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I gave it my 10 weeks worth!

Posted by oldwoodsman on March 30, 2003, at 17:04:35

In reply to Anyone switched to Lexapro? « ggrrl, posted by Dr. Bob on June 11, 2002, at 7:52:48

When my doctor prescribed Lexapro to me, I had reservations. In fact, I checked into this website for several weeks reading everyone’s comments (thank you, everybody) before I decided that I would give in and try it (10 mg/day of Lexapro, together with my already taking 150 mg/day of Wellbutrin, both taken at night before bed). After all, it is a fairly new drug on the market and one never knows! I don't recall what it was that finally convinced me to give in and try it after all, but after 10 weeks on it, I felt I had to give it all up. My experiences were not all that positive.

Here’s the positives: Nail biting and weight gain. My nail biting seems to have slowed down. Oddly, I may not bite nails as much as I used to, but I am attacking my cuticles more, so I'm still biting something in that region. Another positive was
that over the 2 1/2 months I was on the Lexapro (from New Year's Day to the middle of March), I only gained an insignificant amount of weight -- 2 pounds (insignificant because two pounds, for a 200 pound guy, could be contributed to almost anything -- from a different set of clothes to having just eaten a meal, and I think it especially small considering that I would spend 10 -12 hours /day sleeping.) It seems my appetite was a bit diminished when I was on the Lexapro--I didn’t eat quite so much, yet still felt satisfied.

The Negatives: Lethargy and Anxiety. Although I got on the medication to help with my depression, anxiety and OCD, I found that I was having worse anxiety attacks than I had beforehand. These attacks would come on for apparently no reason at all, and although not strong (totally debilitating) attacks, they were none-the-less annoying, particularly so considering that I was on the medication to help counter these. Perhaps because of these, I had difficulties facing life. I didn’t feel comfortable outside my bedroom, and travel was done only when I HAD to, not because I wanted to. I often couldn't think of things to do, seldom desired to do anything. Nothing turned me on. Nothing appealed to me.

There could be several, more organic, reasons for this, too. My wife and kids were very sick in the beginning of the year, and my doctor suggested that perhaps I, too, had contracted this years flu (a mild case of it) and, since it tends to hang on forever and makes one ill, I may have felt sleepy due to this. None-the-less, I often felt very tired every day. Either early in the morning, or if I was able to hold off, late in the afternoon, I would be so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open. Even if running errands or driving down the freeway (i.e., on the way to see my doctor), I would yawn
constantly. (Someone else mentioned this same yawning s/e). All this tiredness came after a good night’s sleep -- eight hours of solid deep restful sleep. When I'd finally give in to the urge, I'd fall asleep almost immediately (usually within 5 minutes, much faster than it takes me to fall asleep at night, even on meds). Naps would last 2 - 3 hours or so, and I'd feel very groggy afterwards, virtually taking another hour or more to be fully awake and functional, even if I was kept busy walking around. A last, but somewhat related s/e (with or without, before or after a nap) was that I wasn't quite as sharp as I used to be, sometimes shaking my head when I tried to remember what I was looking for, and I couldn't think of solutions as fast as before Lexapro.

As far as the sexual S/Es, I really can't say. I've been on Wellbutrin so long (as well as sporting an enlarged prostate, even though I am taking the herb Saw Palmetto to help control that) I'm beginning to forget what it is to be interested in sex. The whole idea seems like so much work. (It must be hard on my wife, but sex just doesn't appeal to me).

My overall impression is that I didn't like being on Lexapro. I gave it ten weeks, but didn't like what it did to me. I have tapered off it and will be going on 2 - 3 tablets of Wellbutrin (150 mg each) per day to see what effect that has.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Note: I came back to this “entry” after I’ve been totally off the Lexapro and on the 2 tabs/day of Wellbutrin regimen for about 10 days, and have found that I have a shorter temper than I did on the Lexapro (could that mean my OCDs have returned? or is it just a phase I'm going through). But I also feel I have some drive and desire to do a few things. I’m getting more things done and WANT to get more things done around the house and yard. In fact, I’m working on a project that I had set aside for the last few months (my Lexapro months). My interest in traveling has returned, and I feel like I would really like to get out to a few places in the next few weeks (on Lexapro, my attitude was more like “why bother”). I don’t know if it is an s/e of the 2 tabs/day of Wellbutrin, but I’ve not slept well the last 2 (or 3?) nights. I will lay in bed at night with my eyes closed, awaiting the sleep to come, and it won’t. In fact, as my wife woke up this morning, we talked until I finally admitted it to myself that I wasn’t going to be able to get any more sleep this night, and just got up and started my day, at about 6:30--highly unusual for me--highly!. I hope this new regimen of 2 Wellbutrin/day does not give me insomnia, as that isn’t good either (as of today, I’ve started taking one tablet in the morning, and a second with lunch, so that the effect could wear off before I try to sleep at night.) We'll have to wait and see!




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