Effexor or Lexapro? Please read

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New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/23/2007 5:57 PM (GMT -6)   

I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for about 7 years.  I was first on Paxil which worked really well but had very bad, strong side effects.  I was very glad when I went off it after 2 years.  I went about a year on nothing and then went on Zoloft, its side effects were much milder and fewer but it stopped working well after about 8 months and I started feeling anxiety again even while taking it.


I have been off all drugs for about 2 years but have a big job opportunity and need to go one something to take advantage of it.  My doctor who is a GP not a psychologist basically said she would right me a prescription for what ever I wanted.  So I chose Effexsor because my sister works for a doctor’s office and was able to get me 8 months of the stuff in free samples!!  I’m sure you know what a savings this is for me.  But I have been reading that Effexors side effects are much stronger than Lexipros.  Can someone tell me if this is true? 


For example I can say without a doubt that Paxil has much stronger side effects than Zoloft having taken both.  But Zoloft does not work as well for me.  Is there anyone that has taken both Effexor and Lexapro and can tell my your experience on how the two differ?  That would be a big help.


I fell I should take the best drug, not just the one I can get for free.



Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16603
   Posted 5/23/2007 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Drew, I was on Effexor for quite awhile and worked all the way up to 300mg a day. It finally just quit working for me. When I started I did not notice any side effects. I was switched to Lexipro and I have done very well on it. I really cannot say I suffered with any ill side effects. Susie

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 649
   Posted 5/23/2007 9:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Aahhhh Drew.... everyone reacts so differently to these kinds of meds, it's impossible to give you solid advice. Since you have a goodly supply of samples to try, go for it! At least your PCP is willing to work with you, and if the effexor doesn't help, you can always try something else.

For me and my husband, the only side effect with lexapro was during the first 2 or 3 weeks. We both felt like there was a red hot coal burning in our stomachs. I started taking it over a year before hubby did, and was able to warn him to titrate the dose slower than the doc said. With lexapro, the patient is generally started with one 10 mg pill. We both found that keeping the initial dose to 1/2 a pill for the first week greatly alleviated the stomach pain. After that, the full 10 mg dose was no problem. Recently, my brother went on lexapro and the same exact thing happened to him. He cut back to 1/2 pill for a few days, and was able to then take the full dose with no further trouble.

I've known many people who have tried many different anti-depressants, and everyone seems to have their own personal issues as far as side-effects are concerned. The best advice I can give you is to approach the dosage a bit slower than the doc recommends if you notice intolerable side-effects. Not all docs understand that simply titrating the drug at a slower rate will result in fewer problems and the likelihood of the patient sticking with the medication. I hope the effexor will help you!
Living in the Republic of Texas minus a gallbladder, a couple of cervical discs, appendix, uterus, and 18" of colon; but living with my wonderful husband, 2 dogs, 1 cockatiel, and 2 gold fish. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 5/23/2007 10:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Drew,
Interestingly enough, I was on Lexapro before taking Effexor. Lexapro helped take the edge off my depression and anxiety but after several months I began to slip back into a deep depression w/horrible anxiety. My doctor decided to give me the effexor to try - saying it had more of an "uplifting" effect - something I needed. I'm still on it and it really seems to be working for me. Whew! Before Lexapro I was first prescribed Zoloft, like you, it did not work at all for me - just made me sleep.

I read in your other post that you were a little concerned w/your blood pressure with taking the effexor, I've not experienced any problems in this area. But, I would most assurredly keep check on that w/your doctor. Like everyone has said before, nobody reacts the same on these meds.

Best of luck to you on your new job and selecting the correct antidepressant!
Severe Depression/Social Anxiety/Panic attacks
"Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside"

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