View Full Version : GAD AND LEXAPRO
06-28-2005, 10:02 AM
I basically have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Been taking Lexapro for six weeks, started at 20mg first 3, 40 last 3. Feel NO effects, only good thing is no side effects either. Doc doesn't think I'm a dopamine candidate due to the anxiety. Also have me on a low does of Risperdal, .5 MG, that's only been a little over a week, but I notice nothing off of that either. Any other med suggestions?
It's better to discuss medication options with your doctor, or to go ask another doctor or psychiatrist. And for more information on meds sometimes contacting a pharmacist is recommended.
Anyway, Lexapro is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) medication. If you'd like to try other SSRI's, there are a number of choices including Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil. There are also multiple-reuptake-inhibitors such as Effexor and Wellbutrin. For all SSRI's and '"MRI's", a time frame of 6-8 weeks is usually considered the proper amount of time to wait for full effect.
Risperdal, the other med you listed, is labeled as primarily an antipsychotic medication, but I see there are other indications it is prescribed for. I don't know why your doctor prescribed it, but it doesn't look like a typical choice for anxiety treatment.
There are a few other classes of medications used to treat anxiety, two of the more prescribed being benzodiazepines and beta blockers. Both of these can be prescribed on a daily basis as well as an as-you-need-them basis (PRN). They both act within a certain period of hours (or even under an hour) and have half-lifes that are usually a fraction of a day.
Your mention of dopamine as a medication didn't make sense to me, as dopamine is a neurotransmitter, but I did find someplace that there is a synthetic version of dopamine produced - but it has the effect of increasing heart rate and blood pressure, which doesn't make sense to me. Anyway, dopamine the neurotransmitter seems to be most commonly known for feelings of pleasure or desire, although it does play a part in a number of other processes in the body and brain.
A good source for information regarding medications is http://www.crazymeds.org. Despite the kooky name, there's a lot of useful information on that site.
hope that helps,
06-28-2005, 02:18 PM
Thanks. Have a med consultant again on Friday. Risperdal is also used for bipolar, I guess that's why they gave me that, I also am slightly agorapphobic, so that may be why also. I also have Xanax, which I only use to sleep, I've taken it during the day, doesn't seem to do much but make me tired. I was thinking of Welbutrin when I mentioned the dopamine, she meant as I dopamine generator, not dopamine itself. I guess dopamine generators cause more anxiety, at this point I can barely tell the anxiety apart from the depression. Just know spent a lot of money on Lexapro while feeling no effects whatsoever.
i know going from medication to medication can suck, hopefully you'll find the right one for you :)
By the way Wellbutrin doesn't actually 'generate' dopamine, but it blocks the reuptake of it. Basically that means the dopamine 'signal' will continue to transmit longer than usual, increasing the length of time the body feels the effects associated with dopamine. It's confusing I know.. probably better to think of it as a generator now that i think of it hehe.
Oh, Xanax I found to work for me (for anxiety, not sleep) - but it had some kind of cognitive 'dampening' effect - my concentration, memory, etc seemed to suffer when I took it. I now take Klonopin which works better for me and has less of a noticeable 'drop-off' when it leaves my system.
anyway, good luck!
06-28-2005, 02:55 PM
I'm confused on Xanax. Isn't basically just like having a few drinks? I mean sedationwise? I was given a prescription for .5 mg three times a day, but I just take it to sleep, like I said before. I was actually not taking it on weekend nights, as the anxiety was less, and there was more time to sleep, and I actually stopped taking it for a week, hearing of the addictive properties. It doesn't seem to change my thinking or mood, just a calming effect.
Benzodiazepines such as Xanax, and alcohol do both activate the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) system in the brain, so there are a few common effects that are shared. GABA signals have an inhibitor affect on the nervous system - it slows down nerve pulses, relaxes muscles etc. It also can affect memory.
I didn't say the Xanax changed my mood or my thinking, it just made things a little more 'fuzzier' and I felt a little 'too' calm.. but you can have those same effects with beer hehe.
As far as the 'addictive' properties of benzodiazepines, I have never noticed that myself, and I've never spoken to an anxiety sufferer that has become addicted to them. Addiction, as far as I know, relates to an uncontrollable impulse to keep repeating something regardless of outcomes.
On the other hand, I have heard of some issues of physical dependence. That physical dependence is actually something shared with many antidepressant medications, though, including SSRI's. In fact, your doctor may tell you that you need to taper off Lexapro in small increments due to some type of dependence your body has on them. The slow tapiering will also help to fight the effects of 'SSRI discontinuation syndrome', as this one article describes it at
Actually, if you haven't noticed any effects (good or bad) from Lexapro you may be pretty lucky and be able to go off it quickly without any adverse withdrawal affects.
I only mention all that because psychiatrists always seem to be concerned about benzodiazepines only, whereas they are happy to prescribe SSRI's at the drop of a hat. I've only ever had problems going off SSRI's. Benzo's have never given me the withdrawal effects SSRI's have. Perhaps, though, benzo's are more of a concern for typical drug addicts who are more prone to abuse them then us anxiety sufferers, and doctors are just trying to be on the safe side? i dunno
okay, i'm rambling.. sorry, i'm done ;)
06-29-2005, 02:28 PM
One of the positives with anxiety is that most of us are intelligent!! So frustrating that the anxiety has become the anxiety. You know what I mean? Seeing a hypnotists again tonight. Pretty much like a therapist, but health insurance doesn't cover it. Also am doing that Midwest Anxiety program by Lucinda Barret, I believe is her name.
I've been curious myself about visiting hypnotists... it seems like a cool idea, but I'm always worried about 'what if they decide to mess with my brain' hehe. Like maybe when my alarm rings the next morning I'll be barking like a dog. =P
Hope it works out well for you though. And let me know how that Lucinda Bassett program is.. I'm not even sure of what it consists of? Tapes, books, etc?
06-30-2005, 07:42 AM
It's basically a lot of positive talk. Don't know if I was really hypnotized or not. It is dvd's and cd's, also can get set-up with a personal coach.
Really, a personal coach? That's pretty neat. Is it basically someone you can call up and talk to about things? Or is there more to it
06-30-2005, 08:38 AM
First they have to pre-screen you to see if you're eligible. I talked to someone at the Center, they really seem to care and be enthusiastic about it. I'm not sure how it works after that. Kind of at my wit's end, trying everything, nothing seems to help. I have days on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst, that are "7's", but the "7's" are still pretty crappy.
Thanks for the info :)
And I know how you feel... living with anxiety sucks. All we can do is keep trying our best to find something that works, and hopefully we'll stumble upon the right thing!
11-20-2011, 09:27 AM
im on both benzo's and ssri, i'm currently taking 3 .5mg clonazepam a day and 40mg of celexa too, but my GAD and agoraphobia are at its worst right now, i've taken to staying in my room most of th day almost every day, and i say its at its worst cuz im facing other health issues that i keep going over in my mind and it causes....yup... more anxiety, doctors should be cautious about who they prescribe benzo's to. i myself being a addict although in recovery found it very hard at first to stick to the prescribed ammount and when i'd run out there was definite withdrawl symptoms. i now take as prescribed but the thing with benzo's is they have a tolorance effect so after a couple months sometimes less depending on what kind your on you need to go up in doseage to maintain the effect otherwise you'll go through more anxiety. its a catch 22, benzo's are effective but they are a band-aid as i've come to realize, though talking to my doctor we are thinking of trying a high doseage of gabapentin witch can help with anxiety and has no tolorance,dependance or addictive proporties. anyway's thats just my expierience and what im going through both with the meds and my situation. i hope the ppl on this site find what im trying to, to feel better, cuz this is no way to live, its very stressfull and its taking a toll on my heart, i just got diagnosed with long qt syndrome of the heart and im only 26. anyway sorry for ranting. hope this helps or is a bit informative
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