Well i'm on day 3 of a 2nd try at taking Lexapro on the advice of my physician. Last time the increase from 5 mg to 10mg after two days caused intense side effects that made me stop taking it. This time I am taking a much slower increase 5 mg for first week, then to 10mg to try and reduce the impact of the symptoms but I can tell after 3 days I am a bit more aggitated, nervous, anxious but nothing like last time. Also last time I was really against taking medication.. now... i'm ok with it.... my doc said if you have a cold you take something to minimize the symptoms... in a way this is the same thing.
I am wondering how long these "adapting" side effects typically last before my body gets used to the drug? I am hearing a week to two weeks for the side effects and then 4-6 weeks before the therapeutic effect of the drug to start really kicking in.
I have suspended all my business travel for one month to give this a chance to work so hoping for the best. I will say that already i feel less "nervous" emotionally....its almost like my mind is getting calmer but my body is still agitated. Don't know if that's possible after only 3 days but it feels that way.
I'm glad you are taking it slower with the increases in dosage. Anxiety is like any other medical condition that requires daily medication to control the symptoms. Too many people get caught up in because it's a mental issue...they should be able to handle it on their own...but rarely is this possible. Glad you realize this! There are side effects during the first week or two due to your body adjusting to the medication, and it will reach full therapeutic level in 4-6 weeks. I'm not sure you would feel anything after only a few days, it may just be that you feel better knowing you are finally doing something to help with all of this. You're on the right track and I wish you all the best!
Thanks for the reply....well my doc gave me some clonazapam .25 mg tablets to take if I need to take the edge off the "nervous" side effects.. not too fond of taking a pill to counteract the effects of another pill but I will if need be... seeing her next wed to assess whether i should go up to 10 mg.... apparently i am real sensitive to medication in her assessment ...also going through CBT therapy with psychologist to help root out the cause of all of this... so trying to hit it from all sides and hoping the medication takes the edge off the chronic physical symptoms i am having.
I am very happy for you as well. Just remember what I said, if it takes a little longer because you are tapering up...don't give up. I feel like my regular self again and it just takes time. You too will be there in a little while. Best of luck!
Well on day 4 of 5 mg and managing... the nervousness/increased edgeyness is definitely back (remember it from last time) and it has increased each day since I started... when your body begins to adjust do you tend to notice a gradual decrease in these symptoms or just wake up one day and they are not there anymore?
It subsided gradually. Remember, I did a kind of taper up in that I was already on 150 mg of Wellbutrin and went straight to 300. The anxiety was helped a bit in that I did not feel that out of control anxiety as much but that damn edginess was the hardest part along with the intense thirst. I tried to just keep myself busy. When I just didn't feel like dealing with it, I took some klonopin. I think that each week will be better and better for you. Maybe try to journal your edginess to keep track. When you get to your 4th week and you are at your maximum dosage of 20 mg, I think you will notice a great improvement. Maybe just a little edginess until you have achieved a steady state of 20 mg in your system.
For me at this point, I cannot even imagine going off Wellbutrin...that is how good I feel and no klonopin is needed during the day.
Hey Turkee23.... well im only on day 4 of Lexapro... for everyone the side effects are different for me thus far it has been heightened nervousness/feeling edgey and thats about it. Doc gave me .25mg of clonazapam to take if i feel i need to take the edge off the side effects..
I had tried it once before and doctor told me to take half a pill 5 mg for two days then go up to the full 10 mg pill.... found the tapering up was too fast and on the first day of the 10 mg pill felt awful and went off it..... now im back on it a few weeks later and tapering up much slower... did 4 days on 5 mg then going to do another for with 7.5 mgs (3/4 pill) then up to 10 mg before i see me doctor on wed...
I have been told by my doc and by numerous people on this site that it can take up to two weeks for your body to adjust to the meds and the side effects to dissipate and another 4-6 weeks before the full therapeutic effect takes place. So I think the key with these meds is you have to stick it out unless the side effects are unbearable. So i cleared my work schedule of all travel for the next month to give this the best shot of working....
Im not that familiar with zoloft..alot of times you just have to take these meds to see how you react to them... everyone is different and as long as your doctor is there to help you monitor it ... i wouldnt be afraid.....good luck
Hey JGF25... i actually tried Wellburtin after my first attempt with Lexapro. Unfortunately it was not the right drug for me... the stimulating effects were unbelievable and i stayed on it for 3 days and then stopped. I think for my type of anxiety and my personality (already pretty stimulated by nature) lexapro is a better choice to achieve a more stabilized effect for me. But that remains still to be seen.... i'm gonna taper up to 3/4 tablet tomorrow for the next 4 days with the hopes that with minimal increases like that the side effects will not exponentially increase.... i will keep ya all posted....
Posting this daily chronicle in case anyone else is going through a ramp up on Lexapro or another SSRI.....Well... day 5 of this round of Lexapro and i upped it to 7.5 mg (3/4 10 mg tablet today) with the hopes of fending off any major increase in the side effects - which have for me been increased nervousness/agitation, tingling in my arms and legs (that was there before but seems more pronounced) lightheadedness.... gonna stay at this doage until Wed when I see my doc for a checkin on how im doing on it..... took a .25mg clonazapam yesterday and it took some of the edge off.... no problems sleeping at night other than I seem to wake up every 3 hours but then go back...
Well day 5 of being back on Lexapro... at 3/4 tablet dose in the morning (7.5 mg) and have to say that the nervousness and edgeyness appears to be subsiding a bit... didn't have to take a Clonazapam (klonopin) yesterday to take the edge off which I am considering to be a good sign since I had to the day before.
Gonna stick at this level till Wed until I see my doc and then the plan is to go up to a full 10 mg tablet for a week or so and then begin ramping up again 1.25, 1.5 and then hopefully up to 20 mg by first week in August which is I think where the doc wants me to stay for a while.
Day 7 and the heightened nervousness is still here - still at 7.5 (3/4 10 mg tablet) plan to go up to full 10 mg tomorrow unless this nervousness gets any worse today. Had to take a .25 mg klonopin yesterday around noon to take the edge off..
Doctor agreed with me to give it one more week at the full 10 mg dose and if the side effects don't get any better she is suggesting we consider trying something else like Paxil.... I know these meds are hit and miss until you find the one that works for you.... but i'm not giving up on Cipralex (Lexapro) yet...its only been a week and want to see what happens if I give it a good two weeks.....
good luck i hope it works out for you......i might be starting mine today or tomorrow. i wanna talk to my therapist first. but i wont see her till 12 so i dont know if i should start taking it in the later afternoon or just wait till tomorrow morning (psych dr said take in the morning)
I'm glad you're posting your progress. I was prescribed lexapro a few weeks ago also at 5mg and have been too scared to take it. I'm interested in your progress. Good luck. I hope it works for you and me too( if I ever get brave enough to try).
Well i'm on day 8 and am now up to the full 10 mg tablet as of this morning after tapering up from 5 mg (half tablet) to 7.5 (3/4 tablet) over the past week. Woke up more jittery this morning than yesterday morning. Did 30 mins on the treadmill to try and take the edge off and some breathing exercises.... might have to take a Clonazapam (klonopin for my american friends) if the edgeyness gets any worse now that I upped the dosage. I know these side effects can take a week or two to clear so I am hoping they start to clear soon otherwise doc is suggesting if I go another week without any improvement we will have to consider trying something else... she is suggesting Paxil. So not giving up yet...but looking and hoping for some light through the side effects trees....
Had to get on here so I could see your update! I wouldn't give up until you have 4 weeks under your belt...I was calling the doctor at about the same time point you are...and then the next week too. Then I hit that magic point where it wall all better. If you switch, you would have to start all over again. I know the jitteryness really stinks, believe me, and I thought it would never go away but it did. Hang in there and looking forward to seeing your progress.
Really like the fact that you are giving your daily chronicle. It shows people that are ready to give up where they may be on day 7 or a month down the road. So glad to see you are hanging in there. It's hard when you feel like it's never gonna get better. When I tried Lexapro, I gave up on it. Then I found out that most SSRI's cause the same increase in anxiety, initially. My doctor (at the time) didn't explain any of this to me. Luckily I found this site and was more positive with the Celexa. I have found it to be the least stimulating for me. My mom loves Lexapro and it causes no problems with her sleep. Hope you have good luck with it and thanks for sharing your experience.
Day 9 ... 2nd day on 10 mg after tapering up... this morning was a bit better than yesterday. Didn't do any cardio exercise this morning like I did yesterday which seemed to tense me up afterwords...I took a .25 klonopin to take the edge off around 10 AM....today the nervousness still there although appears to be less this morning than yesterday... seems like mornings are the worst... when I initially wake up I am ok but when i get up and start moving around the physical symptoms and nervousness come back ... going to stay at 10 mg now until next week and seeing doctor on Saturday to see whether she thinks I am OK to go up to 15 after that.
Also doing breathing exercises in the morning, once in the afternoon at work and in the evening to try and correct the chronic hyperventilation that is causing all the tingling and lightheadedness symptoms according to my doc.
Anyway that's this morning's update... gonna try and see if I can do today without a Klonopin.....
Its so interesting how everybody's body works differently. I took Lexapro back when I was younger and it was my miracle pill for the awful depersonalization I was going through at the time. It didn't get me back to full normal but lots and lots better to where I was able to function on my own. Now the depersonalization is back and I'm back on Lexapro, been on it for about a month with no significant improvement. I have not had any side effects though. Like you, my doctor prescribed a very low does of Wellbutrin generic and I couldn't stand it. It made my stomach queasy. So I'm on 10MG Lexapro. Your side effects should be going away pretty soon. It's a great drug if it works well for you. Glad you have some anti-anxiety medication too, I have Ativan for when I need it also.
Still sounding good. I hear you about fighting the Klonopin but sometimes you just have to give in. I took it and then went and layed on the couchat work for 20 minutes when I got tired. The jitteryness was mostly in the morning. It was amazing that at night, I felt like my regular self and then the next day it would all start over....keep shooting for that magic 4-6 weeks!
Yeah I guess I don't like the idea of masking the side effects with another drug cause then I can't tell if I am adapting to the drug or not on my own and I am also a bit worried about building a dependency on Klonopin.... my doctor doesn't seem to like the idea of me taking it everyday and put me a real low dose... .25mg.... and I am only taking it once a day when I need to take it so I have been told the chances of dependency are small but I guess there is a part of me that still doesnt like it.... but I know 9 days is too soon to judge the Cipralex (Lexapro - I don't know why drug companies market different in Canada than in the US... confusing!!!) and I cleared all my travel schedule for work until mid august to really give this a shot in a low stress environment...... so day by day I guess for now....thanks for the words of encouragement eveyone!!
If you are jittery then you know you haven't adapted yet so taking the klonopin isn't masking any of the symptoms. Try to talk your way through it and there will be days that you get by without it. You are right where I was at the beginning of May and so I absolutely know what you are going through. Have you lost a ton of weight? I think I lost 12 pounds in a matter of 3 weeks and I didn't need to lose 12 pounds. I still haven't put it back on. I'm beginning to wonder if Wellbutrin has speeded up my metabolism.
Well here we are at Day 10..... had a relatively good day yesterday... a bit jittery still but didnt need to take a Klonopin. Was at a function for work until midnight last night so a bit tired this morning and again still a bit edgey but we will see how it goes today....Keeping up the breathing exercises once in the morning and in the evening...seeing doc tomorrow to discuss progress....happy its the weekend!
Yeah you are right about the Klonopin... I didnt need it yesterday so im feeling good about that ... I guess there will be up and down days until I have adapted. I guess I am waiting for 2-3 days in a row where I dont feel I need it as a sign that I am on the road to adapting. I am presuming that I am not just going to wake up one morning and be adapted... I am assuming the jitteryness will begin to subside and then taper off....and I want to be aware when that is happening I guess is all
Made it another day without needing Klonopin so taking tthat as a good sign. Still a bit edgey but its manageable. Going to talk to doc tomorrow and consider going up to 15MG dose on Sunday... I think she thinks I should be at 20... how do you know when you have hit the dose of Lexapro that you should stay at?
Day 11 starting out much like Day 10.... woke up feeling the jitteryness. Although I have to say my mind feels less "panicky" if that's the right word....dunno if that means anything.
Need to talk to doc about my teeth grinding.... I wake up and I feel like I have locked my jaw all night, alot of pressure...and when I move my jaw in the morning I get a popping sound.. and I get this pretty much throughout the day....i've been doing this for a while and am beginning to think it might be the cause of my tinnitus... I know was doing this even before the meds so don't think this is specifically related to this although it feels like im putting more pressure on it. Prob another side effect from anxiety and stress in general.
Hey there! I think you're doing great! Keep on plugging away!
When a person is gradually stepped up to the goal dose, side effects will certainly be milder, but they may hang around a bit longer. Something to keep in mind. Although, it really sounds as though you're already noticing an improvement with the side effects. The fact that you are not needing the Klonopin as much is a great sign! It also sounds like, whicle you are still having the jittery feeling, it sounds like it is better.
The teeth grinding is definitely something worth talking to your doc about, however I'd bet that it is related to your anxiety...and something like that may get a little worse when adjusting to the meds...before it gets better. When I'm more anxious, I grind my teeth at night ten times as much as normal. When my anxiety is more controlled, it is very mild, if present at all.
As for what is a good "goal" dose? That's pretty individual. Usually you sort of have to assess how you feel as you go. You can always have the doc increase your dose down the line. Nothing has to be done quickly. That being said, I agree with your doc that 20mg is a good goal dose. That's a very standard starting dose of Lexapro and is a good level to begin with. That isn't to say you need to be at 20mg NOW, but I think stepping up to 15mg soon is a good move, and then perhaps next week a bump up to the 20mg. Once you get to the goal dose and stay there, your system will stabilize both with the side effects and the action of the med.
When I was on Lexapro, I started at 20mg, and over a few year period and a few increases, I ended up on 40 mg daily, which was very effective for me. The 20mg dose did the job for quite a long time before I felt I needed an increase. After a few weeks of increasing the dose, I always noticed improvements.
Thanks for the comments... its mid afternoon now and went to see doc this morning. She gave me 2 more weeks of Lexapro 10MG which will put me at the 4 week mark. She said not to adjust my dose any further during that time. She says if at that time my side effect symptoms do not subside then we have to consider another medication. She was suggesting Paxil but I looked it up and it is also an SSRI so I don't know why switching to another SSRI would help.... also told me it is harder to wean off of than Lexapro when it comes time to stop... my anxious symptoms are stronger today than yesterday so might have to resort to a .25mg klonopin to take the edge off.... i guess i will have up and down days for a while.... still not throwin in the towel yet though.... will give it to the end of the month that will be 4 weeks.
Well Day 12... yesterday ended up not being such a good day ... for some reason the side effects were stronger yesterday than they had been in the previous 2 days.... took a Klonopin .25mg mid-day to take the edge off and it was better but even the Klonopin seemed to hit me harder than normal in that it made me real sleepy and usually that dose doesn't do that... maybe I was just tired to begin with that day and everything got amplified because of it... we'll see how it goes today..... unfortunately because of hte continued side effects my Doc's opinion already is that this is probably not the right medication for me but she supports me giving it another week or so to be sure...
Well Day 13....yesterday wasn't that bad a day... felt lethargic but it was a sunday so I guess that's allowed.... didn't need a klonopin (but I find I never do the day after I take one - I think it sticks around at some level in my system for a good 24 hours) and took a few naps and was pretty "chilled out" all day and evening. Downloaded some more relaxation tracks from iTunes and did breathing exercises last night. Woke up this morning feeling not too bad at all... in fact for the first time since I started Lexapro and the side effects kicked in I would say this was the least "jittery" I have woken up. Heading off for 3 days R&R today so hoping the combination of fresh mountain air and relaxation will do a world of good.......
Well here we are end of day 14 and I am cautiously optimistic here... I have been able to go back to the gym the past few days and workout without feeling dizzy and nausea after.. Waking up not feeling anywhere near as agitated and I have not had to take a Klonopin for 3 days to counteract the side effects... Could this be it? Am I starting to adapt to the Lexapro... It definitely feels like I am moving in the right direction for the first time in a while... Fingers crossed....and for those of you that encouraged me to stick it out.. Thank you...
That's awesome. I think "cautiously optimistic" is the way to go.
You're getting to the "over the hump" point where you SHOULD start to see improvement in both side effects AND anxiety symptoms. Don't get discouraged if you have a bad moment or bad day here and there...that's to be expected.
Focus on the improvements and how well you've done sticking it out during the side effects! The improvements will be gradual but what is so neat is one day down the line you'll come to the realization of how much better you truly feel...those kinds of changes are harder to appreciate day to day.
I'm happy for you and proud that you are perservering. You are turkee are a great testament to this process...both with the good AND the bad. You guys sharing your stories as you go is so helpful to others who are contemplating meds. They see that real people are doing it...and enduring some bumps along the way...but with some changes for the better! It isn't the easiest thing in the world to do...but the payoff is SO worth it!
Keep up the great work. I feel strongly that it is only going to get better and better for you! :0)
Day 15 woke up feeling good... No need for klonopin again....Went to the gym and worked out and i haven't done that in te morning in a while and it felt great.. That used to be the time i would rk out but I found before it brought my nervousness up too high and then it stayed there all day.. Now that does appear to be happening anywhere near as strong......the side effects are not completely gone but their intensity seems to be diminishing and I'm not focusing on them as much anymore... Not feeling like i want to run to my doctor everyday anymore to tell her to take me off this stuff..... To anyone contemplating meds... It really is a day by day process and sometimes you may not believe what people are saying that it will get better..but i am almost ready to confidently join the ranks of those that say ....it will.....
Day 16 ... Yesterday started great but ended not so great. Came home from a few days vacation and by the evening felt keyed up and jittery again...fell asleep round midnight finally and woke up 4 hours later still feeling keyed up compared to last few days so here I am posting way too early in the morning. Must be one of those Bad Days Nursegirl spoke about....oh well not gonna let it discourage me....gonna get a few more hours sleep and see how it goes in the morning....first day back at work today too so that could be playing a role in this too....
Day 16 update... definitely seem to have taken a step backwards today.... dunno if its because i'm back at work but im feeling significantly more nervous and jittery today and prob gonna have to take a klonopin to take the edge off before the day is over....which I guess is a bit disappointing because I really thought I was passed needing that.... seeing new psychiatrist next wed which will also be the 3 week mark of taking Lexapro... psychiatrist has asked me to provide her will all the meds I have taken and how I am doing with them... my doc feels that if there are any side effects left by that time she is probably going to strongly suggest a medication change...which again I am not too happy about... so hoping I can get back on track to a stabilized situation before then..... good thing I said I was cautiously optimistic.......
Yeah... possibly.. my problem is I start travelling for work on Aug 14 again... and I was really hoping to at least be on the "right track" with the meds by the time that started ... If I wait one more week only to find out I need to come off this...that puts me right before I have to start travelling again.... so really hoping this is a one off day.... and things will start to get back on track tomorrow.... otherwise I think 3 weeks should have seen some stabilizing.... if any change in my stress level causes this type of reaction then clearly the meds are not doing what they are supposed to do... so we will wait a see..... took a .25 mg klonopin to take the edge off today....
Day 16 - recap... ended up having to take a Klonopin this morning to take the edge off ... which I have to admit was a big disappointment after having two days of what I thought was progress towards adapting.....gonna try working out tonight and see how it goes tomorrow... Aug 3 is my deadline.. that will be three weeks... if side effects not significantly and consistently reduced by then I will begin weaning off and if it comes to that then I honestly think I am done with SSRI's..... sorry if I sound a bit defeatist but I do not plan on spending the next 6 months "trying out" different meds... all that said,,, my fingers are still crossed that there is still time for me to stabilize before then.... but I have to start travelling for work again again in mid august and I am either on the right track or getting off the track completely before then.....
Day 17 - well i don't know what happened but this day is starting out pretty much the same as yesterday - and I would say even a bit more edgey and jittery and that's different than before cause usually the day after I take a klonopin I find I am usually pretty chilled out.... not looking good here unfortunately....my optimism is getting chipped away at....
Thanks for the encouragement... actually not sure what you mean by upcoming changes in my life but if this is just regular ole anxiety.. shouldn't the Lexapro be beginning to help deal with that?
I know it can take 4-6 weeks for the therapeutic effect so maybe not...I just would have thought there would have been more stability by now in terms of the side effects...I assumed that at some point there would be a level of stable certainty that the medication was working and that I am on the right track...and as I said in particular since I have to start travelling for work again mid august and that of course increases stress levels if I had to start that today it would not be good... I have a meeting with a psychiatrist on Wed... that will be the 3 week point of this journey.... my doctor is already feeling like I am probably too sensitive to this type of medication and wanted to take me off after 2 weeks but I asked her to give me a bit more time to be sure.... anyway... i will continue until Wed and see what the psych says...
What I meant was your upcoming travels for work, it seems you are putting a good deal of pressure on yourself to be "all better" by then, and it could be causing some anxiety.
Should the Lexapro be tackling the anxiety already? You're only 2+ weeks into it, so not necessarily. Some people surely notice some subtle changes (which you have to remind yourself that you HAVE) and for some people, it takes longer, up to the 6 week mark.
You have to trust in your doctor, but I'm going to be honest with you here. I think throwing the towel in at the 3 week mark would be cheating yourself. I understand you are having side effects and they stink..but that is to be expected and you sincerely need to give this med enough time, and again...I don't feel 3 weeks is ample time.
If you were having SEVERE side effects that were intolerable, I would agree that you are sensitive and need to rethink the Lexapro, but that isn't the case. You've been reporting typical side effects that have varied for you along the way. You've even had some improvements. That doesn't point toward you being ultra sensitive with the need to make a change already.
We say it all the time, but I can't stress it enough....PLEASE just try to hang in there. Your anxiety is making you overthink everything and become discouraged very quickly. You will have ups and downs during this process. Concentrate on the "ups" you've had. And, truly think hard about what you want to do when you speak to your doctor. I know this hasn't been easy, but waiting a few more weeks isn't going to hurt you in any way, and at least then, you'll have given it a fair shake. It would be easy for you to quickly agree with the doctor to throw in the towel, but try to resist doing that and ask your doctor fair questions. Ask her what else you could do to help you through the side effects? Just don't jump the gun and put yourself back to square one, when you may have success in another week or so.
Remember, you also did a taper...are you on your optimal dose yet and if so, how long have you been taking the optimal dose? It may affect when you actually start to get the REAL benefits...I hope I'm wrong though.
I am at 10 MG and doc says that is my optimal dose... I have been on that for about 9 days now.... and yeah perhaps I am panicking too soon.... I have to learn to quell my impatience sometimes.... im gonna chill out and see what happens over the next 5 days or so .... I will have a psychiatrist's opinion now which is great since I have only been dealing with my regular doctor up until this point with respect to the meds.... but ultimately the decision will be mine and as nursegirl said its an important one so really want to think about it.... thanks for all the support... it really helps when i start to beat myself up sometimes....
That's good...remember it IS ultimately your decision. If, after ample time (my opinion is at least 6 weeks for these meds) you decide to go another course, at least you won't be left wondering "what if" I had stuck it out? You can always d/c the Lexapro, but it's harder to start all over...which is why hanging in there is so important.
9 days since your dose increase..I thought it was more...maybe my math skills just stink. It's WAY too soon for a judgement call...even by your appointment! You haven't even reached the two week mark which is when most of the side effects typically start to improve (that rings true for dosage increases too, although sometimes it improves quicker). Definitely too premature to make any decisions. A fair amount of time in my opinion is 6 weeks after you reach your goal dose, not from the very start.
Also, down the road, you may need a higher dose. It's good that you're easing into this, but that's another factor to keep in mind, that you may need a higher dose for the most optimal results. Just something to stay open minded to. I'm a firm believer of kind of exhausting all options with one med before ever considering moving to another one. I would suggest a higher dose and longer adjustment period for you before ever thinking about starting this process over with a new medication.
I had a rough time adjusting to Lexapro at first, but after 2-3 weeks, the difference was striking and I ended up being on it for several years with great results. Any time I had a dose increase, there were some side effects, but they always got better after a week or two.
Just keep fighting the fight..i know it's very hard to be patient...but it is sooo important! That is why some people DO fail with these meds...they just throw in the towel WAY too soon!
Absolutely Nursegirl. I tried to throw that towel in several times during my Wellbutrin increase. I even went so far as to go to the doctors to tell him but when I got there I changed my mind. Soooooo happy I did. I wish I would have journaled my experience, because the timing of it all it a distant memory.
I have been 9-10 days at the full dose of 10 MG before that i was tapering up.....Im going to try and stick it out.... but i gotta tell you its hard when you seem to move forward and then go back... one quesiton though.. this wouldnt have anything to do with Serotonin Syndrome right? I understand that is caused by too high a build up of serotonin in your system and it is one the warning label of the med info sheet for Lexapro..... just wondering.. I know im prob panicking a bit about that.... trying to figure out why i was feeling good and then all of a sudden started feeling bad again.
It would seem to me from what I have read on other posts that 10 mg is on the lower side of the spectrum and so I would not expect there to be that much excess serotonin floating around. Nursegirl will hopefully respond with a more scientific viewpoint : )
No, it wouldn't be Serotonin Syndrome. You'd know without a shadow of a doubt if it was SS. SS causes very severe symptoms. That occurs with high dose SSRI's, mixing more than one SSRI, or mixing SSRI's with herbal/natural supplements like 5-HTP that are supposed to be effective in treating depression/anxiety.
Well Day 18 - feel not too bad at all this morning....went back to my regular gym last night for the first time in about 2 months and it felt great... yeah I was a bit dizzy and lightheaded after (as I have been since this whole anxiety thing started) but i didn't care.. i did my regular workout and it felt great to get back to that routine...I used to go almost everyday and it was my way of destressing....but since the anxiety symptoms started they got in the way of me enjoying that...now I say "screw em" .... I'm going back again today and determined to get back part of my life that was really important for me before this all started.
End of day 18 - had a very good day today... med side effects were minimal... went back to the gym and worked out... felt great.... not letting this anxiety, my meds, side effects whatever....get in the way anymore!!! I was focusing way too much on my entire life being about adapting to my Lexapro... well time for a major re-focus....... that little white pill i take in the morning is just that... a freakin pill....and it doesnt warrant the attention I have been giving it ...haha..... there... how's that for kickin anxiety in the A#$!
Great attitude. When you quit obsessing about the pill, sometimes it means it's finally working. Great news. Remember, no one has 100% good days, not even people without anxiety. You accept the rough spots and know tomorrow will be better. Wonderful journal! Keep it up!
wow very helpful reading your journal....your a few days aheadh of me but your posts sound just the way i feel....wanna scream at the dr and get off the meds but want to feel better at the same time. it is HARD to deal with all these side effects. and to think that these meds that are supposed to help with anxiety only seem to make them worse! (atleast in the beginging, i think lol)
so keep up with your journal and i will do the same.....day 11 for me....
Day 20!! ...wow... honestly can't believe I made it day 20 on Lexapro.... as you all know there were times when I was ready to throw in the towel (and more than once at that).... feeling good this morning and it seems to be getting better everyday now in terms of the jitteryness and nervousness... going to the gym for an hour workout everyday and that really has been helping lift my spirits and get me back into doing what I enjoyed doing before this all happened.... thanks to everyone who encouraged me to keep going... ultimately it was my decision but it really helps to know you have some people routing for you! Have a great day everyone!
wow thats great and it does make me feel better......shoot i feel like im ready to throw in the towel!......day 12 for me.....and i and jittery and nervous again today =(. it is so discouraging (sp??)
im hoping by day 20 for me i will see some results just like you are. your post sound just like me, yesterday i didnt take a xanax (until bedtime) but today i feel like i need to take one for the nervousness im feeling, i been holding out all morning. and im supposed to up my dose in 2 days and that makes me nervous cause i dont want the jitteriness and nervous/anxiety to get worse......uggggggg
was this your first SSRI you have been on?...i know you tried this same one once before but didnt stick with it long enough....
Well Day 21... its been three weeks since I started.... felt a bit more edgey than yesterday but not enough that I need to pop a Klonopin so that is now 5 days that I haven't needed one which I am taking as a positive sign. Tomorrow I see a new psychiatrist, my psychologist and my doctor ( busy ME day... took the day off work) ..... psychiatrist wants to review all the meds I am on and see how I am making out with them.... I know what my doctor is going to say if she hears I am three weeks with continued side effects.... she wanted me off this a week ago... but I will hear everyone's recommendations tomorrow and then make my own decision.... my physical symptoms persist in that I still have tingling in my legs and my finger tips - especially after working out and now my finger joints are sore and swollen since I have been back working out at the gym... and I know anxiety doesnt cause osteoarthritis so my doc has a few other things to look at.. I have believed from the beginning that the tingling I was having had nothing to do with anxiety and so far they haven't been able to find anything to point it to through any medical tests but I think I will insist that they keep looking.....there could be something circulatory related or nervous system related going on here....I know that my symptoms on start to appear after I get up in the morning and my heart rate increases.... in the meantime I believe the Lexapro is keeping me from totally freaking out about this.... which is OK cause 4 months of these symptoms and I believe I would be climbing the walls without it..... ill update this journal tomorrow
Well Day 22 - Big day... met with new psychiatrist (2 hour consultation) and psychologist and my doctor..... new psychiatrist feels that if I feel the medications are starting to work that I should give it a bit more time... psychologist reminded me that there is a big difference between wanting meds and needing meds... and that meds will not cure the cause of anxiety.... and my doctor wants me to increase my Lexapro dose (slowly) to 15mg a day because she feels the medication is not working as well as she wants it to for me .... so I am at a crossroads here... do I increase the dose knowing that I am sensitive to side effects which have not completely subsided at 10 MG or do I stay at 10 MG for a few more weeks see what happens.... my doc thinks that if I do not go higher the medication will probably not do anything for me or do enough to make me want to continue with it..... I am leaning towards trying the dosage increase but I told her if by the end of August I don't feel it has kicked in as it were - that will be almost 8 weeks since I started... then we begin the weaning off process and I look for another route .....
Well Day 23... and I am going to start the dosage increase today but decided to take a slower climb up than the doctor recommended (she recommended alternate days 10/15 mgs for a week or so - just cause its hard to cut a tablet in 4) but I did it and so I will go to 12.5 mg for 4 days then, barring any major reaction which I am not expecting... up to 15mg ... I am thinking the alternate day thing will cause greater instability as to the level of medicine in my system.... I thought the idea was to keep a steady flow of the same level of med....does this sound logical?
With a low dose like you're on, I think either way would work fine. If it were me, I would be inclined to step up like you said, rather than alternate doses. It does just seem more logical. I honestly don't see that the alternating doses would decrease the side effects any better than the gradual increase. Discuss it with your doc...I think she is just honestly trying to give you some options.
You've come a long way...don't give up yet. And remember to BEST judge the effectiveness of these meds is to wait it out 4-6 (6+ preferrably) weeks after you reach your goal dose, not from day ONE of your treatment. Don't be discouraged by that, it's actually a good thing. Despite you being a little sensitive to side effects, you still may require a higher dose to see obvious results, which is why you have to give it time to work once you're at the desired dose. Once you increase, while you MAY notice a few more days of increased side effects, you also will likely start noticing the positive changes.
You have had a lot of good days during this process...keep those in the front of your mind. Also, keep using the Klonopin if you need it. You seem to be of the mindset that needing to take one after "X" days is somehow a setback. It certainly is NOT! You will do much better if you can control the side effects. It's a great sign that you haven't needed it as much, but don't hesitiate to take it if you DO need it. You don't have to be a hero.
I'm so glad to hear that you're sticking it out. I know it seems like a lifetime, but you've already invested a good amount of time with this...you might as well exhaust all possibilities with THIS med before making any decisions, and that would include a higher dose.
Thanks everyone.... your encouragement has been a big help... i took the 12.5 MG today and will continue that over the weekend and look at going up to 15 mg next week....i'm sticking in there... havent had to have a Klonopin for one week now but still have some if I need it..... going back to the gym has been a HUGE move forward for me... feeling overall much better....still dealing with some symptoms but my psychologist really helped yesterday when explained to me that YOU (meaning me) are the one creating the anxiety over your anxiety....that's why when I wake up in the morning initially I feel fine and then within 5-10 minutes all the symptoms come back... he said I am creating it subconsciously and that the minute I recognize that I can learn to control it and not fear it..... can't emphasize enough the importance of therapy with these meds... there is no miracle pill....its a combo of things that I think really maked the difference.....
Sleeping has been a bit more difficult but not that bad... i got to the gym at night and tire myself out and it really helps me fall asleep... i wasnt a good sleeper even before this happened so no real significant difference that I can see....
Day 24 - Definitely felt an increase in the jitteryness yesterday moving up to 12.5 from 10mg but nothing I needed to take a Klonopin to counteract....so decided to do as doc suggested and alternate so today only did 10 mg this morning and tomorrow will do 12.5 again and then try 12.5 on sunday and then try the move up to 15 by mid next week. Start travelling for work again next weekend so would like to be up to 15 before I leave....I am sensitive to this medication and to dose changes so trying to minimize those effects the best I can.....
yeah.... just that feeling again like i drank too much coffee is the best way to describe it..... i went back to 10 mg today and going back up to 12.5 tomorrow then back to 10 on sunday then up to 12.5 on monday and then 15 on tuesday, 12.5 on wed, 15 on thurs, 12.5 on Friday then try to be up to 15 by next saturday..... see how it goes...... doing my best to try and minimize the shock to the system.....
Day 26 - a 12.5 mg day today... felt a bit edgier but nothing i couldnt handle... was a bit aggravated this morning... but went to the gym and worked it off and all was ok..... gonna try to stay at 12.5 now until tuesday and go up to 15 mg......have a great weekend everyone
Oh another update... I am transferring my medical care for anxiety to a psychiatrist and away from my GP. I honestly feel I can't trust her with this anymore and that we have reached the pinnacle of her understanding and knowledge. In our last session, after I told her I was in to see the psychiatrist she almost got defensive and kept insisting that her plan for me (to increase my meds) was the right plan.....maybe it is but she seems too personally attached to this now and I need objectivity... when I told her that if I didnt see some significant results and a complete absense of side effects by the beginning of september that I wanted to come off the drugs and was not willing to take anymore she again became very defensive...... so I think that now that I have access to a psychiatrist (which is now free under our universal health care in Canada since i was referred) I will move my care to someone who has specialised in this and specialised in the dispensing of these type of drugs.. and keep my GP for sore throats and sprained ankles.... what they are most experienced in.....
It is good that you are having a psychiatrist taking over your care. I personally do not have that but since I have been down this road before, I did not feel that I needed one. I went in and told my GP EXACTLY what I needed. I even contacted my psychiatrist from last time (who works where I work but does not take my insurance!) and he said that if I needed CBT then I had to go to a psychologist, that he does not do it. So you will get medication management from most psychiatrists and talk therapy. I'm not saying that all psychiatrists do not do CBT but most do not. You have probably learned all the CBT you need anyway.
Your doctor was defensive because she feels she has done her very best for you and now you are kind of saying she has not in this regard. Nobody likes to hear that. Plus she knows that coming off the medication is a major mistake. You have come so far with it.
Anyway, I hope that the psyc doctor makes you feel more comfortable and comes up with a plan that works for you. You really have come a long, long way from your original posts.
Yeah don't get me wrong.. I like my GP but I am feeling like she is loosing her objectivity and so I need to be under the care of someone that is not trying to prove something. I am giving the meds the best shot and am committed to the process but I need an open mind and a doctor with an open mind in the event that at the end of this process it proves not to have worked for me.... yeah I have come a long way but I am still not back to where I was in terms of anxiety levels before this all started and that, as my GP put it, is the goal. Maybe that will come with more time, which I am willing to give but maybe it won't and I need that objectivity in the event that it doesn't.... As far as the CBT goes.... I am still seeing my psychologist for that.
I second going with a psychiatrist. For me, knowing that the person is versed in these drugs is key, because it helps me trust them. If I don't trust the doc, then I may not trust the drug, and then I myself won't be objective.
CG, I think that is a great move! Many GPs can handle Rxing meds for anxiety and depression, but when someone has more complex issues, especially a person like you who is sensitive to meds, a p-doc is the way to go. A few things your PCP has recommended along the way I haven't been crazy about. For one, she seemed to want to encourage you to make changes before truly giving this enough time, even if it is a little longer than typical.
It is actually pretty common for a person to have more side effects the second (or third) time around with the same med. I've experienced that myself. When I would resume a prior medication, I would have to be a little extra patient and stick it out a bit longer. I just didn't like that your doc was wanting to try something else before exhausting all possibilities with THIS med! I also am not 100% sure of her recommendation with the step ups in your dose. That isn't a common way to handle it, and while it may work just fine, it just seemed odd to me.
You're doing the right thing. You'll get a fresh perspective from a new doc and have someone who deals with this day in and day out help you make the right decisions about meds.
I know it seems like forever, but like I said...you aren't even at your goal dose yet. Realistically, a person should give the med 4-6+ weeks from reaching the goal dose to assess its effectiveness, not from the very first day of starting the medication. It may seem like an eternity, but looking at the big picture, it really isn't that long at all.
Keep us informed...I think this is going to be a great thing. And, don't worry about your PCP, if she DOES feel slighted, she'll get over it. Some docs have to work on being able to accept that their patient may require the care of a different doctor or specialist to get the most optimal outcome. IMO, there isn't room for egos from doctors when it comes to doing the right thing, unfortunately it's commonplace to come accross that. She'll move past that, and if she doesn't or is giving you weird vibes about it...find a new doctor.
Keep up the great work...you've come a long way, even if you can't always see it. Just read this thread from start to finish. From a 3rd person's viewpoint, your progress is apparent.
Thanks for the comment.... like i said i do like her but I'm getting the vibe that she is too vested in this being "her plan for me" quote. It should be my plan for me with her objective support... i have to trust in my doctor to be objective and not committed to one outcome or the other - the only outcome she should be committed to is my getting better. If she believes a certain course of action is the right one then I expect her to recommend but not try to SELL IT and not immediately brush off EVERYTHING to anxiety which is what she is doing now... I have arthritic pain in my finger joints now that I have been going back to the gym (something I did not have before this all started by the way) and she basically brushed it off when i showed her....anxiety doesnt cause arthritis....but she wasn't even interested in looking at it..... also she was the one that told me a psychiatrist would never see me but made the referral anyway and was so suprised when they called .... and the psychiatrist was surprised that my GP told me a psychiatrist would never see me.....she's too vested in this so I need to remove her from that process and work with a doctor on this that is experienced, objective and supportive.....the psychiatrist seemed like that doctor when i met her.....
Well i haven't had to take a klonopin in almost 2 weeks but still more jittery than normal but I would say overall its better than 10 days ago.... i'm at 12.5 MG a day of Lexapro now.... going to do another dose increase this week but may wait until I see the psychiatrist later this week as I am going to request to have my care transferred to her and away from my GP.
How are you doing?
Day 28 - almost a month now! Back to going to the gym in the morning before work and it feels great! Getting the old routine back. Today I see the psychiatrist to discuss transferring my anxiety care away from my GP and to her. I really feel that this is the best move for me but we will see what she says.
I have stayed at the 12.5mg dose of Lexapro today again pending my discussion with her before I make the final jump to 15mg which was were my GP wanted me.
Tomorrow it will be 2 weeks since i have had to take a klonopin..... feeling pretty good about that......
Like I told turkee, there are a lot of subtle improvements you probably don't even notice yet. Like, for both of you...you aren't posting nearly as often about the sensations you are having. You can easily see the changes when reading your threads from start to finish, especially from an outsider's POV. Also, both of you are needing the anti-anxiety meds less and less.
I think going with the p-doc is the right move, but discuss it and go from there. You seem to be doing well and making strides all the time, therefore if you decide to stick it out with your PCP for now, I think you'd do fine. It's not a decision you have to make right away. There are many things to look at....how you LIKE each doc and your comfort level with them...how you perceive their knowledge of these meds, especially with you being sensitive. Also, you may have to take into consideration any possible cost issues, and ease of getting appointments and the availability of the doc. You need to look at the things about each doc that are important to you and then weigh out the pros and cons of each MD.
I'm so very happy you're seeing progress! I know it's a long road, but look! Already almost at the month mark! That's awesome!!!!
Well I still have sensations but they are more manageable now..... still have jitteryness but again nothing like before... tingling sensations in my legs but not like before. What I have developed though is pain in my finger joints ever since I started going back to the gym and the joint near the nail on several of my fingers is a bit swollen. I'm 49 so my GP said she doesnt think its arthritis but I never had it this bad before all this anxiety and tingling sensations and stuff started happening.... maybe just age... i don't know but I know anxiety doesn't cause arthritis..but she wasn't interested in looking any further into it.
Fortunately in Canada, once you are referred to a psychiatrist by your GP and they accept you there is no charge under our universal health care system so cost is not an issue. But yes I will listen to what she has to say and then make a decision. I just feel she is so wrapped up in everything being anxiety related that she has lost her objectivity and with that I in turn have downgraded my trust level in her and that doesn't make for a comfortable situation for me. So if I remove her from that process then hopefully I can have her concentrate on non-anxiety related things that come up..... and if that doesn't work I can march my medical records over to another GP.....
The pain in your finger joints is most likely related to something you are doing at the gym. I am 47 or will be in a few days and I did P90X and now I apparently have some sort or rotator cuff problem that I now have to go get looked at. I played softball into my 30s and racquet ball into my early 40s and P90X took me down...We aren't spring chickens anymore! But in any case, certainly bring it up to your new doc. Best of luck and glad you are feeling much better.
Well met with the psychiatrist and she has agreed to take me as a patient so I am moving over and will let my GP know this week that my counselling and medications will now be monitored and dispensed by the psych...... feeling good about that decision
Glad to hear you're doing well. Happy to hear that the new psych is taking you on as a patient!
I appreciated your suggestion to incorporate some exercise back into my life, but I haven't figured out how or when yet. I wake up so jittery that I need to drink a protein shake right away, and then I feel a bit better. But my stomach isn't too happy then. Hard to exercise when your stomach is full and upset! I'll have to see if I can figure out another time to do it.
Its day 30! One month... wow.... I never thought I would make it just a few weeks back. I am up to 15 mg of Lexapro today... feeling good after an hour and a half workout at the gym this morning. Finger joints will prob hurt later today but whatever.... the price for trying to stay healthy in your 40's I guess......
Keep up the good work Turkee23..... hopefullty you're starting to feel the side effects start to dissipate.... yeah its nice to share the experiences on here. I don't think without the support of everyone on here I would have stuck it out this long.....so hopefully anyone else starting out or considering whether or not to start will benefit from our chronicles....
Day 31 - really feeling good today... my symptoms are defintely dissipating.... I really believe getting back to the gym everyday has made a HUGE difference...it took a month people.. so if you're not at a month and still feeling like you can't make it... hold out..... its like it literally kicks in in a matter of days and you start to feel better..... and to everyone who said "stick it out" you were right!! and thank you
hahah....yes you did.... but its hard to believe it when you feel like you are crawling out of your skin.... they gotta figure out a way to make these meds not put you through that hell in the beginning... hopefully someone is working on that.....
Oh I know CG! I've been there many times, and it was not the most pleasant thing in the world. I can see why a lot of people throw in the towel, but sadly, they never get to really see the wonderful changes these meds can bring.
today been kind of a set back....feeling jittery today...not as bad but its there!....makes me wanna cry....i havent taken a xanax in 6 days and i feel like is hould...its day 23...uggggggg i dont want a set back!!!......can someone go respond to my post, i put the same thing.....
Thats ok Turkee I had one setback too at day 16/17 and I was pretty upset about it but it reset... its alright to have a setback day.....take the xanax if you need it.... you prob won't tomorrow or the day after.....
Sorry I havent posted for a few days... been travelling for work.... feeling really good... most side effects are gone now... find it a bit harder to sleep at night than i used to but other than that.... everything else feels fine.... so yeah.... everything is good.....
OMG it is so nice to read something positive on here right now. It just seems like there has been a run on anxiety today and it is bringing me down with so many people suffering. I'm glad we don't have to count you in that group anymore....welcome to the other side of the fence!
Hey all... heading home today after a week on the road.... everything seems to have pretty stabilized and im feeling good..... seeing psychiatrist tomorrow for a check in appt and to get more meds.... but yeah seems i have lept over the "fence" and it feels good on the other side.....
It's been pretty rough for me (minor ups and huge downs this past month) but you give me hope.
I'm on Prozac 20mg and Klonopin 1mg x2 (4th week, started at 10mg and .5 for a week then to the current dosage) and I don't know if it's working or not because I always feel anxious in the morning, depressed in the afternoon, and better at night (although not "myself"). Prozac 40mg gave me too much of a down (extreme depression) so I went down to 20mg again. Hopefully I get the same results as you though.
Well, keep up the good work and good luck maintaining both your physical and mental health (and spiritual if you're religious) :)
HI, your path seems like mine. I have been on Lexapro for over 5 years with amazing results. On Chrsitmas Day I got hit with depression/anxiety. My psy had me up my dose from 20 to 30mg. it has been 6 days and have seen alittle improvement. How long have you noticed it took to see better results from the upped dosage?
I have read canuckguy42's posts and they have given me some hope. I am on day 6 of taking lexapro 10mg tabs and my anxiety seems horrible. I am agitated, irritable and find myself so emotional. I find it hard to socialize or enjoy others companying. However, I also, feel like I am scared to the point I want someone with me all the time. These feelings suck and feel more intense since I started taking the meds. But, I am hoping they are just side effects that I will work through in the next few weeks. Has anyone else had similar feelings?