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Dr Jef Burk
Dr Jef Burk, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2639
Experience:  MBBS MRCGP
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Are paranoid thoughts a common or dnagerous side effect of

Customer Question

Are paranoid thoughts a common or dnagerous side effect of taking Lexapro for a 21 year old male? Is this something that tends to subside with time after being on the medication for more than two or three months?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr Jef Burk replied 5 years ago.
Hi

How soon after starting did the paranoia start?

When did you stop the Lexapro?

Are you still having problems with paranoia?

Dr Jef
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Paranoid thoughts and disturbing dreams started about 10 weeks after starting.

 

Stopped taking cold turkey about 2 1/2 weeks ago.

 

Paranoid thoughts not prevalent now, did have a panic attack yesterday, for the first time since starting taking Lexapro. Was having two or three full blown panic attacks a semester before.

 

Thinking is hard to stay focussed on computer science studies since stopping.

Expert:  Dr Jef Burk replied 5 years ago.
Hi

These type of side effects are seen more often in youger patients like yourself.

Have you access to any other treatment for your panic attacks?

Dr Jef
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I can take Xanex, but if I don't take it early enough, it doesn't stop it in time.
Expert:  Dr Jef Burk replied 5 years ago.
Hi

Do you have access to a clinincal psychologist?

Dr Jef
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, but talk therapy has not helped me.
Expert:  Dr Jef Burk replied 5 years ago.
Hi

That is unusual - CBT is the most effective treatment.

You need to consider taking a regular beta blocker - such as propranolol 40mg twice per day - this controls the physical symptoms of anxiety and can prevent the onset of a panic attack.

If the panic attacks recur despite that then you have the option of switching to a different class of anti-depressant such as a SNRI ( duloxetine , venlafaxine) or one of the tricyclics.

To answer your original question paranoia is not common but it can herald the onset of a psychotic state.

Dr Jef

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