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radiohfan23

Starting Lexapro

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Background: 30yr old male onset at 27ish - non hyperadrenergic (peripheral dysautonomic) pots. Currently unable to work with sever fatigue, nausea, unable to stand very long, etc.

I am also taking DDAVP at night, mult vitamins, going off gluten and have been exercising on recumbent bike 3 or 4 days a week.

About 5 years ago before I had POTS i had a panic attack and was given lexapro 10mg and only stayed on it for about 3 weeks before stopping since at the time I didn't really need it. I simply had a random panic attack after a very stressful event. For the next two years didn't have any issues until POTS set in.

I had tried Zoloft with awful results - lost 20lbs and was crawling out of my skin after about a month at 50mg - This was before I knew I had POTS.

I took my first dose at 2.5mg at 11pm last night (9/22)

- had some difficulty falling asleep but was able to get a solid 7 hours

- woke up with a strong headache (different from migranes) in the front of my forehead - which got milder after a few hours

- appetite so far is ok

- was able to do a light 10 mins on the bike and get a decent stretch and some ab exercises

more to come as I progress = please contribute any questions/insight that may be helpful for the anyone interested

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I'm very interested in your experience with Lexapro since my cardiologist is considering switching me from Zoloft to Lexapro. Is there a reason your doctor is doing Lexapro rather than other SSRI?

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He is actually quite knowledgeable of them and realizes that it can unfortunately be trial and error before you find the right one. He offered paxil 5mg moving up to 10 when comfortable but since I'd used lexapro in the past he said that would be fine since others have used it successfully. From what I've learned Zoloft isn't as popular for 'Potsies' but i'd like to hear from others with experience.

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Wow...just when I thought I was the only guy here. :)

I started Lexapro 2.5mg a few months ago...for similar reasons as you: had taken it years ago when I was dealing with health issues (which I now realize are related to dysautonomia), and seemed to do okay with it. Like you...I did HORRIBLY on Zoloft (Remeron was terrible, too)...but that prescribed via a p-doc before I discovered dysautonomia. I think it reduced my BP as I felt much more shaky, nauseous, and just plain terrible on it. I gave it about a week and couldn't take it anymore. So, YMMV when it comes to SSRI's.

So, hang in there. Do you take a benzo for the nausea, etc.? My Dr. put me on Clonazepam...which has been really helpful for sleep, IBS, and generally calming my nervous system. Fluids, Florinef (.0125/day), and 200 minutes of cardio per week have been most helpful. Need to be careful about overdoing the cardio, though...too much, and I crash the next day.

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2 days in:

- Doing ok, kinda weak/tired feeling and very sleepy - feel a little too uneasy to nap but slept well once I finally fell asleep last night

- I yawn excessively which is common for Lexapro whether you suffer with dysautonomia or not

- The thought is that with increased brain activity your brain is overheated thus triggering yawns which actually cool the brain (after some research I learned that excessive yawning for any reason is not a result of oxygen deprivation as once theorized - that myth has been medically disproved) We'll see whether this dissipates as I get adjusted to the medicine

- Appetite is decent (I normally have a poor appetite in general)

More to come as I keep going...

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Wow that is kind of freaky about yawning cooling the brain and the brain getting "heated". Where did you read that?

If you don't wanna tell me that is cool I am just a very curious person.

I read a book on nutrition once. I did it for continuing education to keep my nursing license. A question I always had in my mind was how do our hearts not "wear out?"

When you think about it they are beating constantly.

I realize over a lifetime they potentially do wear out, for some it hits sooner but other people have strong strong hearts that just keep beating it's amazing the condition of some elderly people's hearts.

Well anyway in this book it was saying that since cells are always being replaced and it gave the rate that it occurs you actually end up with a new heart-not the one you started out with based on this regeneration process.

I got so excited about the prospect of that based on my own fears that I told my boss ( director of nursing ) what I had just read and she was so skeptical she asked to see the book when I was done with it.

I gave it to her and she never challenged me on it.

I guess people can write anything and I'm not sure it makes it true. I'm not sure where the author if the book got her info.

Just an example of something else that blew me away.

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Lieze-

The whole body gets replaced numerous times in our lives. We go through about 7 skeletons. The lining of our digestive track is replaced every 48 hours. Skin is constantly shed. RBCs have a life-span of about 45 days.

Working in regenerative medicine, the big issue is that the replacement cells often don't have the same capacity for repair as the original cells. Hence, aging. It's a huge/ hot topic. Very cool stuff. PM me if you want more details.

Radiohfan23-

Good luck with your journey on Lexapro. I'm reluctant to start SSRIs but I'll be following your experiences closely to see if it's something I should try so that my POTS is better under control.

Sara

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That is so cool Delphic Dragon!!!!

I had to read what you wrote to my 12 year old.

He soaks up info like a sponge and actually retains it-something I have a glitch with.

Sara did you see the post on stemtech and the stem cell work they are doing where they are able to stimulate activation and production right from the bone marrow-blew me away!!!

And Rhadiofan also very interested in your progress with the Lexapro-I've been afraid to try also based on my experience with Zoloft. It just intensified my space cadet issues. : )

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I started Lexapro about two months ago, and last week I finally made it to 10mg! I can't believe I'm at the lowest adult dose. I take the liquid because it is easier to measure out tiny doses. Anyways, my side effects were not as servere as I thought they would be, and sometimes they were hard to separate from the Xanax I had also started taking, but in general I felt fatigued, after I just started it I was dizzy. I did not see any improvement until about two weeks ago, when I just woke up and felt different and better and suprisingly not too medicated. I was given Lexapro primarily for bad anxiety which was getting out of control, but my doctor was also aware it helped some people with POTS, and after about two months of taking it, I think it is helping!

Best of luck, I'm VERY glad I tried Lexapro it's helping both my anxiety and some of my POTS symptoms.

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4 days in and symptoms are ramping up.

I've been having headaches and lots of nausea with a general feeling of uneasiness that is quite intense. Cold washcloth helps with the headaches and I've had to spend most of the day in bed. I'm going to try to exercise lightly today but i'm pretty weak.

I'm also noticing my memory is quite poor.

More to come...

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I've been having headaches and lots of nausea with a general feeling of uneasiness that is quite intense. Cold washcloth helps with the headaches and I've had to spend most of the day in bed. I'm going to try to exercise lightly today but i'm pretty weak.

Maybe you're taking too much. It may be that it is building up in your system and you are recirculating it and it is too much. Try cutting the dose down.

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Still at 2.5mgs

I may cut the dose to see if it's tolerated better, then I can work it up more slowly as tolerated. My big concern is not being able to sleep, I'm pretty scared about that. We'll see how I feel throughout the day and whether I will drop the dose down tomorrow.

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Still at 2.5mgs

I may cut the dose to see if it's tolerated better, then I can work it up more slowly as tolerated. My big concern is not being able to sleep, I'm pretty scared about that. We'll see how I feel throughout the day and whether I will drop the dose down tomorrow.

I wonder if splitting the dose would help...half in the morning, half at bedtime. Coincidentally...I tried increasing from 2.5mg to 5mg a few days ago...and feel like an absolute garbage pit today.

Also...you might ask you doc about adding Clonazepam for sleeping. This definitely helps me get a good night's rest...

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Hi I'm new but I thought I'd respond to this post. I have autonomic neuropathy & POTS and I think lexapro helped initially. At first the cardiologist started me on Paxil to "restart the autonomic nervous system" ssri's seem to do that well. It helped but it was really strong and I felt too drugged. It also made me feel agitated like I had restless leg syndrome. The lexapro was better because I seem to be hypersensitive to drugs and that one was not as strong. Eventually though the doctors wanted to see me off of it because it was making me too sympathetic and my eyes were too dilated and pupils were sluggish. I think antidepressants/antianxiety medications are really good drugs because they work on the parasympathetic/sympathetic systems. Good luck on taking this med and thanks for sharing.

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I've made it through the first week and am doing pretty well considering. A lot of the side effects have gone away, no more yawning or headaches and the nausea is lifting somewhat. I was able to exercise on my recumbent bike yesterday and today for a good 20-30 minutes at a solid resistance. The only problem I'm still having is that I generally feel uneasy (lots of brain fog - hard to say whether that's the meds or just POTS in general) and despite being tired I am unable to sleep like I need to. I normally sleep from 1 0r 2 until 10 or 11ish but now I am unable to sleep until like 4 or 5 in the morning. It's decent sleep but I can tell I'm not getting the REM sleep I need. I am taking the lexapro as soon as I wake up (usually around 1ish) so that it's in my system earlier, so hopefully over time I'll start sleeping earlier and waking at a decent hour so that I can start taking the meds early in the morning so that it won't interrupt my sleep.

I can't say quite yet that it's 'working' or anything, not that I expect it to, but I am quite pleased that the side effects have lessened and I'll take that as a good sign.

More to come...

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it takes awhile to adjust. after a month, my only side effect was some sexual issues,which are very common. it took a full five months for it to hit its full potential. I actually started on zoloft and hated it. it made me feel very drugged up.

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Update for anyone still following...

I'm 12 days in on 2.5mg and starting to do better. The big thing is that I am finally sleeping better. I feel in a state of a sort of lazy drowsiness most of the time which is nice because it actually allows me to relax. This is especially true in the mornings in that instead of waking up to a panicky uneasy feeling I can continue to lay down comfortably and slowly work my way out of bed.

I also have noticed the gastro issues aren't as bad. My digestion is typically quite fast (I was diagnosed with dumping syndrome after an emptying study) and I feel as though it has slowed to a "normal" pace in that I don't get the big blood pressure drops I typically get after eating. I've had to take antacids to alleviate some of the heartburn but I did read that increased stomach acid is a typical early symptom when adjusting to Lexapro. And I continue to eat moderate/small meals frequently throughout the day as most of us already do anyways.

All in all I have at least gotten somewhat adjusted to the meds and no longer feel medicated or the excessive early anxiety symptoms. I am also able to continue with my light exercise which I was too ill to do early on during the first week of the medication due to the severity of the side effects.

So far so good!

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Curious to know is it still going well with the Lexapro users????

I remember posting about taking it 8 years ago, and at that time I had alot of POTS symptoms and I went from laying on the couch most of the day to living a normal life and going from 86 lbs to 100 lbs. I thought it was a miracle drug I took it for 3 months and became pregnant and had to quit at that time.

I can only say after taking it for a few days it made everything hilarious kind of like a mania feeling it lasted just one day. I was on 20mg at that time.

I have been wanting to try it again so bad! But I have the med phobia and have been trying to work through it because I just know it will change my life once again...

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I was doing great with it until my insurance stopped covering it and I had to stop (WAY too expensive). I hope if I can get approved for disability and change insurances, then i will jump right back on taking it!

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