Increasing dose of Lexapro? - Mothering Forums

Increasing dose of Lexapro?

dipmama's Avatar dipmama (TS)
02:20 PM Liked: 5
#1 of 21
11-14-2008 | Posts: 180
Joined: Jun 2002
Hi all-

I started 10 mg Lexapro 9 weeks ago for both anxiety and depression. At about the 3.5 week mark, I started to feel a *lot* better. I was sleeping normally, my appetite came back, my energy levels went up, and best of all, I wanted to do things and really live life again.

In the last week, I have felt an unravelling of sorts. I think it started off as boredom- that feeling of "is this all there is?" I am a SAHM, and my kids are 7 and 8, so in school full time. When I was feeling better, I had decided that I'd not rush back into the world of work again, that I'd wait until January to start a job hunt. Then a few days ago, I started waking early again- at 4:00 a.m. or 5:00 a.m., when normally I get up at 7:00. And, the anxiety came back- not about anything specific (my kids have been a big focus of my anxiety in the past), but more anxious about the anxiety and depression if that makes sense. A kind of, "here we go again" feeling.

I went back to my family doctor yesterday, because I don't want to fall into that pit again. He didn't think that the Lexapro could be pooping out after such a short time on it. He said that even on meds, people will still have bad days. Intellectually that makes sense to be, but mamas, I admit, I am freaking scared.

I do have an appointment lined up with a psychiatrist, but it's not until Dec. 16.

In the meanwhile he suggested that we up the Lexapro to 20 mg. I started with the new dose yesterday, so two days so far. I didn't really have side effects when I first started out, so I'm hoping that I won't with this increase either.

I'm wondering how long it will take to feel better again. I'm hoping that it's faster than that first 3.5 weeks- they were the longest of my life. I guess the timing is good in that if it's going to help, I should see improvement before my appointment with the psychiatrist, and then he can take it from there. My family dr. is kind and caring, but I don't think he knows as much about this stuff as a psychiatrist would.

In the meanwhile I am continuing to work with a therapist on some mindfulness stuff.

Just wondering if anyone has had similar experiences or words of wisdom to share.
Bohemian Squash's Avatar Bohemian Squash
07:55 PM Liked: 5
#2 of 21
11-14-2008 | Posts: 111
Joined: May 2008
Hey there! I started out at 10 mg Lexapro as well. Then it pooped out and I went up to 20, then 30. It didn't help, just made me feel "medicated". Now I'm on 20 mg Lexapro PLUS 150 Wellbutrin. Lexapro is for the seratonin, Wellbutrin for the dopamines. It's helped and rather quickly (a week).
canadianchick's Avatar canadianchick
11:35 PM Liked: 0
#3 of 21
11-14-2008 | Posts: 3,610
Joined: May 2005
I also take Lexapro 20 mg. At one point about three years ago, I was also taking 150 mg of Wellbutrin with the Lexapro. I was able to discontinue the Wellbutrin and now only take the 20mg of Lexapro. I also noticed a difference in about a week. I hope you feel better soon.
emaye_to_2's Avatar emaye_to_2
01:23 AM Liked: 10
#4 of 21
11-15-2008 | Posts: 399
Joined: Jan 2008
Hi, I'm glad the Lexapro worked for you initially. I think it's good that you've got an appointment with a psychiatrist on schedule. You're in the trial stages of finding the right dose for you so I wouldn't hesitate to try 20mg. My doc started me on 20mg and so far (6 months) it has worked well for me.
dipmama's Avatar dipmama (TS)
11:14 AM Liked: 5
#5 of 21
11-15-2008 | Posts: 180
Joined: Jun 2002
Thanks mamas.

I keep trying to tell myself that *something* is going to give- either the 20 mg on its own will work, or adding something like Wellbutrin will help. In the meanwhile I try to not to be anxious about anxiety, but it's tough. I go back to my family dr. in a week for follow-up, but not to the psychiatrist for another month. Wonder if my family dr. would try me on the Wellbutrin if the 20 mg hasn't helped in a week's time?

Bohemian Squash- just wondering, how long were you on the 10 mg before it pooped out on you? I had about 5 weeks of honeymoon on 10 mg.

This sucks
Autumn Breeze's Avatar Autumn Breeze
01:01 AM Liked: 13
#6 of 21
11-17-2008 | Posts: 14,936
Joined: Nov 2003

When I increased the Lexapro to 20 mgs, it only took about a week for that to kickin.

Keep an eye out for another 'poop out' apparently it has a 'high poop out rate'

I went hypomanic w/ 20 and had to go back to 10, Then I took 5mgs for almost 2 months before weaning off and trying wellbutrin.
dipmama's Avatar dipmama (TS)
03:05 PM Liked: 5
#7 of 21
11-29-2008 | Posts: 180
Joined: Jun 2002
Well, my doctor increased me to 20 mg. I started to feel better in just under a week. Then, I got some bad news- not *really* bad news, more like something that to someone normal would just be unsettling. Instead, my reaction was like being hit in the knees with a lead pipe.

Anyhow, this provoked some pretty big anxiety in me, which has been with me for a week now. It's sucking. Big time.

I don't know if what I need right now is reassurance about the bad news, or if it's my overblown reactions that are the problem. If all were well in my head, I know I wouldn't have reacted that intensely.

I wonder if part of it is a reaction to the increase in meds. Or does it mean Lex simply isn't working for me? I dunno. I felt so normal, so good, for that five weeks once the 10 mg had kicked in.

I also wonder if I hadn't gotten that bit of news, if I would have just continued to feel better. Somehow, that really derailed me.

I am counting the days to my pdoc appointment. Two more weeks.

In the meanwhile, I appreciate any and all insights you wise mamas might have...

canadianchick's Avatar canadianchick
11:25 PM Liked: 0
#8 of 21
11-29-2008 | Posts: 3,610
Joined: May 2005
I have been on 20mg for ages and it has helped tremendously. But, with that being said, bad news is bad news and that maybe what you are dealing with. Any chance you can get in to see your doc sooner? Also, have you considered therapy? A saw a therapist for years and the med made a huge difference but I think when combining it with therapy/counseling, it can be even better.

Autumn Breeze's Avatar Autumn Breeze
01:20 AM Liked: 13
#9 of 21
11-30-2008 | Posts: 14,936
Joined: Nov 2003
It's probably the bad news that's making you feel so awful Do you have a psychologist? Someone you can talk to?
dipmama's Avatar dipmama (TS)
03:01 PM Liked: 5
#10 of 21
11-30-2008 | Posts: 180
Joined: Jun 2002
Thanks mamas- it really helps to know that someone is reading this and that I'm not alone.

Yes...I have been seeing a psychologist for therapy for a number of months now. She's doing a bit of CBT and schema therapy, a bit of mindfulness & acceptance stuff. She is awesome and I know I have a lot of work ahead with her, meds aside.

My worries about my daughter have somewhat dissipated...she's doing better and all is well.

But I just got loaded with another doozy of bad news- my husband has been flirting online with a few different women. Nothing 'real' has come out of it. He thinks he has an addiction problem and really needs help. I'm stunned, don't know what to think or do...he says I am his best friend, who he wants to be with ever and always...but this behavior comes from a deep rooted longing to be wanted for *him* rather than the roles he plays for people. It's like an ego stroking thing. Ugh.

I go from worrying about my daughter (wrongly), to worrying about my anxiety, to now worrying about him/us.

I. Give. Up.
canadianchick's Avatar canadianchick
11:55 PM Liked: 0
#11 of 21
11-30-2008 | Posts: 3,610
Joined: May 2005
Hang in there.
greeny's Avatar greeny
02:46 PM Liked: 0
#12 of 21
12-01-2008 | Posts: 2,951
Joined: Apr 2007

chachi's mama's Avatar chachi's mama
07:10 PM Liked: 0
#13 of 21
12-03-2008 | Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 2004
Hang in there.
Are you experiencing panic as well? I know how devastatingly cyclical the panic and anxiety can be. For me, a rise in panic sets off the anxiety and it can feel hopeless and endless. In addition to the Lexapro, I have Ativan for acute episodes and that helps so that I'm not sidetracked by the anxious feelings and set off track for the duration of the day. Perhaps something like that would make a difference for you?
Regardless, keep doing what you're doing. You're moving in the right direction.
03:25 AM Liked: 30
#14 of 21
12-06-2008 | Posts: 695
Joined: Nov 2008
First, :

Some alternative advice. I tried lexapro and it wasn't working and they upped the dose twice. It just wasn't working for me. I then switched to Paxil and it worked like a dream. I recently switched to Zoloft for pregnancy (Paxil is a no-no) and it also works for me. Years ago I was also on Prozac and had terrible side effects even though it "worked". My point is that different antidepressants work for different people. Maybe you could try a different medication?
dipmama's Avatar dipmama (TS)
10:59 AM Liked: 5
#15 of 21
12-16-2008 | Posts: 180
Joined: Jun 2002
Update, a few weeks later:

It's been just over a month since increasing my Lexapro to 20 mg.

While the timing of finding out about my husband couldn't have been worse (a couple of weeks after the increase), I did start to feel better within a few days. I just focused on doing what I had to do to feel safe. It helped. And he's getting help too.

But now, a couple of weeks after the fact, I'm down again, and anxious. I don't know if it's because the increase to 20 mg wasn't right, if it pooped, if I got hit with two big bad triggers after it happened. It feels like there's too much to pick apart.

I suppose the good thing in all of this is that my long awaited appointment with the psychiatrist (first one) is this morning. Mind you, that in itself is making me anxious as well.

Oh, and I do have some Ativan to tide me over in those super bad moments, but I try to not take it too much, just because I know it's just a bandaid (albeit a lifesaving one at times)...
greeny's Avatar greeny
01:16 PM Liked: 0
#16 of 21
12-16-2008 | Posts: 2,951
Joined: Apr 2007
Another thing to keep in mind or think about is how you'd be feeling during this time of stress if you weren't on the meds. When I'm feeling anxious or worried, I think, "Okay, before going on Lexapro, how would i have been feeling in this situation?" and almost always the answer is: much, much worse than I do now.

Not that that really helps you feel better in the moment, but still having anxiety doesn't mean that the Lexapro isn't working at all, you know?

I'm glad you have a psychiatrist appointment. I hope it goes well!

dipmama's Avatar dipmama (TS)
10:28 AM Liked: 5
#17 of 21
12-17-2008 | Posts: 180
Joined: Jun 2002
Greeny, you are right- I would not have been handling things as well there is definitely an effect. It's now that the extenuating factors (husband, dd) have settled down that I'm just It's hard to pin down to call it either anxiety or depression, more like a mixed bag.

Anyhow, I did have my appointment with the psychiatrist yesterday. It went well, I think, at least in the sense that I liked him and felt comfortable. He is part of a large mental health centre that is doing some very cutting edge research, lots of top people are here. He said that current studies that they are doing show that for many, a more optimal dose of Lexapro is 30 or 40 mg. Given that I have responded to it in the past, he is suggesting that I go up to 30, possibly 40 mg. If that doesn't get the effect we want, there are alternatives, such as augmenting it with something else. I go back on Jan. 8, not *too* far off, thank goodness.

I'm trying to be patient with myself, but I am oh, so very tired of this
greeny's Avatar greeny
01:27 PM Liked: 0
#18 of 21
12-17-2008 | Posts: 2,951
Joined: Apr 2007
My psychiatrist told me the same thing (about 30 or 40 mg being the optimal dose for some people). I'm only on 10 and feeling pretty good, but I know the option to increase is always there if I feel I need it.

Hang in there!
dipmama's Avatar dipmama (TS)
03:54 PM Liked: 5
#19 of 21
12-18-2008 | Posts: 180
Joined: Jun 2002
Well, I took my 30 mg for the third day today. I don't feel especially anxious today (which is an improvement?), but just generally down. No side effects, which is good too. The pharmacist told me that it should be 1-2 weeks to notice a difference in the increase. Fingers crossed, I hope it happens soon (patience is so not my virtue).

Thanks for all the support mamas, it really helps, especially hearing others' experiences.
lexicita's Avatar lexicita
01:04 AM Liked: 0
#20 of 21
04-14-2009 | Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2009
Hey y'all!

I have been taking 10mg of lexapro for 5 weeks now and have been feeling better but still get depressed and still cannot find the motivation to do simple things such as go to the gym, put the laundry away, or do my hair. I am able to do some things but am very limited and still feel down.

Yesterday I tried taking 20mg and had weird reactions. I felt extremely drowsy and my anxiety and depression was increased! This morning I went back to just taking the 10mg again.

But now i am scared, bc I feel like I need the 20mg but am afraid to have those side effects again, what do all of you think? I still have to talk to the dr-he never called me back today-so maybe he can shed some light too on the best way to proceed. Or maybe I need to add another medication??
sidandspencersmom's Avatar sidandspencersmom
10:48 AM Liked: 12
#21 of 21
04-14-2009 | Posts: 227
Joined: Jan 2007
you could try going to 15mg (cut the ten's in half)- maybe taking it at night. or your doc may want to add another drug such as Wellbutrin or Ambilify---- it takes a long time to get the right dosage and combo of drugs, but once you do, it'll be worth it!

FWIW- I am on 15mg of Lexapro and 1 mg of Ambilify in the mornings, and 75 mg of trazodone at night (to help me sleep).
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