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Starting lexapro...schizoaffective bipolar depression. Advice?


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I just started today 5 mg of lexapro. I know it’s a baby dose and will most likely have to be increased. But my pdoc wants to play it safe due to mania risk.

Anyone have any experience with lexapro good or bad? Anything side effects wise I should be aware of?

She also took me off Invega finally! So I’m down to 3 AAP’s in 3 days (I’m to take 3 mg of Invega for three days then stop). 

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Lexapro was pretty mild for me.  Had a calming effect and was good for anxiety.  No side effects that I can remember.  Just not strong enough for my level of depression at the time.

*I was on 15mg at the time. 

Edited by gb84
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13 hours ago, gb84 said:

Lexapro was pretty mild for me.  Had a calming effect and was good for anxiety.  No side effects that I can remember.  Just not strong enough for my level of depression at the time.

*I was on 15mg at the time. 

Ok good to know. Thanks for sharing. Hopefully it will be strong enough for me once I get to a good dose. Also my pdoc said clozapine will help too with refractory depression (whatever that means?????). 

She didn’t seem like she was keen on trying the trintellix. So I asked her if any of the generic ones were just as good and she asked what I had been on in the past and then she came up with lexapro which I don’t think I’ve ever been on. In my 20’s I tried just a couple AD’s would only take for like a week then stop due to fear of weight gain. Well then I soon got super crazy and I had to go n antipsychotic meds. I had no choice. 

11 hours ago, Hume's doona said:

I took the sister drug, celexa. Worked OK. Made me fart an awful lot. Only side effect I remember

Ok. Thanks. I’ve never tried celexa or the lexapro. Let’s hope I don't get that side effect! Yikes!

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10 hours ago, Gatorgirl said:

I know it’s on my list of no no meds due to my genetics. Most SSRIs are for me. I am taking a tricyclic AD.

Just wanted to wish you luck!

Thank you so much for the good luck wishes! I’m interested in that test you spoke of. But I’m worried about cost and I don’t know if it is only for AD’s or if it also shows AAP’s too? I know that -pine antipsychotic meds work best for me as I mentioned elsewhere to you. My pdoc has never brought it up. I go to a county clinic, maybe they don’t do them there. I’m not sure. Also I see my pdoc through telemedicine. I don’t know if that makes it more difficult? But that test seems to be very popular right now. Thanks for the info about it!

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I took Lexapro when I was 15 years old, before we knew I was bipolar. It made me cycle very rapidly between mania and depression, and made me psychotic. But it also gave me "the Lexapro lethargy..." My room went to hell in a hand basket: You couldn't walk in it anywhere, there were no pathways to get anywhere, trash everywhere, etc. I also didn't feel like doing anything, I fell asleep constantly in class, I gained 30 lb, etc. It wasn't a good drug for me. Even if I had taken it with mood stabilizers and/or an AAP, I don't think it would've been a good match for me.

I'm not the only one who has noted the "Lexapro lethargy." One of my best friends was on Lexapro, and while it did wonders for his anxiety, it made him not give a crap about anything, and he said his room too went to hell in the same manner as mine, only to a greater degree.

YMMV though. My mom took it and did very well with it for a good while until it pooped out on her after a years or so.

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The first time I took it it gave me startup headaches and insomnia if taken later in the day. I was also on 5mg which seemed to have sufficient antidepressant effect for many weeks, then I became so sleepy I was barely ever awake any more, and I felt dubmed down. Had no thoughts, and was forgetful and lethargic. Made me very hungry too. It first it helped with body aches, then made them worse. Experimenting with dosage didn't help so I got off it. I think I was hypomanic after, though not sure the lexapro did that. 

 

The second time I took it it was a miracle. Took a bit longer to kick in than first time and I had to go up to 20 mg but it was amazing. I felt so normal. No cognitive side effects, sleep was fine, no jaw clenching, no lethargy, nothing. No constipation, unlike the fist time. The few digestive side effects (like flatulence) went away within 48 hours for me. No hypomania. I split my dose to 10 mg mornings, and 10 in the p.m. I tried going lower but that didn't work. I only tapered off due to insurance problems, otherwise I'd have stuck with it because it worked so wonderfully the second time.

 

I'd say try it, and if it doesn't work this time, don't be afraid to try it sometime later if it's suggested. I guess no two episodes are the same, so sometimes a med is the right fit, other times not. 

I'd keep an eye on mania symptoms.

 

I really hope it works for you!! 

Edited by ShameShameShame
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17 hours ago, mikl_pls said:

I took Lexapro when I was 15 years old, before we knew I was bipolar. It made me cycle very rapidly between mania and depression, and made me psychotic. But it also gave me "the Lexapro lethargy..." My room went to hell in a hand basket: You couldn't walk in it anywhere, there were no pathways to get anywhere, trash everywhere, etc. I also didn't feel like doing anything, I fell asleep constantly in class, I gained 30 lb, etc. It wasn't a good drug for me. Even if I had taken it with mood stabilizers and/or an AAP, I don't think it would've been a good match for me.

I'm not the only one who has noted the "Lexapro lethargy." One of my best friends was on Lexapro, and while it did wonders for his anxiety, it made him not give a crap about anything, and he said his room too went to hell in the same manner as mine, only to a greater degree.

YMMV though. My mom took it and did very well with it for a good while until it pooped out on her after a years or so.

I hope it doesn’t cause me to cycle! That is worrisome! I need motivation, not lack of motivation! Yikes!

17 hours ago, echolocation said:

lexapro was the first AD i tried. i think i took 10 mg. i don't remember it doing much. i had a lot of brainfog on it, but that could also have just been the depression.

i'm so happy your AAPs are finally going down! I hope being rid of one helps you feel better. :) 

Thanks I’m happy too that the AAP’s are going down in number! I hope lexapro works for me. I need motivation. Ugh. 

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16 hours ago, looking for answers said:

it was a decent med when i took it a while back, its been along time, little stimulating for me. 

My mother has taken for years and likes it

 

good luck

Thank you! I could use a little stimulation. I’m constantly tired. I hope it works well for me like it does for your mother. 

10 hours ago, Gatorgirl said:

I have Medicare and it covered the whole cost of the test. It’s a simple mouth swab that they’ll mail in and you get results back for ADs, APs, AAPs, Mood stabilizers, Opioids and Opiates.

I only have Medicare part A. I’m not sure if that covers the test or not then. Hmm. I’d have to call or ask my pdoc I guess. I hate the phone though. Ugh. 

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4 hours ago, ShameShameShame said:

The first time I took it it gave me startup headaches and insomnia if taken later in the day. I was also on 5mg which seemed to have sufficient antidepressant effect for many weeks, then I became so sleepy I was barely ever awake any more, and I felt dubmed down. Had no thoughts, and was forgetful and lethargic. Made me very hungry too. It first it helped with body aches, then made them worse. Experimenting with dosage didn't help so I got off it. I think I was hypomanic after, though not sure the lexapro did that. 

 

The second time I took it it was a miracle. Took a bit longer to kick in than first time and I had to go up to 20 mg but it was amazing. I felt so normal. No cognitive side effects, sleep was fine, no jaw clenching, no lethargy, nothing. No constipation, unlike the fist time. The few digestive side effects (like flatulence) went away within 48 hours for me. No hypomania. I split my dose to 10 mg mornings, and 10 in the p.m. I tried going lower but that didn't work. I only tapered off due to insurance problems, otherwise I'd have stuck with it because it worked so wonderfully the second time.

 

I'd say try it, and if it doesn't work this time, don't be afraid to try it sometime later if it's suggested. I guess no two episodes are the same, so sometimes a med is the right fit, other times not. 

I'd keep an eye on mania symptoms.

 

I really hope it works for you!! 

Thank you for sharing your experiences! I will keep an eye out for mania symptoms. My pdoc is also keeping a close eye on me. I sure hope this med works out for me. 

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2 hours ago, Wonderful.Cheese said:

I hope it doesn’t cause me to cycle! That is worrisome! I need motivation, not lack of motivation! Yikes!

Thanks I’m happy too that the AAP’s are going down in number! I hope lexapro works for me. I need motivation. Ugh. 

I didn't mean that post to be demotivational or anything. I meant to tell you good luck with the Lexapro and that I hope it works for you! :D Here's to brighter days ahead of you!

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4 hours ago, mikl_pls said:

I didn't mean that post to be demotivational or anything. I meant to tell you good luck with the Lexapro and that I hope it works for you! :D Here's to brighter days ahead of you!

Thank you! You are always so good. I know you didn’t mean anything bad or anything like that. :)

 

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