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Lexapro Side Effects


mkoven
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Hi,

I've started lexapro, primarily for pms. I've been SOOO nauseated and dizzy, and I'm only taking 2.5mgs. I wake up in the middle of the night wanting to throw up. Right now the side effects are so much worse than the reason I'm taking it. And I'm probably at such a low dose that it can't do too much for me.

Plus, since it's for pms, i'm only to take it for 2wks at a time...so i don't know if i'd have to put up with this every month when i go on it???

I had an appointment with the doctor on Monday to discuss, but (grrrrr!!!), they hadn't entered it in the computer, so I was sent away, and won't be seen for another ten days. TOTALLY lame.

Don't know that I can get thru to the doc before.

Don't know if this is an incipient allergic reaction, but the left side of my face has red splotches and itches.

Between wanting to vomit in the middle of the night and my regular eds middle-of-the-night pelvic dislocations, I'm not very perky or happy this morning.

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For my son, Lexapro has been a miracle drug. It has been very helpful. He had been getting very anxious prior to a BP drop. It's taken all of that away, it's increased his appetite, and the vasoconsticting effect has helped stabilize his BP. That being said, acclimating to it was very difficult. Mack would get severe headaches with vomiting within 30 minutes of taking it. He had to lie down very suddenly, couldn't tolerate any light, and would sometimes vomit. His PT theorized that he was soooo low in serotonin, that his body "freaked out" at the sudden addition. I think he began with 5mg for a week, then 10mg, now 15mg, titrated slowly. I'm so happy Mack stuck it out because the negative symptoms slowly abated within a week to 10 days.

We know how effective Lexapro's been because Mack accidentally forgot his dose recently. He was so lightheaded and sleepy the following day. It took him a week to re-stabilize.

Now, if your body needs to re-acclimate each time you begin taking it...this definately won't be worth it for you. Especially, if it's been prscribed for 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off. I think it'd be much more effcetive to take a low dose all of the time if you find it helpful after this horrible acclimation period. The allergy thing might render this whole conversation mute! Talk to your doc as soon as possible- maybe his nurse since your appts. so far off. I'm just sharing my son's experience.

All the best-

Julie

Hi,

I've started lexapro, primarily for pms. I've been SOOO nauseated and dizzy, and I'm only taking 2.5mgs. I wake up in the middle of the night wanting to throw up. Right now the side effects are so much worse than the reason I'm taking it. And I'm probably at such a low dose that it can't do too much for me.

Plus, since it's for pms, i'm only to take it for 2wks at a time...so i don't know if i'd have to put up with this every month when i go on it???

I had an appointment with the doctor on Monday to discuss, but (grrrrr!!!), they hadn't entered it in the computer, so I was sent away, and won't be seen for another ten days. TOTALLY lame.

Don't know that I can get thru to the doc before.

Don't know if this is an incipient allergic reaction, but the left side of my face has red splotches and itches.

Between wanting to vomit in the middle of the night and my regular eds middle-of-the-night pelvic dislocations, I'm not very perky or happy this morning.

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I have stopped and re-started my low dose SSRI several times. I have these side effects (not the itching and redness tho) the first week to two weeks. It takes awhile to adjust, for most people, I believe. I know in my case I would not want to keep stopping and re-starting as your doctor has suggested, but that is my experience--and also my experience with prozac not lexapro.

Hope you feel better soon and it starts to work for you. I am greatly better on a low-dose SSRI--far fewer POTS symptoms.

Katherine

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Hi,

I started Paroxetine (a different SSRI) in the autumn for my POTS. The side-effects the first day I took it were awful - I felt really drunk / drugged and had to get a taxi home from work at lunchtime. The occupational health doctor at work persuaded me to try half a tablet daily from then on. I reluctantly took it and agreed with him to stick with it for at least 2 weeks. To start with I was really nauseous, hardly ate anything, wanted to vomit and still felt drunk. Over the 2 weeks the symptoms gradually settled and after 3weeks I ventured back on to a whole tablet. I have now been on it and stable for several months.

I know that a lot of us are sensitive to meds and need to gradually introduce things to our systems. I would be concerned about constantly stopping and starting an SSRI. I would talk to your doctor about possibly taking a small dose continuously - your system may well adapt to that better than a 2 week regieme. Although it has been prescribed for your PMS you may well experience an improvement in your POTS symptoms too - my SSRI was prescribed for POTS and does seem to have helped a bit.

Basically you need that appointment with your doctor to discuss these issues and how they relate specifically to your health.

You mentioned a rash and wondered if it was an allergic reaction - you should get that checked out. In the UK pharmacists will advise on things like possible drug rashes, it may be worth you asking a pharmacist if you should stop the SSRI if you can't get to your doctor soon.

Good luck,

Flop

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Maybe I'm not correct here, but ssri's aren't supposed to be stop & start kind of meds--even at a low dose (which is how I started) it will give you withdrawal symptoms when you stop, the re-experience the start up side effects when you start again. When I miss a dose, i'm sick within a few hours of missing the dose -- I normally take it at 7am, and by 12, I'm spinning and puking if I forget to take it. I'm only on 10mg...

Nina

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Usually, SSRIs are used continuously, but for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) it can be used for 2 weeks prior to the period. It may not be the best way to treat a POTS patient, however, because of the drug sensitivities and withdrawal effects, but women without POTS can use Prozac (Sarafem) on intermittent basis.

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Thanks for all your input. My return appointment is now 4/27-- and i'll still be in the 2wk window-- so we can then discuss if I keep going, stop altogether because I can't take it, or do the intermittent dosing.

Right now, though it's too early to tell probably, "we're not having fun yet." All side effects, no benefits. Yuck.

I think I'll have to take tigan tonight so I can sleep without wanting to vomit.

Just out of curiosity, has anyone had weight gain with lexapro or other ssri's? I'm on the chunky side already, and my sister put on weight with ssris over the years. i'm hoping if the dosage is low enough that I can avoid this...

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SSRIs and other anti-depressants are notorious for causing weight gain. The least weight gain reported, and in some people causing actually weight loss, is with Welbutrin, Effexor and Prozac. Paxil, Zoloft and Celexa/Lexapro are known to have a higher incidence of weight gain as a side effect. I hope you and your doctor can figure out what works for you. Good luck!

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Hi,

I take lexapro. When I first took it I took it via pill form and took about a 1/2 of it to start and experienced some side effects and I stopped. I decided to give the liquid lexapro a try and I had success with that without any real noticeable side effects.

I don't know if it was just coincidence, but I did well when I switched.

:huh:

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doctorguest, thanks for the added info on SSRI's and short term dosing... and, as you mentioned, weight gain is an issue. I packed on 30 lbs, managed to get 10 off, and even with a trainer for an hour 2x a week at home, excellent diet and additional workouts on my own in my calculated "fat burning" heart rate zone, I've not been able to shake the 20 lbs that remain.

Do norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (NRI's) have similar issues with weight gain and also the nausea and headache side effects when stopping/starting?

Nina

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the psychiatrist said that if lexapro didn;t work out, he might try me on cymbalta. Anyone know if that's better for not gaining weight?

I had such a crummy experience with tricyclics in the 80s, before ssris, that I'm cautious and skeptical.

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SNRI are not as "notorious" for weight gain as SSRIs, although all medications in that group can cause weight gain, as well as nausea, headaches, restlessness, etc. Some patients have no problem taking these, while others have all kinds of side effects. I've always been surprised how older patients seem to better tolerate these medications than younger ones - I haven't been able to explain that one yet. As for Cymbalta, it's somewhat like Effexor; it's been FDA approved a few years ago for treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy pain, and has been also used with good results in other types of pain syndromes, including fibromyalgia.

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