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Lexapro Withdrawal
  1. #3931
    abracazapya is offline New Member
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    Aunty,

    I have been following this thread over the past six months, sometimes reading for hours during those long, lonely evenings when I thought I was losing my mind. Reading about the experiences of others both scared me and also gave me hope. I regret not sharing my experiences, but maybe I'll start now. Here's a short summary of what happened. My doc put me on 10 mg for depression back in Sept 06, basically calling it a wonder drug with no side effects. After a couple months, I felt more depressed than ever, and asked him how to get off of it. He told me to take a half for a couple more days, then stop. Simple as that. WOW. Within days I was crazy, hearing things, seeing things, and worst of all.....The Zaps. I could barely function. I called my doc and he referred me to a neurologist! Can you believe that? And he didn't have an opening for about 2 months! Well, I put 2 and 2 together on my own, started the Lex again(5mg), and my symptoms cleared up by the next morning. Both my neurologist and doc claimed to have never heard of such a thing. Anyway, I found this thread and started the first of many taper attempts. I felt so horrible, the thought of a 1 - 2 year taper seemed impossible. So I did the 50% taper, 1 week at a time. Ummmm.......doesn't work. Tried the 25% taper, 2 weeks at a time. Nope. I finally ended up going down 1 mg at a time, from 5 mg)for about 3 weeks each. I don't recommend this, I experienced some discomfort and consistent, though milder zaps. After a few more weeks, the zaps disappeared, and I felt better than I had in years! This was a couple of months ago, and recently the zaps have come back mildly in the evenings. When I last visited my doctor and told him everything I had experienced and learned, he did some research and told me a dose of Prozac can help with the zaps. I got a script filled as a last resort. Well, tonight I took one. My question to you, Aunty, is what do I do? Do I somehow keep trudging forward and hope these zaps will go away some day? When? Years? My understanding from your posts is that my receptors need to grow anew, is there anything I can do to help this process? Please advise Aunty. Thank you for all of your work and care. There are probably many more people like me who are reading silently. Sorry this is so long.

  2. #3932
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default abra

    I would love to exactly understand how you tapered and over what time frame before I can suggest anything.

    I know you had a couple of failed attemps to taper. Please explain when you started tapering, how long were you on the 5 Mg of lexapro?

    How did you atper and when did you get to zero. Explain the withdrawals that you experienced in detail, sleeplessness? moody, sweating? Zaps? mania?

    What supplements or vitamins are you taking?

    What dose of prozac did your doctor put you on and is it one dose or will you taper the prozac dose. Prozac has a ling half life so withdrawals will be about 30 days after the last dose. This has worked for some and not for others.

    If I am understanding this correctly the zaps went away and returned? How long have you been off the lexapro. Have you experience any depersonalization yet?

    The more information I have the more I can ubderstand what you are experiencing.

  3. #3933
    hbco2 is offline New Member
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    Pretty much any drug that alters neurochemicals will give withdrawal symptoms usually opposite of what they were designed to relieve... because your body has to learn how to re-make the serotonin. When you have a drug that leaves extra serotonin in the synapse for a while longer your body won't make as much... it down regulates production. That is why it is usually tapered off, to give your body time to start making adequate amts again.Thus if you take a ssri for a long time or high dosage you can get really bad withdrawal symptoms....

    Just because a doctor says it isn't "addictive" doesn't mean the body can develop dependence to it. It is what the human body does... it adjusts to maintaiin homeostasis.

    Some people don't have any problems getting off ssri's at all. Others have to take it slower.

  4. #3934
    NewMom_on_Lexapro is offline New Member
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    Default How do I stop these symptoms? LEXAPRO WITHDRAWL

    Hi People!

    I have been reading your posts and I am mainly looking to see if any of you know what can I take, perhaps some natural supplement that will help me with the withdrawal symptoms I am getting from stopping my Lexapro.

    I started Lexapro shortly after I had my daughter, to battle with Post-Partum. I started at 10 mg. I felt great relativeley quickly and then my body sort of like plato'd and I double up on it. I have been taking 20 mg for about 8-10 months now. I have been feeling great and I decided that it was time to start lowering my dosage and eventually stop, as my husband and I decided we wanted to have another baby.

    I started taking 10 mg's and I did that for about 2 weeks. I felt fine. I then started taking the 10 mg. every other day, for about 2 weeks as well. RIght now I haven't taken it for about 1 full week and I feel like a freak! I am dizzy all the time and naucious. I mainly get headaches and feel really really dizzy.

    Please tell me what can I do or take to relieve these symptoms?

    Thank you!

  5. #3935
    KEITH L.I is offline New Member
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    Default It's Been 5 Weeks

    I'm new to this site..thank god I found it.I have been off lexapro 10 mg for my fifth week.And yes it's been horrible from the first week on.I went cold turkey(big mistake),well I learned my lesson in a big way.A question,Im starting to have some good days and the dizziness isn't as severe as it was a few weeks ago,it's still there though and some days are worst than others.My bad dreams are going away.Do you think I'm on the road back,or should I go back to a dose and wean myself off? Can somebody explain to me the stages of recovery?Thanks Keith

  6. #3936
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    Hi Aunty, everyone,
    I just talked with a doctor/neurologist/psychiatrist who's an expert in the ssri adverse reaction - he wanted to know my case as I was a different one..! Anyways, it was really good to get some actual info - I'm almost at 5 months off, and he said I'm having parkinsonianlike motor problems, that's probably going along with the blackouts/seizures, all from the drug reaction DEFINITELY.. yay! of course, it doesn't take it away, but he said there is no drug in the body now, but only damage due to neurotoxicity damage that occured when on the drug/bad reaction... so! yay, validation from an expert is so great! makes me feel better, in some way,..
    just wanted to share...
    hope all are doing well,
    Elizabethmarie

  7. #3937
    overtherainbow is offline Junior Member
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    Default Elizabethmaria

    Wow, EM, wow, is all I can say. Its horrible what you've been through. How did you find this expert? Does he think this will get better ? ? ? I HOPE !

    I've had a lot of problems while on Lex, and I thought it was left over stuff from Lyme. I now wonder whether it was the drugs after all.

  8. #3938
    Long Island Girl is offline New Member
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    Default Cognite Therapy instead of Lexapro?...Please Help

    Hi Everyone,

    I am new to this...I'm really in need of support, so I thought I'd give this a try. I just got married last month and my fourteen year old daughter and I moved to my husband's home.The change has been wonderful and tough, but what's really made it tough is taking the lexapro. I have no sex drive ( not a good thing on your honeymoon!) and I feel like all of my emotions have become numb, and to me this is just as bad as depression.

    I decided to get more involved in my cognitive therapy,(which is drug free) My Dr. believes that my use of deep breathing, meditation & P. Rochsi (neuro bio-feedback) will completely change my brain's chemistry naturally and ultimately do what the lexapro is supposed to do.

    I'm afraid of the withdrawal, I currently take 30 mgs. a day and have just cut it back to 25 mgs for the last 3 days.

    I'm not liking feeling this way at the beginning of my marriage. He's a wonderful man & supports me fully, but I know it has been hard for him.

    Is there anyone who believes in cognite therapy over Lexapro? I didn't realize how many people are going through these same issues addressed. I'm upset because my Doctor (psych.) didn't warn me of all of these withrawal symptons. I wish you all the best, God Bless

  9. #3939
    elfaygobaca is offline New Member
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    Hi, Keith
    I have been off MY Lexapro for about a week and a half (also cold turkey), and I have noticed a BIG improvenemt in my withdrawl symptoms. I still have the random "zap", or some dizziness, but am overall much better. I would say, one ex-Lex user to another, to see if you can go without starting it up again. Others on this site may have different opinions, but I personally tried the "wait and see" approach, and have not felt this great in months.

    I don't specifically know the stages of recovery, but feel that as long as your symptoms are getting farther and farther apart, you are on your way to being OK again.

  10. #3940
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default Kieth

    I can only tell you what I would do based on my experience talking with others. You only have six weeks to reinstate after a cold turkey. I have so many that months and even years have passed and they would give any amount of money to have the chance you now have.

    The physical symptoms may be improving but there may be months ahead that will be tough. You brain has adapted to the lexapro and the misfiring of the neurotransmiters are the zaps so many people feel. The chemistry of you brain was chemically changed from lexapro and by stopping cold turkey,,,,you basically pulled the rug out.

    If it was someone in my family...................I would strongly advise them to go back on a small dose....................maybe 2 or 3 Mg and then slowly taper off from that. This way you are giving the neurotransmitters a chance to adapt to functioning with lesser amounts of lexapro/

    Many have gone cold turkey but in the end it could take up to 18 months to feel like you are back to normal. Depersonalization is a common withdrawal for those that tapered quickly or cold turkeyed. This will not appear for a couple of months.

    The fact that you did have such strong withdrawal symptoms the first few weeks is evidence that some damage/dependency has taken place..............do I think you are nearing the end of the withdrawals..................to be very honest.....................no.

    You have a few days to think about it. After six weeks it will too late to reinstate. Others that have cold turkeyed.............................please offer your opinions.......................I may just hear of the serious cases and possibly there may be some that breezed thru.

    Good luck whatever your choice may be.

  11. #3941
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default Long island Girl

    Yes I do believe in Codnitive therapy, Vitamins, Supplements, Exercise will treat depression......anything over lexapro. Please read the previous posts so you can get a idea of what you may expect from withdrawaing. 30 Mg is a high dose of lexapro so you can taper off in larger increments at first. Withdrawals take between 4 and 7 days to be noticed.

    Congrats on the marriage.

  12. #3942
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default New Mom,

    Omega 3, s will help, Inisitol will also aleviate some of the symptoms but I would not suggest stopping the lexapro so quickly.

    You may experience, vivid nightmares, stomach cramping, dizziness, headaches, depersonalization, inability to sleep, anxiety and the imfamous ZAPS which are your neuritransmitters misfiring........just to name a few.

    Tapering slowly would be much easier on the neurotransmitters in your brain. You can reisnstate up to six weeks after stopping lexapro and then slowly taper..................the choice is up to you.
    Good luck

  13. #3943
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    Keith,
    I can only give you my experience, but cannot say it is the same for everyone, though I know as aunty and others know that this is very common. I had a very bad reaction on the drugs and had to be taken off immediately - that was in the beginning of December. The pain the first few weeks was horrendous, but I did make it through - things gradually improved, but when I hit the third month, it was dreadful. I had/still have seizures, blackouts, super depersonalization, inability to think, major memory loss, movement problems (dystonia/dyskinesia).. I am now at 5 months off just about, and at my 3rd month, though I was able to work before, I had to stop as it was impossible, I also cannot drive now because of the seizures, though I was before..
    When they say you are probably not through with the withdrawals, it is true - everyone is different though. I was almost certain I would not have the 3 month regression as I only took for a very short period of time (few days/weeks) but I was wrong.. I could not taper as being on the drug, no matter how awful it is now, was still much worse and was giving me brain damage...
    If you can taper still, even going back to a low dose, and tapering, it is probably a very good idea... no matter how good you may feel now, something will happen at the third/fourth/fifth month mark, it's almost guarenteed -- and unfortunately toughing it out isn't possible - when your brain is affected, it changes everything and is very painful...
    Perhaps you will have only mild symtoms then, but seeing how difficult a time you had in the beginning, that's a major clue that hard times are yet to come --- I don't want to seem like a downer, but just hope to prevent you from going through needless pain! take care of yourself -- read/research here and you'll get a good idea of what's going on, what to expect...
    take care, you're in our prayers,
    Elizabethmarie

  14. #3944
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    Keith,
    I can only give you my experience, but cannot say it is the same for everyone, though I know as aunty and others know that this is very common. I had a very bad reaction on the drugs and had to be taken off immediately - that was in the beginning of December. The pain the first few weeks was horrendous, but I did make it through - things gradually improved, but when I hit the third month, it was dreadful. I had/still have seizures, blackouts, super depersonalization, inability to think, major memory loss, movement problems (dystonia/dyskinesia).. I am now at 5 months off just about, and at my 3rd month, though I was able to work before, I had to stop as it was impossible, I also cannot drive now because of the seizures, though I was before..
    When they say you are probably not through with the withdrawals, it is true - everyone is different though. I was almost certain I would not have the 3 month regression as I only took for a very short period of time (few days/weeks) but I was wrong.. I could not taper as being on the drug, no matter how awful it is now, was still much worse and was giving me brain damage...
    If you can taper still, even going back to a low dose, and tapering, it is probably a very good idea... no matter how good you may feel now, something will happen at the third/fourth/fifth month mark, it's almost guarenteed -- and unfortunately toughing it out isn't possible - when your brain is affected, it changes everything and is very painful...
    Perhaps you will have only mild symtoms then, but seeing how difficult a time you had in the beginning, that's a major clue that hard times are yet to come --- I don't want to seem like a downer, but just hope to prevent you from going through needless pain! take care of yourself -- read/research here and you'll get a good idea of what's going on, what to expect...
    take care, you're in our prayers, ..
    Elizabethmarie

  15. #3945
    nona007 is offline New Member
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    Default lexapro

    i have been without my lexapro for 1 week and i am feeling very panicky and crying all the time. I have started the 20 mlg again will this feeling of helplessness go away?

  16. #3946
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    Default Taper, taper, taper

    Hello, everyone! It is now 4 weeks off the Lexapro after a slow taper-not as slow as should have been but took approximately 2 or months minus a few days. Had no idea how much it was going to impact my life or I would have been more precise with dates. And my memory is still shot. I can't remember simple things some days. Still stopping in the middle of sentences and can't remember what I was saying. I love to read and there is no hope of reading anything that is going to require much thinking. I am doing ok, just tired after my spicy crawfish incident. PEOPLE, WATCH OUT FOR THOSE SPICES. And, yes, I did wonder about MSG. I am going to do without eating out, since it is hard to tell what is added during cooking. Not worth the pain.
    Elizabethmarie-I wish none of this had happened but am clapping over the doctor admitting what is happening to you. I know you knew you were not imagining it but it is sure great to have someone say it-besides all of us,lol.

    So many new people! You all are at the right place. I have learned so much from this site as well as benefitted from the support. My big words of wisdom are to taper slowly. I was on 10 mgs and thought a drop to 5 was doable-nope, don't do it. My advice is if you are on the pill dose and don't want to go get the liquid, convert it to liquid as Aunty advised. Stupid me, I didn't even think there was a way to do so, so I just used a pill cutter and did decreases, staying on the dose for approx. 3 weeks at a time. Problem with this is that it is impossible to get a precise small dosage that is needed. It takes time, but it is worth the effort. I do believe that there are people who 1. have no problems on this drug and 2. don't have trouble withdrawaling but the tapering is not that big of a deal when you consider the problems you can avoid. When tapering by minute amounts, the symptoms you experience are so much less and your body recovers more quickly. Even the small things like fatigue are more tolerable. And the closer to the 0mg mark, the tougher the symptoms seem to be. Also, read up on here about things that can be expected along the way. It is going to pay to proactively plan for possible depression and anxiety bouts that may occur. Also, the supplements may seem like a minor thing but they are not. I am so lazy about this, since a few days go by without taking them and I feel fine and forget about them. Then I start feeling awful and remember, "oh, yeah, the supplements" so do what I say and not what I do
    I also want to say that any and all suffering is worth getting off this medication. I am by no way back to normal, but I feel it happening and it is nice. Hope this makes sense. My mind is having a very cloudy time lately

  17. #3947
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default Nona,

    You should start to feel better by tomorrow and within three to five days you should stabalize. Once you feel stable for about a week or so.................yo may want to try and taper to 19 Mg.

    Look a few pages back and you will se under my postings I have directed how to crush the tablet and make Lexapro liquid. Please read the directions carefully or else ask your doctor to prescribe Lexapro liquid.

    Stay at the 19 mg for about 2 to 3 weeks until you are stable. You should begin to feel the withdrawl at about 3 to 5 days after tapering but they should be mild.

    Once stable you can reduce to approx 18 Mg and again stay at that level for aabout two to three weeks.

    You may consider taking a good liquid mulitvitamin and a liquid mineral supplement to help heal the damage caused by the SSRI,

    Carlsons Omega 3 Fish Oil will help a great deal. Carson's is not contaminated with Mercury as some cheaper brands may be.

    Good Luck

  18. #3948
    nona007 is offline New Member
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    Arrow

    Aunty, I am afriad that the symptoms will not pass. The first time I was on this it wasn't this bad. I am going to stay on it for a while. I just want to get to where I was 2 months ago. I feel like i am going crazy, will that get better?

  19. #3949
    wbsjenn is offline New Member
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    I have been on 40mg of Lexapro for just over two years and I have long-since reconciled myself to the fact that I will probably be on it for the rest of my life. Fine with me. The insurance plan I have is one of those which will only refill prescriptions exactly when they are due and, unfortunately, there are times when the month will end and I will have to wait a few days before my prescription can be refilled. The first time this occurred, after about two days off of Lexapro I started experiencing what you described as "shocks." There were electric sensations which would hit unexpectedly and were terribly uncomfortable. It was like coming in contact with a low-voltage electricity source; not exactly painful, but quite unpleasant. Some people, I have come to understand, experience these sensations as part of withdrawal from antidepressants/anti-anxiety agents. Keep the Lexapro coming is what I say. First, my life feels normal when I am on it and, secondly, I don't ever want to experience those "shocking" sensations again.

  20. #3950
    wbsjenn is offline New Member
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    What I am wanting to know is why are so many people getting off of Lexapro? When I was started on it just over two years ago, my doctor told me that it was entirely possible that I would need it for life. Lexapro, he explained, is not meant for short-term use. The chemical changes which help lead to depression are not "fixed" with Lexapro for a short period of time. The chemical changes are fixed with staying on Lexapro for the duration. He told me that if I were to stop it, the symptoms of the depression would ultimately return. I have no intention of ever stopping it, unless they stop making it! It does not bother me in the least that I need a medication to help get myself back to as close to 100% as I can get. On the current dose of 40mg daily, my concentration is so improved, my memory is better, my anxiety level has decreased to almost zero and I am able to enjoy just living my life. Without the medication, I am anxious, fretful, unable to concentrate, unable to enjoy my relationships and just generally miserable. What is wrong with allowing a medication to improve life? Some diabetics need insulin, people with hypertension need medications, other conditions require medication so what is the problem with chronic depression and anxiety being treated chemically? I am not afraid of the withdrawal - I am afraid of feeling the way I did before Lexapro.

  21. #3951
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    wbsjnn "Some diabetics need insulin, people with hypertension need medications, other conditions require medication so what is the problem with chronic depression and anxiety being treated chemically?" This has always been my argument and I agree totally that this is sometimes the case. Had antidepressants fixed me I would have stayed on them. I really was convinced that I was one of these people who needed them but upon this latest experience, I have done reflection that makes me feel otherwise. But yes, to repeat, if I felt they were beneficial to me and were making a positive difference I would have stayed on them, without a second thought. I have one friend who went through a serious postpartum depression episode and they turned her life around. So, even though I am telling everyone on here who has decided for one reason or another to get off them to taper, I am not saying that everyone in the world should chuck their medication out the door.
    The reason I got off it started approximately 11 years ago when I decided I no longer wanted to go through bouts of depression. I had experienced them since childhood and assumed since it had started early in life it was chemical. I have since realized that children do in fact respond to negatives in life with anxiety and depression. I dealt with A LOT that a child should not have. No wonder I was depressed. Anyhow, will stop on all that boring detail but suffice it to say I have realized there is in fact situational triggers, not chemical in my instance. But not knowing that then, I finally succumbed and got up the nerve to ask my gp for antidepressant. He put me on Paxil. 20 mgs if I am remembering correctly. I had to build up to that 20 gradually but once I took even the smallest dose, I felt like a new person. I told everyone, including my friend who has simililar issues with depression, about the change and how it was the best thing I had ever done and how I would never go off it. Fast forward to a year later. I started feeling apathetic and didn't care if I went to work or not. The house was starting to get in disarray. I went to the doctor and told him they weren't working anymore. I thought I was a lost cause. He increased my dose to 40. I became more apathetic, could not stop eating, went from a size 4 to a size 18 within 4 years time. Couldn't say I was depressed but I didn't care about anything. Went through life in a fog. Decided I was damned on them or damned off of them, so I went to the doctor inquiring about how to get off them. No big deal I was told. Skip a day then take the usual dose. Skip two days, take the usual dose. I was to repeat this until I stretched it out to two weeks and then quit-it was over. i was naive and believed it. I had brain zaps. I would be in the middle of teaching and have brain zap that literally made me jerk. I thought it was my weight or some other diet medication I was taking. No clue that this happened to people stopping antidepressants. I stopped the diet medication and cut back on mhy eating, vowing to walk more an if it didn't improve I would ask for a check-up. Thought this was my wake-up call about not taking care of myself. Anyhow, going to skip over all the time I had depersonalization to a severe extent and moments of mania, but eventually anxiety came, so I went to the doctor begging for this miracle drug a co-worker had told me about. was certain the anxiety was to do with some chemical imbalance, ignoring the fact that I had just assumed several extra new job duties. I voiced my concerns that I had with paxil and was assured that lexapro was a clean drug. Little to no side effects and easy to get off. Within 9 months I was apathetic. I halved my 10 mg pill and within two days of taking 5 mgs KNEW I had to go slower. I did half it to where I was taking approximately 2 mgs for a week or so, went down to five and then bit the bullet going all the way to nothing. Folks, I had NO withdrawal, just felt like sleeping and did so for a couple of days in a row, went through the work week, slept through the next weekend. But then I got hit by killer depression and anxiety unlike I had ever had. Once more I assumed it meant I needed it. Now see that it was rebound depression. But got back on Lexapro and within a few months, didn't care about anything. The house is a mess, I had to force myself to go to work, couldn't stand my husband getting near me much less having sex. all I wanted to do was come home, eat, go to bed.
    I started weaning off this and within a short time of decreasing the first bit I felt excited about life. I SAW that my house was a mess and CARED! I went shopping and started replacing my wardrobe that has been worn out for years. i didn't care though. I feel alive. My memory is shot but I have read enough to see that Lexapro does affect some people like this and it will take time to recover. What is interesting is that for the past few years I have felt that I was having symptoms indicating that one day i will have Alzheimers. Not that it matters, but to let you know how bad this is-according to tests that placed me in a gifted class in high school, I have a 134 IQ. My vocabulary is extensive. I have gotten to the point where i stop in the middle of a sentence not sure what I was saying. I cannot remember the words i need. On good days, I use basic words instead of more colorful words that better express myself. On bad days, i cannot even think of the basic words. I used to remember details. now I literally can't remember half of what I say within a few minutes. I have learned so much about how this medication affects people since readng here so i am hoping this will improve. But in the meantime, it is not a nice experience. And I am one of the lucky ones here. No seizures, etc.
    Anyhow, that is my story on why I have gotten off it. If my depression returns before I go back on something like this I will try natural methods, address issues in my life and -if that doesn't work-will get my medicine from a psychiatrist after getting tested to ascertain if an imbalance is the right answer.
    By the way, I am glad this medicine is working for you. I do think in some cases this is what it takes to make a difference

  22. #3952
    IdahoTater is offline New Member
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    I am into my first week of skipping three days in between doses. ( 2.5mg) I skipped two days in between for a month or so. So far it's tolerable. I'm still not sleeping well, and I'm always tired, but it's not been too bad so far. I guess my question is, has anyone else tapered off like this? Instead of cutting daily doses, cutting days in between doses? I've read lots of the posts on here, and I see myself in most of them. Frankly, I'm scared silly...I don't know if I am capable of doing all I need to do to get off this ********************, much less doing it the right way. I wish there was a Lex support group here locally. I feel like I'll never be "normal" again

    Thanks for listening.....
    Lynn.

  23. #3953
    abracazapya is offline New Member
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    Aunty,

    Thanks for your response. It seems so long ago, and my memory isn't the greatest. I didn't do a very scientific or even consistent taper. I started in December with 5 mg for about 2 weeks, then cut it in half, to 2.5mg for two weeks. I cut this in half, to 1.25 for 2 weeks, then cut this for 2 weeks then stopped. So I stopped mid February and started feeling well by March. The symptoms during the taper were Zaps, a feeling of paranoia, strange vision, depression, moodiness, and anxiety. During Dec - Feb I was also prescribed Remeron. My neurologist thought it would help with sleep, depression, and possibly the zaps. Currently I am taking Vitamin C, fish oil, and a multi-vitamin. I also take Depakote for epilepsy( I haven't had a seizure in years). On a few occasions in the past two weeks I've experienced mild zaps and anxiety. My doc just wanted me to take one 20mg of Prozac to ease these symptoms. I did this two nights ago and have had no zaps since. I have been sleeping well, though I'm tired all the time and yawn alot. I'm not sure what depersonalization is. I often feel spaced out and like I'm not really present in the moment. I don't know. Please advise.....I don't want to(won't) go back on the Lex.

  24. #3954
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    USA.
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    Default abra

    The Remeron, although not a SSRI, still has a effect on the serotonin activity in the brain so once this medication gets in your system you should level out.

    I have also heard that Remeron is much easier then SSRI's to withdrawal from, nthing like lexapro, paxil, effeexor, zoloft. The prozac should hold you over for the next few weeks until the remeron gets in your system. Remeron is great as a sleep aid and the lower 15 Mg dose tends to make one gain weight but suprisingly the 30 or 45 mg doses do not.

    You should be fine......................let us know how you do.

  25. #3955
    eagerevan is offline New Member
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    Default

    I find it very ironic that a good percentage of us= (lexapro withdrawal victims)
    went on this drug in the first place to treat an anxiety issue. Here we are dealing with these painful and agonizing withdrawal symptoms, which in turn cause alot of anxiety....... kind of ironic huh?

    With that said I must say I am very thankful that I fell upon this site when I did. I have been Lexapro free for three days now and I am definitely struggling through the fourth day. Between the "brain zaps", dizzyness, uncomfortable feeling, uneasyness, muscle twitches, muscle soreness, headaches, stomach aches, flu like symtoms, waking up in the middle of the night in a panic, irritability, anger, and as i mentioned before- anxiety it has been quite a journey. Making a few days feel like forever.

    I had been perscribed 10mg of lexapro due to anxiety and minor depression issues 3 years ago. It definitely helped me through my tough times, as I call it.
    Being 22 years old now with a steady job, wonderful girlfriend of 4 years and lots of supportive friends, I decided it was time to deal with life on my own.
    I started cutting my pills in half for about 3 months taking approx 5mg, (my weening process). Then instead of skipping a day or two for a while I ended it cold turkey. Knowing now the intensity of these withdrawal symptoms I am seriously considering taking a 5mg quarter every three days maybe to ease myself into it a bit. I have also heard about omega 5 oil suppliments maybe even a multi vitamin everyday to help the process along.

    If anyone has any suggestions or ideas please respond to my blog. Also if anyone has any idea of a timeline for these symptoms to pass I'd definitely like to hear from you.

    Thank you,
    sincerely a trying soul

  26. #3956
    eagerevan is offline New Member
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    Default

    I think getting through this withdrawal will only make us stronger.
    Hang on to faith in yourself!

  27. #3957
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
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    USA.
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    Default Tavee, Skyler, Hairy and all exlex users.............

    I have talked to many lexapro users thst have symptoms for months sometimes years after using lexapro and either cold turkeying from the drug or tapering very fast................one common link is that almost all of those are suffering with memory loss, weigh gain that can't seem to be lost, dizziness, depression ....etc.

    Recently I have also noticed that several of those exlex users have come up testing positive for hypothryoidism.......HMMMM!!!

    Now it is documented that lexapro causes a disruption in the adrenal system....what if it also causes the thryoid gland to malfunction....hence causing the "withdrawal" to continue on for years.

    What I am saying is that possibly the "long lasting withdrawals from lexapro just may be a hypothryoidism caused by lexapro use......and the good thing is that it is treatable.
    Please read more as this is a very valuable piece of information.
    Are You Sick and Tired of being so Tired?

    Do you feel run down most of the time?

    Is it hard to get going in the morning?

    Do you feel wiped out after lunch?

    Do you tend to hibernate on the weekends to rest up?

    Has your get up and go got up and went?

    If so, this newsletter will provide valuable information on why you may feel so lethargic and more importantly what you can do to feel more energetic.

    Second only to pain, fatigue is a common patient complaint. My patients often ask how they can boost their energy levels. They complain of feeling drained of energy, making it hard to get out of bed and endure another demanding day. Some find that they are wiped out by early afternoon, others never get going before afternoon. Uncovering the reasons for chronic low energy states takes time and persistence. The good news is that there are several ways to correct low energy levels.

    In this months newsletter I’ll address one of the common reasons for being chronically- tired; undiagnosed or misdiagnosed: hypothyroidism.

    Some of the following material is taken from my updated and expanded 3rd edition of Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, due in bookstores Fall 2006.




    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hypothyroidism
    Over 20 million Americans suffer from thyroid dysfunction. And over 500,000 new cases of thyroid disease occur each year. However, as staggering as those numbers appear, millions more go undiagnosed. It’s estimated that more than 10 million women have a low-grade thyroid dysfunction, which isn’t treated. And almost another 8 million people with low thyroid go undiagnosed.

    Like my patient Allison, many individuals with low or hypothyroid simply fall through the cracks.

    Allison K.

    I really felt terrible most of the time. I had no energy at all. I’d gained 40 pounds over the last year even though I ate very little and tried to follow my Weight Watcher’s program. I kept cutting my calorie intake and even started skipping meals in an attempt to lose weight. The less I ate the worse I felt. I had numerous sinus infections, which I had never had before. My hair was falling out, I had tingling pain in my hands and feet and always felt cold even in the summer. I had this constant ringing in my ears. I was depressed or anxious a good deal of the time. Every doctor I consulted said that my blood tests were normal and it must be my fibromyalgia that was causing me to feel so bad. I knew something was wrong with me, but I couldn’t find anyone who could help me. One doctor said I had all the symptoms of low thyroid. But, the endocrinologist she referred me to, said all my tests were normal. How could my thyroid be normal when I have all the symptoms of hypothyroid?

    Allison’s story is a typical one. I routinely have new patients who present with all the symptoms of hypothyroid:

    • fatigue (the most profound symptom)

    • headache

    • dry skin

    • swelling

    • weight gain

    • cold hands and feet

    • poor memory

    • hair loss

    • hoarseness

    • nervousness

    • depression

    • joint and muscle pain

    • burning or tingling sensations in the hands and/or feet

    (hypothyroid neuropathy)

    • yellowing of skin from a build up of carotene (conversion of

    carotene to vitamin A is slowed by hypothyroidism)

    • carpal tunnel syndrome

    • problems with balance and equilibrium (unsteadiness or lack of

    coordination)

    • constipation (from slowed metabolism)

    • edema around the ankles, below the eyes, and elsewhere

    • observation of delayed Achilles tendon reflex test

    • hypertension (high blood pressure)

    • angina (chest pain)

    • atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)

    • hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol)

    • menstrual irregularities

    • infertility

    • PMS

    • fibrocystic breast disease

    • polycystic ovary syndrome

    • reactive hypoglycemia

    • psoariasis

    • urticaria

    • allergic rhinitis

    Thyroid hormones control a person’s metabolism. Metabolism is defined as the sum of all physical and chemical changes that take place within the body; it’s all the energy and material transformation that occur within living cells. Every cell in the body depends on having enough thyroid hormone. If your thyroid gland becomes dysfunctional, every cell in the body suffers. This is why thyroid disorders can cause so many problems. Low thyroid is a common finding my chronically ill patients. This is especially true for those suffering with anxiety, depression, heart disease, and asthma.

    I estimate that as many as 40% of my FMS and CFS patients suffer from low or hypothyroid function.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Understanding Thyroid Hormones,
    T3, T4, AND TSH
    When your thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, this is known as hyperthyroid. When your thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, it's called hypothyroid. The hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland to produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH then stimulates the thyroid gland to produce and release the hormone, thyroxine (T4). T4 hormone is then converted into the more active, triiodthyronine (T3). T3 hormone is essential for life and four times more active than T4. You can live without T4 but not without T3. If T4 doesn’t convert into active T3, symptoms of low thyroid start to show up. This can happen in spite of a normal TSH blood test reading.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    c

  28. #3958
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Location
    USA.
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    Default Does lexapro use cause hyrpthyroidism?

    Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

    Fatigue
    Weakness
    Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
    Coarse, dry hair
    Dry, rough pale skin
    Hair loss
    Cold intolerance (can't tolerate the cold like those around you)
    Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
    Constipation
    Depression
    Irritability
    Memory loss
    Abnormal menstrual cycles
    Decreased libido


    Each individual patient will have any number of these symptoms which will vary with the severity of the thyroid hormone deficiency and the length of time the body has been deprived of the proper amount of hormone. Some patients will have one of these symptoms as their main complaint, while another will not have that problem at all and will be suffering from a different symptom. Most will have a combination of a number of these symptoms. Occasionally, some patients with hypothyroidism have no symptoms at all, or they are just so subtle that they go unnoticed. Note: Although this may sound obvious, if you have these symptoms, you need to discuss them with your doctor and probably seek the skills of an endocrinologist. If you have already been diagnosed and treated for hypothyroidism and you continue to have any or all of these symptoms, you need to discuss it with your physician. Although treatment of hypothyroidism can be quite easy in some individuals, others will have a difficult time finding the right type and amount of replacement thyroid hormone. (More about this on the next page).



    Potential Dangers of Hypothyroidism

    Because the body is expecting a certain amount of thyroid hormone the pituitary will make additional thyroid-stimulating-hormone (TSH) in an attempt to entice the thyroid to produce more hormone. This constant bombardment with high levels of TSH may cause the thyroid gland to become enlarged and form a goiter (termed a "compensatory goiter"). Our goiter page goes into this topic in detail, and outlines that a deficiency of thyroid hormone is a common cause of goiter formation. Left untreated, the symptoms of hypothyroidism will usually progress. Rarely, complications can result in severe life-threatening depression, heart failure or coma.

    Hypothyroidism can often be diagnosed with a simple blood test. In some persons, however, its not so simple and more detailed tests are needed. Most importantly, a good relationship with a good endocrinologist will almost surely be needed. More about treatment on another page.
    Hypothyroidism is completely treatable in many patients simply by taking a small pill once a day! Once again, however, we have made a simplified statement and its not always so easy. There are several types of thyroid hormone preparations and one type of medicine will not be the best therapy for all patients. Many factors will go into the treatment of hypothyroidism and it is different for everybody.

  29. #3959
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA.
    Posts
    920

    Default Does lexapro use cause hypothyroidism?

    Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

    Fatigue
    Weakness
    Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
    Coarse, dry hair
    Dry, rough pale skin
    Hair loss
    Cold intolerance (can't tolerate the cold like those around you)
    Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
    Constipation
    Depression
    Irritability
    Memory loss
    Abnormal menstrual cycles
    Decreased libido


    Each individual patient will have any number of these symptoms which will vary with the severity of the thyroid hormone deficiency and the length of time the body has been deprived of the proper amount of hormone. Some patients will have one of these symptoms as their main complaint, while another will not have that problem at all and will be suffering from a different symptom. Most will have a combination of a number of these symptoms. Occasionally, some patients with hypothyroidism have no symptoms at all, or they are just so subtle that they go unnoticed. Note: Although this may sound obvious, if you have these symptoms, you need to discuss them with your doctor and probably seek the skills of an endocrinologist. If you have already been diagnosed and treated for hypothyroidism and you continue to have any or all of these symptoms, you need to discuss it with your physician. Although treatment of hypothyroidism can be quite easy in some individuals, others will have a difficult time finding the right type and amount of replacement thyroid hormone. (More about this on the next page).



    Potential Dangers of Hypothyroidism

    Because the body is expecting a certain amount of thyroid hormone the pituitary will make additional thyroid-stimulating-hormone (TSH) in an attempt to entice the thyroid to produce more hormone. This constant bombardment with high levels of TSH may cause the thyroid gland to become enlarged and form a goiter (termed a "compensatory goiter"). Our goiter page goes into this topic in detail, and outlines that a deficiency of thyroid hormone is a common cause of goiter formation. Left untreated, the symptoms of hypothyroidism will usually progress. Rarely, complications can result in severe life-threatening depression, heart failure or coma.

    Hypothyroidism can often be diagnosed with a simple blood test. In some persons, however, its not so simple and more detailed tests are needed. Most importantly, a good relationship with a good endocrinologist will almost surely be needed. More about treatment on another page.
    Hypothyroidism is completely treatable in many patients simply by taking a small pill once a day! Once again, however, we have made a simplified statement and its not always so easy. There are several types of thyroid hormone preparations and one type of medicine will not be the best therapy for all patients. Many factors will go into the treatment of hypothyroidism and it is different for everybody.

  30. #3960
    skyer is offline Member
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    Feb 2007
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    Default

    Thanks for your concern Aunty. I think I might be lucky here -- my memory was horrible for about 3 months off the Lex and now it's excellent. My weight has also managed to stay right on target. My hair is fine, too. I think I'm tired because my body is healing 24/7 and I swear I'm missing a sleep stage; my dreams are as vivid as ever and I never use to remember my dreams. I seem to sleep hard, but don't feel really rested when I wake up. I was also tested for adrenal fatigue by my N.D. I don't have it (maybe weakened adrenals, but not the actual fatigue).

    I finally found Carlson's Fish Oil and so I've been taking that. My mood is actually OK lately so I think maybe it helped...hmm...

    Still struggling everyday with apathy, low energy (but so much better than even a month ago), depersonalization, sore eyes/flaoters in vision and no ability to cope with stress and anxiety. Def thinking I'm in going to be the 12 - 18 month healing time range.

    Starting month 8 off off Lexapro cold turkey. Don't stop cold turkey and don't skip days of the medication to taper off!!!

    Aunty - would you say people who c/t'd off of Paxil have it harder than those off of Lexapro? I've been lurking on the Paxil Progress site and it seems like those people suffer longer, and maybe harder?? Just wondering if you got that feeling, too...

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