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Lexapro Withdrawal
  1. #11311
    pboy is offline Member
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    Default Teeth issues

    Did anyone else grind their teeth a lot during Lex withdrawal? I've found myself doing that a lot recently, constantly grinding. I can't help it!
    Also did anyone else have really dry cracked lips? And hair loss? Sometimes I just tug on a strand of hair lightly and it comes straight out.

  2. #11312
    pboy is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonigee View Post
    Now I am scared beyond words by everything I've read about trying to get off this drug. I don't have another appointment for 3 months and don't want to delay so my husband and I prayed about it and we are going to start the weaning process with the help and guidance of God. I feel He directed me here to show me I needed to be cautious because I was thinking of going cold turkey since that's the way I quit smoking. So now I know cold turkey is not an option. It is good to be informed. There is power in information. I know it will not be easy. That is good so I can be prepared and not feel afraid or discouraged.
    Good luck with tapering, let us know how you go. I know how scary it is at the start but you will make it through. Keep posting on here for advice and support. Are you going to use liquid Lex to taper? Remember, taper between 5-10% of your current dosage every 3-4 weeks or however long it takes your body to stabilize.
    It's tough but it can be done. Take fish oil to help you through the process, it helps with mood.

  3. #11313
    marebu is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pboy View Post
    Did anyone else grind their teeth a lot during Lex withdrawal? I've found myself doing that a lot recently, constantly grinding. I can't help it!
    Also did anyone else have really dry cracked lips? And hair loss? Sometimes I just tug on a strand of hair lightly and it comes straight out.
    With the hair falling out - if it is shedding, then Biotin has been documented to slow hair loss when there is no underlying disease present. I have been taking it now for 4 months and my hair has thickened up a bit - not as much hair in the brush. I take 5,000mcg and as it is a water soluble vitamin the body will get rid of any excess without toxicity.
    I usually shed a lot at the change of season - like a cat! - so we'll see when Autumn comes. (Aussie)
    If hair is breaking then the hair is dry and brittle and needs lots of tender loving care - maybe a hot oil mask every week.
    Let me know what you think - take care.
    M

  4. #11314
    New Start is offline New Member
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    Default

    Lexapro can also mess with your thyroid. I was going crazy with my symptoms and had my thyroid tested and I was hypothyroid. Some of the symptoms are:

    fatigue, exhaustion
    feeling run down and sluggish
    depression
    difficulty concentrating, brain fog
    unexplained or excessive weight gain
    dry, coarse and/or itchy skin
    dry, coarse and/or thinning hair
    feeling cold, especially in the extremities
    constipation
    muscle cramps
    increased menstrual flow
    more frequent periods
    infertility/miscarriage

    If you get your thyroid tested, do some research first about the kind of testing they do. You should get your T3 and T4 levels tested and not just the TSH. If your levels are off, do more research about the type of medication the Dr. puts you on. Knowledge is power and we shouldn't blindly believe everything the Dr. says.

  5. #11315
    Tonigee is offline New Member
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    Thanks from everyone for the welcome. My husband's cousin is an LPN and I spoke to her yesterday about weaning off Lexapro. She has also personally taken the drug. I told her I'd taken my 10 mg and cut in half and then another half to get 7.5 mg and asked did she think that was okay. She said she did because when she weaned off she went from 10 to 5 to 0 over 2 months. I plan to stretch mine out longer than she did though. But she gave the thumbs up to me to go 10, 7.5, 5, 2.5 and then 0. What are your thoughts on this plan?

    pboy: I already take fish oil pills, so I have one thing covered already. As for the liquid form, I guess I'll just try with what pills I have. Our insurance requires us to order meds through the mail and I don't know how to go about switiching to the liquid. Plus I'm trying to not have to buy anymore as funds are tight here.

    New Start: I'll have to mention about the thyroid to my friend becuase she has been having a time with hers lately and maybe it's the Lexapro.

    A question to anyone that's gained weight on Lex: After you completely stopped, did the weight gain stop?

  6. #11316
    Avpthumper is offline New Member
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    Talking Lexapro taper...

    Tonigee, that taper regemine might work out okay. Alot of lexapro withdrawees ( you like my new word?... Ha!) will swear that it should be done over a longer period and at a slower pace. One thing is for certain, everyone is different and each person that has the misfortune of having to go through these withdrawals, will have their own personal experience to contend with. With that being said, as each of us go through this ordeal, we must pay attention and listen to our bodies as they adjust to lower doses of the medication. I've been through this before and have succesfully gone without medication for long periods of time, only to have to return to my physician for some symptom and wind up being put right back on it. Don't make that mistake. I have recently discovered, through much research and putting two and two together, I now believe my symptoms were stemming from a slight mitral valve prolapse condition I have had all my life. Doctors are trained to treat the symptoms, not neccessarily provide a cure. I believe most doctors should have their script pads revoked for prescribing these meds like they are candy. They are poison to the human body. For me, this time it's for good. Once you are able to get down enough to stop without suffering needlessly, don't ever look back. Stay busy. Keep taking the supplements. Get plenty of exercise, sunshine and rest. Stay in tune with God and you'll be more than a conquerer!

  7. #11317
    rujoking is offline Member
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    Default back from the dentist...

    Quote Originally Posted by vestabula View Post
    Mims...I have one capped tooth in the back that has always had a 'pocket' behind it, but that's it. With the last set of xrays six months ago, he never mentioned bone loss and gum recession. I didn't mention the Lexapro issue with him. I'm sure he would roll his eyes, just like other medical professionals. He had no explanation...just showed me the loss of 2/3 of the bone that hold my teeth in the sockets, and how my gums have shrunk. He really looked perplexed. If I hadn't been numbed to my eyeballs with novacain I would have discussed this with him more. I was in so much pain I just wanted to get out of there. I did check the Lexapro site and saw that infected gums, thrush, tooth decay and a number of other wonderful things can happen during withdrawal. I just don't understand how this drug can do so many things to a persons body.
    and apparently I lucked out - he said my teeth and gums look good - I told him about the weird feeling and he was puzzled - all he could offer was that my mouth was a bit dry and that could cause the weird feeling and soreness after I floss....I am relieved it is nothing to worry about.

    vesta I hope you are feeling better and out of pain!

    ruj

  8. #11318
    Anonymous Guest

    Talking I switched

    I ran out of 20mg Lexapro after taking them for a year and started taking 40mg of generic Celexa... now I haven't looked up Celexa withdrawal but I haven't suffered from any of the nasty LEx withdrawal I would feel when forgetting to take them for a couple days... I would get so dizzy I thought I would pass out and a migraine I would trade for death. Maybe switching to another similar drug would help...

  9. #11319
    Tonigee is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avpthumper View Post
    Tonigee, that taper regemine might work out okay. Alot of lexapro withdrawees ( you like my new word?... Ha!) will swear that it should be done over a longer period and at a slower pace. One thing is for certain, everyone is different and each person that has the misfortune of having to go through these withdrawals, will have their own personal experience to contend with. With that being said, as each of us go through this ordeal, we must pay attention and listen to our bodies as they adjust to lower doses of the medication. I've been through this before and have succesfully gone without medication for long periods of time, only to have to return to my physician for some symptom and wind up being put right back on it. Don't make that mistake. I have recently discovered, through much research and putting two and two together, I now believe my symptoms were stemming from a slight mitral valve prolapse condition I have had all my life. Doctors are trained to treat the symptoms, not neccessarily provide a cure. I believe most doctors should have their script pads revoked for prescribing these meds like they are candy. They are poison to the human body. For me, this time it's for good. Once you are able to get down enough to stop without suffering needlessly, don't ever look back. Stay busy. Keep taking the supplements. Get plenty of exercise, sunshine and rest. Stay in tune with God and you'll be more than a conquerer!
    I do like that "withdrawees"! I completely agree with you about doctors should not prescribe these meds like candy. In my case I was prescribed these by my doctor's P.A. which I really think is wrong. Anyway, I have really tried to prep myself for this by getting prayed up and asking others for prayer and researching online and trying to be in a good and healthy place before trying. And believe me when I ever get off, I will not go back on!! Thanks for your kind words.

  10. #11320
    vestabula is offline Member
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    Default teeth

    RUJ...so glad you got good news about your gums and teeth! I'm an 'old broad' so maybe it's just age taking it's course with me. It just seems strange that it happend almost overnight. I now have to have this bazilliion dollar periodontal (sp) procedure done to 'maybe' save the bottom row. Owie, and Cha Ching!

  11. #11321
    coobeans is offline New Member
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    hi i'm new to this forum. i was on 10mg lexapro for almost 2 years. decided i need to wean myself after reading all the negative side effects. i was at 5mg before i went "cold turkey".
    it's been a week since i've been off completely and i'm experiencing a lot of what's already been posted. the dizziness has gotten increasingly worse. the sweating seems to be steady.. today has been the worst of it though. not only am i dizzy and sweaty/hot, but i am nauseous, tired, and feel like i might pass out.

    for those who have successfully gotten off of this, how long did it take? how much more of this misery do i have to look forward to?
    sigh...

  12. #11322
    marebu is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by coobeans View Post
    hi i'm new to this forum. i was on 10mg lexapro for almost 2 years. decided i need to wean myself after reading all the negative side effects. i was at 5mg before i went "cold turkey".
    it's been a week since i've been off completely and i'm experiencing a lot of what's already been posted. the dizziness has gotten increasingly worse. the sweating seems to be steady.. today has been the worst of it though. not only am i dizzy and sweaty/hot, but i am nauseous, tired, and feel like i might pass out.

    for those who have successfully gotten off of this, how long did it take? how much more of this misery do i have to look forward to?
    sigh...
    If you read back over the posts on this site you will find that quitting at 5mg is not recommended. There is some very good advice here from people who have done their research.
    If it is only a week since you quit then you probably should go back to the dose that you last felt "comfortable" , stabilize for 2 or 3 even 4 weeks and then and wean slowly from there. Cuts of 10% of current dose every 3 weeks or when you feel stable enough is the recommendation of many of the people who contribute to this site. I encourage you to read their experiences as they really will convince you that you can mess with your brain chemistry for a protracted time by quitting lex the way you have.
    I am so gald i followed their advice because my symptoms have settled a bit since slowing my tapering and I feel more calm about taking my time.
    Good luck - and keep posting.

  13. #11323
    SL500 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonigee View Post
    I do like that "withdrawees"! I completely agree with you about doctors should not prescribe these meds like candy. In my case I was prescribed these by my doctor's P.A. which I really think is wrong. Anyway, I have really tried to prep myself for this by getting prayed up and asking others for prayer and researching online and trying to be in a good and healthy place before trying. And believe me when I ever get off, I will not go back on!! Thanks for your kind words.
    Hi Tonigee and welcome - I come on this site randomly as I am in my 5th month off of Lexapro - I weaned over a year's time and started on 10mgs. Just take it slow. Also, dont be scared if you feel w/d's. It will pass in time. But do remember, everyone is different! I have had a two friends that were on it - one cold turkeyed and was totally fine! (I DO NOT recommend this) and the other did it over a few months, had a few months of minor w/d's and was fine. Then there is me....nothing too out of the ordinary when reading what some people go through. But just try to stay positive and know that you can get through this....just take it slow and easy! Good luck!

    Sandy

  14. #11324
    Tonigee is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SL500 View Post
    Hi Tonigee and welcome - I come on this site randomly as I am in my 5th month off of Lexapro - I weaned over a year's time and started on 10mgs. Just take it slow. Also, dont be scared if you feel w/d's. It will pass in time. But do remember, everyone is different! I have had a two friends that were on it - one cold turkeyed and was totally fine! (I DO NOT recommend this) and the other did it over a few months, had a few months of minor w/d's and was fine. Then there is me....nothing too out of the ordinary when reading what some people go through. But just try to stay positive and know that you can get through this....just take it slow and easy! Good luck!

    Sandy
    Hi Sandy. Congrats for being off Lexapro for 5 months!! That is awesome. Also thanks for the experience stories of your friends. Very helpful to hear all the variances.

    I have been at 7.5 mg for 6 days and have already lost .8 lbs (not 8 whole, 8 tenths). I have been doing nothing different--still eating the same and exercising the same. This is the first week I have not gained a few ounces or pounds since back in the summer. Yay!

  15. #11325
    OilRig is offline New Member
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    Hi all,

    This is not directed at any particular person, but I thought I should share my seemingly lucky withdrawal experience. I had been taking Lexapro for quite awhile; perhaps 5 years. Granted it was a small dosage (5mg/day) I was completely addicted. I tried to get off the drug about 2 years ago but I couldn’t stand the withdrawal symptoms. The three main ones were the head zaps (not too bad, but there), ungodly headaches, and insomnia.

    About 10 months ago, I switched to a drug called Citalophram. To my understanding, it is identical to Lexapro besides some non-intrusive chemical makeup. Because of this, I was able to switch from the Lexapro to the Citalophram with absolutely no side effects.

    I decided to again try to get off the drug completely and started to skip every other day (same method as with Lexapro). Here’s the kicker, I had virtually no side effects. The head zaps were there but they were quite tolerable. No headaches, not insomnia, nothing.

    I began the withdrawal January 1st and took one every other day. After two weeks, I was able to wait three or four days without taking anything. I am now on my ninth day without taking any medicine. I have infrequent head zaps that I can tell are going away.

    I don’t know exactly why it was so easy this time around, but it very well might be that the switch from Lexapro to Citalophram was the key. If you are trying to get off and it isn’t working, perhaps you should talk to your doctor about this.

    Good luck and God bless you all in whatever struggles you might have.

  16. #11326
    powerstone123 is offline New Member
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    Default Lexapro Tapering: Post One

    Hey all,

    I just started tapering two days ago. Bought a pill crusher and a scale, and have reduced it to 90% of my 10mg dose. No side effects yet. I'll keep posting every few weeks or so as to how I'm doing.

    Everyone hang in there! We can make it through this together.

  17. #11327
    Anonymous Guest

    Default switch to citalopram?

    Quote Originally Posted by OilRig View Post
    To my understanding, it is identical to Lexapro besides some non-intrusive chemical makeup. Because of this, I was able to switch from the Lexapro to the Citalophram with absolutely no side effects.
    It's my understanding also that the 2 drugs are so similar that it's easy to make the switch. Some people switch because citalopram is less expensive.
    That's very interesting that you found it easier to quit!

    Many people say they don't get along well with the alternating-days taper plan, but I'm glad you seem to be doing OK. I hope you continue to feel well. Good luck!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 01-31-2010 at 06:00 AM.

  18. #11328
    rujoking is offline Member
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    Default

    Bumping ....

    Hi all - just bumping this thread up to see how everyone is doing? Have not hear from babybottom or pugs in quite some time...? Vesta how are you? and pboy?

    mimmie - do you continue to do well? I sure hope so!

    Aero and mims - I miss seeing you here also!

    I have not much new to report - since I last posted - more fatigue than usual but that could be the dreary weather - back pain is slightly improved but not much - mornings are still anxiety provoking but better all the time...I still don't have the motivation to get up and go but at least now I DO go when I need to....

    hope all of you newer folks hang in there - it does get better....

    ruj

  19. #11329
    ttg13 is offline New Member
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    Default Cold turkey from Lexapro and do vitimins help?

    I am glad to find I am not alone. I have been on Lexapro 3 years 10 mg. I started taking it because my parents moved next door and I was getting angry and intolerant with my mothers non stop grouching and nit picking. My Primary care Doc said Lexapro was great for the rage issue. At first it was wonderful. Long term issues with taking it were Apathy, Lethargy, Libido decreased, Breath shortness, Nasal congestion, & Eczema. The biggest of which was the Apathy…or my “I don’t care” existence.

    I quit cold turkey 3 weeks ago [yeah my doc said not to do it. But I am TUFF!!!] Glad you’re here because I am not so tuff. Problems I am having are jitteriness, nervousness, photopsia [flashing light spots], and pressure of speech, edema and weight gain. Biggest to control is the pressure of speech and nervousness. My 2nd daughter just had her first child; they are late parents i.e. 41 & 39 and over educated. I feel like I can’t talk fast enough or get my words out in time, so I end up rushing conversations then beat myself up for it, and get all jittery and nervous over what I have said and how to fix it.

    I am a good intelligent professional loving person, I know it is the Lexapro withdrawals; I just want to bawl…not cry but bawl. Husband doesn’t know what to do and acts in the typical “so lets ignore it or act like your over reacting so I don’t feel lacking.” Fashion.
    Lord help me, am I typical for Lexapro withdrawal? Can I take some vitamin that will help me get through this…and what is a norm on timeline for these things to lessen?? Can you Help???

    Tuff in Texas

  20. #11330
    limeade17 is offline New Member
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    Default Lexapro Tapering

    Hello! I have been reading this forum over the years and since I am starting my lexapro tapering I just thought I would post my experience. I have been on 10mg for about 3 years, and I am 22 years old. I have been very happy in my day to day life for the past year or two, so I have decided to buckle down and taper off the medicine. In the past I have always gotten the head zaps after missing maybe 2 days of my 10mg dose.

    I have been alternating 5 mg and 10mg every day for about 10 days so far. No noticeable side effects so far, although now that I think about it I have been having a harder time falling asleep at night. This may be because I havent kept a good schedule lately. I am going to continue on the 5/10 regiment for a month, and then do 5 mg for a month, and then do 5mg every other day for a month.

    I will report back with my experience! Thank god for this forum- my doctor said I could just quit cold turkey and I was like whoooooaaahhhhnooooooo.

  21. #11331
    mimmie2008 is offline Member
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    Default hey!

    Quote Originally Posted by rujoking View Post
    Bumping ....
    mimmie - do you continue to do well? I sure hope so!
    ruj
    Thanks so much for checking up on me! I am doing much better, thank goodness. I was able to drive in downtown Little Rock yesterday without freaking out!! That is a MAJOR victory for me. I haven't been able to do that since the beginning of this mess. Of course as soon as we pulled into the hotel I crashed immediately!!! All in all I am doing much, much better. I haven't had any zaps in a long time, no sleep problems, no twitches, and the hand shakes are doing better. I will be going the end of this month for new glasses though. Again. This too will pass.

  22. #11332
    vestabula is offline Member
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    Default Hi!

    Ruj...glad you are doing better...it's an inspiration for the rest of us. Starting on month five of withdrawl and the brain swishing has improved...still have it but it's not all day long with every move of my head or eyes. I'm dealing with gum issues(massive infection) at the moment and just took my last antibiotic. I have to have some bazillion dollar gum surgery done as the plaque has gotten down into the roots of my front teeth from gum recession. Don't know if this is a withdrawal issue. My mouth is so dry...feels like I have a mouth full of cornstarch. I guess that could be the culprit. My vision is still blurry and don't know if that will ever go away. Besides that...I just keep on, keep on! Hope you all are well and putting this nightmare behind you!

  23. #11333
    vestabula is offline Member
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    Default ???

    I just saw a blurb on the news where they have discoverd SID's is caused by low levels of seratonin which in effect, gives these baby's sleep apnea, and stops their breathing. I am wondering if that's why so many of us suffer from this during withdrawal...the choking awake and excessive snoring...something to think about!

  24. #11334
    ttg13 is offline New Member
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    Default Excessive Snoring???

    A post just mentioned excessive Snoring, in passing... Is this part of the Lexapro normals.... I have been a heavy snorer, for the last two years..thought it was just life... WHOA I would love for that to go away as I get out of withdrawal!!
    Can someone confirm this??? Thanks for being here... I don't feel so crazy or alone!

  25. #11335
    rujoking is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttg13 View Post
    I am glad to find I am not alone. I have been on Lexapro 3 years 10 mg. I started taking it because my parents moved next door and I was getting angry and intolerant with my mothers non stop grouching and nit picking. My Primary care Doc said Lexapro was great for the rage issue. At first it was wonderful. Long term issues with taking it were Apathy, Lethargy, Libido decreased, Breath shortness, Nasal congestion, & Eczema. The biggest of which was the Apathy…or my “I don’t care” existence.

    I quit cold turkey 3 weeks ago [yeah my doc said not to do it. But I am TUFF!!!] Glad you’re here because I am not so tuff. Problems I am having are jitteriness, nervousness, photopsia [flashing light spots], and pressure of speech, edema and weight gain. Biggest to control is the pressure of speech and nervousness. My 2nd daughter just had her first child; they are late parents i.e. 41 & 39 and over educated. I feel like I can’t talk fast enough or get my words out in time, so I end up rushing conversations then beat myself up for it, and get all jittery and nervous over what I have said and how to fix it.

    I am a good intelligent professional loving person, I know it is the Lexapro withdrawals; I just want to bawl…not cry but bawl. Husband doesn’t know what to do and acts in the typical “so lets ignore it or act like your over reacting so I don’t feel lacking.” Fashion.
    Lord help me, am I typical for Lexapro withdrawal? Can I take some vitamin that will help me get through this…and what is a norm on timeline for these things to lessen?? Can you Help???

    Tuff in Texas
    ttg .

    I highly recommend you read back on this site a bit - going cold turkey in no joke - it is not too late for you to get back on the drug and taper slowly - you could save yourself a lot of suffering! This is NOT about being TUFF....believe me....this is about giving your brain the chance to slowly adjust and heal.

    vesta -

    sorry about your gum issues - just what you don't need! I went thru quite period of dry mouth - try to sip water or keep sugarless gum or mints in oyur mouth it helps!

    mimmie!

    Brava! and continued healing and good health to you!

    peace,
    ruj

  26. #11336
    Anonymous Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by ttg13 View Post
    Can I take some vitamin that will help me get through this…and what is a norm on timeline for these things to lessen?? Can you Help???

    Tuff in Texas
    Some people think a good quality fish oil can help - there was an article in the news a day or 2 ago about fish oil and brain/psychiatric problems - (the article was about psychosis, not drug withdrawal.) Fish oil and magnesium are the supplements that are mentioned most often on this site as being potentially helpful. Getting moderate exercise, and limiting caffeine and alcohol have been found by some people to be helpful.

  27. #11337
    Anonymous Guest

    Default

    Google fish oil psychosis if you're interested in reading that study I mentioned in my previous post.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-04-2010 at 09:08 AM.

  28. #11338
    Anonymous Guest

    Default

    Hi, vesta,
    ruj's comment about chewing gum reminded me that there's a chewing gum with xylitol that is supposed to have an anti-bacterial effect.

    There have been some studies on xylitol and cavities -- Not sure about details, but thought I'd mention it in case you might be interested.
    Google xylitol and gum disease and you'll find some info.

  29. #11339
    rocketsmydog is offline New Member
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    I have been taking Lexapro for Panic Disorder/GAD for the past 5 years (minus a
    5-month period when I tapered off slowly, but anxiety symptoms returned). Although Lexapro helped me immensely for anxiety, it seems the side effects are outweighing the benefits (drowsiness & lack of motivation being the most notable). I also would like to start a family in the next couple of years, and am not comfortable taking this medication during pregnancy or even for a much longer period of time than I already have, as not much long-term effects are known.
    I was taking 5mg daily until a few weeks ago when I decided to take that amount every-other day, and then finally about 7-10 days ago just stopped taking it all together. Didn't notice any side-effects until about 5 days ago. Withdrawal began with a headache, fever/hot flashes and slight dizziness/nausea setting in around the time I used to take it every night. That increased the next day to intense dizziness occuring for few hours around the same time of night. Then the shocking sensations began. I've read many people describe them as "brain shocks", however for me, it seems like it only occurs on the left side of my body and begins somewhere around my pelvic bone, then shooting to the left side of my chest, left hand and foot, and left side of my head. Other noticeable side-effects from withdrawal have been a racing heartbeat and occasional anxiety at night. I've also had the accompanying mood swings (irritablility, anger and crying spells). I pray that my husband will make it through this with me because my mood swings are causing us to argue frequently. Since starting and stopping a birth control pill within the past year, he should be a pro at dealing with uncharacteristic mood swings from me by now I've read on here that the shocking sensations should be disappearing within the next couple of weeks. I was curious if anyone could alert me of possible withdrawal symptoms a month out from stopping the medication, and also if there is any scientific knowledge or explanation of the brain shocks. Any advice on vitamins/supplements that would help would also be greatly appreciated.
    Although Lexapro helped me greatly with my anxiety, I feel better to no longer be putting an unnatural substance into my body, and I feel that I have learned coping skills like abdominal breathing and meditation to help keep the panic/anxiety at a virtual non-existence. Good luck to everyone else trying to make it past the initial withdrawal stage of this!![/B][/B]

  30. #11340
    rocketsmydog is offline New Member
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    Default

    Forgot to mention other notable withdrawal effects include vivid dreams and stomach pains.

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