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Tuesday, September 23, 2008 A.G, Community Member, asks

Q: how long should to take lexapro for anxiety

I am taking Lexapro for GARD, for about 1,5 months now. I am wondering how long it takes for full treatment. My physician said three months, somebody told non stop. What is a reality?
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Answers (3)
9/24/08 12:54am

Dear AG,

 

In my 18 years of working with people who suffer from anxiety, I've yet to see one person cured by medication.  Don't get me wrong, I think medications are a wonderful tool, as they can be highly effective for reducing anxiety, worrry, and panic. 

 

While there are biological factors contributing to the experience of anxiety, there are also cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and stress factors that need to be addressed.  Stress management, abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are all a part of a comprehensive treatment approach.

 

So, to answer your question, you may see a return of symptoms if your doctor takes you off of Lexapro after three months.  Discuss this possibility with your doctor, and what the treatment plan is if your symptoms return.

 

On the other hand, you do not necessarily have to take it forever if you work on learning these other techniques.  Look for a therapist who specializes in anxiety disorders.  You can find one in your area by searching at the Anxiety Disorders Assocation of America (ADAA) website.

 

Regards,

 

Jennifer L. Fee, Psy.D.

The Stress Masters

*Jennifer Fee, Psy.D. is a Psychologist, not a Psychiatrist. Psychiatrists prescribe medications, Psychologists study them, but the majority of Psychologists are not authorized to prescribe meds. or give you specific advice about them. Dr. Fee's answers are not intended to diagnose or treat any medical or mental disorder. Any information given in a post about medication is for educational purposes only, and primarily to aid you in having an informed discussion with your own Psychiatrist/Physician.

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10/13/08 8:57pm

A.G. - I am assuming that you have been taking Lexapro for 1 1/2 months. The answer to your question is "it depends". It depends on the intensity and type of anxiety; how long you have been experiencing it and the type of avoidant behaviors you have developed; other emotional issues; dosage of medication; use of stimulants and/or other medications; drug and alcohol use; etc.

 

As Jennifer stated, you will likely not be anxiety free on medication alone but you may find that it brings it to more manageable levels that allow you to function more effectively.

 

Rick Wirtz

 

Rick Wirtz is a Psychologist, not a Psychiatrist. Although the majority of Psychologists are not authorized to prescribe medications or give you specific advice about them, they typically have experience working with patients who take a variety of medications. The response above is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical or mental disorder. Any information given in a post about medication is for educational purposes only and primarily to aid you in having an informed discussion with your own physician.

 

 

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Buster, Community Member
11/ 3/09 9:05pm

How long should Prozac be taken.

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By A.G, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/09/14, First Published: 09/23/08