Lexapro Reaction - Off Of It Now, But Feeling Miserable! Please Help!

Amy Says:

Hello, thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully help me out! I know this is long but it said to be detailed, and if there's any other info that anyone needs to know in order to help, please don't hesitate to ask me.

I was put on Lexapro 5 MG in September 2016. This is the first drug of this type that I have ever taken. I took the 5 MG dose for 6 weeks then I was bumped up to 10 MG's once per day. I had some symptoms as the medicine was going into my body those first few weeks but I kept in close contact with my Dr. and she reassured me that it was completely normal. By the end of November 2016, my periods had stopped and I was having loose stools 3-5 times a day and a foggy brain feeling so I went back to my Dr. and after speaking with her she advised me that she thought I was going into perimenopause. I was 37 at the time so I was a bit stunned. Over the next month I started feeling weak, dizzy, had no appetite at all, and worst of all, I was having loose to diarrhea stools anywhere from 5 to 20 (not exaggerating) times per day. I went back to my Dr. and was told that since I had just finished a dose of antibiotics for a sinus infection, that I had a bad case of C-diff. I was treated for that 3 times in a row which was pretty rough on my body but none of my symptoms ever got better. My stool sample showed no signs of c-diff, ever, so the treatments were useless and unpleasant. I went to a different Dr. and had more blood work done and that showed my kidneys were not functioning properly, which had never happened before.

I was having vision problems by March 2017 (blurry, flash's of lights), also my memory started becoming terrible, I was super dizzy and falling a few times, along with all the previous symptoms I was having. The new Dr. wanted me to get a CT Scan to check for MS or anything else going on. I have had to cancel that evaluation multiple times because I can not leave my home now because of the excessive constant diarrhea. I should add that I was on no other meds during this time. On May 9th of this year I called my Pharmacist and asked for exact dates I started the Lexapro. It all matched up to my symptoms. That's when I started doing more research online and found out about how bad this drug can be for some people while taking it, and coming off of it. I called my Dr the next morning and told him what I thought and he agreed it is most likely a reaction to Lexapro after all these months. He told me to take my normal dose every other day for 10 days then cut that dose in half and take the 5 MG's for 10 days and then stop it all together. I did this and have not taken any of it for 6 days. While I was weaning off of it, I was an emotional wreck or super mean for no reason. That has went away somewhat but all the other symptoms have remained with me and have not improved.

I've lost about 30 pounds (which normally I would welcome, but not like this). I can't eat, mostly because of the fear of what will happen within minutes of swallowing the food. Any food. I've tried bland, basic, no flavor foods, to liquid diet, to non dairy, to just snacking on crackers. I do make sure I keep hydrated. I cant sleep much, my brain is a mess, and I started getting Ocular Migraines 2 months ago also. I have a colonoscopy scheduled but I couldn't get in until the end of July. I still haven't had a period, which is not from perimenopause I was later told by the new Dr. I'm still going to the bathroom up to 20 times a day but on average its 10 times per day and never less than 5 times per day. This has become debilitating to me. I don't leave my house unless I absolutely have to go to the Dr. for this. Will this last forever? Can any of this cause permanent damage to my body? I know my back near my kidneys hurt regularly and my back swells there also. I'm seriously broken and at a loss as to how I can get my life back and start living again. I have been open and willing and will continue to be, trying anything that may help, so if anyone can guide me, or educate me on a way to improve this, please let me know! I have so much empathy for anyone that has gone through this. Its almost like people don't believe me that its this bad but I don't know of a single soul that would make this up for any reason. Please leave any responses, I will appreciate all of them.

39 Replies (2 Pages)

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Beth Says:

I'm wondering if you have an auto-immune disorder. Between the massive diarrhea, the kidney issues, the water retention, etc., it sounds like multiple systems are being impacted. A couple of questions: are you passing any blood and/or mucus in your stool? And are you taking any anti-diarrheal medications?

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Susie Says:

I am very sorry to hear a out those horrible symptoms. I took 10mg for one day & I never touched it again. I was sick all day & night. I vomited until I was gagging...nausea, headache etc.

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BBK Says:

I believe you thoroughly, I am a male, I am 76 years old had a stent put in 14 years ago, and was put on lovastatin, I immediately started having loose stools and at times explosive bowel movements. One time I had it so bad I couldn't get to a bathroom. I was at safeway looking for the restrooms. and I just lost control. It was so embarrassing, I had to clean up my mess on the floor and also myself. So like you, I quit leaving the house unless I had to. and yes, I was having so many BM I quit counting, but I am sure at times it was 20 or so a day. this was going on for the last 14 years I told my Heart Dr the problem and he said that I needed to keep taking statins because it kept my tubes from getting inflamed. Than 3 years ago, I had to have open heart surgery to replace my plugged arteries going into my heart. I complained about my explosive BM and was switched to Lipitor. It didn't help and even had many more symptoms, I then had two major strokes that stopped me from complaining. I ended up with speech impediment and weak muscles with no energy. I wallowed in self pity for about a year than my wife had shoulder surgery and Had to drive. with me falling asleep having bowel movement every other minute and a few black outs I just didn't see any way I could drive. So, I temporarily gave up my statins to see if that would help. Wow was I surprised. It was the statins that was causing most of my problems and beta blockers which I am still taking for my BP.
Like you I went on line to find out what to do. I thought surely I was going to die from high cholesterol or go back to feeling dead with taking Lipitor. I was fighting with my wife and my Dr. Than my Dr. said she could just tell me and advise me from what was in the medical journals, what I do is totally up to me. I decided if high cholesterol was going to kill me at least I would die with having a life.
some of the bloggers told be that I should try CoQ10. and vitamin b complex well vitamin B complex started the whole diarrhea thing again and the CoQ10 makes me sick momentarily. but my over all strength and energy was so much better and the fact that I am taking 200 mg that I am cutting back to at least 100 should do the job. I am an old man, so I don't have the period problem so I can't help you there. but everthing else can be fixed, you just have to find your own path.
I am up to walking 2 miles a day and that helps me, but walking is my meditation
Lots of good luck to you

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Jackie Says:

What is Lexapro! I'm very interested, to found out what the symptoms are.

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Tom Says:

I used to take Amneal Citalopram with no issues until recently. If I take my prescribed dosage of 10 mg. Amneal Citalopram or any brand Citalopram now I experience the same negative things that you are experiencing. I was so sick and tired of the negative sides effects I experienced on all brands of Citalopram, I researched a natural alternatives and found one in Sam E 200 mg. When I told my psychologist about my switching to Sam E, he said good, in Europe doctors have been prescribing Sam E for depression since the late 90's. I wish you the best of luck finding either a prescription medication or natural alternative that will work with your system. You cannot continue taking the prescription medication you are on now because it is making you sick!

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Kat Says:

Ask your doctor to do a full thyroid blood panel including TPO to check for Hashimoto Thyroiditis. I hope you get better quickly.

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Tigwelder Says:

Hi Amy sorry your going thru all this,i would ask your doctor to put you on Effexor,this drug works excellent for depression,and panic attacks,and it should not give you all the side effects that your dealing with no,i take extended Release Effexor and it works the best,and iv'e tried everything else.So I hope this helps you

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Natasha Says:

I am Natasha from India. No I don't know anyone who is suffering with such condition.
But my father owns medicine factories and I am a science person. So observing and studying is my hobby.
I have observed that doctors usually rely on such medications for anxiety and depression. My brother started taking flucanazole quite early in his life. Now he so afraid of leaving it. These medicines cause no good to body.
Rather I have stopped believing allopathy. Please try homeopathy along with yoga and Ayurveda.
Please visit Kerala, India.
You may find solution to your problem. Search on internet, you will understand what I am saying.
Good luck

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Kat Says:

My daughter took Sam E and she ended up in the hospital with a severe case of acute gastritis and it caused nodules. Just be careful. If you start having symptoms, you should stop taking it.

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Kat Says:

I agree with you Natasha. All that stuff is poison.. Talk therapy and a walk or meditation is good.

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Susie Says:

The best thing to do is Google it in order to get a full understanding of lexapro & it's side effect.

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Grendel Says:

Hello Amy, I took lexapro for maybe 5 months. I didn't have any of the symptoms you mentioned but I did have adverse effects which made me quit the med cold turkey. I had withdrawal symptoms for almost two weeks, nothing drastic ( pulsing, rushing feeling in my head that would come and go, nausea from time to time) nothing I couldn't handle. After two weeks I was basically back to square one.
From what I know everyone reacts to these types of medications differently. Most often the initial treatment causes reactions and side effects. From what I was told theses side effects usually mean the medication is working/doing something. Most likely thats the reason why your doctor kept you on the med, he wanted you to push thru the awful reactions until the therapeutic effect. Like I said each medication is different and each person reacts differently to each medication so dont lose hope, lexapro didn't work for you and me but there are other meds you can try. Unfortunately it's always a trial and error when taking anti deprassants and it's most often a painful journey but keep hope, just picture that finally you will find a medication that works for you and will make you feel better. One other advice I can give you is, if you feel like your doctor is not listening or doing a poor job at treating you then dont hesitate and find a different one. I would recommend a psychiatrist as opposed to a general practiotioner.

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Jane Says:

Don't know what you are talking about with fluconosole. It is for YEAST, not depression or anxiety!

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Amy Says:

Thank you for answering! Yes I had 2 occasions where I had a small amount of blood in the diarrhea. Also, almost every time I went to the bathroom, there was what looked like mucus in the toilet. When I provided a sample to my Dr. that is when he said I in fact did not have C-Diff.

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Amy Says:

Thank you for answering! I'm so glad you didn't move forward in taking this medication!

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Amy Says:

I forgot to answer about taking anti diarrhea medicines, my brain is quite foggy, sorry about that. I was taking them in the first 2 months of the symptoms and then I stopped taking them after that because my Dr. said they wouldn't help, which they never did when I did take them.

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Amy Says:

Bbk- Thank you for answering! I am so sorry that you had to deal with all of that for so many years! It makes my heart ache that no Dr. took that debilitating symptom seriously enough to help you with it. I'm glad that you are putting your own needs first and doing better now! That's pretty much what started me on this journey, I decided I needed to be in control of my own health and not just rely on what Dr.s. tell me I should do. Continued Blessing to you Sir!

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Amy Says:

Hello, thank you for reading my question and posting an answer! Lexapro is a medication used to treat quite a few different issues, but for me personally, I was put on it for severe anxiety and depression. If you look up Lexapro on Google, there are tons of sites to learn about the drug. If you are thinking of taking it, please be warned of the possible side effects that are in great detail explained on this forum. Best of luck to you!

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Amy Says:

Thanks for reading and replying to my post! I'm happy for you that you found something else that is helping you!

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Amy Says:

Thanks for reading and replying to my post! I did have those Thyroid test done on 3 different occasions. The first time was back in December 2016 and my test showed my thyroid was a bit overactive. Both follow up tests of the same kind came back perfectly normal.

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Kathy Says:

I took lexapro for years with no side effects and good results. I decided it was time I tried to get off and saw a psych md who told me to cut pill in half for a week then stop. I had so many horrible effects. I had no idea what was going on with me. One day my stomach would hurt bad. The next days legs would kill me. The next day it would be something else. I had cat scans hida scans blood work parasite cultures tests for Lyme disease upper and lowe gi tests all negative. Finally a pharmacist friend called me and I explaided what was going on and he told me it was all lexapr i withdrawal effects and that it would go away in 6 weeks. he was exactly right. Almost 6 weeks to the day the symptoms were suddenly gone. I wished I had known that lexapro could cause such bad withdrawal. Wouldn't have made it easier but at least I would have known what was wrong with me.

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Kat Says:

I agree. Also, medicine Is poison.. I know some medicine is a necessary evil but all medicine has side effects with some being deadly. One medicine causes one problem then they give another medication to help that problem then another medicine to help the problem the second medicine caused and so on. The next thing you know you are taking a bag full of medicine and you are sicker than ever. People don't realize what they are doing by taking so many different medications. They are unknowingly committing suicide. Just my opinion.

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BBK Says:

Amy: I don't know much about drugs, but it seems to me that statins can not get rid of cholesterol, since is made by the body. So it becomes effective only when it can plug up the transmitters that produces cholesterol. but in doing so can statins plug other transmitters to other organs and that is where all the different side effect come from that could be the difference in weaning time getting off of them. If I had transmitters plugged up worst then the next patient it sounds to reason that it would take longer clean up for me.
I am still confused about many issues.

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mig Says:

I took Lexapro several years ago. The only problem that I had for weeks after starting it was I couldn't care less about anything, also very cranky. I don't remember having stomach issues, but that was me, and we all react differently to medications.
Some of those symptoms sound like Crohn's disease, were you tested for Crohn's?

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BBK Says:

both drugs are anti depression drugs and could have the same side effects. I am just still searching for answers

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Kat Says:

P.S. Regarding anti inflamatory protocol diet, Also no sugar. No eggs in the beginning. Maybe add eggs later if you like them to see how you do. No nuts either especially peanuts because they are legumes. Later try walnuts then almonds unless you are allergic.

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Iam 32 years old when i entercourse with my wife it takes only 2 minutes plize give name of medicine to take more time

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Kat Says:

I went on an anti inflammatory protocol diet not to lose weight but to get better.. No grains including corn, no sugar, no dairy, no white potatoes, no night shade vegetables or tomatoes, no legumes or lentils. Lean grass fed beef chicken some fish (wild) not in the frozen section, use coconut oil and olive oil extra virgin cold pressed. No artificial sweeteners. I use a little honey instead or coconut sugar.

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Connie Says:

You could be gluten intolerant. I stopped eating crackers, bread and any food containing gluten. My diarrhea stopped and brain grogginess cleared up. Maybe you don't have celiac, but you could be gluten sensitive like I am. The only way to know is to eliminate gluten from your diet and see if your symptoms clear up.

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BBK Says:

the small amount of blood could just be in the wipe. with that much loose stools you must have some stomach acid causing irritation.Blood from within is usually black, blood from wipes is usually red.

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