Lexapro: Increasing Dosage/how Long?

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McKnight115 Says:


I'm in my mid-thirties and have been suffering from anxiety for a long time. Have been taking xanax for many years and while it helps, I recently decided to give Lexapro a try. I've been on 10 mg for 1 week now. I realized immediately that I was sleeping better but today I had a slight panic attack (which I understand happens in the initial stages of taking the drug). My doc discussed upping the dose eventually but there's no specific timeline. So my question is this: How long did you wait before increasing the dose from 10 mg to say 15 or 20? I have a colleague who started on 10 mg and then went to 15 after one week. Not sure if that's the norm. Any replies would be greatly appreciated.



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Eric Says:

It is important to give the drug several weeks to work. There is no way to know after a week whether or not you need to go up on it. Many doctors go up too quickly on these meds. Also, there is no guarantee that you will never experience a panic attack again just because you are on a particular med. I am on Lexapro and I have taken almost all the antidepressants at one point or another. They help, but they are not a cure. The most important thing is to be in therapy along with your medication and learn tools for dealing with your anxiety and panic when/if it arises.

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David Says:

Eric has a good point about using therapy to "learn ways to deal with the anxiety and panic when or if it arises". And I just wanted to branch off a little into that area without taking away from the initial discussion. In my personal experience overcoming anxiety in certain areas of my life, I don't think this point can be stressed enough if a patient doesn't want to remain dependent on something else for any longer than whatever allotted time frame is thought to be necessary; not that Lexapro is addicting per say, but since we aren't always in complete control of obtaining our meds through the hands of a middle-man (two in this case: doctor & pharmacist) - solely relying on meds for relief can potentially present more complicated problems than they're worth in the unlikely event that a doctor/pharmacist is unable to fulfill your request/Rx at any point in time. This may leave the patient susceptible to serious withdrawals. And I don't say this to deter you by any means. Just felt that it was something to take into consideration if you intend on taking Lexapro (or any prescribed med) for the long haul. This type of risk factor doesn't seem to bother many patients, but after coming across related stories on here from those who have been affected in such a way, I can only spread awareness to help keep others informed of any potential long term ramifications that come with many medications; especially those that affect how we feel on a day to day basis.

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