Sleep Disorders Community
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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.
8 Responses
Avatar universal

It is rare to have Lexapro induce such symptoms.
Your experience is worth sharing.


Avatar universal
Thank you sir,

Although, I have met at least a dozen people with very similar experiences. I know of many who have recovered after weeks or months but do not post on here. When I hear their stories, I can't believe these medications aren't regulated more closely. There is something very wrong with the ease at which people are acquiring these medications and the lack of restriction when prescribing them to patients for any number of ailments. It is my belief that these medications are for severe, clinical depression; I wonder why people receive them for everything from pain to insomnia. This is a very ambiguous and questionable practice, to say the least.

333664 tn?1220804390
1 10 mg. lexapro and 1 year later. today i have no energy and feel foggy. i also had a bad reaction to this stuff which one dr. said was speculative. in other words i was full of ****. since then i take klonopin for anxiety lamictal to try and stop or assist the depression and an occasional xanax to go to sleep at night. can't function in most "usual life" situations though i'm getting good at faking it. i still have panic attacks for no reason. short term memory is a little out of wack and i don't really know what to do with myself most times. my depression is worse than ever, a 36 year old man crying and don't know why sometimes. i was depressed when i was first given ssri drugs but nothing like this. after effexor, celexa, and lexy my doctor and i have concluded that ssri drugs aren't right for me. meanwhile , like you, i wait. some might say the no energy, foggy is the side effect of the other drugs. maybe a little but i felt a lot of this long before current meds. by the way , only 1 mg. of klonopin and 25 mg. of lamictal (to be increased) daily. the here and there 1 mg. of xanax to get some sleep. i am ex athlete, ex military, ex motivated. i live day to day. i know what is real around me but feel displaced at most given times. almost a dream state constantly. where did i go? i don't look for an answer to that, but that is one of the many wonders now. how long has it been now and how are you feeling?
     thanks,       BUD
551789 tn?1237184529
I went to the doctors about 3 months ago complaining of dizziness, disorientation and a feeling like my legs were made of rubber and finding it hard to keep upright. He prescribed me Lexapro and said I was having a panic attack brought on by underlying anxiety. (both of which I never had before)
The day after I took the first pill it hit me, I was sitting at my computer playing a game and suddenly I felt like someone knocked me out and I was left punch-drunk. My skin began to crawl and I felt like I was riding a roller coaster backwards. I went into the bedroom and laid down...I spun until I fell asleep. I awoke from a horrific nightmare 3 hours later and had a very hard time breathing and my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest. (keep in mind that it's about 2 in the afternoon) I got up to splash some water on my face and everything looked green-tinted and I felt like I was starting to hallucinate. I thought maybe I was just weak and dizzy from not eating so I made a sandwich, took 2 bites then could not force myself to finish the third.
I thought maybe some fresh air would help me out. I stepped outside and immediately I felt a fright and had to run back inside, then I felt like I had to leave my house but I couldn't go outside....I was in a pickle. I went back to the bedroom and laid down. My hands were clammy, I felt like my body was on fire and my legs were in boiling stinging water, but my feet were frozen. I was trembling inside and felt like I was having a heart attack. Again I fell asleep.
My girlfriend came home at 10pm and I told her what happened. She said it was probably the medication and my system was not used to it; I have never taken any medications ever except for the occasional antibiotic and headache OTC. I lay awake until 2am, my mind racing and my body feeling like I had run a marathon. I take a sleeping pill and I fall asleep. I had the most vivid dream in my life that included smells and bright lights...at least my body is quiet.
Day 3. I cannot get out of bed. I sit up and take my Lexapro, eat some cereal and lay in bed watching TV. When I lay down i feel like I'm falling, when I sit up I feel dizzy, if I stand I need to sit immediately. I tried to take a shower. No sooner than my body is wet I feel the urge to run out of the shower, I felt claustrophobic and a feeling of doom washed over me, like something bad was about to happen. I lay back down, now I'm filled with a thought that someone is going to get me (not really kill me, but something bad is going to happen to me). My legs were achy and I can now feel my heart beat throughout my entire body especially in my hands and face. I slept most of the day and night, dreamless but at least I'm not awake and my body is quiet.
By the 4th day I have no idea why I take my daily pill but I do. I have not eaten anything since the cereal the day before and I feel dehydrated. I took a drink of water and it burns. My hands feel like they're covered with something and I cannot feel them touch my face. I pinch my leg until it breaks the skin...but I still cannot feel my hands doing it. I call my girlfriend and tell her that I think I'm overdosing and I think I'm going to die...I cry uncontrollably. My girlfriend came home to me laying in the hallway dry-heaving and sobbing (I was unconscious at this point). She calls my neighbor over and they both drag me into our car and drive to the ER.
The ER asked who prescribed me the medication and why. My girlfriend answers for me and told me to stop taking the medication ASAP. I get and IV and stay for 6 hours in a hospital bed.

I have to say that I am still unsure as to why I was given this medication, but I am not the same even now. I am very emotionless, blank thoughts and no energy to do anything, including taking care of my 6 year old child. I spend many days sitting in my recliner starring at a blank TV or at the wall for hours at a time. My body aches for no apparent reason, I have muscle spasms in varying areas of my body as well as feeling that something horrible is about to happen to me.
I do NOW have anxiety and have begun to become agoraphobic. My mental sharpness is gone and I have trouble speaking to people face to face and have a nervous tic of rubbing my molars with the side of my tongue.
I have no idea what's in Lexapro, but it has really done a number on me! I'm a nervous wreck, I have panic attacks at least 3 times a day and have honestly lost all energy to do anything.

Is there anything I can do to counteract this or make it go away...if I had to do it over again, I would have left the prescription in the the doctor's office!
Avatar universal
i was on lexapro for almost a year, totally changed my life, for the worst... finally on 1/3/08, i got out of bed, threw out the bottle of pills and asked the lord for a total healing of my severe depression, which he had promised me if my faith was great enough... well, it was and is and i was totally healed without any side effects or withdrawals...
now am coming off of dilantin and each time i cut back by 100mg, i go through hallucinations, can't differentiate reality from unreality, go from hot to cold, sweating, total sleeplessness, and the list goes on.  when i saw my neuro he told me basicly it was all in my head, go see a psych, this coming right after having a mini stroke from another med called remeron...  these doctors are legalized drug pushers, who have no compassion, are totally non-caring when you tell them what you are going through, and atleast give me the story that there is no way it could possibly be the drugs... it is time for the medical community to be overhauled and called into accountability for their actions.
535822 tn?1443980380
I have known a few people who have had some of the reactions you describe to Lexapro, especially they said Halucinations, and obsessing about everything. One friend decided to come off it and although she did it very slowly she had extreme withdrawal symtptoms , nightmares Headaches and Palpitations, It seems to be the Drug the drug companys want pushed by the Doctors as why is so much of it being prescribed. Go and read about it on the internet you'll see what is happening.
Avatar universal
The combination of Effexor XR and Lexapro have save my life.

I am sorry to hear about all your issues.
Avatar universal
I recently was prescribed lexapro 10mg and have never taken an anti depressant before. I am scared of the stuff so my doc said i could snap the pill in half and do 5mg. I went a step further and did 2.5-3mg. Day 1 was fine i felt a little tired and would get quick feelings of slight dizziness but nothing terrible. The next day i took another pill and all hell broke loose before me! About 2 hrs in I started feeling like my back arms and chest were on fire! The feeling would also shoot up the middle of my head. I had cramps in my calves and the panic was unbearable!! I paced my house for 4 hours straight! I felt like i couldnt lay down sit down or do anything except walk and pace. I finally took an ativan and calmed enough to sleep for a bit. I felt better the next day but not 100%. That was yesterday. Today i actually feel bad again. Really edgy and paranoid. I am taking .25 mg doses of ativan just to take the edge off. I know this stuff has an extreme half life compared to other meds so i am hoping tomorrow or sunday will be a new day for me! I cant believe this could happen from 2.5 mg of lexapro. Its almost unbelievable but i am 40 and have had anxiety for a long time! I definitely know the diffrence between normal anxiety and induced anxiety. This is not normal anxiety. My mind and body are completely off whack from this tiny dose of medicine! I think this crap shouldnt even be on the market!
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