I've been having severe withdrawal symptoms after my doctor made me ween off of Lexapro recently. These symptoms are severe restless leg syndrome all throughout the day, being jittery, uneasiness, and being overall restless. I'm also sleeping a lot less, waking up during the night, and I've been smoking a lot more, and I mean a lot. Has anyone else experienced these types of withdrawal symptoms from Lexapro?
26 Aug 2006
Yes, there are countless lists of side effects from withdrawing from this drug. I'm surprised you don't get the shocks/reboots. That's where you seem to daze off for a second then snap back to reality having to regain your balance and feeling slight nausea for a second.
I get the jitteriness/uneasiness from any kind of withdrawal from paxil / lexapro / hydrocodone / caffeine / nicotine / etc.
26 Sep 2006
I have been on Lexapro for a couple of years; I have been reducing my intake from 10mg gradually over the passed few weeks. I talked to my doctor and she said that 10 mg was a very small dose, I shouldn't have to ween off of it. Even with the slow reduction, I have been experiencing the brain zaps that everyone talks about, as well as, dizziness, shocky sensations when I take a step too quickly or even turn my head, some emotional crying and hot flashes, and don't forget the weight gain of 25 lbs esp in the belly. The side effects are worse than the problem. I hope they go away soon. Has anyone been successful with losing the belly fat?
26 Sep 2006
first off, i just want to write that this website helped me to know i was not going crazy. i had been taking lamictal and lexapro (lamictal b/t 100mg and 200mg and lexapro between 10mg and 20mg--10mg for the past 4 months) for almost 2 years and after feeling like i had reached a plateau and deciding these meds were not doing anything anymore, i decided to stop. i have an MA in clinical psych and i know the hazards of stopping meds 'cold turkey,' but i was on remeron and serzone in the past and nothing really happened when i did.
one reason i did want to stop the meds is because no matter what, i was tired all the time and after repeating the same thing to my doctor over and over for years, he offered no solutions, except to increase my meds. i also started to experience a tingly lightheaded sensation towards the end of my workday that would subside when i came home and took the rest of my dosage. but this annoyed me because i knew the meds were the reason i was having that feeling in the first place. i guess there was some confusion because i thought i was having that feeling because the meds were in my system too much, only now realizing that my body was telling me i needed to take more.
so last friday, i stopped. and began experiencing what i could only describe as "brain zaps." i mistakenly thought it was the lamictal and after typing in "lamicatal brain zaps" on google and getting nothing, i simply typed in "brain zaps," and lo and behold--it's the lexapro. i just can't believe how many people have experienced this and described it the same way as i thought. truly.
it has now been 8 days. i feel like my brain is being shocked, the duration has changed from every minute all day to a few times an hour. but they are debilitating. and i feel helpless. i also feel this "wave" of some sort, like a tingle, but it's only on my brain and the ends of my fingertips and i've begun to feel it in my teeth. sometimes, it feels like there are hands around my brain giving it 3 good shakes every 2 minutes. there is no way to tell when it will happen, it hurts. and this site made me realize this is common.
BUT i need to know IF this will stop and how long it usually takes. this is the only major side effect i am having ( i am a little more emotional-teary-but not necessarily in a bad way) but i don't know how long i will be able to deal with this. i am taking B-12 complex, multivitamin and 3000mg Omega-3 a day and i don't know if it's just wishful thinking, but they do seem to help. in fact, the day after i started the omega-3 and B-12, the zaps subsided so significantly that i thought it would stay that way, but the next day they were back with such a vengeance and it was so disheartening, i just wanted to scream. i am also prescribed xanax and usually take an average of 1.5mg a day, but i don't know if this helps with the withdrawal in any way.
so please, can somebody please give me an estimation of how long these things will last and if fluctuations are normal..i had just assumed they would keep gradually getting better..not one day okay, one day debilitating, the next a little better... and if there is anything else i can do in the meantime to help ease the pain?
thanks in advance...
27 Sep 2006
hi there . it's me again . been off lexopra 10mg for a month now . did it cold turkey . had no choice cos it was worsening my depression and making me suicidal . still trying to hang in there but it is hard . thinking of trying diphenhydramine ( benedryl ) . that helps with ssri's withdrawal symptoms . maybe you should try that too . anyway hope it helps ! take care . :)
27 Sep 2006
After 3 years of 20 mgs a day, I went to 10 mgs of Lexapro for about 2-3 months, then to 5 mgs for about a month, then two weeks ago I went off completely. I think it was two weeks ago. it might have been 3 weeks. I have been very very sad, crying which I don't usually do. extremely irritable with everyone around me, and feeling a lot of tension in my stomach. The gripping / anxious sensations seem to be less and less. I could actually feel the tension in my body and mind yesterday afternoon, tear, frustration and then I was all of a sudden fine. came home and watched a movie until 11:30 pm.
I was on Lexapro for three years, did talk therapy once a week for it, and that helped, talk therapy ended about a year ago but I stayed on the drugs as there were some changes in my life. I haven't had the zaps - gawd, they sound awful - but the weepiness and the overwhelming sadness have been kind of scary. I literally feel out of contol. I am hoping these will pass. today I feel pretty good.
I really want off this drug. I went from 20 mgs to 10 because my anxiety levels were increasing. the reduction helped reduce the anxiety. then when the anxiety (revving of my engines is how I call it)seemed to rev up again I went to 5 mgs. now I don't get th intense racing around 11 am that I was getting (I took my Lexapro around 6 am in the morning), but do get some lethargy. yoga seems to be the best solution.
anyway, that is my taper story. I am now concerned that STAGE 2 will be right around the corner and I can expect worse symptoms but am hoping for the best.
27 Sep 2006
i just got off of lexapro last wednesday and since then, i have had headaches,dizziness,sweating, and periods of forgetfulness. the main symptoms i worry about are the headaches and the dizziness. i took lexapro for a year (l0 mg.) i was depressed because of menopause.
another symptom i forgot to mention is my eyes hurting some. they feel really tired.
hope to get a reply soon.
28 Sep 2006
Hmm, quite a long time ago I experienced a long bout of what I used to describe as feeling "blinky". This was my term for what "Shifty" calls rebooting. Exactly. It's as though I would turn my head and kind of strobe in time. I know I described this to my physician, who had not a clue. I am relieved actually to think it was withdrawal from an antidepressant. I am so glad I decided to read this thread. Thank you for sharing!
My sorry laundry list includes Wellbutrin (lost its efficacy, Wellbutrin SR (raised my bp), Prozac (tremors, but no relief), Paxil (probably the "blinky" culprit), etc. I tried Lexapro, but ran back to Celexa after a couple of weeks. I've been using Celexa for several years. I'm relatively satisfied with it. By the way, Wellbutrin seemed to have a very good effect on my libido. I hear in its ads that it has a lesser chance of a negative effect, but it was more than that. I guess it's unproven, but now you have my anecdotal evidence.
6 Oct 2006
I didn't realize that I may be withdrawing from Lexapro, good to know maybe im not going crazy. About these "Brain Zaps," Im not sure I am experiencing them, but I have had what feels like a sinus headache, and even worse, I think I am having coital headaches... they are related to sex. Does anyone else have this experience? I heard they can be benign or really serious (brain bleed, anyurism, etc... ) but I dont know if this is what it is, or if its a coincidence with the lexapro. I went to the doctor today and she thinks its about the lexapro but to have a cat scan or something done just in case, but i cant do that until i go back home in a couple weeks and im afraid to wait that long... please help!
17 Oct 2006
My heart goes out to all who have been on Lexapro ... and more so for those working to get off of it - may you have courage and strength to be set free of this drug and get thru the withdrawals.
My mother (78 yrs old) started lex to deal with her Post Tramatic Syndrom (a plane literally crashed into her living room where she had just been sitting on her sofa ... amazing that her life was spared ... needless to say, she did suffer mental trauma). Her doc got her on Lex.
Now 3 years later - still taking lex, she decides to stop taking it... little did I know her plans and a few days ago she decided to stop. Oh boy. That's when I got the call from her.
She told me that she has been hearing voices. Not a great feeling for me to have her say that especially since all I could think of was that she was experiencing symptoms of Alzheimers (her sister who passed away a few years ago suffered from Alz) and I had no idea that stopping lex even for a day would have such horrible side effects.
How on earth do I help her to get off this drug? I may have made matters worse since last week I bought her multivitamins to take that I believe has some herbs that may be having interractions with Lex?
I need some direction and advice?
19 Oct 2006
To Psalm 91:
I am very sorry to hear what happened to your mother. The withdrawls from Lex are terrible. My boyfriend got off Lex cold turkey during the first week of June after taking it for 9 months. By the 18th, he was in a different world where only him and his problems existed. From what I have witnessed dealing with him and from what I have read, the only things that seem to help the withdrawls are to wean yourself off of Lex slowly and just let time take its course.
I know this is easier said than done, but don't take anything your mom says personally. My boyfriend used to be the kindest, most gentile man that I have ever met. Lex turned him into a complete monster. He yells, is completely impatient, wants to be alone all of the time, and complains about everything. I know its not him, its the drugs talking. Please, just remember that and keep loving her. It will be hard to do at times.
Since your mom has Alz. history in her family, it wouldn't be a bad idea if she went to the Doc. for a checkup just to make sure there isn't more than one problem going on here. You can ask the Doc about Lex withdrawl, but most Docs don't know much about it. I think the drug companies are very hush-hush about SSRI side effects and don't educate the Docs about how to get patients off this stuff.
My boyfriend took some herbal antidepressants after he stopped taking Lex, but all they would do was take the edge off of his panic attacks. They were very expensive and didn't do much of anything. He also took vitamin C and did liver flushes with red beets and spinach (don't ask). All this did was give him a stomach ache and constipate him horribly.
I wish you and your mom the best of luck. I'll watch the site from time to time and let me know if you need some moral support.
19 Oct 2006
403lady ... thanks for the feedback and support. God bless you and I pray for your boyfriend that this week God move in his life mightily for a quick recovery.
I did check with my mother's doc and you were right ... docs seem clueless to this issue.
I'm going to go the way of "gradual" in terms of time and amount in lessening degrees - seems that is what may work best.
My question that remains to any former lex users IS ...
HAS ANYONE experienced "HEARING VOICES" when they stopped taking their lex meds?
20 Oct 2006
I just wanted to chime in and say that, although I have yet to hear voices, I definitely have the "brain zings" that others have mentioned. I started taking Lexapro about 2 years ago, at 10mgs/day. I stopped cold turkey a few months in after I started to feel less depressed and anxious -- that was a big mistake. I found myself at a railroad tracks, considering suicide. Yikes!
The doctor put me back on Lexapro, scolded me soundly, and increased my dosage. So, after that, I started taking 20mgs/day, and continued doing so until about a month ago.
My reason for stopping this time was financial: I started a new job and had new insurance but the new insurance wasn't applicable to the Lex b/c it was a script from a previous doctor ... long story short, although I was wiling to foot the bill for one month of treatment without insurance, when it came to the second month, I wasn't so willing. This time, although I was forced to go cold turkey again, I was aware of the dangers of doing so, and I'm happy to say that I have not felt at all suicidal.
Other good things from quitting Lexapro: my libido is back (in FULL FORCE); my belly looks normal again (I gained at least 30 pounds on this drug ... I've already lost about 5 of those); and I can focus for long periods of time. My new doctor tells me that one of the main side effects of Lexapro is that it can make people scatter-brained. Wish I'd known that before ... no wonder I was having such trouble at work!!
Anyway, the worst part of this time getting off of this drug is the zings I experience ... like electric currents going from ear to ear. And they're becoming more frequent. Fun.
I wish I'd done more research before taking this drug--then again, when I started it seemed like there wasn't nearly as much information on the web about Lex as there is now. Those of you who are considering starting Lexapro, please consider the side effects as well as the difficulty with withdrawl first.
20 Oct 2006
Yeppers ... thanks for the input (glad to here the libido thing's working for ya ... though I doubt it was one of my mom's main concerns ... hey ya never know with these spunky seniors)!
Quick update from her ... evidently she went back on lex (taking half dosage (5mg/day)and since hasn't had any problem hearing "the voices". Said she feels fine and sleeps great. Yet, she says she wants to get off completely.
This would seem to be a no-win situation, yet there's something in my beliefs that tells me that this is not something she needs to battle alone and that God will help her thru this as she gets off lex 100%. I'm going to pray and fast on her behalf and seek God's wisdom on how best to handle.
- Lexapro Information for Consumers
- Lexapro Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Lexapro (detailed)
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