Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 126622

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Sexual Side-Effects

Posted by Emmeline on November 5, 2002, at 23:55:53

Hello. I've been visiting this site for quite some time; it's nice to know that I'm not alone when it comes to medication-related issues. Brief background: I have panic disorder, OCD (no overt manifestations..it's mostly annoying things like re-reading sentences over), and chronic major depression (woo-hoo!). Nobody knows this about me other than my parents and brother; it's just an issue I choose to keep to myself, as I don't want people to look at me differently. Oddly enough, people who know me think I'm "perfect" (very annoying assumption); if they only knew the truth! Looking back on my pre-medication years, I truly have no idea how I was able to hide my conditions (is there an Academy Award offered for this type of acting?)...Well, I've been on Imipramine for 8 years (I'm 28). During the first 7 years, I was not able to reach a therapeutic level on this medication as my body does not absorb it effectively. (Note: I have not been able to tolerate any of the SSRIs.) My low levels of Imipramine were compensated for by adding Klonopin and Buspar. My dream was to one day reach a therapeutic level of Imipramine. Well, last January, my wish came true. I take 350mg, but only 170mgs or so are absorbed into my system. I was beyond thrilled; I had waited years for this wish to be granted. Well, here I am now, about 9 months into being on a therapeutic level of Imipramine. You'd think I'd be grateful, but instead, I find myself miserable. Chemically, I'm fine, but the therapeutic level of my medication has killed my libido; it's like I'm made of cardboard when it comes to that area. Who knew that my dream-come-true would end up making me so unhappy because of the sexual dysfuntion. No words can truly express how this upsets me. My doctor (who is wonderful) has suggested that I try Lexapro, but said she thinks it won't work for me because I had so much trouble tolerating the other SSRIs (nausea was my problem). I would love to know how anyone willing to respond to my post copes with sexual dysfunction. Furthermore, I wonder if anyone out there has had success on Lexapro after failing to tolerate any of the other SSRIs. Thank you for your time...Best wishes, Emmeline

 

Re: Sexual Side-Effects Emmeline

Posted by Brandymac26 on November 6, 2002, at 9:28:39

In reply to Sexual Side-Effects, posted by Emmeline on November 5, 2002, at 23:55:53

Hi there! I have tried almost every ssri known to man, and terrible side effects like nausea, diarrhea, increased anxiety(by the way-I have panic disorder,gad, and depression), my pupils were dilated, couldn't sleep etc, and so far the lexapro-which I've been on for a week hasnt caused me any bad side effects at all really! Actually, as far as the sex drive issue is concerned, mine has gotten way better since taking the lexapro. Before the lexapro, and while I was on other med's my sex drive was GONE!!! But now, I feel a lot better. My anxiety has gotten a lot better too. I'm still waiting to see what it does for the depression, but in all honesty, overall, I have to say so far so good! By the way-I'm 26 so I know how you feel!

 

Re: Sexual Side-Effects--Emmeline/Brandymac

Posted by ROO on November 6, 2002, at 14:22:45

In reply to Re: Sexual Side-Effects Emmeline, posted by Brandymac26 on November 6, 2002, at 9:28:39

Emmeline--

I'm on 5 mg's of Lexapro...I've noticed maybe being
effected a _little_ bit sexually, but even that I'm not really
sure because I take Topamax and it effects me sexually to
some degree, so I'm not sure which is the culprit since both
are relatively new drugs I'm starting. I can tell you that I
think my DRIVE has INCREASED since starting the lexapro...I feel
less depressed and hornier. Even so, the lexapro isn't effecting my
ability to get aroused and orgasm to a great degree (I assume you want specifics, I
would if I were posting). I know from my past experiences with
TCA's (isn't imipramine a TCA?) they effected my drive WORSE than
the ssri's, although the ssri's effected my ability to orgasm worse.
I'm hoping I'm going to be able to get away with this lower dose
of Lexapro, precisely because I'm scared I'll have sexual side effects
at a higher dose. That's where you come in Brandymac--what dose are
you on?
Worse comes to worse, you can just try it and go off if you don't like it...
I'm like Brandymac, I've been pleased and have had minimal side effects...I like
that I can sleep on it too...most ssri's have effected my ability to sleep, which
is a pain. Let me know how it goes.

 

Re: Sexual Side-Effects--Brandymac and ROO

Posted by Emmeline on November 6, 2002, at 18:10:45

In reply to Re: Sexual Side-Effects--Emmeline/Brandymac, posted by ROO on November 6, 2002, at 14:22:45

Brandymac and Roo, thank you so, so much for your responses; I really appreciate what you had to say (and ROO, a big thanks for the details....). Brandymac, like Roo, I'd love to know your Lexapro dosage. Come to think of it, Brandymac, I'm so encouraged by what you had to say that I just want to make sure I understood you correctly. You're telling me that you've experienced the same hellish side-effects from SSRIs that I have, and that with Lexapro you've been fine thus far?! Wow! Did you try Celexa prior to Lexapro? (Celexa was one of the culprits which made me so nauseous that I could barely walk). I've now decided that I want to try Lexapro; it's just a matter of timing. Tapering off of Imipramine is no fun, and as expected, I become symptomatic (can't eat, sleep, cry non-stop, and may throw-up from the anxiety...lovely). After switching to Lexapro, I then have to wait to see if I'm able to tolerate it; if not, it's back to the Imipramine. I just have to coordinate things around work (I'm a therapist for autistic children). I can't be symptomatic when I have to do things involving public speaking or anything where I have to stand out. Hmmm....Thanks so much for your time, Emmeline :-)

 

Re: Sexual Side-Effects--Brandymac and ROO Emmeline

Posted by Brandymac26 on November 6, 2002, at 19:28:17

In reply to Re: Sexual Side-Effects--Brandymac and ROO, posted by Emmeline on November 6, 2002, at 18:10:45

> Brandymac and Roo, thank you so, so much for your responses; I really appreciate what you had to say (and ROO, a big thanks for the details....). Brandymac, like Roo, I'd love to know your Lexapro dosage. Come to think of it, Brandymac, I'm so encouraged by what you had to say that I just want to make sure I understood you correctly. You're telling me that you've experienced the same hellish side-effects from SSRIs that I have, and that with Lexapro you've been fine thus far?! Wow! Did you try Celexa prior to Lexapro? (Celexa was one of the culprits which made me so nauseous that I could barely walk). I've now decided that I want to try Lexapro; it's just a matter of timing. Tapering off of Imipramine is no fun, and as expected, I become symptomatic (can't eat, sleep, cry non-stop, and may throw-up from the anxiety...lovely). After switching to Lexapro, I then have to wait to see if I'm able to tolerate it; if not, it's back to the Imipramine. I just have to coordinate things around work (I'm a therapist for autistic children). I can't be symptomatic when I have to do things involving public speaking or anything where I have to stand out. Hmmm....Thanks so much for your time, Emmeline :-)

Hi Emmeline!I was taking celexa for over a year, and the first couple of months the side effects were AWFUL!!! I had nausea like you, but mine never really went away on the celexa, and it made me sooo tired, and could never take more than 15mg's of it b/c everytime i tried to up my dose, i felt all the side effects come back. I was extremely sensitive to celexa. I actually took myself off of it after being on it over a year, and after 6 months i couldnt take it. My anxiety got so bad i didnt leave my house for months at a time b/c I was scared of having panic attacks. But, i went back to my doc and told her how bad I was doing, and she told me about lexapro. I started taking it (with xanax), and have honestly not had any bad side effects other than my jaws clenching-which I had w/ celexa too, and the first couple of days I didnt sleep too good, and also, the first day my anxiety was a little weird. It wasnt really bad, i was just a little nervous. But other than that i have had no problems like i did with celexa. I will tell you that if celexa was the last drug on earth, i wouldnt take it again b/c the side effects were sooo bad. Oh- and my sex drive has actually improved on lexapro!(i'm 26) I couldnt believe it. With the celexa I was completely numb, i never got in the mood. Sex was a chore for me on it, but now my sex drive is great!
The only side effect that had stayed with me on the lexapro is the foggy head feeling that I get when i first wake up in the morning, but I think thats b/c i take it before bed.
Also, I take 10mg's. I actually started taking 10mg's right from the beginning and havent had any problems. I know w/ the celexa, and I told my doc this, i wouldnt recommend starting anyone on celexa over 5 or 10 mg's TOPS b/c the side effects will be too bad if you do, so I'm thinking (if your like me), your probobly scared to take lexapro b/c of the bad experience w/ celexa, you may want to start out taking 5mg's instead of ten just to reassure yourself-ya know what i mean? But I started out on 10 and have done great. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I actually think when I go back to my doc that im gonna ask for a dose increase (which is unbelievable b/c I could have never done that on celexa) to take the edge off my anxiety. I mean, lexapro has done really good for my anxiety so far, but i feel like if i went up to 15 or20 mg's my anxiety will be completely gone!! I have to admit I'm pretty glad i'm on lexapro, and if your sensitive to celexa, dont be scared to switch if thats what you really want to do. Just start out on a lower dose than normal, and i'm sure you'll be fine. Also, you may want to ask your doc about taking something with it like xanax, that seems to help me out if i ever feel i really need it. Do you take anything like xanax or have you just been on med's without anything to take the edge off the increased anxiety they cause? Well, hope this helps you, and good luck with the switch!
Brandy
P.S. What is Imiprine? I've never heard of it.

 

Re: Sexual Side-Effects--Brandymac and ROO Brandymac26

Posted by Brandymac26 on November 6, 2002, at 19:30:57

In reply to Re: Sexual Side-Effects--Brandymac and ROO Emmeline, posted by Brandymac26 on November 6, 2002, at 19:28:17

> > Brandymac and Roo, thank you so, so much for your responses; I really appreciate what you had to say (and ROO, a big thanks for the details....). Brandymac, like Roo, I'd love to know your Lexapro dosage. Come to think of it, Brandymac, I'm so encouraged by what you had to say that I just want to make sure I understood you correctly. You're telling me that you've experienced the same hellish side-effects from SSRIs that I have, and that with Lexapro you've been fine thus far?! Wow! Did you try Celexa prior to Lexapro? (Celexa was one of the culprits which made me so nauseous that I could barely walk). I've now decided that I want to try Lexapro; it's just a matter of timing. Tapering off of Imipramine is no fun, and as expected, I become symptomatic (can't eat, sleep, cry non-stop, and may throw-up from the anxiety...lovely). After switching to Lexapro, I then have to wait to see if I'm able to tolerate it; if not, it's back to the Imipramine. I just have to coordinate things around work (I'm a therapist for autistic children). I can't be symptomatic when I have to do things involving public speaking or anything where I have to stand out. Hmmm....Thanks so much for your time, Emmeline :-)
>
> Hi Emmeline!I was taking celexa for over a year, and the first couple of months the side effects were AWFUL!!! I had nausea like you, but mine never really went away on the celexa, and it made me sooo tired, and could never take more than 15mg's of it b/c everytime i tried to up my dose, i felt all the side effects come back. I was extremely sensitive to celexa. I actually took myself off of it after being on it over a year, and after 6 months i couldnt take it. My anxiety got so bad i didnt leave my house for months at a time b/c I was scared of having panic attacks. But, i went back to my doc and told her how bad I was doing, and she told me about lexapro. I started taking it (with xanax), and have honestly not had any bad side effects other than my jaws clenching-which I had w/ celexa too, and the first couple of days I didnt sleep too good, and also, the first day my anxiety was a little weird. It wasnt really bad, i was just a little nervous. But other than that i have had no problems like i did with celexa. I will tell you that if celexa was the last drug on earth, i wouldnt take it again b/c the side effects were sooo bad. Oh- and my sex drive has actually improved on lexapro!(i'm 26) I couldnt believe it. With the celexa I was completely numb, i never got in the mood. Sex was a chore for me on it, but now my sex drive is great!
> The only side effect that had stayed with me on the lexapro is the foggy head feeling that I get when i first wake up in the morning, but I think thats b/c i take it before bed.
> Also, I take 10mg's. I actually started taking 10mg's right from the beginning and havent had any problems. I know w/ the celexa, and I told my doc this, i wouldnt recommend starting anyone on celexa over 5 or 10 mg's TOPS b/c the side effects will be too bad if you do, so I'm thinking (if your like me), your probobly scared to take lexapro b/c of the bad experience w/ celexa, you may want to start out taking 5mg's instead of ten just to reassure yourself-ya know what i mean? But I started out on 10 and have done great. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I actually think when I go back to my doc that im gonna ask for a dose increase (which is unbelievable b/c I could have never done that on celexa) to take the edge off my anxiety. I mean, lexapro has done really good for my anxiety so far, but i feel like if i went up to 15 or20 mg's my anxiety will be completely gone!! I have to admit I'm pretty glad i'm on lexapro, and if your sensitive to celexa, dont be scared to switch if thats what you really want to do. Just start out on a lower dose than normal, and i'm sure you'll be fine. Also, you may want to ask your doc about taking something with it like xanax, that seems to help me out if i ever feel i really need it. Do you take anything like xanax or have you just been on med's without anything to take the edge off the increased anxiety they cause? Well, hope this helps you, and good luck with the switch!
> Brandy
> P.S. What is Imiprine? I've never heard of it.

Also, I know this sounds kind of weird, but I find that the more water I drink while taking lexapro, the better i feel, the better my anxiety is, and I have a lot more energy. I had bad headaches on celexa too, and the water could be one of the reasons i dont have them on lexapro (staying hydrated).
brandy

 

Re: Sexual Side-Effects--Emmeline/Brandymac ROO

Posted by Brandymac26 on November 6, 2002, at 19:36:52

In reply to Re: Sexual Side-Effects--Emmeline/Brandymac, posted by ROO on November 6, 2002, at 14:22:45

> Emmeline--
>
> I'm on 5 mg's of Lexapro...I've noticed maybe being
> effected a _little_ bit sexually, but even that I'm not really
> sure because I take Topamax and it effects me sexually to
> some degree, so I'm not sure which is the culprit since both
> are relatively new drugs I'm starting. I can tell you that I
> think my DRIVE has INCREASED since starting the lexapro...I feel
> less depressed and hornier. Even so, the lexapro isn't effecting my
> ability to get aroused and orgasm to a great degree (I assume you want specifics, I
> would if I were posting). I know from my past experiences with
> TCA's (isn't imipramine a TCA?) they effected my drive WORSE than
> the ssri's, although the ssri's effected my ability to orgasm worse.
> I'm hoping I'm going to be able to get away with this lower dose
> of Lexapro, precisely because I'm scared I'll have sexual side effects
> at a higher dose. That's where you come in Brandymac--what dose are
> you on?
> Worse comes to worse, you can just try it and go off if you don't like it...
> I'm like Brandymac, I've been pleased and have had minimal side effects...I like
> that I can sleep on it too...most ssri's have effected my ability to sleep, which
> is a pain. Let me know how it goes.

I'm on 10mg's and have been since day one. I wanted to get all the side effects over with at one time if I had any, but honestly i really havent had any bad side effects. I think the worse side effect is the jaw clenching, other than that it's not too bad. And my sex drive is a lot better too!
Brandy

 

Re: Sexual Side-Effects--Brandymac

Posted by Emmeline on November 6, 2002, at 20:23:25

In reply to Re: Sexual Side-Effects--Brandymac and ROO Emmeline, posted by Brandymac26 on November 6, 2002, at 19:28:17

Hi again, Brandymac. Thank you so much for your wonderful advice. I only lasted 3 weeks on Celexa because of the nausea. In fact, I think 3 weeks is the longest amount of time I was able to remain on any of the SSRIs (Prozac was the worst; I was so anxious I felt like I was hanging from the rafters!).....Anyway, as for Imipramine, it is a tricyclic antidepressant; one of the first antidepressants invented (it goes way back to the age of the caveman). It was actually the first medication I tried. It works perfectly for me (except for the sexual side-effects). Em :-)


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