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Author Topic: Should I increase my lexapro dose?  (Read 335 times)

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Offline Bhc1993

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Should I increase my lexapro dose?
« on: March 18, 2014, 02:14:35 PM »
Hi guys it's my first post ever,

I have been on lexapro for almost a month now and have increased all the way to 15 mg. my GP has given me an rx for 20 mg and it's sitting on my dresser. My psych says he wants me to stay on 15 but that was because I was feeling fine on it...until last night. I had a terrible depersonalization episode that almost started a panic attack (but I think the lex stopped it) regardless, it scared me and today I'm depressed and don't want to leave my bed thinking I'm never going to be okay, blah blah blah. Anyway, do you think that this is a sign to go up to 20mg? How can I be fine for a week and then be depressed again? Isn't that what lex is supposed to fix?
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Offline MobileChucko

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Re: Should I increase my lexapro dose?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2014, 03:25:13 PM »
Hi BHC...  Welcome to Anxiety Zone!

You are now a member of our community, where you will find support and advice from other members in similar situations.   It's always nice to find someone else who understands, and to know you're not alone.

We have sections in the forum that address specific concerns, so feel free to post or start a new topic in the section that best fits your situation.  Feel free to explore the rest of the forum.  You may find the other topics helpful, and you may be able to offer advice or support to someone else.

We also have a chat room for members over the age of 18.  Once you have made ten meaningful posts, you will be allowed access to the chat room.

BHC, it is not unusual for an individual starting a SSRI anti-depressant such as Lexapro (Escitalopram) to have somewhat of a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs with good days and not so good days.  That has certainly been true in my case.  You mentioned that you have only been on Lexapro for a month, so you are very early into your treatment.  Anti-depressants don't work like other medications, and generally take between 3 and 12 weeks to take effect.  One will usually see degrees of improvement during that time.  I am on Celexa (Citalopram), Lexapro's sister drug, have been on it for about 5 months now, and I'm still seeing improvement, and some off days as well.  Keep in mind too that even individuals that don't have an anxiety disorder, also have off days.

At 15 mg, you are already on a therapeutic dose of Lexapro, with 10 mg being considered the lowest therapeutic dose.  I would highly suggest that you listen to your psychiatrist, and remain on that dose.  Psychiatrists are the experts in this field, and as I mentioned, you are very, very early into your treatment.  If you have any real concerns, I suggest you contact your psychiatrist for directions.

Keep in mind too that anti-depressants can be a major help with anxiety disorders and depression, but they should not be the only thing utilized to treat these conditions.  Therapy can be as effective as medications, and exercise and the use of omega 3/fish oil have also been shown to be of great benefit.  I am currently seeing a therapist, and learning cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Again, welcome to Anxiety Zone, BHC.  The very best to you!...  Chuck :grinning-smiley-003:
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Offline Bhc1993

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Re: Should I increase my lexapro dose?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2014, 04:54:37 PM »
Thank you very much Chuck, I'm looking forward to becoming more involved here. Your words are reassuring!
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Offline Bhc1993

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Re: Should I increase my lexapro dose?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2014, 07:22:54 PM »
Doubt anyone will read this, but I have a few questions after seeing my psych today.
Well after my panic (not a full attack) episode on Monday I felt so depressed that I didn't go to any of my classes on Tuesday. Today I'm feeling a bit better and left the house to go to my psych appt. I told him about this setback and it seemed to worry him. he says that I should go up to 20 and if I don't feel better in a week that it is time to switch.
From what I've been reading online, lex can take up to 6 weeks to start working. Why is my doc so eager to switch me after only 4 weeks?
Let me say that I have felt that lex had helped me in some regards, just not as much as I want it to. I no longer have panic attacks but I still have the knots of anxiety in my stomach all day, everyday. I convinced myself that they would decrease over time. I guess my doc doesn't agree.
Any answers out there?
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Offline bluerose

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Re: Should I increase my lexapro dose?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2014, 07:56:24 PM »
My advise would be to stay on the maximum dose of lexapro (20 mg.) for 12 weeks unless it's intolerable.  It sounds like it's just beginning to help you, but you're still having some rough patches.  This is what happened to me on an antidepressant years ago.  I started to feel better but still pretty depressed before the medicine really had a chance to kick in.  After I gave it time it worked wonders.  Hang in there!  You'll find lots of support on this site.
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Offline insights

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Re: Should I increase my lexapro dose?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2014, 08:12:22 PM »
he says that I should go up to 20 and if I don't feel better in a week that it is time to switch.
From what I've been reading online, lex can take up to 6 weeks to start working. Why is my doc so eager to switch me after only 4 weeks?

It can take 3-12 weeks for an antidepressant to fully kick-in after you begin taking a therapeutic dose (10mg for Lexapro). Often there is a quicker response to a dose increase, but it will almost certainly take longer than a week to get more from the extra 5mg.

Antidepressants work by encouraging the growth of new brain cells and strengthening the interconnections between both cells and brain regions. This isn't an instant process.

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 Bhc1993

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Re: Should I increase my lexapro dose?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2014, 11:46:01 PM »
Thanks for your replies guys.

My anxiety has been through the roof this week. Triggered by everything. It's even starting to distort reality which only freaks me out even more.

Haven't moved up to 20 yet because I'm scared it's gonna get worse.
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