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Kayem: Lexapro almost killed me.


kayem

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Hello,

 

I came across this site and im hoping I can just vent to you guys and get to know some people who may be going through something similar to what I am going through.

 

So, a little about my situation: I'm 23 years old, I was in an abusive relationship for two years, in this relationship I was physically abused, sexually abused but most importantly, I was psychologically and emotionally abused. I FINALLy grew the courage to leave. I was in therapy after that to deal with the aftershock of everything that happened to me.

 

One day I went to my family doctor and told him about what happened to me and that I had panic attacks and anxiety. He prescribed Lexapro. After five or six weeks of being on the drug I noticed I was starting to look like a cow. (and after FINALLY having reached my goal weight before going on lexapro, this was heart breaking) I went to my doctor and told him I wanted to go off of the drug...

 

He told me to take half of a pill (5mg.) per day for five days and to go off of it entirely after. Well, five days of 5mg. and then two days of nothing and on the night of the seccond lexapro free day I tried to commit suicide by cutting myself and overdosing on a bunch of different drugs. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SUICIDAL! Never, never, ever! I have always been able to handle things. I dont want to die! I have never wanted to die!

 

I was in the hospital for 4 days and I didnt feel better untill they put me back on lexapro. I am not suicidal! It had never even crossed my mind! So what in the world happened to me!?!?!?

 

They quickly diagnosed me with depression... and so ive been back on lexapro for another 7 weeks... and getting fatter by the day! im trying to keep an eye on what I eat, and im trying to excersize! im trying everything but I keep getting bigger.... its making me so depressed... Im going to talk to my doctor tomorrow and ask him to take me off of it and put me on something else...  I know I should be happy that im better menatlly and to just endure the weight gain but its just so heart breaking to me because I have been struggling with my weight since I was about 12 years old!

 

If I had never gone on lexapro, I would probably be in a better place than where I am today. I should have just done things how I am used to doing them and that is medication-free and just by being tough... Lexapro made me such a coward.... I tried to end my life! so pathetic!!! I FINALLY was able to wear a bikini and feel amazing in it... well, that feeling didnt even last a week... because I went on lexapro the same week I reached my goal weight. I hate lexapro, I want to go off of it ASAP. At least now I have a good doctor who is actually a psychiatrist and not a family doc.) Ive learned to ALWAYS see a PSYCHIATRIST if you are taking ANY psychotic drugs.

I hope and pray I can loose the weight.... its a huge deal for me... Ive gained almost 30 lbs in 3 months. :(

 

 

xoxo

 

 

Kayem

Edited by Karma
Added paragraph breaks for readability and added name to topic title
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Kayem,

 

Weight gain is a side effect of most psychotropic drugs I'm sorry to say, so switching to a different antidepressant may or may not do any good for your weight and may make you feel very bad again depending on how your doctor instructs you to make the switch.  And BTW, I believe you'll find that most psychiatrists are no better than most GPs when it comes to prescribing antidepressants and other drugs.  Neither of them seem to understand much about what the drugs do to us when we're on them or when we try to get off of them.  You'll find a lot of people on this forum who have been badly burned by psychiatry.

 

Here's a topic on how to get off of Lexapro slowly and with a minimum of discomfort: 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/?hl=Lexapro

 

and a more general one on why we believe tapering should be done no more than 10% at a time:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

You'll see that the extremely fast taper you made is definitely not recommended.  I went off 10 mg. Lexapro in three and a half months and had terrible withdrawal.  I'm still experiencing some emotional numbing today, exactly eighteen months later.

 

Welcome to the forum, Kayem.  You'll find lots of solid information and friendly support here.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • Administrator

Hi Kayem,

 

Welcome to the forum.  Please include paragraph breaks in your posts, large blocks of text are difficult to read.

 

When you have a moment please include your antidepressant history in your signature like so: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/.

 

I understand about how frustrating it is to gain weight due to antidepressants.  Unfortunately, I think you are going to have to accept it for the time being until you get stable and can taper off of Lexapro.

 

Please don't beat yourself up about taking the medication that was offered.  If you had known how difficult it was going to be to get off of, or how disruptive it would be to maintaining your weight you might have made a different decision.  You did the best you could do at the time.

 

If I am reading your post correctly you've been back on Lexapro for 7 weeks - how are you feeling?  Are you having any symptoms?  If you are symptom free you could begin a slow taper according the information Jemima shared.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & 1 mg Xanax & 200 mg Gabapentin
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg;
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor

I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Hi and welcome...

 

When I read about Lexapro I respond because I did take it for a few years and gained alot of weight.  My formr spouse was emotionally and verbally abusive. I was in therapy to move past the abuse and overcome co-dependency.

 

I had anxiety and depression.  The Lexapro worked for a short time and I did a few fast tapers.  When I reinstated after the last taper the medication was no longer effective.  I was on a full dose and experiencing WD symptoms.  Believe me you are not alone.

 

Because I was on 40mgs. it took me two years to get off of it.  Hard to believe, but the two years was too short of a time.

 

Once off of it I experienced Protracted WD which lasted for awhile...maybe 5-6 months.  I did take another AD to combat WD and it helped.

 

Having gone thru this I would follow the advise the members gave you prior to my post.  Jemma and Karma.....there will be a host of others who will come along to speak with you.

 

If you are on 5-10mgs. just stay there.  It is a relatively low dose.  Get the liquid form.  Stabilize first and stay put to level yourself out if you must.  Then begin a taper.  You do not have to follow the 10% reduction suggestions.  With the liquid you can drop1 or even a half-milligram at a time.  We refer to the time in between drops in dose as 'holds'.  The longer you can remain in a holding pattern the better you may feel.

 

These drugs do cause weight gain and it was the reason I wanted to get off Lexapro.

 

Nikki

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

 

 

If you are on 5-10mgs. just stay there.  It is a relatively low dose.  Get the liquid form.  Stabilize first and stay put to level yourself out if you must.  Then begin a taper.  You do not have to follow the 10% reduction suggestions.  With the liquid you can drop1 or even a half-milligram at a time.  We refer to the time in between drops in dose as 'holds'.  The longer you can remain in a holding pattern the better you may feel.

 

 

 

I feel I have to step in and correct this statement.  Lexapro is an extremely strong drug, roughly twice as strong as most other antidepressants, so being on 10 mg. of Lexapro is equivalent to at least 20 mgs. of other drugs in the SSRI class.  It isn't a "relatively small dose", it's the usual dose people are given to start Lexapro.  The 40 mgs. Nikki was on is an enormous dose, probably far higher than she needed.

 

The 10% reduction of current dose is a starting point.  It may be that you will be able to tolerate more of a taper than that or you might have to slow down and do less.  You may be able to go faster or slower than we recommend.  Everyone is different, so it's important to listen to your body and be as comfortable as possible while you taper.

 

Whatever you do, don't just quit cold turkey or do another fast taper.  Getting the drug out of your body is not the objective here.  These drugs change the physical structure of the brain and other areas of the central nervous system and these changes remain after the drug is completely out of the body.  Withdrawal symptoms are the result of the CNS re-normalizing, and that can take months to years.  The idea is to taper slowly enough that your CNS has enough of the chemical support to which it has become accustomed that you won't suffer severe symptoms from decreases in dosage.  You've already experienced how bad that can be, so please don't take any chances with your overall well-being in order to lose weight fast.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Kayem I have been thinking about your post and how you feel about the weight gain.  It has been an issue with me for a long time.

 

Life was good at the time I wanted to get off Lexapro.  Soooo I thought now would be a good time.  I was divorced, financially secure, had a great job and my daughter was doing well.  What was bothering me was the weight.  I felt I overcame lots of hurdles and this was the last one.....Surprise

 

I wanted off lexapro and from posts I read on other sites, and from friends who got off ssri's, once off the med, the weight would came off.....

 

It was a difficult taper.

 

I did get off Lexapro - but - I went on another med.  I did lose weight, but not what I expected due to the other med.

 

Jemima said 'weight gain is a side effect from psychotropic medications' and sadly it is true in my case anyway.

 

The primary reason (or one of several) for wanting to get off Celexa (currently) is the difficulty in losing weight.  This will require another taper, and hopefully the last.  I did taper on two occasions and got myself down from 40mgs. to 30mgs. but I have remained here for a long time now.

 

It is in my mind to taper, when is the question. 

 

My daughter's friend got off Lexapro with minimal effects and she dropped 30 lbs.

She looked great.  Bless her heart.  We were happy for her.  A year later she went on Cymbalta and the weight cropped back up.

 

So, weight gain is a side effect it seems.

 

Please take it easy on yourself.  You'll get there.  Give time, time.

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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