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Avatar universal

Effexor XR to Lexapro

I have been diagnosed with GAD and also have Mitral Valve Prolapse.  I am in the process of changing from 75 mg. Effexor to Lexapro after 4 months on effexor.  My Dr. said for one week to cut down effexor to 37.5 and take half a 10 mg. Lexapro.  Then second week to take half the 37.5 and 3/4 pill of Lexapro, then stop effexor completely and take the full 10 mg. of Lexapro. I also take 1 mg. Klonopin three times a day and 50 mg. Tenormin for the MVP/anxiety.  For the first 10 days I felt great.  Very relaxed, sleeping great and no anxiety at all.  Then last night (the third day on the lowest effexor and higher lexapro) I didn't sleep, was very anxious and tense feeling.  Had a good peaceful weekend so don't think it is environmental.  Today, I still feel anxious and of course tired from not sleeping.  Could it be my body adjusting to the change in meds or is it Effexor withdrawals?  If so, how long should it last.  Should I go ahead and start taking the full 10 mg. of Lexapro until I am completely off the effexor.  Could it be side effects from the Lexapro.  I would have thought I would have side effects right away if I were going to have any on the Lexapro. Just wondered what your thoughts are on this.  Thanks for your help.
12 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
Its very likely that you are having a stimulating effect from Lexapro. NOt likely it is a withdrawal effect from Effexor. Therefore, talk to your doctor about adjusting the schedule so you stay on the last dose of Lexapro while going off the Effexor.
Avatar universal
I've been taking Effexor for two months but am currently taking 225mg of it daily.  Today I got my blood pressure checked and it was high on two separate readings, five minutes apart.  I'm not on any medications that would cause high blood pressure besides Effexor, and I'm 26 years old, and it's ALWAYS been fine until TODAY.

So, my GP told me to quit taking the effexor (and that I should wean, if need be) and started me on Lexapro, 10mg, RIGHT AWAY.  Take the full 10mg of Lex -- it's a mild dose, and the dose that works for most people.  Also, studies have shown that the 20mg of Lex doesn't work that much better than the 10mg, so 10 mg is the right dose, the starting dose, and the dose you should take.

Take the 37.5 of effexor if necessary.  I only have 75 mg and 150 mg pills, and I'm trying to quit cold turkey.  I hope it isn't going to be a problem, since I was on it for less than 2 months, but 225 mg is high indeed.  I just want to get the stuff out of my system and I'll deal with the withdrawal if necessary.  I'm not trading in depression for stroke, since there are other meds that are as good as effexor, lex included.

I'll keep you updated.  Good luck to you.
Avatar universal
Hey,I didn't have any BP problems but I wanted to come off the drug because of the withdrawals I keep reading about.  It made anxious in itself.  I sure don't need anymore anxiety than I already have.  I hope all goes well with you.  I would still be care though, but maybe you will be one of the lucky ones and not have any problems.  I hope you do well on the Lex.  Did he tell you to take it in the morning or at night?  Just curious, I have been taking my effexor in the morning and lex at lunch but gradually have been taking it later in the day to see how I do at night.  Most of these AD's keep me awake at night but some say Lex helps them sleep.  Guess time will tell.  Let me know how it goes and Good Luck!
Avatar universal
I don't think my GP told me when to take the lex, but I'll look at the script tomorrow when I pick it up.  I was taking the effexor at night though.  I also wonder these withdrawal symptoms will start. I really actually wanted to get off of effexor too for the same reason you did, but I decided since I wasn't having any side effects that bothered me, I'd stick with it.  But the BP was reason enough to change, so I got what I wanted anyway -- off the effexor.  I'll keep you updated.  best of luck to you too.
Avatar universal
Hey, I just wondered if you had started your Lex yet and how it was going.  Guess I am going to stay at the 5 mg. until I go back to the Dr. then I will have been on it a month and hopefully my body will have adjusted enough and gotten used to the med that I can up the dose a little without as much anxiety.  Besides that, I haven't had any other side effects and was feeling really good until upping the dose and that ole anxiety started coming back.  I have read some posts though that say some people have to start on lower doses and go up VERY slowly to reach the therapeutic dose.  Hopefully, that will work for me if I raise it slow enough.  I am so sensative to meds, caffeine, sugar and all though so I guess it shouldn't surprise me that I had this side effect.  I can't even take a decongestant without getting the jitters and nervousness.  What are your thoughts on this, have you read much about having to slowly increase these types of meds to avoid jitteriness and anxiety side effects?  Hope all is going well with you.  Let me know.  Take care.
Avatar universal
Unlike you, I am not very sensitive to medications generally.  I quit the Effexor cold turkey (I was on 225 mg) but on the third day, I had constant dizziness and light shocks throughout my body, so now I take 75mg every OTHER day.  I started the Lexapro 3 days ago (today was day 3), and started with 10 mg from the get-go.  I will take 10 mg for another two weeks and see how it goes.  At that point, I'll go up to the therapeutically accepted maximum of 20mg and then go down to 37.5 of Effexor and then as the 20mg Lexapro kicks in fully, will drop the effexor like a bad habit.  So far, so good I would say.  I am glad to be getting off the effexor though.

I would normally recommend more aggressive treatment than what you're doing, but since you are so sensitive to medications, I think it's a good idea to wean yourself up the lex and gradually wean off the effexor at the pace you feel comfortable with.  People have different sensitivites, and you know your body better than anyone else.  I'm a guy who can drink 3 cups of coffee in one hour and barely even feel it.  So that just goes to show how different you and I are, so clearly our dosages and our responsivness/tolerance will vary.

All I can say is that I like your plan, seems logical based on your body's past history of response, and I think you're on the right track.
Avatar universal
Im glad to see that you are using Lexapro.  If you remember, I was given Lexapro but decided not to use it.  I still have not but its sitting in the drawer just in case.  Im glad your side effects are not giving you too much trouble so I know that if I decide to start the Lex, I will know a little more about what to expect.  Also, do you think that becasue we are aware of what the possble side effects COULD be that we tend to bring them on a little stronger.  Example being that 2 years ago I took Zoloft (.25 for 8 months) had no side effects and quit cold turkey again with no side effects.  I was not aware of any of the side effects I just did it and was fine.  Now that I know what could possibly happen, I am a little afraid to take the meds.  This plays a small part in why I won't take the Lex but a larger part is that I feel that if I work on the things that are bothering me and to try and control the stress I can beat it without the meds.  There are days that I tell myself that tonight I am going to start the Lex but night comes and I forget about it.  I know it would be alot easier to cope and deal with taking the meds but I guess I am trying to prove to myself that I can do it without.  I hope all goes well with everyone and wishing everyone great success with their plights.
Avatar universal
Great!!!!  I'm happy everthing is working out for you.  Should I decide to take the Lexapro I know I can keep your great results in mind.  I almost decided to take it tonight (not a great day) but I have more good days than bad and I don't want to get more anxiety than I already have (possible side effect).  That is the main reason I have not taken it yet.  Best of luck to you.
Avatar universal
hey all - 2 cents on Lexapro.  i started 3-4 weeks ago at 5 mg at night.  zero side effects.  wonderful results.  extreme, raging PMS is normal now.  anxious, ruminative thought patterns are MUCH less frequent and much easier to stop, and am overall living a life less-obsessed with getting "better".  last week i felt i was dragging butt a bit and tried taking it in AM vs PM; am feeling more energetic suring the day now.

as for side effects, i took prozac for around 6 years & at 60 mg it stopped working last fall.  i came off it cold turkey with no side effects.  the only effect was the eventual realization that my bod was craving serotonin despite all non-med attempts to cope.  (the 5 mg lex has been great.)  the point?  i think ontherecord is right - we're all different.  

the very low dose lex is allowing me to learn to live a life of normal highs/lows...without the horrible LOW lows that prevent one from being able to function.  if i go off it someday, cool - but for now, i'm geeked that this is working.      

OTR (ontherecord) - how's your lex experience thus far?
Avatar universal
I read your post regarding the SSRIs losing their effects eventually and have basically the same symptoms that you had before taking the Lex.  I am now having more bad days than good and am therfore SERIOUSLY considering taking the Lex tonight.  I am telling myself that I did not fail in my attempt not to use the meds, I just need a little help so that I can gradually get back off once I am stabilized.  I am really hoping for a experience as well as yours but since everyone is different all I can do is hope.  I had a great experience with Zoloft about 2 years ago but back then I didn't know about the side effects so I didn't look for them at all.  I gained alot of weight with the Zoloft so of course I don't want to gain anymore but supposedly this is good for that as well.  I'm about 95% sure I will start tonight so in keeping with a positive attitude, I will post in a few weeks to let everyone of my "great experience with minimal side effects if any"!!!  Best of luck to everyone.
Avatar universal
Just wondered how you are doing.  Are you off the effexor now? I am on about half of the 37.5 mg. and will taper down from there.  Just wondered if you had any problems when you completely came off the med.  I hope to be off in about a week or so.  Let me know how things are with the Lex.
Avatar universal
Just wondered how you are doing. Are you off the effexor now? I am on about half of the 37.5 mg. and will taper down from there. Just wondered if you had any problems when you completely came off the med. I hope to be off in about a week or so. Let me know how things are with the Lex.
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