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03-11-12, 10:13
I've been using the forum regularly for 8 months but haven't started any threads, I dip in and out of others, posting my progress and supporting others and have found it really helpful and supportive. I feel the time has come to create a thread, partly to ask for support, advice and encouragement but also to record my journey without hijacking other threads all the time:blush:.

A brief history, I first had a panic attack at the age of 26 when suffering from post natal depression, I tried some tricyclic antidepressants but they made me very dopey and didn't help the panic so I stopped after a month, the panic and depression lasted a few months but I coped. Aged 30 I had some panic attacks and general anxiety again after moving house with two young children but slowed down, took time off work and it went.

Then 33 I had a 'major episode' (don't know what else to call it), don't know what the exacerbating factors were but for 10 months I had crippling anxiety became agrophobic for a while, this lead to depression and eventually hospitalisation - which was of little help. Back then (this was 2003) I had CBT, psychoanalysis, art therapy, tried Citalopram, Venlafexine and Imipramine. The SSRI's gave me intolerable anxiety - electric current running through my body, the shakes, basically a fear of living, the Imipramine made me sleepy but didn't help much. I started Prozac at very low dose (2mg liquid increasing daily) at the start of 2004, increasing the doseage to 40mg daily and I went back to being me.

Life for 8 years had been really good, taking between 20-80mg Prozac weekly, I'm crap with meds and forget to take them, if I left too long between doses I get a bit irritable and it reminded me to take it. In March of this year, now aged 42, I realised I had not been taking the Prozac much, had been extreme dieting, chronically stressed and suffering with frequent colds and I started to feel overwhelmed and anxious, I immediately started on 40mg of Prozac again and had all the side effects of SSRI start up and 'broke down' again. I had 12 weeks off work, reduced the Prozac to 20mg a day - increased to 40mg after a month without improvement - took that for a month without improvement and after decreasing it to 10mg a day started to improve.

From June to September I improved vastly, I had the 'blips' lasting up to a week but generally feeling good. However, for the last month I have been on a definate downward trend. I have been taking 20mg of Prozac every 3 days for the last 4 months, although this is not the recognised therapeutic dose the clinical trials report that 5mg of Prozac is effective in those sensitive to medication and it's worked for me for the past 9 years (or has it???). I increased the dose to 20mg every other day - with an exacerabation in anxiety.

So to now, with frequent panic attacks, nearly constant high anxiety causing chest pain, diarrhea etc I have come to the conclusion that Prozac is no longer working for me, the side effects of taking it at high doses outweigh the benefits of taking it. I took my last tablet on Wednesday and have been prescribed Escitalopram liquid to start a week after the medication free period. I am armed with Diazepam, Zopiclone, Claire Weeks CD's & books, my CBT info, relaxation and breathing resources, a massage booked for Wednesday and the support of my family and friends. I'm going to be drinking a lot of Camomile tea, eating well and walking the dog in this bracing cold air too.

I'm still in two minds about starting the Escitalopram - I may go med free but after 9 years I'm scared my brain has forgotton how to function without medication:unsure: and it's nice to have the option of the medication isn't it?

I'd love to hear from anyone, particularly those who have come off meds after a long period, those who have gone med free, those having a bad time at the moment, anyone on Escitalopram or infact anyone at all :blush:

Thanks for reading

Love and hugs to all

Sam x

03-11-12, 10:22
Hi Sam, just wanted to wish you luck, you've been a huge support to me and others and we'll all help you through this, lots of love and :hugs: xxxxxx

03-11-12, 17:05
3 days since last Prozac (10mg) - feeling 5/10.
Slept better than I have for a week and without any meds :)
Woke with less anxiety but it has increased during the day, feeling tired which is OK - I can cope with tired. The nausea, diarrheoa and heavy chest feelings have gone today but still have a burning sensation in my mouth and tongue, hot flashes, headache and generally achy all over but all in all much better than I have been in the last week, no panic attacks and feeling positive. I feel less tense and more even tempered too, I know it maybe the calm before the storm but I'm enjoying it whilst it lasts.

03-11-12, 17:46
Hi Samhar, I have taken Escitalopram (Cipralex) this was after starting Citalopram and having awful side effects that made me so scared. In the end I tried to go without anything but it was all too much, I hit rock bottom and thought what have I got to loose and I started Cipralex and expected awful start up side effects but I didnt get any. I took it at night so I would be asleep when anything happened. I think I had a cold runny nose etc, I did not feel any more anxious or tearful, it slowly gave me my appetite back and could start sleeping. It saved my life and I seem to remember it working pretty quickly too like after about 1 week and a half. It really did help alot I remember thinking at the time I wish I had tried it sooner and also sooner in life. I took it for 5 years and it was great. I think in between I got down days etc normal reaction to being pissed off at work or an argument but I never deteriorated. After 3 years I went up from 10mg to 20mg one winter, I seem to suffer from symptoms of SAD. After 5 years I felt it stopped working had a down time but the maximum dose is 20mg so now I have started Mirtazapine and slowly come off Cipralex. So far no disconitnuation symptoms. I hope you get well soon.

03-11-12, 17:55
Thank you Coco, I'm going to wait a week and see how I feel, it's reassuring to hear that you had awful side effects with Citalopram but not with Cipralex - I'm hoping that it may be the one for me too. Good luck with the Mirtazapine - a friend of mine says it saved her- she's taken it for years and says it's great

04-11-12, 10:30
4 days off Prozac.
2 days without Diazepam.
I slept reasonably well again without medication, waking for short periods but without panic and eventually drifted off again.
Physically - tingly mouth and lips, headache, achey, muscle twitching, tired but no chest pain or palpitations or nausea - the need to check my pulse has gone and that's not been through conscious thought. I got some nerve pain in my teeth and jaw last night - acute, sudden but short lived - over the left side which lasted for about an hour, felt like bad sensitivity like when you've eaten ice cream on a sore tooth - completely gone now.
Emotionally - anxious but not severely so, more hopeful - I've written my Christmas shopping list this morning and done an online shop - something I couldn't of done last week.
I'm going to make pancakes for breakfast, make a cake later, do some shopping, ironing and walk the dog before fireworks tonight. Last night I did some relaxation exercises and it was the first time in two weeks that I've been able to actually relax and listen to them properly. So feeling generally optomistic :)
Hope everyone is OK today - there seems to have been a dip in mood and increase in anxiety in alot of fellow sufferers at the moment
Love and hugs to all

04-11-12, 20:15
Feeling 6/10 today - considering Tuesday was a 3/10 this is a vast improvement. The anxiety symptoms have continued the same as above, but no panic attacks, 4 days off Prozac and so far so good. More relaxation tonight and then an early night as back to work tomorrow. x

05-11-12, 08:38
Sam, you were one of the regular commentators and supporters when I joined the Forum and wrote 'Bosher's Blog', (detailing my journey with Prozac), and so I come to comment and support you in your journey from Prozac. I hope everything goes well for you, because it's a big decision and step you're taking. Only you know what feels right for you, and only you can take the steps you've chosen. With the help and support of your Family & Friends, I hope your journey is as good as it can be. Good luck. x :)

For myself, I can only say that Prozac has transformed my life completely, where once I was existing, now I'm actually living, and that's after 3 decades of almost constant misery. Let's hope ALL our journeys as fellow sufferers are successful. :shades:

05-11-12, 11:09
Hi Sam I have followed your posts on other threads and like Nicola wish you all the best....

You might remember I was on a high dose of Citalopram and came straight off and onto this 20mg.... It's been really good for me, of course we all have shit days but don't we all.

Give it a try and see how you go.



05-11-12, 12:36
Good Luck Sam, looking forward to hearing how it all goes.x

05-11-12, 16:04
Thanks Guys, your comments are much appreciated
I'm really pleased you're doing OK Bosher - Fluoxetine was great for me for years so hoping it does the same for you.
Jarrod - I had you in mind when I was looking into changing meds knowing that you were on Escitalopram and saying how effective it was.
I'm doing OK - I'm at work at the mo so can't write much but am holding off starting the Escitalopram until I feel I need and want to start it.
Will catch up later

05-11-12, 16:09
good luck sam, hope you continue to improve xx

05-11-12, 22:22
5 days off Prozac - feeling 6/10 today
I slept really well with the aid of Zopiclone last night, just felt I needed something to make sure I had a good night before work today.
Had a good day at work with little anxiety, eating normally and energy levels returning to normal. Feeling tired now and a bit tingly and achy but less anxious than of late.

Two things have happened in the past day that have made me realise just how much better I feel, firstly whilst watching fireworks last night my daughter said how amazing it would be to go to London for New Year and after discussing with my husband have decided to start looking into arranging something if not for this year, for next year. Secondly about a month ago I was invited on a spa weekend by a friend with 9 of her friends, most of whom I don't know - I couldn't even contemplate it, even though its not until February and kindly turned her down. She asked me again today, saying she'd love me to go and we'd share a room (because we both snore) but that I don't need to decide until the day before they go and I've started considering it and thinking I may enjoy it. We went to the same spa for my 40th and I really enjoyed it, it was very relaxing and good fun. I've come home and discussed it with my husband who's very supportive and agrees I should go. My confidence is returning and these small things, easily overlooked, prove the change in my way of thinking.

I've done nothing different but stop the Prozac, I'm working and doing everything as normal, carrying on regardless as usual but my va va voom is returning. Early days I know and I'm not naive, I realise that there may be trouble a head but enjoying the upturn in mood and reduction in anxiety whilst it lasts. Each day like this improves my confidence which I believe will give me some resilience to any future blips.

Night all

05-11-12, 23:58
hi everyone, i,m new here, just joined today, i,ve been on citalopram for about 3 years now, i started on 10mg, moving on to 20mg after about 6 months, i,ve also been in therapy over the last year, my main side effects were the sickness, sleep disturbances and chronic lethargy, which, never really subsided really, so, two weeks ago i decided that i would wean myself off n see if i really needed these drugs now, i started off cutting from 20mg to 15mg for one week n then down to 10mg, i am now still on 10mg n i,m feeling much less tired, still having the nitemares but not as many or as frequent or as vivid n the sickness is much improved, next week i will be on 5mg n hopefully be drugfree by the end of the week after, love to hear from anyone else that as been scared to come off meds n as gone on to be successful, i know that i could get to 5mg and then fail but at least i,ll have cut the dosage if i take 5mg n feel better i,ll be happy, what do you think? :unsure: xx

06-11-12, 20:03
Hi Camperlady,
It's good to hear that you've had talking therapy alongside the medication and it's a good sign that you feel ready to start reducing the meds. I was on Prozac which stays in your system for weeks so the reducing period can be quite quick but I have cut down gradually since May 2012 and so far haven't had any problems. However Citalopram clears alot quicker from your body and after 3 years your body may take some time to adjust to this reduction, would you consider staying on the 10mg for a little longer? This link is to the NICE guidance on antidepressant withdrawl http://www.gpnotebook.co.uk/simplepage.cfm?ID=x20030828225122296270 which GP's should refer to, it stipulates the withdrawl period for different drugs. Take care and good luck x
Day 6 - feeling 7/10
Not so good a nights sleep but no panic or anxiety this morning.
Worked all day and feel more motivated since home too :)
Physically - no chest pain, palpitations or nausea but still some tingling in my mouth and some abdo pain today. Less achey but had a headache for most of the day
Emotionally - a little anxiety, no panic, not low in mood, tired but pretty darn good :D
Going to do some relaxation now before getting my PJ's and watching TV in front of the fire for an hour.
Love to all

07-11-12, 00:06
thanks for your advice sam, i will take it on board, i have decided to give it n extra week on 10mg n then move to 5mg, if i start to have bad reaction i will go back to 10mg for a little longer, glad to hear that you are also doing well n wish you every sucess :hugs:xx

07-11-12, 21:46
Day 7 Feeling 6/10
Had a good day but may of overdone it as panicky tonight. Had a meeting with the childrens form tutors at 9, then spent nearly 2 hours helping my two with their history work which is something I couldn't of faced last week, walked the dog for an hour, had a massage, gardened for 2 hours, cooked tea and now feel anxious. I've not taken Diazepam for 5 days but will take a Zopiclone tonight to see if I can switch the panic off again.
I noticed today I started thinking about some things that have been happening at work and getting cross about them even though they happened a few weeks ago - this negative thinking has contributed to my anxiety tonight. I did stop myself after a while and realised these things at work really don't matter in the big scheme of things but do question if I start thinking deeply in a negative way because the panic is looming and it's a sign or do I become anxious because of the negative thinking - I don't know which way round it is.
Back to work tomorrow but only for a study, mandatory training day which is always a long, boring day - I'm going to try to stay focused but if that's impossible I'll try to daydream about something nice, doodle or observe and make wild assumptions about the others on the study day :blush:
I think the anxiety has peaked for tonight and I'm pleased with how I've coped
Night all

08-11-12, 10:03
Dear samhar, sending you love and support:hugs:

08-11-12, 22:32
Day 8 been a kind of 7/10 day :)
I slept well with the aid of Zopiclone after a shaky, panicky evening.
No panic on waking and had a busy day with work and a school event tonight so just got in.
Still got the tingling in my mouth and an uneasy feeling at times but OK
Off for 4 days now so will see how I fare whilst not working
Love to all

09-11-12, 18:32
Day 9, feeling 7/10
Had a good day but can feel the anxiety creeping in tonight.
I've been busy - maybe a bit too busy so have stopped everything to try to still myself.
I think it's been made worse because I've been tidying my bedroom and found some diaries dating back to 1992, even then I'd written things like 'feeling very low today', then to 2004, that's when I started the Fluox when I was going through a bad patch and wrote daily and some of it is scary. I started worrying that as the Fluox wears off those intense feelings may return, fear of fear - that's all it comes down to. I'm in a very different place now, busy, healthy and working with alot more weapons against anxiety like knowledge, experience and strategies but I still get that flash of fear deep down and have to use all these things to stop the panic escalating.
I've not considered getting the prescription filled for the escitalopram yet, so that must be a sign that I'm doing OK:)
Tingling and fizzing in my mouth and tongue is driving me to distraction tho - anyone else get this??

09-11-12, 18:47
sam you seem to be handling this very well, well done keep posting xx

09-11-12, 19:39
Was 5mg of prozac a day not working for you then? I seem to be managing fairly ok on a lose dose, though with one main issue - my libido is still screwed (pun not intended). I've considered coming off it, though I'm scared that I'll relapse.

Are you taking any fish oil/magnesium/b-vits/zinc etc just out of interest?

09-11-12, 20:57
Thank you Brenda, I'm starting to relax and believe that I can manage the panic without medication but early days still.

Hi Emphyrio, I don't know if the 5mg was having any positive effect but was getting side effects that have gone now I've stopped - though I'm still waiting for my libido to return too. I have taken low dose Fluox for so long I don't understand why I should start getting worse side effects more recently but after trying to adjust the dose for the last 8 months I thought it would be better to come off and try something different.

I take Omega 3 oils, Magnesium and multi vit - I recently tried Busy Bees - the high dose vit b complex from Holland and Barrett but I got shaky and panicky after taking - that was 11 days ago, so just before stopping the Fluox - so it may just be coincidence but I've read somewhere -I may look into it again that Vit C makes you metabolise Fluoxetine quicker than normal and it was advised to take it help you clear it from your body if stopping. I haven't taken it since, I may leave it a week or so then try again.

I worry about relapse but to be honest Diazepam has been much more useful than Fluox, I can go weeks or months withour taking any Diazepam, so I don't worry about addiction. I guess it depends on the type of anxiety, I don't have health anxiety, agrophobia or fear of anything in particular - just a fear of how I feel, so I can lead a normal life until the panic flashes - I can not normally find a cause or reason but when it occurs a couple of Diazepam, a good nights sleep and I soon get back on my feet again.

Oh and I forgot to add, today that I had a coffee :D, I love coffee but in the past 8 months I've had maybe 2 cups when its been made for me, anyway no palpitations, no sweating, no shaking or muscle twitching

09-11-12, 21:09
sam.. I to take omega 3, multi vits because my b12 was low and with not eating well and magnesium, my partner is a fitness freak!! and takes lots of vits and minerals etc so he got me onto them. It's funny that cause since Iv'e had this last relapse I to have not been able to stomach or try having a coffee it doesn't appeal to me, and I used to always have 2 in the morning to set me up and enjoyed them, I now drink nettle and peppermint or camomile and honey.

09-11-12, 21:16
I used to love coffee too, I now drink camomile, honey and vanilla or fruit tea. I do miss my coffee now though and am hoping I can start to enjoy one cup a day.

09-11-12, 21:43
I keep my caffeine intake down, though in recent months my intrusive thoughts and agitation levels have decreased and so I can generally take a coffee without feeling agitated - the only thing is is that it seems to affect my IBS a little, though its considerably better than it has been before. Valerian tea is nice as a more calming alternative to chamomile - though you can either love or loathe the taste!

Did you decide to take the escitalopram then samhar? I am definitely tempted to try coming off fluox completely again - I am taking fish oil, magnesium and b-vits each day (which I never did before) and have cut back on the alcohol. Its interesting how I have reacted to coming off different meds - fluoxetine I generally felt low a couple of months after stopping, but coming off two other SSRIs with shorter half lives seemed to trigged extreme agitation a couple of months after stopping - protracted withdrawal symptoms, I don't know...

Did you consider any herbal remedies?

09-11-12, 22:29
I'm still holding off taking the Escitalopram - I've got the prescription but am interested to see how I am without medication. Diazepam is the drawer just in case:blush: and I'm not worried if I have to start Escitalopram I feel optomistic about it. I am expecting a dip in mood in a couple of weeks time, I don't know how I'll cope with it but hopefully by being prepared I'll face it better but who knows.
I was eating rubbish before I got ill this year - lots of carbs, coffee and stressed so I would imagine I'm nutrtionally depleted.
This year I've tried acupuncture, massage, yoga, relaxation, CBT and Propanolol. Previously I've tried herbalism, homeopathy, shiatsu and read lots of self help books. I believe self help is vital to recovery but sometimes it's believing that something will help, the placebo affect, that gives you hope and helps you face the anxiety, I think that's the same with some of the medication prescribed too, although not all.
I haven't tried herbal stuff for many years - are you?

10-11-12, 19:51
Day 10 since stopping Prozac, still not taking the Escitalopram. Feeling 7/10 :D
Sleeping well, eating well, motivated and feeling pretty good.
I have got a mouth ulcer and my spots are worse which is always a sign that I'm run down and if I don't look after myself panic can ensue. So I've got a quiet day planned for tomorrow in the hope that I can recharge, I had forgotton to take my multi vits and supplements the past couple of days so maybe that's a contributing factor.
My tongue is still fizzing too, not helped by the mouth ulcer, it does seem worse after eating white bread and biscuits so I'm going to give them both up for a week and see if it makes a difference.
I'm not feeling depressed or low and my anxiety level is fairly low, still a bit jittery at times and over thinking and analysing but generally :D

10-11-12, 21:43
I tried Valerian which seemed to calm me down somewhat when I was experiencing bad prozac side effects (though I've heard from some people that taking it at the same time isn't a great idea).

I've made the decision to come off my 5mg prozac a day as I'm really concerned about the fact that I'm still experiencing quite bad sexual dysfunction on it. I'm also taking zinc, b vits, magnesium and fish oil and have done for around 2 months, so I guess I'm hoping that I've put in place the first steps to become med free. The last thing I want to do though is get back on the meds merry go round and experience a whole load of new side effects...

Has your libido improved since you stopped prozac?

10-11-12, 22:05
Umm - not yet no, I've got a little more feeling down there but no desire yet! But I have been on Prozac for so long I know it's not going to come back overnight.
I tried Valerian tea, tasted foul and didn't seem to do much, luckily I sleep fairly well anyway most of the time. When are you going to stop the Prozac and how long have you been on it?

10-11-12, 22:35
I've decided to stop tonight. I'll give it a week and see what happens - if things get bad I will always reinstate. I've been taking it since late June this year. I've been on it twice before - once from 2003-early 2008 and again from late 2008-mid 2011. Since mid 2011 I have tried citalopram and clomipramine (the latter for only 11 days, the side effects were absolutely horrendous) - I just wanted to get back on the fluox for stability but found that this time I was hugely sensitive to it - restless legs and no libido was the order of the day. Its funny how a year can make such a huge difference...all I can hope is that I've not caused any lasting damage to my mind/body between mid 2011 and now (I did drink a lot over Christmas too as I was feeling down, which didn't do anything for my health whatsoever).

11-11-12, 19:53
Day 11, feeling 7/10
Starting to feel quietly confident that I don't need the Prozac and maybe I don't need anything else either. I know it's still early days but I was on such a low dose of Prozac there can't be much left in my system now.
Felt good all day but busy and mind was racing alittle earlier and I started to get panicky so sat down, had a drink and it passed.
I've been looking into the causes of a tingly sore mouth and tongue and have made an appointment with my doc tomorrow and am going to ask for a Vit 12 blood test. I'm not very good at asking for stuff but I've not had bloods for ages and am going to stay strong, I've got lots of the symptoms of b12 deficiency, many of which coincide with anxiety symptoms, there's a family history of blood and metabolic disoders and this tongue thing is driving me nuts. I'm more confident since stopping the Prozac, I've put all my symptoms down to anxiety for a long time but now feel I need to make sure there is nothing else going on.
Love to all

11-11-12, 20:11
sam I have my b12 checked recently and it came back low we have a deficiency in our family so I was worried. Doc told me to take a good quality multi vit so I got biocare from amazon I had to take it for a month and have it retested, this time it came back ok so multi vit worked.

Glad you are doing well, hope you didn't spend to much money on line lol


ps also having corisol check read on doctor's notice board about this, it's to do with adrenal glands. also thyroid test

12-11-12, 13:31
Thanks for that advice Brenda, I've had my thyroid tested and whole barrage of tests on my adrenal glands years ago but I don't think I've ever had my b12 checked. I've got two mouth ulcers today which I hope will give the doc evidence to request a test without me pushing it too much. One of the problems with anxiety is that every pain, twitch, spot, itch or whatever is put down to anxiety - doctors seem blind to any other cause once you've got that 'anxiety tag' on your records. I've lived with the sore red tongue thing for 12 years on and off and don't mention it usually because I have thought - oh its due to anxiety, or an allergy, or my acne, but now I'm feeling stronger and more confident, I'm going to try to get to the bottom of it.
Docs in an hour
Will let you know how it goes

12-11-12, 22:10
Day 12. 7/10
Still OK, a little more anxious today but got mouth ulcers and a sore throat. I've been happier at home just mooching around, something I found difficult when very anxious before.
I've been to the docs and will have my bloods done tomorrow. He is sceptical that any of my symptoms are b12 related but I've nothing to loose and will feel happier once I know it's not that.
Anyway I'm off to bed after getting the kids lunches and my sons cooking stuff ready for tomorrow. I'm working all day tomorrow and then an open evening at school so am hoping this sore throat disappears overnight
Love Sam

13-11-12, 19:03
Day 13, 5/10 - poorly with a sore throat, cold, mouth ulcers and had several panic attacks.
Well the sore throat didn't disappear overnight and I didn't sleep will because of the discomfort, I took 2mg Diazepam at midnight because I could feel myself getting tense but didn't sleep for long. Full of cold now, feeling achy, hot and cold and generally naff.

I started getting waves of panic at 10am and they have come and gone all day, I don't know how I stayed at work feeling so ill but I did and am now home in bed. I often get anxious when I'm poorly but unfortunately I'm often ill with colds, sore throats and ear infections. Feeling very low and sorry for myself tonight.

I had my bloods done and my B12 is OK, the range is 200 - 1000 and mine in 370 so normal my burning tongue must be due to madness then. I will continue taking the supplements though as although they haven't seen off this cold I was feeling well until yesterday evening.

Anyway, will wait to see how I feel after this blip before starting the Escitalopram - if I feel OK I'll delay it longer. I read the medication posts with interest, it does seem that most people on medication have blips as much as those off medication or is that only how it seems because they only post during the blips?? I don't know but am confident and hopeful that the panic today is not due to the lack of prozac but because I feel poorly. I'll carry on regardless until I'm sure I want to start the new meds
Onwards and upwards

13-11-12, 20:27
well, to answer your question in the last paragraph this is my comparison with blips before and after being on medication: I get blips once in a while now, although I have only been on a few months now. Before I was on medication, it was like the blip never ended. I was always depressed and anxious with very few days of relief. I know I am struggling now, but like my thread describes, that is for different reasons.

---------- Post added at 15:27 ---------- Previous post was at 15:27 ----------

but yes, people don't post really anymore when they feel great ... some do, but more people post about concerning events than those who do well.

14-11-12, 19:19
Thanks for the response swgrl, I guess I'm hoping that I can make it without meds and that's why I'm questioning if medication does work, I think that's a sign that I'm feeling ok and optomistic, I know if I do start a never ending blip I will jump straight back on the meds.
Day 14 - 6/10, streaming cold but no panic.
Slept poorly because of head cold but made it into work only to be sent home because I looked pale, sweaty and ill - which I am :D
So I've spent the day resting and am starting to feel a little better.
Physically - aforementioned cold (which includes headache and achy limbs) but the tingling tongue is much improved today, no palpitations or chest pain, normal appetite
Mentally - tired and a bit fed up because of the cold but OK, no panic, little anxiety and feeling pretty good.
2 weeks without meds and 16 weeks of taking an average of 6mg a day, I don't think there can be much active Prozac left in me. I think I'm halfway through the withdrawl period and so far much better than expected :yahoo:
Hopefully this cold will clear up soon, I'm taking lots of supplements, drinking lots of water, eating well and resting and feeling optomistic.
Love Sam

15-11-12, 20:02
Day 15, 6/10 cold still streaming and a little anxiety.
Managed to work for 5 hours but feel exhausted. Feeling a bit anxious tonight, I think this is because my husband is being a bit off with me and I'm still running a temperature and feeling ill.
Hoping tomorrow is better

16-11-12, 19:44
Day 16, 7/10 - still got a cough, cold but less anxiety
Had a day at home, doing some online shopping and housey stuff
Feeling hungry alot of the time but trying not to eat rubbish
Working tomorrow morning and then off for 2 days
Feeling pretty good :)

16-11-12, 21:47
Good to hear :) I'm just drinking lots of orange juice to get the stuff out of my system. My restless legs have improved a lot, but the libido/sexual aspect has still not improved much...:(

17-11-12, 21:44
Day 17, 7/10
Still got a cold but better, a few waves of anxiety but fleeting and managable.
I have decided to stop using NMP so much, I'm going to try having a break from thinking about anxiety - I read most of the posts and feel alot of empathy with alot of them and am now questioning if this is helping me. I try to encourage and advise people and give 100% but I'm going to take some time away from NMP.
Love to all
Take Care
Sam x

17-11-12, 22:09
Dear Sam, thank you for your very encouraging posts, they have helped me a lot lately. Taking a break from nmp may be a good idea, I have thought of that myself, I am a bit hooked at the moment:blush:
By the way, have you tried emdr therapy?

24-11-12, 22:35
Day 24 without medication, been feeling 7-8/10 most of the week.
Physically I'm much better, my tongue tingling is lessening and not as constant, no chest pain or palpitations or nausea.
I've had a few panic attacks but I deal with them differently now I'm off the meds, I still get a wave of fear, flash hot, prickling feeling - like the hairs all over my body are standing on end and my automatic thought is still 'oh no' but I can sit them out easier and ignore them.
I'm try not to give the anxiety anytime, I've had a busy week at work and have had lots of other stuff going on which always helps. I continue to do relaxation and take some time for me though.
I've had a few wobbles and thought about starting escitalopram but trying to get by with positive thinking and keeping busy.
Love Sam

25-11-12, 08:32
Goood luck Sam, I just came off Mirtazapine and had bad withdrawal symptoms but they passed really quickly. I've just started Escitalopram and am doign ok on it, just some bad insomnia and very low mood early on but otherwise I'm doing ok on it (:

04-12-12, 10:32
Day 34 without medication, feeling 7-8/10
I've had one panic attack in the past 10 days, I had been picked up and driven about 10 miles from home, stood in a hot house, mostly with people I didn't know and had a horrible 15 minutes of 'oh no, I'll have to go home, ring my husband to come and get me, but I haven't got my phone etc etc' I did nothing, just stood there and tried to get out of the catastrophic thinking and it passed. I didn't have a great night but I didn't leave and parts of it were enjoyable so I think I'm OK.

I've been out the theatre twice in 10 days and out for a meal too, I sat in the middle on an aisle without panic, I still get the 'what if' thoughts and think too hard about how I feel rather than just being, it's a work in progress. I feel anxious most days but not severely, I still feel low too but not as bad as when on the Prozac. I'm accepting every invitation that comes my way and no matter how I feel I'm going to go out there and do stuff, I'm fed up of saying 'I'll do that when I've conquered this anxiety' or 'I'm not feeling up to that at the moment because of the panic', it's not easy or enjoyable but I'm finding it possible. I don't want to look back in 10 years time and say why did I waste so much time on that anxiety crap, it will not define who I am and what I do.

I've been getting stressed at work and angry with one of my work colleagues who does not pull their weight. This anger is not good for me, it makes me tired, miserable and tense, I've talked to some friends and family about the situation and that helps but I still find myself mulling over how unjust the work situation is and this makes me cross. I haven't been feeling 100% for most of this year so in the greater scheme of things work is not important, my health and well being are far more important, I know this but cannot seem to stop worrying and ranting about this persons actions at work. On reflection I need to put this into perspective, as long as I'm OK that's all that matters and stop giving this person time in my thoughts.

Physically I still get the odd twitchy muscle/eyelid twitch and burning in my mouth but it's much better. I still take all the supplements recommended to me and I think they are helping. I eat fairly well, still more than necessary when stressed but not too bad. I've had no chest pain, palpitations, sweats, nausea, diarrhoea or numbness since stopping the Prozac :D, so physically alot better. I'm still contemplating starting running again, it's a bit cold though

Mentally, I'm OK, anxious and sometimes low but less panicky, depressed or scared since stopping the Prozac. I do have days thinking 'is this it then?' - that kind of is this as good as it gets then?, funny really because I wouldn't say I'm depressed I sleep well, eat well, take more pride in my appearance etc but those negative thoughts are still there - I'm reading a bit about the power of attraction and it does make sense - negative thinking provides no helpful qualities, optomism and positive thinking will improve our mental state and attitude - I guess it's a habit I need to break. Hence the reason I do not post on NMP much anymore, when I'm feeling stronger again I will resume posting to help others but at the moment I am sticking to reading the success stories - we need more and I hope to post mine on there very soon

07-12-12, 20:24
Best of luck Sam

But I do think once you have had anxiety/depression and managed to lower or get a break from it, I do think with life stresses it rises it ugly head again.

I have suffered on and off for over 30 years with breaks of years, only for it to comeback and floor you when you think you have finally got rid off it. With each time you think you have more skills and determination to deal with it but it is still as intense and crippling.

Best wishes xx

08-12-12, 21:32
Thanks for the wishes Clio, I agree with your comments, I've had anxiety on and off for 16 years now and know it's something I have to accept but won't let it rule my life anymore.
Day 38,
I've had increased anxiety for the past couple of days, a few panic attacks and generally feeling jittery and low. I'm balancing keeping busy with relaxation, I've got things planned for everyday this week as I've got a week off and will keep going. I've decided to give it until Tuesday - that will be 6 weeks without Prozac and if the anxiety is still at an increased level I will start the Escitalopram. I continue to work at positive thinking but after 40 years with low confidence my thinking is so ingrained it's hard work.
Hope everyone else is OK
Love Sam

09-12-12, 04:17
Hi Sam,

I was off fluoxetine for around 4 weeks, but 5 days ago I had to reinstate because I was experiencing what I thought were withdrawal symptoms. While not quite as bad as when I came of citalopram, I was still experiencing small 'brain zaps' when trying to sleep. I also started worrying about a lot of things again and had a period of time when I felt utterly depressed and gloomy about everything.

Since I started taking it again the 'brain zaps' have gone away and I've felt a bit more upbeat. Have you considered going back on fluoxetine, stabilising, and then coming off it very gradually (say, over the space of 5 months)? It could be the feelings you're experiencing are withdrawal symptoms, even on a small dose of a medication with a long half life...

09-12-12, 09:33
Hi Sam,
Well done on steps taken.
It is a challenge either to start or stop medications.
I was on cipralex 20, 10 and 5 mg for 4 years and then slowly over 6 m stopped them and havent even noticed it, i was skipping then taking few days...and etc.
Then after over a year, on nov 17th new episode came. One week after that i started 5mg cipralex - though doc told me 10. I was scared to do 10 straight../
I had the ground for this occurance but still didnt wait for it. Its been hard 2 weeks after attack as the following aftershocks, anxiety and every possible symptom felt unbearable. I had to make some drastic changes to distract myself - to go on drip at the hospital for dehydration, to move with the kids to the friends house for 3 days, to travel on 7 hrs flight to see my husband who i didnt find in a very good shape...
I have lots of somatic symptoms daily and have anx peak daily but nothing like the week following attack, i would lie if i say i am the same... But i wish i was 100% myself now.
It takes time i guess with these things..
I wish you to go along with all your sideeffects and withdrawal symptoms for the sake of giving it a chance...
Stay positive

10-12-12, 10:01
Thanks for your comments
Emphyrio, good to hear you're ok, I believe I gave the weaning off the Prozac long enough, in the end it was prolonging the agony. Like you I was on such a low dose for a long time, I haven't had brain zaps, although I've had them in the past after taking citalopram. What I have experienced on a couple of occasions is sudden tooth nerve pain, affecting my front upper and lower teeth, very strange because it lasts a few hours and then I don't get it again for a few weeks but it is followed by an increase in anxiety, at first I thought it was due to the cold or eating something but it comes out of the blue. That's the only withdrawal affect I've noticed, I continue to have episodes of anxiety and panic but no worse than when on the Prozac, my mood is a little low at times but only what I'd expect after stopping the meds after so long, I like to think that my brain is so used to having the serotonin that my brain is trying to work out how to keep it in there without medication. I'm not keen on doing anything different at the moment. I hope you start to feel better x
Well done thumbalina, so were you off medication for a year? That should give you hope that you will be ok again, it's been so long that I've not taken anything that I sometimes worry that my brain has forgotten how to function without the meds, if I can make it to 3 months without any meds I will feel much better about my self and relieved that I can survive without medication. Although if I'm not 90% well by then I will have no hesitancy in starting the escitalopram. I hope it gets easier for you, I've heard escitalopram has an easier start up than some of the ssris.
Love Sam x

15-12-12, 20:32
Day 45, Feeling 5-6 most of the week

So not so good this week, anxiety is high with frequent panics and mood is low. I've taken a couple of Diazepam for last 2 days, 2mg is just enough to take the edge off it, but feeling pretty crap really. I decided to get the Escitalopram script filled but the chemist didn't have the liquid in stock and won't have it until Tuesday, I won't be able to collect it until Thursday because of work, so that's given me a few more days to ponder starting the new medication, which is good, at the moment I feel like I will definately take it but who knows I may spontaneously improve again in the next few days. The prescription has been sat in my purse for 6 weeks so I've only myself to blame - maybe it's fate. I'm trying to see it in positive light and think of the next few days as a trial in managing these dark thoughts and feelings of impending doom, the more I face them the more I realise I am stronger than ever but it is exhausting and sometimes I feel overwhelmed.

Physically - the tingling mouth, palpitations, aching limbs, nerve pain in my teeth and jaw, diarrhoea and exhaustion have returned. I still walk the dog everyday and do all the stuff I need to do but feel physically like 'walking through mud', I'm practicing mindfulness, deep breathing and relaxation with brief relief from some of the symptoms.

Mentally/emotionally - it's variable - sometimes I feel normal, others I feel more excitable than normal but most of the time I'm either scared, angry or sad/fed up. I feel more able to hold it together than when taking Prozac and am eating and sleeping reasonably well.

So I'm not sure if what I'm feeling is the withdrawl effects of Prozac after 9 years use or if this is how I am without medication. Whichever, I don't intend to waste anymore time of this precious life feeling like this, I deserve to feel well and if I'm still feeling this way on Thursday then Escitalopram here I come :D

Love to all

Sam x

15-12-12, 21:00
Hi Sam

good to hear from you again.

Sorry your not really getting there, do you think you are still suffering? as you were only on a very very low dose of prozac and then not every day is the right?

Why are you so set about being med free I say if they help take them, nobody wants these awful bloody symptoms and like you say only 2mg of diazepam .

When I was on cipralex( escitropram) for over 4 years it was good for me and now i'm on ven I feel my mood as improved but at the mo anxiety is still a problem but only been on 150mg for a month.

take care hun xx

16-12-12, 10:10
Hi Clio, how long have you been on Venlafaxine now? I'm taking Ecitalopram now instead as I just couldn't tolerate the sikness and terrible anXiety I had on Ven. I'm getting on ok really on Cipralex, getting a few side effects as I always do but mainly ittirtability more than panic and my mood is very good right now. I'm slowly building myself up to the therapuitc dose and am almost there, phew.
Sam your withdrawal sounds horrible. I was totlaly fine coming off normal Citalopram all 3 times I was on it but went through hell coming off Mirtazapine back in September time. Have you ever been on Escitalopram before? It's not really that bad at al. I starte dout on just half a 5mg tablet and have stuck at the full 5mg's for a month before moving to another half this past few days. It is the easiest SSRI I have ever tried even though it's still not fun starting it up but tolerable. You might feel exhausted quite a bit at first and then have sleep disturbances but my doctor has given me Lorazepam to help and my sleep is coming back pretty well now, I just feel totally irritable when I first wake up but that had actually passed when I settled on 5mg's and it's because I'm increasing it's returned but my mood feels ever so good. I had hot flushes again for only one night too after increasing and apart fromthe tiredness and agitation nothing else really so I hope if you do take it on Thursday you will be fine. What dose are they starting you on??? With Escitalopram I have been able to go shopping, last week I went to school to see my Nephews Nativity play and tomorrow I've got William's carol concert, so even though you don't feel perfect, you can still cope with every day life. Hope this helps and all in all even on 7.50mg's (the theraputic dose is 10 I beieve)my anxiety is already much beter than it was. All the very best of luck starting up and I'm on here every day if you need any one to chat to.

17-12-12, 14:11
Day 47,

Had a rough night last night - jumpy legs, couldn't settle and took 4mg Diazepam to help me sleep with a resulting down turn in mood today. So, I'm off to see the Dr at 3.15 and am going to start the Escitalopram - I'll ask for another script as I don't wait until Thursday to start, I've had enough watching and waiting. I've struggled through today, feeling anxious and depressed, if I could curl up in bed and wake up when its all over I would and that's not like me - I'm normally optomistic and a fighter but enoughs enough.

Brenda - you're right about medication I know but I'm a proud and stubborn and wanted to be able to be medication free - but it's not supposed to be at the moment. I've not been right for 9 months now so stopping the meds at this time was not a good plan I can see in hindsight. I hope you're doing OK x

Karen - I'm thinking of taking 5mg a day to start - maybe even splitting a tablet and taking 2.5mg in the morning and 2.5mg at night, I'm not good with SSRI's either but don't want to prolong the start up side effects by starting any lower than that. Sometimes I feel like - oh just take the therapeutic dose and face whatever comes your way and others I think start really slowly and be kind to yourself, bloomin anxiety has turned me into an indecisive fruit loop! Thanks for your kind offer - I may take you up on it,I intend to get the script filled on the way back from the docs and start it straight away, oh and I'll ask for some Zopiclone too to take tonight. I'm working all day tomorrow and Wednesday 11 hour shifts (hopefully I'll be able to) but I'm planning to crawl into bed straight after and will come on here.

Yesterday the cooker oven broke and today my laptop charger has packed up (far more important than the oven), the BT vision box broke on Saturday and my email account was 'compromised' on Friday and as a result I was unable to access any emails. I've lost the lead for the camera to download photos planned for a xmas present (I managed to do it from the memory card but only after spending an hour looking for the lead) and I can't find all the ingredients for my sons cooking lesson tomorrow. I sometimes wish I lived in a different age or could escape this rat race and be self sufficient. Moan over

Love Sam

17-12-12, 14:27
sam good luck with the escitalopram, you deserve a break hun, i think you have been very brave this pat couple of months, really hope things get better for you soon xxx

17-12-12, 14:57
Ahh thanks Pinky - brave, scared of change or stubborn?? It's a fine line I think - I'm actually all of those. Onwards to recovery X

17-12-12, 18:52
Good luck Sam :hugs: xx

17-12-12, 20:29
Hi Sam

just to say good luck in your recovery with your attitude you will be fine chick.
when I was on est I took 10mg at first but ended up in the end on 20mg tablets which is the most you can be on. As I said it worked well for me at the time, and I had no problems of any SE that stick out in my mind. I am not very good at taking meds frightened I'm always asking doc about me taking diazepam is it ok this is it ok that don't know why I'm like this probably because my mum was on diazepam for years many years ago when they give it out willy nilly. t takes me all my time to take vits and even paracetamol. But my psych put it to me like this....... do you want to carry on as you are now or take something to get you on the road to recovery well with what I was going through It made my decision easier. I am in the way of thinking ifit works for you take it who wants to be a nervous wreck. There only you and your other half that needs to know your on meds, so being proud and stubborn is doesn't come into when were talking about our health because we only get one life. So I don't care what mg i'm on as long as it makes me better than I was.

There long shifts Sam 11 hours no way could I ever think of staying at work that long a day, hope you manage it through ok.

I have had a week bit like yours first the shower was continually leaking loads of water out,this brought the stress head out in me. cut a long story short need new shower 269. freezer defrosted overnight, it's in the garage and when it's really cold it doesn't work well there not meant to be in the cold. so stressed again all food soft had to throw it out. luckily it's got a bit warmer now not - so it's working again( for now) so just got stress levels down again!!!

take Care xxxx

17-12-12, 21:26
Thanks Nic :hugs:

You're so right Brenda, I'll take anything to stop this nightmare but I fear tablets and not feeling well. Sometimes the side effects of the tablets seem worse than the initial problem. I am open about my struggle with anxiety, most people can't believe that I suffer this way, I'm outwardly confident, fairly outgoing and together and I am confident enough to tell them when I don't feel good and try to explain how it feels. Work has kept me going this past 6 months, however I have just text my boss in a moment of panic and told her I've started new meds, am panicking and may not be in this week. I added that I will resign if I'm not OK by March because I hate letting people down and the guilt is making me worse :doh: Nothing cool, calm and confident about that then.

I took the first tablet about 5 hours ago and started panicking about 3 hours ago, but the panic is wearing off now I think, see I really don't like medication - but I will see through this next 2 weeks, I can't think of the metaphor but something about going through hell to reach peace at the other side.

Zopiclone for me tonight I think and an early night.

18-12-12, 10:09
It does get better Sam, I tke Zopiclone and Lorazepam during the day to help me get onto Cipralex. I was going to give Zopiclone but have started sleeping badly again after increasing my dose so I am going to book an appointment and get stocked up for Christmas, ha ha.
I found going up to 5mg's of Cipralex not all that bad but am finding going up to 7.50mg's a bit harder as I have heightened anxiety but it's not terrible and i think I feel nervous right now as I have to go into town for an appointment.
I really hope your side effects soon wear off. For me they were bad heads, wanting to sleep during the day, waking up feeling flat or anxious and aggitation but on 5mg's I hardly had any day time anxiety once it got past 10am, increasing I have it till about 3pm at the mo but it's fairly mild.

18-12-12, 20:46
Day 2 on Escitalopram
2.5 mg Day 1
5mg Day 2

The panic settled down last night after about 5 hours of taking the first dose of Esctita. I took 2.5mg at 4pm, I started getting panicky at 6, it peaked at 8 and by 10 I felt OK. I took a Zopiclone and slept well until 4.30 and then just lay in bed, awake but no panic - I gather this is typical with Escital. I felt pretty naff when I first got up but carried on as normal, I took 1.25mg before work at 8 - I didn't want to take more for fear of it causing panic. I did have several moments of thinking 'how on earth am I going to get through today' - not helpful thinking but I have improved during the day.

I managed to work the 11 hour shift with only a few wobbles, I'm exhausted now and already in bed but proud and feeling much more confident. I took another 3.75mg as soon as I got in - about 1 and half hours ago and so far so good - nothing like Prozac, Ven or Citalopram start up but very early days. I almost felt normal for a few hours late afternoon and I hadn't felt like that for a few weeks.

I have got a mild headache, not even worth taking a Paracetamol for, I feel a little nauseas but have done for the last week or two with the high anxiety and am eating OK. I've had the same amount of hot flashes, tingling skin and palpitations so side effects so far are virtually zilch.

Another long day at work tomorrow but if I feel the same as today I'll be well chuffed because I know I can handle it and I'll feel better as the day goes on. I plan to take 2.5mg in the morning and another 2.5mg at night.

Love and hugs to all

19-12-12, 09:13
Day 3

I slept for 7 hours after a Zopiclone but have woken feeling achey, nauseas, panicking and tired. I am supposed to be at work now but can't, this is adding to my stress and anxiety. I feel like I want to hibernate?

To fight or not to fight? That is the question.....

I have carried on working through this episode of anxiety for the past 6 months, even when I thought I couldn't go on but today I feel I can't. My job is responsible, stressful and I can't make mistakes but I love it. I have a big guilt complex about letting people down and taking time off work adds to my anxiety and leads to depression.

I just don't know what to do for the best today. I'm trying to accept and float with the feelings as best as I can but could really do with some support.

Love Sam

19-12-12, 10:08
Sam you are doing so well and if you ahve managed to work for 6 months then you are a star as I couldn't have. People don't seem to understand just how difficult it is to start up on on an ad. Don't be hard on yourself because you need to put yourself first now and get well again.
You should start to feel less panicy in about 5 days time and have long periods of no anxiety at all. You might still feel pretty exhausted though.
I increased my dose to 7.50mg's on Saturday and today I feel in a much better place though I have taken Lorazepam first thing and felt very low so got up and got on with my day and he depressive feelings have gone now, I'm just tired basically and touch wood have zero anxiety and its only 10am. I didn't sleep very well last night so I am going to go and ask for Zopiclone again on friday as I need some more Cipralex pills anyhow and want to miss Lorazepam for a week or 2 now, I find Zopiclone calms me just as well if I feel anxious at all. I think you'll find thr side effects soon pass with Cipralex (or hopefully you will) and shuld be having some good days very soon. I really admire the fact you have gone straight onto your 5mg's as I split my pill for 9 days. I'm going to go up to 10 after Christmas now (:
Sam you really are doing amazing though, Cipralex has never made me feel sick not like Venlafaxine did but it does give me bad heads so I just take a couple of paracetamols. To say I felt really low at 6am this morning too I feel really happy right now, it's just getting beyond first thing for me i think now which has always been the last thing to come right whenever I have had an episode of anxiety and depression.

19-12-12, 11:31
Thanks Karen,

This morning has been tough and your message brought tears to my eyes (in a good way). I'm feeling more positive now, still shaky but if am reasoning that if I've managed it so far I can do this. My boss has told me to take the next couple of weeks off too, which has alliviated the pressure of working and I'm trying not to think about the consequences for all of those left at work - as she put it I give 1 million percent when I'm there, I'm valued and they want me back feeling 100%. That's given me a real boost too.

So I'm going to concentrate on looking after myself for next few days. Thanks again for your support, knowing someone's been through this and can see the light and tell me the medication works is really helping me stay focussed.
Love Sam

19-12-12, 14:20
Sam: Keep in mind you are in the very early stages of Cipralex. It will get better, a lot better.. Just got to give it some time. Think of this early struggle as a beginning to a better life.

I definitely can relate to the things you were saying about working while beginning a med. Its really hard. I also feel pressure to be a star all the time on the job, my OCD and perfectionism created that image for myself! Its also so hard to come to work when inside you feel like you want to cry. It will get better! I am proof. I didn't miss a day, but i probably should have!

Hang in there! When i started on the med my mornings totally sucked too! Now, 2 months later they are great! No anxiety at all.

Take Care,


19-12-12, 23:03
Thanks for the encouragement Mike.

The day got better towards late afternoon as normal and tonight I feel 7/10 where the rest of the day I've felt 3-4/10. Not many unwanted effects, increased anxiety and nausea but generally OK ish - I don't think I would of said that this morning but the mind and memory is a funny thing and luckily I forget really easily! Here's hoping tomorrow is better
Night all

20-12-12, 10:33
Soon your nights should be perfect Sam. I'm ok just about every single night now but still struggle a little during the morning but I'm around 6/10, very early on still 2/10 when I need to take Lorazepam. Hopefully once I increase to the theraputic dose things will get better and better but it has always taken me a good 3 month before on normal Cit to settle properly and for my early mornings to come completely right.
You are doing brillaintly. I know the anxiety is probs he worst side effect, I hate it and would rather feel sick but it's the one side effect I get without fail on ssri's ): I will say with Cipralex, apart from obviously early mornings it is pretty moderate though compared to every other ad I've been on.
I've just been and got my first lot of proper 10mg pills but will still take 3/4 of one until after Christmas now and then increase to the full dose.
Your heightened anxiety should die down in a couple more days and hopefully you won't feel sick in time for Christmas dinner (;

20-12-12, 13:43
Thanks Karen.
Day 4 - 5mgs - still splitting it 2.5mg in the morning and 2.5 at night.

I tried without a sleeping tablet but after an hour took one and slept for 7 hours again. I woke more hopeful, less anxious and feeling more like me today. About 6/10 which is excellent considering the short time I've been taking the meds and the side effects I normally suffer. I've had a few 'oh no' moments but nothing I can't cope with, I'm less nauseas too, not hungry but am eating normally as I know this helps.

I picked up the escitalopram liquid yesterday, if you've ever itched your ear with a pen then accidently put the pen in your mouth you'll know what escitalopram liquid tastes like :blush: They say to add it to a drink but I'm a bit forgetful and would probably leave it around, so I'll carry on with the ear wax medicine!

Love Sam

20-12-12, 21:28
Day 4 at 5mg
I had a pretty good day until 3pm when I started feeling anxious, stomach in my throat feeling and impending doom - I took the dog out for a walk which neither helped nor made it worse. I took the other half of todays dose at 5pm and by 6.30 I started to feel a little better. I'm tired and achey still but less anxious and depressed than earlier. I had a few fleeting negative thoughts earlier and began catastrophising but I'm more hopeful again now.

I'm trying to practice mindfulness and remember Claire Weeks instructions to float and not fight with the negative feelings but my brain seems foggy - without medication I am able to talk myself out of a panic fairly well but I could feel myself becoming depressed with the constant working and reminding myself to accept and float - hence the medication. I'm finding it hard to remember the positive self talk since taking the Escitalopram - I'm just trying to get through each day the best I can and my brain isn't in top gear at the moment - maybe that's what I need - to submit and stop trying so hard to get better.

Anyway, enough trying to find answers to an insoluble problem - it is what it is and thinking about it doesn't change or solve anxiety.

21-12-12, 09:48
Day 5,
I woke without panic, feeling a little anxious but very down. I guess this is the medication, dealing with the anxiety and revealing my depression. I slept for 7 hours again after a Zopiclone but can't seem to get up and motivated today, I've not walked the dog and don't want to do anything. I haven't felt this low for a long time, I've even had a cry after a small upset and I hadn't cried for months.

I want to hibernate and wake up when I'm better.

This is so bloomin hard


21-12-12, 10:28
Sam this will pass really quickly, I went through the exact same thing and think I was ok again after a day or 2 and now my mood is really good most of the time but I can def remember feeling ever so depressed and I don't really even sufer with depression, it's GAd I have and panic disorder. You might even find your mood lifts as the day goes on as mine did but I promise the flat feeling will soon pass ((((((: You are doing really well so far and I've been on Cipralex for 6 weeks now and feel so much better even on only 7.50mg's. Today has been the best day for so far, I felt flat and only slightly anxious when I woke up at dar dar....6-30am after going to bed at 9pm last night! I only took half of a Lorazepam pill today and feel wonderful right now, I've jst been into our local little town with my Sister and chatted all the way and actually am looking forward to Christmas for the first time and last night we took the children to see Santa.
You will get days at first where you feel absolutely unmotivated, tired and a little anxious, spacey and quite flat but all this will pass (:

21-12-12, 10:43
Thank you, this is the worst day so far.
I've taken a Diazepam which I haven't had to in the daytime for months, after writing that I didn't feel panicky I got a flash of panic! Spoke too soon, I've just talked to my Dr who has left a script for more Diazepam to see me over Christmas. In 3 hours I've gone from a very low place to high anxiety - but on a positive note I don't have the agitation I had with Prozac, I feel exhausted and scared.

I don't think I suffer with depression either, I have GAD and panic disorder so feeling unmotivated and hopeless is a shock, I'm not sure which is worse, when I'm not on meds I can just about function normally with the GAD but I know I have to go through this hard part to feel the benefits of the medication and not struggle everyday.

I'm really pleased you're feeling so well and am very thankful for your support, knowing that someone has felt so ghastly and come through the other side really helps me keep going. How did you get through those first weeks? I've picked up a book to read as I haven't made it out of bed today yet but can't seem to take in what I'm reading, Come Dine with me is a favorite of mine - it seems to pass the time but I feel so not like me - I'm usually busy, busy and have lots to do before xmas but can't even get out of bed

21-12-12, 12:30
Sam I feel for you so much but you will get there I promise, the first couple of weeks are hard but a lot easier than other ssri's though. You have your Diazepam now so hopefuly that will help you over the side effects or ease them for you. My heightened anxiety only lasted 6 days so things hopefully should start settling for you any day. The actual depressive feelings passed even quicker and are horrible as they are like grief aren't they but you can do this, IT couldn't be happening at such an horrible time for you but even by Christmas day you might be feeling a whole lot better. You are doing the hardest part now and I'm thinking of you Sam and here if you need a chat. I never thought I would get beter but though I am still in the very early stages of making a recovery this medicine is starting to work for me after only 6 weeks and I'mnot on the theraputic dose yet so you are going to be just fine darl xxxx

21-12-12, 12:34
Thanks Karen,
I'm feeling calmer now, a bit dopey and slowed down after the diazepam but thats preferable to how I was earlier.
I'm going to get my arse into gear now, the kids are on a half day so will be home in an hour so I'm off to shower now and see how this tan is in the true light of day, if you see an orange hue in the sky over the south coast don't worry - it's just me :blush:
Love Sam

21-12-12, 21:47
Day 5, still, been a long day.
Feeling 3/10 - high anxiety has lasted most of the day, Diazepam has taken the edge off it but got that thumping heart in my throat feeling and buzzing in my chest, arms and head - not quite electric shocks just a low key buzz. I've eaten OK and the nausea has faded as the day has progressed, my shoulders and neck feel tense, no headache but feel wired and edgey - not comfortable in my own skin at all.
I've started taking Propanolol regularly again to see if that helps the thumping heart feeling. The depressed feelings didn't last very long at all this morning, funny how my emotions can change so quickly, I still feel low and exhausted but not the hopelessness and sadness I did this morning.
Lets hope tomorrow is better, I've got to take the kids to my mums for an hour and am hoping to pop into town to finish my shopping and get the Diazepam script filled.

22-12-12, 12:02
Hope you feel a bit better today Sam and manage to get into town. I've got to pop into my local town after lunch It's horrible here to in Yorkshire, non stop rain but I need to pay a cheque into the bank ): I'm feeling ok again today, not great when I first woke upI'm not needing as many sedatives now and came roudn super quickly. I took William and his cousin to the library to change their books and am perfect now. This will soon be you (:

22-12-12, 12:13
Hang in Sam, you have done really well. I think the build up to Christmas adds loads to my feelings of panic and general harrassment and tiredness. x

22-12-12, 16:13
Day 6

Thank you both for your kind words

Another toughie, took Diazepam and Propanolol this morning and managed to get into town for an hour, not so much anxiety but feel very low. I'm trying to hang on to the memory that just two weeks ago I felt happy, it's hard when you feel so sad though - the depression is overwhelming and I can't imagine ever feeling happy again. However, this happens every time I've started taking an antidepressant, I know the literature says stop taking them if your depression gets worse but if that was the case I couldn't take anything. I can't stop the catastrophic thinking though and am questioning was I really ever happy and maybe this time, this is it and this is how it will be forever :doh:

It feels like my heart has been replaced with a boulder, there's an ugly goblin sat on my chest making it difficult to breath and making me nauseas and he's tied a band around my head causing a headache. I find I'm constantly questioning the Escitalopram dose - should I increase or decrease? I am plagued by indecision but when I put my sensible head on I know I should just stick at the 5mg for another week.

On a positive note I didn't take any Zopiclone last night, it took a while to get to sleep but managed 6 hours, so not too bad at all.

Just wish the goblin would shove off and my va va voom would return from where it's hiding

Love Sam

22-12-12, 19:18
well done Sam for getting in town when feeling as bad as you did, it must of been really hard. They say it gets worse before it get better!!! so hang in there chick. At least you sleeping,eating. I defo now what it's like going through what you are and I had really bad anxiety and couldn't eat as well ( well still have high anxiety!!) I have lost 2 and half stone with this illness over this last year. I have just re started eating again about 2 weeks ago and it's great. It's just my sleep and anxiety I have to get sorted now, think i'm an insomniac.

Think I would stick to the 5mg you don't want to rush it and get loads of start up symptoms, one day at a time I know it's hard god do I just go with the flow and don't but any added pressure on yourself take it easy rest when you can cause you don't want to get to the exhaustion stage.


22-12-12, 21:36
God this is hard, a can't even pretend to be happy in front of my family, I feel numb and unhappy. I've not taken any more Diazepam as I wonder if this contributing to my low mood, I can cope with the anxiety and panic better than the depression, the panic is less than yesterday - that's the only positive thing I can say.
Come on Escitalopram, give me just a little respite tomorrow, an hour or two of feeling remotely human would be most appreciated.

23-12-12, 01:08
Sending you some positive thoughts. It will get better.

Take Care.


23-12-12, 09:19
Sam I feel for you so much (((((((hugs)))))). I always start suffering with terrible depresison too whenever I first go on an ad and it's only anxiety and panic I always have up to that point. All I can tell you is with me the flat horrible grief feelings and hoplessness did soon pass when I first started Cipralex and now my mood is mostly really good, a bit flat first thing but I've only been up an hour and it's already lifted. I hardly have any anxiety at all now apart from I am still taking half of a Lorazepam pill when I wake up but hopefully once I GET on 10mg's of Cip I can cut this out for good. I think (hopefully) by the end of next week you will start feeling much calmer and your mood will lift and as you increase by week 6, you will be a different person. Mike told me I'd probs be ok by Christmas or def getting there and at the time it didn't seem possible but I really am starting to feel better for the first time in 8 or even 9 months. Like you Sam there's been so many times where I've told myself this time I'm not going to ever get well but it was just the illness talking and the irrational thoughts that go hand in hand with it. Hang on in there Sam because you are definitely going to get through to the other side again. I regret not going on Cipralex many many months ago so much as it has really helped me begin to get my life back and only a week ago I was doubting I would ever make it to the family meal we have booked at pub on Boxing day so what you are feeling and thinking is completely natural because right now you are going through the worst bit, all the side effects and a chemical imbalance in your brain adjusting to the new meds. I know it's really hard but just keep telling yourelf Mr Goblin is gonna be a bad memory very soon, thinking of you and I wish I could make you better in time for Chrismtas xxx

23-12-12, 09:45
Thank you Mike and Karen, it means so much to have people that have been through this and understand. My husband's really trying but can't understand how awful and feel and there's nothing anyone can do to make me better.
Day 7 on 5mg.
Don't know what to do with myself, I slept without taking anything and just woke breifly a few times but got back off OK but this morning I feel awful. I don't know how I'm going to get through the day to be honest, I feel highly anxious, scared in my own skin yet dopey at the same time. It's like my body cannot react to how edgy my head feels. Usually when anxious I sweat, can't sit still, get diarrhoea, twitch etc - now I feel anxious in my head but my body isn't reacting much, I'm getting some tingling with each panic attack and jaw clenching but that's all.
I'm trying to accept and float with it but some minutes are terrifying.
I've left it an hour since taking the Escitalopram and Propanolol and am no better so am going to take a Diazepam.
I feel hopeless and scared but know that no one can help me

23-12-12, 13:18
Hang in there Sam, you just have to keep telling yourself its the med that is causing most or all these feelings of dread. If your husband doesn't understand, maybe you should suggest he read my thread, or Karen's struggle getting on Cipralex. It's not easy. The med plays with your emotions for 3 or 4 weeks minimum until it starts to regulate in your system..then you will start to feel a wee bit better everyday until most or all the side effects wear off.

Take care, things will get better. It will just take some time.


23-12-12, 19:38
hi Sam
sending :bighug1: to you and hope your feeling slightly better now.
It is so very hard at the beginning, it's like your in a world of your own and don't want to be bothered with anyone or anything. when I was like you and it was only a couple . of weeks ago really I couldn't be bothered cooking,cleaning Tec my partner took the cooking over(he's not that good) but with practice he's got better.

I to thought this is my life now, I hate it there's no end to it. But this last 2 weeks I have noticed a change in my mood which is better.. I have to get my sleep and anxiety better now.

It is just unfortunate for you that it's Xmas week of all weeks th he stress alone of being poorly is enough never mind Xmas on top!!!!
Just go with the flow and only do what you want to and get hubby and kids to help out. Get plenty of you time because you will be exhausted, using lots of adrenaline thinking it will leave you with a tired mind.

thanks care x

23-12-12, 20:56
Day 7,
Had a few hours respite from about 12 until 4 then took another Diazepam as the tension was building again. Going to take 2 Zopiclone tonight as cannot face another morning like today and hopefully will feel nicely groggy in the morning. I've not got a lot to do tomorrow, will prepare the veg and will try to go to church for the carol service in the afternoon.
On the plus side I'm not feeling so low today, yesterday I felt depressed today I'm anxious and tense - that's a bit less scary although more physically uncomfortable it's mentally easier for me to be rational about.
Thank you for all your support. It makes a real difference to know that others have been through this and survived. Do you think increasing the dose would help?
Love Sam

24-12-12, 05:36
Good luck Sam.... Hang in there things will get much better!

24-12-12, 09:45
Day 8

Thanks Jarrod - can't come quick enough at the mo.

Took 7.5 of Zopiclone and slept well, still tired this morning but less anxious - so that's a result. Not feeling particularly great though, not depressed but lacking in motivation, not happy and fed up, I've got a few things to do and hoping I can muster up the energy a bit later
Love to all

24-12-12, 14:05
Hi Sam
Glad you don't feel quite as low, it sounds like the side effects are finally starting to subside a little now (or hope so).
Good for you going to church....I'm going with my sister and our kiddies at 4pm today. I hope getting out takes your mind off how you are feeling (: I know when I struggled to get to my little boys concert at school it really helped and by the time I GOT HOME I felt much more relaxed and normal as I'd distracted myself from my anxiety.
Thinking of you xxxxx

24-12-12, 19:05
Day 8 - 6mg (thought a 1mg increase wouldn't make anything worse :blush:)
Another crappity day, heavy chest, nausea, highly anxious, tired blah, blah, blah - fed up of hearing myself now. Walked dog, made it to church - goodness knows how I stayed there for the service I felt like running but I didn't, got the veg ready and bedtime can't come quick enough. Feels like I'm living in a twilight world mentally and physically I feel like a boulders pushing me down trying to squash me into submission, not pleasant. I've got tingling in my face, lips and tongue too. You couldn't dream these feelings up and yet they're so real.
8 days in, do you think I'll get any worse now guys? Bloomin tough this starting up lark, I thought I'd be hardier after the awful Prozac start up but it seems not, no wonder so many people give up on the meds.
Tomorrow will be better though
Thanks for your kind thoughts

24-12-12, 19:47
Sending you huge :hugs: sam, hang in there :hugs: x x

25-12-12, 11:05
Day 9, 6mg Escitalopram
A little better :yahoo:,maybe cos it's christmas and the family are together or maybe the meds or just me, I don't mind what it is just hope it lasts.
Slept well after 2 Zopiclone again, will drop it to one tonight.
Got the uncomfy chest feeling and edgey but less nauseas and panicky, still a long way to go but relieved I'm on the up
Merry Christmas to all

25-12-12, 22:12
Day 9
So it's been a minimal improvement on the last few days, the depression and anxiety is less but feeling detached from whats going on, less motivated and very, very nauseas - I spoke too soon this morning - it came on with vengence at midday and stopped me in my tracks.
I've decided to take the Escitalopram before bed, as the nausea tends to come on about 4 hours after taking the morning dose, so hopefully I'll sleep through it.
Off to bed and going to try just one Zopiclone tonight
Love Sam

25-12-12, 22:27
Sorry to hear about things going up and down. I took Cipralex in 2003 for 2 months (this was before I knew about the risks/affects of meds) and don't remember any side effects (or effects) - I c/t'd off them and 2 months later I got put on prozac after experiencing what I now suspect was rebound anxiety/withdrawal.

Its funny how our bodies change - citalopram, which I suspect has similar side effects, gave me really bad G/I problems when I was on it this time last year. Now I suspect all SSRIs will give me noticeable side effects...

26-12-12, 10:04
Sam I take my Cipralex at 9pm and sleep through most of the side effects, not that I have any right now as I seem to have adjusted fine now to 7-50mg's but will no doubt get them again for about a week when I go up to 10mg's after Christmas. but I've been lucky that the meds haven't made me feel sick at all, I just get heachaches, flushing and the heightened anxiety. Oh and the lack of motivation and flat feeling but these all pass I promise. You are being so strong Sam and will get there very very soon....I know it seems hopeless right now but I am living proof that one day you really do suddenly just feel really fine again (apart from my very early monrings but they alays take a little while to come completely right for me!)
Thinking of you as always and each day is going to hopefully get a little easier now.

26-12-12, 11:26
Thanks again guys.
Day 10 - 8mg today, I think I took 7mg yesterday

I took it at 9 last night and felt nauseas again at about 11, took one Zopiclone and slept for 10 hours :D, I love my bed and sleep, it's my refuge from a busy life, so I can live with sleeping more.

I'm feeling quite chilled this morning, not brilliant as in motivated, happy and full of energy but a lot better than I was 4 or 5 days ago.

Physically I've still got a mild headache, tingling lips and mouth, a tiny bit of nausea and body aches - but nothing major. For 3 months I've had daily diarrhoea and twitching muscles - since starting the Escitalopram the twitching is minimal and I've had no diarrhoea since the first day - that just shows how potent these meds are.

My mood is brighter, I feel hopeful and not worrying so much about stuff - god it's amazing what a good nights sleep does for you. Wow - just realised the heavy chest feeling has gone today too :D

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel again :yahoo:

26-12-12, 20:31
Had an OK day, not good but not too bad either up until 5pm. I then started feeling the stirrings of panic - 21 hours since my last tablet and I had been taking them twice a day up until today. So I took just 3mg at 6pm, within an hour the feelings of panic went, I felt sleepy and detached from everything but now 2 hours later I feel pretty OK again - very odd. With the Prozac I found I had no immediate effects from taking them, it would build up over a period of days, Escitalopram is certainly different but not in a bad way.
I'm nearly at the therapeutic dose so am hoping each day will get easier now. I'm due to work tomorrow but think I would be pushing it, I need to be 90% well to be able to do my job, I cannot make mistakes and have to be completely 'with it' but am pretty confident that in 2 weeks I'll be there.
Love to all

27-12-12, 11:13
I am so pleased things are starting to level out for you Sam and well done for daring to go up to almost 10mg's so quickly. I'm going to do that when Willaim goes back to school.
I mean it, I am so pleased you are beginning to come through the worst now. I feel anxious today but it's because my friend is coming to stay and I've not seen her for about 5 years so it's just normal good nerves I have, not bad ones, ha ha! I'm flapping tidying everywhere too, lol.....keep it up Sam xxx

27-12-12, 21:28
Day 11
I took another 5mg at 11pm last night and took a while to get to sleep. I woke in a panic at 3am, racing heart, nerves standing on end feeling and took a Zopiclone and slept a little for the rest of the night. Consequently haven't been feeling so bright today, tired, down and detached still. I took 2mg at 11 this morning and 5mg at 8 tonight and will try to keep that regieme for the next week.

I haven't done much all day, walked the dog, hoovered, bathed the dog after she dug a trench in the grass and tidied up a bit but feel drained and unmotivated. I came back to bed for an hour this afternoon and watched some TV. My family have been understanding and supportive of me at this difficult time, I don't know what I'd do without them, the kids are 14 and 16 and sometimes just come and cuddle me because they can see in my eyes that I don't feel well.

I've got that heavy feeling back in my chest, but the nausea is settling. Thorougly fed up and am looking forward to bedtime.

I'm seeing a NLP instructor tomorrow, I'm not quite sure what to expect, I know it's not hyponosis but is about positive self talk and self belief. I'm not in the right frame of mind for positive thinking but he assures me the sooner I have a session with him, the easier it will be and the sooner I will see results (obviously). So, can't make me feel any worse can it? I just not sure how open and receptive I'll be as I feel so washed out.

Hope everyone else is OK
Love Sam

28-12-12, 21:55
Day 12 - 7mg Escitalopram
Woke frequently in the night with a humdinger of a headache and consequently felt tired, anxious and low in mood this morning, I was thinking how am I going to get through today, I'll take a Diazepam and come back to bed. Then I saw the NLP guy........
It's not a miracle, quick fix, easy cure all but I'm going to give it my all and I'm going to become anxiety free and beat depression with the help of the NLP techniques. I am taking back control of how I feel, I am taking action to be happy and content again. I'm not denying that I feel very low in mood, but I am questioning my negative thinking, this is just the depression and anxiety taking hold and not me and I am re phrasing my self talk into more uplifting and positive statements.
The NLP thing is quite confusing with lots of different methods and techniques and I'm not sure how much I'll remember in the morning but one thing that will stick is that I ran a marathon last year, I'm not that young or fit but because I was determined to do it and focused on the end result - I succeeded, therefore if I focus on being content and happy and persisitantly challenge the negative thoughts I will be successful in reclaiming my life.
I will continue with the meds, despite his reluctance in me taking antidepressants, I will stop them if I feel they are not working or I do not need them any longer - which I would not consider for at least 6 months.
Yes, I am still tired, achy and nauseas but it is not going to stop me being the best I can be right now. So I'm off to the gym at 9 in the morning, then to do some work, run the kids around and do some shopping. I may need more rest whilst these new meds settle down and I will continue to take care of myself but I am not letting these thoughts in my head stop me living the life I deserve now. Hey I've even baked the Christmas cake this afternoon! a little late I accept but I feel better for achieving something.
Right end of clichied post.
Love and hugs to all

28-12-12, 22:01
Hi Sam

Is NLP where you use the tapping technique say on the side of you head or your face?

28-12-12, 22:16
No that's EFT - can't remember what it stands for but it's similar to NLP.
Neuro Linguistic Programming is focused on the 'self talk' and the way in which we see ourselves, it reprogrammes your brain to think, feel, see etc in a positive way not so much ignoring the negative but questioning and challenging the negative thoughts. It is similar to CBT, but CBT just looks at your negative behaviour and challenging it, NLP goes one step further and gets you focussing on a positive future, not just 'overcoming' anxiety or dealing with a problem but looking at your life in a new way, a life full of energy, wonder and exciting things (I've got a bit of work to do on picturing that one :doh:)

29-12-12, 10:52
Day 13,
I had to come back on just to re read my own posts from yesterday - having a panic and how can I get through today moment. So I've been to the gym and was anxious there but stayed an hour :yahoo:, I was counting the minutes some of the time, I had gone with a friend who said stay until 10am I would of left earlier if it was just me and I am proud of that I stayed, despite feeling horrible.
Still shaky and questioning myself alot but I believe in my statements yesterday, I have one life and I need to live it now. The meds start up is pretty awful but I am determined and will float through the panic, focus on me returning to my 'normal' happy optomistic self and question my negative thought patterns.
Right off to shower and then to work
Love and hugs to all those struggling
Remember this too will pass

29-12-12, 12:30
Love, Love, Love your positive attitude Sam, wish I could be the same but it really tires you out all these horrid feelings & mind chatters & getting no respite from it xx

29-12-12, 22:26
Thanks Stormy,
Day 13
Still waiting for this to pass :blush: and it can't come quick enough
I've kept busy all day but the feelings of dread are with me constantly, I'm trying hard to ignore the negative mind chatter but it's exhausting and I'm ready for bed.
We are going to make tomorrow a better day guys, we're going to float through the panic and give ourselves lots of positive self talk

29-12-12, 23:21
Sam: In my experience you are in the worst period for adjusting to the meds. As i told Karen a month or so ago, I found day 10 to day 20 by a country mile the worst period adjusting to med. Day 20 - 30 it gets a little better and by Day 30 i was feeling almost back to normal.

I had negative feelings too for a short time during the first few weeks. It WILL get better though.

Hang in there. :bighug1:


30-12-12, 10:48
Thanks Mike I'm day 14, 8mg and feeling better today :D
Second night without sleeping tablets and slept for about 7 hours on and off so pretty good.
I've been to the gym again, after having an unenjoyable time there yesterday I made a resolve to go back and practice again. I changed the routine a bit and felt OK most of the time, a few 'moments' but nothing I couldn't cope with.
I feel more in control of my thoughts today, I think that's what I've struggled most with starting escit. is it seems to make me feel detached and not like me at all, the nausea, headaches and jaw clenching are easier to cope with than the mental fog it has put me in. BUT the fog is lifting today, it's not happening suddenly but I can feel a shift in my thoughts and feelings. I believe it's the meds and me working at the NLP stuff, challenging my negative thinking and probably stopping the sleeping tablets has helped clear my mind too!
I can see and feel the real me again, I'm not back yet but I'm on my way :yahoo:
Love and hugs

30-12-12, 11:57
Hi Sam I have read your posts as a way of helping me through. I am currently taking ecit; day 13 at 15mg after starting on 5mg. All in all I have been taking for about a month. My current state is grief related and I feel like I will never recover from this. I have always been so independant, I have 2 children 13 and 15 and have been mostly single since my divorce. I have always been content with this and felt proud at how I cope. However right now I feel so alone and consumed with my depression and anxiety. I am having counselling but struggling with intrusive thoughts. I just pray this medication will help me 'find' myself again.

30-12-12, 21:54
That's quite a quick increase in dose Katy, I guess you've been advised to increase like this but I imagine that the side effects will return with each increase in dose. I was told it takes 2 weeks at each dose to level out and that 10mg was the standard dose, I'm nearly there and have to say today has been the best day of the last week. I've read on another forum that the Escitalopram takes up to 6 weeks at 10mg (or more) to work with some people but can work within a week on others and the initial effects include depression, intrusive thoughts and increase in anxiety. I know I've had an increase in all these symptoms since starting but as I say Day 14 today and they seem to be settling.

My children are 14 and 16 - I'm fortunate to have a supportive partner, I've read your other posts and am sorry about the loss of your sister and dad - I can not imagine how that must feel. I don't know why I'm like I am, I've had nothing like that happen, my life is just as I want it to be and like you I am usually content - I don't think there is a often a rationale for why we feel as awful as we do as rational thinking leaves us.
Please remember you are not alone, alot of people on this forum have been exactly where you are now and we can support you through this time. You are still you, you are just lost in a fog, all your old spark and spirit will return when the fog lifts and that will happen with the help of counselling and medication and this will just be a bad memory. Hold on to the fact that it will not last forever, it cannot, life is worth living and you will soon find your mojo again, just hang on in there x
Take Care
Love Sam

31-12-12, 09:16
That is a big dose increase katy but you probs need to go to max strength to help you through your terrible time. hugs xxx

Sam it's great to hear you are starting to feel a little bit better, I am still on 7.50mg's but will up to 10mg as soon as my little boy goes back to school next week then if i do get se's I can cope better if i am on my own with them. At 9 he's still a pesky thing, ha ha! You have done so well and being so brave to move up to the dose you are on so fast (: I've had couple of blip days since Christmas but think it was hormones playing up as per.

31-12-12, 22:59
Day 15 9mg Escitalopram
I'm sleeping better - deeper and for longer and actually woke this morning feeling comfy with myself, I didn't think thank god it's time to get up, I didn't feel 'oh no' how am I going to get through today or any such thoughts, I was able to stay in bed, read and relax and it was such a relief. I have had a few moments during the day, it's not like I'm back to normal but to wake feeling OK helped alot.
So todays been a 6/10 - I feel I'm back to where I was 3 weeks ago before starting the medication, the side effects have settled and I'm feeling hopeful.
Happy New Year to everyone
Love Sam

01-01-13, 10:38
:DSam that is fantastic news, hope it keeps up!! Happy New Year (:

01-01-13, 20:13
Day 16, 9mg
Sleep - OK
Appetite - eating too much - nausea has completely gone
Physically - more energy, less achey, no muscle twitches, a few palpitations and chest tightness but nothing much, no sweating and very few hot flashes
Mentally - low, not enjoying much, no panic attacks but continue to feel anxious.
Could be worse I guess, plodding on

02-01-13, 10:47
Sam you are doing just great and probs still experiencing side effects like the anxiety and stuff because you have kept increasing where as I have given each dose time to settle so I've had really good days despite having to take Lorazepam. I'll only get off it once i reach the correct dose of Cipralex for me but I am feeling 8.5/10 good today and that's after taking a full 10mg pill last night by accient, I wasn't meant to start it until next week so I woke up feeling horrible, really anxious and super depressed, you can really feel the increases can't you!
Are you going to stick at 10mg's once you get there or keep going up? I'm good most of the day whilst I've been on 7.50mg's but it's just cracking those mornings for me so I can get off the sedatives so I am hoping 10mg's is going to do it for me which is the equivelant of 20mg's of normal Citalopram and apart from last time I was on it worked great for me the other 3 times.
I really hope you settle on a dose soon (:

02-01-13, 12:05
Thanks Karen, I'm going to stick at 10mg, I was on 60mg of Prozac a week for years instead of the 20mg daily dose and it kept me well so I don't believe I'll need more than that.
I'm still on 9mg, I also feel each increase but like you say I'm in very early days so most of that will be side effects I guess. I'm inpatient and keen to get well hence the fairly quick rise, I'm planning on going up to 10 on Friday. Feeling low still but better than a week ago. I've been to the gym and have a few things to do today and feel quite motivated
Love Sam

03-01-13, 09:50
Day 18, 9mg
Had a OK day yesterday, not good but had worse. Later in the afternoon I started with the tingly mouth feeling and heavy chest, it lasted until bedtime but I did sleep OK.
I feel far from well and right but better than 2 weeks ago. I'm not back at work yet, I was due back yesterday but don't want to go back yet, I guess I could if I really wanted to but I don't, I feel lethargic and wanting to take some time off, not like me at all - I'm usually wanting to rush back to distract from how I feel but I want to spend time at home and relax a little.
I've not got much to do today which is fine with me, just trying to go with the flow a bit.

03-01-13, 10:54
You have some time off Sam and think of yourself before work, work can wait and you need to be right to go back darl. Hopefully you are going to start feeling so much beter once you have bene on the Cipralex 6 weeks (:

05-01-13, 13:50
Sam how are you? :hugs:

05-01-13, 20:38
Day 20, 10mg - I'm going to stick with this dose now
Thanks for your concern Karen, I don't know why I haven't been posting much, it's not like I'm doing much but time is kind of passing me by.
I'm doing OK, I am feeling the effects of the increase, well I think I am but it's such early days on the Escitalopram so it could be just the normal start up effects. I've had 2 nights with poor sleep, became jittery before going to bed and had difficulty getting to sleep and woke on and off through the night. I've physically felt more tense - aching chest and a mild headache, no nausea though since the increase. Mentally I feel grumpy, short tempered and miserable but no panic attacks.
I feel emotionally numb, not horribly so, it's like I feel anxious but can't react to the feeling and although the feeling is there it is not at strong as before. My motivation is better, I've done more around the house in the last week than I have in the last 3 months and am not taking myself back to bed in the day - so even though I can't always see the improvements myself on reflection they are there.
Hope everyone else is doing OK
Love Sam

06-01-13, 14:24
Sam that's exactly how I'd describe an increase in dosage too and I'm not looking forward to going up to 10mg's at all but need to as 7.50mg's isn't enough for me. I've had 2 really poor days which have come as a bit of a shock after feeling so well lately but I seem to be finally settling down again but really need to get up to the 10mg's instead of putting it off any longer ):
You have been incredibly brave Sam and hopefully you will be over the worst very soon now (:

07-01-13, 18:51
Day 22, 10mg
I've been on this dose for 3 days now and my mood is better. I'm less depressed but experiencing more physical signs of anxiety like palpitations, tense shoulders and chest pain. I'm doing relaxation, taking sleeping tablets to help me sleep and trying to carry on as normal but the physical sensations are hard to ignore.
I went back to work today, I was in two minds whether to but it was OK, not good, but OK. I worry about staying off longer and finding it difficult to get back so I'm going to try and take it slower than normal, I usually work at 100 miles an hour, I'm going to try and plod and not tire myself out too much.
Mentally I'm not as anxious, I feel numb and a bit detached still but OK

08-01-13, 12:02
Sam you are amazing!!! Going back to work when you are experiencing side effects though I do sometimes think it's better to be distracted, fingers crossed they will only last till the end of this week anyhow. Each time I know I have increased, I've had side effects for roughly 5 days or so and each day has sort of got a little bit easier. I am so proud of you and how far you have come in only 3 weeks :D

08-01-13, 19:41
Thanks Karen, I think it's been about 5 days for me to settle too - so not too long.
Day 23,
Not so good today. Took a sleeping tablet and slept really well last night and didn't get up until 10.30. I felt OK until about 6 but the anxiety and depression has increased, I now feel pretty crap, like I need to cry but cannot, I'm working all day tomorrow so I'm hoping that will keep my mind off how I feel.
It feels like the Escitalopram peaks and I feel well after about 8 hours of taking it and that lasts until 20 hours after taking it and then I have a dip in mood and increase in anxiety. I just hope that I reach a steady state soon and these dips disappear.

08-01-13, 19:56
Hi Sam,
I to went through a phase where I wanted to cry but no tears would come it's a really weird feeling and I really couldn't get my head around it whyI was unable to cry. But now they just flow and flow.
How on earth do you manage to put your anxiety and depression aside at work, I am worse if I am in the public or even family and can't seem to hold it together. I know we all have different levels of anxiety( maybe mine is worse than yours)

never thought about it dipping and times, so what time of day do you take your tablets and what time do you notice drop? I might monitor this.

I tried the Avitax last night took two, waste of time so havn't decided yet if to try again with them or go for zopiclone.

You seem to be coping really well in such a very short time chick. xx

08-01-13, 21:04
Hope you are ok Clio (: I take Zopiclone every other week and it helps me sleep but not for very long though my sleep is getting a little better I have to say finally. It sounds like you are you are still having terrible trouble.
Aw Sam, it will soon pass again. I have had the not being able to cry feelings too where I've desp wanted to but just can't anymore. I was feeling like this over the weekend when I was very anxious again but since yesterday my mood has been brilliant and last night I was actually crying with laughter for the first time in months.
I am ok at the mo but have decided to increase to 10mg's even slower than planned by just taking a little bit more pill each night for a few days or did you get increased anxiety each time you did that in your 1mg stages? My Mum thinks I am best just to go for the other half of pill now and get it over with fast and I dunno why I am suddenly so scared to go for it as I have been through the side effects 3 times already and they aren't that bad when I look back once I come through them compared to how other ssri's effected me. I think it's just that the last couple of day shave been so good I don't want to feel crappy again but the 7.5mg's isn't enough to get me off needing those 2 Lorazepam pills when I seem to be at my worst first thing on a morning.
I'll bet by the weekend you will be feeling so much better though Sam so keep hanging on in there, it's going to pass this horrible bit again...I just need to take my pill and convince myself of the same now (;
Clio, I really hope your insomnia goes soon as there is absolutley nothing worse and I hope the Zopiclone helps you.

09-01-13, 19:56
Hi Brenda, Luckily work seems to help me and distract from how I feel. I couldn't of worked 2 weeks ago, I was not able to talk much and went to bed frequently to escape but thankfully those feelings are lifting. Today I worked from 8.30-5.30 and I did find it tough but more 'normal' for doing it. I'm now taking my tablets at 10pm and I noticed the same pattern again today, I'm sure it will even out though in time. Those Avitax knocked me out! Just shows how our brain chemistry can be so different.
Hi Karen, I felt like you I didn't know whether to go slowly with the increase or just do it, in the end I suppose I did increase quite quickly but I am relieved to be on 10mg now and just waiting for the side effects to reduce. It hasn't been too bad at all, the insomnia is getting to me though, last night I decided not to take a Zopiclone because I wanted to work today, I slept for about 3 hours, I couldn't seem to stop moving my legs in bed and had chest tightness again. The mornings are much better though, I wake with little anxiety, I seem to get more anxious in the evening now. I'm actually looking forward to the weekend - I haven't looked forward to something for months, the kids and husband will be out for the whole day on Sunday and I have a day to myself to do whatever I please. I'm going to walk the dog, do a bit of housework, have a bath and then light a fire and watch something on TV - I may even treat myself to some chocolates.
The improvements are slow, I've not recognised the gradual changes in my thinking, I don't feel happy but I no longer feel despairing.
Early night for me tonight x

09-01-13, 21:43
well done Sam, don't know how you manage it, that would wipe me out working that long especially with our illness as we don't know how we will feel from one day to the next.

well tried another 2 ativax last night just to see if any different, but no
got off ok but woke up few times, so tonight 2 zopiclone for me.

take it easy, and don't take to much on and plenty of you time chick xx

10-01-13, 10:10
Sam you're a little star working as Clio is so right, you never know with this illness how you will be from one day to the next though thankfully I am starting to think about returning to work, I need to actually find a job though as I have moved 100 miles this past year after living on the east coast with my Husband to coming back home to Yorkshire. I think it will do me good to get back out there though just part time whilst William is still quite young. (:
From reading all your posts though Sam, I think you have personally come such a logn way this last 3 weeks and it wasn't until I'd taken Cipralex for 6 weeks that I really started having more and more very good days. I had my bad blip weekend but put that down to being really upset over something someone said to me and getting over a cold virus but I moved up to 9mg's last night and apart from waking up feeling lowish (def not terrible) and a bit jittery, tired and I had to take 2 paracetamols for a headache, once I got in from the school run, I felt 100% perfect and hopefully I will feel like this the rest of today now. Your sleep will come back soon I'm sure the more and more the Cipralex starts working for you (:
Clio, just remind me are you on Venlafaxine??? As I know someone on the Ven thread is on one of the other ssri's but can't think who now. (I need cafeine today! ha ha) I never thought I'd sleep again after spending 8 months waking up every bit of the night an anxious wreck but fingers crossed, I'm really doing ok now and once I kick how I feel when I first wake up, I'll be better (:
Sam you enjoy your weekend and those choccies, you deserve them (:

10-01-13, 17:10
yes I'm on 150mg venlafaxine, it's 8 weeks now I think.

was on cipralex 20mg before ven for 3 or 4 years but stopped being effective hence change to ven. think it's the anti d' s that have made me an insomnic??? going to tell psych at end of Jan.

think morning are not good for most of us,and if I had to get to the school gate for 9 now I'd have no chance lol.

take care xx

Sam . how did today go??

10-01-13, 20:01
Day 25 (can't believe it - it's gone so quick)
Thanks for your support ladies.
I took half a Zopiclone last night, so about 1.8mg and a Propanolol and slept really well and woke fine this morning, no anxiety at all :D. I worked from 8.30-2.30, it was busy but I had no panic or anxiety. My mood dipped about 4pm and I feel edgey and tense now so still the same pattern. I've been hungry all day today too, eaten lots of rubbish - crisps, cake, biscuits, strange cos 2 weeks ago I couldn't eat for the nausea, I'll have to start watching what I eat if this carries on, I don't want to pile on the weight. I put 2 stone on with Prozac and never lost it!
I'm back to my GP tomorrow, I haven't seen him for a month and he only gave me a months supply of Escitalopram. I'm definately better than when I last saw him but still some way to go, I'll stick with this drug though - so far so good.

10-01-13, 21:09
Well done Sam! Wonder if you dip at 4 cause a bit tired? I find that when am busy and uptight about something (like on the days I work, thinking about what I have to do to get organised etc.) I get tired and this affects my anxiety.

Good going! x

11-01-13, 13:40
Sam that's brillian tthat you are wakign up feeling good..I'm opposite, I wake up feeling dodgy (low and tense too) but then I go ok once I get up and out and about for the rest of the whole day until the following morning. I take my Escitalopram pill about 10pmish time though and my sleep is wonderful just now so I haven't needed Zopiclone once this week (: In fact I could even sleep in a bit now if I didn't have to be up by 8am the latest!
I still think in another couple of weeks itme you will feel even more better as your 4pm blips should hopefully even out (:

12-01-13, 19:52
Day 27 and a week at 10mg
Despite having a cold I feel OK. We went out last night and I had a pint of cider and felt nicely relaxed and slept OK. I worked at my husbands shop yesterday and sorted out the stock room which I'd been putting off for about 9 months, I was tired and stressed afterwards but settled down quickly. I also saw my GP yesterday and have another two months supply of Escit. he is very laid back and prescribed the 5mg tablets and said take one or two per day - whatever I felt I needed on that day? I'm not sure that's quite how the drugs work. I'll keep with the 10mg for now, I seem to be settling down on that dose.
The physical sensations of anxiety like the palpitations and chest tightness are diminishing I just hope the sleep returns. Now I have this cold I expect a few broken nights sleep but by the middle of next week I can see me getting back to normal.
I keep a diary of my general mood and have done since March 2012, when I increased the Prozac my mood was unstable, on a scale of 1-10 I'd be a 3 one day and a 7 the next and this lasted for months. This Escit. is definately different and better, I've been a 6 for nearly two weeks, with the last two days being a 7 - I'm a lot more stable. I don't feel like singing and dancing with joy but I'm not in the pits of despair either and I can see the general pattern of improvement. So all good with me, hope everyone else is too x

12-01-13, 20:19
Hi Sam
Don't think I would go from one dose to another,I would keep it the same 10mg, not one dose one day and another different dose the next. Just a thought!

12-01-13, 21:23
I'd stick to 10mg too Sam as I'm not a doctor and know that these kind of pills aren't like benzo's that you take and they work instantly, they have to get into your system and cause side effects. My old doctor used to tell me to take an extra Citalopram pill if I felt extra bad and I used to wonder what he was on about as it would have made me worse not any better. And he used to tell me it was ok to stop and start them, the times I explained how terrible Citalopram made me feel to start up on.
You've come so far so quickly Sam. I can see such a difference in your posts (:
Today was my first ever day for months of feeling completely fine when I woke up, I really hope it lasts, I just wish I'd discovered Cipralex so much sooner and I will never be scared of ssri's again because of it, or at leats not of Cipralex, ha ha!
Hi Clio, hope you are ok and feeling a bit better (:

14-01-13, 20:05
Day 29
Stinking cold but feeling OK ish. A few wobbles still but nothing I can't handle. Had a stressful day at work today, 4 weeks ago I would have had serious problems coping with it but today it felt much easier, even with a cold. I handled a disgruntled customer, something I don't like doing as I dislike confrontation and afterwards I smiled to myself and just thought oh well, even though I knew she was cross because I didn't give her what she wanted. I calmly explained my position and I'm not fretting about it now either :) progress indeed.
My mood is still low but I guess that will improve as the anxiety becomes history.
Love Sam

15-01-13, 14:09
Well done Sam :)

15-01-13, 21:08
Day 30, day 11 at 10mg
Still got the cold but it's better. I woke feeling OK and went for walk with a friend and our dogs as had a day off work. I was OK for an hour or so and then had a big wobble, had a wave of impending doom, stomach churning, butterflies in the chest, wanting to run to the car which was about 2 miles away. I explained to my friend what was happening and we calmly walked back to the cars, stopping for a coffee on the way. I drove home and took a Diazepam and Propanolol but still feel shaky now. I was doing so well with no panic attacks for nearly 3 weeks and this has upset me.
I'm trying to float through it but I feel sick and scared. I'm telling myself it's just my body reacting to something either the cold or the increase in drugs or whatever, it doesn't really matter but it's knocked me for six. I'm working again tomorrow and this is making me more anxious but I don't want to let the team down.
Are you on the 10mg yet Karen?
Has anyone else felt the increase in side effects after 11 days?

16-01-13, 11:01
Maybe it is your cold interfering with the drug Sam as I knwo when I had a bad cold that's when I felt an xious again. I'm slightly anxious today worrying over William as he's upset over his nasty swimming teacher and started on Monday night (even though his lessons not till today) worrying over going. It's hard ngm not to take any notice of her when she just shouts at the kids all the time and he gets upset when it's aimed at him because I let everything get to me too and would be really upset and not want to go either but I told him to be brave and that if she persists upsetting him, I will mention it to his teacher. Any how Sam, I really hope it was just a blip how you felt when you went out for your walk....you still haven't been on Cipralex very long too always remember (: I'm mostly ok now but still not perfect when I wake up and the slightest thing still triggers some anxiety like this swimming teacher upsetting William so much. Just try to think positive and tell yourself it's ealry days and blips will happen and you have a virus too at the mo but tomorrow is another day ((((:

16-01-13, 18:54
Day 31
Still not so good, I took a Zopiclone to sleep and slept well but woke anxious, took a Diazepam and Propanolol and worked from 8-6 but am whacked. Everybody could see that I wasn't well and the girls tried to look after me and made me cups of tea and stuff, I blamed it on the cold :blush: But I did it, I had a few wobbles during the day and didn't really feel quite with it due to the Diazepam but I'm going to focus on the fact that I managed to work a full day despite feeling pretty horrible. I'm working again tomorrow but only until 2 and then off for 3 days.
My cold is drying up but I still have a blocked sinus feeling and headache and I just don't feel well.
I have been wondering if the 10mg is too much for me, when I was on Prozac I was best on just 10mg a day - which would equate to 5mg Esc. but I'll stick with this for at least a month to load me up and then if I'm not settling down again I'll drop back down. The physical symptoms have gone apart from the tiredness, so the drug is doing something, but I did feel less anxious on the 5mg but I guess I was more depressed, so I'm heading in the right direction. It's so easy to focus on the negatives when you're feeling rubbish and easy for forget the progress you have made isn't it.
Anyway, feeling a little brighter tonight, even if I am knackered. Hubby is cooking tea - which is a once in a blue moon event so I'll enjoy that.
Love to all

17-01-13, 08:04
Well done sticking it out in work when you're not very well....having a cold messed me up for a few days but then I went ok again so hopefully you will soon be feeling less anxious. (:

18-01-13, 09:18
Day 33
Well I've not had any panic since Tuesday but I continue to feel more anxious, low and irritable since. It's not as bad as pre medication but I don't feel as I did 2 weeks ago and that's worrying, I'm not the most patient of people and really want to get better now :blush:. It's been 11 months this time and although I've had some good months - July-Oct, I am tired. I guess that could be the result of having this cold, the increase in meds, starting meds or stress at work.

I worked yesterday, I took Propanolol first thing and it was OK. I felt cross because I wasn't supported by my colleagues and they knew I'm not feeling 100%. I don't think I am ready to return to work but felt I had to as another colleague was off and either her or me need to be there as it's only the 2 of us that do our particular job. I've also had a couple of episodes of sickness in the past year so don't want to take any more. So I thought I should go in for the team but am disappointed and cross with the lack of support and compassion some of them show. I guess everyone is looking out for themselves and they think if I'm well enough to be there I should just be able to get on with my job as normal. My team mates back next week though so we will have a good gossip and bitch about it - that always helps I find.

My cold is still lingering but I'm sleeping well without sedation. I feel nauseas though which is causing me to eat more! that's always been my solution to nausea - eat to give my stomach something to do as I find it's worse when my stomachs empty. I'm hoping as I reach the 6 week mark that better days are just around the corner.

18-01-13, 21:23
Hi Sam
you don't half suffer from colds don't you, it wasn't long since your last one take high dose vit c

regards work colleagues are the worse for understanding illness of any kind they all for themselves girls who you think are your friends talk about you behind your back and you realize then what their really like so hence you feel guilty for having time off because you know their talking about you having time off. then when you do go back they act as nice as pie and say you ok now. people who have never suffered like us do not have a clue of the difficulties we have to go through everyday, and what is worse we
can cope one day and be completely different the next no 2 days are ever the same.

we need some rest bite from this shittty illness don't we chick, and hopefully soon in the future this will come for us.

I've had a bad day today also, I get, it's like a build up of anger and I can't seem to have control over it and don't know why this happens. I can be very snappy and my partner who is supporting must not no where he's up to with me!! jekly and Hyde that's me. any wrong thing said and I'm very sensitive and I'm in tears and start to think he doesn't care Tec and I know he does.

well on a better note let's hope tomorrow is a better day, what's the snow like near you it's just like dust here at no.

take care xxxxx

18-01-13, 22:40
No snow here Brenda, we had a flurry earlier but it's too wet to settle.
I do get lots of colds, this time it's gone round the family and come back to me but luckily not at bad as before. I've felt very down today too, snapping at my husband - he tried making a joke about something earlier and I all I could say was 'just don't I'm not in the mood' this then makes me anxious and feel bad for snapping at him.
I'm brighter tonight, I took my daughter into town after school for a haircut and to buy a present for her friend and I picked up. I didn't get my own hair cut and haven't for over 6 months because I can't be bothered but I sat and read a magazine whilst she had hers done. I've had a bath tonight and managed to distract myself and get into a good book, so things must be looking up.
Hope tomorrow is better for you too
love Sam

19-01-13, 03:09

It will get better Sam, trust me.
I know its hard but try not to worry.

Take Care.


19-01-13, 09:32
Day 34
Feel like I'm back at the beginning :weep:
I sleep OK and I do improve as the day goes on but feeling horrible right now.
I woke feeling anxious and depressed and am having the physical symptoms of panic attacks on and off for the last few hours. I feel sick, getting a wave of panic, have jaw clenching, feel like crying, tingling legs, numb lips, headache. So fed up, I thought I'd feel better by now after getting through the first few weeks feeling naff. I seemed to even out after 2 and half weeks on the 5-7mg but this 10mg is taking longer to settle. I'm still wondering if 10mg if too much for me, with Prozac I could only tolerate about 10mg a day which is equivalent to 5mg Escit, so I may have to go back down. I was hoping a bigger dose would make a bigger and better improvement but I don't know if I can tolerate this for much longer.
I'm fed up of feeling crap, I'm so not a depressed person normally - I see good in everything and everybody and am so far removed from the person I normally am I am struggling to see that I will ever return to this optomistic person - to be honest just surviving the days these past few days, has been difficult.
I'm trying to accept and float with the feelings but I've been like this since Tuesday, 5 days now and it's not getting easier. It would be easier if I knew that if I got through feeling this rubbish that I would improve but nothing is certain in this illness and with these meds - as I say, I have found previously I improve when I reduce the meds, so I'm really confused as to what to do :weep:
Looking back at this thread I was like this two weeks after starting the Escit. and I've been on the 10mg for two weeks now so maybe that's how long it takes for my head to adjust to the change. I don't know, I'm searching for answers when there aren't any.

19-01-13, 11:36
Hi Sam, I understand how you feel and I too am searching for answers. It is 2 weeks since I changed my dose down to 10mg and I have been better but still struggling. My last 2 nights have been bad;waking at 4 and not being able to get back to sleep. I too am usually an optimistic person so just surviving from one day to the next is awful especially when you have so much to be thankful for. I know my circumstances are different and 2012 was a particularly horrible year for me, but even so I too am desperate to return to 'me' and am scared I never will.
It is still early days meds wise and I think we expect too much from ourselves at times; at least that's what friends keep telling me. Feeling rubbish for so long is horrible but if we have got this far then we have to keep going.
Hugs and love, Katy x

19-01-13, 12:12
this last episode for me is since last September, I'm not as bad as then, but am still not good. depression has lifted slightly but everyday is still a battle as I know with this illness you can't turn your back on it ,it's only looming in the background. I really think once we have had this illness it rises it's head again down the years bloody thing!!!!

I think you need to give it more time Sam very early days, I've only been of 150mg ven for 9 weeks it's lifted my mood slightly but I still have all the other experiences probably some different than yours but there lurking.

my partner is so laid back,get up and go,optimistic, just get on with it, sleeps like a baby, up at 8 evryday. then you get me a mess can't sleep,tired,miserable etc no match really . it pees me off at times.
I've just had breakfast he's on his lunch aghhhh.

oh well need to get my ar.. moving now, it's freezing and I could just sit in in dressing gown all warm. motivation motivation xxxx

19-01-13, 16:37
Thanks Katy and Brenda,
Katy - do you have anything to help with the sleep? Sleep is vital and I take Zopiclone if I'm going through an insomnia stage, luckily I'm OK in the sleep dept at the mo. Funny thing this Escitalopram, when I first started it, I went through a bad period of low mood and increased anxiety days 10-18 and after increasing to 10mg I was OK for the first 10 days but seem to have hit a wall again now. Even the nausea has returned. I know we will get better and back to our normal selves Katy, but somedays it's just surviving the moment thats very hard.
Brenda - my husbands laid back too, he's been really good this time but unless you've felt like this you cannot understand just how awful it feels. Sometimes he tries to ignore and distract from how I feel and other times he wants to know but it hurts him to know I feel so rubbish and he cannot help, it can't be easy for him either.

Well I took a Diazepam and made it out of bed, have washed the uniforms, walked the dog, done all the necessary chores, feeling less panicky but still struggling - it certainly is a battle today. I'll be glad when 10pm comes and I can climb into bed.
Love and hugs

20-01-13, 10:05
Sam you poor love...I hope it's just a blip but mayeb it is the 10mg's that is too strong as you would have thought it would be settling down afte a fortnight now, you could give it a month and see how you feel and then decrease a little to see if that helps. Work isn't getting you down is it with your uncaring colleagues...the thing is I don't think people have a clue what it feels like to suffer with depression and anxiety until they go through it themself and realise it's not just feeling a bit low....it's horrendous! I admire you so much for wanting to work when you are still feeling so hit and miss and work can be such a great distraction but if it's also adding to your anxiety then think about what is going to be the best option for getting you 100% well Sam and if that means taking more sick time off don't ever feel guilty because this illness is horrible and I would't wish it on any one, not even my ex Hubby, ha ha ha!
Just also keep remembering you have only been on Cipralex a very short time. You will get there Sam xxx

20-01-13, 10:51
Thanks Karen, another horrible morning. I don't think work is making it better or worse, it certainly distracts me sometimes and helps me through the bad times.
It's 5 weeks now and this I haven't felt this bad apart from in the first 5 days, I'm going to reduce the dose tonight, I can't go on like this. I was better on just 5mg and less does seem to be better with me and antidepressants.
I had a couple of hours last night feeling OK, not brilliant but reasonable so I took the tablets as normal and slept OK, but this morning I woke with waves of panic, nausea, headache, the shivers - not coping very well at all and wondering how on earth I'm going to get through today. So I've taken a Diazepam and have played some games on here and had a chat to my husband, we've looked at the charts of how I've been feeling this last year and how I get very panicky on normal doses of the drugs and he agrees that a reduction would be a good idea. Sometimes I don't know what to do for the best and having someone else to look at it does help.
So, I'm still in be, the waves of panic are subsiding in intensity but I feel shakey and depressed. I've got a few bits to do today but am going to spend a quiet day. I'm supposed to work tomorrow but the way I feel at the moment I can't see it happening.
How are you Karen? All ready for your sons trip tomorrow?
Love Sam

20-01-13, 19:07

sorry to hear thing's are not getting any better.
it's like we go one step forward and two back, everyday is a challenge to us.

as it got better as the day gone on?? any decision on work to moz? how do you manage being like you are, then dealing with the public,what happens if you feel funny or panic when you have somebody with you??

I find once I have a bad day it's hard to get yourself back up there
don't know what your like with that. I have to talk to myself to be positive because if not I end up on that long slippery road down and I'm not going there again!!

I've downloaded some self help books on my kindle so when I feel I can concentrate I dip into them for some positivity help.
carp day for me today, no sleep so drained today had shower/hair and put new pj on.. partner made tea, just picked at it as that's the first thing that goes when I am not good unfortunately.

sending hugs and positive vibes xxx

going to watch idiot abroad got the series on DVD could do with cheering up,they make me laugh.

20-01-13, 21:39
Thanks Brenda, I started feeling a little better about 3pm, after 4mg Diazepam and 80mg Propanolol. My husband took me out in the car, every so often I wanted to shout 'turn around and take me home, I can't do this' but I tolerated the feelings and ignored the thoughts. We stopped in a cafe, it was not enjoyable and I wanted to run out but I didn't, we then went to visit a friend and it whilst talking to them that I started to feel calmer, but it's been a difficult day.

At the moment I don't know what I'm going to be like from one day to the next so I'm still not sure about work tomorrow. I discovered during an anxiety episode 10 years ago that in times of crisis or when I'm really needed I can function - for instance if the children fell over or if a friend was going through a tough time and needed my support I could ignore the panic for a while, it was still there but I could deal with what I needed to do. This time I've found that it's the same with work, I become completely focussed on what I have to do, I do have wobbles and there are times that I cannot work but I feel so much better if I focus on something other than how I feel, it's just another distraction. However, it is exhausting and I can't work full time and I often have to come home and go straight to bed so working with high levels of anxiety is not sustainable.

When I'm working I become a different person, I'm confident and thinking about anything but how I feel, for me it's the best therapy, if I gave it up I think I'd sink. I know it adds to the stress and anxiety and it is sometimes impossible for me to work due to the panic but I'll try my utmost to keep working. I once stopped working for 3 years due to anxiety and I don't want to go there again.

Luckily I think I'm quite resiliant and have a poor memory, I forget how bad the panic is each time and it comes as a surprise. I go to bed most nights thinking that tomorrow will be OK, I guess I'm naturally a positive person. However when I wake with panic I start with the negative thinking and then the cycle of panic, fear and depression starts. Thank goodness I'm sleeping OK as it gives me some respite.

Well I've got my clothes ready for work in the hope I'm OK, made the lunches and am off to bed, Hopefully I'll wake feeling alot better, I've reduced the Escitalopram to see if it helps, I'd rather go slowly than have the level of panic I've had these last two days

Night all

21-01-13, 11:58
Sam I am so sorry you are feeling so bad again, I wonder if the 10mg's is too strong for you...I hope going back down a little helps get rid of your anxiety. Thinking of you xxx

21-01-13, 20:09
Day 36
Another day in paradise, I've been laid on a lilo floating on the meditarnean sea with the warm sun beating down on my back, no, not really, I've had another day of hellish anxiety AND depression.
I reduced the Escit to 5mg and took Zopiclone to sleep and had another good night, woke panicky so took just 1mg of Diazepam as I'm sure my low mood has something to do with the benzos. I dragged my sorry butt into work, I couldn't imagine staying at home would make me feel any better, work was busy and stressful and I felt like shit, but I stayed, I knew if I came home I'd feel just as bad, panic is panic wherever it happens.
I've got to the point (again) that I can't pretend to be OK, I can't smile (I'm normally quite a grinner and a joker) I feel ill, tense, achey, crappy and ill. I wish I could stay in bed and wake up when I feel better but know I've got to carry on regardless, I accept that I am anxious and depressed but it's not going to rule my life. If I stop doing the normal stuff and stay in bed my confidence will suffer and I will find it harder to get going again, so onwards and upwards.
I'm trying to think of a positive change since starting the Escit. - my twitching muscles have stopped and the diarrhea and I'm sleeping better mostly, I'm not worrying so much about stuff - I feel crap and that takes over all the worrying - that's about it. On the negative side the depression is much worse, the nausea persists, the anxiety is still higher than without meds but I'm worrying less if that makes sense, I'm aching - chest pain particularly is a problem again, I feel physically ill.
I was improving in week 2-4 so goodness knows what's going on with me, maybe the meds level has built up and it's too much, who knows - answers on a postcard please to
c/o lilo on the meditaranean sea x

22-01-13, 19:30
Day 37 and I'm questioning whether the Escit. is the right drug for me. It's been a week now that I've been feeling unwell again, depressed, anxious, nauseas etc. I thought it was supposed to work quicker than Prozac or Citalopram but I feel worse than when I started 5 weeks ago. I'm still sleeping OK but am struggling though each day, I know to carry on as normal and distract from the feelings when I'm this bad but it's becoming too hard again, I simply don't know what to do with myself.
I reduced to 5mg 48 hours ago and I still feel awful, I have numb lips and areas of my mouth are numb and tingly too and I feel very depressed, bloody medicines - I really believed in this one and it was going so well until a week ago.
How long do I give it before I give up on this one? I hate changing meds and want to give it a good chance but don't want to prolong my recovery any longer.
Love and hugs

23-01-13, 08:23
Sam I really believe it's just early days at the mo, I've been on Cipralex 10 weeks now and still get my blips. With me it's alway taken at least 4 to even 5 months to feel completely well again but my doc always recommended staying on an ad 12 weeks to see if it was helping. Have you talked to your gp? You was doing so so well, I really hope it was just the 10mg's that was too strong for you and that the Cipralex hasn't pooped out on you but def think it's terribly early days for you right now (:

23-01-13, 20:20
Thanks Karen, I'm inpatient and like the rest of us want to get better NOW, I think I tolerated all the side effects to start with and have avoided taking Diazepam as it can lower my mood and I'm still feeling like crap. I guess I'm just disappointed in the Escit. and losing confidence in getting better, it's like the longer you feel like this the harder it is to forget how it feels and the longer it takes to get back to normal.

Slept well, woke feeling OK but depressed. Dragged myself into work, had a panic attack after an hour - a full blown scared out of my mind panic attack but I saw it through without Diazepam or fleeing. So for the rest of the day I have been deeply depressed but not as anxious ??? what's that about, I've had a humdinger of a headache and my mouth and lips are numb and tingly again.
I'll keep on the 5mg until I see my doc next week.

24-01-13, 14:25
You poor thing Sam, I dread panic attacks. and for one to happen at work for you. I really hope you feel better again soon. I've still not gone up to 10mg's you know, I don't know what to do as I am fine on 8ish apart from when I first wake up and I feel really low and anxious but always take a Lorazepam so don't know what I would truly be like if I missed a day and just took my Cipralex. Morning s have always been the final thing to come right for me though and usually take at least 4 or 5 months to do so. I know the real turning point for me on Cipralex, where life became more normal all in all happened around the 6 week mark so I have my fingrs crossed for you (:

24-01-13, 14:51
Thanks Karen I'll be 6 weeks on Sunday. What's infuriating it that I did start to feel better after 14 days but as usual I rushed into taking the bigger dose thinking more=better faster :mad:. I keep a chart of how I feel every day and it's clear that I've been worse on the 10mg, it's been 4 days now at 5mg and still no improvement though. If anything I'm having more panic attacks, so am not sure if it's the reduction and withdrawl symptoms or the 10mg - so confused. I have a Drs appointment tomorrow morning though to try to sort out a plan of what to do if I'm not better by next week.
Have you been on antidepressants before and if so did you take a low dose then? I'm just wondering cos I was on Prozac but low dose for years, people told me it was just a placebo and I didn't need to take it but I carried on as I felt OK on it. When I did increase to the normal 20mg a day I felt awful, a bit like I am now. With the Escit I thought, it's a different drug and I'll take the recommended dose and I'll be OK - so much for positive thinking. Is your son home and did he have a good time?

24-01-13, 14:54
Hi Sam, I had some difficulty when I went up from 10 to 20 mg. It has been a month now since the increase and I am finally feeling closer to the way I wish to feel. I went through a lot of depression and anxiety after increasing by so much, but I think I am glad I stuck with it through the worst. If I can suggest anything, it would be to not change doses too often, as your body then cannot get used to it at all.

Hope you feel better soon!

25-01-13, 12:34
Thanks swgrl
Day 40
I slept Ok again but woke panicky.
I've been to the GP he was ready to change me onto Pregablin, he didn't want to give me anything too sedating because I have a busy lifestyle and he didn't think it would suit my personality - I'm a kind of get up and go kind of person. But after talking for few minutes he agreed that I should continue to take 5mg Escit over the weekend and then see how things are.
So I'm still nauseas, got diarrhoea, headache, numb lips, tingling, waves of panic, feel hopeless and scared. Anyone tried Pregablin?

27-01-13, 20:46
I've stopped the Escitalopram - I couldn't hack it, 6 weeks in and I felt awful. I took the last one nearly 48 hours ago and since then have felt worse :weep:. I now have electric shock sensations running through my body, constant nausea, intense panic and feel awful, I had a similar thing when I stopped Citalopram after only a few days of taking it, I guess the SSRI's are not for me.
So to Pregabalin or not, the other choices are Mitazepine or Amitriptyline, I have taken a couple of TCA's in the past and get pretty dopey on them but the panic lessens. I've got a drs appointment at 5 tomorrow so I'll try to decide before then
Love and hugs
(Like the new name? Remember the Tufty Club?)

27-01-13, 21:09

that's the effects of having no meds since Fri. God they sound horrendous
good luck with the decision, that's a hard enough tasks on its own!!

don't think you should use your hols if you sick, you don't get enough off them as it is!
I know you feel guilty but just think what your peers would do, I'm sure they would take sick. at the end of the day Sam you are just a number unfortunately so put your health first. I got to 55 before I realized this you are younger. unless you have hols to use by certain date.

28-01-13, 12:27
Sam I am so so sorry Cipraelx hasn't helped you and you feel so poorly at the mo, I totally feel for you. I hope your doctor helps you find a medicine that really helps you get well again and fast (: Thinking of you darl xxx

28-01-13, 21:54
Well I've taken my first Pregabalin, only 50mg. I've had a much better day today, the electric shock sensations are lessening and the panic is easier though I'm still anxious and the nausea is better too, so I guess the withdrawl effects are wearing off.
I started to feel more anxious about an hour ago, tingling fingers and toes? Probably just the thought of taking another med, so thought I'd get it over with and have got everything ready for tomorrow just in case I'm not quite with it in the morning and can just get up and go.
Here's hoping this is the one, meds so far:-
Imipramine (1996) - 1 month, less anxiety but zombie like
A MAOI (1997)- less than 1 month, can't remember which one or the effects
Citalopram (2003) - 3 days at 20mg resulted in electric shocks and admission to hospital
Venlafaxine (2003) - 1 week, whilst an inpatient - electric shocks, near constant panic
Lofepramine (2003/4) - 4 months, less anxiety but more depressed and slept 14 hours + a day
Fluoxetine (2004/12) - Between 20mg a day to 40mg a week, initially more depressed then occasional anxiety but stopped working after 8 years
Escitalopram (2012/13) - 6 weeks as posted on this thread
Pregabalin (2013/2015) - Fantastic drug, reduced the anxiety with minimal side effects :D this is my hope anyway
So my medication history is poor looking at this, up until 2004 I improved every time I stopped the medication but I know I need something to ease this anxiety and believe the Pregabalin will do the trick.
Anyway, 2 hours since the first dose and not noticed anything yet, just hoping I sleep better
Love and hugs

29-01-13, 11:44
How are you today Sam? I asked for Pregabalin at my last doctors but they refused me it but it is meant to be really good (and expensive!!!) I did a bit of reading up on it when I asked for it and it can take a few days to really start working and I think you can feel a bit out of it at first on it but all in all, I would def have taken it (:
I have my fingers crossed for you darl that you are soon feeling normal again after everything you have gone through. I think the Cipralex should really have started working if it was going to after 6 weeks as by then I was feeling so much better.
((((((((((((hugs Karen )))))))))))))))) xxx

30-01-13, 21:44
Thanks Karen, I think the symptoms I had over the weekend, like the electric shocks and increased nausea were due to Escitalopram withdrawl, after taking it for only 6 weeks and reducing it to 5mg it still wasn't pleasant.

So to Pregabalin:-
Day 1 - 50mg at 7pm
Day 2 - 50mg at Midday and 50mg at 8pm (couldn't take it first thing due to a family crisis) (100mg total)
Day 3 (today) 50mg at 8am, 50mg at 5pm and 50mg at 10pm (150mg total)

Side effects so far - not sleeping well (but not anxious whilst lying awake in bed)
and sometimes more talkative than normal. Nothing else new noticed but I still have the hot flashes, a little nausea, though this is much better.

I feel better than I have for 2 weeks, less anxiety and although I've had the stirrings of the start of a panic attack, they've not escalated and I've had none since Sunday, I didn't take the Pregabalin until Monday evening so it's not all down to that. So far, so good, no dizziness, feeling drunk or tiredness which are documented as the most common side effects.

I'll stick at the 150mg a day for the next two weeks if I continue to feel like this, I feel more like me, happier, less anxious, more motivated and optomistic.

30-01-13, 22:11
Sam am sorry that you have had such a rough time. It is good that you are feeling positive about the new med.


I loved the tufty club. My mum was mrs tufty for a while.....

31-01-13, 22:48
Day 4, 3 x 50mg every 8 hours (ish) = 150mg a day

I slept much better and for the first time felt the drunk side effect so many people complain of with Pregabalin. It wasn't scary though, it was quite a pleasant feeling, I stayed in bed until 11 and was nicely relaxed and happy.
I've been motivated and am no longer constantly thinking about how I feel, it's like I'm living again and am not consumed by anxiety. I still have a few moments but compared to the other meds I've tried the Pregabalin start up is a breeze (fingers crossed this continues).

Thanks sunshine, I wanted to be in the Tufty club but my mum wouldn't let me :mad:


02-02-13, 23:48
Day 6 150mg
Sleeping well but stuggling to wake up in the mornings.
Had a reasonable couple of days, miles better than I was a week ago but a few panic stirrings. Still very early days though. An annoying symptom that has returned tonight is the fizzing/tingling/burning tongue and lip sensation, I've experienced it on and off medication and I'm sure it's anxiety related. It doesn't panic me, it's just bloomin annoying and uncomfortable. I'm trying to think that brain is stimulating these nerves to tingle and that is a sign that the medication is working and is a positive symptom.
Nothing else to report
Love Sam

04-02-13, 16:49
Sounds promising Sam, you have a way with symptoms turning a negative into a positive. Wish I had more like that.

Take care xx

04-02-13, 23:00
Thanks Brenda

Day 8 200mg - I'm happy with how things are going, the Pregabalin is really good. I increased to 200mg a day yesterday as I was getting those tingles and more anxious and the symptoms have nearly gone again with no side effects from the increase. I feel a confidence in the Pregabalin I hadn't had in the other drugs, the side effects made me frightened of them but this is very different. It works quickly with no obvious side effects. I feel happier, calmer, less anxious but still motivated and spirited too, it hasn't made me dopey or drugged.
Life is good again :D
Love Sam

05-02-13, 01:22
This is great news. Wish it were so for everyone starting pregabalin.

05-02-13, 11:13
I am so happy for you Sam....:)

05-02-13, 11:16
Great news Sam :yahoo: xx

05-02-13, 17:51
Hi Sam

Lovely and positive....may it continue...pleased for you.:)


06-02-13, 17:06
Glad this drug is helping you Sam, as it is me.

I wasn't sure they were doing much after 9 weeks, but I forgot to take one yesterday and really felt the difference (my anxiety went sky high).

This also happened when I forgot one a few weeks ago, so it's certainly not a coincidence.

Good luck to you.

06-02-13, 22:13
Thank you for your comments and support everyone :)
Day 10 200mg and it's going well. After pretty awful effects with Prozac, Escitalopram, Citalopram and Venafexine, Pregabalin has been fantastic - no increase in panic at all. I am finding that as it gets closer to my next dose I get a little more anxious which may be psychological but it does have a short half life so it's possible, like you Mark I think I'd notice a missed dose and don't intend to.

I've been working as normal this week, without any panic :yahoo:When I'm not as busy I do still ruminate and can feel more anxious but no panic. The depression I felt whilst taking the Escitalopram has lifted completely, I feel 'normal' most of the time, occasionally I feel exhausted or more energetic - usually after periods of stress but they are not affecting me greatly.

I'm still on 200mg daily and happy on that, I was advised I could increase every 7 days and will see how I am at the weekend before increasing

love and hugs

08-02-13, 18:35
So glad this seems to finally be the one for you Sam x

I've not felt well
On escitalopram at all this past week after feeling great on it for many weeks so am scared it's pooping out on me. My little boy has had toothache all week though and
I've felt so helpless and worried. He had the tooth pulled finally yesterday and is totally fine now but l stll haven't calmed down yet. Gonna see how l go and speak to my doctor but l asked for pregabalin once before and the refused me it.....so so happy you feel so much better again Sam xxxx

09-02-13, 10:11
Thanks Karen, you've been doing so well on the Escitalopram and on it alot longer than I was, it's just a blip, everyone has them on meds or not. Are you still taking the Lorazepam? Try to stick it out, stick at the same dose of Escitalopram as you've been taking and see if this weeks any better. :hugs:

Day 13, 200mg of Pregabablin for 7 days.
I've had an OK week, not brilliant but the best week since the beginning of December. At work I felt normal - confident, calm and in control and in hindsight that felt amazing and has boosted my moral. I have noticed some bursts in energy, like yesterday I went dog walking with a friend for 3 hours, came home and spontaneously decided to wash the windows, inside and out. I am trying to pace myself but this week has been particularly difficult with family and work dramas so I've been busier than I normally would. I've coped well with them but am starting to feel the effects of this prolonged period of stress.
Yesterday I noticed my head was sore, not a headache but the skin on my head is sensitive to touch, I've been overeating which is my normal reaction to stress, I've been over doing things to avoid feeling and I've started ruminating more. I always know when I'm OK because I stop thinking and worrying about how I feel, this was reducing but in the last 24 hours has increased again.
Last night I didn't sleep well, probably due to the indian takeaway but today have the stirrings of panic, the gripey stomach (indian takeaway to blame again), tingling skin and mouth, I am worrying about how I feel and have that things aren't right gut feeling. So my plan is to keep busy, within reason, I am reading a good book at the moment so I can divide my busyness with periods of reading :). I am going to practice some relaxation later, I have become lazy about doing meditation and relaxation, though I know they are good for me and effective at stilling my mind and stopping my anxious thoughts for a while, so I am going to do some later. I am also going to increase the Pregabalin again, I increased from 150mg to 200mg 7 days ago and the stirrings of panic I had then quickly disappeared, so I will increase to 225 or 250 today. I have my GP's consent to increase the dose to a maximum of 600mg a day, he trusts me to do it slowly and knows I will not abuse medication and will take the minimum effective dose for me as I dislike drugs.
I've had no other side effects since starting the Pregabalin and so far I'd give it 8/10 for relief of anxiety
Love and hugs

10-02-13, 16:30
8/10 is really good Sam after such a short time and on quite a low dose by the sound so fit too if you can go right up to 600mg. Hope you slept a bit better last night, I had a terrible night and took more Lorazepam than I hould so now I am worrying over that but am gonna book to see the lady doctor on Tuesday and I hope she understands that I have just been really struggling this week. Pregabalin sounds ever so good all in all though, so I am really pleased you are finally getting some relief. So much for my old gp saying it wasn't effective for anxiety when I have read so many posts on this site saying how great it is, what he really meant is it is expensive, lol. I'm so disappointed with Escitalopram right now as I honeslty thought it was working wonderfully for me but I'm ruminating like mad again now and just dreading bed time incase I wake up after 2 hours again in a paniky mess. You keep getting better and better xxxx

13-02-13, 22:41
Sam how you doing?

13-02-13, 22:43
Day 17 250mg
May have spoke too soon, since Saturday I've not been so good. Not awful, like when taking SSRI's and the panic isn't as bad as before meds but the side effects of the Pregabablin have kicked in.

I kept busy over the weekend and felt OK, Monday morning I woke feeling more anxious and had several panic attacks at work but they were shorter than normal and I carried on as normal. Consequently I increased the dose of Pregabalin from 200mg to 250mg as I wasn't getting many side effects and had a better day yesterday, Tuesday. However today, my 3rd day at 250mg I have felt drunk, tired, irritable, sometimes talkative, tearful and just not right. I had to drive a couple of times and didn't feel quite right, something I've never had before, I wasn't able to concentrate on the road properly - so I'll keep an eye on that and may be walking or busing it if this continues. I've had few numb areas on my thighs develop, aching joints (I thought it was supposed to be good for pain:shrug:) and headaches for a few days but am trying not to take any notice of them.

I don't read the leaflets that come with drugs as it increases my anxiety and don't want to google it for fear of getting aload of negative stories about Pregabalin. I've read some of the posts on here from the Pregabalin thread but would welcome anybody's experience of side effects on Pregabalin - how long did they last and are mine normal?

I felt so good within a week of starting it that I won't give up on Pregabalin easily. I'm hoping that if I ride out these effects they will subside and I'll see a decrease in anxiety from the increased dose. At the moment I'm on a bit of a rollercoaster mood wise, I'm definately less anxious but I am having some mood swings - from happy, confident to uncertain, unhappy and panicky - I'm hoping the Pregabalin is just settling down and my moods will follow.

Love Sam

13-02-13, 23:00
or soz thought you'd cracked it with this one. Don't give up still only just over 2weeks very early still. Bit frightening about the drunk feeling and especially you driving just take it slowly and more cautious. You handle panic really well, especially at work that would freak me out especially working with public.

Take care, keep me posted hun xxx

little wren
14-02-13, 10:03
Hi Tufty

Hope it goes well. I have just started on pregabalin (alongside ssri) so I don't know about side effects. I have heard good things about this med. and I hope it continues working for you. It is hard trying to see what are side effects and whether a med. is actually helping or not. I hope someone with more experience of pregabalin answers you but I just wanted to wish you well.
little wren x

14-02-13, 10:58
It's unlikely that pregabalin would cause a panic attack. More likely, it would not be able to stop one, as it's more suited to controlling low level anxiety. Still, if you experience general anxiety combined with occasional panic attacks, it is worth taking.

Typical side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, and lack of coordination. These usually diminish the longer you take the medication.

15-02-13, 08:25
Sam I have my fingers crossed you will come through these side effects, 2 week is very early days as you say and you have the determination to keep on...rooting for you that this is the meds that actually works for you :hugs:Kaz xxxxxx

good luck xxxx

15-02-13, 18:04
Thank you guys, Pregabalin is certainly worth trying if you can get your doc to prescribe it.
Day 19 250mg
The drunk feelings didn't last long thankfully and I've been a lot more with it the last two days. I'm still having the mood swings, when I'm tired I seem to close down and can hardly talk but am functioning ok all things considered. I saw my doc today who was surprised and pleased with my improvement since stopping the escitalopram and starting the pregabalin, I was back to my normal cheeky, chirpy self but I did tell him that my mood is variable and changes quickly but it is not dramatic, it's not like a manic depressive mood swing but its not right.
He has given me 75 and 100 of pregabalin to adjust my doses until I feel ok, currently I'm taking 75/75/100. I tried 100 one morning and it zonked me out but from experience it seems that within a day or two I get tolerant to the increased dose side effects.
So a question for any Pregabalers out there, as my doc suggests I increase the dose as fast as the side effects allow, how quickly did you increase, how long does it take on a dose until you know if its going to work for you or not? I don't think my doc has much experience of this medication and is really leaving it me to find the right dose through trial and error. I've been on 250 for 5 days now, I've had few side effects for 48 hours, no panic for 4 days but still feel anxious, with typical physical symptoms of anxiety and worrying unduly about the future. (For instance my husband said this morning that by the time we retire the pensionable age will be 70 and I immediately thought OMG, I can't work until I'm 70 and had a little rush of panic over his comment - that wouldn't be my normal reaction, I'd normally think, oh that's ok, it's years away and not worth worrying about as I can't change it) So, do I go up to 300 or do I leave it longer on this dose? I'm inpatient to feel better but don't want to take more than necessary, I'd be grateful for any advice
Love Sam

17-02-13, 16:06
Day 21 250mg
Much the same, still anxious with a few depressive thoughts thrown in too now :mad:. I just don't feel right, it's not the awful panic rushes that I sometimes have but I still have that gut sinking feeling that all is not right in my world and I'm questioning things alot - like will I ever get better, what if this is it etc - bloomin hate this.
I'll stick at 250mg for another week and see how it goes before increasing.
I'd still like to hear from anyone who's been on 250 or lower and increased to 300 or higher and felt better.
I've started taking 100 morning and 150 night as I was forgetting the mid afternoon dose, it's not very practical with work and stuff. Saying that today, I took 150 at 9 last night and didn't take the 100 until midday, as it's Sunday and I had a lie in, I actually felt OK. I'm getting burning/numb/fizzy lips and tiredness about 2 hours after taking the morning dose but it's getting alittle easier.

18-02-13, 01:33
I felt improving benefits going up to the maximum daily dose of 600 mg.

I think Mark13 has had a fairly up and down journey going up to 600 mg per day. You may want to check out some of his posts.

20-02-13, 18:13
That's right hanshan

Up and down it was, but not too bad.

I went from 75mg twice a day to 300mg twice a day over about 5 weeks.

I tolerated the drug well, apart from the odd drunken feeling and some double-vision, which lessened with better timing between the doses.

You may want to discuss twice daily doses with your Doc Tufty, it's much cheaper for them (about 60 a month as opposed to 90 for 3 times) and the benefit for you is it's easier to keep track.

Missing the odd dose makes my anxiety increase quickly, so I keep a few in my work bag in case I forget the morning one:)

Good luck to you Tufty.

20-02-13, 21:00
Thank you guys, I've been on 250mg daily for 10 days now, 100 am and 150 pm and I've improved lots over the last week. Twice daily dosing is much easier for me to remember Mark and as I try to eat with each dose it's reduces the times I have to eat outside of normal mealtimes.

Day 24 - best day for about 10 weeks - probably since the beginning of December. No panic, no anxiety and feeling pretty good. Spaced out feeling has gone, I had no vacant moments at all today :D

20-02-13, 22:01
Nice one Sam, excellent news! Pleased for you also bit jell lol glad you finally got there.

21-02-13, 02:11
I can agree about missing a dose. I woke up at 5.00 am one morning last week feeling quite odd and negative in a way I hadn't for a long time. I got up and saw my evening dose of pregabalin and mirtazapine sitting on the kitchen table that I'd put out and forgotten to take.

Because my mood has been fairly stable in recent times, I'd thought perhaps I could reduce my dosage, but this tells me it may not be a good idea, or if I did I'd have to go about it very gradually.

little wren
21-02-13, 07:22
Tufty so glad pregabalin is working for you...it helps someone like me who is just starting it. I have now increased my dose but it does still seem pretty low to what others are taking. Yet I think it is starting to work.

hanshan I agree if you decide to reduce medication it is prudent to do it gradually particularly if you were on a high dose or have taken it for a long time. I think the same goes when starting to increase a medication - I was told it reduces side effects.

22-02-13, 17:07

Really pleased for you. I hope you continue to get benefit from the drug.


I've considered dropping the dosage myself, especially since I've experienced a few memory problems. I'm used to forgetting stuff but then recalling it when reminded, but I'm completely forgetting entire conversations (not happening a lot, but enough to be disturbing).

When I was adjusting to the drug I was in a Supermarket with my wife, and I suddenly didn't know which one we were in, not even the city, or even remember how we got there.

Such fun :)

I have read official documentation (NHS prescribing guidance) that there is no extra benefit over 400mg and even that 400 is better than 600mg.

Might have a chat with my Doc soon.

Also I feel like I've lost 50 IQ points and my typing is awful now.

little wren
22-02-13, 17:22
I've considered dropping the dosage myself, especially since I've experienced a few memory problems.

Also I feel like I've lost 50 IQ points and my typing is awful now.

Sorry for interrupting as I know the thread was to Hanshan, but I am on pregabalin in a hope it will not affect my memory/thinking (as prozac is doing). May I ask what dose this happened at Mark?

little wren x

22-02-13, 18:17
May I ask what dose this happened at Mark?
little wren x
The memory problems started with 150mg a day, but to be fair I can only think of 2 isolated incidents (the disorientation in the Supermarket and a forgotten conversation) but I found both incidents rather disturbing.

As for feeling a bit stupid at the moment, I'm under stress at work, and I have memory and concentration problems caused by a brain condition anyway, so, although I think the pregabalin has made certain symptoms worse, most were pre-existing, so it's hard to definitively pin down the exact cause.

Sorry if I worried anyone :)

22-02-13, 18:31
I have been taking 300mg for 9 months now. I went out with my Mum one day a couple of weeks ago and tried to have a conversation with the sales person in an aquarium store. All the words I needed to use had disappeared, I was dumbfounded to say the least. I was finding it hard to have a normal conversation with anyone at all. Also I wasn't sure if the Pregabalin was having a positive effect on my anxiety anymore.
I decided to reduce my dose and went down to 150mg in the space of a week, too quickly I now realise. I developed a terrible rash and was itching all over day and night. The only relief I had was from taking antihistamine. My anxiety levels also increased.
Yesterday I decided to resume my original dose of 300mg. Therefore I would suggest that anyone wanting to reduce their dose of Pregabalin, discuss your options with your GP.

22-02-13, 23:47
Day 26

Didn't have such a good day yesterday - I woke with that sinking, something isn't quite right feeling, it escalated and I took another 50mg and I felt a bit better.

Today has been much better and I've taken another 50mg during the day, so it looks like I'm on 300mg daily now :blush:.

I've had a few drunken feelings since starting the Pregabalin and some difficulty finding words, but these have been minimal and worse when increasing the dose. I had the missing word thing due to anxiety before so that's no biggy, my memory hasn't been affected so far and the initial euphoria disappeared quickly, too quickly for my liking.

Hope all you other Pregabalers are doing OK
Love Sam

23-02-13, 11:07
I think the thread is Tufty's. I hope he / she doesn't mind.

Mark - you haven't worried or upset anyone. We are all trying to deal with the effects of the various medications we are taking, and they all affect everyone differently.

I haven't had any memory problems with pregabalin, but Mark and Bobbydog have, so it's something to be taken seriously.

little wren
23-02-13, 11:58
Tufty so sorry x I follow your thread each time I log - sorry to interrupt.x:blush:

23-02-13, 20:50
Please feel free to discuss Pregabalin or anything else you want to on this thread, I like to hear peoples experiences.

I took my 100mg of Pregab as normal this morning and felt great until about 2pm, since then I've been anxious, getting waves of panic and that uneasy feeling. I took another 50mg at 2pm as I have done the last few days but the anxiety has continued to increase and I've got myself into a bit of a state - first time since starting the Pregabs 4 weeks ago. The only thing I've done different is I took this morning dose without food and I've been busier than normal these last few days both physically and mentally doing all those things I've not done these past few months now I'm feeling good again.

The panic feelings are still as terrifying as I remember them, I haven't got so many physical symptoms of anxiety but mentally it's the same as before. I'm wondering if the Pregab has ceased working, if I'm going to feel like this tomorrow how I'll get through the day and loads more what ifs, it's like the anxiety strips away all rational thinking. I was fine until 2pm today but now feel like I've slipped back into a black hole.

I've taken my normal 150mg with tea at 6.30 but I still feel jittery and can't wait for bed.
I'm hoping this blip is short lived, anyone got any suggestions or advice?
Love (a disappointed and scared) Sam

23-02-13, 21:28
Or Sam
I was rooting for you, thinking this was the one for you.

Don't go thinking it's not working for you at no give it time still early days.
It's horrible when we get the chatterbox going, the what if's don't know what's the worst the physical symptoms or the chattering!!!!
Why don't you take 2mg of D,just to bring you down a little? You havnt had any for a while, otherwise you'll stay in the high anxiety state and it might disrupt your sleep tonight.

Do some mindful breathing Focus on your stomach .

Take care hun xxxx

23-02-13, 21:35
Thanks Brenda - I haven't taken any Diazepam or Zopiclone since starting the Pregabalin, I haven't even thought about them, it goes to show just how good I've been feeling. You're right a little Diazepam may be just what I need to calm me down.
Thanks for the kind words

24-02-13, 01:24
Hi Sam,

The feeling I get from reading various posts about pregabalin is that it's not much good if a panic attack comes on. Pregabalin helps with day-to-day low level anxiety, but if a panic attack comes, taking a benzodiazepine or related drug is what will stop it.

I don't know if that's a long-term strategy that your doctor will go along with. The doctor might want to try another approach, such as adding an AD.

Take care.

little wren
24-02-13, 07:45
Hi sam

Thanks for your reassurance (even though it sounds like you are suffering) I am still learning about posting... this is the only internet site I have ever joined.

If I remember were you not on prozac before? I know some of the ssri's have been licensed for panic disorders. If it helped reduce the panic before maybe try an ssri again (a different one to the ones you've tried). One of the reasons I went on pregabalin was to improve the performance of ssri (I get bad side effects from ssri and so cannot tolerate the higher dose). The NHS website choice and medication suggests pregabalin can improve the effects of ssri. x I think pregabalin taken by itself is for GAD, not panic.

24-02-13, 16:17
Thanks guys, that makes perfect sense and I'll make another appointment with my GP to discuss adding an antidepressant, it's a shame as the Pregabalin was going so well up until now. It was the same with Escitalopram, after 2 weeks I started feeling better but at 4 weeks I felt alot worse and continued it until 6 weeks when I stopped and started feeling better :doh:
I don't know if I have GAD, I was an anxious child but it didn't affect my life, I was very controlling and a perfectionist until I was about 33 I then learnt the hard way that there's more to life than having a clean house and giving everything 100%, the stress and exhaustion caused illness and I reassessed what was important to me. So for the last 10 years I have had a happy, mostly anxiety free existence, I have a busy life, a professional, stressful job and a house and family to care for but I manage it all with no anxiety BUT the stress builds up and I then get panic attacks - is this GAD? Would I be better just taking benzos as and when or going back on an antidepressant? I cannot face taking another SSRI, the start up effects nearly finished me off last time :ohmy:.

I believed the Pregab would help with the panic but I am doubting it now. I'm still jittery today, I've been out and walked the dog for a few hours, the rest of my family are on Dartmoor training for the Ten Tors challenge, so I walked somewhere new, somewhere isolated but I didn't panic but I still feel uneasy and not right. I wish I had a safe place that people talk about, somewhere I could escape from the panic but I haven't, if I feel bad I feel bad, I could climb a mountain, fly round the world, abseil, parascend but it wouldn't increase or decrease my feelings of unease, I may feel better I may feel worse but the feelings come from within and nothing external influence them much. Is this GAD? I'm confused, everyone who knows me can't believe I'm anxious - I'm a confident, strong woman with a good life, loving family and friends, I have everything I want and am content so why do I get these overwhelming feelings of panic?

Anyway, roast dinner to cook, it's Sunday after all
Love and hugs to all

25-02-13, 04:47
Hi Sam,

Sorry to hear that things aren't going so well.

It does sound more like panic disorder to me than GAD. With GAD, you'd be overly worrying about all the normal things of life, eg job, finances, and family, etc. I'm not qualified to say, however - it's something you need to talk over with your doctor.

Until you find a long-term solution, it's probably not a bad idea to keep some benzodiazepines for occasional use.

Take care.

little wren
25-02-13, 07:31
Hi sam

Ive found a lot of disorders overlap and do not fit neatly into categories. Also a person may have more than one disorder at a time - I don't think its clean cut. I think doctors probably assess all symptoms and say it mostly fits with this disorder rather than that. There is no reason why you couldn't have GAD and panic disorder.

I understand about the nasty side effects of ssri's - the meds appear 'coarse' and unrefined compared to pregabalin (mind you I am only starting on pregab.). Perhaps there are other anti-depressants that you could try away from the ssri group. It might mean switching from pregabalin to another medication entirely or it might be added alongside it. I am still in the process of seeing if pregab works alongside ssri for me.
As for benzos I have no experience of them.

Take care and hope you feel better soon x

26-02-13, 11:44
Sam how are you darl????

26-02-13, 21:36
Day 30
Still not so good. This is the worst day since starting Pregabalin.
The physical symptoms of anxiety have returned, the buzzing mouth, sweats, tense in chest. Feeling fed up.
Any advice from Pregabaler - I was on 250mg for 10 days, took 300mg for 2 days and have been on 350mg for the past 3 days - do I keep going up until I feel OK? I know I'm increasing in very low increments but am worried that I'm feeling worse and not better.
I haven't felt the initial euphoria or drunk feelings since being on 200mg - does that mean there not working?

26-02-13, 23:15
I haven't felt the initial euphoria or drunk feelings since being on 200mg - does that mean there not working?
I thought the very same thing, but I was wrong.

I did go up the dosages a little quicker than you, I felt each dosage was starting to wear off quickly till I got to 450 and then 600mg.

Twice a day works fine for me (300mg x 2).

Even though I still feel tense and worry a lot, I'm nowhere near as obsessive or fearful as I was, and rarely get the cold sweats, churning stomach, crawling skin that I used to get every day.

It's no "happy" pill for me, but it's taken over 50% of my daily anxiety away. Long may it continue to work :)

BTW from what I read 400-600mg is the most effective dosage range for GAD.

This is from the BMJ, relating to a study of pregabalin for GAD:

High dose pregabalin (600 mg/day), but not low dose pregabalin (150 mg/day), significantly improved symptoms compared with placebo at 4 weeks"


27-02-13, 10:46
Thanks Mark,
I didn't ponder it for long last night, I took 200mg, so now I'm on 400mg a day. Thanks for the link, I've read other studies saying similar things but you know how it is - you think if you take a lower dose it means you're not as bad, it somehow feels better knowing you're taking less, well that's how may addled brain works anyway.

Day 31 Increased to 400mg yesterday and feeling much better :)

Feeling a little sedated and drunk this morning but in a nice way, it's much easier than constant anxiety.

So I'm on a study day tomorrow and planning to go by train in the city, it's about a 40 minute train journey and I'm going with a colleague but I'll be a way from home with no transport. It will be a challenge but I'm going to float through it and try and think so what if I'm anxious and panicky, let it happen, I am OK.
Well that's the plan anyway, we'll see

27-02-13, 17:23
Hi Sam

I do understand your thinking regarding dosages.

However my thinking is a bit more "black & white".

If someone asks me what I take, it's mirtazapine & pregabalin, only on forums like these, or between ourselves and our GPs are the doses relevant.

I'm on the lowest dose of mirt and the highest of pregabalin, but I'm still on both if that makes sense. I still feel I'm on both equally.

As with most people, I just take the dosage that works for me.

Anyone who thinks badly of a person because they take drugs to treat anxiety will not be interested in whether you are on the lowest dose or the highest :) That said, there's not as much stigma attached to these things nowadays.

I don't tell everyone on my section about my condition or medication, but neither would I hide anything if asked a direct question.

I think I'm wandering of the point now....:)

28-02-13, 10:31
Oh dear - I'm really worried now. Do 50% of doctors and nurses need to be taking antidepressants? What does this say about our society?

As for doses - don't worry about how much you have to take. I've always been fairly resistant to any medication, so I always say "Give me the maximum dose" straightaway. Here in Japan where I am currently working, I tell the doctor that we foreign devils have big bodies and need stronger doses than our gentler cousins in Japan (or something like that).

As for why you are taking medication - just be vague. I tell some of my closer friends I'm taking some medication to control anxiety (but not too technical - eg "It's because I worry too much"). For anyone else, I say it is for blood pressure or heart problems (my heart occasionally flips into arrhythmnia). Most people really don't want to know about your health problems, particularly if you're walking and talking and seem normal to them - they've got health problems of their own.

Anyway, don't feel bad if you need to move up to 600 mg of pregabalin. On the other hand, if it doesn't work at that dose, no increase is likely to have any effect.

Take care.

28-02-13, 17:12
Oh dear - I'm really worried now. Do 50% of doctors and nurses need to be taking antidepressants? What does this say about our society?
In the "old days" I remember there were always Doctors who smoked heavily or drank alcohol to excess, whilst telling you it was bad for your health.

Maybe anti-depressants are the 21st century version of dealing with the high stress of that particular profession. It's probably less destructive long term too than "booze & fags".

As for dosage, well my weight seems to be shooting back up this week for no reason (other than fluid build up presumably) so I may ask my Doc if I can try dropping the dosage to 400mg - I read somewhere official (prescribing guidance, I'll find a link) that 400 was actually more potent than 600.

Here wre are...this is from the Greater Manchester (West) Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust prescribing guidance:
"N.B Doses of above 450mg daily not thought to be any more effective Ref Bazire Psychotropic Drug Directory 2009. 400mg more effective than 600mg (NICE)
Prescribing twice daily dose is cheaper than three times daily dose"

I realise this contradicts the link I posted yesterday showing that 600mg is best - like all medical matters there are conflicting opinions :)

01-03-13, 00:35
Note that the figures of 400 mg and 600 mg are based on averages from clinical trials. There will always be smaller numbers of people who respond at higher or lower doses.

01-03-13, 00:53
Of course. Just as there are people who don't respond to the drug at all whatever the dosage.

01-03-13, 21:33
Day 33

Very true comments about the dosage of meds guys, I took 20mg of Prozac 2-3 times a week for 8 years, well below the recommended therapeutic dose and my GP was sceptical that it was doing anything but time has proved that it was because when I stopped it I started with this episode (just in case you're wondering and haven't read all my posts :blush: I started Prozac again and took it for 9 months at various doses 40mg a day down to 10mg a day but it didn't work) I've read more about the Prozac clinical trials and it appears that dosing as low as 5mg works for alot of people but a one fits all dose is licensed for prescribing. So I'm sceptical about recommended dosage for anti anxiety drugs, I'm increasing fairly quickly without a problem at the moment.

I'm now on 450mg, which according to most of the trials is as effective as 600mg, I woke feeling drunk this morning, which I enjoyed and I felt very happy and out of it, it was great. That lasted until lunchtime, I had an anxiety free afternoon and it has only started peeking through this evening so I'm looking forward to tonights dose in the hope I wake feeling drunk again. From experience I know this is unlikely, I seem to build tolerance to these side effects very quickly and unfortunately the positive benefits of the drug also but I'm hopeful that this increased dose will work and eliminate the anxiety.
I'm taking 250mg at night, 150 in the morning and 50mg mid afternoon, I'm going to try 200mg in the morning over the weekend and try to get down to twice daily doses again but have been worried about taking this amount with working, hopefully by Monday I'll be used to that dose.

Love and hugs to all

02-03-13, 12:33
Hi Sam,

Hope the increased dose works well for you. If you are in the 400 - 600 mg per day range, any further increase is unlikely to be beneficial (although everyone is different).

02-03-13, 21:06
Hi Sam

Glad to see things are going smoothly with pregabalin.

I plan on seeing my GP about reducing my dose to 400 from 600, as I feel I may get less side effects but the same benefits.

Good luck.

little wren
03-03-13, 08:10
Hi sam
When you say it makes you feel drunk do you mean relaxed and not so bothered about things? I am not a big drinker - I have heard others mention this 'drunk feeling'. Sos for such a basic question. x

03-03-13, 16:34
No probs Little wren, I would describe the drunk feeling as feeling disorientated and a little dizzy and yes not worrying so much about stuff, but not in a dangerous way, it was very subtle.

Thanks Mark and hanshan for your comments and good wishes.

Day 35, 450mg (200mg am and 250mg pm)

I feel like I'm on a different planet, like a total space cadet. My face and mouth is numb, I have some tingling along my cheeks and lips but otherwise it's all pretty numb. My brain feels numb too, I don't feel like me at all. This is the 3rd day at this dose and I remember feeling like this after 3 days increase before so I'm trying to sit it out. I can walk and talk, but I wouldn't want to drive, I have tingling down my right side too but I'm not scared by it. I have work tomorrow and I'm not worried about feeling like this then, so I guess the Pregabalin is having the desired effect on my brain but the other unwanted effects are somewhat irksome to say the least :D.

The other issue I have with it is the weight gain. I hadn't mentioned it before because I thought it was quite shallow and felt so bad that I didn't care about a bit of extra weight, but after 6 weeks I have gained 10lbs. It all seems to be round my middle and thighs and it's not doing much for my confidence. I have been eating a little more at times but not excessively, I've been as active as usual - actually a little more so and this weight gain does not add up. My clothes are much tighter and this makes me feel uncomfortable and crap :weep:


03-03-13, 22:32

I would c..p myself if i had those symptoms, feeling like that would heighten my anxiety and I'd be sat in chair to scared to move.

Your a warrior

Take care xxxx

04-03-13, 05:27
Hi Sam,

Hopefully the tingling and spaced-out feeling will subside soon, otherwise you may need to pull back on your dosage, at least for a while.

Sorry to hear about the dreaded weight gain. Some of it may be increased fluid retention, in which case it should level out and not keep going. If you are in energy balance, it doesn't take much extra food intake to gain weight, eg five 100 kcal chocolate biscuits extra per day will put on about a pound a week (I'm not suggesting you eat chocolate biscuits!). I'm of the persuasion that pregabalin plays around with the weight regulation system in some way eg by making us feel more hungry more often, or less full, but there's still a lot of research needed to be done on this.

Good luck with it, and work on Monday.

little wren
04-03-13, 06:44
No probs Little wren, I would describe the drunk feeling as feeling disorientated and a little dizzy and yes not worrying so much about stuff, but not in a dangerous way, it was very subtle.

The other issue I have with it is the weight gain. I hadn't mentioned it before because I thought it was quite shallow and felt so bad that I didn't care about a bit of extra weight, but after 6 weeks I have gained 10lbs.


Tufty thanks for explaining - I already get the dizzy feeling.

As for worrying about weight gain it is by no means shallow. Some people aren't bothered, but for some (women in particular) it really is an issue. I bet loads of people can relate to what you wrote (albeit for various different medications). Fingers crossed for you that you start to feel a bit better x

04-03-13, 12:49
Weight gain is not a trivial issue. In some ways I'd like to suggest that doctors starting out patients on medications associated with weight gain warn them of a possible weight gain, weigh them, and tell them to check back in two weeks for a weigh-in and possible diet plan. Well, yes ... when is that going to happen? The doctors don't let on and the patients put on weight.

04-03-13, 16:02
With regard to weight gain and pregabalin, I did a little experiment.

I've maintained my weight for 5 years on mirtazapine by using Weight Watchers. So I know how my body responds to a certain amount of points per day.

So, without looking at the weight I was at the end of November when I started pregabalin, I listed all the points I'd had for each week, and next to those I put the weight difference that I would expect to have for that week.

I then looked at the weight I was when I started pregabalin and the weight I am now, and the calculations tallied.

Which means while on pregabalin I've put on 10 pounds, but it's all due to over-eating. So, the drug gives me an increased appetite, but it's the amount I'm eating that's doing the damage.

That proves (for me) that the drug is associated with weight gain only because it gives you a ravenous appetite at times.

So, in theory, if I can control the "munchies" I can still lose weight. Time will tell :)

04-03-13, 20:52
Thanks guys,
'A warrior' I like that Brenda, I do feel that if I can get through this I can do anything and face any challenge. When I recovered from anxiety last time I tried not to look back on what had happened and my feelings because it was so scary thinking that it could not possibly happen again, how niave. Anyone who has suffered with anxiety should be greatly respected.
As for the weight gain, it's annoying and depressing but to have anxiety is worse as it stops me functioning. I accept Mark that at times over the past 6 weeks I have eaten more than I needed to but I feel fatter than expected! I over eat at Christmas and may put on a few pounds but this feels different. I have a colleague who is on Gabapentin, a similar drug to Pregab, and she swears that it has made her gain weight. I hope that as I start to feel better I will be able to start running again and monitor my food intake, the weight does seem to have stabalised and I'm eating a normal amount for me again. When I was anxious I wasn't able to eat much so maybe it's the change from eating little to eating more than normal that has made all the extra calories store as blubber :D
The numbness of my face has improved today, it's still there a little but much better, the tinglings still there and I'm still a bit spaced out, but less so. The anxiety has virtually gone and the little that is left is easy to ignore because I couldn't give a stuff about anything. I hope this indifference, poor memory and lack of inhibitions wears off as it's not really me. It's not awful, I'm not completely without feeling or doing anything reckless but I hope I find a balance between anxiety and doped up/spaced out/careless.
Day 37 and 4 at 450mg

05-03-13, 04:17
We're not normally aware of it but there are multiple hormones being secreted by different parts of the body controlling hunger and the digestion of food. Parts of the brain respond to these. If a psychoactive medicine changes the brain's response, it may mean that the person's ability to determine how much they have eaten in terms of what's normal is no longer functioning properly.

This is why I adopt the approach of counting up energy consumed each day - I can no longer rely on instinct to judge the right amount, so I have to rely on maths.

Hope the numbness and indifference continue to fade so you can feel more like yourself, only without anxiety.

05-03-13, 16:32
Thanks guys,

As for the weight gain, it's annoying and depressing but to have anxiety is worse as it stops me functioning. I accept Mark that at times over the past 6 weeks I have eaten more than I needed to but I feel fatter than expected! I over eat at Christmas and may put on a few pounds but this feels different. I have a colleague who is on Gabapentin, a similar drug to Pregab, and she swears that it has made her gain weight.
Now you mention it, I do feel more bloated and full than usual, which isn't necessarily due to the weight gain.

My wife also does Weight Watchers, but she's lost 40 lbs in 15 months - for about a year she's been on Gabapentin for nerve pain.

So, as hanshan has lost weight on pregabalin and my wife has on gabapentin, both associated with weight gain, then it is possible.

It's not remotely easy though, as I'm finding out.:weep:

07-03-13, 21:49
Day 40, 7 at 450mg

hanshan, you're right my brain isn't functioning properly when it comes to determining how much I have eaten and I'm blameing it all on the Pregabalin! I've started counting calories on Myfitnesspal - an online resource for weight management and I'm eating more than I am expending :doh: I'm finding it harder to cut down though, I can eat mindlessly and can find half a pack of biscuits gone before I've registered I've even one :shrug:

Good luck with the diet Mark, I've realised part of the reason for my bloated stomach is that what is going in isn't necessarily coming out as quick :blush: I guess when I am anxious food has a quicker transit through my gut and it's slowed right down, I'm aware of that now so I'm remedying it.

I'm much the same, the numbness is less but the intermittant tingling in my face is still present. My anxiety levels vary throughout the day, usually non existant in the morning and increasing during the afternoon and evening. I've tried to jiggle the doses around to eradicate this change is mood but it's not working. Today for instance I felt great this morning, completely normal, that lasted until about 4pm when I started to feel more anxious. I then had two hours or so of analysing stuff, things that had happened in the past, feeling depressed but very intense and scary feelings. Now, at 9pm I'm tired, headachey and still anxious but not depressed. How things can change in few hours :shrug:


09-03-13, 19:09
Good luck with the diet Mark, I've realised part of the reason for my bloated stomach is that what is going in isn't necessarily coming out as quick :blush: I guess when I am anxious food has a quicker transit through my gut and it's slowed right down, I'm aware of that now so I'm remedying it.

Wow, that's pretty much the same problem as me. To put it politely:I'm not "doing" as much when I go :ohmy:

May I ask how you are remedying this, Sam?


10-03-13, 14:30
Hi Sam

Sorry your still having problems with meds, just reading back it does look like you said the med seems to drop off hence the symptoms you feel.
Could you not sort of equal more doses out so that they co inside say with you break,lunch,break, break or something like that. Just so you don't have a long wait till your next dose at bedtime,then you might not get these feeling at 4ish.

Just a thought! You any better.

Take care xx

10-03-13, 20:04
Day 42, 450mg Pregabalin

Mark I bought some Dulcoease from the pound shop! I know I should say I've eaten lots of fruit and veg and drank smoothies or something but fraid not. I took the easy option and it worked ok, very mild. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on which way you look at it, I don't need any help in that department at the mo, the anxiety has been increasing again and I've had a few flashes of adrenaline shall we call them and I am beckoned to the toilet.

Hi Brenda, I tried taking it 3 times a day and was better until this last week when after the afternoon dose I started getting hot flashes, I couldn't talk properly because my mouth was dry and I couldn't find the right words, I kept repeating myself, couldn't remember stuff and was in danger of being incompetent at work. I've returned to the same dose but twice aday but it's not going well. How are you?

6 weeks and not good. It's been brewing since Thursday, so three days, I've carried on regardless not to run away from how I feel or distract too much. Today has not been good, I didn't sleep well which is the first time since starting the Pregabalin and had a little anxiety on waking. I took my meds as normal and carried on about my day, but I've gone through a range of emotions from happy and calm to despairing.

For the past two weeks I've been reminiscing and thinking about stuff that happened nearly 30 years ago. I've never been one for looking back and reflecting on what has been, I'm much more of a shut the door on that and look forward, believing you can't change what has been but you can change your future. However 4-6 hours after the daytime dose of Pregabalin I seem to get this undeniable need to think about things that happened earlier in my life. This is affecting me quite deeply and in a negative way. I know and understand why I am like I am, that some bad things happened during my earlier years but I can't seem to stop thinking about them at certain times in the day. It's as if the Pregabalin is opening the box that I have put these things into, I have examined them in the past and chosen to put them in a box.

Cor, that's deep isn't it but I want to be shallow and those things to stay in that box and so am thinking that Pregabalins days are numbered in my life. I've never had this before and although it isn't pleasant as I feel it's out of my control it is not my biggest problem.
I still have the facial tingling and numbness, the problems I talked about earlier with Brenda and a spaced out feeling. However I still have anxiety, including flashes of panic resulting in hot flashes, a feeling that I can't cope and pure fear. I am not going to increase the Pregabalin if it's going to be effective it should be at 450mg, I'll stick with it for a couple more days before sadly decreasing if there's no improvement. I say sadly because out of all the drugs I've tried Pregabalin has been the easiest to start, I loved the initial euphoric feeling and even the spaced out feeling at times but it's not cutting it as an anti-anxiety medication for me :weep:.

I do feel like I'm stacking up a poor track record of failed medication, does this mean I'm closer to finding the right one? I'm positive the right one is out there.
Now I did say I would never go near another SSRI again after Escitalopram but I'm thinking of Sertraline - never tried it and I think it's a bit like Marmite :D

Love to all

10-03-13, 20:24
Hi Sam, sertraline was an absolute life saver for me sister, she had an eating disorder, anxiety and depression and it was the sert that pulled her through, shes now so well shes tapering very slowly down xx

12-03-13, 17:00
Hi Sam,:)

Is it getting any better for you? And have yo started your decrease yet?

Me I'm just plodding along, mood is ok ish anxiety wise it when I have to do things and see people with me even my family I've become social phobic.
Psych wants to add in 2.5mg olanzapine, but once again I'm scared,scared of what it might cause! Said I would think about it.
Sometimes I think what is normal! As I get older and have had this for many years is this what I'm like now and I'm looking for somebody I'm not(if that makes sense)
I keep dreaming about people from my past! Ex husband, friends and pubs I used to go in and then the other night back to my school days when I was about 12 and girl I used to know. Really weird.

Still got that metal taste! Doctor's say it might be sinus, and to breathe over steam vapour,not convinced it's this but will do it got one of the facial steam things.

Take care. Xx

17-03-13, 09:38
Sam I am so sorry you still are feeling so hit and miss darl. I'm opposite to you, I wake up feeling bad and not exactly anxious much of the time but really depressed and jittery but it goes away by about 10am and then I am normally perfect tight till the next day. This is how it has always been for me starting up and Ad until I suddenly wake up feeling ok too. I am having to increase Escitalopram again though by another quarter hoping that will get those early mornings sorted out and I can ditch the Lorazepam. Have you felt better than been on Escitalopram though or about the same???
I took Sertraline for about a week once, my very first SSRI but I was pregnant with my little boy at the time and having the worst anxiety I have ever known so I moved onto Citalopram which made me feel worse but decided to just stick with it. Sertraline is supposed to very good for anxiety though I hear once it kicks in so once again good luck in what you decide to do and I hope one of these days you come on here and tell us you are feeling great (:
Brenda how are you today??? I'm having a good weekend, despite my rocky early morning starts but I'm fine otherwise. I've never heard of the pills your doctor is wanting to put you on. I got given an antihistamine pill a few weeks back to help me sleep and I was even scared of taking that wondering if I would get side effects so it's only normal to worry how these pills are going to make us feel, especially as an anxiety sufferer. ((((Hugs Karen )))) xxx

20-03-13, 21:26
Thank you for the kind messages girls, I've been checking in to the forum daily but not felt like updating, just bored of feeling naff I think

Day 52 Pregabalin and Day 6 Sertraline

Over the past 8 days I have decreased the Pregabalin from 450mg daily to 300mg. I started Sertraline at 12.5mg, the doctor I saw, not my normal doctor, thought I shouldn't start Sertraline whilst on the Pregabalin due to the sedating effects of both drugs and suggested I get down to 100mg of Pregabalin a day before starting 50mg Sertraline a day. So as a compromise, with the agreement of my doctor I started the Sertraline at 12.5mg whilst reducing the Pregabalin.

The first 4 days on the Sertraline were great, no side effects noted and I think it even reduced my depressed thinking - I am sceptical that it could work that quick but I definately felt less depressed. But for 24 hours I have been feeling more anxious :mad:, tight chest, twitchy muscles and feeling crap. I took some Propanolol earlier which did seem to help but it's effects have worn off now. It's nothing like the Prozac or Escitalopram start up but it's bloomin annoying and scary after feeling better. I know it may be the reduction in Pregabalin so I'm going to keep things as they are, no more reducing or increasing meds until this wobble has settled.

I'm now in week 53 of this episode of anxiety, although I've had some good weeks the bad times have outnumbered the good. I'm praying that the Sertraline is the one for me.


21-03-13, 00:53
:) Hang in there! Sentraline is the second medication i tried long tern after Citalophram for anxiety and it works miracles, but it took at least 2 to 3 weeks to notice a significant difference for me. On the first couple weeks i combined it with xanax to take the edge off. Now i'm on the medication for 9 weeks and i'm 95% normal again. I haven't touched xanax for 1.5 month now (i was scarred of addiction):blush::D

Give it time it works!!
All the best :yesyes:

21-03-13, 09:29
Thank you anicko, that's just what I needed to hear. The anxiety has increased today, I know this is my normal reaction to SSRI's and it's not as bad as the Escitalopram or Prozac start up so I'm sitting it out and practicing my CBT - it's just a wave of adrenaline that's all.
I hope I'm in the same position as you in 8 weeks time, what dose did you start on and what are you taking now?

21-03-13, 09:56
I've been given a prescription for sertraline today. This time I lasted 4.5 months without any meds - though I should have known it was not going to last with all the 'unchallenged' background anxieties and worries. I'm a bit daunted about taking it though...I guess the initial start-up effects are an issue, as with possible libido issues (its bad enough as it is at the moment!)

21-03-13, 21:41
Started on 0.25mg for 3 days and after that 0.50mg ever since.
The only issues i had at the beginning was diarrhea. I was already in a state of continuous everyday anxiety so i cant tell if i was affected by the medication for worse at he beginning. Everything got better after the second week.
Libido is still here :) but now i can last longer!!:blush::blush:
Low libido was the reason i quit citalophram in the first place, it was horrible!
But then our friend anxiety came back.... Anyway from my experience i think Zoloft is not as harsh as Citalophram. It might take a little but longer to start working but it does!
Again All The Best!:hugs:

22-03-13, 14:18
Good luck Sam, I really hope this is the one for you too...I know it's the one that was offered to me at my old GP surgery and when I saw the crisis team last summer time, they said they would normally prescribe Sertraline too but because of Citalopram I was too scared to try it. I actually took it for about 3 or 4 days when I had my first anxiety attacks whilst I was pregnant with my little boy ad the first day I had to go to bed as it just knocked me out but then I had bad panic so my gp swapped me over to Citalopram which ironically gave me the worst panic I had ever had but I just guessed all SSRI's are pretty much the same so stuck it out, you sound to be doing well so far though despite the normal side effects kicking in now, I hope they soon pass. I am so happy you have found it easier than Escitalopram, hope this continues for you, I'm struggling a bit on Escitalopram at the mo and deciding whether to up it but I am really scared to but after 4 months on it, I'm still bad first thing and have had nervousness here and there lately in the afternoon. But there's a lot going on and I am very hormonal right now, grrrrrrr!
Thinking of you Sam xxxx

22-03-13, 14:40
Always thinking of you Sam :)

I really hope this is the one for you!! I know that you really have been a test dummy for all the meds out there with no success!

Look forward to your next lovely message!!

Remember.... if the meds don't work, it's because you're from Devon. They were never tested on that species!

Fight these first few weeks Sammy!!!! xxxx:hugs:

little wren
23-03-13, 06:54
Hi sam - Hope the new ssri works for you. I am so glad the start up is not as bad as with fluoxetine. Are you thinking of coming off pregabalin altogether now or are you going to continue it with the ssri longterm? I have just been advised to increase the pregabalin upto 300mg/day over the next few weeks whilst continuing taking an ssri. Your posts have been really helpful to me x

24-03-13, 10:56
How are you today Sam ? :hugs: