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Lexapro Withdrawal
  1. #7411
    erinkj is offline Senior Member
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    Post Ohwell

    Were you on Armor before? or is this the new thyroid med you talked about? If this is a different med than you used before, I would look it up and check on the possability of the rash being caused by that. As to rash being a withdrawl, this is the first I have heard about that and have not experienced it so, I have no advice in that respect. Also, it is winter so, your skin will be drier this time of year and if you take baths frequently, especially hot ones using epsome salt that will dry your skin alot and may cause a rash. I get a mild itchy rash on occasion after epsome salt baths if I forget to use a moisturising body lotion afterwards. (I take baths alot and use the epsome salt alot) I wish I had the answer for you. I hope it isn't withdrawl but, I have no way of knowing as I am still on my med's. Let me know if you figure it out. The creepy crawly sensations probobly are withdrawl but, if Armor is new to you and this started after you began armor then it is possible it could be a reaction. I think it is a good idea to try and rule out all the possible causes though. Have you made any changes in things like laundry soap, fabric softener, lotion, bath soap etc? I think Aunty and Julia are far more knowlegable here but, I wanted to throw the other possabilities out there for you'r consideration. I am so sorry you are having such a rough go lately, you are in my prayers....ERin

  2. #7412
    erinkj is offline Senior Member
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    Question Aunty

    I have also done some re-search on inositol after reading your past posts about it and agree it has alot of merit. I am wondering if it is safe to add it to my supplement regimen while I am still on my med's, if it will help any to ease withdrawls and help my brain heal. What is you'r opinion on this? Should I add it or wait until after I am off celexa? Thanks alot for checking in, your advice is always welcome and so very encouraging. I hope you and you'r family are all well....Erin

  3. #7413
    jca1928 is offline Junior Member
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    Default erin thanks for the info

    the sleeping pills that the doc gave me are samples of restoril 7.5 mg though last night i took some advill PM istead it seamed to help me sleep a little better than the restoril beleave it or not. as fare as being treated with add meds ihad been on and off ritilin when i was a kid and in my teens. i didn't take any thing for the ADD till about ten months ago when my doc put me on Stratera wich made feel realy yucky. so i quit taking that after only one dose about a month later i was put on lexapro i was giving about 2 months worth of samples and sent on my way. at first the lexapro made me feeling a little out of it and pritty much killed my sex drive but after a few weeks it kinda went away. i was feeling pritty good exept having a low sex drive. the only reason i stayed on it for so long is becuse i knew from running out in tha past that felt sick when not on it. i realy thinking of going back on the lexapro or trying the celexa and doing a very slow taper off of it. because the effexor xr i'm on just isn't working for me. it makes feel worse i have been sick in the stomach ever since i went on it. ive also been off of work fore week over all of this and supose to go back on tue not sure how it's going go. life was a lot better on lexapro as fare as side afects go. plus the last few days the left side of my face feels kinda funny. i had this proble last sunday and went to the hospitle and had a cat scane done they didn't find any thing. i think right now my big quistion is how long should i be off of the efexxor xr before going back on the lexapro or celexa or should i go back on lexapro first for a wile then try celexa thanks in advance

  4. #7414
    gronholm is offline Banned
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    Default about lexapro

    Lexapro (as well as other SSRIs) has a very long half-life in the bloodstream, so it takes several days of daily doses to ramp up to effective levels, and it slowly ramps down when you stop. Thus the body doesn't treat it as an addictive drug, unlike alcohol, for example, which has an almost immediate result and triggers whatever mechanism the brain has for setting up cravings for chemicals. (It's still not recommended that you stop Lexapro without a doctor's recommendation.)

  5. #7415
    offlex is offline New Member
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    Default help

    I have been off 6 months and my stomach muscles hart so much and I can't get off this sinues stuff. I don't know what to do. I take omgea 3 noni junce. What can I do. Any advice.

  6. #7416
    Ohwell is offline Member
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    Default offlex

    Go to the doctor.


    sinus stuff is hard to get rid of. My brother has had it his whole life.
    Pinch your nose and blow hard and clear your eustation tubes.

    Ask the dr. about your stomach muscles?

    Sorry your suffering. I'm right there with you. My rash is itchy today.
    I'm hoping mine is from my new thryoid medicine. I took the old med. today.

    I will pray for you. ohwell.

  7. #7417
    Ohwell is offline Member
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    Default Erin

    Yes, I changed from levothryoixin (sp) to armor thryoid 60....

    this was about 2 months ago....then about 3 weeks ago, I got sick, tired, cold, etc. and they checked my levels about 10 days ago and they were not right...so they upped me to 90 armor thryoid. My itching actually started a few days "before" this, I think from stress, it was the creepy crawly type.

    About 2 days ago I got a red rash that itches on my stomach and under my breasts, a tad under my arms and a tad between legs. I think I am allergic to something in the 90, it is a different color pill and different size than the 60 pill.....I know most do well on armor, but for me it has been just the opposite. so just to be safe this morning I took my old levothryoxin pill (synthroid generic) and will call the dr.office in the morning.

    I'm hoping my rash is better tomorrow. Thanks for all the advice! ohwell.

  8. #7418
    deena1281 is offline New Member
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    Default almost a month lexapro free

    i posted something a couple weeks ago about quitting lexapro cold turkey and the symptoms i was experiencing. they were probably the worst at the 2 week mark, the worst symptom being the dizziness and for about a week my blood pressure was so high i thought i should have gone to the hospital. it has been almost a month now off lexapro and the withdrawal symptoms are not nearly as bad. i get a few brain zaps here and there and still get the vertigo every once in awhile but for the most part it feels like the worst part is over. i thought i was going to have a much harder time since i have been on SSRI's for over 10 years.
    One of the main motivations for getting off of this drug was to hopefully stop the uncontrollable weight gain. I think i have gained over 50 lbs in the 10 year period of being on SSRI's. I noticed the first couple of weeks i had uncontrollable cravings and could not eat enough food. i think i put on about another 10 lbs just after quitting it which was pretty disappointing. it was also the week before starting my period which could have had a lot to do with it. Speaking of I think lexapro was the culprit of many of my menstral issues. i was diagnosed with PCOS 2 years ago because i would get my period 2 weeks apart and they would last anywhere up to 16 days. This is the first time i have been off lexapro and my period lasted a normal 5 days. My cravings and appetite seem to be actually be much more supressed than they ever have within this last week. hopefully weight loss will follow! i have been working out like crazy for years and nothing will give.
    I also have been taking fish oil, flax seed oil, and a multi-vitamin everyday and i think that has helped. i am going to begin taking more supplements like 5-htp and milk thistle once i have been off of it for 45 days.
    It just kind of scares me when i read the importance of tapering off this drug when i just quit cold turkey and have been on anti-depressants for so long. I just wonder if i could have caused brain damage or something. will my brain ever be able to produce serotonin normally again?

  9. #7419
    Julia77 is offline Member
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    Default deena1281

    Quote Originally Posted by deena1281 View Post
    i posted something a couple weeks ago about quitting lexapro cold turkey and the symptoms i was experiencing. they were probably the worst at the 2 week mark, the worst symptom being the dizziness and for about a week my blood pressure was so high i thought i should have gone to the hospital. it has been almost a month now off lexapro and the withdrawal symptoms are not nearly as bad. i get a few brain zaps here and there and still get the vertigo every once in awhile but for the most part it feels like the worst part is over. i thought i was going to have a much harder time since i have been on SSRI's for over 10 years.
    One of the main motivations for getting off of this drug was to hopefully stop the uncontrollable weight gain. I think i have gained over 50 lbs in the 10 year period of being on SSRI's. I noticed the first couple of weeks i had uncontrollable cravings and could not eat enough food. i think i put on about another 10 lbs just after quitting it which was pretty disappointing. it was also the week before starting my period which could have had a lot to do with it. Speaking of I think lexapro was the culprit of many of my menstral issues. i was diagnosed with PCOS 2 years ago because i would get my period 2 weeks apart and they would last anywhere up to 16 days. This is the first time i have been off lexapro and my period lasted a normal 5 days. My cravings and appetite seem to be actually be much more supressed than they ever have within this last week. hopefully weight loss will follow! i have been working out like crazy for years and nothing will give.
    I also have been taking fish oil, flax seed oil, and a multi-vitamin everyday and i think that has helped. i am going to begin taking more supplements like 5-htp and milk thistle once i have been off of it for 45 days.
    It just kind of scares me when i read the importance of tapering off this drug when i just quit cold turkey and have been on anti-depressants for so long. I just wonder if i could have caused brain damage or something. will my brain ever be able to produce serotonin normally again?
    Yes, it probably would. The question is how long it will take your individual brain to heal. And those drugs do not actually produce brain damage, but your brain stops producing its own serotonin. Once you stop your drug, it relearns at its own speed. It might take up to 12-18 months. This means during this time you can experience all kinds of withdrawal symptoms, ( physical and emotional ones) which get less intense with the time.
    You're sounding like you're actually not doing too bad.. You might want to wait it out if you don't want to reinstate and taper slowly. If you've been off for almost a month, you might want to wait out your symptoms until they subside.

    Most important is to remember that it's not you who's depressed, moody and irritable - it's withdrawals produced by the drug. It was so important to remember for me.

    PS. and remember about that months 3-4 mark when emotional wave hits. I could bare any kinds of physical w/d, but emotional were the worst.

  10. #7420
    Julia77 is offline Member
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    Default jca1928

    Quote Originally Posted by jca1928 View Post
    the sleeping pills that the doc gave me are samples of restoril 7.5 mg though last night i took some advill PM istead it seamed to help me sleep a little better than the restoril beleave it or not. as fare as being treated with add meds ihad been on and off ritilin when i was a kid and in my teens. i didn't take any thing for the ADD till about ten months ago when my doc put me on Stratera wich made feel realy yucky. so i quit taking that after only one dose about a month later i was put on lexapro i was giving about 2 months worth of samples and sent on my way. at first the lexapro made me feeling a little out of it and pritty much killed my sex drive but after a few weeks it kinda went away. i was feeling pritty good exept having a low sex drive. the only reason i stayed on it for so long is becuse i knew from running out in tha past that felt sick when not on it. i realy thinking of going back on the lexapro or trying the celexa and doing a very slow taper off of it. because the effexor xr i'm on just isn't working for me. it makes feel worse i have been sick in the stomach ever since i went on it. ive also been off of work fore week over all of this and supose to go back on tue not sure how it's going go. life was a lot better on lexapro as fare as side afects go. plus the last few days the left side of my face feels kinda funny. i had this proble last sunday and went to the hospitle and had a cat scane done they didn't find any thing. i think right now my big quistion is how long should i be off of the efexxor xr before going back on the lexapro or celexa or should i go back on lexapro first for a wile then try celexa thanks in advance
    Please reconsider treating ADHD with antidepressants! Please also be informed that discontinuing Retalin might cause depressive/anxious episodes.

    Your brain will suffer if you're on drugs combination. Many people end up being multi-medicated not aware that they are treating only side-effects of medications. There is so much wonderful natural stuff out there for treating ADHD.

    How old are you and why does your doctor think you need to be on those drugs? What's your diagnosis? Sorry I didn't get it from your post.

    Peace,
    Julia

  11. #7421
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default Deena

    Quote Originally Posted by deena1281 View Post
    i posted something a couple weeks ago about quitting lexapro cold turkey and the symptoms i was experiencing. they were probably the worst at the 2 week mark, the worst symptom being the dizziness and for about a week my blood pressure was so high i thought i should have gone to the hospital. it has been almost a month now off lexapro and the withdrawal symptoms are not nearly as bad. i get a few brain zaps here and there and still get the vertigo every once in awhile but for the most part it feels like the worst part is over. i thought i was going to have a much harder time since i have been on SSRI's for over 10 years.
    One of the main motivations for getting off of this drug was to hopefully stop the uncontrollable weight gain. I think i have gained over 50 lbs in the 10 year period of being on SSRI's. I noticed the first couple of weeks i had uncontrollable cravings and could not eat enough food. i think i put on about another 10 lbs just after quitting it which was pretty disappointing. it was also the week before starting my period which could have had a lot to do with it. Speaking of I think lexapro was the culprit of many of my menstral issues. i was diagnosed with PCOS 2 years ago because i would get my period 2 weeks apart and they would last anywhere up to 16 days. This is the first time i have been off lexapro and my period lasted a normal 5 days. My cravings and appetite seem to be actually be much more supressed than they ever have within this last week. hopefully weight loss will follow! i have been working out like crazy for years and nothing will give.
    I also have been taking fish oil, flax seed oil, and a multi-vitamin everyday and i think that has helped. i am going to begin taking more supplements like 5-htp and milk thistle once i have been off of it for 45 days.
    It just kind of scares me when i read the importance of tapering off this drug when i just quit cold turkey and have been on anti-depressants for so long. I just wonder if i could have caused brain damage or something. will my brain ever be able to produce serotonin normally again?
    Everyone is different and you may be one of the lucky ones. Just so you are informed, in case you do get withdrawls after a few months, The main one when cold turkeying is depersonalization....you feel outside of yourself. (Noni juice helps this). There are also sleeplessness issues and anxiety as your body adjusts itself. Moodiness and depression are also part of the emotional withdrawals that may come at about 3 months.

    Are you having any stomach cramping, sweating, bad dreams/nightmares, loose stools, loss of appetite and headaches......if no.....you are doing very well for cold turkeying. You just might be one of the few who have mininium withdrawals.

    I would wait more then 45 days before starting any herbal mood regulator........possibly a year because the emotional withdrawls may not hit until month 3 and it would be difficult to tell what may be causing the symptoms if you have added serotonin stimulators.
    I am not a doctor so please check with your before following any advice.
    Last edited by auntybiotic; 02-05-2008 at 09:31 AM.

  12. #7422
    jca1928 is offline Junior Member
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    Default hi Julia77

    I havent taken any thing for ADD since i was 16 i hated ritilin cause it made me nervose. i'm now 27 and bout to turn 28 in april. the reason I decided to go and get treated again was because i had quit smoking and was having mega troble contolling my thoughts. after about five months of that. went to my doctor asked about being treated again for ADD. he sent me to Nolton wich is supose to specialize in mentle disorders. the doctor there kept telling me that she thought it was GAD. so tried stratera for the ADD and it made me feel realy sick so I stoped taking it after the first dose. went back to my doc a month later and she started pushing for me to try lexapro. so started on 10mg. the lexapro did take away most of the GAD systems and did help with keeping things stait in my mind but still did have some problems with focusing on what i was doing. and on top of that it killed my sex drive. so after about 3 weeks of taking it stoped not knowing that you were supose taper. I started to get all the nasty side efects and didn't know what was going. my mother who is an RN told me that i needed to start taking the lexapro again. so stared up again. but was only taking 5 mg and stayed at that for about 10 months. and wasn't feeling to bad either + got some of my sex drive back. the thing is now that i'm dating some one and we both are very much in love and looks like were going be together for a long time hopefully for rest of lives. i would realy like to get off this stuff for good. my famly doc is weeing me off of the Efexxor XR that he put me on about 2 weeks ago. and i'm supose to go back on the lexapro a week after i'm done with the efexxor xr cause i'm not doing to well on it. it makes me realy nervose and sick in the stomach. i read that it can act like stimualnt. if i would have nown that i would not have stared it. i don't do to well with stuff like that. if could i would take my old life back in a minute rapid thoughts and all. i'm starting think that the medical profesion is trying make us all the same. like we all came out of the same mold or some thing. and the world just isn't like that. they need to quit trying to play GOD. thanks in advance AJ
    Last edited by jca1928; 02-05-2008 at 12:31 PM.

  13. #7423
    Ohwell is offline Member
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    Default still have the rash?

    Hey all,

    I think I have Hives....have not had them before, but I have had alot of stress lately. I don't think its the armour. So I am still on it. Anyone else getting hives with withdrawal or stress? ohwell.

  14. #7424
    offlex is offline New Member
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    Default ohwell

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohwell View Post
    Hey all,

    I think I have Hives....have not had them before, but I have had alot of stress lately. I don't think its the armour. So I am still on it. Anyone else getting hives with withdrawal or stress? ohwell.
    I don't have hives. But you are at the same time frame as me. I do have the tense muscle I think because of stress. Before I started lexapro I stayed tense up all the time, I didn't realize it until I got up and moved, then by night fall I hurt all over. I hope I don't start that again because I do not want to go back on anything. Went to the Doc, all he know is to go back on the meds. Please tell me this is still withdraws and will go away soon. Six month off.

    Ohwell, Hope you get better soon. I will be praying for you.

  15. #7425
    HappyDad is offline New Member
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    Default

    Recap: I was on 15mg of Lexapro for 2.5 years and then tapered off over a period of 6 weeks. I'm a 45 YO male. Married w/ two great kids ages 9 and 11. I have a great job with a supportive boss. I have been on 1mg per day of Clonazepam (taken nightly) to help with the withdrawal symptoms since I first began weaning off of the Lexapro.

    Update: Well, I've been Lexapro free for three months now. The first two monts were an emotional roller coaster (hell) and then things began to get better. The anxiety and depression began to lift and the crying spells became less frequent and less intense. I've never experienced real depression until I was introduced to SSRI's. During the past 4 weeks (month 3) things have become more tolerable. I have only experienced mild depression a few times (few hours each) and I've only had 1 crying spell (last Friday). I've experienced a few spells of low level anxiety (non-situational). It was uncomfortable, but tolerable. I have had several days in a row where I've felt great and then the typical w/d symptoms returned...burning eyes, flu type feeling, fatigue, stomach cramps, headaches, etc. Just when I thought I was past the w/d I'd have another ********************py experience. There are days when I experience joy and have lots of energy and then there have been days when I think it's never going to end. It's still a roller coaster, but the ups and downs are not quite as extreme. My current Dr. has been very supportive with my decision to get off of Lexapro, but I believe that he agrees with the leagues of other Dr.s who all but refuse to accept that withdrawals can last more than a few weeks. He hasn't stated this belief verbally, but he's told me that I must be one of the few rare individuals that experience long term w/d.

    It's really strange, I've had days when things were going so well and I was really enjoying my kids or watching a movie, etc. and all of a sudden the w/d crawls all over me like a giant bear. An hour or so later I feel good again. The best word I can use to describe this whole mess is EXHAUSTING! Week 9 & 10 were my best weeks so far, those weeks really boosted my hope and faith. Weeks 11 and 12 were a bit more rocky. I spoke on the phone with a psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Shipko who told me that withdrawals can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 12 months and that Dr.s that say otherwise are either uninformed or untruthful. He also said that SSRI's have the potential neuro-toxic effect of >>>>>>e for some people. He said he only uses SSRI's in extreme cases! He's the author of a book on this stuff and claims to be an expert on the subject...(shrug). All I know is that I'm ready for the mess to end.

    On the subject of supplements, I don't know for sure if these supplements have helped me or not, but it sure hasn't hurt. I've been drinking a lot of green tea (Celestial Seasonings DECAFF) and taking Magnesium Citrate along with Omega 3. I've tried the Sealogix brand and Omega Brite omega 3 products. Both are Pharmaceutical grade products ($ cha ching) with the difference between the two being the EPAHA ratio. If you care to, you can read about high end Omeg 3 here >> http://www.fishoilreview.com/

    Exercise! Vigorous exercise is the biggest help. Do it at least 3 times per week. Don't wait until you feel better, do it now regardless of how you feel. You WILL feel better within 2-4 weeks. The time is going to pass weather you exercise or not so you might as well do it...it WILL help.

    Stay focused (read a book or write in a journal), stay busy (clean out a closet or you flower bed) and meditate. I'm a Christian so I meditate on scriptures...more now than I ever have (yes, I'm a hypocrite just like everyone else). I don't know what I would do with God in my life. If you have no religious affiliation (it's never too late) then I'd suggest meditating on something that brings you joy.

    I hope this post helps at least one person. Remember, you're not alone. There are hundreds of posts from people sharing an experience similar to your's.

    Shamless plug: It doesn't matter if you believe in God or not, he still believes in you. If you believe, but wonder why you're not receiving immediate healing then your in the same boat I'm in. I have to remind myself daily that God does things with his timing not mine. Like me, you're not being punished for some wrong you've done, you're just walking through one of life's unfortunate trials. I plan on coming out of the other end of this whole mess as a better person and I pray the same for you. Do not give in and do not give up!

    - Jeff

  16. #7426
    Ci Ci is offline New Member
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    Default Lexapro Withdrawal

    I have been on antidepressants for 10 years. I stopped the Lexapro I was taking after tapering off for a few months. It has been a little over a month now and I am struggling to maintain a balance. I feel very anxious and depressed. I knew going into this that there would be some element of anti-depressive withdrawal involved. I am having a really hard time with this but I do NOT want to go back on the drugs. Can someone suggest an alternative treatment?
    Has anyone ever tried acupuncture? I wonder if that would work. I feel like I live one day at a time not knowing if I will have a mood swing from one minute to the next because I am VERY sensitive.
    Am I fooling myself????
    Does anyone know how long this will last?
    Is there any hope for recovery?
    I am so lost in this.
    thanks

  17. #7427
    Julia77 is offline Member
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    Default jca1928

    Quote Originally Posted by jca1928 View Post
    I havent taken any thing for ADD since i was 16 i hated ritilin cause it made me nervose. i'm now 27 and bout to turn 28 in april. the reason I decided to go and get treated again was because i had quit smoking and was having mega troble contolling my thoughts. after about five months of that. went to my doctor asked about being treated again for ADD. he sent me to Nolton wich is supose to specialize in mentle disorders. the doctor there kept telling me that she thought it was GAD. so tried stratera for the ADD and it made me feel realy sick so I stoped taking it after the first dose. went back to my doc a month later and she started pushing for me to try lexapro. so started on 10mg. the lexapro did take away most of the GAD systems and did help with keeping things stait in my mind but still did have some problems with focusing on what i was doing. and on top of that it killed my sex drive. so after about 3 weeks of taking it stoped not knowing that you were supose taper. I started to get all the nasty side efects and didn't know what was going. my mother who is an RN told me that i needed to start taking the lexapro again. so stared up again. but was only taking 5 mg and stayed at that for about 10 months. and wasn't feeling to bad either + got some of my sex drive back. the thing is now that i'm dating some one and we both are very much in love and looks like were going be together for a long time hopefully for rest of lives. i would realy like to get off this stuff for good. my famly doc is weeing me off of the Efexxor XR that he put me on about 2 weeks ago. and i'm supose to go back on the lexapro a week after i'm done with the efexxor xr cause i'm not doing to well on it. it makes me realy nervose and sick in the stomach. i read that it can act like stimualnt. if i would have nown that i would not have stared it. i don't do to well with stuff like that. if could i would take my old life back in a minute rapid thoughts and all. i'm starting think that the medical profesion is trying make us all the same. like we all came out of the same mold or some thing. and the world just isn't like that. they need to quit trying to play GOD. thanks in advance AJ
    Hi there! Sounds like you developed GAD because you were trying to quit smoking. Normal thing, you know. You don't need those drugs. If I were you, I would taper off Effexor slowly and recover from AD and never touch them again. Plus, kids who take Ritalin and more susceptible to depression and mental distress once they stop. Their brains do heal in time, though.

    Rapid thoughts - I know what you're talking about. You might want to try yoga, belly breathing, vigorous exercising . They all help. Fresh air, redirecting your mind to positive thoughts, and expecting the best life can offer. Sounds like a tough job, I know that. But eventually you have to learn it, we all do. It's so much more preferable than taking SSRIs.

  18. #7428
    Julia77 is offline Member
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    Default Ci Ci

    Quote Originally Posted by Ci Ci View Post
    I have been on antidepressants for 10 years. I stopped the Lexapro I was taking after tapering off for a few months. It has been a little over a month now and I am struggling to maintain a balance. I feel very anxious and depressed. I knew going into this that there would be some element of anti-depressive withdrawal involved. I am having a really hard time with this but I do NOT want to go back on the drugs. Can someone suggest an alternative treatment?
    Has anyone ever tried acupuncture? I wonder if that would work. I feel like I live one day at a time not knowing if I will have a mood swing from one minute to the next because I am VERY sensitive.
    Am I fooling myself????
    Does anyone know how long this will last?
    Is there any hope for recovery?
    I am so lost in this.
    thanks
    For a 10-year veteran anti-depressant you are going to go thru a very rough time withdrawing. Please read this thread, it has so much valuable info in it.
    You are not fooling yourself. W/d last UP to 18 months. Sorry I've been so brief, but it's been a long day today

    Read this thread please. You will find lots of valuable info. You should have tapered at least for one year to minimize your w/d, cold turkeying will make you suffer w/d. I understand and respect your decision not to go back to those drugs, but you should have an idea of what you MIGHT expect.

  19. #7429
    Julia77 is offline Member
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    Default HappyDad

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyDad View Post
    Recap: I was on 15mg of Lexapro for 2.5 years and then tapered off over a period of 6 weeks. I'm a 45 YO male. Married w/ two great kids ages 9 and 11. I have a great job with a supportive boss. I have been on 1mg per day of Clonazepam (taken nightly) to help with the withdrawal symptoms since I first began weaning off of the Lexapro.

    Update: Well, I've been Lexapro free for three months now. The first two monts were an emotional roller coaster (hell) and then things began to get better. The anxiety and depression began to lift and the crying spells became less frequent and less intense. I've never experienced real depression until I was introduced to SSRI's. During the past 4 weeks (month 3) things have become more tolerable. I have only experienced mild depression a few times (few hours each) and I've only had 1 crying spell (last Friday). I've experienced a few spells of low level anxiety (non-situational). It was uncomfortable, but tolerable. I have had several days in a row where I've felt great and then the typical w/d symptoms returned...burning eyes, flu type feeling, fatigue, stomach cramps, headaches, etc. Just when I thought I was past the w/d I'd have another ********************py experience. There are days when I experience joy and have lots of energy and then there have been days when I think it's never going to end. It's still a roller coaster, but the ups and downs are not quite as extreme. My current Dr. has been very supportive with my decision to get off of Lexapro, but I believe that he agrees with the leagues of other Dr.s who all but refuse to accept that withdrawals can last more than a few weeks. He hasn't stated this belief verbally, but he's told me that I must be one of the few rare individuals that experience long term w/d.

    It's really strange, I've had days when things were going so well and I was really enjoying my kids or watching a movie, etc. and all of a sudden the w/d crawls all over me like a giant bear. An hour or so later I feel good again. The best word I can use to describe this whole mess is EXHAUSTING! Week 9 & 10 were my best weeks so far, those weeks really boosted my hope and faith. Weeks 11 and 12 were a bit more rocky. I spoke on the phone with a psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Shipko who told me that withdrawals can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 12 months and that Dr.s that say otherwise are either uninformed or untruthful. He also said that SSRI's have the potential neuro-toxic effect of >>>>>>e for some people. He said he only uses SSRI's in extreme cases! He's the author of a book on this stuff and claims to be an expert on the subject...(shrug). All I know is that I'm ready for the mess to end.

    On the subject of supplements, I don't know for sure if these supplements have helped me or not, but it sure hasn't hurt. I've been drinking a lot of green tea (Celestial Seasonings DECAFF) and taking Magnesium Citrate along with Omega 3. I've tried the Sealogix brand and Omega Brite omega 3 products. Both are Pharmaceutical grade products ($ cha ching) with the difference between the two being the EPAHA ratio. If you care to, you can read about high end Omeg 3 here >> http://www.fishoilreview.com/

    Exercise! Vigorous exercise is the biggest help. Do it at least 3 times per week. Don't wait until you feel better, do it now regardless of how you feel. You WILL feel better within 2-4 weeks. The time is going to pass weather you exercise or not so you might as well do it...it WILL help.

    Stay focused (read a book or write in a journal), stay busy (clean out a closet or you flower bed) and meditate. I'm a Christian so I meditate on scriptures...more now than I ever have (yes, I'm a hypocrite just like everyone else). I don't know what I would do with God in my life. If you have no religious affiliation (it's never too late) then I'd suggest meditating on something that brings you joy.

    I hope this post helps at least one person. Remember, you're not alone. There are hundreds of posts from people sharing an experience similar to your's.

    Shamless plug: It doesn't matter if you believe in God or not, he still believes in you. If you believe, but wonder why you're not receiving immediate healing then your in the same boat I'm in. I have to remind myself daily that God does things with his timing not mine. Like me, you're not being punished for some wrong you've done, you're just walking through one of life's unfortunate trials. I plan on coming out of the other end of this whole mess as a better person and I pray the same for you. Do not give in and do not give up!

    - Jeff
    Jeff,

    Thanks for sharing this with us. We really appreciate when people who have been thru this stuff share...kind of a testimony.

    Just to make you feel better - you're going thru a normal healing! What you are describing is how healing comes. You start to get good windows, then those windows get bigger and bigger until you've realized those windows become days, and then weeks and months.

    I know what you are describing exactly. It's when my husband calls me to find out I am ok, and comes home in a couple of hours to find me in tears.

    You will get better and better. All you are saying is really helpful, and trust in God, or Creator, is crucial. Don't know what I would have done without it. Exercising is awesome, too.

    Wish you well.

  20. #7430
    Ohwell is offline Member
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    Default Happy dad...

    Good to hear from you! I'm not suprised you are having ups and downs.
    In my opinion withdrawal can last awhile, esp. if you have any other medical conditions involved.

    I too thank God for helping me through.

    Now if my rash would just go away! ohwell.

  21. #7431
    Ohwell is offline Member
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    Default Offlex

    Have you tried vigorus exercise to tire your muscles? sometimes if we don't use our muscles enough throughout the day, they don't get enough use and in my opinion can then 'cramp' . Exercise helps relax the muscles. Maybe it would help? Let me know how you do. I think about you and prayed for you last night. My hives are still here, boo hoo. ohwell.

  22. #7432
    Ohwell is offline Member
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    Default CiCi

    I have heard great things about acupuncture. Can't afford it myself, but if I could I'de be there! You need to take some natural supplements to help your brain heal. Omega 3 fish oil is a good one to start....I like carlsons brand.....many here take Magnesium Maltate with a meal for anxiety.
    Many here drink camolie tea to relax. And many here do calcium before bed.
    Please read some past pages, esp. page 188 for more info. ohwell.

  23. #7433
    erinkj is offline Senior Member
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    Arrow Ohwell

    Ohwell: Does your rash in any way resemble welts? or look like a bee sting? If so, it is hives. If it is more like small bumpy red patches then it may be a contact rash. Have you recently made ANY changes is laundry soaps, bath soaps, dryer sheets? think about that carefully as the slightest changes, even in foods you eat; especialy when your immune system has been overtaxed/compromised (chemo) can bring about rashes. Could be a withdrawl issue but, you should rule out other possabilities. Please let me know if you come up with anything. Erin

  24. #7434
    erinkj is offline Senior Member
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    Smile Julia

    Julia: It seems as though you are doing quite well and feeling much better. I am so very happy for you. It is good to see you posting so frequently . Bedtime for me, had a very, very long day. Goodnight...Erin

  25. #7435
    Xolias21 is offline New Member
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    Default

    Leaxpro Withdrawal I've had: Headaches, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, skewed reality, depression, anxiety, fear, and horrible vivid nightmares.

    This is my story.

    I had been on lexapro for a month, because my girlfriend wanted to see if an anti-depressant would help me feel happier, and improve our relationship. I had taken Zoloft before, and decided to get off because I was doing better.

    Anyway, I had quit on the 14th of january (did 5mg for a week then I stopped). but I had a horrible dream on the 20th, so I decided I would get back on for a bit longer. I took 10mg again for 7 days, and on the 8th day I took 5mg, and ran out of meds, so I stopped.

    So I had quit on the 1st or something, and since then I haven't been able to fall asleep until around 4am. I am tired the whole day, and my perception of reality has been quite skewed. The sleep that I do get usually consists of odd dreams. Today I awoke at 5:45am after sleeping for an hour, an hour that seemed like 5 in te dream world. My dream was so vivid and frigtening, and I woke up (but not really, I was still in the dream) and I was paralyzed and blind. I finally scrambled awake, and scribbled on a peice of paper writing "MY DREAM IS KILLING ME". Then I actually woke up from the dream, and I was really out this time, but I still felt horribly scared, and my hearing was strange.

    I'm still in a dream like state now, sort of disconnected from reality still.

    I've had headaches, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, skewed reality, depression, anxiety, fear, and horrible vivid nightmares.

    Lexapro withdrawal sucks. Yeah...

  26. #7436
    jca1928 is offline Junior Member
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    Default julia77 thank you for the info

    hi julia77 thank you very much for the info. i'm kinda mad at my doctor at this point why the heck she couldn't she have just told me what you did. I ask her a few times if it was from quiting smoking and she just kinda tossed it out the windows. and saide i needed to be put on something. my problem is i'm not realy sure how to do a taper with the effexor xr. it is in capsule form unlike the lexapro wich was a solid pill. that's why i was thinking of going back on lexapro and tapering off of it. MY famly doctor has had me taking the effexor xr 33.7 mg every other day since sunday and i'm supose to stop when i'm out wich will be this thurs day then i'm supose to wait one week and start up the lexapro. in a way i would like to go back on the lexapro just to get my head straight and then do realy slow taper off of it. iv'e gotten realy good at cutting the pills up for that one ihad started cutting my self back to half of the 5 mg i was one but it was around christmas so went back to 5mg cause i didn't want to mess up christmas. then my doctor told me not to that and just to take it ever other day for 2 weeks and then stop. i'm realy thinking i don't trust them to much any more. my famly doctor or the one from nolton. as always i thank you lots for the info and your time AJ

  27. #7437
    Ci Ci is offline New Member
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    Default thanks

    Thanks a lot for the replies. I am hanging in there in spite of a failed relationship and two small children to take care of. I am moving in with my mom this weekend because I am in a very unhealthy, and unsupportive environment right now. I cannot be around any negativity. I am lost. This has been so stressful for me. But I refuse to go back on the drugs.
    I have so much to lose if I sink into a major depression again. I am fighting this every minute of every day.

  28. #7438
    Julia77 is offline Member
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    Default jca1928

    Quote Originally Posted by jca1928 View Post
    hi julia77 thank you very much for the info. i'm kinda mad at my doctor at this point why the heck she couldn't she have just told me what you did. I ask her a few times if it was from quiting smoking and she just kinda tossed it out the windows. and saide i needed to be put on something. my problem is i'm not realy sure how to do a taper with the effexor xr. it is in capsule form unlike the lexapro wich was a solid pill. that's why i was thinking of going back on lexapro and tapering off of it. MY famly doctor has had me taking the effexor xr 33.7 mg every other day since sunday and i'm supose to stop when i'm out wich will be this thurs day then i'm supose to wait one week and start up the lexapro. in a way i would like to go back on the lexapro just to get my head straight and then do realy slow taper off of it. iv'e gotten realy good at cutting the pills up for that one ihad started cutting my self back to half of the 5 mg i was one but it was around christmas so went back to 5mg cause i didn't want to mess up christmas. then my doctor told me not to that and just to take it ever other day for 2 weeks and then stop. i'm realy thinking i don't trust them to much any more. my famly doctor or the one from nolton. as always i thank you lots for the info and your time AJ
    So if I got you right you are actually going to start Lex because tapering is easier???? Switching SSRIs is hell. Pure hell. First, you will experience w/d from Effexor, second, you will suffer from side effects when starting another anti-depressant. Please think twice.

    If I were you, I would just taper off Effexor ( which is pure hell as well). It's one of those producing strongest w/d effects while tapering.

    To taper off it, you need to open a capsule and count little pieces in it. Then figure out how many of them will constitute 10%, count them, and throw them out. Take the rest of the capsule. That's how you will ensure 10% tapering is taking place. 10% are to be reduced every 3-4 weeks, depending on how you feel. That should take you a whole lot of time, but it's a worthwhile effort. There is nothing like out there to be drugs free.

    Please be aware that when tapering this way you will still experience withdrawals, but they will not be too debilitating. THis way you should be able to keep on working and school, if this is something that you do. IF you cold turkey, you will be in debilitating w/d for a long, long time, especially talking about Effexor.

    If you switch SSRIs, you will take long to w/d from Effexor and get used to Lex. Then you'll need to taper from Lex, which doubles your time.

    If you need guidance, we are here to help you. However, please note that I have no medical education whatsoever, and any advice rec'd might need to be researched....

    Peace,
    Julia

  29. #7439
    Julia77 is offline Member
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    Default erinkj

    Quote Originally Posted by erinkj View Post
    Julia: It seems as though you are doing quite well and feeling much better. I am so very happy for you. It is good to see you posting so frequently . Bedtime for me, had a very, very long day. Goodnight...Erin
    Hello love,

    I am withdrawing.......Today I had a huge anxiety wave and yelled at my students. They stared at me like 'what's going on here' because I never yell I felt so bad after that I almost cried. I also got a nervous splitting headache.
    I generally feel overwhelmed, like dealing with things is too much for me now. I wonder if it's new me forever or w/d.........

    I think the biggest problem is that this is how I felt when I was put on SSRI!!!! I am so confused if it's w/d or the real state of things.

    But I have no other choice but to wait out. Ohwell mentioned acupuncture and I might want to try that ( it's in my medical). I would try whatever to be myself again.

    But I am not depressed, which is good.

  30. #7440
    Rosalinde is offline Junior Member
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    Default tapering

    Hi everybody!
    I pop in every so often to give an update on how I am handling Lexapro withdrawal. I figure it might help somebody out there.

    I got on Lexapro June or July of 2006. It worked great for about six months and then I turned into an unresponsive blob who did not care about anything or anyone. I also began a horrendous weight gain and ended up gaining 35 pounds in 5 months. This is with exercising 6 days a week and hiking up to 11 miles most weekends.

    The weight gain is what convinced me to quit Lexapro. I've come to believe that messing about with our brain chemistry with drugs that doctors do not fully understand is a pretty dangerous thing to do.

    I started tapering July 2007. I am using the Road Back system. Some have said that is too expensive, and I fully understand. It is expensive, but I have found supplements that are the same or similar to theirs that are cheaper. Before beginning the taper, I built up to 9 tsp of barley a day, 3 tsp of protein powder, 8 Carlson fish oil gels and 1 Vitamin E 250 mg. I noticed an immediate improvement in my energy and mental clarity, though I still had a loooong way to go.

    My original dose was 10 mg. I asked for the drug in liquid form so I could taper 10% every two weeks. This has worked very well for me, keeping the withdrawals at a minimum. When I got down to 5.3 mg, I began to feel things again and to act more normally like myself. Since then, every taper brings me a little more back to life. I smile again, I love my husband again and my hobbies and interests are interesting to me again. I'm no longer confused, dull and sleeping all day.

    I am currently down to 2.3 mg. When I get down to 1 mg, I am then going to taper 0.9, 0.8, 0.7, 0.6, 0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2, and then 0.1

    I will be done July 2008, and I cannot wait.

    Finally, it seems my weight is responding. When I started this drug, I was a slim and tight-muscled 127 pounds, wearing a size 4/6. I am now 161 pounds, wearing a size 12. I have lost 3 pounds in January, with lots of consistent exercise and healthy eating. I know decreasing the drug is helping. My goal is to be back to 127 pounds by July!!! I truly hope I can make it, and that my metabolism will return to normal quickly!

    I wish you all the best and hope we all reach a stable state free of mind altering medications!!

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