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Author Topic: Cipralex (Escitalopram)  (Read 295 times)

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Offline Ponyroller

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Cipralex (Escitalopram)
« on: January 03, 2014, 06:35:40 PM »
Has anyone tried this medication? My doctor just put me on a low dose to start today. I have enough for 3 months but I am to go back to the doctor in one month to follow up. I've never been on a daily anxiety med before, just lorazepam and temazepam to take as needed when I have those panic moments. He thinks being on something daily will work better for me. He thinks a low dose will be fine and that I may not need it after the 3 months, just to help me get through this rough patch. He and the pharmacist also told me I shouldn't expect any crazy side effects especially on this low of a dose but if I do experience anything it would be a bit of nausea.

Just wondering what others have experienced?

Thanks!
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Re: Cipralex (Escitalopram)
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 07:02:04 PM »
Has anyone tried this medication? My doctor just put me on a low dose to start today.

Escitalopram can be a very effective anti anxiety med, but, as with most antidepressants, it can take 3-12 weeks to kick-in from the time you begin taking a therapeutic dose which is 10mg for escitalopram.

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He thinks a low dose will be fine and that I may not need it after the 3 months, just to help me get through this rough patch.

Clinical guidelines suggest antidepressants be taken for at least 12 months. You need to understand that antidepressants don't work directly in the way benzodiazepines like lorazepam and temazepam do with results beginning about 30 minutes after you take the med. Instead they encourage the growth of new brain cells in the two hippocampal areas of the brain to replace those damaged or killed by chronic stress hormone exposure. This takes time.

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He and the pharmacist also told me I shouldn't expect any crazy side effects especially on this low of a dose but if I do experience anything it would be a bit of nausea.

This may or may not be true. Escitalopram and its parent drug citalopram (Celexa) are the two SSRIs with usually the best side-effects profile, but they still bite some even at low doses. How much are you taking?

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline Ponyroller

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Re: Cipralex (Escitalopram)
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2014, 07:09:40 PM »
I'm only taking 5mg once a day. He did tell me not to expect results immediately like with the benzodiazepines but said I should hopefully notice a difference within 10-14 days. Of course it's different for everyone.

It's a bit of a catch 22 because the doctor visit itself alleviated a lot of the anxiety, now that I know I'm not dying of some horrible illness. My doctor being not worried makes me be not worried.
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Re: Cipralex (Escitalopram)
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 07:34:28 PM »
now that I know I'm not dying of some horrible illness

Anxiety/stress is a "horrible illness" which is probably humanity's biggest killer. Sure, hardly anyone dies of stress itself, but it sets in train the things that do, particularly heart disease and cancer. Which is why it should be treated aggressively with either meds or therapy.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline Ponyroller

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Re: Cipralex (Escitalopram)
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 07:35:51 PM »
I'm also wondering how this medication interacts with alcohol? I'm not a binge drinker by any means but I will often have a glass of wine with supper, or go out with friends on the weekend and have a beer or 2 (like really just 1 or 2...I don't go clubbing and I like to be in bed by 11 LOL). The doc and pharmacist both said that would be fine but just to be careful as the alcohol may have an increased effect or make me sleepy, so to just watch it really closely until I know how my body is going to react.

I am going to be following the advice of my doctor above anything else, just curious to hear others' experiences and input. This is a whole new ballgame for me.
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Re: Cipralex (Escitalopram)
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 07:52:04 PM »
I'm also wondering how this medication interacts with alcohol? I'm not a binge drinker by any means but I will often have a glass of wine with supper, or go out with friends on the weekend and have a beer or 2 (like really just 1 or 2.

That shouldn't be a problem, however, the alcohol and antidepressant combination can be unpredictable, so your doctor and pharmacist were wise to suggest caution until you work out how you're affected.

While the occasional drink or two is fine, alcohol and anxiety are not a good mix as they can reinforce of each other with regular drinking.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Cipralex (Escitalopram)
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014, 08:29:48 PM »
I have been taking escitalopram for 6 weeks.  Start-up anxiety can be an issue for SSRIs, but I had none on that (my doc did start me on a tiny dose at first though) stomach upset at first, a gnawing feeling which was lessened by taking it with a meal, and it resolved completely after a week or so. No sexual side effects for me, but my vowel movements have slowed down.

My depressive symptoms are almost fully resolved. I still have daily anxiety but I find I'm able to more effectively do cognitive behavioral exercises on the lexapro, I feel like my life isn't controlled by anxiety. I notice improved motivation not all the time, but several days, which is huge for me personally.

I agree w insights, a drink here and there is ok. I've had one drink in a few occasions w it and no problems. But I'd limit the amount and frequency.
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Offline Ponyroller

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Re: Cipralex (Escitalopram)
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2014, 08:36:08 PM »
  Start-up anxiety can be an issue for SSRIs,

I have heard this as well and my doc did warn me that the "bad stuff" is likely to all happen at the beginning before I noticed the good effects. My anxiety is obviously bad enough that he felt medication was necessary, but I know I don't suffer half as bad as some people do with it - I feel like I can rationalize and talk myself down enough that even if I do get the "start up" anxiety, the logical part of my brain will be able to help me get through it. I'm just praying for no nausea and no decreased libido (although the latter hasn't really been there much lately anyways so I'm not sure there's anywhere to go but up in that department...fortunately I have a very patient boyfriend LOL!)
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Cipralex (Escitalopram)
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 09:58:36 PM »
I saw a funny typo in my post. Bowel,  movements not vowel movements. Lol sorry.
Therapeutic dose is generally 10 mg so see if your doc plans on moving you up. It sounds like you have a good attitude towards treatment which helps!
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Offline beast216

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Re: Cipralex (Escitalopram)
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 02:45:41 PM »
I am in week three of this drug. No aha moment yet, but my anxiety is noticeably better and people around me say I am much more like myself. 

I did get some pretty bad morning sickness but it seems to be all gone now.


Good luck.
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