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Comment from: don't suggest, 25-34 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: November 04

The doctors don't tell you this, or maybe most of them don't know. I took Lexapro for a couple of years to deal with depression from a stressful job/condescending boss. It did work, but when I stopped taking it I started getting brain jolts, zaps in my mouth, dizziness, vertigo type feeling when I would move my eyeballs, spinning when I would move my eyeballs, and I also had headaches. It is very hard to explain the symptoms, but you know it when you are dealing with it. I was absolutely miserable. I didn't know what it was from and ended up at many doctor's offices thinking I had a brain tumor, multiple sclerosis, you name it. They gave me an MRI of my brain, lots of tests, you name it. Finally I did some of my own research on the internet and found that there a LOTS of other people that were going through the same thing. I just had to type in the right thing in google and there it was. There were so many people with the same problem, not only from Lexapro but other anti-depressants as well. You would think doctors would know!These horrible things finally went away after about 6 months of torture. I don't wish what I went through upon anybody. I guess if you are never planning on getting off the meds then you are ok, but if it's just a temporary thing then I would recondisder. The withdrawl symptoms are just too much. I was also suicidal during the withdrawl. It is out of my system now and I am clean of anything and feel much better. If only one person reads this and listens to me it will be worth it to save them from something like this.

Related Reading: lexapro | dizziness | vertigo

Comment from: 25-34 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: September 28

After a terrible experience with fluoxetine in the past, I was hesitant to try any other SSRIs, but lexapro has been a real life saver. I started taking it for depression and GAD, and about a month after I got up to 20mg/day, it finally kicked in and I feel amazing. I no longer feel utterly hopeless and useless; I don't dwell constantly on negatives or worry incessantly about everything (in fact, I can't even -force- myself to ruminate, which is a weird feeling); I'm actually cheerful 90% of the time and hardly ever have down days anymore; and I feel a lot more confident and outgoing and actually comfortable around people. Overall, lexapro has made me so much more positive and relaxed and, well, "normal". I can finally just get on with things and enjoy life instead of moping around and worrying. And I don't feel like it has blunted my emotions at all either, which is something I heard a lot about beforehand. Plus, apart from some heavy tiredness and constant yawning during the first couple of weeks. I haven't had any side effects (no weight gain, thankfully!), so that's a huge plus. Now I just hope that these wonderful effects actually last!

Related Reading: fluoxetine | lexapro

Comment from: snoopmom, 25-34 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: November 08

I was recently weened from Lexapro after being on it for a little over 3 years; I found it to be a wonder drug. In the past I tried Paxil and Prozac and did terrible on both. Lexapro basically saved my life. I do remember when I started the medicine I would have extremely vivid dreams at night that didn't make sense and it took a few months for that to subside. One downside of the medicine is that I gained a TREMENDOUS amount of weight; I'm only 5'1", used to always weigh around 115/118 lbs, and I ballooned up 144 lbs. The drug manufacturer doesn't state weight gain as a side effect, but everyone I know who has been on the medicine has stated the same thing. I religiously watched my diet and couldn't lose the weight; this is actually the reason I went off the medicine. I am in a much better place, both emotionally and mentally, than I was before starting Lexapro, but I found the weight gain to be something that made me more depressed and miserable.

Related Reading: paxil | prozac

Comment from: 35-44 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: February 19

DISCONTINUING LEXAPRO IS HELL. Most doctors do not warn patients about SSRI DISCONTINUATION SYNDROME, so please research this before deciding that Lexapro is right for you. Lexapro was fairly effective at easing my depression, but every time I missed a dose, I felt sick. Because of this, and the sexual side effects (complete inability to orgasm, no arousal during sex, no interest in sex), I decided to switch to Wellbutrin, and let me tell you, DISCONTINUING LEXAPRO IS HELL. PLEASE, please before taking Lexapro, look up SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome on Wikipedia. It has been over a month since I finally tapered off Lexapro, and I have felt sick the whole time. It's like having the flu every day but it doesn't go away, and the feeling of being "zapped" every few minutes is VERY disconcerting. I am only JUST starting to feel better, however I still get major headaches every day, I feel like I have a low-grade fever and my body still hurts most of the time. If you do take Lexapro, DO NOT QUIT COLD TURKEY. TAPER OFF VERY SLOWLY to lessen the very unpleasant effects of discontinuing it. My doctor had me taking 50mg/day, which sounds like a lot, but it took that much to be effective for me. But nobody warned me that I would have to take it the rest of my life or suffer the misery of discontinuing it. Lexapro can be a very effective medication, and the benefits of taking it can outweigh the problems it may cause, so do the research and make an educated decision based upon your personal needs. Keep in mind that WebMD is sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, so you probably won't find anything about SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome here unless you are reading what patients have submitted. Please research carefully and thoroughly so that you understand exactly what you are getting into if you do decide to take Lexapro.

Related Reading: lexapro | wellbutrin | flu

Comment from: vinson, 35-44 on Treatment for 2-5 years Published: September 26

i was able to join the land of humans again

Comment from: anne, 55-64 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: March 03

I had a major depressive episode that led me to the doctor for help. She started me on Lexapro 10mg per day. I felt worse for about a week with extreme anxiety and no energy. I just laid on the couch and waited for the medicine to take effect. The first thing that happened was a return of my appetite after 2 weeks of Lexapro. Bit by bit I got better. After 4 weeks on Lexapro, I felt great and have had no relapse of depression or anxiety. After 6 months of treatment my doctor and I decided to start weaning with a plan to decrease Lexapro dosage to 5mg per day for 3 months then discontinue. I am on my 2nd month of the reduced dosage and feel fine. This has been a great drug for me...restored my life.

Related Reading: lexapro | anxiety | depression

Comment from: It will get better, trust me., 45-54 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: December 22

Within 4 months, hubby dx'd w/cancer, mother had major stroke, many more smaller issues, including memopause. Constant anxiety, no sleep, mind did not stop running, felt like my body was flying away from me in all different directions. Got close to a total mental break down. Was given Lexapro, 10/mg daily, within a week I was sleeping & started to be able to cope again. No side effects, no weight gain. After 1st year, needed a refill & was terrified MD would not refill because I felt wonderful on it. I took it for another year (2 years total). Mom passed away & hubby in remission. Felt I needed to try life again without it. I weaned myself off over a 2 month period skipping days inbetween until my last bottle was gone. Two months was not long enough for the 'weaning period', I had most of the withdrawal side effects already mentioned off & on for about 6-8 months after. It wasn't fun, but my only regret is that I did not 'wean' long enough. If I ever needed it again, it would be my drug of choice. However, I would do a much longer weaning period & research how to do so correctly. It's a wonderful drug to get you through when life events are too much to handle.

Related Reading: cancer | stroke

Comment from: 19-24 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: September 22

It has really helped me. I have been on paxil and zoloft. Lexapro works really well for me. I have noticed a decrease in memory for small activities. Overall, it has really helped me cope with my life and depression.

Related Reading: paxil | zoloft

Comment from: JP, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: May 09

I've always had intense anxiety and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. I've been diagnosed with PTSD, depression, anorexia, EDNOS, anxiety disorder. A year ago, after a 20-year battle, I admitted myself into residential treatment for an eating disorder. The eating disorderwas my coping mechanism to self medicate, in a sense: starvation made my highs less intense and gave me purpose during my depressive lows. Without my usual coping mechanisms, the depression didn’t lift. After two months wondering what the point of it all was, in nearly unbearable physical and mental pain, with NOTHING I could think of that would make me happy, I realized I needed help. So I saw a psychiatrist who put me on 5 mg of Lexapro. The very first day, I felt it. I know that’s rare, but I’m super sensitive. I entertained the possibility of it being a placebo effect, but I know it’s not. How? Well, I’ve been a nervous sweater my whole life. I drench my clothes in tense situations, in freezing cold, in heat. The first day on Lexapro, the sweating went from excessive to normal. This is not something you can change with a placebo effect. The pain in my chest started to ease, I noticed colors and sounds and smells in a pleasant way rather than not noticing them at all, or being totally overwhelmed by them. I could face the everyday tasks that had felt impossible before. I started feeling for the first time in my life, “This must be a bit what it feels like to be a normal person.” It’s been two and a half weeks. I had a few side effects initially: dry mouth, clenching jaw, foggy head, loss of appetite, hot puffy hands and feet, and a surge of foggy exhaustion for about two hours after taking my morning 5 mg pill. It subsided within a week. It’s completely even now. I have a full range of emotions. I don’t feel the meds now. I just feel like I can breathe a little better. I have a little more strength to face the every day things. I even feel joy again now and then.

Related Reading: anorexia | dry mouth

Comment from: shelleyb34, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: February 09

I experienced an almost immediate lifting of the dark cloud that has followed me everywhere for the last few years. I thought that it might make me zombie-like and not able to experience emotion but it did not do that at all. The only negative side effect that I have noticed is difficulty waking up to my alarm in the morning (late to work everyday now because I can't get up) and drowsy while at work. I am a 44 yo female and take 10mg at bedtime. I read that I might be able to take 5mg in the morning and 5mg with dinner and that might help with the drowsiness. Other than that this medication has helped to ease the deep depression that I've been feeling and I am back to smiling and feelings of general happiness.

Comment from: drtobe, 25-34 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: April 16

I've been on Lexapro for a year and have been very pleased with the results. Take it for depression/anxiety combo. Started out on Lorazepam for anxiety attacks, but quickly realized I needed a daily medication. Had used Xanax for a short period a few years ago, but I like the Lexapro because it isn't habit forming (I'm sure there are withdrawal symptoms, but it isn't addictive). Started at 10mg, which worked fine until I was laid-off earlier this year, so I switched to 20mg. Doing fine on 20mg and plan to stay. Lexapro has made a huge difference in my life - I used to have trouble sleeping, was disinterested in life in general, often wondered what the point of living was, and would constantly worry about EVERYTHING. I felt improvement of my depression within 1 week of receiving the prescription. A word on side effects: I too felt EXTREME fatigue, nausea, terrible headaches, and lack of appetite in the first couple of days. I was taking it in the morning before going to work and I honestly felt AWFUL within an hour of taking it - but the depression was getting better so I hung in there with the medication, figuring the side effects would go away once my body adjusted to the medication. I also switched to taking the medication at night right before I went to bed instead of in the morning, so any side effects would occur while I was sleeping and I didn't feel them as much. Thankfully making that switch did the trick and as far as I know the side effect went away after the first week or so. Give it time if you're just starting or thinking about starting.

Related Reading: lexapro | depression | anxiety

Comment from: takeatnight, 19-24 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: January 17

Comment: Lexapro has saved my life. I was prescribed the drug for severe anxiety and mild depression. The first time I was on it, I took it for about 3 months in the morning and I had the sexual side effects, loss of libido and I could not have an orgasm to save my life!! I stopped taking it because I could not handle the sexual side effects. Then when my doctor prescribed it again he told me that it should ALWAYS be taken at night!!! It helps with the drowsiness, which was my 1st problem because I felt like a zombie in the morning when I took it. So when I started taking it at night, I noticed that I STARTED TO HAVE ORGASMS RIGHT AWAY!! Now I take it before bed every night, and I have orgasms all the time! I want everyone to know to talk to your doctor about taking Lexapro at night!! The side effects are non-existent! It saved my life, TAKE IT AT NIGHT!!

Comment from: CLL, 45-54 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year (Patient) Published: December 10

This website has been SO valuable during my frustration with different medications. You need to read over ALL the reviews and rule out a few that don't seem to jive with all the others. There's always a few out there who are dissatisfied. That doesn't mean those same things will happen to you. Do your research and remember, everyone is different and react to drugs differently. Don't be scared the first time you see a reviewer mention weight gain or decreased libido. It's more important that you get to feeling better and you can deal with those things later. I've had depression for 30 years and Prozac 20mg worked for me up until I hit 50. Perhaps it was because I'm pre-menopausal or because I'd taken the same drug, at the same dose for so many years. I went to the doctor and tried several other drugs. At first, I wasn't satisfied with any of them, so I got on Effexor XR. Wow! Please read about the withdrawl symptoms when going off of Effexor, because they are severe. Try all the other meds first. Something will work for you. Bottom line, I'm going back on Lexapro. I don't think I gave it enough of a chance and it was working pretty well for me. Be patient and don't try to change meds or get off of something without a doctor's advice. Been there, done that, and it was terrible. I believe that Lexapro is a wonderful drug. It is sure the best I've tried so far. I believe our bodies get used to something and it finally stops working. That's what happened to me with Prozac, although it was my wonder drug for 20+ years. I'm going to ask my doctor if perhaps I should rotate between Lexapro and Prozac every few years. That may be the answer for me. DON'T GIVE UP. Antidepressants will help you get your life back, but you have to be patient. Also exercise, eat right, and talk to someone who cares. God bless you all and best wishes in your recovery. There is light at the end of the tunnel, I promise.

Related Reading: prozac | effexor xr | effexor

Comment from: happyrabbit, 65-74 on Treatment for 10+ years (Patient) Published: February 02

Have been taking for over 10 years. Helps me stay calm, not get upset easily, and deal with problems in a rational manner. Saved my life!

Comment from: 13-18 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: September 20

I was so anxious, I couldn't even leave the house. It was terrible. Lexapro changed EVERYTHING for the better.

Comment from: Msb, 55-64 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: December 26

I have been depressed and anxious for years and things became unbearable with the constant worry and stress I was going though. I felt I did not want to live anymore. I was done trying to be happy. I asked my Dr for some help and began taking 10 mg per day and it has been 5 weeks. I am doing much better. I don't feel drugged and I don't worry 24/7 anymore. I have a lack of appetite and am a bit sleepy, but it is wonderful to smile again.

Related Reading: stress

Comment from: Happy Camper, 35-44 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: July 15

I started taking 10mg a little over 3 years ago as the result of depression/anxiety that increased steadily after having my son in 2009. I cried all of the time, had crazy mood swings and was just never happy. Since taking Lexapro, all of that has gone away and I'm much more well balanced and happy. The side effects I've experienced are weight gain (30# in 3 yrs), no sex drive, fatigue, yawning, and increased sweating. While I would much prefer not have the side effects, I feel they're a fair trade for restoring my sanity and my life!

Related Reading: depression | anxiety | lexapro

Comment from: SueCoach, 65-74 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: November 24

I thought my depression was situational for many years, but when it hung on for years after I got my life in order, I talked with my doctor. She prescribed Lexapro 10 mg two years ago. Not only did the grey cloud lift, I now sleep peacefully and my dreams are no longer troubling. I have no side effects. I am most definitely the right patient for this drug.

Comment from: 13-18 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: September 20

Amazing. This drug saved my life.

Comment from: godfollowers, 25-34 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: December 05

When I first started taking Lexapro (anxiety) it made me really sick to my stomach. I would feel very lightheaded. I was taking it in the morning though. I switched to nighttime and after about a week or two the side effects went away. So to anyone out there experiencing side effects give the medication a try for about two weeks. I was on 10mg at first and I did notice a difference. I wasn't so high strung, was able to focus so much better, and was able to deal with life in general much better. This only lasted for a couple of weeks and then I was back where I started. I went back to the doctor and he doubled the dosage to 20mg. I must say I've been taking it now for about a year and half and it is WONDERFUL for me! I am able to handle situations that I never would have been able to handle before. It also helps me with my "monthly" bouts of depression. If you're a female you know what I mean. I've got to be honest this has been a wonder drug for me. I realize that medication effects people differently and what's good for one person may not be good for another. But, if offered Lexapro by your physician, give it a chance. As with most other drugs you will probably experience some sort of side effects the first week or two. Thanks for letting me share and hopefully this review will be able to help someone.

Comment from: blueyes, 45-54 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: June 15

I've been taking 10 mg doseage for 18 months. It has worked great for treating depression and helps me sleep better. The only complaint I have is the inability to cry. Sometimes crying is cleansing, but I cannot cry now...before starting Lexapro I cried all the time.

Comment from: 25-34 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: January 19

I have been taking Lexapro for just over 3 months and it has been a God-send. I take 20mg per day and have experienced very few side effects. When I first started taking it I had a hard time falling asleep and then once asleep had a hard time staying asleep. I would often wake up because my arms and legs moved around a lot while sleeping. I switched to taking Lexapro in the morning instead of before bed and the symptoms quickly went away. I have also found that I sweat a lot more while exercising. Not very ladylike, but I can live with it.

Comment from: mhg123, 19-24 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: May 07

So I became depressed after a traumatic death of my only sibling. I'm not a fan of taking drugs to "fix" a symptom (I consider depression to be a symptom of a larger problem) but I was so behind in everything and I needed to get myself up to speed again so my doctor prescribed 10mg of Lexapro and told me to take it at night. It was horrible. The first night, I took the drug and went to sleep. About an hour later, I woke up and threw up violently then proceeded to have wave after wave of panic attacks for the next 5-6 hours. The next night, I took the drug and told myself that the first night was probably just my body adjusting to the new medication and that I would be fine and it wouldn't happen again. But it happened again. And again. And again. I had constant panic attacks for about 2 weeks before I just stopped taking the drug. I couldn't handle it. I wasn't sleeping at all. And my doctor had the nerve to tell me that I caused the panic attacks - but I wasn't causing them - I'm well versed in panic attacks and I know when I'm causing them and when they just happen. I don't recommend just stopping the drug like I did because that could REALLY MESS YOU UP but I made sure I was watched for a couple days after I stopped taking it in case something happened. The antidepressant part actually did work - I felt a lot better and that "heavy cloud" feeling was gone but I just couldn't handle the panic attacks so I decided to deal with the depression on my own and it took longer than I wanted but it's gone now and I didn't ever go back on a drug to do it.

Related Reading: panic attacks

Comment from: tarotsfool, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: December 28

I have heard all the warnings and horror stories about antidepression drugs. That made me very reluctant to try them. I have been in therapy for months,suffering from major depression and anxiety, was hospitalized for suicidal ideation, and still didn't want to take the drugs. But I have three children who need me, and it reached the point I would try anything. Thank Goddess I did. After a matter of days, I feel like I have my life back. I can think, I can feel, I can simply be happy! Lexapro hasn't made my problems go away; it has returned me to a state of mind where I can deal with them. Very slight stomach upset the first night. Some people have more severe reactions. But I must say, don't be afraid of trying these types of medication. They can make the difference of a lifetime!

Related Reading: depression | anxiety | lexapro

Comment from: Alicia, on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: April 10

I had been on Lexapro for 9 years and it helped with my depression, mood swings,OCD and GAD. When I was put on the generic brand for 3 months, I saved money, but it didn't work. I had suicidal thoughts, was irritable, sad, crying and my anxiety returned. I hadn't felt this way in years. I got tired of it and went back to the brand Lexapro a week ago. I feel like I can cope more with my job and having to put my dad in a nursing home - I can cope much better and handle the situations that come up. FORGET ABOUT THE GENERIC BRAND!!! It sucks

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

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