Hi I was on lexapro for about 4 years. It elimented the panic attacks. I went off it in Feb. because of the side effects. I was unemtional, easily angered, and gained about 50lbs. Everything was good, a few pa's that I got through with Xanax. Early July; work got bad and the anxiety/panic started as a daily thing.
My MD gave me Effexor 75mgs to start, 150mgs after a week. I was hesitent to take it, but after a week of almost being non-functional, I started. The first couple weeks were ruff. After the third week I felt good. The fourth week, I switched back to taking in the AM because it would make me restless taking at dinner time. I originaly didnt like the AM becuase I dont typically eat much in the morning, and I was natious after taking it. That went away. I was pretty good the week I switched back to the AM, I was getting a little extra med each day as I bumped up the time by 2 hours. Now a week after that I am good through most of the day, but the anxiety comes back in the afternoon & while I am sleeping. I wake up anxious.
I say a Pdoc for the first time yest. It was really positive. I think he will help. He has me switching to taking 75mg in the AM and 75mg in the afternoon. He said even though its extend release it seemed like it was not enough with the one dose. He also said he might need to increase the AM dose, depending on how this goes. We are going to work on using CBT to train my brain to deal with the p/a. I know now I should have seen a therapist before, but most of the time it was discouraged my the MD's.
Anyway, the lexapro worked, the effexor right now seems better for me. I can feel the p/a diminishing and there seem to be less side effects, In fact one good one is its supressing my appetite. I was able to loose 10lbs so far! Good luck with your choice. Find a good Pdoc to help!