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Dizziness from Luxapro or from just not eating?

Hi, so for the first time ever, this morning at 8:30 am (Wednesday, Feb. 7th, 2018), I took one pill of Luxapro as prescribed by my doctor. I then drank an Ensure protein and vitamin shake. That was it. I had nothing solid for breakfast. I do this regularly, though, I'm in such a hurry in the morning that most days I don't eat until my first break at work at 9 am or even noon. And with no problems. Today, at 11:30 am, I got severe dizziness and lightheadedness and I almost fell a few times (and I work in a parking garage made of concrete, so falling would be bad.) I didn't feel faint, my vision didn't go, i just suddenly felt off balance. And it didn't happen once and go away, no, the feeling persisted and got worse. First, I sat down, but that didn't help. Then I just laid flat on my stomach on the cement floor of the garage, which felt better. Again, it was like being drunk where you are holding on to the floor as the world around you spins. This caused me to have the worst panic attack in my life. This occured at the garage main exit in front of our customers, in front of our office and my bosses, it was embarrassing! I figured maybe some food would help and I was hungry, but my boss said no, he just called 911. The EMTs took me the ER (second time in one week I've been there), and there as I am waiting to see the doctor on duty, I was given some Apple Juice and a Ham & Cheese Sandwich. As soon as I drank the juice, I started feeling better, and as soon as I finished the sandwich, my dizziness and lightheadedness was almost gone. Eventually, the ER did a whole work up on me and found nothing wrong. My blood sugar was fine and I am not a diabetic. I am sure i was suffering a side effect from the Luxapro that was exasperated by the fact that I had no solid foods for over half a day (I ate at 11 pm the night before). For those who take Luxapro regularly, from your experience, is severe dizziness, lightheadedness and feeling off balance a side effect that will go away? Or do you think my symptoms were caused by not eating while taking Luxapro? This is really scary, and I can't go through this again at work. And I don't see my doctor until Feb. 26th. Thank you.

-Chris

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Hi Chris, is it Lexapro you are on? Have not heard of Luxapro. If it's Lexapro (which I am on) I was started on it in the hospital and it was given after lunch. I have kept that schedule and have no problem. You might want to try that. I never take a medication on an empty stomach, it works better with food in going throughout your system. I hope you feel better, I know that could be a very scary feeling. Take care

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Yes, it is Lexapro. I took 1 10 mg dose of the Lexapro at 8:30 am. But I had nothing to eat all day up until I went to the ER around 1:30 or 2:00 pm. My doctor says my blood sugar may have just been too low from not eating and it wasn't a side effect of the Lexapro because that side effect is extremely rare. However, he did say I could stop taking it if I want. I may try it again on Saturday in case there are any side effects they won't happen at my work again. Thank you

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Hey Chris. My understanding is that these meds can cause anxiety symptoms to worsen before they get better, and it sounds like that could be what you experienced?? Dizziness is a common symptom of anxiety, so it could be that happening It might also be a side effect of the drug, which usually also improves after a couple of weeks. If it was the drug inceasing your anxiety, and you do want to stay on it, I would just let it happen, let anything happen (any anxiety symptoms) for a week or two, since this is a common reaction and won’t hurt you. In the case the dizziness was a side effect of Lexapro, you might could start out on a lesser dose and gradually increase. A few yrs ago I tried taking an SSRI, in fact I think it was Lexapro, and my anxiety went OUT the roof. I did not think it could get any worse and it did. I mean I was in baaad shape. My doctor said wait it out & it would get better, but I couldn’t. I came off the drug. That’s one reason I so readily accepted the recommendation later of a counselor to treat my anxiety with CBT and without meds. Good luck to you. Things will get better.

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Hi, thank you. Actually, this dizziness can hurt me because I almost fell numerous times on to a concrete floor at my work. And unfortunately I can't just let my anxiety symptoms happen when I am at work. It is hurting my job performance. But I may take your advice and take a lesser dose. I took 1 10 mg dose of the Lexapro at 8:30 am. But I had nothing to eat all day up until I went to the ER around 1:30 or 2:00 pm. My doctor says my blood sugar may have just been too low from not eating and it wasn't a side effect of the Lexapro because that side effect is extremely rare. However, he did say I could stop taking it if I want. I may try it again on Saturday in case there are any side effects they won't happen at my work again. Thanks again.

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Good point, if it causes you to fall, that definitely could hurt you! If dizziness was your only new symptom, it’s likely it was blood sugar or something else. If it was the Lexapro causing temporarily increased anxiety, like it did to me, you would probably be experiencing other anxiety symptoms alongside the dizziness. I can totally relate to how you feel. My anxiety symptoms effected my job to the point that I had to quit my teaching job mid year. The reason I say “let whatever happen” is b/c by worrying about my symptoms, I was adding stress to an overstressed nervous system. I had to not care if my heart raced wildly and skipped, not care less if I felt dizzy or couldn’t walk very far without collapsing. I had to allow life-threatening panic attacks to happen. When I finally stopped caring about my symptoms, AND minimized stress in my life, my system finally started calming down.

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Thank you. Yes, the dizziness and falling down was a new thing to me, and it did cause me to have the worst panic attack I ever felt. I was thinking about taking one whole week (5 days) off of work until my body adjusts to the medication and I knew there were little or no bad side effects (I was afraid this would happen at work), but that could take longer than a week? And though I have plenty of vacation and sick pay, we are short on help right now and I don't know how my employer would take this, even if he does have to legally comply being that this is a medical issue. I have no new stress in my life since December (this all just started in January), so the stress part may not be relevant to this, though I was always "high" on diet/energy pills almost everyday for years, so this may just be my "regular" ironically, however, even then, I have no stressful things or issues that I can cut from my life. I am suffering panic attacks in situations I was completely at ease in and with people I knew closely for years, I don't know why this is happening now. Except that maybe years of artificial stimulants (diet pills) may have caught up to me and made a chemical in my brain go off-balanced.

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I’m on Lexapro and cut my dose in half then eventually Started taking the second half of the dose 12 hours later. It was too much for me to take it all at once it gave me side effects. I function perfect now and have a dose in the morning and have a dose in the afternoon. That’s still only gives me 10 mg a day which is very low. How many milligrams did you take?

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Hi, I took 1 10 mg dose of the Lexapro at 8:30 am. But I had nothing to eat all day up until I went to the ER around 1:30 or 2:00 pm. My doctor says my blood sugar may have just been too low from not eating and it wasn't a side effect of the Lexapro because that side effect is extremely rare. However, he did say I could stop taking it if I want. I may try it again on Saturday in case there are any side effects they won't happen at my work again. Thank you.

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I felt my best after about 3 weeks consistent. Good luck keep us posted!

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Hey Chris, I just started on lexapro myself and noticed eating something before definitely helps with some side effects. Try having a bagel or some toast before taking it...drink lots of water too.

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Hi, today I didn't take the Lexapro and I've had no panic attacks, I just feel a bit light-headed still, but nowhere near as bad as yesterday. I'm also exhausted from not sleeping well last night due to the light-headedness. Today I was smart and ate an actual solid breakfast. I will try the Lexapro again on Saturday with food so that if I suffer a side effect it won't happen at work. Of course, I'm hoping that I suffered dizziness and the feeling of being off balance and falling because I didn't eat at all half the day when I took that Lexapro pill the first time. So I will see on Saturday. ....Or should I try to manage my anxiety without it? Like I said, today I have no anxiety, just a bit of light-headedness. What do you think? Thanks.

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To successfully heal without meds requires patience and [in my opinion] counseling with someone who specializes in anxiety. Healing is a process. It is counterintuitive. It takes time to retrain the brain. The good thing is you learn how to deal with anxiety, so you can potentially overcome it for good. I know many people who have been completely cured this way. I recommend this option. For people who are severe (although I was also severe) or need to get better sooner, meds might be the better option. It’s just a gamble whether or not the benefits will outweigh the adverse effects. My observation has been a 60- 70% positive response to SSRI’s. I was not one of those. Another factor is they are often difficult to come off of, and when you do stop taking them, if the symptoms return, you’re back to square one. In rare cases anxiety is a one time occurrence, meds help, you eventually come off of them and never struggle again. Best of luck with whichever route you choose. Let us know...

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