Aa
A
A
A
Close
Undiagnosed Symptoms Community
25k Members
Avatar universal

Lexapro, horrible side effects, after only one pill

Has anyone else had a severe and chronic reaction to Lexapro after only one 10 mg. pill?  Or any other SSRI for that matter. I have had horrible side effects for almost 6 weeks that, in duration and intensity are like a roller coaster. Does anyone know how long this might last or if I will get better. I took the pill because I worked an overnight 12 hour shift and I had trouble sleeping in the daytime. I have never experienced these horrible symptoms before I took this pill.

8 hours after I took the Lexapro, I jumped out of bed and started running around my house like a crazy fool. I couldn't shower for 3 days and had the following symptoms,
Extreme nausea
waves of horrible nervous energy under my skin
strange flushing feeling
panic because I didn't know what was happening to me
head pressure
all noise was louder
a feeling like when I saw my dog get hit by a car

those are the most prominent but I had many more, too many to list. Whatever that pill did to me, it is still doing wierd stuff to me still. I have been out of work since and am looking for answers or at least another persons' account similar to mine. I don't think people can grasp the fact that this is a real physical problem,

Thank you,
Tony
my e-mail= ***@****
30 Responses
Avatar universal
I believe my sister takes Lexapro and has suggest that I do so, but I have declined so far. She has had no side effects that I am aware of. From what I understand the side effects  are mild to moderate, go away with continued treatment, and usually do not cause patients to stop taking it. Nausea, insomnia, ejaculation disorder, somnolence, increased sweating, fatigue, decreased libido, and anorgasmia. Headache, nervousness, or anxiety,  Major Depressive Disorder may cause worsening  depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation, are some of the listed side effects.

There are a lot of antidepressants (SSRIs) to where if one does not work another can be tried.  Also some need to take two different types before working for them.  If it were me, and especially having all your side effects, with doctors  knowledge and approval, I'd stop them and try another brand. But I definitely feel you should tell your doctor about your (strange) side effects, regardless.

I tried a few SSRI.  They made me feel depressed, lethargic and left me constantly crying. I already had insomnia, so took prescription sleeping pills 4 times a week so as not to get addicted to them, then on an as needed bases only, to where I don't need them now, for I only have an occasional sleeping problem. One antidepressants I only took for one day only because I broke out with rash and next day underneath eyes were swollen. So I didn't take them but only the first day. I took the generic which was brown so the rash was from whatever they used for the brown color.

Now I take Lorazepam on an as needed bases and no
sleeping aids - works for me!

Good Luck!
Avatar universal
Thank you for your concern. I only take alprazolam, .5mg at night to help me sleep. I didn't take it every night until this incident so I understand your method of remaining non-dependant. My doctor is fully aware of my situation and we have run many tests which all show I am very healthy. The bottom line is; my physiology didn't respond well to this medication. After this incident, I am petrified of taking any more meds at all. Right now I am just trying to let my body systems get back to normal and I hope there is no irrepairable damage to my nervous system, endocrine system, etc....  This is a very scary time in my life.

Thanks again. I'll keep my progress or lack thereof posted in case it helps anyone.
Avatar universal
M father was given Lexapro in the Nursng Home, could this have been the cause of his depression ?
Avatar universal
I can't really tell you. Why was he put on it in the first place? I read in the Lexapro drug information booklet that it was not to be given to geriatric patients. Personally I have a grandfather who is in a nursing home with alzheimers and just found out he is being given an anti-psychotic and an anti-depressant, among other meds. I am in the process of getting him off these horrible drugs because he doesn't need them and shouldn't be on them according to the drug information pamphlet. (he is 80) Since he has been put on them he has been yelling and screaming all the time and the nurses at the home lied to me by telling me he was on no medication. Luckily I read my grandmothers' medicare drug report and found out what he has been receiving. I am very angry and I encourage you to look into your fathers treatment by asking the doctor, "why is he on this medication" and not only ask what is it for. Lexapro is nothing to be fooled around with and it is also very important to consider that the weening off process must be administered slowly and his behavior closely watched. I have read many horror stories on the net about it being difficult to withstand the side effects of withdrawal.
Avatar universal
Although I am horribly sorry for what you are experiencing I am greatly comforted to read your post. I also took one 10 mg pill and have been experiencing what feels like waves of panic and a strange flushing that seems to start in my chest and then spread out to my extremities. Overall I feel teary and helpless since taking it as well. I ended up visiting the ER because the symptoms were so strange that I was concerned I was having a heart attack. One other thing I have felt, fortunately only once was a sensation of an electric shock from my chest to my head. I sure hope this clears soon
Avatar universal
Also, I forgot to add. If you would like to read HYPOSTEPHs' account of her story, go to the mental health forum and find the thread: "can tingling sensation be caused by stress" She has outlined some of her primary experience with Lexapro there.
Avatar universal
I am glad to hear from you. I am sorry you are experiencing this also. It is a horrible feeling. Please do not freak out. I usually do but I am always alright later. Do not continue taking the medication. Apparently for some of us it is very potent and not right for our physiology. It has been over 7 weeks and even though my symptoms are improving (very slowly) I have not made a full recovery. You may be less affected by this and have a better chance of getting better sooner. I have only found one more person on the net (HYPOSTEPH)who has had the exact same experience as we have had. One important thing to tell you is that xanax is the only thing that helps to fight the symptoms of the Lexapro for me. I take .5 mg to 1mg. as needed and before bed to sleep,I would go crazy without it. Of course this might not work for you so please start at a low dose until you see how your body will react. I check this daily so please send as much info as you can to this forum or to my e-mail which I believe I added previously. I would like to know why you took this med., what other meds are you on and what conditions you may have. Also, please be very descriptive about your symptoms, intensities, durations, attacks, frequencies and so on.... I will try to help you as much as I can. I know you may feel crazy and awful but it will get better. I do not have all the answers yet but I will keep you informed. You are not alone in this. I hope to hear from you soon.
Tony
Avatar universal
Tony,

Glad to hear things are slowly getting better for you. I have struggled recently with anxiety and panic attacks and went to see a counselor. They recomended I take an anti depressant. I don't manage stress very well and frequncy of worry or panic goes up when I am under stress. I read the other post you mentioned and that seems to agree with what I have experienced. Once the panic starts it comes on much harder now and then the hotflash starts. The burning seems to start in my chest and work outward and lasts about 30 seconds unless I panic and then they just come in waves one after the other. It has been 5 days since I took the 10 mg dose and I the frequncy has gone down but they still happen. The one that scared me the most and sent me to the ER was the electric shock feeling that went from my chest to my head when I was working out ( I did a search and found that a lot of people experience what they call "zaps" when coming off the med). I worry a lot about heart issues even though I have had every test other than a cath and all are normal. Anyways the only other med I take is ToprolXL 50 mg (Beta Blocker) for bloodpressure and Lipitor 20 mg. Thanks for you encouraging words...i am on a business trip right now and its difficult to deal with this sometimes being away from my family
Avatar universal
Tony,

Glad to hear things are slowly getting better for you. I have struggled recently with anxiety and panic attacks and went to see a counselor. They recomended I take an anti depressant. I don't manage stress very well and frequncy of worry or panic goes up when I am under stress. I read the other post you mentioned and that seems to agree with what I have experienced. Once the panic starts it comes on much harder now and then the hotflash starts. The burning seems to start in my chest and work outward and lasts about 30 seconds unless I panic and then they just come in waves one after the other. It has been 5 days since I took the 10 mg dose and I the frequncy has gone down but they still happen. The one that scared me the most and sent me to the ER was the electric shock feeling that went from my chest to my head when I was working out ( I did a search and found that a lot of people experience what they call "zaps" when coming off the med). I worry a lot about heart issues even though I have had every test other than a cath and all are normal. Anyways the only other med I take is ToprolXL 50 mg (Beta Blocker) for bloodpressure and Lipitor 20 mg. Thanks for you encouraging words...i am on a business trip right now and its difficult to deal with this sometimes being away from my family
Avatar universal
Yes, waves, shocks, I have had all of that. Working out will cause it to get worse for me. As will large meals. Sex can make it really bad unfortunately. most of my attacks are stronger at night for some reason. does it wake you up at night? One thing I can say is that the frequency has diminished but for the past month I go through cycles of good and bad times. The intensity hasn't diminished when I get a horrible attack, like I thought it would. It sounds like you are in better shape than I was at 5 days. For me, at 5 days I would shake and could barely eat or take a shower. I go to the doctor again tomorrow and am requesting a neurologist referral, even though my family practitioner insists this is a psychiatric problem. I think he is just confused that this medicine can actually do this to me. If you send me an e-mail, I will gladly send you more info I received from the 3rd person suffering from this. It may be useful and I'm sure she wouldn't mind. By the way, if you do get a really bad episode where you feel like you are not in reality and are in panic, try to calm down some and breathe and take a short walk. That helps me. It doesn't help all the way but it helps. If possible, call a family member or talk to someone about it while it is happening. That helps me too. Also laying down and sitting make the waves and sensations worse for me, so it is best to stay busy. Don't succumb to this situation, I am thinking and searching every day to find answers. Keep in mind that I never had any symptoms like this before I took the pill so we at least know the source. Many people don't even know that on these forums. Although, I am not getting totally better, hyposteph is doing much better than I, so you will probably have a better chance at recovery than I.  Stay cool,
Tony
Avatar universal
Hi Toni,

You can send anything you want to ***@****
It does seem to be worse in late afternoon and evening mornings I am usually fine and so far it has never woken me up at night but one of the effects of the beta blocker is heavy sleeping so it may be helping. Also an interesting observation about eating since I noticed I had my first today about 30 minutes after lunch. As with you the intensity hasn't diminished and once it starts I also get the shakes until I can calm down again. I had a real bad episode Monday when I boarded the plane and they shut the door...I felt like I wanted to get up and run off the plane but had to stay strapped in. That produced many waves and burning in my chest I was certain I was going to die right there. You make a good point that since neither of us had any symptoms before taking the pill we can be prety certain that is the source but it sure is easy to doubt and still get scared. If I hadn't found your post I wouldn't have been able to accept that so many sever syptoms could come from one single pill.


Yes, waves, shocks, I have had all of that. Working out will cause it to get worse for me. As will large meals. Sex can make it really bad unfortunately. most of my attacks are stronger at night for some reason. does it wake you up at night? One thing I can say is that the frequency has diminished but for the past month I go through cycles of good and bad times. The intensity hasn't diminished when I get a horrible attack, like I thought it would. It sounds like you are in better shape than I was at 5 days. For me, at 5 days I would shake and could barely eat or take a shower. I go to the doctor again tomorrow and am requesting a neurologist referral, even though my family practitioner insists this is a psychiatric problem. I think he is just confused that this medicine can actually do this to me. If you send me an e-mail, I will gladly send you more info I received from the 3rd person suffering from this. It may be useful and I'm sure she wouldn't mind. By the way, if you do get a really bad episode where you feel like you are not in reality and are in panic, try to calm down some and breathe and take a short walk. That helps me. It doesn't help all the way but it helps. If possible, call a family member or talk to someone about it while it is happening. That helps me too. Also laying down and sitting make the waves and sensations worse for me, so it is best to stay busy. Don't succumb to this situation, I am thinking and searching every day to find answers. Keep in mind that I never had any symptoms like this before I took the pill so we at least know the source. Many people don't even know that on these forums. Although, I am not getting totally better, hyposteph is doing much better than I, so you will probably have a better chance at recovery than I. Stay cool,
Tony
Avatar universal
I have been on Lexapro for two days and feel like I am having a nervous breakdown.  I am shaking so much I can hardly type this.  I can't work or sleep.  Will these feelings go away, or should I try breaking it in two.  This happened to me on Zoloft but I quit after three days.  That was months ago and I have felt poorly since.  I can't eat food either, everything sticks in my mouth.  I was originally prescribed this because I couldn't sleep.  I feel like I will never sleep again.  Alcohol makes this speed/freaking subdue,  but I don't want to become an alcoholic.  I'm afraid to quit taking it, and I am terrified to stay on it.  I have never had problems like this before.  It has consumed my life.
Bob
Avatar universal
I don't know exactly what is right to say, but I would encourage you to stop taking the Lexapro immediately and ask your family doctor for either xanax or another benzodiazepine. It works for me and possibly for you but start at a very low dose and make sure you will react well to it. Alcohol is a central nervous stimulant so I am assuming that is why it helps you. Right now, the xanax is the only thing holding me together. I took 1 Lexapro pill over 2 months ago and am still having symptoms and attacks. Don't let yourself freak out and write more about your situation to me if you can. I will try to help. Also, my e-mail should be at the beginning of this thread, feel free to write there if you want.
Tony
Avatar universal
Sorry, I meant to say alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. Not a stimulant.
Avatar universal
Very important! I wouldn't suggest taking another anti-depressant or anything other than a benzodiazepine for these effects. Sometimes DR.s will throw another dangerous drug at you that may make an already bad situation worse. Noone knows your physiology. Be careful what you ingest!
Avatar universal
I, too just took one 10 mg Lexapro pill this morning and am experiencing side effects of dry mouth, scalp sensations, hotness on the back of my neck and am anxious and upset...especially after reading all the postings of this drug.  I have left numerous messages for my doctor and still haven't heard anything back.  I'm really getting scared about this.  I've never been on any drugs or anti-depressants or anything.  I was just feeling stressed out and anxious not at all depressed and this is what was prescribed.  I was given a sample.  It sounds like you are suffering for much longer than what would be expected from one pill.  Can you give me any advise.  Thank you.
Avatar universal
I appreciate your advice and I think you're right that mine is a life-style issue and there's no need for a mind altering drug.  I am very disgusted in my doctors pill-pushing, casual approach in explaining what is involved by taking a drug like Lexapro, its side effects and any withdrawal problems it may pose. I will be searching for a new physician.  I am also disappointed with myself for not taking a higher initiative in my own health. If I've learned anything from this, it is that I must research and question any drug I may ingest and its effects on my total physical and mental health. Fortunately, the symptoms I mentioned have gone away and I am feeling much better.  Thank you for your help.  I will also take the suggestion on the caffeine.  I hope you and everyone else suffering from this drug can find relief and can feel well again.
Avatar universal
If an anti depressant is really needed, the tricyclics like Doxepin seem to have less of the highly nervous side effects.  Lexepro made me feel like I was having a nervous break down.  So did Zoloft when I tried it. I didn't even have nervous problems until I took the Lexapro. The doc said stay with it until the side effects went away.  The problem is the side effects are so bad that I can't function.  The SSRI's make me feel like I am having an LSD bad experience.  My sister takes Lexapro and says the side effects are all in my mind.  If she ever went through what I have gone through and continue to go through from just two 10 mgs of Lexapro she wouldn't think it was in my mind.  I didn't go to the doctor for anxiety or depression in the first place.  I just can't sleep, so he just figured I was nervous and depressed.  Now I really am nervous and depressed in addition to being an insomniac.  My pharmacist said try taking half a dose.  I did 1/4 of a dose (2.5 mg) and still had terrible side effects, but the intensity wasn't as long.  Don't know where to turn now.
Avatar universal
I went to the doctor with a mild case of anxiety and at first he gave me xanax(.25mg) which pretty much did the trick. Once I finished the prescription I was fine for a little bit until the panic returned. I went back and he decided to prescribe me Lexapro(10mg). I took a pill and a half and this has to be the worst product on earth. I
Avatar universal
If it has only been 2 days, I wouldn't be too worried. I would advise you to stop taking the med and go back to .25 or .5 xanax for the short term because the pharmacist I spoke with says Lexapro can stay in your system from 6 to 20 days. You will probably get better because most of the people I've spoken with that have had this problem have gotten better. As far as I know, I am the only one who has not. I don't know what your original problem for taking the med was for, so I can't comment on what else you might do. Good luck, and if you need to talk write another post or see my e-mail at the top of this thread.
Tony
Avatar universal
With the experience I am having and since you are down to 1/4 of a pill, I would advise you to completely stop taking the Lexapro. I also took this medication for sleep and am still suffering with the residual problems caused by it.(I took 1 10mg. pill sept.1st) I think the longer you take this med, based on what you have stated, the more you will prolong the horrible side effects. I have a neurologist appointment on the 13th and will post the findings then, if any.
Avatar universal
I have stopped taking it altogether.  Xanax helps, but doesn't completely get rid of the shaking and extreme axniety.  After I took the Zoloft in Aug. the side effects bothered me for more than a month.  I can't believe I was talked into taking another SSRI.  If anyone wants to e-mail me about their reactions I am R.***@****
Avatar universal
I just wanted to add that after 10 weeks, I am slowly getting better. Very slowly. And sometime I still get horrible attacks but with some low dose pre-emptive xanax therapy, I feel as if my situation has impoved a very small amount but improved just the same. I still think it will be another month at the least before I could go back to work. This doesn't help me though, my short term disability was denied because Metlife says I should be able to go back to work even though my DR. sent return to work date as Jan. 1st along with all applicable results findings and information they requested. Now I will lose my house and have already started selling my posessions to pay for the medical bills.  I think it is a horrible tragedy that Metlife has kicked me when I am at the lowest point in my life. Because of this, I will also lose my job this month. I have a one income household.(mine) Since it is gone and the insurance my company has paid into has denied my physical disability, I am losing everything I have worked to build for the last 5 years. All I needed was some financial support through the worst time in my life and after several re-assurances that I would get 50% of my pay (which would have barely paid the bills) Metlife decided to save herself a little cash and deny a legitimate claim. I guess they need to save their money for something more important like lobbying congress to push laws through that allows them to kick the working people when they are down.  Sorry for the rant.
The important thing is that I am slowly, finally showing some signs of improvement. If I have my health back, I can rebuild. And when I rebuild, I will accumulate my medical documents, get a good lawyer and sue Metlife.
Avatar universal
And Forest pharmaceuticals, You are next.
Avatar universal
Follow up on my progress:

I will summarize.
It has been 3 months and I am still not completely better. Although, I have made substantial progress. I am making progress slowly and I can only judge at a monthly rate. The first month was a nightmare, the second month was horrible and the third month was not as horrible as the second month. I have been managing this condition (which is somewhat rare) with xanax, less stress, more sleep, better food and very minimal, but essential exercise. I have had a lot of support from family and friends. Every day, I think, "I just have to make it through this day" I don't know if I will make a full recovery but it seems that my brain is re-organizing itself somehow. That makes me very hopeful. I also went to a neurologist and he was honest enough to tell me he didn't know what happened but it is similar to someone who has a severe allergic reaction to something when others do not. Due to my physiology. If anyone has something similar to this happen to them, please write a post here. If you are at an early stage, I may be able to provide information or assistance.
Tony
Avatar universal
My advice to anyone about SSRI-antidepressants,
If you do not want to hurt yourself or others, are unable to work or enjoy your life or do simple things such as go out in public or take a shower, or are not diagnosed with clinical depression, DO NOT TAKE ANY SSRI. The FDA has been far too lenient with the pharmaceutical companies due to weak laws passed by politicians taking campaign contributions from special interest pharmaceuticals. This makes it easy for pharmacy representatives to push drugs (and easy for the family doc)that are being prescribed for other conditions for which they haven't been tested. Please make it your last resort behind all other methods of therapy, most importantly, lifestyle changes. These meds haven't been tested for long term use and have been linked to birth defects to unborn children, killing some, also sending many to the ER with crazy side effects. These are very serious medications that should never be prescribed by anyone other than a specialist,(although, I am leary of them also)
Don't take chances with these meds until you've done very much research and investigation. (I took 1 pill of Lexapro (10mg.) and have been unable to work for 3 months!!!!)I have also communicated with 7 others who have had a very similar situation to mine. Don't let the Doctors throw these dangerous medications at you or it may ruin your life. It seems that some or many people may be benefitting from these medications, and I don't claim to know everything abot them. Keep in mind, all the doctors, specialists and pharmacists that I have spoken to, claim to know VERY LITTLE about what these drugs actually do to the brain and nervous system. My point is, once you take these meds, you are on your own. If you have a horrible problem caused by these drugs, you will be alone, noone will want to help you, noone will be able to help you, you will be considered a liability and pushed aside as if your case holds no importance. I am speaking from my experience.I hope this helps at least one person make a better decision and subsequently saves many the grief that I have endured.
Thank you for reading all of this.
Tony
Avatar universal
I found this thread after searching for it on the web..

I had a similar experience with Lexapro, at least I think.  I took ONE Lexapro pill (it  was 10 or 20 MG, i forgot which) back in Sept 2006.  I took it at night, with some food.   Within SECONDS (or maybe minutes)  I was already feeling drowsy.  I didn't think much of it, and continued on normally.   So a few hours later I go to sleep.  I wake up in the middle of the night, and throw up 3-5 times...   Next day I feel extremely naseous, and drive over the Doctors office in the morning.  I keep feeling like I'm still gona throw up the entire time, didnt feel good at all.

So I of course did not take any more of the Lexapro.  But the nausea and lack of appetite didn't go away just yet.   I actually don't remember how long it took for them to go away.   It was either 2 weeks, or 2 months.  The reason I'm not sure is because it could have just been me being so anxiously thinking about it that could have caused the nausea, and not the Lexapro itself for the entire time. I'm not sure... All I know is the Lexapro made me sick, and I didn't start to feel better till about 2 months after taking just ONE SINGLE DOSAGE of lexapro.   During those 2 months it could have just been me anxiously thinking about how I still feel sick that caused the nausea, or it could have truly been the Lexapro. I don't know. But me throwing up within hours of taking the med, and feeling very sick after just one pill shows that obviously it's a very strong medication.

Now fast-forward 8 months later.  I'm still just as depressed as I was when I tried the Lexapro  (it's because i love a friend of mine who doesnt love me back and it makes me depressed), so I decide to try another anti-depressant again.  This time it's Zoloft.   I take one 20 MG pill during the late after-noon.  Didn't feel too different, but then I started to get quite anxious.  I started to think to myself "wait.... I don't know if i should have taken the Zoloft.... What if i get bad side effects?  and if I keep taking the Zoloft then what if I experience withdrawl?"   so that started to make me really anxious  just thinking about that, so I took a walk outside and tried to calm myself down.    After just that one pill of Zoloft I had no appetite, some nausea, and over-all just felt like I was sick.   When i went to sleep that night I felt naseous and felt like I was gona throw up, but I kept taking deep breathes to calm myself down and managed not to.   So I decided no more Zoloft either, and stopped after just that one pill.  I felt lack of appeite/felt sick overall for about 5 days after just that one pill of Zoloft.   After those 5 days I started to feel better again, so the recovery time was much faster than the Lexapro was.   Either way, such strong side effects from only 1 pill, I just don't get it.

Avatar universal
I took one 10mg of Lexapro two Saturday's ago around 9pm. At 5am I woke up to take care of my baby. I suddenly felt really hot, tingly in my head and arms and then felt like I was going to pass out. Then I started to have a panic attack. I almost went to the ER - I didn't know what was wrong with me. Since then, I have been having weird tingling sensations in my arms and sometimes the back of my head. I've had bloodwork done for different things that all came back good and now I have to go for an MRI tonight. I am really freaked out that I have MS so I am praying that it just a weird side effect from the Lexapro since I have read other people on here have had a similar experience.
Avatar universal
You might want to join the Depresion Community, we talk alot about meds :)
Avatar universal
I took one 10 mg pill of lexapro, and it was the worst thing in the world. Have slept only 3 hours in two days, had horrible head fog that just now started going away two days later. Jittery feelings, shock to the head last night...have that drunk/high/anxious feeling(ten times worse than what I had been experiencing...I just want it out of my system...32 male
1
Top General Health Answerers
363281 tn?1518219421
Nelson, New Zealand
1756321 tn?1547098925
Queensland, Australia
19694731 tn?1482853437
AL
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
In this unique and fascinating report from Missouri Medicine, world-renowned expert Dr. Raymond Moody examines what really happens when we almost die.
Think a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss? Here are five warning signs to watch for.
When it comes to your health, timing is everything
We’ve got a crash course on metabolism basics.
Learn what you can do to avoid ski injury and other common winter sports injury.
Here are the pros and cons of the top fad diets and weight loss plans of the year.