Side effects when starting Lexapro

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medved
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Date Joined Nov 2009
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   Posted 3/19/2012 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello all. I am on my 4th day of Lexapro (10mg).  It is giving me insomnia.  I have trouble falling asleep, and then when I do fall asleep I wake up at 2am or thereabout and stay up for an hour and a half before I can fall asleep again.  Last night I took .25mg Xanax and that helped me sleep (not a great night's sleep; but better).  But I really don't want to take a lot of Xanax.  The Lexapro is also making me jittery, which is pretty uncomfortable -- especially because I am tired from bad sleep.  I sort of feel like I drank 6 cups of coffee, but am still tired. 
 
Have others had these effects?  Any idea how long it will last?  Really makes it hard to get through a work day.
 
 

GBPacker
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Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 3/19/2012 9:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi medved....

The side effects you are experiencing are all very common. As weird as this may sound you can sometimes feel a little worse before it gets better but that's just your body (and brain) getting used to the meds. Stick with it and use your xanax to help you get through for the first few weeks. I am on week 4 of Zoloft and I haven't taken a xanax in a week! Once your meds kick in you will feel much calmer but go ahead and use the xanax temporarily if for anything so you can get some sleep. Lack of sleep just exacerbates the anxiety.

The first two weeks I was on the Zoloft I felt like I had drank 6 pots of coffee (lol) and the xanax was a tremendous help.

Hang in there.....You will get through this..... :)

Packer

misterkatamari
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Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 3/19/2012 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry you're not feeling too great, hope that it subsides. :)

Those are pretty common side effects of the medications, and happens when you first start taking it and often when you try and stop taking them as well. If you're still having problems weeks later, then you may need to try a different medication. Even though this sounds normal, I would still encourage you to mention it to your doctor and just put out there any concerns you have.

Hope you feel better. :)
--Patrick, aka Misterkatamari

I'm active on several boards. Main issues are: Chronic Pain due to Scoliosis & 2 Herniated Discs, possible DDD and arthritic facet joints. Also active in the Depression/Anxiety boards. Meds include: Prozac 40mg, Xanax .5 mg, Tramadol 50mg

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell

medved
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Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 967
   Posted 3/19/2012 5:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks to both of you. I just spoke with doctor. I told him the xanax helps me sleep but I am not thrilled with the idea of taking xanax -- or at least any more than necessary. He suggested I try melatonin, to help me sleep. I will give it a try. He thinks some of the jittery feeling I may have is from lack of good night's sleep. Maybe he is right. I don't know.

Post Edited (medved) : 3/19/2012 4:42:27 PM (GMT-6)


getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34968
   Posted 3/19/2012 5:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like a good thing to try. It helps me. And melatonin is natural.

Best wishes on getting some sleep.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

misterkatamari
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 3/19/2012 9:37 PM (GMT -6)   
medved said...
Thanks to both of you. I just spoke with doctor. I told him the xanax helps me sleep but I am not thrilled with the idea of taking xanax -- or at least any more than necessary. He suggested I try melatonin, to help me sleep. I will give it a try. He thinks some of the jittery feeling I may have is from lack of good night's sleep. Maybe he is right. I don't know.


I take Xanax as needed for anxiety, and not ever really to help me sleep anymore. Instead, I take a sleep aid called Restoril and 3mg of Melatonin. It's helped a lot, actually, and I sleep far deeper than on the Restoril alone. So hopefully you get some results from the Melatonin, let us know how you fare in the days to come. :)

medved
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 967
   Posted 3/20/2012 9:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Tried the melatonin (3mg) last night. I managed to fall asleep but was up much of the night. Now I am exhausted and feeling jittery. I really don't want to quit the Lexapro before it can do any good, but I don't know how much longer I can put up with the side effects of insomnia and that nervous/jittery feeling during the day.

GBPacker
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 3/20/2012 11:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Medved......

You may need to take a higher dose of melatonin. I take 10mgs. I started with 5mg to see how my body reacted and it was ok but I was waking up around 2am-3am almost every night. Now the only reason I wake up, if I do, is because I have to go potty...lol...but I can usually go right back to sleep. Have you thought about possibly taking the Xanax just at night?? Taking a low dose once a day (.50mg) temporarily until the Lexapro kicks in will not make you addicted. I think I mentioned this before that I take .25mg and have since 2001 and it's still effective for me. I only use it when I have to.....that's the idea. Try not to focus so much on not taking the Xanax and focus on getting some rest which will in turn help (along with the Lexapro) slow the anxiety way down.

Just a thought! :)

Take Care
Packer

medved
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 967
   Posted 3/20/2012 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Packer. My doc told me to try 3mg melatonin and then I could go up to 6 if necessary. The 3mg helped me fall asleep (or, in any event, I did fall asleep -- don't know if it was becuase of the melatonin or not), but then I got up during the night and could not fall back asleep. When morning came, i needed 2 cups of coffee to function. Doctor said I could use both melatonin and xanax. But I really hate taking all this different stuff! I think tonight i will just try .25 mg xanax and see how that does. I never before fully appreciated the value of a good night's sleep! I still wonder how long the Lexapro side effects will last. I guess nobody can say for sure. What is typical? We are going on a vacation pretty soon and I sure hope they have gone away by then!

blossom11
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/20/2012 2:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Medved -  I am on Lexapro too.   The insomonia issue has plagued me ever since I started it.  I take the Melatonin 6mg. and a host of herbal remedies, but they don't help too much.  I get very tired, exhausted actually, but it seems like the Lexapro puts up a "road block" if you will in your mind.   That is the only way I can describe it.  I now take the xanax every night to sleep.   If you don't sleep you can't heal.  You then get more depressed from not sleeping and more anxiety.   Hey, if you have to take it, then do it.  We need to keep our jobs.  I wish you well and peaceful nights of sleep  God bless.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/20/2012 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey medved,
 
I did post to you in A & P as I understand how you are feeling.  Just wanted to check and see if you are taking the Lexapro in the morning or if you have asked your Dr. to cut back your Lexapro dose to 5mg and then increase it very slowly once your body adjusts to this medication.
 
You have my support and remember we know where your coming from and what your going through.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
 
 

medved
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 967
   Posted 3/20/2012 4:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Kitt. Yes I take the Lexapro in the morning. I am going to ask doctor when I see him later this week about reducing Lexapro to 5 mg. If the insomnia does not go away, then I will have to go off the drug because I cannot continue to perform well if I do not sleep, and I am not willing to use benzos over long term to enable me to sleep. If it comes to that, I might try an approach of therapy without medication. We'll see. I appreciate the support.

medved
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 967
   Posted 3/20/2012 6:21 PM (GMT -6)   
If I ask the doc to reduce me from 10 mg to 5mg Lexapro, should I expect push back? Maybe that is a ridiculous question because it depends on the doctor and the patient, etc. But all this is very new to me. First time with a pdoc. I could see more concern about a patient who wants to increase a dosage than reduce it. But what the h... do I know?

GBPacker
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 3/21/2012 7:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey medved......

Just wanted to check in and see how you are doing?? I hope you are getting some better sleep. :)

Take Care
Packer

medved
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 967
   Posted 3/21/2012 9:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for checking, Packer.  Last night I took xanax and got about 6.5 hours sleep.  But I felt terrible this morning -- very jittery, exhuasted.  I really need to get this under control.  I have a call into my doc to see if he can move my Thursday appointment to today.  I think I want to reduce the Lexapro from 10mg to 5mg and try that.  I hope it does not cause withdrawal type symptoms (that's all I need!) -- but hopefully it won't after only one week.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34968
   Posted 3/21/2012 1:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I doubt that you will have the bad withdraw symptoms as you will still have the medication in your system. Do let us know how it goes.

I hope that your day gets better.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

medved
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 967
   Posted 3/21/2012 1:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Karen. Yes, the day is getting better. I drank some coffee this morning and it perked me up a little. I must say I don't much like the cycle of taking a drug at night to enable me to sleep and then another "drug" (caffeine) in the morning to wake me up. But that's where I am right now.

I am hoping the doctor will agree to allow me to try 5mg Lexapro, and that this will give me the help I need (along with therapy) without the side effects.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34968
   Posted 3/21/2012 2:21 PM (GMT -6)   
If you get a good therapist, it really helps a lot. I hope that you get a good one that you can receive help from. I have been in therapy for many, many years. Have had good and bad. I am seeing a psychologist again and it really helps.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

medved
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 967
   Posted 3/21/2012 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Is it typical to have a therapist (psychologist) who is separate from the psychiatrist?  I have not really discussed that with my psychiatrist, since only seen him twice so far.  All he said is that we would meet every week, initially, and then maybe every other week and see how it goes.  I have heard that many psychiatrists these days are mostly into psychopharmacology (med management) rather than therapy.  I guess my preference, though, would be to have one person rather than two. 
 

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34968
   Posted 3/21/2012 4:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I see my psychiatrist for meds and my psychologist for therapy. Generally psychiatrists are for med despence. Plus the psychologist is cheaper. My psychologist is my psychiatrist's nurse. So they work together. Which works good for me. If you are comfortable with your psychiatrist for therapy though, then that is good. If they counsel you, and it is working out, I wouldn't change it. But my psychiatrist recommended that I see a therapist.

I hope that this makes sense.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies
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