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  • Lexapro vs. Zoloft ~ Questions, help appreciated.

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    Old 10-07-2007, 01:29 PM   #1
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    Lexapro vs. Zoloft ~ Questions, help appreciated.

    I was diagnosed in March with anxiety disorder and depression. I was planning to get through it without medication and I was doing well until I started school and went back to work. Now I feel that meds could help me but I am scare of side effects. My doctor wants to put me on Lexapro but I've heard a lot of bad things about it. I hear it makes you feel like a zombie and makes you super tired. I have a friend that takes Zoloft and she doesn't really have any problems. Then I've also heard that Zoloft makes you moody. Like a roller coaster. I have a 2 year old, go to school and work so I need something that wont effect my awakeness but not make me feel like I'm on speed or something. I just want to get some opinions.

    ~ Which do you think is better?

    ~ What side effects do you experience?

    Thanks so much for your help.

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    Old 10-07-2007, 03:24 PM   #2
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    Re: Lexapro vs. Zoloft ~ Questions, help appreciated.

    I'm really in the same boat that you are...wondering what to take for anxiety and depression. I can't answer for myself since I haven't started any medication yet but I have seen my mom on both Lexapro and Zoloft and I think I might choose the Lexapro. She did very well on Lexapro but it bothered her stomach quite a bit so they switched her to Zoloft. I don't think she's quite as good on the Zoloft and she can only tolerate 50 mgs. of it; they've tried to increase her dosage to 100 mgs. for the third time now and each time she's gotten very dizzy and had to return to 50 mgs. Maybe she needs more but she just can't take it.

    Good Luck with your search....

    Old 10-08-2007, 04:11 AM   #3
    Tim 007
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    Arrow Re: Lexapro vs. Zoloft ~ Questions, help appreciated.

    Hi there. 3 weeks ago I experienced the first full blown panic attack of my life, in the middle of a college class. I had to leave class and ended up calling an ambulance while walking to my car for fear that I was having a stroke or heart attack. Anyway, to make a long story short, I was diagnosed with anxiety and placed on 50mg of Zoloft for this first month, and most likely 100mg for the next 5 months after that. I starting Zoloft taking the entire tablet, which I later learned from a friend with anxiety, wasn't the smartest thing to do. It is best, so I've heard, to begin Zoloft taking small pieces of the pill and gradually working yourself up in a weeks period. I, however, started by taking the entire thing, and my first week on it really sucked. I missed an entire week of school, so if you could take a vacation week when you start it, it would probably be the best thing to do. Don't get me wrong, Zoloft defiantly seems to be cutting down on the panic attacks, but it has some weird side affects. I'm pretty sensitive to certain medications, so hopefully you won't experience as many of these as I have, but here's a basic list of all the side affects I got.
    Being on Zoloft made my body feel as though it was applied with a constant flow of electricity, I felt jittery at ALL times, and was filled with nervous energy. I only slept for 2-4 hours per night the first 5 nights, and it seemed the worst around 2AM. I had indigestion, some diarreah, extremely sweaty hands and feet, sensitivity to heat and light, loss of appetite, slight numbness/dizzyness and tingly feelings all over my skin. As for mood swings...Zoloft actually seems to help. Before Zoloft I felt that "roller coaster" feeling like you said, but Zoloft seems to regulate it into a constant feeling of slightly over-anxious. Out of all side affects, Depersonalization is the worst, and it still hasn't quite gone away, I made a post about it if you would like to read it.
    Overall I'm confident that Zoloft is helping me with anxiety. If you are going to take it, remember to start off slowly, and try to take it in the mornings unless directed otherwise by your doctor. I originally took it at night, but when my doctor told me to take it in the mornings, I found that my sleep schedule became more regular.
    P.S. I've heard that Zoloft has some strong withdrawal symptoms, so stopping suddenly would not be recommended.
    I wish you goodluck, and let me know if you have any more questions, I'm sure I forgot some side affects in that list...but I can't concentrate very well, which is another side affect. Goodluck, and you are not alone!

    Last edited by Tim 007; 10-08-2007 at 04:15 AM.

    Old 10-08-2007, 04:37 PM   #4
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    Re: Lexapro vs. Zoloft ~ Questions, help appreciated.

    Honestly I think everyone is going to react different to different meds. When I was first diagnosed with anxiety they tried Zoloft. I had no side effects, but it didn't really take away my anxiety. I was up to 100mg. Went about a year with nothing, them about 3 months ago my dr put me on lexopro. Thought is was working, well a couple of week into it my anxiety got so bad, plus I started getting these body/limb jolts, twitches when I would try to go to sleep. They got so bad I was affraid to go to bed. Some nights they would wake me from a dead sleep. Today I finally went to my Dr. told her my problems and shes weening me off of Lexapro and putting me on Paxil, which I've never tried and don't know if it will be any better. So I guess what Im saying is everyone is so different and it might just be trials until you find the one that works for you. Good luck with it thou. Anxiety is such a pain in the butt!

    Old 10-08-2007, 07:51 PM   #5
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    Re: Lexapro vs. Zoloft ~ Questions, help appreciated.

    Zoloft- Only took one night. Restless, couldn't sit still all night. Waves of heat over the torso.

    Lexapro-Loss of appetite, high blood pressure, anxiety. On it for 3 weeks

    Celexa- hot flashes, headache, some sleepiness, vivid dreams, sweating easily. I am on week 4 of the celexa and the hot flashes and headache are gone. I am currently on 10mg. I had taken 20 mg previously for 8 weeks but found it too sedating.

    Wellbutrin-Mania for the first few days. Jittery on an increased dose. Took for about 10 days.

    Each person reacts differently and the only way you will know how it works for you is to try it. Godbless

    Old 10-26-2008, 03:33 PM   #6
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    Re: Lexapro vs. Zoloft ~ Questions, help appreciated.

    Just another story to reference. I had a manic episode with no prior history of psychological disorders. Then, post-episode, I had pretty severe depression where I wanted to stay in bed all day. After begging my doctor and trying to be without it, I was put on Zoloft and it was moved up to 150mg a day. It took 4-6 weeks to kick in and after about a month, I was slowly came down to 100mg for a week, then 50mg per week, then 25mg per week, and then done. After that, I was off of it for a year but during the following winter, I felt very tired and lazy after a few hours of work so my doctor told me its depression but very mild. I got back on Zoloft 50mg and it was great and providing that extra boost of energy (or serotonin) with minor side effects for me.

    Then, I recently ran out of Zoloft and had to wait for a mail order plus changed insurance, so my doctor gave me Lexapro 10mg samples to use until I can get more Zoloft. I used Lexapro 10mg per day at night (in replacement of Zoloft 50mg) for 3 weeks and for some strange reason, I feel its slowly making me depressed (as if its because of the Zoloft wearing off). So, today I quickly called the doctor after finally realizing it might be the problem and I'm getting back on Zoloft even if I have to pay out of pocket for now, because apparently I FEEL it works better on me than I've noticed the Lexapro doing.

    My 2 cents...hope it helps!

    Old 10-26-2008, 07:47 PM   #7
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    Re: Lexapro vs. Zoloft ~ Questions, help appreciated.

    I also suffer from severe anxiety and depression, and mine started in college also. I was first put on Zoloft and Xanax together and I feel this did help with the anxiety; however, I did nothing for my depression. I went without medication for about 5 years (I seem to experience panic and depression every 5-7 years) and had another panic/depressive episode and asked my doctor could I try Paxil. At the time I had heard some good things about Paxil treating panic disorder so I asked to try it. I am now taking Pexeva (which is the same as Paxil but my doctors says that Pexeva has less side effects). Since being on Paxil I've never had another panic attack so I can't say enough good things about this AD in that respect. It actually did for me what it was supposed to do. It also helped with depression more so than Zoloft. The only bad thing I can say about Paxil is weight gain. I have had some weight gain; however, the weight gain I can deal with, but I can't deal with panic attacks on a daily basis. I feel that Zoloft is not as strong as Paxil and I had no problems withdrawing from the Zoloft when I did not feel like I needed it anymore.

    I would stick with the Zoloft for at least a month to see how it works. Most of the ADs will cause yours anxiety and depression to increase when you first starting taking the medication; however, side effects do go away after 2-3 weeks if you can hang in there.

    Also, I would not recommend Wellbutrin (my experience) for anxiety. I tried this AD because I so wanted this one to work because of low sexual side effects and no weight gain; however, after about month on Wellbutrin I had insomnia, increased anxiety, and I felt revved up. However, I was taking the generic not the name brand drug so this could have been a reason it did not work for me. I don't know.

    I hope you find the one that works for you. When it works it can be a godsend. Best Wishes!

    Old 10-27-2008, 06:24 AM   #8
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    Post Re: Lexapro vs. Zoloft ~ Questions, help appreciated.

    When I was 18 y/o. I experienced my first attack of depression and was prescribed Zoloft by a child psychiatrist. I didn't really know what to expect, and for a few weeks after starting the medicine, I couldn't feel its effect at all. After about 4-5 weeks of taking Zoloft, however, I noticed things were getting better. I moved to a college, and in some short time my depression began to disappear. After about health year of treatment, I was well enough to stop taking the Zoloft and my depression remained in past. However a few years later, when I started my new year in university my depression begun to return back. I felt that it was even worse than before. After few sessions with a psychologist, I was referred to the medical clinic to get a prescription for anti-depressants. Since I had an effective Zoloft experience when I was younger, the doctor decided to give it another try, and prescribed me taking a daily dose of Zoloft. at first I didn't notice much of an effect but within a few weeks my depression began to lift. However this time I began to experience some strange side effects ,I began to feel emotionally numb. I also wasn't feeling particularly happy about anything, even things that were really exciting going on in my life. I really did just feel numb to the world.
    I am going to change my Zoloft to Lexapro as I have read that Lexapro is used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; excessive worry and tension that disrupts daily life and lasts for 6 months or longer). I hope that my doctor will give his approval and Lexapro will have a better effect on me.

    Last edited by msmod; 10-27-2008 at 09:15 AM. Reason: Removed part of post that does not answer thread starters question. Please start your own NEW thread to ask your questions.

    Old 10-28-2008, 10:26 AM   #9
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    Re: Lexapro vs. Zoloft ~ Questions, help appreciated.

    Hi there,

    I was on Zoloft for 6 years - a variety of doses (sometimes more, sometimes less). Earlier this year, it stopped working. According to my doctor, it's very common for people to plateau when on these medications for a long period of time. In any case, the panic attacks, the anxiety - it all came back, in some ways worse than ever. My doctor prescriped Cipralex (which is Lexapro in the US). I've been on it for a couple of months and feel great. I was really worried about the transition but so far have not had any bad side effects except for a couple of days of stomach issues at the very beginning.

    I wouldn't be concerned about switching meds - everyone is different and sometimes it takes a while to find the medication that works best for you.

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