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Avatar universal

I took 1 lexapro and it has ruined my life..

I was suffering from alot of stress and then I started to get depressed so, I went to the doctor 9 years ago and he prescribed lexapro and vioxx due to a knot that had come up on my neck ' thinking back on that I believe it was caused from all the tension headaches I was having" anyway that night as usual I put my daughter to bed took the meds. then I went to bed. I woke up about 2 hours later, I jumped strait out of my bed with my mind feeling as if it was a million miles away and racing thoughts and very I was confused, but yet I could feel a cold sensation like ice being run through my viens, I ran into the living room screaming and crying to where my husband was. I remember not being able to stand still I had to be moving constanly in a fast pace my heart was racing I put my hands on my chest it felt like my heart was actually coming out of my chest I felt like I was holding it in with pressure from my hands. Then next I started burning intead of being cold I looked for holes in my body because  It hurt so bad. My husband called my mom and she came and seen me and said it was probably an allergic reaction. I was begging to go to the hospital, but instead she called the doctor at the office she worked at. He told her to give me benadryl. My husband left to go get some during that time I started shaking uncontrolable I was going from being ice cold to burning feelings going through my body like waves.I started getting bad cramps so I ran to the bathroom and had direahha and throwing up at the same time.I just knew I was dying I remember my husband giving me benadryl thinking it would stop everything, but it did hardly nothing! It use to knock me out, but nothing would stop this crazy feelings and the pain I was having. My mom called the doctor back and he said it should wear off by morning...Well it didn't I was took to the hopital 24 hours later still with all these symptoms and was told it was serotion syndrom and sent  home..I lost all kinds of weight I went for almost 2 weeks without eating and barely drinking and walking constantly day and night I was wired up. I was scared to be left alone I didn't shower for 3 days I was told. I didn't realize that at the time that's how messed up I was.I finally went back to the er they ask if I was on crack and I have never had any kind of drugs in my life! They said it was aniexty and sent me home and told me to act normal it was the only way I would get over it. I started to clear up enough to find a new doctor he gave me xanax it is the only thing that helps with the symptoms. I was taking 6 a day and still needed more just so I could sit down. There is so much more I could go on and on, but I just want to know if anyone knows what could be going on I do get better sometimes,but this has never went completly away and I am going on 9 years of this:( I pray everyday for an answer for the right help to come along I just want to be a normal mother and wife again I hate to suffer ,but mostly it kills me to know what my daughter has seen and been through.
62 Responses
168141 tn?1342762597

Yes !!!, This exact same thing happened to me 4 and a half years ago and I still suffer horribly at times. I took ONE 10mg OF LEXAPRO and went to sleep. When I awoke 8 hours later I was in hell. My entire body felt like it was on fire from the inside, couldn't sit still (akathisia) had horrible panic and my ears were ringing very loud. Waves of nervous energy were running through my veins driving me crazy. I went running down the street in my underwear after sprinting around my house. I couldn't remain still. It hurt like a severe nerve pain all over as if I was dying from some type of poisoning or overdose. I had never felt anything like this or experienced anything like this before and I didn't take anything but the Lexapro.

Everything you described, I had...and then a lot more. It wrecked my life. I cannot begin to describe all of the adverse reactions which occured after I took the Lexapro nor the diminished quality of my life since I made that mistake.

Xanax is the only saving grace for me, I take 1mg an hour before bed and only more if I have a terrible panic attack (I did not suffer from panic attacks before the Lexapro incident). It is the only thing that has helped and I am sensitive to most other meds. I also take ibuprofen for pain and one baby aspirin a day.

I have been contacted (and still have their e-maill addy's) by several people who needed help after the (one pill Lexapro) problem. This is a rare but very real condition that is apparently a type of serotonin syndrome. I have not yet been able to return to my field repairing machinery and robotics.

4 and a half years later I still struggle, and although I did improve after the first 2 years, I do not believe I will ever fully recover. This damage feels permanent. I have seen a counselor for about a year and a half and a psychiatrist. Their opinion is that I do not have an underlying mental condition and that this issue is directly related to neural damage caused by the Lexapro. However, since the traumatic experience coupled with this disabling condition, I have developed an anxiety disorder and PTSD.

I will attempt to paste a link of an earlier post I had made in 2007 here:

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Anxiety/LEXAPRO/show/358816
168141 tn?1342762597
Also, I tried to switch to Klonopin at the request of my doctor and had awful reaction to it for some reason. I had a weird episode so I went back to the xanax. For me, xanax has been a good long term solution despite what I have read. I manage the amount taken (which is very low) and I never have any problem with dependency or addiction. This is just an exercise of willpower. I have read a study that states 2/3rds of people who have taken xanax for long term treatment do not increase their levels and do not develop any substance abuse issues. So it appears that some people have issues with it but not the majority. For me, it is not a problem and has been a Godsend.
Avatar universal
Will power is the key, you are exactly right because xanax is the ONLY thing I have found that helps. Do you go by AJC on here to? Because that is the profile I read on here that give the almost exact same symptoms I had..
Avatar universal
Ok I had a moment there, I didn't click the link before I had ask you about AJC. So, know  I was just a little confused for a second. lol
168141 tn?1342762597

Yes, that was my old alias and had a problem, couldn't get back into the old account, created a new one. Sorry for the confusion.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have an opposite effect on nerve cells than xanax does. Google GABA for more ino on nerve cell receptors. I think this is why xanax works so well after nerve cells are damaged by SSRI's.

My ears are actually ringing right now....... If I could only go back and not take that 0ne pill, life would be so different.
Avatar universal
I am feeling pretty bad right now myself my head is tingling like I am wearing a hat or something. I will google that tomorrow I just feel so sick to my stomach and very emotional right now.  This is awful...I am gonna try to relax to see if that helps I have had a very hard day.  don't really understand all this stuff it's way over my head..I don't think I ever had the ringing in my ears,but for a few weeks I didn't know much of anything so who knows. I know people say one pill wouldn't do this but if you think about it alot of people have died by just taking one pill. It don't make sense does it? I wish I would have never took lexapro either! Are you disabled now from this? I know there is times I am not even able to get out of my house. I am going to try to get a job to keep my mind busy to see if it helps. I just don't know where to start. I went to school for cosmetolgy, but that was years ago and I would have to go through the whole process again to be able to start over. I love being mom though so I may look for something part time that way I can still go to all my daughters cheer practices and do the mom and daughter things. Plus if I can't do it I can quit. I will just have to try it I guess!
955569 tn?1255493280
lexapro saved my life... period.
Avatar universal
I am glad it saved your life, but it ruined mine.period.... That goes to show you everyones body reacts different.Thanks for information it really helped me:)
168141 tn?1342762597

Yes, I am disabled. I was forced to quit working my full time job after taking the pill. I then returned to part time work, very slowly (after 4 months), and after much difficulty I lost my job and have been out of work for almost 9 months. I would love to try to work but I couldn't do it and the result would be my termination.

I also get the pressure in the head... it is extremely weird and uncomfortable.
Avatar universal
That is awful I feel like I have suffered, but reading about you mine could have been alot worse. I am still feeling uncomfortable today I am still tingling in my head for two days strait now.I know this sounds strange, but you seem to be able to express yourself more than I can with communication. I feel like it's a task to type on here I have to really focus and think awhile before I type then reread it. Most of the time after I posted my comments I see all the mistakes I have made. I worry about every little thing . I can't stand feeling this way have you ever experienced this? Before you took lexapro did you have any health problems at all?  I can't imagine the depression this must be causing you or the anger you must have built up. How have you learned to deal with this?
Avatar universal
I was given a months worht of lexapro samples and I did not feel any different on them except although being told they can keep you awake at night (which happens anyway) I slept great. I had problems with my insurance so I was unable to get refills through regular pharmacy until now so I just di.d not bother   Just yesterday I started treatment for Hep c Pregasys interferon and Ribapac ribiviarin..Because of the side effects I am encouraged to start the Lexapro again. Even though nothing bad happened when I took the samples  after reading this thread and what happened to you and a few others I am not so sure I should take them especially now that I started the hep c treatment. .  Is there another antidepressant I can ask my Dr. for? I have 3 kids and I really need to keep the side effects that affect my mood away the best I can. Any suggestions you may have will be appreciated.  Take care
DaBronxMom
I ha
Avatar universal
There is plenty of other antidepressents out there I am just not crazy about taking any of them if any way possible try to avoid them. If you do have to take them don't freak out because, everyone is not the same and you may be fine. I know don't wont to discourage anyone from getting medical help if they need it. I just posted this on here to see if others went through the same thing and make people be aware of what they can do to some people. Doctors do not believe this can happen, but it is real and it is awful. I have 1 daughter, she was 5 years old when this happen to me. so I know how you feel about your kids. I get down alot because, I know she has seen me go through some bad reactions with this, I think that is the worst part of it all it breaks my heart. Just talk to your doctor and do research on what you take. Good Luck
Avatar universal
if u doubt that the feeling is still being affected by lexapro after she consumed 1 pill of lexpro after 9 years, Why don't you try one lexapro and see if she is telling the truth or you are just making your own assumption?
What makes u hv the right to tell the exact feelings that the patient is going through?
370181 tn?1428180348
This is a forum for giving opinions, offering suggestions, and support. That is what I did. It is entirely up to the OP to accept, ponder or reject those opinions.
I suggested seeing her doctor to explore the possibility that that one pill, taken 9 years previously, could still be the cause of her symptoms. I did state that I doubted that was the case, but that wa only MY OPINION. I did not state that it was impossible or that she was crazy to think that may be the reason. The suggestion to see a psychiatrist was not about getting her to accept the "fact" that the Lexapro could not cause this situation, (which I NEVER said) but that she had been suffering with these symptoms for 9 years and the p-doc could help her cope in conjunction with working with her GP.
BTW, I took Lexapro for 2 years, it worked very well for me and I have no lasting effects from it.
I'm sorry that my response apparently pissed you off so badly. That is also just my opinion.
Peace
Greenlydia
Avatar universal
I had a very similar reaction after taking one Celexa. It was the longest and most terrifying three days of my life. No one could do anything for me not even doctors. Unless a person has dealt with anxiety they have no idea how it can torture you day in and out. I'm on 25mg of Buspar daily and Ativan as needed. I've been struggling with horrible anxiety for six months now. Everytime I think I'm getting better I end up having an intense attack. I wish there was some "cure" for this condition and I could be normal again.
Avatar universal
so.. hope u enjoy the medicine then.
Peace
Avatar universal
I don't see where any tests have been done to rule out other causes for what you're enduring.  You need to have a complete neurological work-up along with blood work to make sure there isn't an underlying cause for your symptoms.  I too, find it difficult to understand how one pill can still be affecting you after this much time.  All of us on here are very much aware of how horrifying anxiety can be, but all other causes need to be ruled out as well. Nobody doubts what you're saying, we're all just trying to help you sort this all out.  There are possible other causes for what you're enduring, and these all need to be explored.  I hope you can find some answers and peace.  Best wishes.
480448 tn?1426952138
HALI11, like lydia said, this is a discussion forum, and you will find MANY differing opinions here.  Lydia offered excellent suggestions and another opinion of possible ways to handle this.  She was not calling the OP a liar or making any accusations about her making anything up.  Your replies were disrespectful and uncalled for.

While some people have long term problems with medications like described here...for one, it is rare, and secondly, it is usually not after taking only one pill.  Either way, even if it IS the Lexapro that caused these issues, it is very difficult to be able to pinpoint a condition being a result of a med, especially a single dose a decade ago.

The most important thing for all of you is to get out there...have thorough medical work-ups and try to figure out what is going on, and more importantly, how it can be treated.  While I'm sure it is frustrating when you believe the med caused your problems...sometimes finding the CAUSE becomes less important than finding the CURE.

Best of luck to all, and please remember to respect all of your fellow posters, even if they have a view differing from your own.  That's what makes a site like this so helpful.  If we all agreed all the time...we'd never learn from one another!
Avatar universal
Wow, After reading this thread I am now terrified of increasing my lexipro.
Avatar universal
it seems that the medicine do not resolve the problems for the patient however it worsens the situation of the patient. I wonder if the doctors understand how the medicine works before they prescribe for the patient, or if they really know the patient really need the medicine. Isn't there's any other best solution for the anxiety besides prescribing the medicine which will ruin people's life and will not resolve the problem? I wonder how and why. I wonder if the patient will consume the medicine after the doctor have mentioned the side-effects of this medicine.
480448 tn?1426952138
HALI11....you're making some very strong statements.  I understand that you had a negative experience with these meds, and I'm sorry for that, but you simply can't paint with such a broad brush.  Just as not every person has a good experience, not everyone goes through these kinds of things that you have.

As far as doctors go, it's always best to seek help from a psychiatrist when dealing with these kinds of meds.  While many PCPs are knowledgeable, the p-docs tend to be better aware of these meds and have more experience with Rx-ing them...they've seen more.  You have to remember that SO much about treating psychiatric disorders is based upon THEORY.  There still aren't solid answers as to what causes these kinds of disorders.  The same thing goes for the meds.  

With ANY kind of med, doctors have to base their knowledge not only on schooling, but also studies and their first hand experience.  It's not like a doctor chooses a med out of a hat.  The doctor takes a thorough medical history, including other meds a person is on or has tried.  The doctor performs a physical exam and rules out a medical cause.  When a doctor has gathered all of the proper info about a patient, a discussion can begin about med options based ono each INDIVIDUAL case.  Sure, not all docs are as "thorough" as others, but the basic process remains the same.

NO doctor will give any guarantees when it comes to a medication, ANY kind of medication.  Patients also need to be responsible and make informed decisions about starting a new med.  It simply isn't fair to put all of the burden on the doctor.  There are good docs, so-so docs, and bad ones, that's a fact of life.  But, no one should go into something like a new med blindly.  If a doctor doesn't educate the pt on risks and side effects, then it is that patient's job to ASK or research for themselves before making a decision.  If a doctor seems to be haphazardly Rx'ing meds, then the onus is on the patient to seek out a new doctor.  Even at that point, no one will know the outcome...not the doctor, not the patient, pharmacist, no one...until the patient tries the med and has their own experience.

Of course there are other ways to approach anxiety, and we discuss them here all the time.  Often times, different methods are successful for different people.  Some report great success with meds, others have noghtmarish experiences.  Some do great with just therapy...some decide that a natural supplement approach is for them.  All that really matters is that a person finds relief and a way that works for THEM in dealing with the anxiety.

As you can clearly see by the post before yours (tara's), making such strong statements being "anti" any form of treatment only does the readers a disservice as it scares an already anxious person into doubting THEIR choices, which is not fair.  Most certainly share your experiences, even if they are bad, but please be mindful about making statements indicating that a form of treatment is going to end up horribly for anyone who tries it...or by pointing the finger at doctors who for most of them, are only trying to help.  It's much more effective if you share what you have tried that DOES work for you....instead of hammering a method that didn't.  To indicate that a med is going to "ruin someone's life" is not only incorrect (as MANY have had great success with these meds), but also is fear mongering and will only make an anxious person that much more anxious.

ANYONE trying a new med needs to make that decision for themselves, with the doctor, after all the information is on the table and the person has weighed the pros and cons.  The patient needs to ask questions and keep in touch with their doctors.  It's hard, but it is best to try a new med without getting too much of a preconceived notion either way.
Avatar universal
Look for some other type of medication such as herbal, traditional medicine or some natural material to solve your problem rather than taking drugs which will harm your body and mind in the long term. You knw our "friendly" doctor "will" admit their "mistake" for what they have done to their patient. You knw better.
Avatar universal
hello..  I COMPLETLY believe that after 9 years you still have effects of lexipro...  I took 1   YES JUST 11111111 ONE PRISTIQ pill last july 2010  i still feel like crap EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE..  (TO BE HONEST, im a tad better) the doctors, my family EVERYBODY  says " its in my head"  bull sH&^I( it!!!!   it isnt in my head!!  the pill was poison..  I want you to know your not alone :(   I understand completely  , unfortunatley

1070971 tn?1299617710
I am so sorry that all of you have gone through this hell and still are. It makes my bought of anxiety and depression nothing compared to what all of you have been through. I too have a sensitive system to medications. I usually have some type of reaction to all meds. I took Lexapro for a couple of days and I felt awful. My doctor put me back on Wellbutrin. That's pretty much the only antidepressant my body can handle. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.
1309535 tn?1297203880
I'm on Lexapro and I'm fine. I didn't start by taking 10ml though, I started taking it slowly by taking a quarter then a half then a full.. I don't understand why your Dr. would of had you take it like that to start with. I think maybe the 10ml all at once could of been too much for you and maybe you're more sensitive to meds like you said. Everyone and everybody is different. I'm sorry that you all had this affect to this medication. But, it has worked for some of us and this is not an addictive medication unlike others out there. I wish you the best and hope you feel better soon.
Avatar universal
I've been taking Lexapro for 3 years now. Before that, I went through about 3-4 other types of anti-depressent medications. Lexapro has, by far, worked the best for me without any real side affects. To those saying they're scared to take it, well, everyone is different. I feel sorry for those it has badly affected. On the other hand, I have a few friends who take the same medication and have the same good experiance as me. Talk to your doctor about it and start out slow.
Avatar universal
I have recently found out that I cannot take any anti-depressents at all..The reason I have had so much trouble is because I can't take any SSRI at all they give me serotonin sydrome or do more harm than good to me..  In two years there will be new meds on the market to help people like me:) and to everyone who don't believe or "thinks they know it all just b/c this hasn't happen to them" Don't complain next time somehting goes wrong or happens to you!! It may not be fair to someone else if you share your own experience!! We are only suppose to be postive nothing negitive happens..LOL.. I am happy it has worked for some people I just didn't want anyone to feel alone if it has happen to them. There is good and bad in all.God bless everyone who has been through this.
480448 tn?1426952138
Of course we want to hear everyone's experiences, but you have to understand that these kind of rare events don't come even close in number to the countless people who have had a postive experience, and when people are coming to this forum looking for help with medications and are afraid, the last they need is to read strong statements about medications being "evil" and people warning them never to touch a medication.  

Delivering such a strong message must be done responsibly and compassionately, b/c you just never know how many people you might scare away from THEIR answer to anxiety.

EVERY single person starting a new medication should allow themselves to have their own experiences and not be swayed by stories, good or bad.  A lot of people become too afraid to even try a medication after reading a thread like this.  Anxiety is bad enough without adding fuel to it.

I have total compassion for what you went through, and while I'm not convinced of a Serotonin Syndrome in each case, I'm well aware that a very small percentage of people can have horrible reactions to these medications.  I wouldn't wish what you went through on my worst enemy.  I also am living proof of the overwhelming success these kinds of meds can offer people.  We must be careful in how we deliver our message.  There are plenty of people on this forum who had bad experiences with medications, and they are great at sharing what alternative methods DID work for them and are careful not to be overly frightening in their descriptions.

I wish you the best of luck and hope you can find a medication soon that will work for you!
168141 tn?1342762597

Sorry I have been away for a while,  I have started to make videos about my experience and will be posting them on youtube. I recently suffered another stroke in April. That is my 3rd stroke since the Lexapro.

Check out my very boring and ill-prepared video, there will be 7 nmore sections...at least.

http://www.youtube.com/user/wdtony

if that link doesn't work just search youtube: SSRI brain damage #1

I will be posting more later this week.

There are a lot more horror stories online about these drugs than there were 5 years ago. I understand that there are many people who have written about the positivel effects of anti-depressants and I am not going to argue that some people have good experiences. The point I would like to make is that these "rare" adverse reactions are probably not as rare as we might believe.

These are very powerful drugs and even if they do help some people, no one (not even the people who make these drugs or study the brain) know how they work or what damage might be caused. We have been involuntarily injected into a socio-pharmaceutical experiment without having been given information about risks, consequences or warnings about what we are entering into.

Just ask ANY doctor what the appropriate level of serotonin would be in an average human's brain and you will realize very quickly that they do not know. Then keep asking questions, what are the fucntions of serotonin in the body?...can sensitive populations be damaged by too much of any neurotransmitter or inability to reuptake said neurotransmitter into the emitting neuron? .....what side effects would ensue if a person were to have damaged neurons due to a medically induced chemical imbalance in the brain?

I think I have made my point....Experimental and dangerous, and you will only be answered with "I don't know" or some explanation which will only be a guess or an outright lie.

send me an email or contact me on youtube, people that haven't committed suicide or been placed in psyche-wards due to these drugs are coming together to show the world that this is a very large problem.

***@****

And P.S. I think many drugs that help people are wonderful and I am so happy that we have chemicals that can relieve pain and help our lives, so I don't hate all drugs, my points are all based on the fact that we are not educated and even lied to by Big Pharma at the cost of our health. I actually have to take benzo's now (thank God for them) because of what the Lexapro did to me. And some people freak out on benzo's.... so I am very aware of the good and bad sides of drugs.
480448 tn?1426952138
"Experimental" and something based on theory are two different things.  MUCH of the causes and treatments of mental illnesses is based on theory.  MOST good doctors would be able to tell a patient that if they asked about the levels os serotonin.  

There are risks to taking any medication.  A person must weigh the risks and benefits for themselves. Doctors cannot possibly know the outcome a med will have on each individual person.  There is always new information coming to light about meds, even ones that have been around for decades.

How does one know they have "brain damage"?  Is that diagnosed or assumed?  If it is diagnosed, how?  And, how can it be proven that it was related to the SSRI?

I'm sorry to hear about your stroke...what kind was it?  Hemorrhagic?  Thrombolytic? Anoxic?  

I'm asking these questions because they are relevant to the discussion and I think it is only fair that people reading see the arguments on both sides.
168141 tn?1342762597

I had an ischaemic stroke (my second), it was a lacunar infarct in the right nucleus of the lentiform corona radiata. I had total left side paralysis.  the first stroke I had was in my cerebellum and the third is unknown because I cannot get to the hospital to pick up my abnormal CT scan results. No cause can be found for these strokes even after extensive tests with exception to the Lexapro and the remnants of its damage. The cause is inconclusive at this time.

Clinical diagnoses are given every day based upon observations alone, I was diagnosed quite early after taking the pill with serotonin syndrome and subsequent impairments due to an adverse reaction to Lexapro. My inability to work, drive, stand still, listen to music or function in life were indicators that I had suffered an acute adverse reaction...having no history of anything like this happen to me for the previous 34 years. I am lucky to be alive. You are not required to believe me and I am not concerned with your skepticism.

Google: PETER BREGGIN and look at his work exposing dangers of psychiatric medications. I have researched this phenomenon and learned much. If you were to do more reading it will be possible to become better educated on this subject.

As a society we are NOT PROPERLY EDUCATED about the dangers associated with taking these psychiatric drugs. That is the problem. The dangers are not always unknown, but withheld from us by the very pharmaceutical companies profiting from our ill-informed gamble. And it seems the FDA does very little to protect the consumer.

Also, research GWEN OLSEN on Youtube, she was recently a featured guest on the Dr. OZ show speaking against over-prescribing of psychiatric medication and their dangers. She was a drug rep for several years and now she devotes her life to exposing the lies she was coached and trained to persuade doctors and all the dirty tricks she used to push known dangerous and experimental psyche-meds. She also became a victim of these meds herself.


Avatar universal
I took two tiny doses of Doxepin antidepressant one year ago and have been totally disabled ever since - I am in total hell!!

Anyone else like this please contact me - we need to support each other

***@****
Avatar universal
rikr at comcast dot net

please contact me

I took two tiny doses of Doxepin antidepressant one year ago and have been totally disabled ever since - I am in total hell!!

Anyone else like this please contact me - we need to support each other

Avatar universal
To those who have suffered side effects from medication, please post on this site.

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Side-Effects-From-Medications/show/1118?camp=msc
Avatar universal
I find this hard to believe, I started Paxil when I was 14 I had full
Body burning sensations I was sick as for a while but than it started working and was great now at 28 I'm on lexapro and getting body burning again and weird stuff but if I take anti anxiety med it goes away, I think u just had a panic attack from starting the Meds as is common and starting side effects, seretonin syndrome only happens with large doses 10mg is a small dose and usually only happens when takeing more than one medication at a time, plus the seretonin takes time to build up in ur system at one dose it would b hardly anything, I'm interested in what u were prescribed it for to begin with? I'd say ur ongoing problems r probly generalized anxiety panic that u actually need treatment for, ur fear of medication is keeping u sick, these medications save peoples lives , ur liveing in hell because of anxiety but ur scared to get the help ur symptoms r all probly from low seretonin , the thing that might help u u fear because of the starting effects
Avatar universal
What u describe happened sounds so much like a bad panic attack and as can happen after haveing  ur first bad panic attack
The fear of it keeps them comeing u need help for panic and anxiety,
Avatar universal
I went threw the same symptoms at age 14 constant panic attacks and anxiety day in and day out exactly as u explain, u need a good phycologist to diagnose u and u need to try anti depressant again and give it time, only thing that helps being a benzo shows it's anxiety
Avatar universal
It's knowing fact that antidepressants increase anxiety at the beginning befor they kick in , stop scareing people ,
480448 tn?1426952138
Just FYI...this thread is several years old, and most of  the original participants are no longer active on the site.

It's easy to pull up an older thread without realizing it.  One way you can see, at a glance, if the thread is older than 6 months, is the presence of the hourglass symbol next to the date.

Thanks for your contribution!
168141 tn?1342762597

The thread may be old but many people are still experiencing these problems from SSRI's, and should know they are not alone.

I still have hellish symptoms and although I get by, I still stand by my statement that Lexapro ruined my life.

The more research I do on SSRI's, the more I realize that these drugs are too experimental and dangerous to prescribe to anyone.

check out paxilprogress website if you don't believe it. These drugs are poison.
Avatar universal
That is your opinion. And hopefully your opinion won't scare anybody and make them stop taking their SSRI (if working). Mine has helped me so much it's amazing. Not a poision at all. I'm sorry about your expierence. And to all the others who had bad ones.
Avatar universal
Old thread...new experience....I was put on 5mg of Lexapro a couple of weeks ago. Did alright after the first 6 days. Then I was instructed to up the dose to 10 mg. About 6 to 7 hours later, I began having burning pin-prick pains in my finger tips and a general numbness in both hands. No, I am not a diabetic...just had bloodwork done for a pre-op (hernia laparascopy). I dealt with this excruciating condition for 4 days accompanied by total manic depressive episodes. Finally, I had enough and halved the dose. As soon as I did that, the pain in the hands subsided. The anxiety remained, but at least I wasn't feeling like my fingertips were thrust into a fire-ant pile. And no, I never had this sensation prior to trying this medication. Called the doctor the following Monday and he said to stop taking it. He is aware of this potential side-effect and said that I probably should stay away from the SSRI class of drugs. Been off of it for 3 days and the tingling has persisted, but to a much lesser degree. I hope the condition subsides completely, although I suspect, based on Lex's half-life, I'll be dealing with this for some time to come. Had a mild flu-like withdrawal symptom the first day of discontinuation. That cleared up quickly. Reality is that Lex works for a majority of people. I'm one of the unlucky ones who had a bad experience. Currently on low-dose clonapin to deal with the aftermath. Conclusion: If I make it out of this without any peripheral nerve damage, I'll take the depression over trying another pill. For me, it just wasn't worth it.
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It's odd...the symptoms that KLG79  had after taking the medications, I had before I started on Lexapro. In my case the Lexapro took care of alot of those symptoms. My actual problem turned out to be Hashimoto's thyroiditis, but hypothyroidism can cause low seratonin, so I guess that's why the Lexapro somewhat helped for a brief period. I did have other horrible symptoms when I first started it though. My pupils would dialate, I felt like I was going crazy, i was skaky, etc.  These are considered seratonin sydrome symptoms, but in actuality it was just that my body was not used to it. It was a shock to my system. So, to lessen the symptoms, I started with 1/4 of a pill...yup 1/4...then worked my way up to a whole pill. I had no side effects taking it this way. I  did the same thing coming off it..and again...no side effects. Doctors really should tell their patients this, especially those who become addicted and are trying to wean off. And  when it comes to taking meds it seems size really does matter. Smaller people tend to do better with lower dosages.
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Wow I have hashimotis too this lexapro keeps me totally num I have no short term memory at all even been to the mayo
Avatar universal
There are some advanced tests  out there that can check some neurotrasnmitter levels. Unfortunately, these tests are over most Doctors heads, unless you go somewhere like Mayo.  I know a few Doctors that do these tests, but not many. I wish more doctors would do them  instead of just sticking people on whatever meds they want.

Most people overproduce or underproduce certain neurotransmittters for reasons ranging anywhere from; stress; endocrine problems; vitamin/mineral/amino deficiencies, toxicities, imbalances; GI problems; and illnesses of just about any kind. Basically, anything thats wrong with you is going to affect your neurotransmitters in some way. That being said, everyones chemistry is different...meds that have a positive affect on some may have a very negative affect on others.

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Hi I think it's possible, I was very sensitive to Lexapro and it gave me the complete XTC effect. They say it's not possible but it was. Serotonine syndrome is 100% possible!!! It's really stupid people don't believe it while I can probably still proof them I get the XTC effect from just 2,5mg lexapro (half tablet) within 4 hours. The next few days I felt very bad and had severe headache and I quit taking them. It's more than 1 year after I stopped taking them now and I still have severe problems / XTC abuse-like brain problems. It also felt like my emotions got stuck, I look really weird all the time, my face muscles were tense all the time. I now have anti epileptic (levitiracetam) which seems to help to melt the tension in my head. I also exercise getting back in control like concentration excerising and trying to remember things of my past. The medicine should be forbidden immediatly. And those people who know everything better should shut up, just because it doesn't happen often doesn't mean it does not happen.
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I took one pill of 10 mg lexapro, and had a horrible reaction.  My pupils dilated, my body felt like it was burning and my heart was racing.  I went to the ER and my blood pressure was sky high, and I had tachycardia.  I took several hours with fluids an d Valium to calmed me down.  Today, I am still feeling very anxious and worried.  My pupils are still huge.  I think this is Avery dangerous drug and it should be off the market.
Absolutely true! A half of one pill of  Citalopram gave me the same reactions, it’s the REAL HELL that no one believes or understand it.
Antidepressants are a real POISON , they might  help for a short time but they do a permanent damage to the brain. This’s what I learned from antidepressants.
God bless y’all
Sorry you had a bad experience. They DO help many while some have the opposite experience.  That is not to take away from your situation but keep in mind that many have very good experiences on their medication but just don't come to a forum to talk about it because they've moved on.  good luck to you and hope you are also able to move past the issues surrounding anxiety and having taken a small amount of Citalopram.  good luck to you.
It's sad you had this experience.  But I'm guessing reacting so severely to half of one pill is probably an allergy reaction, and it's impossible for a doctor to know if we're allergic to something we've never taken.  I'm guessing the universe of those who suffer so from half a pill is extremely small.  But taking these drugs for long periods of time is thought to cause problems for the brain -- this is true for any drugs taken for long periods of time.  We have to remember, all drugs are studied for short periods of time for money reasons.  The long studies only come with use when the drugs are on the market.  Not everyone will have a problem taking them long-term, not even most probably, as the brain is very adaptable, but some will find it hard to function without taking meds again and some will have some deficits they didn't have before, such as the ability to learn to adapt to stress or the ability to sleep well or other problems.  It does happen.  But that's a far cry from one half of one pill.  Which is no consolation to anyone who does have this happen to them that it probably almost never happens.  It does mean labeling them all as poison that nobody should ever take goes too far.  Having a life limited by what drugs do is better than no life at all.  Life is full of risk and tradeoffs.  We win some, we lose some.  
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Is the memory loss permanent
Avatar universal
Lexapro had nothing to do with it . change the way you think . anxiety is telling you all those bad thoughts .
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Your symptoms sound like serotonin syndrome. He probably gave you too high a dose. You're lucky because left untreated serotonin syndrome can cause death.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serotonin_syndrome
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Serotonin syndrome is incredibly rare, and you'd have to give a huge dose of Lexapro to cause it just one time.  Rereading this old post, it very well might have been the vioxx, which has had a lot of problems including causing heart problems.  No way to know, but again, if anyone is still reading this really old post, I just wanted to reassure you that getting serotonin syndrome when taking just one drug that affects serotonin almost never happens.  It is always very rare, but when it does happen, it's generally in people who have been given several drugs that affect serotonin.
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A few weeks ago I was prescribed Lexapro by my doctor for depression and anxiety, however the first 2 days went by well.  It seemed to have a positive effect on me,  I was quickly out of my depressive state and happy.  I felt great.  But on the third day I quickly went from being happy to spiraling  depression and a major panic attack.  I was able to calm myself down and finally able to fall asleep.  On the 4th day,  that day was the worst. In the early part of the day I felt terrible physically, I was drained, no energy, I  felt sick,  I had a headache and it was hard for me to concentrate. Later in the afternoon I was starting to hallucinate but I tried to struggle through it convincing myself that it was just a side effect. It got increasingly worse once night came and I was in a full blown panic attack while also hallucinating. I was unable to control myself and felt like I was going to faint so I ended up going to the emergency room. Luckily they took me serious as my blood pressure was incredibly high and my heart rate out of control. Ever since that night I've been struggling with anxiety and panic attacks, I literally feel traumatized by my experience with Lexapro. I'm afraid of going crazy so I've been stuck at home, physically I've been having a hard time doing anything since I feel weak all the time. I know my reaction to it wasn't as bad as the others but I feel like this pill ruined me. I'm trying really hard to get back my freedom and independence, as I can't drive without having a panic attack,  I hate nighttime now,  I battle with mild panic attacks that pester me every day.  I've been seeing a therapist now, I exercise, do yoga,  and only drink water as to keep myself together and for the most part it's a process I'm trying so hard to fight. I won't discourage anyone  from Lexapro  if it helps but my experience was awful and if I could do it over again I would have NEVER taken it in the first place.
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I know the major problem for me is anxiety making the whole thing worse that's my own issue to work out. But the hallucination just really messed with me,  I know it was the pill that caused it but because of it I suffer from panic attacks. Which I never did before,  I pray every day that I can overcome my trauma but sometimes it's hard.
Here's the thing -- this drug doesn't start working until you've taken it for a few weeks.  Side effects start right away with these drugs, but effects don't, so the original two days of feeling better was most likely a placebo effect, not the drug.  You also say you were put on the drug for anxiety, so the question is, were you suffering panic attacks before going on the drug and was the reason for going on it or only since you started the drug?  I'm assuming you're not longer on the drug, and if that's true the drug wasn't in your system long enough to affect your brain much -- it takes time to get the brain to work artificially, which is what these meds do and why it takes some time for them to work.  Side effects start right away because drugs are toxic and the body fights them and tried to keep working the way bodies are meant to work -- this is true of all synthetic drugs, and how hard the body fights the drug has a lot to do with why different people have such different experiences.  With such a short duration of taking it, side effects should have gone away as soon as you stopped taking it -- this drug leaves the body in a matter of hours.  What can happen is a sort of PTSD reaction, which is something anxious and depressed people are prone to -- once we suffer something traumatic, such as your reaction to taking this particular medication, we tend to continue to think like we did when we were having the experience.  We don't adapt well.  Your reaction seems like a condition that has happened to me, but only happens to people who take an antidepressant or an addictive drug for a long period of time and try to stop taking it -- the brain just can't deal with the drug not being there and they go into a withdrawal that doesn't stop.  But this is clearly not your situation, even though it sounds like it.  When you're life is that broken, usually medication is the only thing that helps, and the fact this drug had this reaction on you doesn't mean another drug will.  Only one drug ever did me in, but it did me in for life.  In your case, I think you'll find that time takes care of this, but it won't take care of your underlying anxiety and depression that is making you more prone to the reaction lasting so long.  Saying that doesn't make it go away, but I hope it at least gives you some optimism that your brain will adapt to whatever normal is for you.  
The first week or two of taking an antidepressant is sometimes difficult for most. It has been reported that this reaction is the brain reacting to what it believes is a poison and the drug is basically rearranging the normal way the brain communicates. This is complex abnormal and entirely experimental. The response by the brain is to change the amounts of neurotransmitters to battle the disproportionate arrangement of neurotransmitter fluctuations. This “balancing” by the brain to fight the unbalancing caused by antidepressants is why people start to feel good after a couple of weeks. It’s not the drug causing a good feeling, but the body fighting the drug that improves people’s feelings.
But some of us can not tolerate antidepressants, which are basically poison. I was one of the unlucky ones who suffered permanent brain damage from an antidepressant. The drugs do change the way the brain adjusts chemical communications. And this can lead to toxic amounts of neurotransmitters similar to when someone suffers serotonin syndrome. This can harm and kill nerve cells in the brain.
In time, the toxic effects can wear off or the brain can heal and rewire around the damage. Some never heal. Some recover completely, and some heal partially. It typically takes a lot of time.
As someone who was permanently damaged by Paxil, or by stopping it I should say, there's a big difference between how well we tolerate them, which is a question of how an individual responds, and the question of "damage," which is from long-term use and the inability of the brain to go back to working naturally.  The drugs work not by altering the amount of neurotransmitters but by stopping the process the body uses to break down used neurotransmitters and evacuating them.  The body naturally prefers fresh, not used, so the drugs force the brain to isolate, say, serotonin in a couple of targeted receptors, or with the SNRIS, just prevent the breakdown of them by blocking the enzyme that does that from working.  The brain's response is to shut down the receptors that are no longer needed as the serotonin, for example, keeps washing around in a few receptors.  When you stop taking the drug, the dormant receptors have to wake up, and that causes some discomfort, such as brain zaps, but most people do recover.  Some don't because their receptors just don't get going again or for some other reasons -- nobody really understands this stuff.  If you research some of these meds, not even the manufacturer knows exactly what they're doing.  As for serotonin syndrome, that's not the body doing that, it's an overdose of drugs that does that, or theoretically an overdose of supplements that affect them.  I'm not sure about the killing of brain cells -- how would you really know? -- but what many researchers believe is that a drug that does a certain unnatural thing for a long time makes the brain incapable of remembering how to do it the natural way if you take the drug away.  All drugs are poison to larger and lesser extents because the body didn't evolve to take these things, they evolved to eat food.  Aspirin, the first known pharmaceutical product, tears apart the stomach lining and has possibly killed more people than anything other than old age because it's been used for so many centuries.  Drugs are always a gamble, but so is living, and so we balance reducing our suffering in our short lives vs. the harm of tampering with nature.  Hard choices.
Avatar universal
It seems that most people's opinions are based on their own experience.  "Paxiled" said, "Side effects start right away with these drugs, but effects don't, so the original two days of feeling better was most likely a placebo effect, not the drug. " I am an intelligent  person (valedictorian, though chose not to be a physician because of pressure from my physician father) and very educated on these drugs and if I hadn't had such a bad experience, I might not believe some of the things I've read; but I do believe. Like "Shortylee18," I felt good -- energized, the 1st few days on Lexapro, but the more it got into my system, the more the difficult side-effects took hold.  Yes, it is true that after a few weeks, the side effects lift for most people (and I had that experience on a previous antidepressant), but they never let up during my first 2-3 months on Lexapro and only minimized, never stopped, after discontinuing Lexapro   To say that it was "Probably placebo" is based on one's own experience and  not fair.  As someone who has been told MANY times that the side effects I had weren't real (and this wasn’t the end of my journey with debilitating effects of psychotropic drugs), being told were imagined, and couldn’t be continuing, I believe anyone's “rare” report.  I have had so many tests done and nothing can be found.  While I know many people who have responded well to certain medications, I have not.  But my RARE symptoms are real and my reports of how I was feeling and what was caused by the drug are valid as well.  There is absolutely no doubt!  People should be believed!  There's  nothing wrong with encouraging further testing, but be very careful about casting doubt on a victim’'s report of what happened to him/her -- no matter how far-fetched it seems.  I believe EVERY reported reaction and timetable given on this forum.  I also feel I have had some level of permanent brain damage (though I'm doing quite well at this point) and may decide to donate my body to science in the end. If more people are taken seriously, maybe there can be help developed in the future for the sufferers.
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One thing I know, people have a unique experience when taking a medication and stopping it. There are no absolutes. I agree that what someone reports as THEIR story or situation is their truth, their facts and that deserves to be respected.   And let's face it, when we've had a bad experience and it's devastated us, other's opinions or stories of their good experience really don't matter much, do they?
Thanks for sharing your story and experience.  Share here more often. We need people around who can tell us all the different sides to treatment.  
Just to say, I'm one of the biggest proponents on here that everyone needs to trust their instincts.  There are a lot of people who have been on here over the years who have told people (including me) that their experience can't be true, but I'm not one of them.  I'm not sure what I said that offended, because I did say that side effects begin right away.  But it does take time for the brain to adjust to working in an artificial way.  That's why it takes 4-6 weeks for most people to experience the beneficial effects they're hoping for.  But the drug starts disrupting the natural way the brain works right away because the brain has to start working in a different way, and that's hard.  How hard depends on the person.  If the good feelings only lasted a couple of days and then went away, that's evidence of a placebo effect.  That's one way we can tell when clinical trials are done whether or not a drug works, because these drugs don't beat placebo by much in trials.  Drugs for mental illness are notoriously poor performers in trials.  But one difference is, those who are on placebo don't keep the good feelings.  Those on the drugs do.  Another sidebar to this is that a lot of people on the placebo get side effects and drop out of the trials.  All this proves that the mind is very powerful.  It's why the only cure is changing the way we think; drugs don't cure, they at best tamp down symptoms.  Lucky people abound who have literally talked themselves out of their anxiety or depression; that's what therapy does.  But I'm sticking to what I said, if you feel good right away, and it doesn't last, it's a placebo effect.  If it were truly working you'd keep feeling good. I"m also not sure it's accurate to say most people get over the early side effects.  I don't think we actually know if that's true or not, because drug companies aren't talking.  They're selling.  Neither are psychiatrists.  And nobody's really counting -- every seen anyone audit your psychiatrist to verify his or her results?  I thought not.  The best we can say is that some people get over early side effects and some don't.  It is wrong to say we must believe everyone -- we must only believe facts.  Otherwise we're just practicing another religion here or spreading propaganda.  I think what we're all looking for on here and why we come here is to look for support, yes, but also to try to cut through the muck and find some truth.  Peace.
I appreciate what you are saying and am very familiar with research studies, trials, and placebo effects.  My husband is a college professor and actually teaches a class on research methods.  My only contention is when comments sound like one KNOWS what is going on rather than  posing one's belief as a possibility (not necessarily a probability).  I'm sure you meant no harm and your intention was to to be helpful, but I can only say from my own experience that I felt good after the first few days on Lexapro, but got worse the more it got into my system.  It was NOT a placebo effect.  Lexapro made me feel more "energized" at first and does confirm what you said about the drug starting to disrupt the natural way the brain works right away and side effects starting right away with these drugs.  At first the drug caused me to feel more energized, and that felt good.  But as the "energized" feeling got stronger with each pill, it was too much and turned into terrible anxiety, tremors, burning skin sensation, and more.  It was the comments of “so the original two days of feeling better was most likely a placebo effect, not the drug,"and “If the good feelings only lasted a couple of days and then went away, that's evidence of a placebo effect,” I would be more comfortable with saying that it COULD BE the placebo effect (but doesn’t have to be) if one expects the drug to work right away -- which we know it doesn’t.  I agree that it appears to be evidence of something, but we can’t be certain it was her talking herself into or expecting to be feeling good.  The start of the medicine could have altered something that felt good at first -- like me -- but as the drug built up in her system, it didn’t feel good anymore.  We can’t know for sure, so I am always more comfortable with proposing that it could be something the drug did or it could be imagined and be a placebo effect.  We as hearers of the situation can’t know for sure or even know what is probable.  I always like to leave room for effects we don’t understand though I agree with the point I think you were trying to make, that generally speaking, it takes awhile for the lasting, intended good effects of the drug to be felt.
I guess I see your point a little clearer now -- many people find taking an antidepressant stimulating.  That can make the depression part of it, the sadness of it, lighten, but the stimulation also makes anxiety worse.  This is less true with ssris like Lexapro, but it can happen with any antidepressant.  That's a factual statement.  The drug building up in the system?  Doesn't do that.  The drug leaves the system in a matter of hours.  It's the brain getting used to working articially that happens as the drug is taken over and over again to keep it in the system at the same levels.  That's also what makes stopping these meds so hard -- because they force the brain to work in an unnatural way, the brain gets used to doing it that way and shuts down some of the receptors that it would otherwise keep engaged.  They have to go back to work when we stop the drug, and that can be difficult or impossible.  There was a time when Prozac first came out when people had all kinds of theories about ssris, but they've been around a long time, been studied a long time, been litigated against a lot of times, and the FDA has fined their manufacturers over and over again for putting false info out there and hiding negative info.  Everyone can just Google this stuff now and find out how they work and how they don't work.  So yes, your point is clearer to me now, but I'm not going to agree that there is no such thing as a fact in the world.  I'm saying this very seriously -- we have a political party and a President who now are trying to make that point a matter of fact, that facts can't be found.  That's the part of what you said that I have to disagree with -- most facts we don't know yet, but we try to find them, and those facts we do know through hard suffering should be honored.  But truly, you do not have to accept anything I say as factual and I have no personal stake in that.  When it comes to medicine, and especially mental health, it's all still up for grabs, and your point of view is as valid as anyone else's.  And that's a little bit sad, because we'd all be doing better if we just knew more in this area than we do.  All the best to you.
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