anxiety and panic attacks. What I found with Lexapro was that it did nothing for me, I didn't gain or lose wieght, or have side effects, or get any releif for my anxiety, and after many months I just stopped taking it on my own. It was like a sugar pill. I also did not have any withdrawal syptoms. What I've come to realize is that not everyone reacts the same to these drugs(duh). In my search for the perfect pill, I've never experienced side effects or withdrawal syptoms like most of the people whose posts I read. I am also a beleiver in talk therepy, it, combined with meds, can work wonders.

  9. #9
    annaoffmeds is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    , , .
    Posts
    28

    Default

    hi there,
    oddly enough I am currently getting off lexapro and dealing with super bad withdrawl effects, but I did want to tell you about the good effects I had on the meds.
    I have depression/generalized anxiety/ panic disorder but I didn't go on until I had panic. Since ive had the depression, etc my entire life, i knew how to cope and work my way through it. When the panic ensued I was so debilitated, I was having attacks on the half hour- and these were major attacks....so I went on 20mg and slowly my anxiety was more controlled and the panic attacks lessoned.
    Now I'm not saying that everyone should go on meds, but at the time, this worked for me and I'm still happy I did it. I only wish I knew about all the withdrawl effects before I went up to 20- so my suggestion is read up pn side effects while on the drug and monitor yourself- i had the tired, slight zombie like feelings for a while- and also verse yourself on withdrawl effects and know how to safely taper yourself off later.
    I hope theres some light in this message....although my withdrawl is super bad right now, being on a lower dose of lexapro might be helpful so long as you know the work it will take later.
    wish you the best!!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22