Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: PANIC attacks! =(

Posted by KathrynLex on April 22, 2004, at 12:16:04

In reply to PANIC attacks! =(, posted by modeljenn on April 22, 2004, at 11:53:43

Hi Jenn,

I would suggest dropping down to 10 mgs for about 2 weeks, then going up to 15 mgs for 2 weeks and finally up to 20 mgs. Increasing your dose gradually will really help minimize the side effects and 20 mgs is a pretty high starting dose. (I began with 10 mgs, some people prefer to go as low as 5 mgs.)

It sounds like 20 mgs is a little too high for you right now. Talk to your doctor about decreasing your dose and going up to 20 mgs more slowly. This gives your body time to adjust to the new medication you're giving it.

The Lexapro can cause increased anxiety for the first few weeks that you take it. At the lower doses, it's a little more tolerable. Also, ask your doctor about getting some Xanax or Klonopin so you can take it if you start having another panic attack. I recommend the Xanax on an as needed basis. It really does stop panic attacks dead in their tracks.

Lexapro can also cause night sweats (i.e. waking up with your body covered in sweat.) It happened to me a lot during the first 3 weeks I was on Lexapro. It was a little odd and uncomfortable, but tolerable.

So, to answer your question, yes what happened to you happens to a lot of people who are starting out on Lex. To prevent it, lower your dose and get a bottle of Xanax to keep next to your bed. (That's where I've got mine, but I didn't have to use it past the first month on Lexapro.) I can understand wanting to stay home and being afraid of having another panic attack. That's why I started taking the Lexapro in the first place.

Lex is terrific for panic attacks if you can hang in there and get past the first few weeks. If it's too awful for you, then stop taking it. There are a lot of other meds you can take to help with anxiety/panic attacks.

Oh, one more word of advice. If you're getting your meds from your regular doctor I strongly recommend going to a psychiatrist for meds. They're more informed about medications and are well versed on their side effects. When I called my psychiatrist and told him I was having panic attacks with Lexapro he said, "Well, that happens sometimes. They should go away in the next couple of weeks but in the meantime let me give you some Xanax."

I hope some of this information is useful. Please keep me posted on your progress. Best of luck!





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