Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 265389

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My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro

Posted by Melina on October 3, 2003, at 22:02:32

Recently, my doctor started a course of Lexapro in hopes of lessoning my symptoms of depression. I had already been taking Wellbutrin SR 150mg twice per day for 7 weeks with not much improvement. I have two special needs children and am overwhelmed and depressed. My other symptoms include: sleep difficulty, anxiety, hopelessness, exhaustion, jitteriness, to name a few. My depression is really circumstantial. When I took ONE dose of Lexapro, within three to four hours I started to experience SEVERE side effects which included: extremely dilated pupils, heart palpitations, shaking, jaw clenching and other sensory disturbances, increased appetite (I started eating everything in sight), and almost a complete loss of reality. I felt completely drugged up, as if I was on LSD. I was scared, for my children were asleep in the next room and I did not know what to do; how would I care for them if they awoke in the middle of the night? I was able to call a friend to come over even though I could barely speak normally. These side effects lasted for almost four days, and I still don't feel right on the seventh day after taking that ONE pill. My doc says I have "serotonin syndrome" since this is the second SSRI I have had a reaction to. Years ago when my children were diagnosed with their disabilities, I had side effects to Zoloft. Is there anyone who has had this severe of a reaction? It seems so unlikely, yet all of these things happened to me. I feel blessed to be alive, I really thought I was going to die. If anyone can respond, your thoughts or personal story will help to sort this all out. If any docs are reading this, your opinions would be much appreciated. Thank you.

 

Re: My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro

Posted by LucyAnn on October 3, 2003, at 22:21:21

In reply to My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro, posted by Melina on October 3, 2003, at 22:02:32

I can agree with you about the side affects of Lexapro. On the first day I took it, I had extremely enlarged pupils, shaking and dizziness. I had stopped taking it and my symptoms lasted for two days. I had told my doctor and he said that he never heard of the pupil thing. I feel relieved to see that I am not the only one who has had this reaction. I was feeling as if no one would believe me. He now just switched me to effexor xr and the same symptoms came back! I'm so afraid and I don't know if I should take my next pill tonight.


> Recently, my doctor started a course of Lexapro in hopes of lessoning my symptoms of depression. I had already been taking Wellbutrin SR 150mg twice per day for 7 weeks with not much improvement. I have two special needs children and am overwhelmed and depressed. My other symptoms include: sleep difficulty, anxiety, hopelessness, exhaustion, jitteriness, to name a few. My depression is really circumstantial. When I took ONE dose of Lexapro, within three to four hours I started to experience SEVERE side effects which included: extremely dilated pupils, heart palpitations, shaking, jaw clenching and other sensory disturbances, increased appetite (I started eating everything in sight), and almost a complete loss of reality. I felt completely drugged up, as if I was on LSD. I was scared, for my children were asleep in the next room and I did not know what to do; how would I care for them if they awoke in the middle of the night? I was able to call a friend to come over even though I could barely speak normally. These side effects lasted for almost four days, and I still don't feel right on the seventh day after taking that ONE pill. My doc says I have "serotonin syndrome" since this is the second SSRI I have had a reaction to. Years ago when my children were diagnosed with their disabilities, I had side effects to Zoloft. Is there anyone who has had this severe of a reaction? It seems so unlikely, yet all of these things happened to me. I feel blessed to be alive, I really thought I was going to die. If anyone can respond, your thoughts or personal story will help to sort this all out. If any docs are reading this, your opinions would be much appreciated. Thank you.

 

Re: My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro LucyAnn

Posted by Melina on October 3, 2003, at 22:32:07

In reply to Re: My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro, posted by LucyAnn on October 3, 2003, at 22:21:21

LucyAnn, My doctor never heard of the enlarged (huge) pupils either - until he pulled out the package insert. Turns out, it is one of the rare serious side effects! Lucky us! Seriously, though, I think Effexor XR is also an SSRI- which effects the chemical serotonin in the brain. Talk to your doc!! You may have serotonin syndrome too! If I were you, I wouldn't take another pill! Take care! And please give me, and everyone else an update!

 

re: your SEVERE side effects to Lexapro Melina

Posted by lil' jimi on October 3, 2003, at 22:42:03

In reply to My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro, posted by Melina on October 3, 2003, at 22:02:32

hi Melina,

i have been taking lexapro for 7 months ... the last 6 at 10mg ... ... i had some initial SEs like yours, but milder ... all of my anti-therapeutic lex side-effects faded to nothing by 2 weeks ...

there is a long lex thread above here on this board
... there has been a recent post there similar to yours ... it is at
http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20030928/msgs/265289.html

i hope you will be okay and wish you the best ...
take care!
~ jim

 

re: y'all's SEVERE side effects to Lexapro Melina

Posted by lil' jimi on October 3, 2003, at 22:49:45

In reply to Re: My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro LucyAnn, posted by Melina on October 3, 2003, at 22:32:07

hi,

effexor is an SNRI ...
effexor does for norepinephrine what SSRIs do for serotonin ... selectively inhibiting the reuptake ...

take care,
~ jim

 

Re: My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro

Posted by cmonfo on October 4, 2003, at 1:12:20

In reply to My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro, posted by Melina on October 3, 2003, at 22:02:32

> Recently, my doctor started a course of Lexapro in hopes of lessoning my symptoms of depression. I had already been taking Wellbutrin SR 150mg twice per day for 7 weeks with not much improvement. I have two special needs children and am overwhelmed and depressed. My other symptoms include: sleep difficulty, anxiety, hopelessness, exhaustion, jitteriness, to name a few. My depression is really circumstantial. When I took ONE dose of Lexapro, within three to four hours I started to experience SEVERE side effects which included: extremely dilated pupils, heart palpitations, shaking, jaw clenching and other sensory disturbances, increased appetite (I started eating everything in sight), and almost a complete loss of reality. I felt completely drugged up, as if I was on LSD. I was scared, for my children were asleep in the next room and I did not know what to do; how would I care for them if they awoke in the middle of the night? I was able to call a friend to come over even though I could barely speak normally. These side effects lasted for almost four days, and I still don't feel right on the seventh day after taking that ONE pill. My doc says I have "serotonin syndrome" since this is the second SSRI I have had a reaction to. Years ago when my children were diagnosed with their disabilities, I had side effects to Zoloft. Is there anyone who has had this severe of a reaction? It seems so unlikely, yet all of these things happened to me. I feel blessed to be alive, I really thought I was going to die. If anyone can respond, your thoughts or personal story will help to sort this all out. If any docs are reading this, your opinions would be much appreciated. Thank you.

I'm glad to hear i'm not crazy! i took just one last night for the first time and i to felt like i was on LSD w/ out all the hallucinations! i even posted this morning w/ the same analogy! I am still jittered out and messed up... i tried to calm myself by smoking marijuana but it only made things 10 times worse!... my pupils are still a bit dialated... i can see my doc til monday... I was suppose to take Wellbutrin SR this morning, but after the lexapro thing i dunwanna take anything...

did your doc say the side effects would go away anytime soon? there isn't any possibillity of perminant damage is there?

feeling like crap.. i want this to end... well atleast i'm not alone...

-cmonfo

 

Re: My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro

Posted by Angel1 on October 4, 2003, at 8:53:09

In reply to My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro, posted by Melina on October 3, 2003, at 22:02:32

It's impossible to have all those side effects after taking only one pill. Sounds more like placebo affect to me. What does you p-doc say?

 

re: SEVERE side effects to Lexapro Angel1

Posted by lil' jimi on October 6, 2003, at 1:53:20

In reply to Re: My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro, posted by Angel1 on October 4, 2003, at 8:53:09

hi Angel1,

the serotonin reuptake inhibition begins less than an hour after ingestion.

if the serotonin syndrome's mechanism is going to be initiated, it shouldn't have to take any more pills than it does for lsd or psilocybin.

it defies reason that three individuals, unknown to each other (hence mass hysteria not possible), could suffer such strange "placebo" effects ...

... and not just because actual placebo effects are almost never adverse and usually benefical ...

but because it just challenges the imagination that one could maintain a psychedelic-like placebo effect, while suffering such terrifyingly adverse reactions ... absent a pharmacological etiology, such as serotonin syndrome ...

which is not to say that it's not impossible ...
... but i would estimate it as not even improbable for a neurologically susceptible group.

unless, of course, i'm wrong ... and that's never impossible.

have you taken lexapro ?

take care,
~ jim

 

re: SEVERE side effects to Lexapro

Posted by john1022 on October 14, 2003, at 17:31:33

In reply to re: SEVERE side effects to Lexapro Angel1, posted by lil' jimi on October 6, 2003, at 1:53:20

After taking Effexor and Elavil (both at seperate times and after about 5 days on them) I went from just feeling mildly depressed to having almost a nervous breakdown and dibiltating depression with extreme anxiety and uncontrolable thoughts and music in my head. Both Effexor and Elavil caused only my left eye to become dilated and huge, while the others stayed normal. It also gave me extreme suicide ideation where it had never been present before.

Besides that, it messed with my ears big time causing increased tinnitus (already had it), hypercausis (extreme increase in sensitivity of hearing), popping in my ears along with pressure and ear aches. They were certainly not "placebo" effects as I went from having a good management job to being house bound in a matter of 5 days.

These side effects slowly left a week or so later as I stopped each medication. I am affraid to try another other kind of AD now, but I know I am going to have to do it

 

re: SEVERE side effects to Lexapro

Posted by irishcatholic on October 15, 2003, at 10:14:01

In reply to re: SEVERE side effects to Lexapro, posted by john1022 on October 14, 2003, at 17:31:33

as we always say YMMV
I read all the advertising stuff about Lex (well before I discovered this great forum).
So from a placebo effect point of view, I was primed and ready to feel great.
First Lex pill (10 mg) was all I could take, it felt like overwhelming flu symptoms (but it WAS NOT flu).
Could barely function physically.
doing much better on Prozac now with only S/E jitteriness managed with Xanax XR.
Find a pdoc who will cooperate and become your own human drug trial. Good luck!

 

Lexapro is like Celexa, then...

Posted by Shaina on October 18, 2003, at 14:25:25

In reply to My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro, posted by Melina on October 3, 2003, at 22:02:32


...seeing as it's done the exact same thing to me. I feel for ya! I'm on the eighth day after taking ONE Celexa, and I still have flu-symptoms and general insane side-effects which I attribute to serotonin sensitivity. Listening to music I like or being rubbed on the head, things I used to love, make me agitated and sick. Melinda, when did it end for you? Are you feeling better yet?

 

Side effects of having a special needs child

Posted by tiredman on October 20, 2003, at 10:57:27

In reply to My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro, posted by Melina on October 3, 2003, at 22:02:32

I can't help you with Lexipro. I may start taking it this week. I have taken Prozac
before without problems so I'm hoping it will be OK).

I have a child with special needs. I can say that no one will ever understand the pain
associated with a special needs kid. My son is 13 and has a learning disability. Along
with this are some personality "quarks" that make life so much harder.

I would not not be surprised if there was a large number of parents (with special needs children) that are taking anti depressants).

You definitely have my sympathy!

 

re: y'all's SEVERE side effects to Lexapro

Posted by ELENI4 on October 20, 2003, at 11:45:17

In reply to re: y'all's SEVERE side effects to Lexapro Melina, posted by lil' jimi on October 3, 2003, at 22:49:45

Effexor is both a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. In my experience, Effexor has give me a little extra mental boost though I'm not sure exactly why. It worked great for general anxiety, but not so much for social anxiety. However I was only on the 75mg extended release version. I too had a very bad reaction to Lexapro and my doctor just shrugged it off. Lil' jimi is a BIG Lexapro proponent and doesn't seem to be able to tolerate anyone speaking ill of the drug because it works so well for him. He can't accept that people have had BAD reactions to this drug and shouldn't continue to take it. I just wanted to write and let you know you are not alone. Don't take your side effects lightly. It's not right to present this front that if you just persevere all Lexapro side effects will lessen or fade completely. The effect Lexapro has on some people is very serious and in some cases, it's probably not advisable, not in the person's best interests to just keep on keeping on. It may really be hurting them.

> hi,
>
> effexor is an SNRI ...
> effexor does for norepinephrine what SSRIs do for serotonin ... selectively inhibiting the reuptake ...
>
> take care,
> ~ jim

 

Re: My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro

Posted by ELENI4 on October 20, 2003, at 11:55:10

In reply to Re: My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro, posted by Angel1 on October 4, 2003, at 8:53:09

No, it's not impossible. I had the same kind of side effects. I had a rapid heartbeat and palpitations (woke from a sound sleep because of it), slept for a day-and-a-half straight, and had muscle twitches in addition to dilated pupils. I didn't feel in control of my body. It felt as if Lexapro had kicked my a**, felt weak like I was going to die. I've tried numerous antidepressants as well as Effexor and have never had such a bad reaction. I readily admit that I am impressionable, but I read Lexapro's SE profile and was looking forward to taking the drug because the SE's all seemed relatively mild. Boy was I wrong! It was a nightmare made all the worse because of Lex's long half-life (24+ hrs). Shame on you for telling someone their SE's weren't a possible reaction to the drug. How can you presume to know why these people reacted the way they did? You can't. It's just wrong.

> It's impossible to have all those side effects after taking only one pill. Sounds more like placebo affect to me. What does you p-doc say?

 

re: Yes, there can be SEVERE SEs to Lexapro ELENI4

Posted by lil' jimi on October 21, 2003, at 11:54:18

In reply to re: y'all's SEVERE side effects to Lexapro, posted by ELENI4 on October 20, 2003, at 11:45:17

hi ELENI 4 ,

i really hope you are doing okay there ...... ..... i haven't meant to offend you ... sorry ....

ELENI 4 wrotee:
> Lil' jimi is a BIG Lexapro proponent and doesn't seem to be able to tolerate anyone speaking ill of the drug because it works so well for him. He can't accept that people have had BAD reactions to this drug and shouldn't continue to take it. >

although i have had a good experience with lexapro, which i do want to share for our lex users, i know all too well that lexapro is not a good match for everone ... ... ... by a long shot ... ...

... until recently, i had been on the lex thread since march and i have seen many folks have bad reactions to lexapro ... ... i have tried to give them support and encouragement ... .... of course each user must judge if lexapro is effective for them and i support them when they decide they should give up on lexapro ... ... ... this happens all the time and i came to accept it a long time ago ...

... in fact, it was when i read Melina and LucyAnn's posts which started this thread, that i wanted them to known about cmonfo's parallel expereinces that cmonfo had posted on the lex thread ... ... it was when i posted the url to cmonfo at the lex thread that he came to this thread so that they would be able to share their obviously servere adverse reactions .... ... dangerously adverse for cmonfo ...

... ... i have never encouraged anyone on this thread to continue lexapro ... ... wouldn't want them to even think about trying to continue, if they have had cmomfo's servere adverse reactions ...

... ... you seem to know me very well, ELENI 4 ...
... ... but i like to think i tolerate the truth about folks' lexapro exeriences pretty well .... ... i have read enough of them to have learned such tolerance ... . .... ... am i really all that bad?

... ... none of which is say that i am not a proponent of lexapro ... ... and i have tried to give support to those who suffer initial side-effects during adaptation to lexapro ... and i have given my support to those going through withdrawals from lexapro ...

... imovho, many who suffer anxiety disorders have a immense challenge gettting lex to work for them ... ... many must try something else ...

then there's the very real risk of allergic reaction from any drug, especially from drugs a powerful as SSRIs and SNRIs ... ... ... for some users there can very dangerous allergic reactions ...

everybody should consult with their physician about all suspected side-effects for any medication, but especially for anti-depressants ...

... ... we all hope everybody finds the right elixir for them ....

i hope you find the right one(s) for you ....

take care,
~ jim

 

ELENI 4

Posted by lil' jimi on October 21, 2003, at 12:02:31

In reply to Re: My SEVERE side effects to Lexapro, posted by ELENI4 on October 20, 2003, at 11:55:10

hi again ELENI 4,

you wrote:
> No, it's not impossible. I had the same kind of side effects. I had a rapid heartbeat and palpitations (woke from a sound sleep because of it), slept for a day-and-a-half straight, and had muscle twitches in addition to dilated pupils. I didn't feel in control of my body. It felt as if Lexapro had kicked my a**, felt weak like I was going to die. I've tried numerous antidepressants as well as Effexor and have never had such a bad reaction. I readily admit that I am impressionable, but I read Lexapro's SE profile and was looking forward to taking the drug because the SE's all seemed relatively mild. Boy was I wrong! It was a nightmare made all the worse because of Lex's long half-life (24+ hrs). Shame on you for telling someone their SE's weren't a possible reaction to the drug. How can you presume to know why these people reacted the way they did? You can't. It's just wrong. >

.... .... i am hoping you to got to read my prevoius post (which agrees with yours) that supported and defended the credibility of our posters LucyAnn and Melina ....

... ... how tolerant was i then?

take care,
~ jim

 

Re: lil'jimi

Posted by Mariposa on October 21, 2003, at 16:56:47

In reply to ELENI 4, posted by lil' jimi on October 21, 2003, at 12:02:31

Glad to see you are back...have missed your wonderful posts.

Best wishes1~~~8|8

 

Mariposa

Posted by lil' jimi on October 22, 2003, at 16:30:35

In reply to Re: lil'jimi, posted by Mariposa on October 21, 2003, at 16:56:47

Thank you!
~ jim


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