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Thread: Started up my escitalopram (Lexapro)

  1. #1
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    Started up my escitalopram (Lexapro)

    Back story - I was on it for a year and it helped with my anxiety SO much. The health worries minimized, the constant anxiety was so much better. I weaned off at the end of summer because we are Trying to conceive #3. I was Doing better and also was tired of feeling sleepy all the time and having bad food cravings. However - I forgot how bad fall and winter is for me. (Even in hot/sunny Texas!) the anxiety has been sooo bad. Iíve spiraled over health stuff 3 times in a month. Etc. And Iím literally constantly anxious and irritable because of feeling on edge.

    So 3 nights ago I decided to start it again. I want to know if ANYONE remembers when they started lexapro. Did you have nausea/fluttery stomach feelings? I vaguely remember having some gastro issues with it at the beginning but Iím just not sure and Iím afraid to google - since Iím in a current health anxiety scare over some stomach trouble stuff itís making me a nervous wreck!

    Thanks for taking the time to respond with your experiences. 🙏
    Last edited by Golden; 15-12-19 at 11:55.

  2. #2
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    Re: Started up my escitalopram (Lexapro)

    I don't remember any gastro.
    Just a bit floaty at the start but my GP gave me some 5mg Valium to take with it to minimise the side effects.
    I was on 5mg for a week then up to 10mg where I've stayed for years.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Started up my escitalopram (Lexapro)

    Thank you I was given 10mg but I think i should have started them at half. So last night I took half to see if it helps.

  4. #4
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    Re: Started up my escitalopram (Lexapro)

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden View Post
    I weaned off at the end of summer because we are Trying to conceive #3.
    You probably didn't need to go off escitalopram. With the exception of paroxetine (Paxil) it is unclear that antidepressants significantly increase the odds of birth defects or complications. Studies have reported slightly higher incidents of defects, but there doesn't seem to be a common pattern to them which may indicate the studies aren't showing a real issue, but just reporting statistical noise. The problem is that the number of patients in each study tends to be low, the defects tend to be mostly the rare ones and the increases they report are often small.

    If planning to breastfeeding then sertraline (Zoloft) may be the better bet as very little, if any sertraline is expressed in the milk (Pinheiro E, 2015).

    To complicate matters, maternal anxiety and/or depression can also affect the baby, both during gestation and later in life. Unfortunately, antidepressants and pregnancy is an issue where there is no clearcut 'right' answer. It needs to be thoroughly discussed with the family doctor and obstetrician and/or gynecologist.

    So 3 nights ago I decided to start it again. I want to know if ANYONE remembers when they started lexapro. Did you have nausea/fluttery stomach feelings? I vaguely remember having some gastro issues with it at the beginning
    Nausea and gastro issues are common initial side-effects of serotonergic antidepressants. Serotonin isn't only a brain neurotransmitter, it has many roles in the body, nor is the brain the most significant maker and user. It is in fact only a minor player accounting for less than 2% of all the serotonin made/used. By far the most serotonergic organ is the gut, particular the enteric nervous system, the mini brain which controls it (and via the vagus nerves has a major influence on the heart, lungs and brain, it seems to be the 'tail' that wags the brain 'dog'). It makes around 50 times as much serotonin as the brain and thus can be much more affected initially by SSRIs, SNRIs and some TCAs. It usually adapts within a couple of weeks, but symptoms may return for a short while after dose increases.

    Ginger and/or vitamin B6 supplements are usual effective for nausea (B6 is apparently also great for morning sickness, btw), and loperamide (Imodium) should help if diarrhoea becomes an issue, however, seek medical advice before taking it if pregnant.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Started up my escitalopram (Lexapro)

    I had a lot of food cravings when I started Lexapro...especially for Salt & Vinegar potato chips.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Started up my escitalopram (Lexapro)

    Definitely had that during startup ... for what itís worth I also weaned off when we were trying to conceive. Anxiety came back big time once i was pregnant. I went back on during my pregnancy and stayed on through breastfeeding too for over a year. My daughter is perfectly healthy and it was the best decision I could have made for both of us.

  7. #7
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    Re: Started up my escitalopram (Lexapro)

    Thank you so much for all of the information! I do worry that the bad anxiety can affect conception and also a baby. It was much better during my first two pregnancies. I want my mental health to be better if I do have another baby.

    Itís been about a week now and the nausea is less frequent but still there. There has been some wakefulness at night also but not terrible. On the other hand I can definitely tell a difference in my constant what if thinking, so thatís a plus.

  8. #8
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    Re: Started up my escitalopram (Lexapro)

    Itís been a few weeks and Iím so frustrated by the sleepy, lazy feeling I have throughout the day. Itís part of the reason I weaned off of it at the end of summer. Itís back and itís so frustrating! I take it around 7:30pm and go to bed around 11ish most nights. But it still leaves me lazy and sluggish all day long.

    Has anyone found any way of avoiding this? Taking it at a different time maybe? Iím also struggling with food: snacking and wanting carbs more.

    Any tips would be great. It helps with the anxious thoughts but not perfectly.

  9. #9
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    Re: Started up my escitalopram (Lexapro)

    I've never had the lazy sluggish feeling from Lexapro. For me, the food cravings took 2 or 3 months to wear off. It was awhile.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Started up my escitalopram (Lexapro)

    Thank you for the reply! Iím hoping the cravings wear off. But the sluggish drowsy type feeling is very difficult with two little ones depending on me throughout the day. Iím hoping it wears off too. But I remember it almost constantly from last year when I was on it. So I may have to look into alternatives :/ but it helps so much with the anxious thoughts that Iím torn.

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