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Lexapro - Withdrawal symptoms
  1. #1
    sfsyed is offline New Member
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    Default Lexapro - Withdrawal symptoms

    I've been having severe withdrawal symptoms after my doctor made me ween off of Lexapro recently. These symptoms are severe restless leg syndrome all throughout the day, being jittery, uneasiness, and being overall restless. I'm also sleeping a lot less, waking up during the night, and I've been smoking a lot more, and I mean a lot. Has anyone else experienced these types of withdrawal symptoms from Lexapro?

  2. #2
    Shifty is offline Member
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    quote:Originally posted by sfsyed

    I've been having severe withdrawal symptoms after my doctor made me ween off of Lexapro recently. These symptoms are severe restless leg syndrome all throughout the day, being jittery, uneasiness, and being overall restless. I'm also sleeping a lot less, waking up during the night, and I've been smoking a lot more, and I mean a lot. Has anyone else experienced these types of withdrawal symptoms from Lexapro?
    Yes, there are countless lists of side effects from withdrawing from this drug. I'm surprised you don't get the shocks/reboots. That's where you seem to daze off for a second then snap back to reality having to regain your balance and feeling slight nausea for a second.

    I get the jitteriness/uneasiness from any kind of withdrawal from paxil / lexapro / hydrocodone / caffeine / nicotine / etc.

    Go here for 148 pages of stories:
    http://www.drugs.com/forum/topic.asp...&whichpage=148

    ---
    Meds: 450mg Eskalith CR
    You are listening to the opinions of a certified crazy person.

  3. #3
    sexysue is offline Member
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    i am getting them too . it is pure hell . glad that am not the only one who is suffering from withdrawing from this terrible drug . just hang in there . am trying too .if that does not work , try praying . it will be worth it in the end . [xx(]

  4. #4
    EasyMeds is offline Banned
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    How long of a taper schedule has your doctor put you on? Often drs don't set a long enough taper schedule. Especially if they are a GP and not a specialist.

    I would be curious to hear the taper schedules of some of the people who are having w/d issues with Lexapro.

    Paul

  5. #5
    kack400 is offline New Member
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    I have been on Lexapro for a couple of years; I have been reducing my intake from 10mg gradually over the passed few weeks. I talked to my doctor and she said that 10 mg was a very small dose, I shouldn't have to ween off of it. Even with the slow reduction, I have been experiencing the brain zaps that everyone talks about, as well as, dizziness, shocky sensations when I take a step too quickly or even turn my head, some emotional crying and hot flashes, and don't forget the weight gain of 25 lbs esp in the belly. The side effects are worse than the problem. I hope they go away soon. Has anyone been successful with losing the belly fat?

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    c-ann is offline New Member
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    first off, i just want to write that this website helped me to know i was not going crazy. i had been taking lamictal and lexapro (lamictal b/t 100mg and 200mg and lexapro between 10mg and 20mg--10mg for the past 4 months) for almost 2 years and after feeling like i had reached a plateau and deciding these meds were not doing anything anymore, i decided to stop. i have an MA in clinical psych and i know the hazards of stopping meds 'cold turkey,' but i was on remeron and serzone in the past and nothing really happened when i did.

    one reason i did want to stop the meds is because no matter what, i was tired all the time and after repeating the same thing to my doctor over and over for years, he offered no solutions, except to increase my meds. i also started to experience a tingly lightheaded sensation towards the end of my workday that would subside when i came home and took the rest of my dosage. but this annoyed me because i knew the meds were the reason i was having that feeling in the first place. i guess there was some confusion because i thought i was having that feeling because the meds were in my system too much, only now realizing that my body was telling me i needed to take more.

    so last friday, i stopped. and began experiencing what i could only describe as "brain zaps." i mistakenly thought it was the lamictal and after typing in "lamicatal brain zaps" on google and getting nothing, i simply typed in "brain zaps," and lo and behold--it's the lexapro. i just can't believe how many people have experienced this and described it the same way as i thought. truly.

    it has now been 8 days. i feel like my brain is being shocked, the duration has changed from every minute all day to a few times an hour. but they are debilitating. and i feel helpless. i also feel this "wave" of some sort, like a tingle, but it's only on my brain and the ends of my fingertips and i've begun to feel it in my teeth. sometimes, it feels like there are hands around my brain giving it 3 good shakes every 2 minutes. there is no way to tell when it will happen, it hurts. and this site made me realize this is common.

    BUT i need to know IF this will stop and how long it usually takes. this is the only major side effect i am having ( i am a little more emotional-teary-but not necessarily in a bad way) but i don't know how long i will be able to deal with this. i am taking B-12 complex, multivitamin and 3000mg Omega-3 a day and i don't know if it's just wishful thinking, but they do seem to help. in fact, the day after i started the omega-3 and B-12, the zaps subsided so significantly that i thought it would stay that way, but the next day they were back with such a vengeance and it was so disheartening, i just wanted to scream. i am also prescribed xanax and usually take an average of 1.5mg a day, but i don't know if this helps with the withdrawal in any way.

    so please, can somebody please give me an estimation of how long these things will last and if fluctuations are normal..i had just assumed they would keep gradually getting better..not one day okay, one day debilitating, the next a little better...and if there is anything else i can do in the meantime to help ease the pain?

    thanks in advance....

  7. #7
    sexysue is offline Member
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    hi there . it's me again . been off lexopra 10mg for a month now . did it cold turkey . had no choice cos it was worsening my depression and making me suicidal . still trying to hang in there but it is hard . thinking of trying diphenhydramine ( benedryl ) . that helps with ssri's withdrawal symptoms . maybe you should try that too . anyway hope it helps ! take care .

  8. #8
    avhalsey is offline New Member
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    quote:Originally posted by EasyMeds

    How long of a taper schedule has your doctor put you on? Often drs don't set a long enough taper schedule. Especially if they are a GP and not a specialist.

    I would be curious to hear the taper schedules of some of the people who are having w/d issues with Lexapro.

    Paul
    Hi there Paul - I am new to this forum. thank goodness for this forum!!! After 3 years of 20 mgs a day, I went to 10 mgs of Lexapro for about 2-3 months, then to 5 mgs for about a month, then two weeks ago I went off completely. I think it was two weeks ago. it might have been 3 weeks. I have been very very sad, crying which I don't usually do. extremely irritable with everyone around me, and feeling a lot of tension in my stomach. The gripping / anxious sensations seem to be less and less. I could actually feel the tension in my body and mind yesterday afternoon, tear, frustration and then I was all of a sudden fine. came home and watched a movie until 11:30 pm.

    I was on Lexapro for three years, did talk therapy once a week for it, and that helped, talk therapy ended about a year ago but I stayed on the drugs as there were some changes in my life. I haven't had the zaps - gawd, they sound awful - but the weepiness and the overwhelming sadness have been kind of scary. I literally feel out of contol. I am hoping these will pass. today I feel pretty good.

    I really want off this drug. I went from 20 mgs to 10 because my anxiety levels were increasing. the reduction helped reduce the anxiety. then when the anxiety (revving of my engines is how I call it)seemed to rev up again I went to 5 mgs. now I don't get th intense racing around 11 am that I was getting (I took my Lexapro around 6 am in the morning), but do get some lethargy. yoga seems to be the best solution.

    anyway, that is my taper story. I am now concerned that STAGE 2 will be right around the corner and I can expect worse symptoms but am hoping for the best.

    Alex

  9. #9
    marthyjane is offline New Member
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    i just got off of lexapro last wednesday and since then, i have had headaches,dizziness,sweating, and periods of forgetfulness. the main symptoms i worry about are the headaches and the dizziness. i took lexapro for a year (l0 mg.) i was depressed because of menopause.
    another symptom i forgot to mention is my eyes hurting some. they feel really tired.
    hope to get a reply soon.
    marthyjane

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    margana11 is offline New Member
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    Hmm, quite a long time ago I experienced a long bout of what I used to describe as feeling "blinky". This was my term for what "Shifty" calls rebooting. Exactly. It's as though I would turn my head and kind of strobe in time. I know I described this to my physician, who had not a clue. I am relieved actually to think it was withdrawal from an antidepressant. I am so glad I decided to read this thread. Thank you for sharing!

    My sorry laundry list includes Wellbutrin (lost its efficacy, Wellbutrin SR (raised my bp), Prozac (tremors, but no relief), Paxil (probably the "blinky" culprit), etc. I tried Lexapro, but ran back to Celexa after a couple of weeks. I've been using Celexa for several years. I'm relatively satisfied with it. By the way, Wellbutrin seemed to have a very good effect on my libido. I hear in its ads that it has a lesser chance of a negative effect, but it was more than that. I guess it's unproven, but now you have my anecdotal evidence.

  11. #11
    walnutj is offline Junior Member
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    i just started taking lexapro last week, im starting to feel much better about everything, any suggestions? I have experience vicodin withdrawls before, which i will never touch again!!! Are they worse than that? I am happy about starting this new medication. I would like to hear comments and suggestions though.. thanks

  12. #12
    sexysue is offline Member
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    lexopra is the very worst . believe me ! was on seroxat before . thought that was bad . then i was put on lexopra . nearly 5 weeks off the stuff and i am still suffering . if i was you , chuck the remaining pils of lexopra you got left in the bin . it does alot of damage to ya . made me very depressed and suicidal while i was on it . was only on it for a month and i am ****ed up for good now .

  13. #13
    Lexapro is offline New Member
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    I didn't realize that I may be withdrawing from Lexapro, good to know maybe im not going crazy. About these "Brain Zaps," Im not sure I am experiencing them, but I have had what feels like a sinus headache, and even worse, I think I am having coital headaches...they are related to sex. Does anyone else have this experience? I heard they can be benign or really serious (brain bleed, anyurism, etc...) but I dont know if this is what it is, or if its a coincidence with the lexapro. I went to the doctor today and she thinks its about the lexapro but to have a cat scan or something done just in case, but i cant do that until i go back home in a couple weeks and im afraid to wait that long...please help!

  14. #14
    sexysue is offline Member
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    to lexopra . hiya . if it is brain damage due to the lexopra , you would not be writing in to this forum or doing anything at all . was like you once . was also worried about any sort of brain damage that the lexopra could have done . your brain and body will heal itself . just give it time . good luck [8D]

  15. #15
    drugfree_2006 is offline New Member
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    I am currently experiencing withdrawal symptoms. I'm very jittery, uneasy, and needing much less sleep.

    I'm also nauseous! Fun! [xx(]

    *This too shall pass* - soon, right?

  16. #16
    403lady is offline New Member
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    I haven't been on this site since the middle of June. My boyfriend quit Lex cold turkey on June 9 after taking it for 9 months and started having terrible withdrawls on June 18. This included sweating, shaking, headaches, loss of balance, bad moods, forgetting just about everything and being a complete pain in the butt to be around. In the last couple of weeks, he has gotten considerably worse. He says that he doesn't want to see anybody. He has canceled doctor's appointments and will not go anywhere except to work. And I'm scared that he's going to get fired because he keeps running his mouth all of the time to the boss. The scariest part is that I can look into his eyes and see that nobody's home. He just keeps staring at the wall with glassed over eyes. The kind and loving person that I know is completely gone. He is withdrawn and says terrible things to me when he does decide to speak. He doesn't remember all of the bad things that he says to me several days later and acts very suprised and gets agitated when I tell him what he has said. I found out that he had resumed Lex somewhere around the first of October. He didn't talk to a Dr. about this, he just started taking some pills he had left. He said that he couldn't deal with his problems and he felt like the world was closing in on him. He says that he shakes from the inside out and everything makes him nervous. I'm worried that he could get agitated and hurt somebody or himself. I just let him go cause there's nothing that I can do. He's not rational enough to discuss this with. The reason that he started Lex is because he has some big problems in life and the pills make him not care about anything. Since he got off of them, he's seen what a disaster his life has become due to his inability to correct any of his problems. These ever-increasing problems are now completely freaking him out so he went back on the Lex so he wouldn't feel any anxiety over his big pile of rotting garbage. This is a horrible cycle that probably won't end until he has completely destroyed his life and he loses everything he owns. Did anybody else ever become this withdrawn? How did you dig out of it? How did your loved ones deal with it? This is really terrible to watch, knowing there is nothing that I can do.

  17. #17
    psalm91 is offline New Member
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    My heart goes out to all who have been on Lexapro ... and more so for those working to get off of it - may you have courage and strength to be set free of this drug and get thru the withdrawals.

    My mother (78 yrs old) started lex to deal with her Post Tramatic Syndrom (a plane literally crashed into her living room where she had just been sitting on her sofa ...amazing that her life was spared ... needless to say, she did suffer mental trauma). Her doc got her on Lex.

    Now 3 years later - still taking lex, she decides to stop taking it... little did I know her plans and a few days ago she decided to stop. Oh boy. That's when I got the call from her.

    She told me that she has been hearing voices. Not a great feeling for me to have her say that especially since all I could think of was that she was experiencing symptoms of Alzheimers (her sister who passed away a few years ago suffered from Alz) and I had no idea that stopping lex even for a day would have such horrible side effects.

    How on earth do I help her to get off this drug? I may have made matters worse since last week I bought her multivitamins to take that I believe has some herbs that may be having interractions with Lex?

    I need some direction and advice?

  18. #18
    403lady is offline New Member
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    To Psalm 91:
    I am very sorry to hear what happened to your mother. The withdrawls from Lex are terrible. My boyfriend got off Lex cold turkey during the first week of June after taking it for 9 months. By the 18th, he was in a different world where only him and his problems existed. From what I have witnessed dealing with him and from what I have read, the only things that seem to help the withdrawls are to wean yourself off of Lex slowly and just let time take its course.
    I know this is easier said than done, but don't take anything your mom says personally. My boyfriend used to be the kindest, most gentile man that I have ever met. Lex turned him into a complete monster. He yells, is completely impatient, wants to be alone all of the time, and complains about everything. I know its not him, its the drugs talking. Please, just remember that and keep loving her. It will be hard to do at times.
    Since your mom has Alz. history in her family, it wouldn't be a bad idea if she went to the Doc. for a checkup just to make sure there isn't more than one problem going on here. You can ask the Doc about Lex withdrawl, but most Docs don't know much about it. I think the drug companies are very hush-hush about SSRI side effects and don't educate the Docs about how to get patients off this stuff.
    My boyfriend took some herbal antidepressants after he stopped taking Lex, but all they would do was take the edge off of his panic attacks. They were very expensive and didn't do much of anything. He also took vitamin C and did liver flushes with red beets and spinach (don't ask). All this did was give him a stomach ache and constipate him horribly.
    I wish you and your mom the best of luck. I'll watch the site from time to time and let me know if you need some moral support.

  19. #19
    psalm91 is offline New Member
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    403lady ... thanks for the feedback and support. God bless you and I pray for your boyfriend that this week God move in his life mightily for a quick recovery.

    I did check with my mother's doc and you were right ... docs seem clueless to this issue.

    I'm going to go the way of "gradual" in terms of time and amount in lessening degrees - seems that is what may work best.

    My question that remains to any former lex users IS ...

    HAS ANYONE experienced "HEARING VOICES" when they stopped taking their lex meds?

  20. #20
    yeppers is offline New Member
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    I just wanted to chime in and say that, although I have yet to hear voices, I definitely have the "brain zings" that others have mentioned. I started taking Lexapro about 2 years ago, at 10mgs/day. I stopped cold turkey a few months in after I started to feel less depressed and anxious -- that was a big mistake. I found myself at a railroad tracks, considering suicide. Yikes!

    The doctor put me back on Lexapro, scolded me soundly, and increased my dosage. So, after that, I started taking 20mgs/day, and continued doing so until about a month ago.

    My reason for stopping this time was financial: I started a new job and had new insurance but the new insurance wasn't applicable to the Lex b/c it was a script from a previous doctor ... long story short, although I was wiling to foot the bill for one month of treatment without insurance, when it came to the second month, I wasn't so willing. This time, although I was forced to go cold turkey again, I was aware of the dangers of doing so, and I'm happy to say that I have not felt at all suicidal.

    Other good things from quitting Lexapro: my libido is back (in FULL FORCE); my belly looks normal again (I gained at least 30 pounds on this drug ... I've already lost about 5 of those); and I can focus for long periods of time. My new doctor tells me that one of the main side effects of Lexapro is that it can make people scatter-brained. Wish I'd known that before ... no wonder I was having such trouble at work!!

    Anyway, the worst part of this time getting off of this drug is the zings I experience ... like electric currents going from ear to ear. And they're becoming more frequent. Fun.

    I wish I'd done more research before taking this drug--then again, when I started it seemed like there wasn't nearly as much information on the web about Lex as there is now. Those of you who are considering starting Lexapro, please consider the side effects as well as the difficulty with withdrawl first.

  21. #21
    psalm91 is offline New Member
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    Yeppers ... thanks for the input (glad to here the libido thing's working for ya ... though I doubt it was one of my mom's main concerns ... hey ya never know with these spunky seniors)!

    Quick update from her ... evidently she went back on lex (taking half dosage (5mg/day)and since hasn't had any problem hearing "the voices". Said she feels fine and sleeps great. Yet, she says she wants to get off completely.

    This would seem to be a no-win situation, yet there's something in my beliefs that tells me that this is not something she needs to battle alone and that God will help her thru this as she gets off lex 100%. I'm going to pray and fast on her behalf and seek God's wisdom on how best to handle.

    Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord the Creator of the ends of the earth neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Youths shall faint and be weary even young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31 nkjv).

    Be encouraged ... you don't have to do it alone.
    jan2222 likes this.

  22. #22
    MichalRose is offline New Member
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    Hi everyone:

    I weened off of lexapro nearly a month ago. I have gone off SSRI's before, and I'm familiar with the brain zaps and mood swings. This time though I am having alot of body pain. It's what I imagine fibromyalgia feels like. My legs really hurt, and I have pin points of pain moving around my body, everywhere all the time! Of course my doctor said that he's never heard of this, but i have found they really don't know alot!
    Has anyone else experienced the body pain?
    Thanks!!!

  23. #23
    Gabriel2006 is offline New Member
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    uh, I was given this drug by my doctor for my recently developed panic attacks I had had actually only 2 and the 1st one scared the **** outta me *thought I was having a heart attack* after having all my heart issues checked out they found nothing wrong, but 3 weeks later I managed to throw myself into my second attack in which I was able to control after taking a loprozam I was given in the emergency room the 1st time I had a P-attack, so I did'nt go all numb and lock up like the 1st time and actually stayed home . The next day my doctor gave me lexapro *4 weeks worth* I am on day 2 of 10 mg and while reading another feedback website , I actually made myself have 2-3 more attacks the 1st day on it , but I was able to stand up and breath correctly and tell myself that I'll be fine (this really sux not having this condition for my 29 yrs here then outta nowhere it shows up) actually returned back to normal in about 2- 3 min and I think the lexapro had something to do with it. last night I was awakened by that possible brain zap sensation but I dismissed it as a dream perhaps since it only occured once. I never been on meds before so I'm still wondering if this is a good idea!!??? it does seem to help my anxiety but I'm am only on day 2 of 10 mg. I'm thinking of going 2 weeks on 10 mg then tapering very slowly till I can quit. I don't like the idea of taking a pill to feel normal.

  24. #24
    JLShockley is offline New Member
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    Hello all! I have browsed some of the back pages...seems to be a common difficulty. I would appreciate any suggestions as my family GP seems to have run out of tests for my symptoms, and maybe I am still experiencing withdrawal.

    I have been on Celebrex 20 mg and then Lexapro 10 mg for seven years. Plus Xanax .5 mg twice a day and a beta blocker for irregular stress related heartbeat. My cardiologist placed me on the meds, and I never felt better in my life...also "cured" me of my fibromyalgia symptoms due to the good restorative sleep I was getting.

    Gradually gained from 130 to 160 pounds, lost my libido, was aorgasmic..so I made a quality of life decision to stop my Lexapro. Menopause occured during these years, also, and symptoms of vaginal atrophy did not help with my sexlife. I have been unable to take fosamax or others for my bones, so my GP and I decided to go with a low estrogen patch...worked wonders!

    On June 16, 2006 I took my last bit of Lexapro. No symptoms of withdrawel evident. On July 4, 2006 I began symptoms of what would be proven to be (good grief..at my age) Mononucleosis. Here began my metallic mouth. The mono abated, but my metallic mouth and then mouth, feet and hand parathesias remain.

    Today is October 30, 2006 and I am still taking Xanax at .5 twice a day. I feel the need to take Xanax more frequently...so I am going to drop the dose and gradually get off it.

    That will be hard enough...but...

    Am I still getting withdrawal symptoms from Lexapro? Could Mono have complicated something here? Do withdrawal symptoms sometimes delay that long before manifesting themselves?

    On the bright side...my libido is back!!...and I am down to 145 pounds by doing NOTHING different! I know you know that my cardiologists kept telling me I had to exercise more and eat less and made me feel so guilty all those years the weight kept creeping on no matter what I did....and I am a chicken farmer who eats light in her middle age!

    I know too that anxiety can cause my symptoms, but these are some which I have never had in all my stress filled years. Why now?

    Love all your hearts! And good luck with your own troubles. I appreciate any advice or comfort you may be able to give me.

    hugs all around,
    Jeanne

  25. #25
    Lisadrugfree is offline New Member
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    I am off lexapro for 2 weeks now and withdrawl is still going strong. I weaned myself, but this did not seem to make a difference. I am smoking like crazy too, not sleeping, brain zaps, heart THUMPS, the whole nine yards. Just HOLD ON, that is what I keep telling myself. Just get through it, deal with the smoking the sleep-less-ness later. Do what you need to do for NOW. Just hang on!

  26. #26
    brucemw is offline New Member
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    Hi All,

    I have been on a low dose of lexapro (10mg/day) for over a year. It was prescribed, along with talk therapy, for depression. The combination of these things worked very well to alleviate depression. I quit lexapro last week, and have been experiencing many of the symptoms described: attacks of vertigo, nausea, my eyes hurting, general body pains, insomnia, hot and cold sweats, and other vague flu-like symptoms.

    Strange to say, the best way to alleviate these symptoms is working out! Going out running is not what I feel like doing while feeling this sick---but while running and afterwards, my head clears, vertigo and nausea go away, and stay away for the rest of the day. The symptoms resurface the next day, unless I work out again.

    I think that exercise naturally raises the levels of serotonin in the body, which is what lexapro does chemically. I recommend daily exercise to anyone weaning themselves off lexapro--it will help with withdrawal symptoms. My doctor also points out that exercise is the best anti-depressant around: all of the benefits, and none of the side-effects.




  27. #27
    jasmamaus is offline New Member
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    my 11 year old son was given lexapro about a month ago by his primary care doc. i had taken him in for very frequent headaches (like daily) and he told her he has been feeling depressed. about 2 days ago he quit taknig it. he said it wasn't helping him. the last two days i have been getting calls from school to come get him cause he's throwing up. he says he doesn't feel sick, he just throws up. could this be from quitting the meds? he was taking 10 mg daily before he quit.

  28. #28
    403lady is offline New Member
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    To jasmamaus:
    Ask your child if they feel dizzy or the room keeps spinning when they turn their head real fast. My boyfriend threw up for 2 months after stopping Lex cold turkey. He complained endlessly of headaches and getting disoriented from quick movements of his head. His throwing up seemed to occur when he had these spells that he lost his balance and had to hold on to something to keep from falling down. He tried just about everything from exercise to herbs to stop the withdrawl symptoms, but nothing ever worked for him. Only time made it go away. Good luck and I hope for both you and your child this disappears quickly.

  29. #29
    shadieangel74 is offline New Member
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    I am new here,but was shocked to read all of you having these same symptoms as myself.Been off lexapro for about 9 days now..after two years of taking it....feel ALOT worse now..really crazy feelings gained 20-25 lbs. give or take.soooooooo, someone please let me know how long i gotta go through these withdrawls.by the way i got several "ONE DAY AT A TIME CHIPS" and these feelings are way worse ...HELP???[8]

  30. #30
    Patience is offline Member
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    Jan 2007
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    MichalRose:

    Are you still dealing with the body pain?

    I quit effexor cold turkey about 5 months ago and still have body pain.

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