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Prescribed Cipralex for anxiety disorder. Unable to sleep, restless. Can I have sleeping pills?

I have recently been prescribed Cipralex as I have developed General Anxiety Disorder . I am male, 29, 195lbs. I was prescribed 5mg. The GAD was brought on after the birth of my first child. I am not able to sleep through the night - or even close to it - normally waking after 3-4 hours sleep then restless. I feel like I am going crazy. Is it OK to take sleeping pills when on Cipralex?
Asked On : Thu, 6 Dec 2012
Answers:  2 Views:  267
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Emergency Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Cipralex (Escitalopram) is anti-depressant / anti-anxiety medication belonging to class of SSRIs. Now, these medication may take up to 2 weeks to bring about their full therapeutic effects. Till this period their side effects may be more obvious than their benefits. SRIs can have a side effect of causing sleep disturbance in some people. They also have a side-effect of paradoxically increasing anxiety during the initial few days. This is one of the common side effects of SSRI medication and will subside on its own after a few days.

So, I would suggest that you wait for a few days for these side effects to subside and for the therapeutic benefits of the medication to take over. If the sleep disturbance is persisting, you can also try taking the medication in the mornings. It is better to avoid sleeping pills unless absolutely essential, as they can have a risk of habituation.

Best wishes,
Dr. Sheeba Stephen
Answered: Thu, 6 Dec 2012
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General & Family Physician Dr. Gagandeep Dhillon's  Response
Thank you for getting in touch with us. As I see, you have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It is a commonly seen disorder seen in many individuals. There are a few steps I would recommend you to take. First would be to make a daily timetable n follow it. Start exercising and sweating as it would exhaust you and you will get better sleep after that. Another would be not to go near the bed till you feel sleepy. Many times, we lie down on the bed thinking that we'll get some sleep but that is not a good idea. If you are not sleepy at night, read a book, watch TV or indulge in some activity and hit the bed only when you feel sleepy. If all these measures do not help you, then your Doctor might consider giving you a sleeping pill. Hope this helped.
Dr. Gagandeep Dhillon
Answered: Thu, 6 Dec 2012
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