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Coming off antidepressants (Lexapro): what to expect (weeks 4 to 6)

Anxiety after tapering off lexapro

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The use of medication is a anxiety after tapering off lexapro issue among those who struggle with anxiety on a daily basis, as well as for professionals treating anxiety disorders. For many people, medication is a positive turning point along the path to recovery.

For others, medication can confuse and complicate the recovery process, when freedom from anxiety is purchased at the cost of long-term addiction to tranquilizers. One thing is clear: The pros and cons of relying on medication are unique and variable in each individual case, anxiety after tapering off lexapro. Natural approaches include regular, preferably aerobic exercise, anxiety after tapering off lexapro, a practice of regular deep relaxation for example, a recorded relaxation visualization or meditationstress management, simplifying your life, and natural herbs or supplements which have a relaxing effect.

More information on all of these approaches is available in any of my self-help books see self-help books button. On the other hand, if you have a more severe problem with anxiety, appropriate use of medication may be an important part of your treatment.

Approximately 50 to 60 percent of my clients take medication, anxiety after tapering off lexapro. For them, my impression is that a combination of therapy, natural methods and medication provides the most helpful, effective, and compassionate approach to recovery. Situations Where Medication is Appropriate In my clinical experience, there are certain types of individuals, in certain types of situations, for whom medications are appropriate. What follows is a list of situations where medication might be appropriate, along with the types of medications that might appropriately be used.

What follows is a description of the major classes of prescription medications used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Potential advantages and drawbacks of each type of medication are considered. The SSRI selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant medications include Prozac fluoxetineZoloft sertraleneLuvox fluvoxamineanxiety after tapering off lexapro, Celexa citalopramand Lexapro escitalopram among others.

In the past twenty years, they have become the first-line medications used by most psychiatrists to treat anxiety disorders.

The SSRIs all increase levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain by preventing the reabsorption of serotonin at synapses spaces between nerve cells. With increased serotonin, the number of serotonin receptors on nerve cells in the brain can decrease not as many are needed. The reduction in serotonin receptors takes place over the first month or two of taking an SSRI and is technically called "downregulation.

That means less dramatic shifts in mood and less vulnerability to anxiety. The SSRIs tend to be as effective—sometimes more effective—than the older tricyclic antidepressants that have been used to treat panic e. They also have the distinct advantage of causing fewer side effects for most people than the older antidepressants. SSRIs are used most often to treat panic, panic with agoraphobia, anxiety after tapering off lexapro obsessive-compulsive anxiety after tapering off lexapro. They have also found use with social phobia, anxiety after tapering off lexapro, particularly generalized social phobia, where a person is phobic of most types of social situations and encounters.

Sometimes they are used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder or generalized anxiety disorder, especially when these difficulties are accompanied by depression. People differ quite a lot in their response to the SSRIs. If you try one and experience no benefit, be willing to try another. To gain full benefit from an SSRI, you may need to take it for six months to two years.

Typical effective daily doses for SSRIs are: Prozac, 20 to 40 mg; Zoloft, 50 to mg; Luvox fluvoxamine50 to mg; Celexa 20 to 60 mg, and Lexapro, 10 to 20 mg, anxiety after tapering off lexapro.

Effective doses of these medications for OCD are at the high end of these dose ranges. However, some clients find that they obtain good results from lower doses. It typically takes at least four weeks at a normal dose for an SSRI medication to achieve therapeutic benefits. They are particularly helpful for persons with severe panic disorder, agoraphobia, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

SSRIs are easily tolerated and safe for medically ill or elderly persons. They have less likelihood of causing addiction. They do not cause problems when taken long term. In most cases, they do not lead to weight gain. Drawbacks Although SSRIs have fewer side effects than the older cyclic antidepressants, they can cause side effects in some anxiety after tapering off lexapro, including: All of these side effects can be minimized by starting off with a very low dose of the medication and increasing it, over time, to therapeutic levels.

For example, doses might start as low as 5 mg per day for Prozac or even Zoloft. To achieve such doses, you need to start with a small portion of a single tablet or capsule per day in most cases, anxiety after tapering off lexapro gradually increase up to one tablet or capsule per day over a period of two or weeks. Be willing to take plenty of time in increasing the dose gradually, anxiety after tapering off lexapro.

You may notice side effects increase for a day or two after each dose increase. Abrupt discontinuation of an SSRI medication can cause withdrawal symptoms, including low mood, lethargy, dizziness, irritability, and what have been described as "flu-like" symptoms. These symptoms can be minimized or eliminated by tapering down the dose gradually over a period of one month or, in some cases, longer, anxiety after tapering off lexapro.

One final drawback of SSRIs is their expense. Generic versions are less expensive than brand names. The optimal duration for taking an SSRI medication is six months to two years.

You increase your risk of a return of symptoms if you take the medication for a shorter time period. Persons with bipolar disorder manic depression should only take SSRIs under the supervision of a knowledgeable physician, as they can aggravate manic states. The high-potency benzodiazepine tranquilizers BZs Xanax alprazolamAtivan lorazepamand Klonopin clonazepam are commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. Older benzodiazepine drugs, such as Valium, Librium, or Tranxene are occasionally tried when a person is sensitive to the side effects of the newer BZs.

The benzodiazepines are often used in conjunction with SSRI antidepressants or anxiety after tapering off lexapro tricyclic antidepressants to treat severe cases of panic disorder.

Benzodiazepine drugs generally depress the activity of the entire central nervous system and thus directly and efficiently decrease anxiety. They do so by binding with receptors in the brain that function to tone down or suppress activity in those parts of the brain responsible for anxiety—the amygdala, locus ceruleus and limbic system in general. Anxiety after tapering off lexapro higher doses, BZ tranquilizers act like sedatives and may promote sleep.

Lower doses tend to simply reduce anxiety without sedation. At present the most common tranquilizer used to treat anxiety disorders is Xanax alprazolam. Alprazolam differs from other BZs in that it has an additional antidepressant effect, as well as the ability to relieve anxiety.

It also tends to have a less sedating effect than other tranquilizers. Anxiety after tapering off lexapro Xanax has a short half-life, two or three doses per day are usually prescribed. If you take only one dose per day, you may experience "rebound anxiety"—the tendency to experience heightened levels of anxiety as the medication wears off.

BZs with longer half-lives, such as Klonopin, tend to cause less rebound anxiety and can often be taken in a single dose per day. Advantages BZs work very quickly, reducing symptoms of anxiety within fifteen to twenty minutes. Unlike antidepressants, which need to be taken regularly, BZs can be taken on an "as needed basis" only.

That is, you can take a small dose of Xanax, Ativan, or Klonopin only when you have to confront a challenging situation, such as a graded exposure task, going to a job interview, or taking a flight. The BZs tend to have less bothersome side effects for many people than the antidepressant medications especially the tricyclic antidepressants.

Sometimes they are the only medication that can provide relief when a person is unable to take any of the antidepressant medications. Generic forms of BZs are available, reducing their cost.

Drawbacks BZ medications, unlike antidepressant medications, are often addictive. Regardless of the dose, if you take a BZ medication daily for more than two or three weeks, you run a risk of becoming both psychologically and physically dependent.

Physical dependency means that if you stop taking the medication abruptly, severe anxiety symptoms are likely to occur. Abrupt withdrawal from these medications is dangerous and may anxiety after tapering off lexapro panic attacks, severe anxiety, confusion, muscle tension, irritability, insomnia, and even seizures. A more gradual tapering of the dose, stretched out over many weeks or even months, is what makes withdrawal possible.

During this withdrawal period, you may experience a recurrence of panic attacks or other anxiety symptoms for which the drug was originally prescribed. If a BZ medication is tapered off too quickly, you can experience rebound anxiety Unfortunately, sustained rebound anxiety may lead to relapse: To minimize the risk of rebound, it is critical to withdraw from your dose of a BZ very gradually, preferably over several months under the supervision of your prescribing physician.

Another drawback of BZs is that they are effective only as long as you take them. When you stop taking them, your anxiety disorder has virtually a percent chance of returning, unless you have learned coping skills relaxation, exercise, stress management, working with self-talk, assertiveness, and so on and made lifestyle changes that will result in long-term anxiety relief. Taking a BZ only, without doing anything else, amounts to merely suppressing your anxiety symptoms without getting at the cause of your difficulty.

Long-term use of BZs more than two years is sometimes necessary in certain cases of severe panic or anxiety that does not respond to any other type of medication. While enabling many people to function, long-term BZ use has several problems.

It is as though the medication tends to sap them of a certain degree of energy. Often, if they are able to switch to an antidepressant medication to help manage their anxiety, they regain a sense of vitality and enthusiasm for life.

As a general rule, the BZs are most appropriate for treating short-term, acute anxiety and stress rather than longer-lasting conditions, such as agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Wherever possible, chronic, long-term anxiety disorders are most appropriately treated with SSRI antidepressants. There are, however, certain individuals who seem to need to take a low-dose of a BZ over the long term in order to function.

They accept the addiction and other side effects in exchange for protection from the anxiety that they have been unable to manage using solely natural techniques or other types of medication.

If you are over fifty years old and have been taking a BZ medication for more than two years, you should periodically receive medical checkups, including an evaluation of liver function. SNRI antidepressants work by blocking the reuptake of two major neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine, anxiety after tapering off lexapro. Desvenlafaxine is the mirror-image isomer of venlafaxine, and is claimed by some to have fewer side effects than venlafaxine, though there is no systematic research on this.

The main advantage of SNRIs over the SSRIs anxiety after tapering off lexapro that they can stabilize both the norepinephrine and serotonin receptor systems, instead of just the serotonin system alone. So for certain people, they are more powerful anxiolytics than the SSRIs. They have the same disadvantages as the SSRIs, with side effects including dizziness, nausea, weakness, dry mouth, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction.

Abrupt discontinuation is associated with withdrawal symptoms. SMS antidepressants are a relatively new class of medications which, in addition to promoting switching from armour thyroid to synthroid reuptake inhibition like SSRIs, also stimulate transmission at one or more serotonin receptor sites.

Viibryd vilazodonewith a normal dose range of mg. Viibryd was approved in early for use in the United States.

 

Anxiety after tapering off lexapro

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