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My reaction to Lexapro?


michiganjan
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I have been trying Lexapro. A couple of months ago, I started taking it 1/8 of a pill every day. I did this for about 2 weeks and noticed nothing, so I quit taking it.

After a couple of weeks had passed, I decided I had not really given it a fair trial and so would try a larger dose. For about 2 weeks I took 1/4 pill per day. This made me extremely sleepy. I could not stay awake and it was a major chore to think! So I quit.

After another two weeks passed with no Lexapro, I decided to try it again. This time I took 1/8 pill (yes, that is some cutting job with the pill spiltter!) per day and now I have been at that dose for maybe 3 - 4 weeks. Now I am awake! Now my brain is sizzling. It fairly crackles with ideas. I have not had a single instance or period of brain fog in the last 3 weeks which is unusual for me. I am wired. I am also very happy. (too happy?)

After two weeks of being wired, I am finding myself sometimes experiencing fatigue but not majorly so. When I feel the fatigue, if I go to bed I can sleep an hour or so. But at night I wake up ready to go, where, I have no idea.

I am now typing at 10:30 p.m. having just woke from a 2 hour nap because I felt like I had "had it" earlier. Now I am ready to be up and work. I have taken 1/2 a xanax for several nights now to help me sleep.

I am going to call a doctor...either the primary care one of the cardiologist one. The one gave me samples and started me on it and the other gave me a prescription to keep trying.

Anyway here is what I want from you, my dear friends, on this subejct.

Do you think it is dangerous to go on on like this long term? I like being alert and free of the brain fog? IBut it is not normal to feel so go go go. Is being wired like this going to wear out my adrenals?

Do you know if it is extra adrenalin that is pushing me? Or extra seritonin?

I wonder if I will crash and burn badly after two weeks plus now like this.

I mean, whenever my autonomic nervous system gets in push mode, then I go go go and then I come down and crash. But this is not ordinary. I just can't believe that it is only 1/8 a pill a day!

Is this a temporary thing at the beginning of getting used to the drug and then may it settle down to some semblance of normalcy?

Speak to me of your experiences!

By the by, I do not percieve that it has helped my POTS symptoms. I still get symptomatic after about 20 min on my feet. And I still have headaches, yawning, dizziness and so on at the gym.

Michigan Jan the go go go girl who may be wearing herself out!

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michiganjan

The go-go-go feeling you have I guess I also had in a sense when I started an SSRI (except I was homebound and at the same time exhausted). For me it was more like severe agitation and anxiety, that I had to manage by taking small doses of xanax from time to time. That was a side-effect for several weeks. It took two months before I saw a benefit/started seeing a reduction in POTS symptoms.

I also asked my doctor about this! He said it was a common side-effect, especially for POTS patients, and prescribed xanax to use sparingly as needed. I don't think this start-up side effect is dangerous, but it is certainly uncomfortable.

I also had sleep disturbance at night and then was extremely sleepy during the day, especially in the afternoon.

Katherine

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Hi Michigan Jan - I am on 1/2 pill of 5 mg.of Lexapro once a day in the mornings to help with dizziness. I know what you are saying about the 2 hour nap episodes and then bam, you are wired. This happens to me all the time and then I am wired until about 1:30-2am every night until I can finally go to sleep and then I sleep like 10 hours, waking up more tired then when I laid down to go to sleep.I have been on the Lexapro for over a year now, so I don't think the effect is dangerous of this feeling wired, but I have an e/p cardiologist appt on 11/15 and I will ask him and I'll write back on this forum what he says. If I forget to write back, email me to see what he said. You can find my email address on the meet others program. I too am pretty happy most of the time(when I am not falling asleep from fatigue or wired up like right now), but I don't think that 2.5 mgs.of Lexapro a day can be having much of an effect on my personality, :P who knows though? Have a good night!!!!! Beth in NJ :(:)B)

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P.S. Sorry - I forgot to add that I too still have all the other POTS symptoms and the Lexapro doesn't seem to help with it- major headaches each day,shortness of breath,memory problems,chest pains etc, but the Lexapro does seem to help a little bit with the dizziness, although it doesn't leave me dizzy free, it makes it a little more bearable where I can seem to function a little better than before I was on it. Beth

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WOW I wish I got the reaction you are getting. I gained a tremendous amount of weight on Lexapro and are still trying to get rid of it. Funny how medication reacts in everyone differently.

I wish you the best of luck though with it.

Sue

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michiganjan

I have been on prozac for two years--related to Lexapro. All I can say is that I went from being essentially bed/couch-ridden to reasonably functional within five months of using the drug, however, I did not start to get better until I had been taking it for 6-8 weeks. I stopped taking it (and I have also been on a beta blocker) in June 04. This September I had relapse symptoms, so re-started it, and my bad symptoms again dissipated.

My doc has said that SSRIs help about 50% of POTS patients get better. Apparently it "evens out" the autonomic system function for many people.

Katherine

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Katherine, when you say that ssri's can help "even out" the autonomic nervous system for some people ... does that include (at least in your experience) problems with gut/intestinal tract stuff? I've been having a ton of troubles lately and having more bad reactions to foods that would typically be no problem at all... yo-yo-ing back and forth between constipation and runs and bloating/cramping. All very pleasant indeed! Now that I've discontinued the fertility treatments, I'm feeling more open to the possibility of trying medications...This is one set of symptoms I'd love to bid good riddance to!

Thanks,

merrill

PS Do ssri's tend to do their best work in people with POTS if taken in conjunction with other things, like florinef or midodrine or beta blockers? Or it doesn't matter/they don't work that way?

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Jan,

I took Lexapro for POTS about six months back. I have since stopped taking it because I didn't notice much of a difference after being on it for a few months, so I decided to stop. When I first started it, though, I was drop-dead tired, then about two weeks into it I was slightly more anxious in a nervous kind of way. I felt fidgety at times and uneasy.

I also had zero sex drive and felt forced to smile. I lost the ability to express sadness -- that's the hallmark of SSRI therapy -- and I did not feel like myself. In my opinion, when you are taking a drug that makes you feel like a different person, it's time to stop. If, however, you feel like yourself but just a little more energetic, then it is probably worth it.

Sorry I don't have more to offer.

Amy

Merrill -- BTW, I know SSRIs are used for irritable bowel syndrome. People with this condition seem to have mixed success with them.

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Merrill

I don't have any gut issues myself, and I am not aware that SSRIs are used for this (but see calypso's message above).

It seems that SSRI's affect individuals very differently. I did not notice any significant mood changes (following the initial start-up effects), myself--nor any sexual side-effects. I can certainly see that that would be a reason to discontinue. In my case, the small dose appears to be enough to support my autonomic system without causing unwanted side-effects. BTW, one of my sisters also has POTS, and she has also had good results with a small dose of Prozac. Anyway, again, we all have somewhat unique physiologies--what helps one may not be so useful to someone else. That said, SSRIs are considered safe drugs for adults, and a small dose is probably worth the try--as long as you can stick through it for the first couple of months to see if it actually is helpful.

Katherine

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Merrill,

I formerly had a 3-year trial on Paxil. It did not help my POTS. It made me cycle--mania to depression. And I gained 45 pounds. Why I stuck it out for 3 years I have no idea. It took a long time for all that weight to come back off, but it did on its own after stopping the drug.

Anyway, according to my EP of the SSRIs, if you want to try one for POTS Celexa and Lexapro are the top choices.

I assumed I would gain weight with Lexapro and have severe constipation -- the two biggest problems with Paxil because Paxil and Lexapro are related.

However, my weight has not changed since starting the Lexapro and my level of bowel functioning has not changed either.

Keep in mind that I am taking 1/8 of a pill. This is mere granuales! Hard to believe that tiny amount can push my system, but it is.

However, today I am tired. So no go go go today. Maybe that phase is over? I will keep you posted. I continue my trial

Michigan Jan

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