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?
Answers (116) Page 6
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?
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?
14 May 2008
benedryl really helps with withdrawl symptoms? what syptoms does it relieve? i stopped taking lexapro 4 days ago. i had been on 10mg for almost 2 years. so far my only side effects are those brain zaps... at least i think thats what im experiencing. i get sorta disoriented for a plit second and feel like im going through vertigo. it happens alot more when im moving around as opposed to being stationary and i also get extremely hot. no sweating just hot. i still cant sleep at night but i had insomnia for the past year. the dr. gave me lunesta 3mg for it and at first that worked great then after a week it didnt work anymore. i feel like im going nuts. but i want to be off the drug. i suffered from bad panic attacks to the point where i would pass out but i havent even had so much as an anxiety attack since i started meds.
i think its time for me to get off but i dont want it to seem like i'm on drugs to the outside world (since no one except for a select few knew i was on lexapro) and i feel like i'm "on" something even though its actually me getting off something if that makes any sense. i read somewhere that prolonged use of lexapro causes permanent damage to neurotransmitters and i dont want my brain to be fried by the time im 40 bc of this (im 25 now). i dont abuse drugs, legal or illegal, never have never will and my drinking is once in a blue moon. so its not like i have anything else in my system. i smoke ciggs but ive been doing that since i was 13. does anyone have any advice on how i can appear more normal while coming off of being on lex? any ideas on how i can sleep at night? i have read some of the posts on here and it seems like everyone is going through similar things bc of lex.
2 Jun 2007
Your experiences with quitting cold turkey are so similar to mine. The first 2 days I also experienced the euphoria. I thought I was manic, after being depressed for so long, to finally be able to feel sustained giddiness for absolutely no reason. I was afraid I might crash hard but tried to make the most of it nonetheless.
I also developed flu-like symptoms (although the dizziness was beyond flu-like) -- but I think my symptoms may actually be something that's going around. My dad recovering from pneumonia wants to spend all his time at my house hacking in every room of my house and filling it with germs... So I imagine my stuffed-up head is more from that than the withdrawal. Today and yesterday I've had some heart palpitations, although that could be attributed to the vitamins I'm taking. Today I also got some weird pains behind my eyes that come and go... but I'm glad I saw that here so I'm not worried...
Isn't this site great though for realizing others are having similar experiences?
My therapist had recommended Wellbutrin also to accompany the Lexapro. I never took it.
I know what you mean!! Lack of energy!! I have the same pile of clothes!! ... among other things. Where to start?? In the past week, though, since quitting Lexapro, I've made incredible progress on my house! I'm regaining the ability to prioritize, organize and dive in! Can't wait to have people over!
Focus on the light at the end of the tunnel, and take manageable steps toward it.
7 Nov 2006
I have been on a low dose of lexapro (10mg/day) for over a year. It was prescribed, along with talk therapy, for depression. The combination of these things worked very well to alleviate depression. I quit lexapro last week, and have been experiencing many of the symptoms described: attacks of vertigo, nausea, my eyes hurting, general body pains, insomnia, hot and cold sweats, and other vague flu-like symptoms.
Strange to say, the best way to alleviate these symptoms is working out! Going out running is not what I feel like doing while feeling this sick--- but while running and afterwards, my head clears, vertigo and nausea go away, and stay away for the rest of the day. The symptoms resurface the next day, unless I work out again.
I think that exercise naturally raises the levels of serotonin in the body, which is what lexapro does chemically. I recommend daily exercise to anyone weaning themselves off lexapro--it will help with withdrawal symptoms. My doctor also points out that exercise is the best anti-depressant around: all of the benefits, and none of the side-effects.
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...
22 Jul 2008
I havent been able to read through all of the posts yet, but its great to see others going through the same things I am. I am currently going through the freaky withdrawls. I was on effexor before they switched me to Lexapro and I have to admit thesewithdrawls are not as bad but they are still hard. So many people seem to have similar things going on and some I never even thought would be connected to the meds.
I too have experienceda weight gain, increased smoking, insomonia and nightmares. the night mares seem to be more now though. In fact the other night I had a nightmare where Iwas having nightmares:eek:.
Part of the reason I am coming off the meds is becuase of some medical stuff. I was diagnosised with Pelvic congestion syndrome. Its essentially a vericous vein. We were told that because of this and the subsiquetional treatments that if we were to have another child it would need to be sooner than later. Becuase of this I started weaning from the Lexapro. Ironically the pain from the vein has decreased and if anything since I stopped taking it the pain has decreased to mild discomfort if anything.
However, the feelings associated with the withdrawls are driving me nuts. I feel like nothing in my mind and body is functioning the same. Ive got the shaky feeling, trouble focusing on things both mentaly and with my eyes and this somewhat surreal feeling. the shakiness is the worst of it though.
It's just so nice to find others experiencing the same thing. What Im trying to figure out though is how long does this last? Does it get better or worse(at least at first)? Ive supposed to go on vacation in a week and want to be able to enjoy myself not feel like im walking through a dream and shaking.
27 Apr 2008
So, I have been on Lexapro for almost three years now. I started taking it after hurrican Katrina's devestation here in New Orleans for anxiety and depression. Well, I realize now that most of that could very well have been intensified by the alcohol & drugs I was playing with at the time. Long story short I don't use drugs or alcohol anymore, and I want off this *!! I am 5'2 and weigh around 130lbs. This is more than i've EVER weighed in my entire life!! I steadily gained weight through the last few years while my Dr. kept increasing the Lexapro. I have weaned from 30 mg to 20 mg in the last two weeks and now I'm trying to decide when to knock it down to 10mg?? Should i do it slowly or just give it a shot? I am very indecisive, but the weight is killing me.
I have had the side effects of brain zaps,insomnia, RESTLESS LEG SYNDROMEE(THAT DRIVES ME INSANE),irritability, etc., but i just want off of it so bad that i feel like i really want to just deal with it! The one thing that scares the hell outta me is all this talk about suicide! I haven't had any thoughts, but i'm worried that may happen if i decrease quickly. Any advice?? Can anyone tell me when they were able to start noticing any weight loss or metabolism returning to normal??Any advice i could get from ya'll would be helpful!
17 Apr 2008
In my late 20s I was exercising every day, had a fantastic, high paying job, had great family support and had no history of any abuse of any sort.
So why did I leave work one day and try to kill myself?
Several years of severe depression and multiple suicide attempts ensued. Nothing seemed to help. I saw multiple psychiatrists and psychologists and underwent various treatments... virtually every SSRI, a couple of the MAOIs, light therapy, exercise, Electroconvulsive therapy, diet changes, sleep deprivation, and cognitive behavioral therapy were some of them.
The one thing that finally worked and has kept me stable for several years is a mix of talk therapy, Lexapro, and abilify. I am a happy, functioning human being thanks to Lexapro, Abilify, and my psychologist.
Finding the right treatment for depression is unique to every person. Different medications work differently on each person. The important thing is to give the medication a few weeks before you give up on it. The side effects often wear off after a few weeks if you can tolerate them that long.
And for those of you that seem to think depressed people should just go exercise... well, it is clear that you don't understand depression and treatments and how they vary in different people. What works for you may not work for someone else.
13 Jul 2007
I started taking lexapro about a year ago - at first 10mg - then 20 mg. I was so scatterbrained and exhaused all the time. I told my doc and she suggesting taking it before going to bed. This did not help and all I wanted to do was sleep all of the time anyway, and it didn't matter if I took it day or night. I couldn't stand not feeling any sense of urgency or energy anymore and the "brain zaps" were a huge concern of mine - I guess you could call it "seritonin fits". I also gained weight even though I ate less than before.
I went down to 10 mg for about 4 months, and then I went to 5 mg for about a week and then 2.5 mg for about 4 days. I am doing all right on my 3rd day off lexapro. I found some old wellbutrin from when I tried to quite smoking, so I have been taking it for the last 3 days.
My house is finally picked up and more organized then it has been for the last year being on lexapro. Haven't had any brain zaps yet, but I have cried some. I have some leg cramping and I am smoking a lot. I think it is as though my brain needs SOMETHING - as if it thinks the cigs will give it the sertonin boost like lexapro does.
Anyway - thanks for helping me see that the cramping is lexapro related. I appreciate the heads up about the possible withdrawal symptoms and the length of time it may take to feel "normal" again - whatever that means!:cool:
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