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Alternative Medicine/Anxiety
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Alternative Medicine/Anxiety

hello-
My husband was on lexapro and was doing very well.  When it stopped being covered under brand name on our rx policy we switched to the generic. Under the generic Escitalopram0 (10 mg x 2 per day) he got headaches, dizziness, inability to focus the way he should, "fuzzy"  feelings.  The brand is $275 per month.  If there is a natural compound or herb etc could you let us know.  I always knew that certain generics would not work the same way.  If the only choice is lexapro then that will have to be.  But he has a "sensitive"  system and not everything works well for him.  He was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder but very mild.  Other than that, he is fine.  Thank you for your time.
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Avatar_m_tn
There is no generic for Lexapro as far as I know.  The generic you're probably talking about is an older drug from which Lexapro was derived, Celexa, but they aren't the same though they are similar.  So two things probably happened -- because he didn't taper off Lexapro, he probably is suffering from withdrawal (even tapering can result in withdrawal from these meds) and possibly new side effects from the new med.  On the other hand, if his anxiety disorder is "very mild," he should probably not have treated it with these strong meds anyway.  Therapy, particularly cognitive therapy, and relaxation techniques are better tried first since if they work the problem is solved, whereas drugs just cover up the symptoms and come with problems attached since they make the brain work artificially.  If you need the meds, they're there, but if you don't, they aren't called for.  Problem is, this is often the first thing a psychiatrist or doctor will turn to because it's what they do to make money, whereas most therapy nowadays is done by psychologists and other therapists.  As for natural remedies, a book to help you is Natural Highs by Hyla Cass, a psychiatrist at UCLA.  It's a good place to start, though the book is old.  Because natural medicine works on different parts of the system instead of using just one remedy generally, it might be best to see a professional, such as a naturopath or physician who practices integrative medicine.  Generally for anxiety they'll go after relaxants and the adrenals and maybe the nutrients that manufacture the neurotransmitters that drugs alter.  Good luck
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The following natural anxiety treatments that have scientific studies supporting their use:

Magnesium
Inositol
Valerian Root
Kava Herb
Rhodiola Herb
Appropriate Exercise (not too much, not too little)
Hypoglycemia Diet
"Food Allergy" Elimination Diet
Candida Yeast Theory (speculative)
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Avatar_m_tn
Be careful with rhodiola -- it's a stimulating herb for many people, and can aggravate anxiety.  Sometimes it helps, sometimes it hurts, and there are plenty of other adaptogens that don't usually stimulate such as ashwagandha and holy basil and siberian ginseng (eleuthero).  This herb is in the adrenal support category I mentioned.
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