Cipralex...

Postby daniobentley » Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:45 pm

I'm strting on 10mg a day tonight. I've tried it before but when I started to feel better I stopped taking them abruptly. Then when I went back on them they did nothing to help so I stopped once again. A year later, my CBT therapist suggested I try them again, but give them a real go. I'll take them untill I feel better, and then stay on the same dose for 6 months after that and then come off very very slowly. Good idea?

How fast do they start working, and what effect do they have? I'm not expecting a miracle, but to help with the emotions and GAD is what I'm hoping for. ANy advice?
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#1

Postby briary » Sat Feb 19, 2005 2:30 am

Hi daniobentley

It sounds like your therapist has given you good advice regarding the medication. I know a few people taking Cipralex for anxiety who have found it very helpful, whilst also working through their issues with a therapist.

The general advice seems to be to remain on the medication for a period of at least 6 months after recovery and then to reduce slowly. This reduces the chances of withdrawal symptoms.

These medications take at least 4 weeks before you start to feel any benefit and there can be some side effects for the first couple of weeks, including increased anxiety, nausea, headaches. So stick with them until you get through this settling down period. I would advise taking them after food to minimise the chance of nausea.

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#2

Postby daniobentley » Sat Feb 19, 2005 6:14 pm

First of all I stupidly read the leaflet which was probably not the best idea! It said that they may cause increased anxiety at first so to start on 5 mg for the first week, yet my doctor prescribed 10mg a day right away. I woke up this morning after taking the first dose and felt so anxious I had to take 2mg valium. I now am suffering from a severe headache. I don't know if it's psychosomatic, but it wasn't a great idea to read it!

At least now I expect to feel a little worse before i feel better, so it won't be such a shock (I've been doing pretty well the last few days and today it's gone down-hill again - so knowing it's probably due to the cipralex, I feel a bit better, and less concerned about taking valium every so often for the next week.) Will these side effects go away after a week? The increased anxiety is tough today, and I don't know how I'll handle it if it gets worse, or lasts too long.

Also, what beneficial effects should I feel from the Cipralex after 2-4 weeks? Will it be noticeable? Also, can I avoid withdrawal symptoms altogether if I come off them very very slowly after 6 months?

Thanks!
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#3

Postby briary » Sat Feb 19, 2005 6:55 pm

Hi daniobentley

It is important to remember that they list every possible side effect in the drug information leaflet and you will not experience all of these. Most people I know started on 10 mg straight away so I don't think there is anything to worry about there.

Increased anxiety at first is very common but you will probably find that this gradually subsides after a week and by two weeks most people find the side effects are wearing off. When I tried this medication for depression, I had a terrible headache and a fuzzy head for a couple of days, but this again wore off after a week.

After about a month the majority of people I know on this medication are starting to notice an improvement in their anxiety. It is important not to expect your anxiety to vanish completely after this time as the effects of medication are cumulative over several months. However, think it likely you will notice some improvement after about a month.

The most slowly you come off the medication the less side effects you are likely to experience. I wouldn't worry about this at this point in time and your doctor will be able to advise you on this when the time comes. However, you are likely to be on them for some months yet so I would concentrate on the here and now, and on your recovery from anxiety.

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#4

Postby daniobentley » Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:00 pm

Thanks briary, it's good advice you've given me. If it's OK with you, in perhaps a week's time I'll write again and let you know how the Cipralex and it's side-effects are going.

It's good to know nothing unusual is happening to me in terms of increased anxiety. It happens to everybody on them at first. It's also comforting to know that many people start at 10mg and are OK.

Thanks once again. ps. is it OK to take headache pills while on the anti-deps. ?
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#5

Postby briary » Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:04 pm

Hi daniobentley

Of course it is fine to keep us up-to-date with your progress and to ask for support if you need it.

It is fine to take some headache pills whilst on this medication. I know the first couple of weeks can be tough but hang in there, things will improve.

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#6

Postby carolineambrose » Mon Feb 21, 2005 3:58 pm

Hi Daniobently,

How are you doing on the cipralex? I also just started taking them about 3 weeks ago. Are you sleeping ok? My doctor suggested taking them in the morning as they can be stimulating. How long have you had your illness? I was diagnosed with generlized anxiety disorder and depression 4 1/2 months ago, now most of my anxiety has gone and am left with clinical depression. There is an american product that you can also take for strees, anxiety and depression called adapton but you will have to get it shipped over by amazon, thats what I do, thats what I was taking for my anxiety.

I will start taking 15mg of cipralex tommorrow after being on 10mg for 3 weeks.

Caroline
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#7

Postby daniobentley » Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:51 am

Hi there!

I've been on the cipralex for a week and a day now and this is what I've noticed...( I take them with my contraceptive pill just before bed as to not forget them)

The first day after taking it I felt so anxious I had to take a valium, but I think it was psychosomatic after reading the leaftlet. The next day was OK but I had a terrible headache. Throughought the week my eyes get droopy at about 10pm as if I'm really tired but am not. The following two days were slightly increased anxiety but not too different from usual. The fourth, fifth and sixth day the anxiety got worse and worse and I had a couple more headaches. The sixth and seventh day as well as today... the anxiety has become so bad I'm starting to think of more paranoid, worrying thoughts such as "now the cipralex is in my system, what if it never gets better and it just keeps on getting worse and worse and worse? This isn't normal."

Today the anxiety is so unbearable. My head is fuzzy, I feel severe depersonalisation and derealisation (the scariest symptoms of my anxiety disorder) and I feel generally very strange. I thought after a week the increased anxiety would subside. Is it going to get worse still? I can handle the headaches but this is horrible.

Any more advice?
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#8

Postby briary » Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:16 pm

Hi daniobentley

The side effects can last for a couple of weeks before they subside and increased anxiety is a common side effect.

It might be a good idea to give yourself another week on the medication and if the side effects are still as bad go back to see your doctor. It might be that your doctor will decide to change your medication from Cipralex to a different medication.

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#9

Postby daniobentley » Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:24 pm

Thanks for replying, Briary...

Just making sure... is it normal too feel this bad after starting cipralex? Right now I feel physically ill which in turn is increasing the paranoid and anxious thoughts.

Just need to know that's it's not abnormal and that's exactly the type of side-effects that people get at firsat, and that which will go away within this coming week?

Also, is it OK to take valium whilst on these? At points I feel I can't cope with this increased anxiety...
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#10

Postby briary » Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:15 pm

Hi daniobentley

Different people get experience different side effects. However, I know some people do experience a lot of increased anxiety to start with. I had the physical symptoms when I took them and these gradually lessened.

Right now I feel physically ill which in turn is increasing the paranoid and anxious thoughts.

This is what is increasing your anxiety. It is your thoughts that are causing the downward spiral into anxiety and panic. Try telling yourself that what you are experiencing is normal and is due to the medication.

If you doctor has prescribed Valium along with the Cipralex then I am sure it is fine to help you through this bad patch. Valium is addictive so not good for long term use though. If in any doubt I would advise you ring your doctor, or if you cannot wait until Monday you could try NHS Direct.

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#11

Postby carolineambrose » Thu Mar 03, 2005 5:58 pm

HI DB,

You should definatley wait 2 weeks till the side effectts subside. My doctor recommend that I take ciplralex in the morning as it is more stimulating then sedative, that may help you not get so tired in evenings. Also its fine to take Valium with Ciplralex, my doctor gave me something called Oxazepam which is like Valium but I find it nicer then vaium I had no drowseyness in the morning when i woke up.

Caroline
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#12

Postby daniobentley » Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:41 pm

I've been taking the cipralex for 2 weeks exactly now. I've developped a new fear though.. I'm afraid that it will change me as a person and make me numb to emotions. In a way, I've been so used to the anxious feelings that it feels weird when they're not there. Is this normal and will the drugs in fact change me as a person? I'm not sure how much they're working yet. The increased anxiety is going but new thoughts and feelings are coming to me now. I'm confused.
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#13

Postby tizzy » Sat Mar 05, 2005 3:39 pm

hi. i have just been prescribed cipralex by my gp for menopause symptoms. the side effects are pretty scarey but when i read your messages i was relieved i was not the only one to experience them. hope you dont mind me replying to your post but this is all new to me and its a comfort to know i am not alone. :(
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#14

Postby briary » Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:03 pm

Hi Tizzy

Welcome to the forum.

The medication can have some unpleasant side effects for the first couple of weeks. However, these should gradually subside over this period of time. How long have you been taking Cipralex?

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