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Lexapro Withdrawal
  1. #1
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Default Lexapro Withdrawal

    Does anyone have any experience from withdrawaing from Lexapro 20 Mg for one and a half years?? My daughter is having a tough time tapering off lexapro.
    She is getting sweats, anxiety, moodieness and manic like actions.

    Let me know if anyone has sucessfully weaned off a SSRI and what happened along the way.
    Thanks
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  2. #2
    RoC1909 is offline Member
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    Hi,

    I am sorry to hear that she is feeling miserable and hopefully she can make it through these times and come out stronger.

    I took a SSRI (Prozac) for about eight months (40mg a day) and one day just quit...cold turkey so to speak. This happened many years ago but I really can't remember having any "after effects" associated with just stopping. Maybe it's the way that the drug is depleted from the body that might make a difference on how a person reacts to not getting it anymore. Of course, each SSRI has it's own way of "interacting" with a person's brain and ridding itself from the body, so each person's experience is different.

    Have you had her visit her doctor and see if they can get her onto a "different" SSRI that might help with the withdrawls she is having? I have read that some SSRI's can "get along" with each other, but it's when SSRI's are mixed with MAOI's OR tricyclic antidepressants that there can be a BIG PROBLEM!

    There may possibly be other drugs that can help with the anxiety she is having. I would HATE to say it since you are replacing "one evil for another" but how about a low dose of Xanax or Ativan for a short time? These drugs have helped many but as usual, there are multiple risks involved (let alone addiction) with taking Benzo's.

    OF course, I am not a doctor and have no medical training whatsoever but from reading these and other forums, I am "pretty positive" that there is "mutual understanding" that can be had between her "withdrawls/anxiety" and her wanting to live life to it's fullest.

    Good luck and keep us informed.

    J

    p.s I visited www.lexapro.com and took a peek what this drug offered/entailed. Maybe you can find some info while surfing there.

  3. #3
    justwhatever is offline Member
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    Hello,

    I took lexapro 20mg for several months, and experienced the same withdrawl symptoms when I stopped taking it "cold turkey." I'm sure this is why doctors advise to slowly reduce your intake over the period of a couple of weeks. I was having insomnia and a lot of anxiety, but it went away after two weeks or so. Just tell her to stick it out, and talk to a therapist, it's very liberating to get through it.




  4. #4
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Thank you. We do have specialist helping with tapering off the lexapro. I do believe her family doctor made an error putting a 15 year old on 20 Mg Lexapro for TMJ pain due to clenching her teeth.

    She has decreased the Lexapro by only one milligram the last month, she is now on 19 Mg and has had flu like symptoms that kept her out of school for several days.

    She has had excessive sweating, then chills, horrible temper outburts, anxiety, restless leg syndrome. Last night she had no side vision, but vision in front was OK. Today while going up steps at school she was unsteady because the steps appeared to curve upward.

    Tonight she is manic again, talking a mile a minute and nervous.
    Also since I started the reduction, her appetite has increased.



  5. #5
    delicious_awishes is offline Junior Member
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    Ive been Taking lexapro for about ten months and love it . My question is why is she quititingtaking it ? Is it not working ?
    Why not stay on the medication She obviously has a chemical Imbalence and needs it.
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  6. #6
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    Lexapro was RX for TMJ (Jaw Clenchng) pain NOT depression. Lexapro has made her depressed. agitated, and manic when withdrawaling from this SSRI. I believe she may have toxic levels of Lexapro in her system due to a drug interaction. What dose are you on?

  7. #7
    delicious_awishes is offline Junior Member
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    well I started on 10 mg and now currently on 20 mg. Hey what is tmj?

  8. #8
    bobl101 is offline Junior Member
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    quote:Originally posted by RoC1909

    Hi,

    I am sorry to hear that she is feeling miserable and hopefully she can make it through these times and come out stronger.

    I took a SSRI (Prozac) for about eight months (40mg a day) and one day just quit...cold turkey so to speak. This happened many years ago but I really can't remember having any "after effects" associated with just stopping. Maybe it's the way that the drug is depleted from the body that might make a difference on how a person reacts to not getting it anymore. Of course, each SSRI has it's own way of "interacting" with a person's brain and ridding itself from the body, so each person's experience is different.

    Have you had her visit her doctor and see if they can get her onto a "different" SSRI that might help with the withdrawls she is having? I have read that some SSRI's can "get along" with each other, but it's when SSRI's are mixed with MAOI's OR tricyclic antidepressants that there can be a BIG PROBLEM!

    There may possibly be other drugs that can help with the anxiety she is having. I would HATE to say it since you are replacing "one evil for another" but how about a low dose of Xanax or Ativan for a short time? These drugs have helped many but as usual, there are multiple risks involved (let alone addiction) with taking Benzo's.

    OF course, I am not a doctor and have no medical training whatsoever but from reading these and other forums, I am "pretty positive" that there is "mutual understanding" that can be had between her "withdrawls/anxiety" and her wanting to live life to it's fullest.

    Good luck and keep us informed.

    J

    p.s I visited www.lexapro.com and took a peek what this drug offered/entailed. Maybe you can find some info while surfing there.
    bobbie lieggi

  9. #9
    bobl101 is offline Junior Member
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    I am taking Lexapro 20mg. The Dr told me it was the least likely to become addictive. WRONG. I ran out of my prescription and thought it was no big rush. I was wrong. All I did was cry, I felt like everything was wrong. It was awful. I don't know that she should just quit. Try taking 10mg than half of the 10mg. From what I have learned you cannot just quit any medication that you have been taking that long , "cold turkey". What is her reason for stopping. I cant seem to deal without it. I no longer sweat the little things.
    A friend of mine had to continue her paxil use during pregnancy because when she stopped she was constantly sick(thinking it was pregnancy) they had to hydrate her and the baby was in danger. They finally figured it out. Scary, huh? Good luck to your daughter.

    bobbie lieggi

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    dooda is offline New Member
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    I have been on Lexapro for about 2 years. I was taking 10mg a day. My doctor said to wean off slowly. I decreased from 10mg a day to 10mg ever other day for about 4 months. On Monday I went to see him and he said I could stop. For the first two days I was fine. I'm having problems sleeping, I just don't feel tired. Every once in a while I have some dizziness. I didn't realize until reading this form that the sweats I keep getting are from that. I thought it was menopause because I'm 47!! Boy, this is funny. I don't think the withdrawals are that bad. I'll see how long it lasts.

    If you daughter is having such severe problems, I would suggest that she go back on it and wean off more slowly. Good Luck.

  11. #11
    auntybiotic is offline Senior Member
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    We are weaning her off one milligram of Lexapro a month but she is not excited at the length of time this may take.

    I am so angry that her doctor never warned us of any of this. Her jaw was painful due to clentching her teeth and that is why she was put on Lexapro, to relieve anxiety

    The withdrawal has been so painful even by just one milligram. Mania, cramps, sinus congestion, agitation, insominia, mood liability.

    Has anyone sucessfully gotten of 20 Mg Lexapro?

  12. #12
    lowtidebeach is offline New Member
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    Try the web site http://www.crazymeds.org/
    there's a good deal of up front info on SSRI's etc. and a discussion on withdrawl issues... best of luck !
    rick

    "Black holes are where God divided by zero."
    - Steven Wright

  13. #13
    jpsscribe is offline New Member
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    Aunty, you have every right to be concerned and angry. Lexapro is a useful drug from what I have experienced but it is not even approved for use in those younger than 18. And I don't understand why he gave her an antidepressant for TMJ pain. I had a terrible experience with Zoloft, getting on and getting off, and recently started Lexapro. So I feel for your daughter. I would take her to a different doctor right away and tell them the situation and that you want to know how to wean her off of it as painlessly as possible. I would hate to see her on Xanax or Ativan but they might recommend a tiny dosage. I don't understand why so many people are asking you why you want to take her off of it. That seems like rather a silly question. She should never have been on it in the first place.

  14. #14
    KarenLA is offline New Member
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    I was on Lexapro for about a year. Wanted to stop taking it so I didn't have to take it the rest of my life. I have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms also but didn't realize what it was, felt like I was going crazy. The dizziness is the worst!

    I'll tell you why they put her on Lexapro for TMJ problems, because it's the typical, "Oh you're a woman, you're having anxiety attacks, which is making you grind your teeth." That's what they told me when I went to the ER with several serious problems, that I was having panic attacks. Turned out I had a TIA (like a stroke) and they didn't know what the heck they were talking about. It took me a long time to find a dr that could give me the answer but before that I got talked into going on the Lexapro to help my "female anxiety."

    The stereotypes dr's have of women really hinders us getting proper healthcare!!

    Anyway, I am not through the withdrawal from 20 mg Lexapro yet, but tell your daughter to hang in there. Try meditation maybe, different exercise...I don't know. Just tell her to hang in there and know that it's not her, and that she's not alone!

    Karen

    quote:Originally posted by auntybiotic

    We are weaning her off one milligram a month but she wants me to try two milligrams this month because of the long withdrawal process.Her dpocors are not very imformed on the process of stopping Lexapro/

    I am so sick and angry that her doctor never warned us of any of this. Her jaw was painful and that is why she was put on this med.

    The withdrawal has been so painful even by just one ,illigram. Mania, cramps, sinus congestion, agitation, insominia, mood liability.

    Has anyone sucessfully gotten of 20 Mg Lexapro??

  15. #15
    wonder4678 is offline New Member
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    Hi,I took 20mg of Lexapro for almost a year, and was switched to Wellbutrin XL by my Dr. right before Christmas. For the first week I took both, the second week, I took the Wellbutrin, and Lexapro every other day, then took a half dose every other day, until I was taking only a half dose every few days. I still had side effects, but they were nowhere near as bad as stopping all together. It has been about 3 weeks since I have stopped taking it, and I am still having some side effects, although they are pretty minor. My advice is to wean her off gradually, it will make it less noticeable. Good Luck.

  16. #16
    dooda is offline New Member
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    It's now my second week off Lexapro and the hot flashes have gone away. However, I still have the moments of dizziness. Hopefully they will subside soon.

  17. #17
    Becutched is offline New Member
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    I thank god I found this forum while looking for answers to my 14 year old daughters lexapro withdrawal problems. You have helped me learn alot on here. She had been seeing a therapist for depression issues and was giving a test. It indicated she was moderately depressed. They suggested seeing then Family Doctor. We got right in. He asked us some questions and perscribed lexapro for her 10mg. She took of for 12 days and was getting even worse mood swings and cutting herself again. I got her back in the doctor he suggested at psychiatrist but to stay on the lexapro. Well she was so out of control I told her to go off ( I did look on the lexapro site about getting off this drug and found nothing to be concerned about) Well you all know now what she is going thru...the withdrawals. I had no idea only 12 days of this could do this. Shes missing so much school and to read this may take weeks to get her off it. I put a call into our Dcotor again today to tell him whats going on and that I messed up and took her off. I may have to home school her now because of all this mess. I am afraid to leave her alone for very long at this point.Shes only 14 years old.

    I can't beleive a doctor but a child on this for TMJ..[:0]Thought it was bad enough mine just gave it to her after a brief chat. Scared world with these drugs and kids.

  18. #18
    momma2threebabes is offline New Member
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    I think I may be having problems from stopping Lexapro.

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

    I am wondering if it's the meds, and I wonder if this will go away. I feel like crying. I was taking Lexapro for anxiety attacks and I feel just horrible. I'm glad I found a place for support, but will I ever get past this???

  19. #19
    dooda is offline New Member
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    Well for all of you out there, I'm complete done with the withdrawals. Everything has since subsided, no more dizziness and thank god no more sweats. I'd say to everyone going off it, just hang in there, it took a little over 2 weeks. But I feel great now.

    Good Luck Everyone
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  20. #20
    shocker is offline New Member
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    I've been lowering my lexapro dosages from 30mg to 0 by 5mg per week. I've been experiencing shocking sensation to my head and then to my arms and feet with dizziness to. Iwas wondering if anyone else who is lowering their dosage is experiencing the shocking sensation to their head. Could this be the dizziness everyone is describing?

  21. #21
    shocker is offline New Member
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    quote:Originally posted by dooda

    Well for all of you out there, I'm complete done with the withdrawals. Everything has since subsided, no more dizziness and thank god no more sweats. I'd say to everyone going off it, just hang in there, it took a little over 2 weeks. But I feel great now.

    Good Luck Everyone

  22. #22
    momma2threebabes is offline New Member
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    quote:Originally posted by shocker

    I've been lowering my lexapro dosages from 30mg to 0 by 5mg per week. I've been experiencing shocking sensation to my head and then to my arms and feet with dizziness to. Iwas wondering if anyone else who is lowering their dosage is experiencing the shocking sensation to their head. Could this be the dizziness everyone is describing?
    What do you mean shocking sensation? What does it feel like?
    I'm getting dizzy, REALLY dizzy, and my heart palpatations are startling me everytime I get one. It's awful. I get a dizzy spell out of the middle of nowhere.

  23. #23
    fighting_back is offline New Member
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    To all with Lexapro withdrawal problems, I am currently experiencing what I unlovingly call "Stage Two" of withdrawal. This is the stage when the dizziness becomes only a haunting echo and the sweats and chills diminish. However, the emotional withdrawal has begun. I am prone to crying spells, thoughts of self-harm, and hopelessness, especially at night.

    Overall, I have been on Lexapro for a year and a half, and don't think I should ever have been put on it. Psychotropic drugs are very easily prescribed these days, especially to teenagers who experience mood swings due to hormonal fluctuation. Usually you don't even need someone who specializes in psychology to prescribe you, just a fifteen-minute physician's visit and two weeks of samples.

    Also, while clinical studies have guaranteed no serious short-term side effects, long-term side effects are generally unknown. My doctor also thought Lexapro was the least-addictive, best-ever anti-depressant she could have put me on. And sure, maybe she didn't do her homework, but most likely she thought it would be okay: because it was relatively new at the time, and no one knew much about it.

    The best thing to do is look to our own inner strength and the help of professional therapists to solve one's depression and anxiety. No one knows how artificially increased serotonin levels will effect us in the long run. No one even really knows that much about neurochemistry and serotonin to begin with! Neuroscience, much like medicine in general, is vague and semi-scientific. And the brain is such an important organ to preserve that I recommend strongly one waits until some years in the future when man understands the chemistry of the brain better.

    So, from one who is suffering from a desire to 'fight back against the madness,' kudos to those doing the same. It is difficult, and I will update if anything new occurs related with withdrawal.

    And advice for those tapering---please do it more slowly. Let your body be your guide. On the second day you experience the side effects of dizziness, take your usual dose. Over a period of two weeks you should be able to cut your dose in half. Your body adjusts itself, but it takes time. Remember that it took at least 2 weeks for Lexapro to work in the first place. Do not put yourself at risk by tapering too quickly. At this point I've been tapering for a month and the dizziness is nearly gone. I take a 10mg dose a little less than twice a week (about every 4-5 days).

    Remember that, although psychotropics are an easy answer, sometimes the most lasting changes in life are the hardest. And please don't put your teenager on Lexapro---it is NOT SAFE AND CAN CHANGE THEIR BRAIN CHEMISTRY PERMANENTLY. You do not want to saddle them with a life-long addiction. For those who unwittingly put their children on the drug, seek a professional rehabilitation center (there is usually one associated with your local hospital). Don't let their doctors psychoanalyze your child, just ask them to help him/her get off the drug.

    Hope some of this helps.



    "A man of clear-cut convictions is impervious to anyone's influence." -A.R.

  24. #24
    princessmom2002 is offline New Member
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    When I weaned off of Lexapro 20mg, it was very gradual. I took 17.5mg for 2 weeks, then 15mg for 2wks, then 12.5mg x 2wks and so on. Decrease the dose 2.5 mg for 2 week intervals until you are down to 2.5mg. After 2 weeks of the 2.5mg, take 2.5mg every other day for 2weeks, then every 4 days for 2 weeks-- then stop. It worked for me with only very slight side effects. My MD gave me a RX for vertigo to help with the dizziness and that seemed to help alot-- as well as drinking plenty of water and lots of rest. It seemed like I would never be off of the Lexapro completely, but I've been off for almost 3 months now and feel great!



    quote:Originally posted by momma2threebabes

    I think I may be having problems from stopping Lexapro.

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

    I am wondering if it's the meds, and I wonder if this will go away. I feel like crying. I was taking Lexapro for anxiety attacks and I feel just horrible. I'm glad I found a place for support, but will I ever get past this???

  25. #25
    fighting_back is offline New Member
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    Shocker, the symptoms you are experiencing are not the dizziness, they are separate symptoms that make you feel like you are recieving a jolt of electricity, going from your head to your extremities. These are rare side effects of SSRI withdrawal, but they are symptoms. Be careful of tapering too quickly, you could plunge yourself into SSRI Withdrawal Syndrome, which consists of flu-like symptoms that can leave you bed-ridden for weeks.

    ---Fighting Back

    quote:Originally posted by shocker

    I've been lowering my lexapro dosages from 30mg to 0 by 5mg per week. I've been experiencing shocking sensation to my head and then to my arms and feet with dizziness to. Iwas wondering if anyone else who is lowering their dosage is experiencing the shocking sensation to their head. Could this be the dizziness everyone is describing?
    "A man of clear-cut convictions is impervious to anyone's influence." -A.R.

  26. #26
    wanttobeok is offline New Member
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    I too am going off lexapro (I never took more than 15mg). I got down to 5mg without any problems, but then when I stopped taking the 5mg about a week ago, I've been dizzy, irritable, tired, and feeling a bit depressed.

    My only respite during the day is going to the gym. The only time I feel better and don't notice the dizziness is when I'm working out. I don't know if other people have experienced this, but it could be something to try for some short-term relief during the day.

    I can't wait until I just feel OK again.

  27. #27
    superjimmer is offline New Member
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    Hi folks, I would like help tapering off and withdrawing from Lexapro. I would like to do it using the final bottle of 30 lexapro 20mg tabs that I have. Can anyone recommend how to taper off using 30 pills over 6 to 10 weeks maybe? Actually any suggestions on how to do it, what to expect, and any natural supplements I should consider would be very much appreciated.

    thanks!

    - Jim

  28. #28
    sheilsrave is offline New Member
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    Hello. I am a medical student who has been taking Lexapro 20mg for 2 years. This past December, I cut down to 10 mg. For the past few months I have been tired all the time and suffering from flu-like symptoms. I can't figure out whether these are side-effects of the Lexapro or of the withdrawal. I wish that I was able to give more advice to others (because of my medical background), but what I'm realizing is that even very well-informed doctors sometimes do not know everything. Everytime I miss a few doses of the Lexapro, I get those "shocky" sensations in my head when I take a step too quickly or turn my head. I discussed with my Doctor, and he said that he thinks it's not withdrawal from the Lexapro, but evidence of resurfacing anxiety/depression. I think that he's wrong. I wish that I knew more about these drugs-- because we take them to help us with difficult problems (depression, anxiety, etc)-- but sometimes they may end up with worse side-effects than the problems themselves. I caution anyone against taking psychiatric medication unless all other methods (meditation, exercise, yoga, talk-therapy) are exhausted and not working.
    thank you,
    -SR

  29. #29
    glowworm96 is offline New Member
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    OMG! I thought I was going crazy![)] I've been on Lex for about 18 months, and was on Zoloft before that. I've been off for a week -cold turkey quitter -but only because my clinic is stupid and wouldn't call in my Rx.[:0] Anyway, I've had to go without it a few times, and it's the same everytime. Dizzyness, palpitations, sweats-and now I'm getting the depressive weepy stuff. [xx(] I was so afraid this would go on forever, but, thanks to this forum and others like it, I know I'll be in hell[}] for only another week or so. LOL. Thanks.

    The meek shall inherit the earth!

  30. #30
    hanasante is offline New Member
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    I'm so glad I found this forum. I've been on Lexapro for over 2 years now. I started taking it because I was going through a terrifying experience in my life and felt very unstable. After talking with my doctor I started taking 10mg of Lexapro. I also starting seeing a therapist. I've gone been 10-20mg. About 9 days ago I ran out of the stuff and thought it wasn't a big deal. Boy was I wrong! I spent 5 days feeling like I was seriously ill. Only to find out yesterday when I went to see the on-call doctor that I was experiencing Lexapro withdrawal. He informed me that most doctors don't warn their patitent about this. He immediately wrote me a new prescription and have me samples to take home. Now, that I've read up on the not only the withdrawls but also the side effects, I don't want to continue taking Lexapro.

    Has anyone experiences weight gain while taking Lexapro?

    I hope to get my life back soon

    EF

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