Anyone on Lexapro?

Posted , 12 users are following.

I’m 18 month’s post-menopause. I had a physical today and told my doctor about anxiety and panic attacks I’ve been having for the last 8-9 months. My thyroid and other blood work came back normal. He wants me to take a low dose of Lexapro. I’m on the fence about this because the side effects are similar to what I experience with anxiety. I am also concerned about starting a medication that might be difficult to get off of later on. If my symptoms are caused by menopause, this isn’t a permanent condition (I hope!) Just like to hear from folks who’ve tried this to treat menopause related symptoms. HRT is not an option for me bc of significant family history of stroke and heart disease. 

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  • Posted

    First, I've dealt with the same issues. Bloodwork was good, was having panic attacks and a constant low level of anxiety. However, I've always been a worrier.

    Lexapro is a pretty good medication that is easy to go off. It's a SSRI and typically does not have side effects. However, you can always try alternative methods (lavender, etc) and practice mindfulness meditation. There are free apps you can download. Do short sessions and don't expect that your mind will calm itself (it bounces every 5-8 sec). Also, sometimes the body will release panic if there are distressing or unresolved issues. It's the body's way of releasing pain and a way for the body to communicate emotional distress.

    Good luck 😊

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  • Posted

    Teri,

    At 50 I went into anxiety, depression mode (never suffered from it before) nauseous, couldn't eat, I thought I was going crazy. I called a psychiatrist friend and she recommended I get full check up, I googled " can you go crazy at 50?" and thankfully menopause, perimenopause came up. So I visited my gyno she put me on lexapro 10 mg, it took about 6 weeks for my depression to lift...i have to say it was miraculous I was desperate. I felt like I was a stranger. The negative was I gained about 20 lbs, and at first reaching orgasm took forever, I blamed the medicine but it could have been another perimenopause symptom??? I did have a little sex drive then.

    I also brought my dosage down to 5 mg and it was fine then I finally weaned myself off about 2 years ago.

    2 months ago boom same depression anxiety at 55 years...this time I'm trying St. John's wort 900, it's helping but not as good as the lexapro. The only reason I'm not on lexapro, is because weight gain and sex. I have a friend who says I'd rather be sane than crazy sexual.🤣I'm going on 3 months of st. John's but I'm thinking of asking my doctor for lexapro. It's frustrating to not feel like yourself.

    This is the first month I have not had a cycle @ 55???

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  • Posted

    Uggg. I feel your pain! I have anxiety disorder. And I'm smack in the middle of menopause at 53.... And hot flashes bring on an anxiety attack. I've been on venlifaxine (Effexor XR 75) for over 12 years. And recently my anxiety has gotten worse with menopause.

    But without the medication, I'd be in a padded cell, I'm sure. However, I did some research on boosting serotonin in the brain and so far with diet and supplements, along with prayer and exercise, I'm doing so so so much better!!! Lexapro didn't work for me. But that's not saying it won't work for you. I weaned off of it pretty easy after being on it for 10 weeks. Try a low dose for 6-8 weeks and then slowly work up if you have to. I'm willing to bet that this will pass over time.... But it's no way to live!!! God bless you!!!!!

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  • Posted

    I tried lexapro years ago only on it 3 days and made me vomit even water. Made my heart race couldn’t take it .

    I just started using the HRT patch as could not stand the symptoms of fatigue weirdness dizziness any longer . Only at day 2 so we’ll see how it goes. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Teri I’ve been on low dose of Lexapro 10mg/day for years now and it has helped immensely with my anxiety/depression with no side effects that I know of.  I’m not in menopause though.
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  • Posted

    Hi

    I asked to go on HRT this week, doc asked about if there's any family history of blood clots/thrombosis I said my mother had a stroke in her early 50s but didn't say I couldn't go on it so am worried now I also get aura migrains from time to time.

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    • Posted

      My mom had a coronary attack at 39 but was on a strong birth control pill. I think things were different in the 70’s ? I just went on it 3 days ago as cannot live this way any longer ... dizzy no life fatigued all the time . some days ready for bed at 4.30pm.

      So I’m taking a chance for a while anyway. Some women take it for a few years and when they get off it they either get symptoms back or they just resume back to normal.

      So I’m trying it as so desperate ! 

      Plus my time of the month just arrived so it must be working although don’t feel any different yet.

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  • Posted

    Hi Teri. I tried lexapro about 18 months ago when I was 49 and experiencing a kind of agitated depression/anxiety with hormonal imbalance. It worked a treat, but I became lethargic, really apathetic, and gained weight, which just made me more irritable and depressed. That said i have two friends who used lexapro to manage symptoms during menopause and they responded well, so i guess you need to see if it works for you. I have read elsewhere that it is one of the less difficult ssri's to come off, and even though i only went on it for 8 weeks i didnt experience major difficulties tapering off. Good luck with it all - it can all be a bit hit and miss till you discover the right combination. X

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  • Posted

    Thanks All for the advice! I just have to consider this a bit. Anxiety, palpitations and panic attacks are my worst meno  symptoms and unfortunately Lexapro can cause these things. Hadn’t considered  the weight gain! I may have to seek alternative treatment before I go there. I just keep wondering - how will I know if meno symptoms have improved - or are over - if I’m medicated? I take metoprolol for a heart arrhythmia and that helps some. Maybe more yoga. I like the meditation suggestion too. Blessings for a good weekend to all ☺️
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    • Posted

      Hi Teri 

      My craziness anxiety panic attacks phobias started when I was 41 10 months after a very traumatic accident . I could not even get the mail ! Everybody said it was PTSD so I did loads of therapy learned to manage it but never got back to a normal life . Could only drive within a few miles and would get attacks .... just awful. 

      NOW HOWEVER ! I see that at 41 it was probably hormones and Peri so for 10 years I’ve suffered and had I known ????? 😡

      So get your hormones sorted out blood test BHRT HRT  and you may not even need anti depressants ! 

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    • Posted

      My panic attacks started after an intensely stressful 6 months. Several situations happening at once and all at about the 1 year mark post-meno. I had some symptoms before. Occasional palpitations, relatively mild hot flushes. The anxiety just exploded though and my heart would race. Confidence has plummeted and at times I’m afraid to leave the house because I’m worried about this happening. This is all so completely out of character for me that I can’t help but think it’s hormonal. I left a message for my GYN to ask if she has a different opinion than my PCP. Maybe she’ll test hormone levels first. I’ll have to research BHRT. I’m not sure what this is or if it’s available in US? Does it carry the same risks? 
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  • Posted

    FYI....I forgot to add in that I need synthroid. Years ago, I was on 100 mcg when my period started acting up where I would have it for 15-20 days, done for 5 then back to another 2 week period. Had my thyroid tested and it was still too low, so my med was upped to 150 mcg. Well, it turned out recently that I've been getting too much synthroid and that was also a contributing factor in my anxiety. I'm on a lower dose, but it has taken several weeks to feel a difference, and I have! Although you don't have a thyroid problem, anyone reading this should be aware that this is also a possibility for increased anxiety if your taking synthroid... That you might be over medicated. So it's always good to be rechecked periodically. 😊

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