Switching to Lexapro

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I have been on citalopram for just on a year now 20 mg and feeling great although initially had bad side effects for the first 8 weeks. Now my G P wants me to switch to Lexapro because it's not supposed to cause weight gain or engender palpitations. I'm scared about switching in case I get bad side effects again . My psychiatrist  thinks I should just stay on cit . If it ain't broke don't fix it mentality? What do you all think? Has anyone else been in this dilemma?

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    If you have a medical condition that is been affected by citalopram then I guess you could change, but otherwise if it works I would stay on it. Especially as you went through all that time going through side effects. What side effects did you get starting them? I increased the citalopram and have had two weeks of upset stomach and headaches.

    Did you tell the psychiatrist why the go wanted you to change?

    Good luck in your decision x

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    • Posted

      Thanks Louise

      your thoughts are very helpful.I don't have a medical condition other than high anxiety and the citalopram is working well other than weight gain I'm talking 3 kgs or one dress size. Apparently the Lexapro doesn't cause weight gain like cit but a few extra kgs doesn't. Matter in the big scheme of things! The side effects were palpitations ,nausea ,shaking ,crying and a sense of pins and needles in the forearms just awful!, definitely don't want that back! My psychiatrist thinks I should stay with citalopram as it has worked so well in the past and is doing now. I have an 18 year old in her last year of school and suffering from anxiety so I need to be strong for her. 

      So I think you have made me decide to stick with it . Thanks so much for helping. I am always here for you too. Hope the side effects from upping your dose subsides soon.It will get better but it's a waiting game. 

      Thanks so much x

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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear about your daughter too.

      Just wanted to say, that my son also suffered a break down last year and had terrible anxiety and depression.  I'd been off Cit a year successfully, but restarted it when he became ill as also needed to stay strong for him.  He's now back to his normal self again after an horrendous time with the illness and starting Fluoxetine, and I'm feeling good again too.

      I'd stay on Cit - if it's working for you, you don't have any medical problems, then stay with something you know.

      K xx

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much Katecogs 

      Always value your posts. I have been on citalopram for a year now after a 10 year break but suddenly it came back after the stress of my daughter getting sick. She sees a psychologist and is on study leave at present before her final exams.We live in Australia so our school year finishes December.

      I agree with your advice about staying with something you know  this is virtually what my psychiatrist advised. The GPs are well meaning but don't fully understand anxiety.

      I am hoping to start decreasing my dose next year but it will be very slow indeed, I want to minimise withdrawal symptoms best I can.

      Thanks again x

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    • Posted

      I know exactly how you feel.  My anxiety started looming when my son got sick too - it stressed me so much seeing him suffer.  I've also been back on Citalopram a year, though I'd only had a one year break.  I've decreased my meds already and will also come off next year - my daughter get married next year so don't want to chance it before the big day.

      Youre right - GP's don't really know about anxiety, and can only prescribe or point you in the right direction of a specialist.

      Any form of exercise is good for anxiety as it burns up any excess.  We got our son signed up to badminton classes, African drumming classes and also now plays guitar.  It's kept him interested, fit, socialised more and is still enjoying the classes a year on.  He's quite a good drummer now :-)

      Its bad enough suffering from this illness, but even worse watching our children get sick.

      I hope your daughter gets relief soon. xxx

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  • Posted

    I would think that uness your having other medical issues from the Cit stay on it. Did your doctor say why they wanted to switch you? I have heard of people on Cit for years. Myself its only 7 weeks. But as the saying goes....If it aint broke. Don't fix it. Good luck.
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    • Posted

      hi Robin 

      thanks to you and Louise I've decided to stay on citalopram as I just can't risk getting those awful side effects back just as the quality of my life has improved thanks to citalopram and I need to be strong for my daughter who is suffering with anxiety and depression.just having people to chat to who is in the same boat helps so much . Do hope you are on the way to recovery. 7 weeks is still early days but this drug takes its time .Stick with it it is worth it. X

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    • Posted

      I am so glad we have this forum to share our experiences and scary times etc with each other. I know for me, the Cit has been a god send and feel the healing on a on going basis.

      I understand about yout concerns for your daughter! My anxiety slapped me hardest Aug 1st weekend. I have 3 kids. And in 48 hours had an intense amount of stress. One child got engaged, another Married and the 3rd one i received a call. at 1 AM from his friends Father concerned my son was going to hurt himself! Our kids are our everything and when they go through anything at all (good, bad,etc...) It affects us so greatly! Good luck with your daughters anxiety, sounds like she has a pretty great Mom looking out for her!

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    • Posted

      Hi Robin 

      thanks for your reply. We do worry about our children both my son and daughter are adopted from Thailand 22years and 18 yrs now and both have anxiety so they came to the right family ! I understand what they are going through.Anxiety runs in my family on my Mothers side and my brother has it too.it is supposed to be genetic but.my children are adopted so who knows? I think any psychological bro let is both biological and environmental but I'm no expert. All I know is that it really helps to support each other so many thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hey Felis, I was on Citi for 4 months(20 mg) then took myself off, thought I was better! Was good for 3 months and then went back to my old ways, went to Dr 2 weeks ago and she put me on 10 mg of Lexapro, It's stronger and starts to work quicker with less side effects! Well I've been taking for 8 days now and I feel absolutely great, better than I have on citi. Very minimal side effects, hard to fall asleep for a couple nights, here and there a little dizzy and feeling kinda yucky!! But nothing much at all, it is so great. Just going on it I didn't here anything about anything about the weight gain, which is great, I did put on some weight on citi and that's the reason I went off of it. Your Dr said weight gain is not suppose to happen on Lexapro?? Just the way I feel I would say go for it!! Good Luck!!
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    • Posted

      Thanks Beth 

      Really value what you have said and will talk about the switch with my psychiatrist early next year. Right now will stay on cit as trying to be strong for my daughter and then it will be Christmas so I'm staying with what I know for now ! But your comments were really helpful and thanks so much for your support

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