Starting Lexapro for Anxiety – Advice?

posted 7 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
3601 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

@KateByDesign: lexapro and citalopram are pretty similar.

Withdrawals: take it every day and don’t skip or stop suddenly

Weight gain: not everyone gains weight, but be mindful of your eating and keep an eye on your weight. It’s easier to lose 5 pounds than 15.

Loss of sex drive: not everyone experiences this, but if you find your sex drive in really bad, try doing it anyway at least 50% of the time. Your sex drive will pick up once the ball gets rolling, so to speak.

Post # 4
Member
13099 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

About half of my extended family is on Lexapro (anxiety runs in my family) and it have been a real benefit to all of them.  To my knowledge, no one in my family has experienced any of those side effects.

Post # 5
Member
3012 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I never gained weight on Lexapro, but I guess everyone is different.  I wish you the best of luck.  I just posted a thread on how my bipolar is killing me as of lately, but I forgot to mention that my anxiety has been through the roof as well.  So I can completely understand how you’re feeling.  🙁 I really do hope this works out for you and you’re feeling great in not time.

Post # 6
Member
491 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I was on it for a while, and it definitely helped my anxiety.  I finally felt normal again while I was on it!  I didn’t have any weight gain or loss of sex drive, but I was on the pill at the same time, which was already causing a loss of sex drive, so no idea if it was possibly covering up side effects of the Lexapro. 

I hated coming off of this med though.  It made me dizzy and I had what they call “brain zaps” which is a really weird feeling, but it went away after a few weeks.  However, I don’t regret being on it at all.  Don’t psych yourself out, just remember that it will help!  And don’t feel bad about taking meds for this, especially since you tried other options first. 

Post # 8
Member
7695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

@KateByDesign: Hi! I took Lexapro for anxiety and depression my senior year of college. I was really depressed and anxious and would cry for no reason or just get into a slump. I started taking Lexapro and it helped fairly quickly. It really helped to stabilize my mood and get me to a place where I wasnt down in the dumps all the time. However, I stopped taking Lexapro after a little while because I did not feel it was the right fit for me. Once my mood became stabilized, that was it. There were never any downs, but there were never any ups either – it was just stable. In addition, I gained 15-20 lbs while taking Lexapro. I was the heaviest I have ever been when I graduated from college and it was all because of Lexapro. I also lost my sex drive completely.

After going off Lexapro I became anxious again. I went back to therapy and that helped a lot but the anxiety was still there. Then I was prescribed clonazepam (or klonopin, similar to xanax) for anxiety. The clonazepam worked wonders. I didnt have to take it every day, it didnt have any negative side effects for me and it helped with exactly the problem – my anxiety. I felt like myself on it too. I much preferred it over Lexapro. Although Lexapro did do a good job of getting me out of the dumps, I just hated not being able to “feel” anything.

Post # 9
Member
7695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Oh and I should mention that I now rarely take anything. Ive learned enough coping strategies and can get a prescription for clonazepam on an as needed basis. For example if I will be flying or have a stressful thing coming up (like my wedding!) then I will go back to the doctor.

Post # 11
Member
48 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I love Lexapro, but I know one of the girls I work with started taking it and it made her start to not care about anything at all so she had to go back to the doc and change what she was taking.  I think the key is to ease into it and listen to your body, even if Lexapro doesn’t work there is something out there that will!   Good luck!

Post # 12
Member
7695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

@KateByDesign: Withdrawal wasnt very bad. I really didnt have any because I was “weened” off of it. I have a very high metabolism and hardly ever gain weight (and I eat pretty healthy) and I still gained this much weight. It was not good. Luckily, the weight that I gained came off very easily, but being above my comfortable weight and not having a sex drive really did not make me feel good!

Post # 13
Member
544 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Interesting that you posted this. I just saw my doctor on Monday about finding a new drug for my anxiety. I’ve been on Lexapro steadily since 2006, and my sex drive has been completely killed. My Fiance has never met me otherwise, and I want to show him different. (We’re tapering down the Lexapro and switching me over to Wellbutrin.)

However, aside from the sex drive issue, I’ve LOVED Lexapro. It has enabled me to not feel tension in my hands, get to sleep much easier, and handle my day to day stresses with a lot less trouble.

My only advice is to take the lowest dose you can (I take 10mg a day) and try not to skip more than about 2 days in a row, or you’ll start feeling it!

Post # 14
Member
2392 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I wasn’t on Lexapro, but I did take Celexa for a few years.  In the beginning, it was great.  Anxiety had been destroying my life and I really did feel like I got my life back.  But over time (I was on it 4-5 years), the side effects seemed to crop up.

– weight gain – I gained about 15 pounds on Celexa despite eating about the same amount.  Like PitBullLover I am not someone who gains weight easily.  Once I went off Celexa, the weight gradually came off and I got my metabolism back.  SSRI weight gain is not just about watching what you’re eating to stave it off.  Obviously it doesn’t happen to everyone who takes it, but a close friend went on Lexapro for a year or two and gained 30 pounds despite barely eating anything. (I’m a little sensitive about this stuff not because 15 lbs is a huge deal compared to getting my life back, but because 15 lbs + celexa withdrawal led to my eating getting really disordered as an anxiety coping mechanism / body image issue when I went off of it.)

– sex drive – definitely decreased, but it went from being omg why don’t guys put out enough to a more manageable level.

– alcohol + celexa = bad things.  this was probably only a big deal because I was in college, about 1/3 times that I drank on Celexa I would have a bad reaction and get sick / throw up prior to actually getting all that drunk

– exhaustion – this was the absolute worst.  I literally felt like my greatest ambition in life was to go back to sleep. no matter how many hours of sleep I got, I was listless.  I would walk down the street and want to go join the homeless people because they got to sleep all day.  (and, I really don’t mean that in a mocking way.  just stopping the exhaustion became such a huge priority in my life)

– withdrawal – ok maybe this was even worse.  headaches, nausea, dizziness and generally feeling out of it.  i would get these intermittent feelings like I was being electrically shocked.  I got very, very depressed despite not being depressed to begin with.  I thought I was dying.  I thought I had diabetes.  I even got an MRI because my head was so messed up.  Turns out it was just a really, really, really bad case of SSRI withdrawal.  My psychiatrist said it was just about the worst he’d ever seen.  I weaned off it gradually, but something went pretty seriously wrong in my system.  Fortunately, it only lasted a few months and there wasn’t any permanent damage.

That said, I’m not going to trash the drug.  I think they work differently for everyone and I’m not sure what would have happened if I never went on it in the first place.  I just wish I’d gotten off of it sooner and at a less already-stressful point in my life (first winter living on my own in New York… not a great idea). I’ve also taken Ativan as-needed for close to 10 years.  I’ve probably taken about 50 pills total in that time, but just having it and knowing I have it has been TREMENDOUS.   Feel free to PM me for more info if you want though this may be all the info you could ever possibly want about me.  😛

Post # 16
Member
7695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

@KateByDesign: It was my senior year of college so yes I drank, and quite frequently and never had any bad reaction with Lexapro

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors