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Escitalopram, awful side effects and want to get pregnant. Try something else?

(4 Posts)
EsciBonkers Tue 25-Nov-14 18:10:16

NCed as this will out me - especially if you're my GP!

I saw my GP a few days ago. I've been feeling worried, irritable and tearful for a while, mainly because of a huge number of life changes and stressors in the last 2 years. He prescribed 5mg escitalopram (lowest dose).

I took the first dose Fri evening. Horrendous side effects - full blown anxiety, insomnia (all night long), diarrhoea, complete loss of appetite. The anxiety lasted more than 24 hours until I went to bed at 8pm on Sat night and slept till the next morning. I also had to take Immodium to stop the diarrhoea.

I didn't take any tablet on Saturday because I was working and barely struggled through the side effects from Friday's tablet. On Sunday, Monday and today I cut my tablet in half and only took 2.5 mg. No anxiety but felt like a zombie for most of Monday. Can barely eat a thing. Last night I had rivers of diarrhoea and the most horrible 'eggy', sulphurous burps. Had to take more Immodium.

So my question: is it worth persevering? The reason I ask is because we are considering having another baby in the new year and I would have to come off this tablet anyway. I can't help thinking what is the point in struggling through these side effects (and this on a dose too low to do anything - only I feel the difference, no anger mainly).

Should I go back to my GP and ask for a different tablet?

violator Wed 26-Nov-14 11:19:42

Have you tried any counselling or CBT before going on meds?

I had an awful reaction to escitalopram. Unfortunately all SSRIs work in much the same way, so I had the same reaction to sertraline.
I actually ended up in a psych hospital, don't want to scare you but I persisted with the escitalopram and the horrific anxiety and insomnia until I had a breakdown.

If your thinking of another baby I would honestly reconsider starting on medication. You're 'supposed' to stay on it at least six months after you start to feel well again. And it can be hard to come off, I took 6 months to come off 10mgs very slowly and still suffered withdrawal effects.

EsciBonkers Thu 27-Nov-14 16:50:21

Violator thanks for your message. I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience with the tablets and I hope you've made a good recovery thanks

I really wanted to try CBT but I was a sobbing heap at the GP's last week and the poor guy just wanted to give me something to help. I went back today and we agreed I would come off them and try CBT or similar first as he said there was no AD that was totally safe for pregnancy (he has given me beta blockers as a back up). He was really pleased I asked about CBT - he just hadn't wanted to suggest it because of the massive waiting time on the NHS (I'll be paying privately). He was quite angry at the waiting time, said mental health was woefully underfunded and that lots of people are given meds who probably wouldn't need them because of the MH underfunding.

Thank you again.

violator Fri 28-Nov-14 11:34:11

Fingers crossed the CBT helps.
I think anxiety caused by events needs that kind of approach, because meds alone won't change circumstances or how we deal with them.

You might feel a bit off when you stop the escitalopram, but it will pass. Be kind to yourself.

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