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Avatar universal


I just wanted to share my story about Lexapro. I took one 10mg Lexapro pill and 8 hours later had a severe adverse reaction to the drug. My life was about to become a nightmare.(This incident happened 14 months ago)

My experience is rare but it is important to stress the dangers not explained by professionals in the field and there are many similarities between my experience and that of those who experience terrible withdrawal symptoms from SSRI's.

THE FIRST DAY: I woke up and jumped out of my bed terrified at what I was feeling. Terrible headache, nausea, crazy thoughts and visual hallucinations. Waves of energy ran through my body almost like I was on fire on the inside. I was completely physically agitated and could not sit down or eat. I had to pace or walk or run just to get the nervousness to be bearable. I actually ran circles around my house and one day I ran down my street in a sprint right out of bed, almost naked. I wouldn't eat for 3 days due to the nausea. I couldn't drive for a few weeks and I was cared for by my girlfriend to remain sane and mentally ok.

Keep in mind, I had no symptoms like this in my entire life before I took the pill. I know it was this pill that did this to me 100%. I was prescribed this drug for insomnia. There were so many side effects that I don't know where to start and also they would come and go in different combinations so it is very difficult to convey the experience.

Sometimes I could not lay down. Sometimes I could not eat too much. Sometimes I could not have sex. Sometimes I would feel as if I weren't real. Sometimes I would not be able to work out. Sometimes I had to walk for miles to release the energy. Sometimes I would freak out and cry and run down the street. Sometimes I would call for help and not know why. I would feel so scared for no reason. I would have nervous attacks lasting for hours or days. The first week , I remember my hands didn't feel real. I kept rubbing my thumbs against my fingers to feel if they were my hands doing it. Sometimes I would be nauseous for days. The waves of sensations I could feel when hormones were released was uncanny and frightening. I determined this from information I learned from my girlfriend, who was a nurse, and while studying the endocrine system. The waves that were waking me up screaming in the mornings were the hormones that normally would wake a person gently. It was like everything inside my body was amplified to the point of being painful. Sometimes I would watch movies and believe they were real. This was terrifying, especially if it was a horror movie or someone died. I would fall apart. All sensations were far too strong and I could not deal with my perception to the stimuli of everyday life.

It was terrible. Everything in my body was wacked out! I couldn't sleep at all some nights and sometimes I couldn't lay down or I'd have an attack of what people refer to as brain zaps. I believed I was going insane. I thought the symptoms would go away after a few weeks because the pharmacist and doctors told me this. The neurologist had no idea what was going on. The side effects did not go away. The first 2 months were hell! A rollercoaster of sensations, emotions and thoughts would come and go out of nowhere and last different amounts of time from hours to days. It was truly exhausting. By the 3rd month I was broken. I cried off and on for no reason for an entire month. I do not usually cry so this was very strange. By the 4th month I was somewhat better and the crying had dramatically slowed. I had not been able to work at all for 4 months and decided to work one day a week to get back on the horse. I had lost my house, job, savings, excellent credit rating and by the 5th month I lost my girlfriend.

It has been a very difficult time in my life. The most difficult time. It has been 14 months and I have been gradually improving over time. I am not completely well yet. I have chatted online with 2 other who have had this experience over one pill and they tell me it takes approximately 2 years to be alright again. I couldn't believe it when I first heard it but I believe it now. It is crazy. I have also met several people who have this experience and get well after approximately 6 weeks. Then there are those who are fine until they try to stop taking the drug and find themselves in between a rock and a hard place due to the withdrawal. I am assuming that these drugs are experimental and dangerous. In part, I say this because Pharma reps, doctors, pharmacists and my neurologists have told me that they have no idea what a normal amount of serotonin is, in the brain. I am also saying this because none of these professionals are aware of any way to help people with problems caused by these medications because they are unaware of what these drugs actually do in our brains. THEY DON'T KNOW. Noone seems to know.

Well, it has been 14 months and I am working 4 days a week, part time, until I get better.(If I do get completely better) I am in recovery but I receive no disability and apparently have no case for a law suit. If you think you are protected by the law, think again. It is unbelievable what these psychiatric meds. do to some people and why they are dished out to people like candy. Whether or not you have a good experience or bad, these drugs are unproven and dangerous. My experience has forced me to see a reality that I am disgusted with. I hope this information can help people that may be going throught the hell I went through. For me, at the time, a few people telling me I wasn't going to die meant everything to me. I had no idea except for what they shared with me. Contact me if you need some info.

My name is Tony: wdtony at Hot mail com.
12 Responses
Avatar universal
If you don't mind me asking..they tell you to report adverse side effects right away..why did you keep taking it if these started from Day #1?
Avatar universal
I know exactly what you mean Tony. I had bad effects from lexapro. My anxiety was heightened, and I felt out of control. Panicky all day long and I would get a BURNING feeling in my head that scared the hell out of me. I took this hell drug for almost 4 weeks. The doctors kept telling me to take it. I never thought it was the drug becuase my mom and sister take lexapro. Finally one day I decided not to take it against doctors advice and that was the beginning of my road to discovery. I originally went to the doctor for heart fluttering and mild tingling. I was getting minor panic attacks. After I started taking that drug all hell broke loose. I just thought I was getting worse. When I stopped taking the lexapro I started to feel the improvement within a couple of days. I don't belive that these drugs are the cure for everyone. I do belive that they help people because my mom and sister only improved after taking it, BUT I think that doctors are getting to prescription happy. They give these drugs out to people to easily. I think your primary should give you a refferal to a psychiatrist and get  evaluted further before writing out scripts. You walk in to a doctors and You tell your symptoms and boom, It's anxiety here is a script for lexapro, zoloft, cymbalta, effexor, ETC....
I completely understand where you are coming from Tony. I am glad that you are starting to feel better. Hang in there.
Avatar universal
I don't mind you asking at all.

You see, I only took one pill.  One pill...........One 10mg. pill of Lexapro. 8 hours later BAM! I was in hell.

That is why it is so weird.

Avatar universal
I completely agree with you. I know 3 people that take Lexapro that do well on it. Although, they do report weight gain and no sex drive. Also, they have tried to stop taking it but are unable to. To me, this sounds almost like a heroin addiction. What I experienced was entirely different and horrifying. Doctors are too prescription happy. People have different physiologies, for example: allergies, I once had a girlfriend who could die from eating a few peanuts. Another friend: bee stings could kill him. The list of differences goes on and on. Why should we assume that our brains are all the same?

Avatar universal
Thanks...so only one pill did it?Wow!I have been on Lexapro for about 2 weeks now but have only stayed at 5 mg instead of going up to 10 mgs. The first week was tough as my anxiety was worse in the middle of the night and I sweated to the point where I soaked the sheets. that has gone away and I think the small amount has made things a little calmer.
Avatar universal
Thanks...so only one pill did it?Wow!I have been on Lexapro for about 2 weeks now but have only stayed at 5 mg instead of going up to 10 mgs. The first week was tough as my anxiety was worse in the middle of the night and I sweated to the point where I soaked the sheets. that has gone away and I think the small amount has made things a little calmer.
Avatar universal
A lot of the adverse affects have to do with the dosage.  I took Lexapro successfully for almost a year then had to stop due to pregnancy.  When I was put back on I had a similar reaction.  I later found out that the dosage had been to high and once I started out on a lower dose and worked my way up, I was fine again.  This medicine can really help, however it is hard to get off of.  Not because of any kind of addictive feeling, but because it brings on some pretty severe panic attacks that can last a couple months.
Avatar universal
I had the exact same side effects, I called my doc on a saturday, he told me to stop taking it and we would try something else, that was 4 years ago, to this day I still deal with my anxiety and panic, I will never try another pill again. It scared the you know what out of me and my husband.
285848 tn?1219092313
I take lexapro and I was only a bit shaky and panic stricken for about two or three days then I was fine. I take 10 mg. Before I took 100 of zoloft. Now that made me whack out! Compared to the Zoloft, Lexapro is a smooth ride. I'm sorry for you negative experience with it. Everyone reacts differently and this really proves it. I hope everything gets better for you!
Avatar universal

I am getting better over time. The point you make about the importance of everyone reacting differently is the reason I am writing on here. The bottom line is that there should be much more attention and care when considering psychiatric medication.

Avatar universal
It scared me to the point I thought I was going insane. A horrible fear. I had never had a panick like this before. It was like the adrenaline rush you get when a dog jumps at you by surprise, but it lasted all the time!

I agree with you, I am just too sensitive to risk more medication. I had been on 4 other anti-depressants in my life without a similar reaction. I usually only had lethargy and impotence as side effects. This lexapro was a whole new world of pain for me.

I hope you can find other ways to deal with the anxiety.

Avatar universal
It's nice to know we arent alone with the side effects, I dont blame you for not taking the meds due to impotence LOL. Good luck with all your stuff.
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