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Lexapro Withdrawal
  1. #3841
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default Continued from above

    3. The Pineal Gland
    The Pineal Gland -also called the epiphysis- looks like a miniature pine cone and is situated in the middle of the brain beneath the two brain halves, surrounded by the ventricles, under the roof of the corpus callosum (cross-beam connecting the 2 brain halves). (see picture) This active organ has, together with the Pituitary Gland (see picture), the next highest blood circulation after the kidneys. It is not protected by the blood-brain barrier and therefore makes this gland fragile to any substance entering the bloodstream. It is, for instance, very sensitive to fluoride.

    Another factor involved in affecting the Pineal Gland can be excessive high or even toxic levels of an SSRI-AntiDepressant in the bloodstream. Certain individuals have a metabolic deficiency in the metabolism of anti-depressant medication. In the liver, a group of enzymes named " cytochrome P-450" enzymes, particularly the "CYP2D6 enzymes" of this group of enzymes, metabolise SSRI-AntiDepressants. When not properly metabolised, because one has a metabolic deficiency, a daily therapeutic dose can build up to excessive high or even toxic levels in the bloodstream. Hence, the Pineal Gland would be an easy target, since it is not very well protected by the blood-brain barrier. It is it's connection to serotonin what makes this organ so very interesting.

    3.a. The Pineal Gland-Serotonin connection
    Nicholas Giarmin, a professor of pharmacology and Daniel Freedman, a professor of psychiatry, confirmed that the human brain manufactures serotonin at various sites in the brain. For example, in the Thalamus, they discovered 61 nanograms of serotonin per gram of tissue; in the Hippocampus, 56 ng.; in the Central Gray Section of the Midbrain, they found 482 ng. But in the Pineal Gland, they found 3140 ng. of serotonin per gram of tissue. The Pineal Gland was unmistakably the richest site of serotonin in the brain! This discovery implicates the Pineal Gland as an important site of serotonergic activity.

    The neurohormone Melatonin & the Endocrine System
    One of the neurotransmitters secreted by the Pineal Gland is Melatonin, also known as N-Acetyl-5-Methoxy-Tryptamine (NA-5-MT). In the Pineal Gland, serotonin converts into melatonin by enzymatic interaction. Melatonin is also an important hormone to the body, that's why it is called a neurohormone. It is necessary to regulate the function of all organs of the Endocrine System in the body. The organs or glands of the endocrine system are: the Pituitary Gland, situated in the brain; the Thyroid + Parathyroid Glands; the Thymus; the Pancreas; the Ovaries/Testes (see image). All of these endocrine organs/glands secrete their hormones to the blood. The Pituitary Gland stimulates the secretion of these hormones, while the Pineal Gland apply the brakes on them through it's neurohormone melatonin. If the endocrine organs/glands release too much of their hormones, for instance when we are stressed, then the Pineal Gland releases melatonin to counteract these hormones. Also serotonin gets released when stress is involved. The increased serotonin triggers the release of adrenaline, which allows the body to work through the stress.

    The Pineal Gland is a magneto sensitive organ, what means that it is sensitive to electromagnetic fields (EMF). It is sensitive to electromagnetic waves from computer monitors, cellular phones, microwave ovens, high voltage lines, etc.. Electromagnetic fields suppress the activity of the Pineal Gland and reduce melatonin production. EMF also affect serotonin.

    The neurohormone Melatonin & the Eye-SCN-Pineal Gland Axis
    The Pineal Gland is also a photosensitive organ, what means that it is sensitive to light. It normally releases melatonin when it no longer receives light impulses. Just like serotonin, also melatonin has it's own day & night cycle (circadian rhythm) which begins where the cycle of serotonin normally ends. When serotonin reaches it's lowest level at night (in the dark) during slow wave sleep, the Pineal Gland starts to convert it's store of serotonin into melatonin to be released prior to REM sleep. Melatonin has it's peak around 02:00 AM. During daytime, the daylight inhibits the release of melatonin. This works as follows: when, during daytime, light reaches the eyes, then it's presence gets translated into nerve impulses, which travel through the optic nerve between the eyes and a region of the Hypothalamus called the "Suprachiasmatic Nucleus" (SCN). (see picture) The SCN in it's turn sends it's nerve impulses to the Pineal Gland. These impulses inhibit the Pineal Gland's production of melatonin until it gets dark, when it's to be released again.

    Melatonin is not only present in the brain and body but also in the eye! One has speculated whether or not high melatonin levels in the eyes during daylight exposure, may bring damage to them over time. Visual/eye problems (light sensitivity, spots, blurred vision) are other symptoms, frequently reported by (former) SSRI-AntiDepressant users. I questioned myself if these problems could be related to elevated melatonin levels in the eye. When serotonin accumulates in the Pineal Gland, on account of an SSRI-AntiDepressant, then it would come under pressure to produce more melatonin out of the excessive amounts of serotonin. Hence, during daytime, melatonin levels in the eyes would be significantly higher then normally would occur... But, I had to revise this hypothesis. In a PubMed study, SSRI-AntiDepressants were found not to elevate melatonin levels in humans. Although "Luvox" and "Paxil" increases melatonin to a more or lesser amount, apparently this seemed not to be the case for the other SSRI-AntiDepressants. However, since the Pineal Gland does contain a complete map of the visual field of the eyes, could there be a correlation between visual/eye problems and a dysfunctional Pineal Gland?

    A case, noted by Dr. Berman, could give us some more insight into this matter:
    A child was brought to a German clinic suffering from eye trouble and headaches. He was five years old and very mature, and apparently had reached the age of adolescence. He was abnormally bright mentally, discussing metaphysical and spiritual subjects. He was strongly group-conscious and only happy when sharing what he had with others. After his arrival at the clinic, he rapidly grew worse and died in a month. An autopsy showed a tumour of the pineal gland. - Berman, Louis, M.D., The Glands Regulating Personality, p. 89.

    Could it be that the visual/eye problems (light sensitivity, spots, blurred vision), frequently reported by (former) SSRI-AntiDepressant users, are caused by some element of Pineal Gland dysfunction?

    Continue... Serotonin & the Pineal Gland -Part 2

  2. #3842
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default elazabethmarie

    duplicate post
    Last edited by auntybiotic; 04-17-2007 at 11:45 PM. Reason: duplicate

  3. #3843
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default elazabethmarie

    I think you are having partial forebrain seizures as explained in article above. Sleep study will confirm this and most are paid by insurance

  4. #3844
    jesyka is offline New Member
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    Default

    Thank you all so much for the help and all the information. I feel lucky to have found a community to help guide me. I have absolutely NO trust in doctors and think it's a money scam at best and genocide at worst! I have struggled with depression since the age of 15 and have been on and off meds (which now looking back is probably why I've struggled). I've been on prozac, paxil, zoloft and now lexapro, before I knew better I almost shifted to effexor! Thank the Lord above I found some common sense.
    I am currently considering seeing a Natropathic doctor to help get my system cleansed and maybe help some of these issues. I hate the idea of getting back on the lex just to start tappering, but I can't live like this. I have 2 small children and I am a stay at home mom, and honestly I can't deal with them right now and am scared about how bad I could get. Yesterday I cried most of the day and I just flip into a rage and it's impossible to control. I'm sure I don't have to explain this to anyone here.
    I am also wondering about interactions with supplements. I have been taking a supplement that affects your adrenal glands (I am going to stop until this is over), but I also have an antioxidant that I would like stay on. It's called OPC_3 and it's mostly grape seed extract, billberry and pinebark. I take it everymorning. Does anyone know if this will mess with me while I'm under the influence of the lex poison?
    I plan on following your advice and going back on my 20 mg. Then do I taper by 25% each week...or is it less. My doctor wanted me to taper from 20 to 10 for 1 week and then from 10 to 5 for another week and then 5 every other day for another week and then done. Does that sound reasonable?

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  5. #3845
    deanna.a is offline New Member
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    Default Hi Jesyka

    I am very new to this site, and to Lex withdrawl, but I DO know that your dr. is way off! I was on 20mg. for 7 months I thought I did the right thing by cutting them in half (down to 10mg) and taking that amount for about 3 weeks. I then cut those in half (5mg) and took those for about 10 days. I could not have been more wrong. Or more sorry! I have a constant and crushing headache, brain zaps that never seem to end, and I am afraid to go anywhere because my brain just seems to stop working every once in a while. (For instance, yesterday I forgot how to exit my shower! Couldn't remember if the shower door opens in or out, or on the right or the left!). I have many more symptoms, but you can read everyone else's posts for full descriptions. Suffice to say, DO NOT taper that fast or you will be very very sorry. As I am. Someone has posted a liquid Lex taper that I am certain would be wonderful, as you would have very strict control over te dosages. I would defintely ask your doc for the liquid, and again SLOOOOOOOOW is the way to go!
    Good luck, and remember that we're all in this together.

    Ladies: Check out this article from Psychology Today regardng SSRI's and relationships
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/rss/p...03-000003.html
    Last edited by deanna.a; 04-18-2007 at 10:35 AM. Reason: New Article link

  6. #3846
    deanna.a is offline New Member
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    Default Anyone..?

    I have just purchased Phosphatidyl Serine from a health food store. It was recommended to me by a woman working there. She said that it does wonders for getting the brain synapses to work well. Has anyone tried this? I also purchased Noni juice (as some of the posters here have recommended), as well as a natural Liver Detox supplement. Anyone have experiences with these?

  7. #3847
    sctschk is offline Junior Member
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    Smile Shakey hands/tired arms??

    Hi guys. Ok - new symptom for me. UGH! Something new all the time. I'm happy to report that after about a month and a half, the muscle jerking and twitching have really decreased. That's good, since that was really worrisome. Now, I know better than to say it's gone (because it's not) and could possibly return, but for now, it's leaving me alone. Head bobbing is still there intermittently, mostly when I'm concentrating on something (computer screen, book, TV, etc).

    The new symptom that has taken it's place now is that my hands are shaking! It goes off and on with my legs and voice, but the most obvious are the hands. I feel like I have Parkinson's or something. Mentally, I'm doing fine with the anxiety, but my hands will shake when I hold them up. I'm also waking up with my arms really weak and it takes longer in the mornings to wake them up and function. They feel pretty heavy and clumsy for the first hour of the day, then off/on as the day goes on, but the shaking is the most freaky. I'm just hoping this will go away in it's own time, as did the other stuff. Am I alone with the shakey hands? (Of course, I'm just looking for reassurance that I'm not the only one and don't have to go back to the doc to check to see if I developed Parkinsons!!)

    Had a GREAT massage yesterday - fixed my neck that has been so cramped up from all this body workout! That was awesome!
    Saying hi and good afternoon to all my fell Lex w/d friends!

    -Jo

  8. #3848
    KYMA is offline New Member
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    Default

    Hi!
    I'm also a mother of three I just became a member of this site once I seen so many stories simular to mine. I also took lexapro a very low dose. My doctor suggested I take lexapro because I was feeling depressed. I didn't know at the time I was pregnant.When I found out I had been taking lexapro for a little under a month.The doctor told me to stop taking the drug.The next month I started getting dizzy it lasted a 1 1\2 weeks 24/7. I didn't Know what was going on . The the next time 6months later it happened again this time it lasted 3weeks 24/7 when I experience this dizziness I get really sick the first 24 hours and I can't barely walk without holding on to something .The next time 4months after that it lasted for a little over 3 weeks 24/7.I still feel some dizziness and the doctor still can't tell me what's the problem.First they thought it was my pregnancy ,then it was my ears but they don't know. I was fine before I took lexapro.I suggest if you're concerned about your health get test ran and make your doctor find out what's going on.I'm going to three different doctors and more if I have to until I find out what's going on.Stay positive and don't forget to pray they will be answered.
    Last edited by KYMA; 04-18-2007 at 02:44 PM.

  9. #3849
    KYMA is offline New Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by momma2threebabes View Post
    I think I may be having problems from stopping Lexapro.

    I was taking 10 mg everyday then I went to 1/2 pill every day then 1/2 pill every other day. I thought that would be ok. Well, last week, I stopped them altogether. Since then, I am getting palpatations, dizziness(all the sudden dizziness) and I feel lousy, and tired.

    I am wondering if it's the meds, and I wonder if this will go away. I feel like crying. I was taking Lexapro for anxiety attacks and I feel just horrible. I'm glad I found a place for support, but will I ever get past this???
    Hi!
    I'm kyma I post my story today #129 on the list it's a kind of simular to yours. Please read it and respond.
    Last edited by KYMA; 04-18-2007 at 03:13 PM.

  10. #3850
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default jeseyka

    My suggestion may be to reistate at the full dose until all of your symptoms are gone, possibly that may take two to three weeks. Once atble you may want to taper by 10% since your dose is so high. That would be a dose of 18 Mg of lexapro.

    You can crush the pill and mix with cranberry juice and taper as described in a post on the previous page on how to convert lexapro tablet to liquid for a taper or else you can ask your physician to prescribe the lexapro liquid.............the pharmacy will give you BP syringes for measuring) you will need a 10 Ml syringe amd a 1Ml syringe for later).

    Start at 18 Mg of Lexapro daily for about two to three weeks and once you are stable reduce to 16 Mg/ml. of lexapro. When you get down to about 10 Mg of lexapro you may want to decrease your tapers to 5%. If you continue to have severe withdrawal at 10 % you may actually only be able to reduce by 5% from the beginning which would be from 20 Mg to 19MG.....only you can tell what you are able to withstand but you may want to attempt a 10% taper to begin with and see how you do. I will take about a week before you notice the withdrawals and the first will be flu type symptoms, runny nose, agitation, nightmares but hopefully you may not have these with a slow taper.

  11. #3851
    KYMA is offline New Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by momma2threebabes View Post
    I think I may be having problems from stopping Lexapro.

    I was taking 10 mg everyday then I went to 1/2 pill every day then 1/2 pill every other day. I thought that would be ok. Well, last week, I stopped them altogether. Since then, I am getting palpatations, dizziness(all the sudden dizziness) and I feel lousy, and tired.

    I am wondering if it's the meds, and I wonder if this will go away. I feel like crying. I was taking Lexapro for anxiety attacks and I feel just horrible. I'm glad I found a place for support, but will I ever get past this???
    Hi!
    I'm Kyma Iposted my story on this site #129 on the list it's simular to yours kind of.Please read and respond. Thankyou

  12. #3852
    farafier is offline New Member
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    Red face Nervous about Withdrawal

    I've been reading everyone's notes about withdrawal and I am so nervous. I don't trust my psychopharmacologist, and would rather wean off on my own.

    I have been taking 10mg for about 4 months and have gained about 12 lbs. The weight gain and slight decrease in my anxiety is not enough to keep me on this. I want out!

    Here is what I think I can do to wean off (but please advise if I am going about this wrong)

    I plan on taking 5 mg for the next two weeks, until my RX runs out. I had to stop taking lexapro for a few days about a month ago and all I felt was dizzy - but so happy to be alive and off of these ******************** drugs. Am I going about this correctly? THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!

  13. #3853
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default elazabethmarie

    This could exlain your seizure activity:

    4. Side-Effects: withdrawal or brain-damage?
    SSRI-AntiDepressants certainly don't raise your serotonin levels in a gentle manner. They prevent serotonin from being removed from the synaptic cleft. As a result, a lot of excess firing takes place and therefore more serotonin remains in the synaptic cleft. In this manner, the (receiving) post-synaptic receptors get bombarded with serotonin. According to Gary Null, Ph.D., all this over stimulation causes a decrease in the number of post-synaptic receptors. Depending on the intensity and duration of blocking re-uptake, around 30% to 40% of the post-synaptic receptors will be eliminated (Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Prozac, would knew about the disappearance of receptors from their laboratory experiments). It is not established whether or not receptors ever come back after discontinuing an SSRI-AntiDepressant. The damage may be permanent or not.
    Apparently this is not the only neuro damage caused by SSRI-AntiDepressants. In a recent study, researchers saw marked changes in the axon terminals (nerve endings) of serotonergic neurons in rats, treated with SSRI-AntiDepressants. The terminals shrivelled or took on corkscrew shapes. These changes were similar to those observed with the serotonin booster drug "Ecstasy" (MDMA). In studies with baboons who were treated with Ecstasy, researchers used Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to take brain scans of them. The researchers found that Ecstasy was toxic to the brain and damaged the axon terminals (nerve endings) of serotonergic neurons. This damage was still present in the baboons 7 years after discontinuing the drug. Later studies in humans who had used Ecstasy, documented the same damage at serotonergic neurons as observed with the baboons. Likewise, the SSRI-AntiDepressant induced brain damage observed in the rats, could be present in humans as well.

    Previously we discussed that an SSRI-AntiDepressant induced hyper-active serotonergic system, could lead to disruption of the circadian (daily) serotonin cycle and excessive amounts of serotonin in the Pineal Gland. Another dangerous situation occurs when a hyperactive serotonergic system causes a condition called the "Serotonin Syndrome." This is a serious life threatening condition which needs immediate and adequate treatment.

    An under-active serotonergic system will be a result of (1)the damaged axon terminals at the firing part of the serotonergic neuron and/or (2)the eliminated receptors at the dendrites of the receiving part of the serotonergic neuron. When discontinuing an SSRI-AntiDepressant, serotonergic activity dramatically decreases because the neurons aren't able to communicate properly with each other anymore. As a result of this decreased serotonergic activity, side-effects occur, which are falsely defined as "withdrawal side-effects."

    Sensory Disturbances
    Some of these side-effects are the frequently reported electrical shocks, zaps or shivers through the head (brain) and/or body, light flickering in the head, "falling into walls" along with "pins and needles" in the skin. Sometimes these phenomena are so severe that the individual who's experiencing them, feels very confused or like being on the verge of blacking out, losing consciousness.

    It's striking how consciousness seem to be involved in these "sensory disturbances." I was thinking about an indirect neuronal mechanism, responsible for these phenomena. Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. An under active serotonergic system would not inhibit other neurotransmitters anymore, like dopamine, or acetylcholine released by the cholinergic neurons in the brainstem (which are responsible for the extreme rebound of REM dreams when discontinuing an SSRI-AntiDepressant). Hence, these neurons would start to fire excessively, causing the side-effects as described above.

    Another explanation could be that the serotonergic neurons are excessively firing their impulses through the axon to the axon terminals and synapses, as a compensatory mechanism for the loss of electrochemical activity in the synaptic cleft. In this manner, serotonergic electrochemical bursts of discharges would take place in the brain. Both examples of excessive electrochemical activity in the brain could be defined as epileptic activity. (see chapter 2.a. (3)Forebrain Nightmares and Forebrain Seizures)

    Epileptic Activity
    One reason why these "sensory disturbances" side-effects are not recognized as epileptic activity, could be because they are not the full blown epileptic seizures that we know of and which are visible to others. As a matter of fact, epileptic activity can occur as petit mal seizures called "absences." Absences are blanks in the short-term memory that remain invisible to the observer. Researchers Hutt and Gilbert of the University of Keele in England, performed tests on children with epilepsy, in which they were using stroboscope flashlights. It occurred that 18 flashlights per second induced these absences in epileptic children.

    This reminded me of the problems which some former SSRI-AntiDepressant users reported that they had with flashing sunrays through the trees when passing them in a car, or that they were forgotten that they were doing something in the midst of the process of doing it. Could these problems, as well as the other side-effects, be related to epileptic activity, possibly in the forebrain? Some SSRI-Antidepressant users were even more less fortunate, they developed full blown epileptic seizures whilst taking the drug, which remained after discontinuation.

    Another factor in epileptic activity could be a malfunctioning Pineal Gland. In 3 PubMed articles the Pineal Gland, as well as it's neurohormone melatonin are discussed in relation to epileptic seizures. Significant changes were found in "day-night melatonin levels during convulsions, consistent with the hypothesis that melatonin has an inhibitory function on central nervous system activity." (1) Patients with epileptic seizures had "a significantly lower urinary secretion of melatonin, which may indicate that melatonin has a protective effect on seizures" (2) and the Pineal Gland and melatonin "exert a major influence in the control of brain electrical activity and have been shown to be involved in seizure and sleep mechanisms." (3)

    My particular attention got attracted by the Pineal Gland as a magneto sensitive organ. Former SSRI-AntiDepressant users reported that the electrical shocks, zaps or shivers through the head (brain) and/or body, as well as the light flickering in the head, increased in severity when working behind a computer monitor. Computer monitors are known to radiate low frequency electromagnetic waves. Knowing that electromagnetic fields (EMF) affect serotonin, melatonin and the Pineal Gland, these electromagnetic waves could therefore trigger epileptic activity by altering the functions of the Pineal Gland. Here is a field of research to establish if these post-SSRI-Antidepressant side-effects are indeed epileptiform of nature and if forebrain seizures -whether serotonergic, dopaminergic or cholinergic- as well as the Pineal Gland are involved.

    Hypoglycaemia (Low Blood Sugar)

  14. #3854
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default Elazabethmarie

    Hypoglycaemia (Low Blood Sugar)
    Ramo Kabbani, the Director of the Prozac Survivors Support Group (PSSG) in England, developed seizures within a month of going on Prozac. She had four EEGs, three of which proved abnormal but inconclusive. This means that there was some minor abnormality there, but they did not know what was causing it and they didn't bother investigating it further. Remember the case of Epstein and Ervin (see chapter 2.a. (3)Forebrain Nightmares and Forebrain Seizures) in which EEG also revealed a poorly defined spike focus in a woman who was experiencing seizures.

    An interesting fact that Ramo discovered was, that every time when she had a seizure or a zap, her sugar levels plummeted to extremely low levels. Other (former) Prozac users that have been having seizures and zaps, who contacted the help line of the PSSG in England, have all found that they have low blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar, or low blood glucose, occurs when blood levels of glucose drop too low to fuel the body's activity. This condition is called "Hypoglycaemia," when the body isn't able anymore to maintain normal levels of glucose in the bloodstream. Glucose levels are determined by how fast glucose enters and leaves the bloodstream. When glucose leaves the bloodstream it enters the brain, which needs a constant supply of it to function properly.

    In other PubMed articles the involvement of the Pineal Gland was discussed in the regulation of glucose metabolism in the brain (1; 2). In animal studies the Pineal Gland's neurohormone melatonin was found to significantly increase both brain and blood levels of glucose i.e. by enhancing carbohydrate metabolism into glucose (1; 2). Previously I mentioned that Doctor Tracy has taught us that an increase in serotonin, produces rushes of insulin, dropping sugar levels and chemically inducing hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose) in this way. In another animal study published at PubMed it was found that insulin-induced hypoglycaemia also affected the Adrenal Glands and caused a dramatic decrease of serotonin in the Pineal Gland. (1) This could lead to disturbances in melatonin secretion after which blood glucose levels can fall even lower.

    Epilogue
    Whether or not the function of the Pineal Gland gets affected by SSRI-AntiDepressants, either owing to a metabolic deficiency, or damaged serotonergic nerve terminals and receptors, or as a result of a hyperactive serotonergic system, needs to be established. A malfunctioning Pineal Gland could lead to disturbances in the natural circadian rhythm of melatonin secretion, as well as disturbances in glucose metabolism in the brain and an overall decrease of brain and blood levels of glucose. Hence, the natural defence to epileptic activity in the brain will fall off, as well as the natural defence to a hyperactive Endocrine System.


    Farfier,

    Going from 10 Mg of lexapro to 5 Mg would be a 50% reduction...................10% is the most people should do without causing problems with severe withdrawal. Please read the articles on this page that I posted to explain why you get the withdrawals and how the SSRI's affect the neurotransmitters and the pineal gland...........you will then understand the importance of a SLOW TAPER of 5 to 10% so the body regulation system in the brain and pineal gland has a chance to get use to not having the serotonin reuptake taking place.

    A 10 % taper would be approx. 8 Mg for two to three weeks or until stable. Next taper would be to to 7.1 Mg for two to three weeks, next 10% taper would be to to 6.4 Mg for two to three weeks and so on until you are off of the lexapro. These are only suggestions. I am not a doctor and you may run this by your doctor and ask that he prescribe liquid lexapro to help with the tapering.

  15. #3855
    sctschk is offline Junior Member
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    Default Thanks Hairy! z:)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hairyarmadillo View Post
    sctschk Sorry to hear about your Excedrin experience. It is so tempting to do the no-no’s isn’t it? I drank soda last week and felt like h--- for two days afterwards. I have been naughty and taken Aleve but so far ok. I avoid my Excedrin because of the caffeine. I hate to say it, but not only are you going to have to let it get out of your system, you may feel a bit of the effects afterwards if it is anything like what soda did to me. I always did have to find out things for myself though. NOT a good trait sometimes, but I just can’t help it-ha.
    Yep! Lesson learned. Two days for me too - the shakiness of the hands was the worst. Ugh! Seems finally better today though (knock on wood). Ok, so I learned that I'm still not ready for chocolate and Excedrin all in the same day. Not doing THAT again!!



    -Jo

  16. #3856
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default Farfier

    I was not able to edit the previous post, not sure why but could not.

    The correct calculations for a 10% taper are as follows.

    10 Mg of lexapro to 9 Mg
    9 Mg of lexapro to 8.1 Mg

    8.1 Mg of lexaro to 7.3 Mg
    7.3 Mg of lexapro to 6.9 mg and so on till off.

  17. #3857
    Angie_R_65 is offline New Member
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    Default Forget it!

    OK...it didn't work. 5 days after quitting 30 mg. Lexapro cold-turkey, I wimped out and went back on the s***.

    Emotionally, I was OK...more than OK. I felt like a living, feeling human being instead of a emotionless zombie for the first time in a long time. However, physically I could not even function. The dizziness was constant, to the point where I was afraid to drive. My back muscles were knotting up, I was constantly queasy, and I couldn't fall asleep at night.

    I stayed home from work yesterday since my 15 year old daughter was feeling sick (she has Crohn's disease). I was supposed to be taking care of her, and the best I could muster was lying on the couch with her. I slept most of the day, and around 4:00, had had enough and went upstairs to take the Lexapro. The dizziness improved within the hour!

    This is unbelievable. I went on it to calm down my anxiety. Now, I feel like I can handle things better emotionally, but my body is addicted to it! This is horrible. I thought I could tough it through any physical discomfort, but I couldn't. I am SO sick of the dulling of emotions and lack of ambition, but now I'm stuck on this stuff because my neurotransmitters have come to depend on it.

    I guess this is the "new" normal for me. Call me crazy, but I want my old worry-wart self back.

    Angie

  18. #3858
    jesyka is offline New Member
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    Default

    Angie,
    I'm sorry to hear that it didn't go well for you. I had a similar expierience coming off. At first I was great and then a couple days into it I was feeling tired and kind of dizzy. Then when the 2 week mark hit, I was an emotional mess!! It was awful. My husband told me that if I continued like this that he was done.
    I began resuming my dosage yesterday and felt "normal" again. However I am going to visit an acupuncturist and she has devoted herself to help me safely get off this drug, and I am also going to go through a detox program to get it out of my body. This drug has made me gain weight and I am unable to lose it, so I hope that all these steps help me. It may be a suggestion for you too.
    I will keep you all posted on my success or failure with this....wish me luck!

  19. #3859
    spatzkey is offline New Member
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    How long does it take to feel human again? To be able to feel your emotions?

  20. #3860
    Seefour1 is offline New Member
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    Hi everyone.


    I have a quick question for Aunty, or anyone else who can answer. I've been off for about 5 months now, pretty much feeling normal for the most part. except for when I am lying down and drifting off to sleep. I get bouts of vertigo right when I am about to fall asleep, which is followed immediatly by my adrenaline kicking in, I guess it scares me heh. This happens at least 3 times before I finally drift off to sleep, I don't wake up during sleep.
    Here and there there is a what I'd have to describe as a brain zap thrown in there. I've had a cat scan recently, and they did scan my brain and found nothing.

    I've been looking everywhere for an answer to what might be going on, and I'm hesitant to blame this on withdrawal, it has been 5 months... And I was only on 10mg for a month and besides that, everything else is normal.

  21. #3861
    tavee is offline Member
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    Default better days

    Hi Everyone
    The Last 2 Days Have Been Better. I Guess Im Stabilizing On The 2ml. Man!! Last Week Was So Bad Though!!

    I Am A Little Calm Today. So Next Week Im Going To 1.9 Real Sloooooooooooooow. Im Not Taking Any Chances.

    The Only Thing Is I Get Soooo Dizzy In The Morning. I Cant Walk So I Have To Go Real Slow. By The Night Im Ok. Last Night Though I Went To A Big Store And I Had To Hold My Hubby Cuz I Was A Little Dizzy And There Was Like Too Much Going On In The Store(light Etccccccccc)

    The Good News Is That Sunday We Sat My Parents Down And Told Them Whats Going On With Me Cuz They Had No Clue. They Were Very Supportive Which Makes It Easier On Me. I Dont Have To Explain Why I Act Or Feel The Way I Do. They Have Been Helpful With Taking My Son Out Of My Hands So I Can Sleep And Feel Better.

    So Thats The Update On Old Tavee!! Ive Been Praying For All Of Us To Get Better And Suffer No Withdrawals While Going Thru This.

    I Love U Guys
    Tavee

  22. #3862
    tavee is offline Member
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    Seefour- U Are Not Out Of The Woods Yet. Whats Happening Is That U Are Hitting The 5th Or 6th Month Period Where All This Comes Back Again For A Little.\\

    What Else Are U Feeling Except For The Vertigo. Are U Sad? Moody??

    This Will Pass But It Definitely Is The Withdrawals. It Doesnt Matter What Dose U Were On To Begin With And How Long U Were On It. Once U Are Completely Off It U Have The 3rd Month And The 5th Or 6th Month That Comes Back.

    Did U Go Cold Turkey When U Went Off It?

    Remember That This Can Take Up To 18 Months To Be Ure Normal Self Again. Its Like A Brain Injury That Takes Time.

    Hang In There!! It Will Pass.

    Tavee

  23. #3863
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    Quote Originally Posted by sctschk View Post


    Yep! Lesson learned. Two days for me too - the shakiness of the hands was the worst. Ugh! Seems finally better today though (knock on wood). Ok, so I learned that I'm still not ready for chocolate and Excedrin all in the same day. Not doing THAT again!!



    -Jo
    Haha, yep I learned my lesson about chocolate, too. I did not think about chocolate causing problems, but scarfed down some major chocolate chip cookies last weekend-not as bad as the soda, but definitely not a pleasant experience.

    Tavee-That is great about your parents. The extra help will make a difference. Glad to hear you sounding like yourself!

    Does anyone know if the Lexapro weight ever comes off?
    Last edited by Hairyarmadillo; 04-19-2007 at 05:27 PM.

  24. #3864
    deanna.a is offline New Member
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    Default No More Brain Zaps!!!

    I have been taking Phosphatidyl Serine for just two days and feel remarkable results! No more brain zaps, no more forgetting how to do simple tasks ( such as typing!). It is a natural supplement taken 1-3 times a day. It has made all the difference to me. I even had a successful job interview today!
    I highly suggest to those experiencing weight gain and/or shakiness: lay off the caffeine and the chocolate. It wreaks havoc on your blood sugar levels which will surely give you the highs and lows you do not want. But I am not a doctor, so it is just my opinion.

  25. #3865
    jesyka is offline New Member
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    I never really realized what the caffine did while on this medication! I ended up working really late last night and because I hadn't eaten in so long I was getting really tired. I stopped and got a large latte, and then later had a regular coke. Several hours later I was jittery and felt numb everywhere, not to mention I couldn't sleep all night. I've felt a little down about myself lately so I can't tell if it's a mood swing or not, but I think I'm certainly done with the caffine!
    I start my acupuncture treatment today!! I'm so excited because for once I feel very optimistic about what I'm doing for my health! Wish me luck!

  26. #3866
    cloud_child is offline New Member
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    Hello all. I'm new to this forum and I have a few qestions that I hope you can help me with.

    I'm almost 19 and last year I was prescribed 10mg Lexapro. I was put on it because I have severe social anxeity. It got so bad that I couldn't even leave the house without feeling ill or crying. I was often subject to panic attacks when I was out in public... not fun, I can tell you.

    Well, taking Lexapro was great. I never had anymore panic attacks and I was going out alot more. I was still shy, but I wouldn't get scared to meet new people or do new things. I wasn't sad, I didn't have any self harm thoughts anymore, and I was entergetic. I was feeling so great I actaully had two jobs last year, not to mention I got my first boyfriend, whom I'm currently still going out with.

    But I've been off for the past month. I'm not experiancing anymore withdrawal symptoms, but now I'm back to my old self. I never want to go out anymore, I'm always down. My writing style and the way I talk is more out of order then it was when I was on it. I keep crying and I feel so depressed. Nothing seems fun anymore... my boyfriend and friends are worried, and so am I.

    I don't like the thought of being on meds my whole life... but I hate the way I'm feeling. I geuss my qestion is, should I continue to take Lexapro? I've read that taking depressents for long term use isn't a good idea, but I don't know what else I can do. I've been to therapy since I was 16 and that didn't help. Nothing bad happened in my child hood, I've just always had social anxeity since I was litte (plus it runs on my mom's side of the family).

    I just don't know what to do. Sorry if this post is everywhere... as I said, being off Lexapro has made writing a bit more difficult for me

  27. #3867
    jesyka is offline New Member
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    Cloud_child,
    Welcome to the forum...I am new too, but I would love to add some insight if possible. I have been on and off meds since I was 16. I have been diagnosed with everything from SAD to GAD to Bi-polar, and have too suffered with social anxiety in the past. I guess when I first began taking the medications I expected that they would make me better, however I never looked into the future to see what it would be like when I someday had to go off of them, and either face being the way I was before or would I be a new person cured of this problem.
    I am 27 now, and here's what I can tell you. I have learned that it is so easy to treat a symptom and cover it up, but the what is the real problem and why are you like that? I know that genetics do play a role, but I hesitate to say that people are born depressed. I used to think I was because my mom is really weird and my dad, his dad and my brother all have some personality issues like mine. But I am starting to realize that it's most likely a genetic trait to the point that we are all reacting the same to certain things. Maybe it's something we eat that we shouldn't, maybe it's lack of excersise, lack of communication skills or self esteem. I know that there are needs for supplements and things like that and maybe in time you'll find that a natural supplement will do the same to help curb the anxiety.
    I understand how frusterating feelings like that can be, or maybe I should say debilitating! I have started to look into my own health to see what I can do to become more healthy inside as well as out.
    I hope maybe that can help a little. Good luck and I hope that you find something that works!

    Jesyka

  28. #3868
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    cloud_child Did a regular doctor or a psychiatrist prescribe your medication to you? I am asking because a regular doctor prescribed mine (at my request due to lifelong DEEP bouts of depression) and I have since been made aware that there are tests a psychiatrist can do that will actually tell you if the problem is due to something chemical. I always assumed mine was a chemical imbalance or some genetic thing. But never got proof. I have decided to go off Lexapro because I had some side effects that were worse than the depression. But if I ever do feel that I need to take something else I am going to see about getting the tests run to ascertain if there is a chemical basis for my depression. If it is something that is chemically related, than you may need something to correct that. I do think there are natural alternatives to antidepressants. There are many people on this forum who are more aware of supplements,etc than I am. I plan on trying to go "natural" if my problems come back. You may want to look into some of these things and try them. i notice that you mentioned you were on 10mgs and have been off for a month. I am sure some people have no trouble quitting Lexapro without any side effects, but many of us have not been so lucky. The first time I quit lexapro, a few months later I had a bad bout of rebound depression that was worse than any of the bouts I had ever experienced. i have since learned that people often have "rebound" depression that is in fact a withdrawal affect and it occurs some time later after their last dose. I had not taken Lexapro for awhile and when this happened I assumed it was a sign I needed the medicine and went back on, since I had been off it for about 4 months. It is possible that you are feeling something like this, though impossible for me to say that with certainty.
    Another poster Aunty who is VERY well-informed, mentioned that a person can resume taking the Lexapro within 6 weeks of stopping and then taper slowly to get off to avoid the any side effects. If your recurring anxiety, etc is a result of withdrawal, then doing this could help you avoid this feeling and allow you to get off the drug safely, slowly, without being a jolt to your body. IMO and in experience of others on this forum, going from 10mg to 0 in amonths time is a jolt to your body. So you may want to go back on,see if the feeling subsides and let yourself get strong. Do some research on the natural alternatives in the meantime, then do a slow taper off the medicine. Aunty has also posted some excellent information on how to taper.

    I have to say, even though it is my option to go the natural path with this, I did not have a pleasant experience on the Lexapro. If my life was in fact made better while on the Lexapro, than I would have stayed on it. Lexapro made me unable to function. It sounds like you were able to better function. Whatever you do, don't suffer needlessly. I do think there are cases where the benefits of this medication outweigh the possible side effects. Since your reasons for getting on this medication were so compelling, personally I would consult a physician who is well-informed with these types of medication (probably a psychiatrist) and see if there is indeed any physiological reason for your symptoms.

  29. #3869
    cloud_child is offline New Member
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    Thanks for replying, guys.

    First, yes I was prescribed by my psyciatrist. He did tests before giving it to me, because he said he didn't like just giving medication if it wasn't nessisary. He asked me to try it for 2 months then come back to see him to tell him how it went and how I was reacting to the medication. I didn't have any bad side effects taking it, the only bad thing was I lost 9 pounds the first week because I didn't feel like eating. Oh, and I had very weird dreams and head aches. But that went away after the first week or so.

    Oh yeah, when I said I've been off of Lexapro for a month, what I meant was that I've been side-effect free for a month(as in, no more head aches, dizzy-ness, ect.). I wheened off of lexapro about 3 months ago, only taking the pill every other day, then every 3 days, then 4, etc., till I just stopped completely. I did have withdrawal side-effects, but that was over a month ago.

    I don't know what the problem is. I've tried to figure it out, really I have. My childhood was fine, nothing traumatising or anything. My mom just said that ever since I was little I was really shy, and as I got older(like age 3) I started having panic attacks when I went in the public.

    The reason I quit was because I thought I was better, but I geuss not. I didn't even notice I was acting like my old self again until 2 weeks ago, when people kept telling me I was acting sad and that I tried to avoid going out. I agree that I think medicine is just a way to cover up your problem, but I feel so bad when I'm off of them.
    Last edited by cloud_child; 04-20-2007 at 04:49 PM.

  30. #3870
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    Hi,
    am doing so so here - still having not such a good time, but hanging in there.... the seizures have just been real bad the last few da
    ys, no fun..
    Just found an interesting site which thought I would post for anyone who is interested, or would just like to read.. it's the Hissey Keintz LLP lawfirm site, and they do legal action/very familiar lots of work with ssri cases, in looks like most all states... its nice to see legal action and proof out there - go to their homepage, then look under antidepressants (gives choices) lots of good info..

    [broken link removed]

    anyways, hope you are all well out there, take care!
    Elizabethmarie
    Last edited by scratchyTim; 02-04-2016 at 07:15 PM.

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