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03-30-2010, 02:22 PM #11521
03-30-2010, 02:58 PM #11522
I know it was quite a while ago, but do you remember how long all of your withdrawal symptoms lasted? I am just starting week 2, and I am feeling slightly better, but that is with Meclizine and Zofran several times a day.
03-30-2010, 03:23 PM #11523
Weaning off Lexapro
Auntybiotics' daughter did wean off EXTREMELY slowly but still suffered some of the worse withdrawal effects I have seen on this forum, so I don't think that is the solution. In fact, I have read many posts by people that say they weaned off really slowly but still suffered all the same effects that I did (and I basically quit cold turkey) so I am not convinced that weaning slowly really helps at all! I do appreciate your comments though and take everything I read here to heart.
Originally Posted by AngelicLady
03-30-2010, 04:18 PM #11524
The people who posted here about successful slow taper, that I can recall, are hope for the best , and her posts are easy to find using the advanced search tool, (click on 'posts' not 'threads') Also, Thailand Sam , I think, and someone named elizabeth who posted only once or twice, maybe around july or august of last summer 2009. There may have been others. I think these people I mentioned may have tapered from the very beginning, not cold-turkeyed and then reinstated, but I'm not sure about that.
There may have been people who cold-turkeyed and got along fine or recovered quickly, but didn't come back here to post their experience, so there's no way to know.
Since doctors often think it's the return of anxiety/depression when people feel terrible weeks or months later, (and it very well may be in some cases), people often end up back on SSRI drugs at that point. So there's not much info about long-term recovery period. But there are some people on the paxilprogress.org site who continue to give updates over the years after getting off SSRIs, and some of them are doing quite well several years later.
As marebu pointed out, the drug manufacturer has included warnings about discontinuation effects in the published literature on lexapro, and they recommend tapering.
03-30-2010, 05:50 PM #11525
As Mims says there are many different experiences that people have with discontinuation of lexapro. Its really all about gathering the experiences of others and taking a cautious approach to it. Cold turkeying is a risk and is not recommended by the drug manufacturers because enough people have trouble doing this to MAKE them put a warning in their prescribing information.
Originally Posted by nomorelexapro
Often the withdrawal symptoms settle in the first few months only to wham back at about 4 months off.Then the symptoms can be very rough.
You can have a much more comfortable wean by going slowly - but I hope you are one of the lucky ones that gets over it quickly.
Keep posting here and if your symptoms don't improve then reinstate to a comfortable dose and wean more slowly. You are advised to do this well within 6 weeks of your Ct so keep an eye on things .
Again - good luck
Last edited by ddcmod; 03-30-2010 at 08:23 PM.
03-30-2010, 06:07 PM #11526
Any idea how long this second phase typically lasts? And are the symptoms generally mental and emotional, or do the physical side effects return?
03-30-2010, 08:25 PM #11527
I'm sorry to say that there is no "typical". That is why I say you are taking a chance that you will not have prolonged withdrawal symptoms. Read paxilprogress posts as they have a signature at the end of each post that shows you the history - there are as many different experiences as there are posters.
Originally Posted by nomorelexapro
I read there of one person who said that the emotional symptoms 4 months after a CT made him wish for the earlier symptoms back - just because the emotional ones "brought him to his knees".
I don't believe in creating unnecessary worry about this but why suffer intensely when you could be so much more comfortable going slower????
I know you are impatient to get off this stuff for good reasons but you want a successful wean as your first priority.
Only you can decide whats best for you so as i said before keep an eye on yourself and maybe do a bit more reading about others' experiences.
The people who post here are usually those that are having a hard time and would like to share their experiences so others don't suffer as much.
also have a search for posts about supplements that may help.
03-31-2010, 11:20 AM #11528
The symptoms I got were: the insomnia came back, I was getting horribly, darkly depressed, overwhelming anxiety (I did NOT have the severe anxiety/depression before taking Lexapro), I felt so awful I was thinking of going to the emergency room and telling them I was "acutely suicidal" just to get some help/relief, I was getting so depressed I was becoming withdrawn/didn't want to get out of bed, I had to withdraw from a difficult college course because I couldn't focus, intense nausea, I couldn't eat, uncontrollable (seriously uncontrollable) crying. I didn't last long into Phase 2 before I reinstated.
Originally Posted by nomorelexapro
I think it's important to realize that everyone has a different experience, and yours might not be the same. I recommend reinstating and starting a very slow taper to everyone on Lexapro!!! I told my doctor that I felt that I quit Lexapro too quickly and that I was having withdrawal symptoms. She said that could be correct. At least she isn't one of those doctors that are completely in denial!
I wish you the best in staying off this horrible drug! I just know that for myself, I can't get off of it right now. I'm a college student and I have to be able to function. I also have a 13 year old son. That's a delicate age when kids really start coming into their own. I don't want him to see me like I was in Phase 2 ever again. I felt that it wasn't a good thing for him to see me so unstable. I don't want him to have to worry over me when he should be enjoying his teenage years.
04-01-2010, 07:08 AM #11529
Sorry for late reply...I took mine in pill form. I felt totally numb one week so decided to try it, took a 500mg capsule with half a vitamin b6 (it's supposed to help it work). I felt nauseous that day but the next it was like my ability to focus came back and memories and stuff. It seemed to last about a week. Although, I found it hard to sleep at night cos it was like my mind was very active. Hard to explain.
Originally Posted by mims
Someone suggested it on a paxil progress thread on anhedonia. Probably best to start with a very small dose if you do try it, I opened up the capsules to remove some of the powder. The spray is probably a better option.
04-01-2010, 07:11 AM #11530
Once bitten twice shy. I will Not be trying a CT any time soon. You get that nice spot when you feel good and then bang you feel way worse.... Stage two or a relapse of your illness its impossible to tell which, but what ever it is its worse than the panic attacks i was put on Lex for. For me its about being able to work and support my family and having some quality of life. So its a slow taper for this little black duck....!
04-01-2010, 07:27 AM #11531
04-01-2010, 01:34 PM #11532
04-01-2010, 03:42 PM #11533
Lexapro withdrawls and possible switch to Celexa
I'm so glad to have found this forum! My husband was taking 10 mg of Lexapro from Dec 09 until about 3 1/2 weeks ago. His doctor prescribed it for mild/borderline depression. He decided he didn't want to take it any longer and tapered off, until he ran out. He now hasn't had anything in almost two weeks and still has what he calls "zingers" although not as often as he did at first. But, he just doesn't feel good and he can't decide whether to stay off the Lexapro or go back on and taper off more slowly. His insurance has gone way up for the Lexapro, so his doctor is switching him to Celexa. The pharmacist just called to remind him to come pick up the new script and he doesn't know what he should do. We're now worried not only that the "start-up" of the Celexa will be worse than the withdrawls of the Lexapro, but if he should just ride out the Lexapro withdrawls for a little while longer, since he really wasn't on it for long and has already been off of it for two weeks. Any advice would be so much appreciated! As so many have said before me, had we looked here before he began taking it, he never would have started taking it!
04-01-2010, 03:46 PM #11534
That's a very fast taper. To taper off 10mg should take 10 months at the least. Fish oil can help with the zaps. Most on here do a very slow taper because coming off too fast causes a lot of problems which includes the zaps, also things like mania, irritability, severe depression and anxiety.
Originally Posted by heidih38
As for the celexa switch, I'm not sure it's a good idea. For further advice on this you can visit a site caled paxil progress.org (type it into google) and post on the general forum there. They deal with withdrawal from all types of SSRI's not just paxil. Explain your situation and they should be able to advise you how to taper, supplements to use to help the zaps etc. I was reading on there recently that it's not a good idea to switch to celexa to withdraw.
Last edited by pboy; 04-01-2010 at 03:51 PM.
04-01-2010, 04:14 PM #11535
There have been a few posts on this thread in the past couple of months from people who switched from lex to celexa. Those 2 drugs are very similar, which is probably why the doctor recommended this. You might have to look back as far as january or february for those posts.
Originally Posted by heidih38
04-01-2010, 04:17 PM #11536
That could depend on what drug they were switching from -- I'm not sure.
Originally Posted by pboy
04-02-2010, 05:47 PM #11537
Originally Posted by nomorelexapro
I took only 4 pills of Lexapro. First w/d symptoms started 2 weeks after stopping going on for around 1 1/2 months and getting better after 3 weeks. Then I felt completely good again for about 6 weeks.
After around 4 months I was hit by the, I guess, 2nd phase.
It lasts till today, but I am feeling much better than 2 months ago. No idea how long this will go on. The symptoms are now endurable most of the time and I even get days where I feel back to 90% of myself. I just hope that there won't be another heavy wave.
8th month is due mid of April...
04-03-2010, 01:00 AM #11538
So...not sure this forum gave me hope =)
I tried to go off lexapro CT and it was a terrible idea. I went a couple days, FREAKED OUT and starting balling out of the blue on maybe the 4th day, and was in my doctor's office the next. I love my doctor, and trust her completely, and she gave me a 4-wk lex reduction program to follow.
Over 4 weeks, I slowly withdrew (I was only on 10mg for about 2 years) and I am now at what I believe (sheesh can't even remember i should have wrote it down) is about 3 weeks completely lexapro-free.
My side effects aren't terrible, but at night every few days I start to feel nauseas, a bit lightheaded and get a few of those dang head zaps. I freak out and my anxiety peaks for a few min, but I calm myself down and make myself repeat 'it's withdrawal, it's withdrawal, it's withdrawal.' That somehow makes me feel better, realize I'm not dying, and keeps me going.
Now - I'm a little nervous to read that there is some sort of "Phase II" I'm going to encounter, or that 2 years in I could still have some of these symptoms. Is there anyone out there that has successfully withdrawn!? Had side effects go away after a few weeks? I'm assuming those who have probably aren't on this site. But it's worth a try!
04-03-2010, 03:29 AM #11539
You may not get phase 2. Most people and doctors mistake phase 2 for a return of their illness and reinstate their meds. If you are receptive you may notice the difference between normal depression and anxiety and withdrawal symptoms.
04-05-2010, 01:35 PM #11540
I first posted here on March 10th. I had tried to continue my lexapro taper (from 20 mg for 5 years) by going from 10 to 5 mg, following the tapering schedule my psych gave me, which didn't go too well. I went up to 7.5 and after 3 days or so I felt fine. I stayed at 7.5 for two more weeks. I realize that for some people it's necessary to taper extremely slowly - however, it doesn't seem as though this necessarily prevents withdrawals either. I've been fine with reductions of 1/4 or 1/3 at a time, so I decided to give 5 mg a try. It's been 11 days and I've had no withdrawal symptoms. I'll give it another week, then I think I'll try 3.5 mg.
Meanwhile I've picked up some liquid Lexapro. My GP seemed a little baffled, but not entirely unbelieving when I told her that I'd had withdrawals after going from 10 to 5 mg, and wanted the liquid to make sure I could taper as slowly as needed. (She's mostly been writing my prescriptions for the last couple of years, but all changes in dosage or meds are done by a psychiatrist, who I only see very rarely now, and I notice the GP is pretty uncomfortable discussing anything to do with my psych. medication.)
I tried taking the liquid today, thinking I might take that for a week (at the same dosage) before making any more changes. I've been a bit nauseous all day after taking them, it's getting better though. I put the drops in a big glass of water, and the taste wasn't strong, but still noticeable. Anyone else get this? If so, is there anything that helps? I might try mixing the drops in juice tomorrow. I'm almost tempted to just take the half pills for the next week, and not bother with the liquid until I have to.
04-07-2010, 04:48 PM #11541
Lexapro withdrawl follow-up
I just wanted to thank you for the advice and to give you an update. We filled the Celexa script, but my husband only took one and was feeling pretty unfocused and out of body and had bad zaps and dizziness. The next day, we started supplements - fish oil, a magnesium/calcium/zinc multi, B100 and regular men's multi. I have to say, he's been feeling great! He hasn't taken any more of the Celexa and the only time he's gotten any zaps were last night when he had forgotten to take his supplements all day. I don't know that this will be the end of it, but it seems to be working for the time being! Sure not going to quit taking the supplements any time soon, though! I'll keep you posted!
Originally Posted by pboy
04-08-2010, 11:57 AM #11542
I'm hoping everyone here can wish me some good luck!
I started taking Lexapro about 6 months ago for GAD and when it didn't help completely, my doctor combined it with Buspar and I've had GREAT results from the second drug! I'm now, 15 lbs heavier, weaning myself off the 10mg of Lexapro I've been on.
My doc put me on this schedule:
Weeks 1 and 2: cut pill to 5mg
Weeks 3 and 4: cut pill to 2.5mg
Weeks 5 and 6: 2.5mg every other day
Since I'm on the Buspar and have Xanax as needed, plus haven't slept without Ambien CR in over a year, I'm hoping to be well-prepared for this event.
Any advice, hints, tips, tricks PLEASE let me know! I am scared out of my mind to get off this drug!
04-08-2010, 05:56 PM #11543
Hi there Kubli,
Originally Posted by kublichaun
The weaning schedule you've been given sucks. It is possible that at that fast rate you will suffer withdrawal symptoms. Do an extensive read of this site to be convinced that doctors often recommend this fast wean and patients go through hell because of it. At least your doc knew to do a taper of the drug so if you decide to do it slower he/she will go along with it.
Every second day doses is a disaster - DO NOT DO IT!
The recommendation here is 10% of current dose every 3/4 weeks if you feel ok at the previous level. Sometimes you might wait longer to drop according to how you feel.
Remember quality of life while you taper is the goal.
Exercise, healthy eating and supplements will also help.
Good luck and let us know how you are going.
Typically a wean from 10mg lexapro should take a minimum of 10 months but as you were on it only 6 months you could complete the wean over a shorter time.
I hope others here chime in with some advice.
This is only my opinion. I am not a doctor.
Last edited by marebu; 04-08-2010 at 05:57 PM.
04-08-2010, 06:47 PM #11544
I'm on day 5 at the 5mg dose and still feeling okay. I didn't have ANY physical side effects when I went on it which is why my doc felt a faster taper schedule might work for me.
The Buspar is wonderful for the anxiety which I have read on here gets pretty bad when coming off. It's been my lifesaver for the past 4 months. I'll keep everyone updated. Day 5, still nothing, not even a dizzy spell. I hope I am one of the lucky ones.
04-09-2010, 07:38 AM #11545
Lexapro withdrawl? Too much weight gain!
This is my first posting, but I have been doing lots of searches on the web.
I took Lexapro for about two years (10mg daily) for anxiety. It did make a huge difference and I think I needed it then for family problems. But now when I pull out my spring clothes WAY too tight to wear. I knew I gained and have been eating as usual and treadmill religiously. My Dr did tell me not from the Lexapro (as others have said in other websites including this one). He says from age (near 50) and other factors. So after a negative conversation with him I did taper off. Faster than he wanted; this is my first week without anything in my system. I took half a pill a day for a week and then went to alternating days and now nothing. I was so freaked out by some of the experiences others have shared. I luckily have had no side effects. My main goal is to get the weight off. Added to the Lexapro is steroids for a week from Bronchitis. BUT I will get this off. And I wanted others to know that so far I have had no side effects. Plus I developed an unfounded fear (with panic attacks) of bridges during my time on Lexapro. I drove over three in the last two weeks and I am fine now.
I would love to hear from anyone who is finished with Lexapro and lost weight and how long it took them.
Good luck everyone!
04-09-2010, 10:50 AM #11546
Bridgeboy....that was a fast taper. I hope that it continues to work out for you. The advice that I, and others would give, is to go back on and taper off more slowly. However, if you feel that is not an option, I hope that you get past month 4 or 5 without any phase 2 side effects or "return of your symptoms". Getting off this drug can be tough! I'm sure that some people have done it and not been bothered by phase 2 also though. We all have different body/brain chemistry.
An update on where I'm at: I've been back on now for about 6 weeks. It'll be 8 weeks on the 21st. I'm still dealing with anxiety. I wake up with all of my problems racing through my head, but it's not nearly as bad as it was. I also have a HUGE, HUGE amount of stress in my life right now, and I realize that might be contributing. I don't really have much depression except a normal level that I believe comes with the incredible difficulties I'm facing in life right now. I'm sleeping through the night. It's not excellent sleep, but it's so much better than waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. and not being able to return to sleep. Still dealing with some nausea and lack of eating. My weight is still dropping, but I'm far from looking anorexic. For now, I'm just holding. It's not bad enough for me to change meds (or up my dose) and go through going on side effects again. I tend to get a lot of side effects. At least I did when I reinstated Lexapro.
04-09-2010, 01:34 PM #11547
Lexapro too fast??
I posted so everyone would not think that everyone would have horrible side effects. Lexapro would be out of your body approximately 35-72 hours after your last dose. Different people would have different side effects dependant upon so many other factors. I am fortunate that I do not suffer from any other illnesses.
Those who are suffering from horrible side effects definitely have other issues.
I would not restart Lexapro to ween off again. My main goal is to start dropping weight as soon as possible.
Good luck to everyone.
04-10-2010, 05:38 PM #11548
Originally Posted by Bridgeboy
Did you say you've only been Lexapro free for 1 week? Please come back and post regularly and let us know how you go. Especially up to 4 to 6 months off.
Hope it goes well for you.
04-10-2010, 09:51 PM #11549
I disagree with this. The side effects that many people get are BIOLOGICAL, not due to "other issues". Think about it, you've been taking a drug for quite awhile that ALTERS YOUR BRAIN CHEMICALS. Therefore, your brain becomes dependent on it. Next, you rip it out of your system without much of a taper at all. Why wouldn't it be possible that your brain gets tripped up without it? Your brain has to have time to heal. Fast withdrawal inhibits this process. Now, some do quit with a fast withdrawal and might not get any symptoms 4 or 5 or 6 months down the road, but a lot of people do. What your doctor will think (and tell you) is that it is a "return of your prior symptoms". In some cases it might be, but not in all cases because the phase 2 symptoms can be symptoms you never had before you started taking this drug!
Originally Posted by Bridgeboy
Anyway, I just don't think it was kind to say that the reason people get horrible side effects is because they have "other issues". Yes, I do have a lot of stress in my life right now, but not everyone that has stopped Lexapro does. In fact, many people stop taking it when their stress is over and their life is going well. The only "issue" they have is that the drug companies tout SSRI's as "safe" and the doctors continue to prescribe them like they're candy!
04-10-2010, 11:41 PM #11550
Horrible side effects can happen to anyone who has taken this drug. It is the luck of the draw with your personal body chemistry.
Originally Posted by Bridgeboy
I have low stress, no underlying illness and I'm having brain zaps and sinus issues during weaning.
Sometimes withdrawal effects can kick in many weeks or months down the track. So that is why a slow wean is recommended. It gives the brain a chance to heal in stages. You cannot tell yet whether you are out of the woods yet.
Good luck and go easy on all of us that are struggling a bit.
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