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Helena_SAS 02-26-2010 01:53 PM

Lexapro (escitalopram) [SSRI]
Lexapro is a relatively new medication that was designed by isolating part of chemical that makes up Celexa, the common anti-depressant. It is commonly used for generalized anxiety and depression, as well as often being prescribed for SAD. Lexapro is classified as part of the group of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are generally the first choice of psychiatrists as a prescription drug for Social Anxiety Disorder.

SSRIs, like Lexapro, work by regulating levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is thought to be responsible for shifts in mood associated with depression and anxiety. Many SAD patients report positive results and relief from their social anxiety symptoms, while others find these medications to be of little help. Side effects are quite common with Lexapro and other SSRIs, with the medications affecting sexual function and appetite in many patients. Headaches and nausea are also reported, though these normally subside after a short time.

More info:User ratings/reviews:

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 11:45 AM

Finally Starting to Work
(Copied over from old review system)

Shared by kml
Social Anxiety Background
Major Depression, Severe OCD, Panic Attacks, GAD

Treatment Experience
After 6 months of being on Lexapro, I am finally experiencing some relief on 30 mg. I have experienced no negative side effects, although taking it in the morning I think it did make me more tired throughout the day, something that was easily remedied. I am less anxious than I have been in the past, which is overwhelming, having dealt with severe anxiety for the past 13 years but I would recommend it for sure :-) It is nice to get your life back.

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 11:46 AM

did not like this drug
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by dougcyrus
Social Anxiety Background
i have has social anxiety since my childhood about 6 yr old i have just started treatment and am seeing a thearpist and a pshicolist

Treatment Experience
i have been takeing this drug for about 1 month now and it hasent helped me with my social anxiet at all in fact since i went up on tjhe dosage i have had severe deppresion sympstoms and sucidal thoughts that i never had before i would say not to take it but everybody reacts diffentailly

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 11:47 AM

Works Great
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by ecotec83
Social Anxiety Background
SAD, Major depression, mild ocd and general anxiety disorder

Other Treatments

Treatment Experience
Felt a difference in my mood within the first 2 days of taking 1/4 of a pill. Now up to a full 10mg pill and my depression is gone except for the odd episode that lasts only a few minutes. Anxiety wise it works well but i have found at times my anxiety is still present to some extent but it's not crippling anymore. For the first time in years i have self-esteem and confidence, i don't walk slouched any more. The side effects were fairly mild, strange dreams, a bit of nausea and loss of appetite for a few days as well as some bowel problems and a lot of gas. For a few days i also had very low energy but that seems to have resolved itself. It does cause a mild muting or orgasms but not the complete inability some other drugs have caused. I'm also taking a 150mg wellbutrin sr in the morning and it seems to augment it's effectiveness a bit. It would seem that 150mg 2x a day was to much for me, hence the awful review i gave wellbutrin a few weeks ago. All in all i'd recommend this drug to anyone as it has been one of the most effective i have tried to date. Hopefully it keeps working.

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 11:47 AM

Great drug for SA!
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by kb_101
Social Anxiety Background
Social anxiety that stems from PTSD.

Other Treatments
I've tried Zoloft, Prozac, and Adderall (Generic). I find Lexapro to be the most potent and works the best. And the side effects do not seem to be as bad as with the other drugs.

Treatment Experience
I find for me that this drug is the best option for social anxiety. The downside is that it aggravates my RLS, causes low sex drive, and inhibits orgasm. But even with all that, its still worth it. I am still concerned about the effects wearing off, but have not had a problem yet and I am only taking 5mg a day.

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 11:48 AM

Lexapro works!
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by Everlong 91
Social Anxiety Background
ive had major depression and high anxiety for like 2 years without knowing cause i wasnt aware of mental disorders.. then i wen to the doc and he gave me this med and it started reminding me how it feels to feel normal again after feeling negative emotions for 2 years... so it basically saved my life...

Treatment Experience
Ive been on lexapro 10mg for like 12 weeks and since ive started on this drug its been working and working since day one.. it made my anxiety less intense and it raped my depression.. its history... and i ahd zero sideffects.. i dnt know why people complain so much about meds they are meant to help not make you feel worse the sideffects are weak and if you do get em they go away after awhilse get over it its hleping you out... like i said it made my physical symptoms less intense and when i do feel them they are weak and im learning how to control em with a technique ive learned... so take meds and combine them with therapy and techniques to destroy SA... I WILL BEAT SA!!!!!!!!! RAWWRR!!

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 11:48 AM

(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by m w m
Social Anxiety Background
I've experienced depression off and on for several years. Just a couple of days ago, I was diagnosed with social anxiety. It seems that depression was a symptom and not the root problem...

Other Treatments

Treatment Experience
I was prescribed Lexapro in combination with Buspar. I've taken the Buspar since September and it has helped the depression dramatically. Took the first Lexapro pill (only 10mg) yesterday. First of all, it's very expensive. Secondly, I slept MAYBE 10 mins last night and yawned constantly for a good 3 hours. I will never take this medication again. Is there something else available?

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 11:49 AM

Good starter SSRI
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by meyaj
Social Anxiety Background
I've been dealing with SA since around 9-10 years old.

Picture this: a "bright" kid with (undiagnosed at the time) ADD gets moved to a "gifted program" at school, and basically grows up with the exact same driven, motivated kids for the next decade.

As you can imagine, being a kid with ADD was almost an insult in it itself to the overachievers. So, friendless, without many opportunities for making new friends, this kid never really evolved socially, and is now pretty much terrified of it.

Other Treatments
Antidepressants: Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Nortriptyline, Effexor

Too many other meds to list.

CBT therapy (1 year now)

Treatment Experience
Very low side effect profile for me, even on a high dose of 20mg/day

Only noticeable side effect was diminished libido.

On the other hand, it didn't really help me much either.

However, I know it helps a lot of people so I'd still recommend it to a lot of people as a first SSRI because it has a really good tradeoff between efficacy and side-effects.

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 11:49 AM

Didn't sleep for four days.
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by redlegion
Social Anxiety Background
Lifetime sufferer of social anxiety.

Other Treatments
Previously been prescribed Welbutrin, Cymbalta, Paxil, Xanax, and Effexor.

Treatment Experience
I still have the sample blister pack sitting in my cupboard, for some odd reason. Half consumed. My experience was that I had been prescribed lexapro to be taken in the evening, and Welbutrin in the morning. I did this for three days, and didn't sleep for four as a result. I discontinued immediately and began sleeping again, steadily.

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 11:50 AM

Too Expensive!
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by mejensen1
Social Anxiety Background

Other Treatments

Treatment Experience
It is much better than Celexa but $85 vs $5?

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 11:50 AM

Lexapro/Alprazolam combo = bad
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by wallyduck
Social Anxiety Background
Social anxiety/ptsd

Treatment Experience
I was prescribed Lexapro alongside alprazolam for social anxiety/anxiety attacks. The first thing I noticed after a few days of lexapro was a very monotone thought/speech pattern. I felt as if a wet blanket were thrown over my personality, very not fun medication. I discontinued the medication after I ran out of my 30 days worth, and ate the remaining alprazolam over the course of a few days.

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 11:51 AM

Lexapro experience
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by jim_morrison
Social Anxiety Background
Social phobia/GAD/Depression

Treatment Experience
I was on 10 mgs for about 3 months,

- It had a fairly low side effect profile, with the exception of the usual sexual dysfunction.
- It seemed to help with my agoraphobia, so whilst I wasn't directly more social on it, I did find myself able to go into more social situations slightly easier.
- It's withdrawal was fairly mild, I did notice some insomnia, flu like symtoms and the 'brain shivers' for about a week, but it was fairly mild and tolerable.

- I didn't notice much of an improvement in my depression or situational SA whilst taking it.

Overall for someone contemplating taking it, I'd say give it a shot, it didn't do me any harm, and seems to have a good efficacy/tolerability profile in general.

wrongnumber 05-13-2010 08:39 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Social Anxiety Background
SA since 16, depression since 10.

Treatment Experience
I was on lexapro for a month. The lowest dose. There was no change except it made me so numb I couldn't cry so I stopped taking it.

pixies 05-15-2010 01:26 PM

Mixed feelings about this stuff.

Social Anxiety Background
I've been dealing with SA since I was about 15 or so, I'm now around 30.

Other Treatments
Antidepressants: Effexor (didn't seem to do much but I didn't give it a long enough chance really). Prozac (I felt weird on it so it stopped). Paxil (Loved it!).

Treatment Experience
I've had lots of therapy and I'm now taking this medication. Brand name is Cipralex here. I take 10mg and I've been experimenting with 20mg. I started having panic attacks and major anxiety and social anxiety, so went to see my doctor about going back on my trusty old Paxil that I took for most of my adult life (but stopped after several years).

My doctor insisted that Paxil is old and is designed more as a general SSRI and for depression etc, and this Escitalopram stuff is more specific for anxiety and social anxiety. So I started taking it.

To be fair, it works fairly well. I have had no more panic attacks since I've been taking it, and in social situations, I seem to be able to just about keep it together. I get incredibly anxious about going out, so bad that I usually call it all off. But I have found that if I force myself to go, once I'm actually there, the anxiety fades away, and my heart rate returns to normal etc.. but it is replaced by a more specific feeling of social anxiety and awkwardness around people. Without the pills, I would find myself looking in to someones eyes and they would be looking back at me and I would absolutely panic. With these pills, that just doesn't really happen anymore. I still get a vague feeling of panic for a second, but I can just immediately shrug it off and I manage to keep it together. I am pretty sure it's the pills helping me do this.

So that's the good news. The bad news is that the side effects are really quite disruptive. Paxil barely had any side effects on me, but this stuff is not so good. I have terrible insomnia, sometimes being awake for 2 days straight before I can finally settle and go to sleep. I have had a huge increase in appetite, although that has settled down a bit now after about 4 months of use. I have a slight sexual side effect of it taking longer to reach orgasm, but that isn't much of a problem. I have queasy stomach sometimes because of it. I also have a real strong feeling of lethargy, where I just can't be bothered even getting out of my chair. I sometimes would sit staring at a wall, really thirsty, and I just couldn't be bothered getting up to get a drink. Eventually I had to force myself to do it.

Most of these side effects have actually mellowed now after about 5 months, so it's actually turning out to be an ok medication for me. But I still have a few issues with my confidence and ability to laugh and smile in social situations.

At one point I tried stopping the medication (after the first month or two when the side effects were at their worst), and the intense feelings of panic and anxiety came back so strong, I immediately stated the medication again.

So it seems I will be on this now for however long it lasts.

walkerbonbon 06-07-2010 10:49 AM

I was prescribed Lexapro a few weeks ago. I am starting to feel better. It is very expensive ($40 for 30 pills-- yikes) but if it helps, I don't care.

I was previously on Prozac for 20 years it made me speed and I also didn't like the other side effects.

Really hoping the Lexapro works for me..

alex999 06-22-2010 12:56 AM

Social Anxiety Background

Moderate shyness throughout childhood years, developed full blown social anxiety in teenage/adolescent years. No social life throughout high school and very withdrawn. Dropped out of college and developed severe depression at age 18-21 (21 now).

When I was 18, I tried a generic Celexa (Citalopram) and it didn't work (or I wasn't on it long enough for it to work). From that point forward I had been very against SSRI's or anti depressants and felt like they did more harm to people than good.

So for 3 years I slowly developed deep depression and worsening social anxiety. One day I cried for the first time in 7 years in front of my mother. When that happened I knew I had hit rock bottom. This was my breaking point when I decided to try medication again.

Treatment Experience

I can safely say it is slowly helping me change my life.

I felt an effect of the medication on only the fourth day of taking it. I woke up one morning and had a sudden surge of energy and a drugged up, "cloud 9" feeling. It felt like I just drank 10 cups of coffee. I had thought, "Wow! It's already working!"

This feeling wore off, however. The following 3 weeks were very difficult to get used to. I had drastic mood changes (like bipolar), constant fatigue, ZERO sex drive, extremely sweaty palms, and constantly in a numbed out, flat, zombie like state.

I came very close to qutting on the 7th day because of the side effects. I just couldn't tolerate them. I cut the dosage down to 5mg. That reduced the side effects, but the depression and anxiety came back. So I upped the dosage back to 10 and decided to just ride it out and see where it takes me.

On the 4th week, I finally felt the positive effects of the medication. The side effects were going away as well. My head cleared up and I finally felt normal. My mood improved and there was a marked decrease of anxiety in normally anxious situations.

People have also remarked on how I changed. I was at a family get to gether and I actually came up and talked to people without a problem, and didn't hide away or avoid people. My sister remarked on how much more social I am.

It has not numbed my emotions either. I can still express happiness, joy, excitement, fear, anger, even sadness. I just do not experience deep depression or debilitating anxiety.

So overall -


1. Improved mood
2. More manageable/reduced anxiety
3. More energy
4. More motivation
5. Interested in old hobbies again
6. For the first time in my life, I actually look forward to social events!
7. No weight gain/loss or apetite change
8. No emotional blunting

Negatives/side effects:

1. Delayed ejaculation, despite high sex drive. Can take 30 mins to finish sometimes. My libido also fluctuated alot the first 4 weeks, but finally settled down and is back to normal again.

2. Very sensitive to alcohol. May sound kind of cool, but it actually gets annoying when you just want to have one beer and you get so dizzy you can't drive.

3. Dilated pupils. Happens 3-4 hours after taking the drug every night. But this usually goes away by morning.

4. Extremely strange and epic dreams

5. Excessive sleep despite higher energy. Even though Lexapro gives me more energy during the day, I could sleep for 14 hours no problem.

So all in all, it has been great. Lexapro puts me at a place where I can deal with my issues easier. I have a cousin who is on this drug and it has helped her greatly. I know every drug affects one differently but based on my experinece I'd say give it a try.

izzy 06-22-2010 01:42 AM

I've only been on one antidepressant, which is Lexapro. I've been using it for about six years. I feel it helps me a lot. The only negative side effect I've had, I think, is clenching my teeth, and that's only started pretty recently. My mom has also been on Lexapro for a long time, but she's been trying to go off it or at least lower her dosage since it causes her to grind her teeth.

UndercoverAlien 06-23-2010 05:13 PM

Lexapro didn't work that well for me. I was taking the 10mg tablets for a couple weeks because my doctor gave me a bunch of samples. I was on Luvox(fluvoxamine) for a month and it helped quite a bit. Now im on Prozac 20mg and it seems to be working well with no noticeable side-effects.

F1X3R 06-23-2010 09:08 PM

I was on lexapro for about a year. It took a bit over a month for me to feel any effects, so be patient, but once it kicked in it was very effective. I did have to up the dosage every few months. The biggest positive for me was, at times, experiencing social situations without anxiety and learning how I could be. I became more consistently positive. I didn't experience any real side effects, except I did put on some weight. Also, my dreams were less vivid and I felt less creative.

I quit taking it before my doctor and therapist wanted though. I became frustrated with my progress and felt I went as far as I could go with them. I think it's important to face your anxiety and be able to rely on yourself. I'm not a big fan of pills anyway, and didn't like feeling sedated and somewhat artificial. But if you're in a bad place, I wouldn't hesitate, sometimes we need all the help we can get.

rcapo89 07-02-2010 11:25 AM

I just started taking 10 mg's of Lexapro yesterday. Obviously its too soon to determine if its effective. My psychiatrist told me that it would take at least a month before it would take effect. Currently I feel "hazy" and have no appetite. :blank In the coming weeks I will continue posting my results...

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