Lexapro jittery (A disturbing side effect)

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Page last updated: 17/09/2022

Lexapro jittery (A disturbing side effect)

In this blog, we are going to talk about lexapro induced jittery. Lexapro is an antidepressant which is associated with a number of side effects. This blog will cover how lexapro causes jitteriness and what you can do about it. 

Is jittery a common side effect of lexapro? 

Lexapro induced jitteriness is not a common side effect, but it has been reported from time to time. One survey indicated that lexapro is capable of making people jittery just after an hour or two of 5 mg dose administration. 

Jitteriness is a condition associated with nervousness and shakiness. Some people might fear talking or engaging in activities, while others experience involuntary movements or jerks. It is important to know that antidepressants affect people differently. 

Lexapro, being no exception, causes different types of side effects in different individuals. The most common side effects include loss of appetite, loss of libido, weight gain, nausea, vomiting, insomnia or inability to fall asleep etc. 

A few studies have indicated that jittery could be a sign of disease progression. Jitteriness or anxiety is the most common sign of the mental health illness itself, and sometimes these symptoms get mixed up. 

A few studies suggest that these effects can be seen in patients who don’t respond well to lexapro and their symptoms start getting worse.

However, some studies have also indicated that jitteriness could easily be an early side effect of your lexapro which might take a few weeks to subside. Antidepressants are known for causing side effects, especially during the first few weeks as these meds take time to kick in. 

Once your body becomes comfortable with the drug, this jitteriness begins to go away with time. A 2008 case report represented a 34 year old woman who started on 10 mg lexapro after being diagnosed with postoperative depression. 

She was absolutely normal before and had no symptoms other than depression, but 7 days after lexapro treatment, she started exhibiting signs of very rare resting leg syndrome and her anxiety and jitteriness got worse. 

This clearly indicates that lexapro is, in fact, capable of making people jittery. Make sure you immediately report to your healthcare provider if you suffer from unusual side effects.

Is there anything you can do to help relieve your jitteriness? 

There are a few things you can do if you suffer from lexapro induced jitteriness. These include:

Discuss your jitteriness with your mental healthcare professional 

The first step is always to discuss your side effects with your healthcare provider. If you suffer from extreme jitteriness and nervousness, it indicates that either your dose is too high or you’re not doing so well on lexapro. 

In case of high dose, your doctor will decrease the dose and give your body enough time to settle down on a lower dose which will help minimise the side effects. 

Once you adjust to the lower dose, your doctor will slowly start to increase the dose again and will monitor your response to it. If dose alterations don’t work, it simply means that your body is not tolerating lexapro well and it needs to be stopped. 

Mild jitteriness should go away with time and the treatment should remain the same. 

Lexapro jittery (A disturbing side effect)

Avoid drinking too much coffee

Coffee itself is known for producing jitteriness and nervousness, especially when consumed mindlessly. Make sure you limit your caffeine intake. 

Don’t rely on your coffee to increase your energy levels and alertness. It will make you even more jittery, agitated and anxious. The Food and Drug Authority (FDA) recommends no more than 400 milligrams (about four or five cups of coffee) per day.

If your lexapro is already causing jitteriness and problems with your sleep pattern, it’s best to consume even lower amounts of caffeine. 

Limit the use of alcohol 

The use of alcohol might calm you down or tone down your nervousness for a while, but as long as the effects last. When the effects of alcohol start to fade away, you will feel your jitteriness getting even more worse. 

So it’s best to cut back on alcohol. It might provide temporary relief but it is far more dangerous in the long run. The excessive use of alcohol leads to alcoholism, which is one hell of a disturbing condition in itself. 

Don’t be too hard on yourself and give your body enough time to adjust 

Lexapro and every other antidepressant, takes time to work. If you suffer from jitteriness or anxiety, don’t start getting scared and try to stop it. This side effect will soon begin to fade away. Researchers indicate that some people step in the denial mode and stop accepting the situation. 

Being in denial will not help you feel relaxed. If you keep telling yourself that you’re not jittery or not nervous, it won’t do you any good. Accept your side effects and realise that it is something actually happening to you and you should definitely discuss it with your doctor. 

Always know that you’re strong enough to get through it. If it’s your med, your doctor will probably reduce the dose and if that doesn’t help, it will result in the discontinuation of the treatment with lexapro. Either way, you’re going to be alright. 

Drink plenty of water 

Make sure you drink plenty of water. Experts revealed that many people suffer from mild to moderate dehydration, which can exacerbate the symptoms of anxiety and jitteriness. 

So, make sure you have plenty of water in your system. You can also try making detox water to make your regular water less boring. You can add lemons, ginger, cucumber, berries, oranges, kiwi and mint etc to make your water even more nutritious and filled with antioxidants.

Exercise 

Working out is the best way to release negative energy from your system. Whenever you feel jittery, nervous or extremely anxious, go out for a walk. Walking or jogging can help relieve that bad energy from your system and can really help relax your mind. 

You can also try going for a refreshing walk in the morning as sunlight can help boost your serotonin levels naturally. You can also try different low intensity workouts to boost your energy levels.

Yoga and meditation are also known as stress relieving activities. 

Try to distract yourself 

During an episode of nervousness, try to distract yourself. Try engaging in your favourite activities to try to divert your mind from your side effects. You can also try enjoying your favourite movies or go on hiking or hangouts with your friends. 

If you’re fond of shopping, go buy something nice for yourself. Make sure you always look for ways to distract yourself from these side effects. 

Stay away from things that trigger your jitteriness 

Try to monitor your trigger factors. If certain foods, watching TV like news channels or certain kinds of activity trigger your jitteriness, anxiety or nervousness, make sure you stay as far away from it as possible. Engage in healthy activities and eat good nutritious food.

Rule out any drug interaction that might contribute to your jitteriness 

Medicine compatibility is a big concern. Some people are on more than one prescription medications and it is important for them to make sure their meds are safe to use together. 

Even if this is not the case, we all suffer from random infections and cold or flu at some point. During such ailments, doctors prescribe some antibiotics, anti-allergies or fever reducing drugs to help relieve the symptoms. 

Now, some of these meds can also interact with lexapro. This is why it is important to give out your medication history properly, including all the over-the-counter drugs you use. 

Medication incompatibility is also an issue with geriatric population because of polypharmacy. Elderly people are mostly living on multiple drugs and it is extremely important to rule out any interaction between lexapro and other prescription medications. 

When should you call your doctor? 

Immediately contact your healthcare provider if you:

  • Experience extreme jitteriness coupled with jerks or shakiness
  • Can not think straight and your mind gets clouded 
  • Are confused 24/7
  • Experience auditory or visual hallucination
  • Can’t keep your balance 
  • Suffer from extreme headache 
  • Experience unexplained weight gain or loss. 

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have discussed lexapro induced jitteriness. It is not a common side effect, but it has been reported from time to time. One survey indicated that lexapro is capable of making people jittery just after an hour or two of 5 mg dose administration.  

Studies have revealed that jitteriness could be a sign of disease progression, as it is a symptom of depression and generalised anxiety disorder itself. It is hard to predict if your medication is causing it or if your antidepressant is the one that makes you jittery. 

Sometimes, this side effect is mistaken as a sign of worsening depression, but it’s just your lexapro making you feel this way, especially within the first few months of treatment. 

It is also very important to mention here that your jitteriness may get worse if you’re taking anxiety causing medications along with lexapro. It is always recommended to rule out any drug interaction before taking multiple prescription medications. 

FAQs: lexapro jittery 

Can Lexapro cause jitteriness?

Lexapro can cause jitteriness. A few studies have indicated that jitteriness was seen as a side effect of lexapro just after an hour or two of 5 mg dose administration. 

Can antidepressants make you jittery?

Yes, antidepressants can make you jittery. This side effect is more common within the first few weeks of your treatment and will start to fade away once your antidepressant kicks in. Make sure you give your body enough time and don’t stop your treatment halfway. 

Is feeling weird on Lexapro normal?

It is okay to feel weird during the first few weeks of your treatment with lexapro. It causes side effects like disturbed mood, jitteriness or anxiety, loss of libido, loss of appetite, fatigue, drowsiness, insomnia etc. These side effects can last for a few weeks but it will all start to get better when your lexapro kicks in. 

Does Lexapro restlessness go away?

Lexapro induced restlessness, tiredness, fatigue and insomnia start to go away after a few weeks of your treatment. This time duration can vary from person to person. Some people recover earlier than the others. 

Can Lexapro cause restless legs?

A few case studies have revealed that lexapro can cause a rare type of restless leg syndrome. However, this side effect is rare and it is also linked with the severity of your mental health condition. 

How do I stop being jittery from medication?

  • Discuss your jitteriness with your mental healthcare professional 
  • Avoid drinking too much coffee
  • Limit the use of alcohol 
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself and give your body enough time to adjust 
  • Drink plenty of water 
  • Exercise 
  • Try to distract yourself 
  • Stay away from things that trigger your jitteriness 
  • Stay close to people who can help you recover 
  • Rule out any drug interaction that might contribute to your jitteriness 

References 

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