Help, Help, Yelp...Lexiporo Withdrawals OMG Need Help Now.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by joeb7th, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    7 months ago I came down with symptoms matching all of you here with Fibromyalgia.

    I believe it was from a serious adverse reaction to a 6 day course of an extremely powerful antibiotic called "Levaquin" back in December of 2005.

    I had the flu and bronchitis was beginning so my local ER doctor gave me two pills that were this Levaquin. Fainted in the next half hour on ride home. Driven back to hospital by frantic wife, kept through next day in a "recovery" room and given Levaquin again around noon.

    Discharged late afternoon. That night at home my body exploded in pain, burning shoulders, arms, hands pain then numb then weak alternating, indescribable other body feelings, weird temporary pains all over, bladder urgency, insomnia, tossing and turning, next morning thought I was dying with "unprecedented" symptoms like weakness so bad I couldn't life my arms and hands except for a second or two without extreme exhaustion, forget walking, shock, pain, bladder and other organs and insides feeling like they were in shock and GI tract so painful I was about to pass out. Etc.

    Had ambulance take me back to ER. Went back there 2 to 3 times THAT FIRST WEEK ( had no PC at that time )while on Levaquin. Told them I felt I was dying, couldn't walk, couldn't sit up. They did their tests each time ( urine, blood, blood pressure, heart rate, electrolytes et. ) and said they found nothing and gave me Ativan and sent me home.

    Each time though, they asked me what I was taking and I told them Levaquin. They never said anything about this like stopping it and I trusted them to know whether or not I should do this. Never got any brochures about Levaquin. Pills given in hospital without this and small bottle later, but didn't recall any pamphlets...but so out of it I wasn't reading anything anyway. Just moaning, fighting fear and fighting for breath and strength.

    Mentioning all this to explain that several doctors who tested me and weren't finding anything kept pushing anti-depressants on me. I was taking Valium and Clonazapam for panic when pain and body shocking attacks and breathing attacks became so frightening I would panic and shake.

    These stopped the shaking. resisted the anti-depressants as never in my 50+ years have I ever needed them nor seen a psychiatrist.

    Finally gave in and got on Lexipro. Was told of side effects but these were downplayed in the way these were explained. Like doctor saying these vary, usually not that bad and this is the most common anti-depressant in use today, etc. Took ten mgs. for about a month and a half...didn't sleep well, sex drive gone, pain, tendon popping and pain and unsure, unexplained inside body problems same as before, also weird strong pulsating of head while on this...but admit anxiety was better.

    Stopped taking these at that time without telling psych...And then I think after about a week I started having problems...body going into new level of unsureness and shuddering and pain. Scary. Went back on Lexipro.

    After another month or more on 10 mgs. cut down to 5 mgs. for a couple weeks or more. My weight went from 185 when first starting Lexipro to 220 now. Have a hard time breathing when walking weight is so much. Highest weight of my life.
    Not eating any more than before Lexipro. They say your metabolism is affected. You are like a fixed cat.

    Been over two weeks from complete stop again of Lexipro ( yes, I know I should be telling this psychiatrist about my stopping but he is just totally pushing this Lexipro and even another anti-depressant called Trazadone regardless of my bad feelings about the side effects and belief that it isn't helping my physical problem. Also he is gone on vacation right now untill August 15th. )

    Starting yesterday I went into horrible body feelings. Hard to describe but will try. Almost all of this is inside my body:

    Shaking, shuttering, insides feel totally not right,gripped, unpredictable, unsure, scary feeling. Feel like I am going to collapse yet heart rate okay. Pain tings all over. A fullness in upper abdomen area even though hungry. Some nausea. Bladder acting weird and weak.
    Insomnia to the max, maybe one hour of sleep last night. Feel so many other feelings yet can't even describe them well enough. Kind of feverish but no fever. Same pain, even more in outside tendon areas all over body. Have excema rashes cropping up. Went to Dermo yesterday, gave me some creams. Looked at my right thumbnail which is collapsing and rising up in middle, looks like crud, hurts, and skin around thumb area peels. He threw out a specualtion that maybe nerve damage in shoulders? That's weird.

    Anyway, I am feeling so scared with horrible feelings I can't even describe besides the ones I did describe.

    Can anyone here tell me if what I am going through is this Lexipro withdrawal? This Psychiatrist is on vacation, but really do not want to go back because he will pressure me to go back on Lexipro. Shoot, at this rate I am going to be a 300 pounder with sleep deprived mental lapses, sex drive gone and a weird smile on my face and yet... still in pain!

    I do not want this to happen to me.

    I had a very social job before all this happened. Lost it...but hard to see my body going into unchartered weight gains and this other stuff like loss of sex drive and insomnia and other weird feelings like that head pulsing are just making me more depressed.

    Please, don't recommend I find another anti-depressant. I don't want these at all.

    I just need to be informed of what I can expect through this withdrawal thing I am going through now if that's what it is. And what can I expect from it and do to help this.

    Thanks, JB
    [This Message was Edited on 07/29/2006]
  2. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    I am just sitting at my computer waiting. I have nothing else I feel I can physically do right now. So, reply away.
  3. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    dropping the Effexor/Lexapro weight gain
    Forum: The Weight Loss Forum
    Topic: Weight Loss Problems
    Subject: dropping the Effexor/Lexapro weight gain
    From To Post
    . Can anyone give me an idea of how long it usually takes for your metabolism to recalibrate after stopping Effexor and/or Lexapro? I've gained significant weight while on these drugs (despite an intense exercise program and careful diet). My nutritionist and MD told me that the drugs likely altered my metabolism, but no one can tell me how long it will take to correct that. Most frustrating, I've noticed that since I stopped taking both, my weight gain has accelerated. Any ideas as to how long I need to endure this or ideas for correcting my metabolism? Thanks.
    The "Comments" posted below are provided by individuals and reflect their personal opinions only. Under NO circumstances should you act on any advice or opinion posted in this forum. ALWAYS check with your personal physician before taking any action regarding your health! Med Help International and our partners, sponsors and affiliates have no obligation to monitor any "Comments" posted on this site, or the content and/or accuracy of such exchanges. Med Help International does not endorse the views of any user.
    C1 . I am not sure... but will be very curious to hear these responses... my boyfriend started Lexapro like 1 1/2-2 years ago and has put on 15 lbs or more... they never told him that side effect, and he is so unhappy with it... He is tapering down his dose as we speak... we will see... I think he is perfect but his self esteem is suffering... Hope you get down to what you want quickly - good luck to you!

    C2 . I was told by my phys. that Lexapro would not cause a weight gain while taking it for slight depression. If it causes weight gain, I need to get off this stuff. Please provide feedback.

    C3 . My physician told me the same thing, "no weight gain associated with Effexor" I am on 225 mg since Aug 2005 and have gained at least 20 lbs and gone up 2 sizes, I am sick about this and am tapering down as we speak!!


    C5 . i have been on 225 of effexor and it has helped me alot but the weight gain has been horrible. i crave carbs and feel hungry alot. but i tried goin off the effexor and had bad bad withdrawls. i took my time too. any ideas?

    C6 . I have been on Lexapro since Sept. I have gained 25 lbs. I haven't changed my diet drastically enough to cause this change... i think it's the lexapro. I also have no libido, dry mouth, increased hunger. I am about to see my doc to change to another drug.

    C7 . I am now just tapering off Effexor after 3.5 yrs and 40+ lb weight gain (I refuse to get on the scale now). I have worked my way down to 75 mg after being at 300mg and yes, I've had crazy side effects. My Dr told me as well it wasn't the drug making me gain weight but I *know* it was. When 1st started the Effexor I did some research and saw that people had gained weight but I figured the depression was the bigger of the 2 demons. I do feel in control of my depression but I seem to have no control over my weight. I am hopeful that after I am off the drug 100% that my body will return to some kind of normal - fingers crossed! Please everyone keep posting - I want to know how things are going for you too. Thanks.

    C8 . Since starting to take Lexapro one year ago, I have put on 30 lbs. The med has worked wonders on my depression, but has played havoc with my weight. The Dr. says it won't put on weight on by itself. He says I'm feeling better and this is why the additonal pounds due to eating more. My consumption of food has decreased and I'm eating healthier foods. Yet, I still put on the pounds despite exercising 45 minutes 3-4 times a week. I don't under stand this and what to believe.

    too big
    C9 . If you want to read my whole story, check out my post under "Real talk about antidepressant weight gain." Befoe going on Effexor, I had gained 20 from other antidpressants (Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa). Since beginning Effexor 1 year ago, I have gained a combined total of 53 pounds. AND YES I EXERCISE AND EAT HEALTHY! At one point I even got a trainer and still couldn't lose weight.

    I am afraid to go off Effexor because I'm convinced that I'm "A Lifer" as far as needing medication fro depression.

    I am in education and with summer coming, I hope, as long as I can get my psychiatrist to agree that I'm going to change my meds, that way if I get sick, which I kknow is likely ( I had an awful Paxil withdrawal in 2003)I at least won't have to go to work. I'm doing research, but I'm thinking Welbutrin might be my best bet.

    C10 . Hi all,
    I've been on Effexor for about 8 years now. I tried others, including Lexipro. I literally went to bed weighing 145 and woke up a week later weighing 170. My second Dr. showed me in his palm pilot that the #1 side effect of Lexipro (and Celexia) is WEIGHT GAIN. I took myself off of 225mg/day of Effexor and experienced HORRIBLE side effects, however I had no choice, my insurance ran out and we all know that's not cheap. At any rate, I've been back on the effexor for about 8 mos now, I'm 5'4 and weigh 188. For 1 month now I've been trying soo hard to do Atkins (no comments please) and have not lost 1 dam pound. I generally eat healthy to begin with, so I never went through withdrawls, I even did a meat and egg thing for 3 days where that was ALL I ATE. Still, nothing. Yeah, I might have a few Mich Ultras, but I know A LOT of other people who did Atkins and drank and still lost the weight an I can't. I think back to before I stopped taking the effexor, I bounced between 160-168. When I stopped, I lost a lot of weight without trying (it's amazing what stress can do), however it was a choice to be thin, or fight the evil deamons of depression. Thats when a new Dr. suggested the Lexipro; when I commented about weight gain, he said what they all say "No it won't" 4 weeks later for my follow up I had gained 7 lbs. I'm happy with the results of the Effexor and I know it's a lifetime thing for me, but I can't get my metabolism to wake up, even with fat burners. HELP!!!!

    Knitting Magic Girl
    C11 . I have been on Lexapro on and off for 2 years now. I had to quit taking it for 3 months because i ran out of health insurance. I also am on weight watchers and had lost 50 pounds a few years ago. I was looking back on my weight loss chart and saw that within 3 weeks of starting lexapro each time, I had a significant weight gain. I went from 175 to 185 the first time and then continued to gain despite following the program and exercising. When I went off the med, the weight began to drop and I made it down below 200. I started it again in February this year and within 3 weeks, here came another 10 pounds and it's been steadilly going up ever since. I diet and I exercise and it's the only thing that I changed to my routine.

    I'm now coming off Lexapro again. Because I have mild depression, my doctor suggested that I try ginkgo or St. John's wort. Since I can't take the latter, I'm going to try ginkgo. I'll post here on how the weight goes. I've been 2 days off the med now.

    C12 . I hate lexapro!!!! I was told by my doctor that it would not cause weight gain and he lied! I started taking 20 mg in December and have gained 15 lbs since then. The funny thing is that I have a trainer and do at least 1 hour of cardio 7 days a week and still gained weight! I feel horrible. In fact, the weight gain is making me depressed. I would rather be thin and anxious than fat and chilled. I am in the process of tapering off it and and I feel like crap. It is horrible. I wish that others knew the truth of this horrible drug. The positive of drug is that it took away my anxiety and I felt great despite getting fat! So, I choose to be anxious than fat... what a shame. I guess all meds for anxiety do this. Wish the doctors told us all the truth before we took it. Hope this helps someone before taking this drug!

    C13 . I was on Paxil then Lexapro for over 2 years and gained about 40 lbs. I started because I was depressed. Now I am fat, too. And I have never had a weight problem before. I am finally off and hoping that I can lose some of this weight. If anyone has a success story about losing weight after quitting lexapro, please post it. I could use one.

    C14 . I am 24 with no previous weight gain issues. I was 138 before i got on lexapro in dec of 05 i am now 155 and totally upset. i did not know that weight gain was a side effect that goes along with this drug. I have really bad agoraphobia nd panic disorder and the medicine has helped me alot but being overeight isnt something i wanted. i am going to talk to my doc on wed and ask him to start tapering me off my 10 mg doses a day.
    good luck with all ur battles!!

    C15 . I too have been on Lexapro for about a year or so now. About 6 months ago, they increased my dosage. My weight's been going up (and I exercise severl times a week). Somehow tonight (that's why I was searching out lexapro and weight gain)I just mentioned the lexapro to my trainer. They advised that they have several clients on lexapro that are having the same trouble with weight gain.

    They seem to think that it may have something to do limiting the control we have over our intake. I just know I've been spinning in circles.

    C16 . hi my name is cristina...i'm 32 mom of 2 and before effexor i was completely "out of control". i was really nervous, had panic attacks, was bad with my kids and hubby....i've been on it for over 2 years and it really saved my life. i'm another person today..IN EVERY WAY! I GAINED 60 POUNDS since i've been on these medications! i'm trying to stop taking them now ( although i get withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, ecc ) because if i continue i'm afraid that sooner or later i'll explode! please...if anyone finds out how to stop all this weight gain..tell me! i'm on a diet : nothing - i go to the gym : nothing. i'm desperate!!!!!!!!!

    pls help!


    C17 . question guys--
    From this strand there certainly seems to be an agreement that Lexapro indeed causes weight gain, despite being labeled "weight neutral."

    My question:
    Anyone have thoughts on which is WORSE in this regard, Paxil or Lexapro?

    C18 . I will tell you that I was told the same thing about the Leaxapro not making you gain weight -- that it's feeling better -- it's NOT true.

    I do feel better finally but if I forget to take a Lexapro, I get the nausea, etc. and I have been on it 2 years with a weight gain of 40+ pounds!

    I ran a marathon in 2000 and now I walk/jog 3 miles 3-5 days a week and stick to an 1800 calorie diet -- so what's up!

    C19 . I'M SO RELIEVED BUT UPSET TO READ ALL OF THIS...I was on for 2 years and gained 15 pounds (but of course, I didn't care since I was on a drug) Now, I've been off for SIX MONTHS and I can not lose the weight. I know I ate more and drank (like a fish) more on Lexapro, but I also kept going to the gym.

    I am hoping that it re-calibrates, but I'm 48 years old, so I'm worried. I feel like a dumpy old lady.

    Right now, I'm taking 5HTP for depression, and it's not as powerful as a drug but it does work. And it helps with food cravings.(Book "The Mood Cure" has all the info.)

    C20 . I have been on Effexor XR 150mg for over 2 years now, and have decided that it is time to come off of it. It worked wonderfully for my anxiety/depression, and the only lasting side effect I had, was when I took my daily capsule later than usual. I have heard the sensation described as brain shivers and they were hideous!
    The weight gain, however, is more than I can bear! I have gained 70 pounds since being on the Effexor, and have a host of debilitating physical ailments now as a result of the weight gain! Has anyone been truly successful in achieving metabolism normalcy and weight loss, after stopping this medication? I am desperate for a light at the other end of the tunnel.

    C21 . I've been on Lexapro for four years (unfortunately)and the weight gain issue has been foremost in my mind. I was on zoloft for 2-1/2 years and gained nearly 30 pounds. On 10-15 mg Lexapro, I ballooned 20 lbs because I wasn't exercising or watching what I ate. By changing my diet (eliminating wheat, limiting candy and sugar) I was able to lower my weight by 14 lbs -- I can live with 6 extra pound. I recommend visiting a nutritionist -- it helped me significantly -- and exercising. I've just upped my dose to 20 mg and I'm worried -- hard to contol the appetite. I'll have to step up the workouts and the diet control...

    C22 . I've been concerned about my weight since the 5th grade (note: I'm 28 now) - I went on Zoloft in December of 2003 and switched to Lexapro sometime in 2004.

    I've had the weight gain.

    When I started Zoloft in December of 2003, I was around 205. I immediately dropped about 10 pounds. But, then it slowly started creaping back, even after switching to Lexapro. I've had moderate success with losing a few pounds; however, I'm ravenous for food a lot of the time and have uncontrollable cravings. Not cravings for sex, mind you, just cravings for food. My poor husband!

    Long story short: I've started decreasing my dose. I was doing 10mg. With a pill cutter, I made a group of halves and quarters. I did a week at 7.75mg starting June 20th, a week at 5mg and now I'm doing a quarter dose at 2.25mg. The withdrawl symptoms that I've had have been very brief versions of the withdrawl I've experienced in the past when I've forgotten my dose, or forgotten to refill.

    I joined Weight Watchers May 23rd, at a whopping 224 and I've only lost 2.4 pounds. I'm hoping that the decrease in chemicals that I'm putting in my body will help with my weight loss. I just don't want to be sad all the time! The anxiety that I would experience, just over a dirty kitchen floor, was rediculous! >sigh< fat and depressed about weight, or just plain depressed?

    C23 . I've been on 225-300 mg of Effexor XR for the past 2 months. Before that, I was taking 150 mg for about six months. On 300 mg, my mood was good. I noticed a big improvement in my depression but I've gained between 8 and 12 pounds in that time period.

    So we all know about this weight gain side effect being real, even if the doctors want to deny it. My question is, are there are any medications available to help treat severe depression, social anxiety disorder, and PMDD that DO NOT have these side effects?

    I don't want to get to the point of gaining 40+ pounds before I do anything about this because I'm one of those people that will get a lot more depressed/out of control if I feel fat and horrible.

    Raider Red
    C24 . Unfortunately all the antidepressants cause weight gain and does it so suck! I have only been taking Effexor XR for about 3 months and I have gained about 7-8 lbs. I am having unbelievable cravings for carbs. mostly sugary sweets. I have been on Paxil in the past and I also found myself gaining weight on it, too. I believe both meds did help in my mild depression but it was too much of a risk to keep taking them and gaining, gaining and gaining. I believe ALL SSRI's force you to gain weight. Pharma companies do not want it to be known to the patients nor the docs if the can divert them from that conversation. I used to be a pharma rep and we dance and hem hawed all over the place when there was some quetion going that you knew was not going to end well in our favor. I will be getting the starting pack for Effexor from my doctor's office tomorrw, so wish me luck! I was able to come off of Paxil CR fairly easily. Let's hope the EF is just as simple....yea, right!! LOL

    C25 . I have been on Lexapro for a year and have gained 10 pounds. This despite eating healthy as adviced by dietician and working out strenously 5-6 times a week with personal trainer. I just can't loose the weight and I am constantly hungry. I have had weight issues my whole life but this is the worst I have ever been. My psychiatrist is weening me off the Lexapro and is giving me Topamax which should induce weight-loss and also lessen the side effects of going off the Lexapro. Unfortunately, there is a lot of side effects of Topomax as well but weight gain is not one of them and need to loose the weight now !!!!

    C26 . Has anyone quite taking Lexapro and lost the weight they have gained? If so about how long did it take?

    I am a very small women (5'3 who use to weight 115)who has gained 20 pounds in the last 4 months between taking lexapro and Zoloft. I am now off both prescriptions! and want my figure back.
    Any help would be wonderful

    C27 . Hey Everyone,
    I have been on Effexor for about 4 and a half years now. When I first started I weighed about 115 lbs, and my weight when I quit this evil drug was at a whopping 141. One thing I did notice was the increased carb cravings while on this medication. I have now been off of it for about almost 2 months, and yes, the wait is slowly but surely coming off. The carb cravings have dramatically decreased, and I actually have to force myself now to eat unlike before. So yes, there is HOPE --- I am now down to 133, and every day is almost another pound. The weight loss process just actually began about 2 weeks ago, seems to have taken a while to get the drug out of my system.. I'm feeling great and hoping to be down to my original weight hopefully in about a month or so. Good luck to all of you!!

    C28 . I am so glad that I looked into this. I was recently told that I have panic disorder and GAD. My doctor suggested I start one of these drugs. After reading all of your posts and others on other web sites, I know that this is not for me. Hopefully I can control myself enough to fool everyone into thinking I'm taking something...

    Ouch is right
    C29 . My tale is similar to many here. Got on Lexapro in 12/05 weighing 113 and when I took my last pill in mid-June I was up to 126. The drug was a miracle as far as stabilizing my moods & eliminating anxiety and depression. It was a life saver, but it also medicated all my feelings into oblivion and put me in a limbo state that was a very poor place for decision-making and facing certain realities. So, between that, the sexual side effects and the weight gain, I went off - with my doctor's blessing. The withdrawl symtoms were terrible. After a very nasty few weeks, I feel better and have lost about 4 pounds. I understand that it takes a long time to get this drug out of your system and the weight loss is very slow. I think that most of the 4 pound weight loss is because I fasted for a few days and took UltraClear which is a powdered "metabolic detoxification" product you mix with water. I used to only be able to get it through a doctor but now it is avaibale on the internet. It is a de-tox flush that I thought would help get Lexapro out of my system. I think it has helped. Some of the sadness and anxiety have returned, which is troubling - but I think I made the right choice for me.

    C30 . I have been taking between 225-300mmg of effexor for 2-3yrs and it has helpedme but my weight gain is awful. I wighed 125 ponds before tahing this med. and I am now at 160 pounds and I caccot lose this weight. I also work with a personal trainer 2 times a week and exercise regularly 3-5 times a wwek and I am on a 1600 a day calorie diet and I have also cut out eating surgar and I am eating lots of lean cusine meals and have started eating more fruits and vegetables. I am in recovery for drugs and alcohol so I know alcohol has nothing to do with my weight promblem. Please help!

    C31 . I think after reading all of this I am going on a hunger stike or something, anythying to get this fat away.. Obviously the diet and excercise wont work too good according to all of you... or might just take forever...

    I am now 26yrs old, at 24 started Effexor due to depression caused by getting skin cancer, which luckly might not come back, which left me a huge scar between breast, which still makes me feel ugly... not attractive anymore... depression does run in family, but i can say that it has been a little better since i have made some changes in my life several months ago....

    I have always been "the toothpick". my awerage weight was 115lbs... was on Effexor for about 1 year and 6 months until i gradually went off it.... when I was on Effexor (up to 225mg) the most I weighed was about 130lbs... I gradually went off the medication, quicker than my doctor had talked to me about, went through some side effects, bad ones but i would take a pill every second day and then tried every third day and then stopped, and it worked... took me just about 3 weeks to get off, I wanted to get off them ASAP, now theres no more side effects i was even getting with the pills.... since I have weinned off, I gained an extra 15lbs over what I gained while on the pills......

    I have never felt so bad in my life.. I am use to being soooo skinny, healthy skinny, no belly fat, no huge butt, etc.... now I got it all and i feel the fat, I seriously feel like im gonna go into another depression because i know this fat will take long to go away, if it does... i am not use to this and it is getting to me so bad... I dont know what to do anymore but just stop eating, although i know it might not fix it, but at least i aint putting any more food in myself that can add fat to my body...

    if anyone has any suggestions, anything to get this f-n fat OFF! please let me know.. I am seriously gonna go crazy if I cant get rid of this weight i am really not use to and dont want at all!!!!

    C32 . Wow! I just went to the doctor today and got Lexapro. After reading all of these bad comments about weight gain I don't think I am going to take them. I think I can handle my anxiety. What is weird though is that I have a friend that recommended these to me and she lost about 30 pounds on them. Good luck to everyone and I hope that everyone makes the right decisions. Being fat is horrible. Nothing fits and you feel depressed just about that. I can tell everyone that what works very well to loose weight is cactus. Make yourself a shake in the morning and one at night. Put the following ingredients in it. 1. Cactus, 2. Pineapple 3. Celery and add water to it and blend it. It will help with your cholesterol also. It is also recommended to diabetic people. I have been taking it for about one month now and have lost about 10 pounds.

    C33 . I gained 25 pounds on Lexapro after about 2.5 years on it. I finally couldn't stand it anymore and have been off of it for a little over a month. The weight does not seem to want to come off right now even though I have so much more energy and have started biking and running again. I just hope my metabolism starts to respond soon!

    C34 . Despite the comments of most people here, I have lost about 30lbs (from 156lbs to 125lbs) since beginning Lexapro in August last year. During the first month on Lexapro, I found it nearly impossible to eat - I totally lost my appetite. Eventually it returned slowly and steadily. I still continued to lose weight -if I did regular exercise and ate smaller portions I lost about 3lbs a week, otherwise it was easy to maintain my weight.

    My doctor put me on Effexor for about a month in May - I gained 10lbs during this time, despite vomiting about 4 times a day from the nausea and dizziness. As you can imagine, I stopped taking it ASAP and returned to Lexapro.

    Once again I am losing weigh, am down to 128lbs, so I am much happier.

    But the best part is that Lexapro makes me feel so much better, and I can address my depression in a calmer way and learn techniques to overcome this disease. The change to Effexor was a mistake, but everyone responds differently to these medications, it's a matter of finding the right one for you.

    Good luck to everyone, and take care of yourselves,


    C35 . I was so happy to hear these comments from everyone because I now know that I am not going crazy. I have gained 40 lbs from Effexor XR over the five years I have been on it. I too, was always stick thin and never had a weight problem, and my doctor assured me that it was not the Effexor. It has put a strain on my marriage and has been very depressing. I haven't changed my eating habbits at all, so I know it is the drug. Yes, it made me more relaxed (I was starting to feel like I had PMS all month long) but it wasn't worth it. It also made me tired. I am now down to 35mg and will be off it soon. I REALLY need to hear a success story from someone that has gone off it and lost the weight. I have been taking a very difficult spinning (cycling)
    class everyday for two weeks and have cut my diet in half and have only lost two pounds. This is not my body, I used to lose weight so quickly! I wish I had known!

    C36 . I too have had this experience . I was doing well on weight watchers and lost 17 lbs in 6 months. decided to try lexapro and within 6 more months gained back 7 lbs while still on weight watchers. i took myself off lexapro so now i am still fighting weight gain and am depressed!. I spoke to my doctor today and her solution was to try topromax, an anti-seizure drug but known to suppress appetite. I tried to explain that besides not wanting to go on another drug, appetite was not my problem but perhaps metabolism as i have read anati-depressants affect one's metabolism. her response was You are entitled to your opinion!!!. so i am looking for suggestions as is everyone how to jump start this stalled metabolism and what to do about the depression. Has anyone tried black cohosh of st. john's wort?

    PPD No More
    C37 . It feels so wonderful to read this thread, even though I have no advice. I'm not sure there is a safe way beyond the old eat less, exercise more mantra to lose weight gained after going on antidepressants. I'm going to research it though and will let you know.

    I had postpartum depression and was within 5 pounds of my prepregnancy weight just 1-month post-delivery. Of course, I couldn't enjoy it since I was so blue and was actually trying to eat anything I could to have enough extra calories for breastfeeding. Anyway, now after 10 months of 10 mg of Lexapro a day, I've gained 28 pounds and counting!! I'm almost back to my 9-month pregancy weight. I've weaned off and now completely stopped Lexapro for 5 days. Yeah, I'm secretly hoping for the weight to drop off but I highly doubt that. What a huge drag! I conquered an extra 30 pounds about 4 years ago and was really proud that I had a fit pregnancy and only gained about 33 pounds. I thought my weight issues were behind me but no such luck. I am comforted by the fact that my daughter and I are both happy and healthy.

    Good luck to all!

    C38 . It's crazy I happened upon this website, I've been off of all meds for 7 months now...prozac, then effexor, then lexapro...I thought I was crazy re: the weight gain with effexor and then even more so with lexapro. I was on effexor for approx a year+, then on lexapro for only 3months...I started to gain weight and it's taken me 7 months after not taking any of the meds to lose 7 pounds. I've always been obsessive with excercise and dieting, yet none of this has helped....soooo frustrating. I just got back on prozac and the weight is starting to drop...may just be one of those things, but I'm glad to know I've not been the only one with the "metabolism" problem---I was and have been getting so frustrated!!! I thought just being off the meds would help, but hadn't...this actually increased my anxiety and depression.

    C39 . I have been on Effexor 75 XR for approximately 18 months and have gained about 20 lbs. during that time. I am almost 50 years old and other than being pregnant, my weight had not varied more than 3 lbs since I was 18, until I started taking Effexor. My doctor guaranteed me that it would not cause weight gain, she put me on it to help with hot flashes and insomnia. She also assured me that I wouldn't have any trouble getting off of it because I am on such a small dose. It worked for awhile but now the insomnia and hot flashes have returned so there is no reason for me stay on it and continue to gain weight.
    I am trying to wean myself off by taking 1 pill every other day but so far I can't stand the way that I feel the day after I skip a dose. I own my own company and I can't afford to miss every other day of work because of this stupid drug. I just wish I had known about the side effects of weight gain and withdrawal problems before and I never would have agreed to take it, I would rather live with hot flashes anyday!!
    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with the side effects when weaning yourself off>

    C40 . you may want to wean off a little differantly. my doc had me do half my dose for a certain period of time...knock it down that way instead of what you said you were doing (every other day)-----just a thought :)

    C41 . I eat well and exercise and never had a weight prob like I have with Effexor. We thought it was menopause even though I am too young. The drug companies lie to sell their drugs, there is a study, exercise aerobically 30 minutes per day. Better than drugs. I am weaning off Effexor right now. Lets help each other to lose this weight....

    C42 . Hello everyone! I just started on 50 mg of Elavil about 3 weeks ago. I only take it once a day before bedtime. My orthopedic doctor is actually who recommended it after I told him that I was constantly losing my temper (along with unpredictable mood swings), always in pain and just couldn't sleep. As a 34-year old mother of 3 with osteoarthritis in both hips, the lower back and left knee, along with mood swings out of control, this drug has done wonders! The best part is that there is no weight gain side effect. In fact, I've started to lose weight again. I also started kickboxing around the same time and it has helped with the mobility of my hips, as well as helping me feel more energetic. I actually enjoy exercising and find myself working out at least 5-6 days a week now. If I had any advice for you, I would say talk to your doctor about Elavil and find an exercise regimen you can have fun with like I have. Kickboxing is a fun way to tone your body, lose weight and also a great way to learn self-defense! (Elavil is an anti-depressant drug, but it is also used to ease chronic pain and helps you get your REM sleep (deep sleep)).

    C43 . I have been on Lexapro since December 2005. It literally saved my life! I started WW in January, and only lost 6lbs in 6 weeks. I exercise 3-5 times a week, an hour and a half each time (cardio, weights, the works!). I got married last September and weight 162 then. I've gained 20 lbs, and I know that part of it has to be the Lexapro. Before, I never worked out, and ate whatever I wanted, and NEVER gained this much weight. Now I am watching what I eat and working out several times a week, and gained 20 lbs? Has to be the Lexapro. THAT is depressing. :(

    C44 . I was on effexor 150mg for 2 years. I have gained around 45lbs. After tapering off, I took my last pill yesterday. Even with tapering, i am expecting withdrawl symptons. So far it's been mainly a sweet craving and more weight gain. Before effexor(aka devil drug) I was a healthy weight. No matter what I do I can't shake this weight. I would really like to know when the weight will come off.

    Ouch is right
    C45 .
    Some good news - I've been off Lexapro for 5-6 weeks and the miserable withdrawal symptoms are all gone except for some vertigo issues for which my doctor put me on Claritan-D. For about 10 days I thought I was going crazy and had enormous sympathy for people battling mental disorders such as bi-polarism. By the end of two weeks, things were much better. I was very nervous about the depression/anxiety coming back and they have, but in a manageable way. Like someone noted above, Lexapro saved my life too when I went on it last December. It pulled me out of the water when I was drowning. But the side-effects - weight gain, loss of energy, etc. were too much. The other good news is that I've now lost 8 pounds with only minor changes in diet but no increase in exercise. I've also been taking a natural supplement called Zero Gravity made by Garden of Eden (I think that's the company's name) that I get at the health food store. Hang in there, everyone .

    C46 . I was on lexapro for a year (for PTSD) and gained 70 plus pounds very quickly. I went from a size 6 to an 18 in less than six months. I am a vegetarian and worked out seven days a week (high endurance cardo for an hour a day plus weight training every other day). I also am in a job where I move constantly (30,000 steps in a 8.5 hour shift). I did the omega three thing too to the max. I also had severe and constant diarrhea the entire time I was on the medicine to the point that it was bloody most of the time. My face was very swollen, pale, and I had dark sunken in eyes. Nobody knew that I was on lexapro, but everybody told me that I looked unhealthy. I kept bringing the weight gain concerns to my PMD and to my psychiatrist, but they kept telling me that they could not tell and to keep taking the medicine because I seem to startle less and be less tactily defensive during exams. They also would tell me that I probably was eating the wrong foods and not exercising. I was told that the diarrhea would go away with treatment. Finally, I could not take the bloody diarrhea anymore and stopped taking the lexapro cold turkey. Within two weeks, everybody (people who did not know that I was taking lexapro) was telling me that I looked like I had color in my face and did not have dark cirles under my eyes. It took about three months before weight started to come off. Now, 11 months later the weight is dropping off tremendously, but I am getting accused of starving myself by my doctors, which I am not. I exercise four day a week (less than on the lexapro) and eat like I did on the lexapro. Unfortunatly, I have ulcerated by colon from the lexpro (I had no Gi problems prior to taking lexapro). Yes the weight does drop off about a year later. Good luck!

    C47 . Oh, I forgot to add that the lexapro (I was on the lowest dose) had an anorexic effect ( I was never hungary), yet I still gained all the weight.

    C48 . OMG I wish I would have found this site before I started to take Lexapro.

    I have always been super tiny my whole life. I am 24 and started taking Lexapro on right after my 24th birthday and I was 115 (which is the same weight I have been for the last ten years!) Now that I am about to celebrate my 25th birthday I am 135!!!!! If my doctor would have told me I was going to gain weight, I never in a million years would have believed him.

    I gained a pound a week until the week i stopped talking it. I have not lost much since I have been off it (which has not been long at all) but I have stopped gaining.


    which is insane because before this I never worked out and ate anything I wanted and never went above 115!!!!!!!

    Lexapro was decent at helping with my depression. But I will tell you that I slept most of the year away that I was on the medication. While I was on it I slept more than I have in my whole life and I was TIRED ALL THE TIME. Immeadiately after stopping the meds I starting sleeping half as much and have so much energy through out the day.

    Oh and I completely lost every single oz of my sex drive while on lexapro. which also was very inconvient! My husband HATED that!

    Ok so I weened myself off of the meds and stopped taking them about a week ago... the withdrawl is TERRIBLE. The 'electric shocks" that have been going threw my body are terrible. I honestly feel like I am going to pass out every time my foot touches the ground or I turn my head. it honestly is the weridest feeling i have ever felt. so weird that i almost thought I was making it up or dying until i did the internet research today and found out i am not alone. I also felt this dizziness when I firt started taking the med and also when I increased them... even as i sit here and type if i even look to the side i get that shock threw my brain and feel like I am going to pass out!


    C50 . I would like to thank everyone that has posted a comment here. i was so close in taking the medicine myself..but after reading these comments. I think I have saved myself from a big mistake. Thanks everyone and good luck to all.

  4. namow

    namow New Member

    It is a really bad idea to quit AD cold turkey, you have to cut down a little bit at a time, and I mean VERY slow to avoid some of the withdrawals.

    My recommendation is go back to take the lexapro which is going to stop this feelings that you are having and then a couple of days later cut down a quarter of a pill, take that for a few days then cut another quarter of a pill and keep doing that until you don't feel so horrible.

    Of course talk to your doctor too, if you don't like the one you are seeing go to a different one!

    Good luck!
  5. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    Sounds like you have been threw so much all at once.
    I know you do not like anti depressions but I have to tell you they have saved my life.

    It took a good couple years before I got on the right one for me ,but I think I've done better the last couple of months.

    Our body's and brains change chemically as we grow older and I'm not going to try to talk you into anything but I can tell you I believe men even go threw a type of menopause.

    I would advise you my friend to find a good DR. ask around to find someone who works with the total person. Anti depression drugs are great if you find the right one but #$%%LL if your on the wrong ones. Just stay open to them. Lots of us here take them.

    I have had some paranoida and experienced great fear .I can not stress enough that being on the right meds can help those feels.
  6. Empower

    Empower New Member

    I know you don't want to hear it, but you should never quit an SSRI (Which LExapro is one) cold turkey.

    Surely the doc has left a emergency contact number or another physician's name.

    YOu should talk to someone in the medical field

    I went through the same thing with Zoloft, and it is very frightening.

    The best thing to do is to wean yourself off of this drugs as slow as possible. I even wean myself off slower than the doctors tell me to.

    Please get in touch with some doc that can help you through this bad time. You really shouldn't mess around with it yourself

    Good Luck and let us know how you are doing
  7. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Personal stories about effects of SSRI's. Very important info about what it can do:

    Side effects not always mentioned:
    On the bottom of this page it mentions how to taper off. The personal stories I think mention other effects people experienced while tapering off.

    There will always be people who say they have been life saving,and they praise those meds, and that's good- for them. For me, they were damaging to say the least. I will refuse those kinds of meds until the grave.

    I am sorry about your experience. There are other ways to treat our problems, just tell any doc. you deal with that you will not consider those meds in your treatment.

    Also, if you want to learn more, go to;

    [This Message was Edited on 07/29/2006]
  8. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Dear JB, My first thought was that you're going through withdrawal except your post sounded as if this just began and you quit the Lex two weeks ago, right?

    I would never suggest you go back on another SSRI; I personally think as does my doctor, that they eventually inhibit our own production of serotonin. I know we'll get defensive replies so let me say right here that everyone is different and everyone must decide for themselves.

    Have you consided that you might have a yeast infection? Joe, you mentioned your love for Junior Mints and they have a lot of sugar in them - heck, they ARE suger. When I read that I wondered but you haven't suggested any symptoms before this possible nail fungus. Be prepared though; docs don't believe in systemic yeast unless you find a naturopathic doctor.

    Poor guy, you're between a rock and a hard place, aren't you? I suggest you see your regular doctor to rule out any other problems, then quit your wonderful Jr. Mints (sorry) as well as any other sugar or wheat.. Just follow the Candida diet. That's easier to find than it is for me to type here.

    What I found with withdrawal from the SSRI I was taking is that I didn't go slow enough. Sometimes you have to get right down to crumbs! After two weeks without it, if I've read this right, I would just hang on without it if I were you. I suggest that Trazadone might be helpful as it is not an SSRI but will help with anxiety and the withdrawal symptoms and will help you sleep. It is also not difficult, or AS difficult, to quit when you're ready.

    It will pass; it just seems like hell right now. Hang in there.

  9. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    that stopping certain antidepressants abruptly can cause seizures.

    What a terrible experience you've had...and are still having. I hope you can find a doctor that can help.

    Good luck.
  10. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    Well, I think it depends on how bad your depression is. I walked out of my high school classroom because I started crying and couldn't stop. I finally went to the ER and all they could find was my thyroid was low but they sent a social worker in who listened to me. She sent me to a therapist and the therapist sent me to a super psychiatrist. We talked for a week before he put me on Prozac. That made about the fourth week of crying. My school principal had called me and all I could do was cry.
    My husband didn't know what to do at all. He brought a mutual friend home to talk to me and I was so mean to him.
    But he did tell my husband to redecorate the house for me!
  11. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    JB Im praying for you tonight I'm worried you have not ansewered these post. I guess you are feel down .Please get back to us as soon as you can.
    Like the others said you shouldnt go cold turkey on those meds it can cause you even more problems.
    Ask your Dr for help.

    Till tomorrow God Bless you and give you a restfull night.

    Im posting a picture tomorrow for you and Doris :)
  12. KMD90603

    KMD90603 New Member

    Oh, JB, you need to be soooooo careful about stopping these types of medications. They need to be carefully weaned off of, under your doctors watch, otherwise they can have some serious side effects.

    I made the mistake of stopping Lexapro suddenly, without weaning off. I ended up fainting in a parking lot at night. Came to and went home acting like nothing happened. As the days went by I was so lightheaded I could barely stand. Ended up going to the hospital, where I spent 3 days on the cardiac unit. They thought it was heart-related and so did I. After running what seemed to be a bazillion heart function studies, they were unable to determine what caused me to faint and subsequently feel lightheaded. It later occurred to me that I had stopped the Lexapro only days before this happened. My rheumy was pretty certain this was what caused me to faint.

    So please talk to you doctor before stopping any medication.

    Gentle hugs,
  13. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Joe! How are you doing???

  14. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    I can't take SSRI's myself, because I have very quick and obvious serotonin syndrome symptoms after just a dose or two. but I went on Wellbutrin. Though it was a good fit at first, and i totally needed something for depression at the time, its worn out its usefulness and I've been trying to get off it for over a yr. It looks like it might take another half a yr to wean off it w/out putting myself through total hell.

    It takes me several mths to adjust to a simple reduction. My w/drawal symptoms are increased pain and needed much more painkillers and having them not work well, weight gain, and initial crushing fatigue. the fatigue was the only symptom that was obvious from decreasing the drug. the first symptoms it took me a yr to relate them to my slow w/drawal. Its amazing what docs either don't know about the drugs they perscribe you, and should be responsible for, or they just don't bother to tell you. I finally guessed that Wellbutrin tapering could be causing the major pain increases, and asked my psych, and he agreed that was probably it.

    I also developed high anxiety, a problem I never had, as a side effect of Wellbutrin and have to take St. John's Wort to counteract it. So I'm stuck on 2 drugs I dont' need, because I can't imagine what it would be like to suddenly go off Wellbutrin.

    I'm pretty darn ticked at the whole situation, and counting down the days when I'll be free of this drug an dall its side effects. I can imagine how mad you must be, you didn't even need the stupid drug in the first place.

    You'll really have to go slow in tapering off. An d I'd totally stick to my guns in not going on any other a.d.'s. I'm very against docs rx'ing them for anyone that doesn't have serious depression. Look at you and what can happen.

  15. Leaknits

    Leaknits New Member

    WAIT. You went to hosp with severe antibiotic reaction and the geniuses at the hosp gave you psych drugs?? OMG, indeed.
    NO, I absolutely will not advise you to try yet another antidepressant. Your body doesn't seem to be able to tolerate them. Check out the posted messages here and on the Depression board; lots of us can't handle those brainfrying little pills!!
    If you feel you really need a shrink, sounds like you might have to interview a whole raft of them in order to find one who won't insist on making you accept scrips that hit you so hard.
    Right. Just now, when you likely don't feel like doing much more than continuing to try to breathe. Your old life has gone away, you are feeling horrible, and here I come telling you to change drs. I'm sorry.
    You are going to hate me: has any dr blood-tested you for Epstein-Barr Virus? A "positive" result for EBV could mean that in addition to the fibro, you just might have CFIDS as well. They do sometimes land on the same human at the same time. Don't worry too much, though, if you do get a result of positive for EBV. You could have been exposed to it at any time in your life, and the antibodies are still hanging around. It does not necessarily mean you absolutely do have CFIDS, just that you might.
    See why so many of us get confused about these d'd? (D***** Diseases).
    Again, please keep coming back.

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