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Author Topic: 3 months into lexapro  (Read 562 times)

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Offline LynnC

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3 months into lexapro
« on: January 24, 2014, 03:51:51 PM »
So I've been taking lexapro for 3 months now, the last month I've been on 10mg (slowly worked my way up). Last week I felt almost normal again, morning dread disappeared, appetite came back, etc. Now 5 days into these good days I'm getting high levels of anxiety again, dread, and just an overall feeling of uneasiness. Did I speak too soon on feeling better or should is this a normal progression of treatment? I'm not sure what to expect this far in.
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Offline MobileChucko

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Re: 3 months into lexapro
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 06:10:12 PM »
Hi Lynn...

You indicated that you have only been on 10 mg of Lexapro (Escitalopram) for about four weeks now.  10 mg is the lowest, therapeutic dose of Lexapro.  So in reality, you should just look at the fact that you have been on Lexapro for a month, not three months.  Anti-depressants take time to work, normally 3 to 12 weeks on a therapeutic dose.  So you are in the very early stages of the medication's therapy.  It's not uncommon at this point, to have good days and not so good days.  I have been on Celexa, Lexapro's sister drug, for nine weeks, and I am still have some ups and downs.  It takes time for these agents to work, so try to be patient.

Insights (Ian) pointed this out to me a month ago...  "For some the antidepressants switches on almost instantly, for others it is a steady linear progression and for some the improvement comes in fits and starts, one step forward, two back for a week or so. IME, this often signals a slightly better long-term outcome than with the first two."  So in his opinion, it's better to be seeing these these ups and downs.

As always, the very best to you, Lynn!...  Chuck
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Offline LynnC

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Re: 3 months into lexapro
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 06:58:55 PM »
Mobilechucko thanks for the reply. I guess since I started to feel more "normal" last week in terms of the depression lifting I thought would be all I'd get from the lexapro. I didn't really put much thought that I'm still only 4 weeks into lex on a therapudic dose...I was thrilled to feel the depression lift considerably and I definitely felt a difference that morning when I woke - but I was starting to feel a little better the two weeks prior to this. I just need to remind myself not to get discouraged with these overly anxious days. It was nice to have a few good days without this looming in the background. With the overall feeling of anxiety the past few days has come more dizziness and fogginess too. It's funny since I never had this much anxiety in my life prior to starting lexapro...I sure hope it eventually comes to an end. My brain just feels so broken at times!
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Offline MobileChucko

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Re: 3 months into lexapro
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 09:26:51 PM »
Hi Lynn...

As I mentioned to you, I am on Celexa (Citalopram), Lexapro's (Escitalopram) sister drug.  I saw my depression diminish greatly, at approximately four weeks of being on a therapeutic dose.  I didn't see a decrease in my anxiety until several weeks after that.  I have been on the Celexa for nine weeks now, and the last few days I have had an increase in my anxiety again.  I also have to remind myself not to be discouraged when I have an off day or two.

You indicated that you never had this much anxiety, until you started the Lexapro.  This is the norm, and I experienced the same thing.  Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).  When starting a SSRI, serotonin levels are increased immediately.  This is what produces side effects, including an increase in anxiety.  When the body adapts to the increase in serotonin, side effects diminish.  If your doctor decides to increase your Lexapro dose further, you may see a return of side effects, such as an increase in anxiety, but this is usually short lived.

Again, the best to you, Lynn!...  Chuck
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Offline LynnC

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Re: 3 months into lexapro
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2014, 08:48:19 AM »
Hey Chuck thanks for the reply. I guess it just discouraging since I had a few days almost free of depression and anxiety and then it hit me a few days later again...feeling like I had the rug pulled out from underneath me. I woke for the past 3 mornings with that anxious dread (it was so nice to have a few days break from that). Now my appetite is shot again and there hasn't been any triggers to put me here. So how do you know when to hold on and keep going if the anxiety is sticking around more than a little setback? I really don't want to rush to up my dose but I'm just trying to prepare myself for the future. I feel like I spoke too soon on feeling a but better...trying to stay positive but it's hard when you get a glimpse of feeling semi-normal again. Thanks for your encouraging worlds.
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Offline MobileChucko

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Re: 3 months into lexapro
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 12:26:00 PM »
Hi Lynn...

I know that it can be discouraging.  I have been in a little slump with the anxiety and depression the last few days.  And that is scary and disappointing when you take a step backwards, but I guess that is all in the process of growth.

I know that I can't expect the anti-depressant to do it all for me.  I can take it religiously, and I do, but if I don't do my part, things will not turnout as well as they could.  I have to change the way I do things, and that means changing the way I think.

You mentioned triggers.  Unfortunately, often times a trigger is not apparent to our conscious mind.

And you shouldn't rush increasing your dose of Lexapro.  Now that you have reached a therapeutic dose, you need to give it time to work.  A lot of people do well on 10 mg.  I'm sure you will be keeping in close touch with your doctor, as I keep in close touch with my psychiatrist.  Your physician will monitor time and your symptoms, and know what is best.

Feel free to keep in touch, Lynn, and let me know how you are doing.

The very best to you!...  Chuck
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Offline kina

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Re: 3 months into lexapro
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2014, 12:52:48 PM »
I restarted my buspirone about 6 weeks ago and my lexapro about 3 wks ago my anxiety issues are still here glad I read this thread because I thought 4wks would be enough time for it to start to kick in so I guess I was wrong huh?
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Offline insights

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Re: 3 months into lexapro
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2014, 04:09:31 PM »
I thought 4wks would be enough time for it to start to kick in so I guess I was wrong huh?

It typically takes 3-12 weeks from when you start taking a therapeutic dose which for Lexapro is 10mg/day.

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 kina

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Re: 3 months into lexapro
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2014, 04:30:52 PM »
And that's what I am on 10mg and 20 of buspirone
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Offline LynnC

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Re: 3 months into lexapro
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2014, 05:56:12 PM »
Chuck you seem to have a great attitude about all of this and I commend you for that. It's hard to stay positive during these difficult months. It's like a never-ending nightmare at times and I so want to wake up from! This is my first experience with depression and it hit me like a ton of bricks...I tried everything before meds without success. I probably let myself get way too far into the pit of despair before trying a medicine but that's just my stubbornness. I also struggle with not putting all my hopes on the antidepressant...it's easy to go there. I do attend therapy twice a week and walk everyday. Eating is a chore for me as I've lost so much weight over the past two months, but hopefully this will eventually come back when I get back on track. There are many times I fear I'll never return to the old me. I'm very forgetful on the lexapro and just not with it if that makes any sense. I know the brain needs time to heal but I wonder if it'll heal for me or is too much damage is done. Depression and anxiety are complicated issues!
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