Increased dizziness on Lexapro

Hi everyone, I decided to give another antidepressant a try, I’m on Depakote and I would say it has made my MAV better by about %50 depending on the day. I still feel like marbles in my head most of the day though, I tried Zoloft and lasted 3 weeks on it due to killer headaches and lightheadedness, I felt like passing out some days. I tried Celexa and had bad diarrhea on it, gave up after 3 days. I tried half an Effexor and was incredibly dizzy, I had to lie down for a couple hours, never took that pill again! So today I took half a Lexapro 10mg pill(5mg) and I am so dizzy! I mean I am veering to the side when walking, and my head is so heavy! Did I start too high? I took an Ativan to help, but it only lessened by dizziness a little. I don’t think I can handle this. Anyone have the dizziness increase a lot an it died down soon? I am anxious as it is about being dizzy and I feel like I might have a mild depression going on, it just seems like all SSRI’s hit me hard!

I’m on day 9 of 5 mg of Lexapro and did experience increased dizziness the first week but yesterday and today feel great. I’m weaning off Prozac at the same time, so I’m on 5 mg of that at the same time. Today I’m at 2.5 mg of Prozac and will take 10 mg Lexapro tonight.

I take Lexapro at night because the pharmacist told me that it can make some people sleepy. I have always taken Prozac in the morning because it can cause insomnia, so I have that in the am and Lexapro just before bed. So any of the major dizziness I avoid while I sleep. I have taken it a couple hours before bedtime and felt the dizziness though and wow, it was very noticable. Ativan didn’t do much for me either. I also took meclizine and had to fight the sleepiness through work.

I would say that you could try a couple things: cut the dose to 2.5 mg and/or switch to taking the dose at night.

I know it’s hard, especially with yound children–I’m right there with you mama!! Hang in there and see what this med can do for you. Yesterday and today I’ve felt 100%–haven’t had that in soooo long!!! Seriously!!

I got increased dizziness when I started on Celexa, and to a much lower degree when I started on Lexepro. It think that is normal.

I remember staring at the bottle and it said, “May cause dizziness.” I thought to myself, “What the Fu**? They are giving me something that makes me MORE dizzy, and telling me to take a benzo with it, on the theory that it will eventually make me LESS dizzy and not need any benzos? Isn’t that like taking food to get skinny?” But now I am a believer.

I would start really slowly. Start at 2.5mg for a week, then try 5mg for a week. Really stretch it out. It’s not a race. That’s my philosophy. Plus remember that we are not taking it for depression so we don’t need the big doses that some other patients might need for their depression.

Thanks Anne and Longshort!
Anne- I actually feel like it is stimulating, I had a lot of energy after taking it, but then also had a lot of dizziness so I’m not sure taking it at night would work. I take my Depakote at night too. I wonder if that would matter? When do you take your Topamax?

Longshort- I’m glad the dizziness has decreased, I hear the side effects if Lexapro are less than Celexa and so far no stomach issues, just dizziness. I am taking this for MAV but also for anxiety, I feel like certain situations that make me dizzy in turn ramp up my anxiety then in turn can make me more dizzy, it’s like a cycle. Then sometimes I feel like I have a mild depression going on and hope it would help with that too, but I’m sure the depression is just coming from being dizzy for months now. Either way I would like this to help my MAV not make it worse. I think I will start slower, maybe do 2.5 tomorrow along with Ativan. If I take the Valium during the day I’m just too sleepy!

I split my Topamax dose between morning and night but I take my evening Topamax about 2 hours before the Lexapro dose.

You probably would be better sticking with the daytime if you felt it was stimulating. I have no trouble sleeping and feel like it helps me sleep.

I have anxiety also and when this all started it was so much worse because I didn’t know why I was dizzy. Now I know why, but when I get stressed or anxious it still makes everything worse and it is a cycle like you said.

I’ve found that I need a little serotonin tweaking to help anxiety along with a migraine preventative to really feel better.

I think lexapro is a very good drug, but just like any med, will effect everyone differently. I’ve been on it for 8 years and am currently at 2.5 mg, and I think it’s great dose to start at, you could even start lower if you wanted. Any ssri can increase dizziness at first because they have a tendency to increase anxiety to begin with which in turn increases dizziness. I’m considering increasing to 5 and then to 10, as I know my anxiety is bad and have been depressed with all of this.

I do wonder if the Mav was kept at bay the whole time I was on 10-20 mg, and after I had tapered down to 2.5 I was more suseptible to this mess.

How is the 2.5 mg dose going for you?

10 mg lexapro is roughly equivalent to 40 mg of celexa. So I would def start lower. I think 2.5 might be the ticket.

Hi everyone, I did 2.5 today and I was still horribly dizzy today. It actually made me really drowsy this time too. I’m stopping it for now because I can not function like this. I’m actually “ok” most of the day without the Lexapro making me crazy. The thing is, I do feel like I need my seratonin tweaked too, I have an appt with my GP Thursday and I’ll ask what he suggests I do.

Hey! I’m been on Lexapro for several weeks now – and what I’ve found after having a vestibular disorder is that I’m just extremely sensitive to meds. I use to tolerate meds well - but not the case now. Unfortunately, if you want to try the med route - you will probably have to deal with side effects for a couple of weeks. I have my ups and downs. For me I just feel like complete crap and my head hurts constantly and I feel tired/flu-like for a couple of weeks when I change meds or even doses. That subsides for a few weeks and I’ll feel good for a while. I finally got a script for Xanax and I feel like it is helping somewhat with that flu-like/nauseous feeling. I guess because benzos are vestibular suppressants? Maybe you can look into adding another med to help with the symptoms while increasing one. It’s a never ending cycle with meds! But, with my experience, everyone’s is different - the side effects are going to happen until your body gets use to it.

Good luck and I hope you get it all figured out. I understand how difficult all this mess is and how hard it is to keep up with everyday life and deal with the MAV/vestibular disorder symptoms PLUS side effects. It’s alot.


I would start really slowly. Start at 2.5mg for a week, then try 5mg for a week. Really stretch it out. It’s not a race. That’s my philosophy. Plus remember that we are not taking it for depression so we don’t need the big doses that some other patients might need for their depression.

Bingo. Go slow. Lexapro Is quite potent and has the potential for some big start up side effects.

Good luck with it. 8)

At this point I have been on Lexapro for about ten days at 5mg. Previously I took roughly a month of Celexa at 5-10-15mg, but I switched to Lexapro when I broke out in a rash.

My dizziness is now about 70% better. I can close my eyes and stand on one foot for an indefinite amount of time, when previously I would fall over after one second. I used to feel like my chair was moving, now there is no movement. I used to wear sunglasses all day, now I can wear regular glasses. I no longer notice that the sidewalk has a slight gradient. I can go for most of the day without thinking about my dizziness. I am hoping that this just gets better.

The Celexa was better for sleep whereas the Lexapro is more energizing and worse for sleep. The Celexa squashed my libido and my sexual performance more than the Lexapro does (there is still some dampening but not as bad). However, Lexapro gives me a slight headache.

Keep up with the smaller doses. It’s hard to not get brainwashed by the recommendations to take X amount of the drug. My attitude is that if a low dose works for me, then I want to take the lowest dose possible, and the way to do that is to start slow and work up slowly.

That’s a good approach Longshort for sure. The side effects with SSRIs are pretty much linear. The more you take, the more you’re likely to feel the side effects. If you can get away with 5 mg of Lex (apparently the same as 10-15 mg of Celexa) then great.

Both gave me bad headaches.