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Old 09-28-2015, 08:34 AM
1,283 posts, read 973,772 times
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I felt I should share this in case anyone else goes through the same thing.

I was prescribed lexapro 3 months ago. I was dealing with my first home purchase, and a lot going on at work, so my doctor figured I should give lexapro a shot as I did take it for a short time when I was in my teens after a close friend suddenly passed away.

I didn't bother taking it after I had the prescription filled, I had a pretty bad week at work last week so I decided to take 5mg on wed, then again on Thurs and Fri. I was feeling a little antsy Friday but didn't really think anything of it.

Saturday morning I woke up in total panic at 5am. I couldn't focus on anything, I was terrified, had knots in my stomach and had an overall feeling of impending doom. I tried to relax, and take showers but nothing helped at all. Things I've never even thought twice about before felt like the death of me and I was doubting everything. It was so bad I considered going to the ER, I knew right away it was because of the lexapro.

I felt a little better in the afternoon, but as the sun started setting the anxiety came back. I was able to get some sleep, I would sleep for about 30 mins and wake up, again, and again. Finally I was up at 5am Sunday and just trying to keep myself busy. I wasn't in a total panic sunday, just more of a feeling of nervousness. This lasted all day.

Sunday night I was able to go to bed around 10pm with the help of a melatonin. I actually got a full 7 hours of sleep, but did wake up again feeling a little anxious, nothing like Saturday morning though. On my way in to work I still had the nervousness feeling sticking around, but it was coming and going in waves.

As I'm typing this I still feel a bit of the nervousness, it almost feels like guilt, or like you're running late for something really important. I've had ZERO appetite since Friday afternoon, I mean I had like half a ham sandwich, a protein shake, and half a slice of pizza all weekend. I had watery stool starting Friday morning that is just starting to go away, my body almost hurts now I'm guessing from the tension. I have a slight ringing in my ear that comes and goes. And I keep clenching my jaw. All of this has been slowly getting better since Saturday morning.

Lexapro has a very long Half life, it takes about 30 hours for half of the medicine to get out of your body. So if I had a blood level of around 10mg on Saturday morning, I would have 5mg Sunday night, by midnight tonight I'll likely have 2.5mg and Wed I'll likely still have upwards of 1.25mg (which I'm hoping by this point will be low enough that I don't have any more of these side effects hanging around).

This was just a horrible weekend, my wife was wonderful and helped me through it the whole time. My 2 biggest pieces of advice to get through this is 1) Get melatonin for sleep, take it an hour before bed. This helped me a ton! 2) Keep yourself busy, distraction is key! Do yard work, paint a room, do something. Sitting around dreading everything is not helpful.

It takes time to get out of your system, but like I said, I went from feeling like the world was going to end Saturday morning to just waves of nervousness Monday morning. Can't wait to feel like me again!
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:50 AM
1,202 posts, read 575,453 times
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melatonin gives me horrible dreams and I wake up in a panic
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:02 PM
1,283 posts, read 973,772 times
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Melatonin didn't help last night.. very little sleep. Still not feeling 100%
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Old 09-29-2015, 06:24 PM
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Surprised that after just 3 days at 5mg that you had such side effects. Personally I wouldn't take melatonin or any other supplements without discussing with the doctor first--drug interactions with over-the-counter supplements can be weird.

Obviously, if you're convinced the panic attacks were a side effect of the prescription, see your doctor right away. I'm not 100% convinced they were caused by the prescription, though--it usually takes antidepressants and anti-anxiety prescriptions anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks (or more) to have a full effect. It could very well have been that your depression/anxiety were simply deteriorating as time went on, before the meds even had time to take effect. Hard to say.

See your doctor and maybe they'll try you on a different prescription that will work with fewer side effects.

I've taken several prescriptions over the past 10+ years, one after another, trying to find the right medication and dosage. Mild side effects are common. Everyone is different though, so trying out medications for mental health treatment is still trial-and-error to find out what works best. Don't give up on treatment.

I had to eventually try out the mood stabilizer / antipsychotic types. I ultimately ended up with a prescription for Risperidone and took it for a year. The side effects were something else--incontinence and unpredictable breast lactation were the worst of it (I'm female). Then tried Olanzapine for another few years--that worked well, but I gained 60 pounds. Went off that and onto Abilify, I think I've been taking that now for 4 years. Works like a dream, and I lost all the weight I gained a few years ago.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:47 PM
Location: 39 20' 59"N / 75 30' 53"W
16,082 posts, read 24,899,805 times
Reputation: 18052
New Evidence that Antidepressants Are Causing an Epidemic of Violence

There have been a total 134 warnings from regulatory agencies in eleven countries including:
  • 30 warnings that antidepressants cause heart problems
  • 21 warnings that they cause birth defects
  • 6 warnings that they cause anxiety
  • 5 warnings that they cause mania or psychosis
  • 4 warnings that they cause death
  • 4 warnings that they cause hallucinations or delusional thinking
  • 4 warnings that they cause involuntary movements
  • 2 warnings that they cause sexual dysfunction
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Old 09-30-2015, 11:41 AM
1,283 posts, read 973,772 times
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I did get on the phone with my Dr and he said right away it was the medicine causing the problem. It is a common side effect and pretty obvious because of the other side effects I was experiencing so he said I did the right thing by stopping since I was only on for 3 days. Now I have had some stress going on at work, but I've had a lot of great things going on in my personal life. Normally I'm the kinda guy that will stress when I'm focused on the stressful thing but be fine when I distract myself with the good stuff. This has not been the case. I've just been an all out stressed mess. The Doctor said even those low doses could stay in my body a full week because the halflife is so long and I'm clearly highly susceptible to it. He prescribed me Ativan for when the anxiety and panic gets to the point where I start sweating, jitters and just can't focus. It has been perfect. I don't feel drugged or anything. I'm just able to focus on my work without feeling like I need to throw up. Hopefully by next week I'll be done with all of this.
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:30 AM
1,283 posts, read 973,772 times
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Still using the Ativan. It says I can take it up to 3 times a day. The first few days I'd take 1 in the morning and 1 at night to get some sleep and that was plenty. Now I've just been taking 1 around 10am and that's enough to get me through the day and I'm sleeping normal again. I'm going to slowly start to come off the ativan over the next week and hope all is back to normal.
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Old 10-06-2015, 06:01 PM
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Haven't taken anything since Sunday. I've got a lot of uncertainty going on with my job over the next 6 months with the location possibly moving resulting in either me having no job or me having a job with way more responsibility. So I'm in a constant state of uneasiness as a result but overall feeling much better. Lexapro was HORRIBLE! A little Ativan helped me through. I'll keep the Ativan in the medicine cabinet in case I get bad news at work but overall I'm good.
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Old 10-06-2015, 06:38 PM
Location: USA
7,778 posts, read 10,650,885 times
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I took Lexapro for awhile a few years ago. When I mentioned to my doctor it wasn't doing much good, he doubled the dosage and when I went home I took the additional amount. Soon, I felt great. A wonderful sense of well-being was so strong. I was amazed at how fabulous I felt. The euphoria lasted 30 minutes. I went to sleep (it was 2 pm) and slept for 10 hours. It took awhile to get my sleeping back on schedule.
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:19 PM
151 posts, read 122,948 times
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SSRI's will make you feel like crap for the first week or two. This is normal. I wouldn't bother taking them though. Therapeutically, they're no better than a placebo in my honest opinion.
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