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Avatar universal

Lexapro Users......question for you

When you started Lexapro, did you start slowly and increase that way?

I started on 2.5 and then 5, each for a week.

I am supposed to go up to 10mgs tonight but am nervous about it!

If I started slowly, wouldn't I have had a bad reaction to it if I was going to by now?

How did it go for you if you went from 5mg to 10mg?

34 Responses
Avatar universal
You can't get the help you need from the med. until you move up to the appropriate dose, so that is the risk you have to take in order to get relief from a dangerous anxiety condition. In my case,  anxiety was a frightening condition that wouldn't go away on its own, even for 5 minutes.

My doc and pharmacist said there is anecdotal evidence that too low a dose of Lexapro causes your condition to be worse in some people. The drug is different for different folks, so don't worry about that, but acknowledge it is a possibility. I took it for 7 months with great results at 30. 20 was good, but wasn't quite enough.

If you look at Motrin's side effects and thought they might happen to  you, you might think twice about taking one, however the chances of a bad effect aren't very high, and millions are consumed safely every hour. My doc said you can't get an effect without  a side effect.

If you get a reaction, see your doc, or your pharmacist in a pinch. I got a 24 hour one for my meds so I could have good advice at any panicky time. Lots of the effects don't last very long anyway, although I yawned often for 4 months, then it went away. Small price to pay for relief.

Write back.
847195 tn?1296175247

I was just put on 10mg but i decided to start on 5mg first, been on it a week and a half now so will give it a month, if it doesn't help i will put it up to 10mg, in my case it hasn't made it worse but the fact i am taking it made me think more about it so, making it worse, so far im doing good, but not a huge difference, i will keep you posted i hope you do the same... thanks
Avatar universal
You won't get anything from 5 so move up now. Minimum dose is 10, so you are wasting your time doing 5. You should never take less medication than the recommended dose of anything.

There is nothing to be afraid of, if it works out, but if not there are lots of other drug choices.

How did you get 2.5 and 5? Did you cut a 10?
358304 tn?1409713092
I have to disagree with you on that one... I take .5mg and it helps me lots.
358304 tn?1409713092
sorry 5mg no .5mg.
Avatar universal
Do you cut it to get 5 and do you take other drugs? My pharmacy said 10 is the normal starter dose, so did you start higher and work down to 5, and did your doc approve that 5 dosage?

No matter what your situation, her doc said to use 10 so it is unwise to self medicate.
358304 tn?1409713092
yes i have a pill cutter. it was a pain cutting them with a kitchen knife. lol.

last year i took 10mg, and it caused me to have more anxiety... so i cut it down to 5mg and that did the trick.... then i went all the way down to 2.5mg and stayed on that for about 4 months.

then i went off of it.... and now im back in the same boat. lol.
Avatar universal
Well, your anxiety can increase on Celexa if you take too little, so you should have moved up from 10, not down in dosage. My pharmacist had never heard of a 5s dose until my doc told me to cut 10s to 5s but that was when I was tapering off under my doc's instructions. The taper is necessary to allow the body to stabilize when you are quitting the med, so going to 5s was to allow it time to stabilize in a very conservative manner.
The pharmacist said normally you taper down until you get to 10 then go to zero, because going below 10 there is not much in your system.

So based on his description of the physics, when you took 5s and 2.5, you were getting no effect from the med. Perhaps a placebo effect made you feel the anxiety was gone, or perhaps you had found non-prescription therapies to resolve your anxiety. There is a minimum amount of any drug required to cause an effect, and you were below it.

Were you self prescribing when you took the 5s or did your doc tell you to do that?
Avatar universal
It builds in your system, so you need to go 8 weeks for the maximum effect, when trying to determine what, if anything, it is doing for you. But you won't get any effect on those 5s.
I know the pain of anxiety and depression, along with the indescribably satisfying freedom attained when the med worked. As my doc said, "You need this med to learn what it means to be happy again."
Avatar universal
I am also on 10mg, I started at 5mg for a week, and went up to 10mg.

847195 tn?1296175247
Well i am finding i am more relaxed and calmer, and im on 5mg, i don't think i should go up yet till i see if it having an effect on me, i did not want to go on these drugs so stepping up a dose just because it might work more is just not something i want to do for now, i will give it a few weeks, and i lost my job, my friends and everything i had dear because of this anxiety and globus hystericus, apart from my amazing fiancee, plus i have free medical care and drugs so i don't pay for any of it, so... i have all the time in the world to get it right! :)

kristine what kind of effect did this have on you? are you doing well now?
Avatar universal
Yes, if you aren't on something already that makes sense for 1 week, but the real starter dose is the 10. The 5 is just to get something in your system to allow it to get used to the real dose.
775949 tn?1252648820
Hi I started Lexapro 10mg about over a month ago for anxiety...I started by taking only 1/2 the pill for a week, then the whole pill. And so far I've had no negative side effects or anything, it seems to be working but I've still had about 2 anxiety attacks though. But I just take a Xanax. :)
Avatar universal
I wish I could get by with 5mg. I'm on 40mg and 3-4mg xanax
Avatar universal
To everyone who is experimenting on 5 when your doc said to take 10.

This message is important, since you don't have a clue what you are doing, but are bent on determining your own dose in spite of what your doctor who knows what he is doing says.

You are getting no effect with 5. Ask your pharmacist, if you are not afraid of the truth. If not, continue in your fantasy world and take 5.

I understand now why my pharmacist said some doctors prescribe anti anxiety and depression meds to some people who don't need them. My pharmacist said it is to get them out of their office, because there is always the chance a placebo effect will occur. This thread is proof of the placebo effect working.
358304 tn?1409713092
I don't understand you... my Dr. said 5mg is what I can take... and it works for me! How can you speak for me? I don't understand that? And if it is placebo... who cares!? It works!
Avatar universal
You never said that your doctor told you to take 5 when I asked you before. Funny that my pharmacist told me 10 is the lowest dose that would have an effect. Your response means either my pharmacist or your doc is wrong. ??

I am advocating anyone go only with the dosage their doctor said to use.

Good luck all. No one can understand anxiety and depression unless they have been in it.
242912 tn?1402547092
Hey Birdie.....maybe the confusion here is because the thread is about Lexapro, but you are talking about Celexa?
Avatar universal
Good one. I thought they were the same, just different names for the different countries we live in. Someone said they are almost identical on another discussion. For my own info, I plan to verify with my pharmacist.

Ok, if I am wrong, I am wrong.
But 2 things come out of this.
If it really is an almost identical drug, and if you are feeling worse symptoms, you have to go up, not down.
Follow your doc's dosage, or check with him when switching dosages if he hasn't already told you to try switching. Not sure that has always been done here.
847195 tn?1296175247
It doesn't mean your pharmacist is wrong, there only human, they don't no everything about ever drug in existence or the exact effects on every individual person, every person has a different effect when taking drugs, just because your pharmacy said 10 is only thing that works that doesn't make it totally true for everyone in the world, so please don't talk for other people! its not nice, 5mg is having an effect on me because i am very sensitive to most drugs, and is helping me a lot, so for you to say its doing nothing is crazy, so don't undermine what is helping me and many others because you think what 2 people have said is nothing but the truth! my doctor once said i had acid reflux but it turned out i had serious IBS so doctors are wrong all the time, get over it.. My doctor said take 10mg, i am saying no, because 5mg is already doing things to me, so i want to see what happens, and as far as your comment
"No one can understand anxiety and depression unless they have been in it. " we are all here because we all have gone through anxiety, thats why we are here, i have lost my job, had no money, lost everything in my life because of these problems and many others have also, we are all just as bad and worse than you, your 54 so show some respect for others please, we all have problems, and anyone can be wrong, we are all only human....
358304 tn?1409713092
Good for you! If 5mg makes you feel better... then good for you.

I took 10mg last year... and it ended up giving me more anxiety. So I called my Dr. and he said to go down to 5mg.

I did, and I felt better.. and got better.

Then, after a couple of months or more on 5mg, I tapered down to 2.5mg and stayed on that for a long while. And I was perfect! And happy for 6 months straight!!! No anxiety.

So to birdie0907, some people don't need as much as a chemical as others.
Speak for yourself and not others in here.

You might actually be causing more people more problems....

You might have scared someone out there who is fine on 5mg of Lexapro... and made them think "Oh my Gosh, 5mg isnt doing anything to me!? Is it all in my head!? I better up my dosage!"

And you could be giving them anxiety..

Sorry to sound so "blunt"... but you were a little blunt too, speaking for everyone out there... b/c you are SO SURE that 5mg can't do anything for anyone.
Avatar universal
I started on 2.5 for a week, then 5 for a week, then 7.5 a week, and now at 10mg for a month.

in the middle of all of this, my husband was laid off (panic!).....I was amazed at how well I held it together through it all.

I was doing really good the past few weeks but for the past few days, my anxiety and OCD seem worse.

I am also trying to get off Paxil at the same time (down to 4mgs) reaalllllly slowly....

the fact that I felt really good and actually normal for a few weeks gives me hope I am on the right track! But now that the anxiety and yuck has increased, I am wondering if I need a bit more? Or is 1 month at 10mgs not long enough to judge fairly?

Any thoughts?


Avatar universal
After seeing what can happen when put on too high a dose of SSRI (Paxil quit working for me so they just kept upping it and I felt horrible, THEN had to go through hell to get off of it, which I am still doing)....it is best to start with the smallest dose of any med and work your way up.

I wish I had stopped at 5mgs of Lex and waited more than 1 week, but I was suffering really bad with Paxil W/D.

Maybe the 5mg would have been enough, but my psych wanted me to work to 10 since my anxiety was so bad (and OCD)

to each his own!

Avatar universal
You need to talk to the people on this site who will tell you there's no such thing as Paxil withdrawal -- they might enjoy hearing from you!  (They sure took after me).

They started me on 5mg, then went to 10, then 15, then 20, now going higher.  Obviously, it isn't working.  But they did go up slowly, 5mg at a time.
Avatar universal
How long did you wait before increasing each time?

I am at 10mgs now and was doing well, but seem to have increased anxiety recently...

not sure if I should increase my clonazepam (.25 1x a day) or try to go up in Lexapro...

Will be speaking to my psych about it.

Avatar universal
My psychiatrist waited, if I remember correctly, a few weeks at least -- he's a health plan shrink, which means we only see one another at intervals.  It wasn't super slow, but wasn't very fast, either.  He wanted to see how I reacted first.  But again, it hasn't worked that well for me, so after a long time now, I'm probably going to try an increased dose.
847195 tn?1296175247
Did anyone have any problems when upping the dose of lexapro?  like more side effects or anything of that nature?
Avatar universal
There was a point where my Dr. recommended moving my dose for 10-15mg, once I hit 15, I felt more nervous. BUT, I will say, that going into it was thinking "Oh boy, I hope this doesn't create more anxiety", so with that being said, I would probably give it another try, without going into it so negatively this time. I have a bad habit of negative thinking, which doesn't help my cause.......I'm working on that!

Take Care!
358304 tn?1409713092
You can't just take a anti depressant and expect it to cure you anxiety 100%... you also have to HELP YOURSELF... HELP YOUR THINKING PROCESS... Cognitive therapy.
847195 tn?1296175247
yes i realize that, but i need more help than i have now...

Does anyone have any problems or other symptoms when drinking on lexapro?
Avatar universal
I would check  with your pharmacist or doc to make sure drinking is safe with your med. I read a doc online on this board three or so years ago saying you can get a seizure when drinking alcohol with either Celexa or Lexapro, I can't remember which.
358304 tn?1409713092
drinking with any antidepressant is no good!
Avatar universal
Drinking isn't recommended with virtually any med there is.  A drink might be okay, but certainly not a lot.  And you were put on Lexapro for one of two things, depression and/or anxiety, and drinking doesn't go well with either of them.
847195 tn?1296175247
ok thanks guys,

I had one drink last night, think thats all i will ever have in future or less... felt great for a while then get a bad headache, a looked it up on google and yes it all said it was a bad idea so i wont do it again... thanks
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