I have slowly weaned off of Lexapro over a month and for the past week have been not taking any, and my obsessive negative thoughts and anger are out of control. I can't sleep. I've also experienced frequent bouts of anxiety, jitteriness and upset stomach throughout the day, even over simple events or activities.
When I look up Lexapro withdrawal, I find a long thread here that discusses the symptoms, but I've never read a single testimony, as far as I can recall, claiming that the withdrawals did in fact end for them after a period of time and they lived happily and functional again, without Lexapro. This is quite discouraging. I want some evidence that it's possible. I REALLY don't want to go crawling back to Lexapro, especially when I hear about how horrible and bad for you SSRIs are, so I'd like some encouragement and guidance from people who actually know the other side of this, if they exist.
Over the past 11 years, I've come off Celexa and Lexapro three times without any significant withdrawal symptoms. My Lexapro dosage has never been above 10 mg, so that might be a factor. In all three cases, I suffered a major depressive episode within a year and had to go right back on it. My doc says, based on my track record, that I will need to stay on Lexapro for life which, so far, doesn't seem like a bad thing to me.
6 Sep 2022
Hi peahiekeen, I’ve been on 20 mg for over 8 years tried three times to get off it. Unfortunately I tapered extremely slow -5mg for four months and so on. By the time I got to -10 my withdrawal symptoms were out of control. I couldn’t stand to be in my own skin. I had to get back on track and it’s been three years I’m still taking 20mg. I have RLS and trigenimal neuralgia I don’t need anything else to add to my pain. However, I truly wish you all the success in getting off of this horrific med. I wish so much it worked for me. Prayers for you and for all having issues with any meds.
6 Sep 2022
I have taken lexapro for 10 years 20 mg. I didn’t want to take anymore n this is how I weaned off successfully. Went from 20mg for yrs to 10mg for 3 months then 5 mg for 6 weeks then split 5mg in half for 4 weeks. Side effects weren’t bad at all. Few minor headaches took Tylenol. Did have trouble falling asleep for couple weeks so I took a Benadryl n slept great. Better by the day Very slow process to wean off but you can do it. I now am completely off lexapro and feel great.
15 March 2022
Just to weigh in - you can get doses below 5 mg, in the solution form. I take 3 mg of Lexapro and sometimes the side effects feel like too much at that dose. I just happen to be very sensitive. I have a solution and every 1 ml = 1 mg of Lexapro. Don't take "no" for an answer - doctors CAN prescribe a solution and some people need the flexibility.
31 Jan 2022
Yes. I got off of lexapro very quickly, 10mg x1 daily for 6 years, switched to 5mg x1 daily for about a month, then cut my 5mg’s in half and took x1 daily for about 2 weeks. I do not recommend following in my footsteps at all, but I had so so much drive and devotion to get off of them that I gathered all my will power and dove head first gripping it by the b*lls haha. Not going to lie, I definitely felt the repercussions during my college finals which was around the time I fully got off my dosage. The physical withdrawals were more so what my focus directed towards; I was stumbly, it was a bit hard to sleep, the obvious brain zaps (they truly aren’t that bad but that is just my tolerance to them) and a small bit of confusion and memory issues.
Around 2 months of being off (and probably a bit earlier than this I just can’t recall) I started to feel the emotional withdrawals, which were the layers being lifted from the emotions I had felt before being on lexapro, except for me more dulled. I stuck it through, the emotions weren’t that bad but they were there, and I just connected with the emotions to try to understand them and work with them rather than against them. Any sadness, anger, or sloth that I felt I tried to get to the bottom of it and nurture them like a child. Journaling has really helped with this, as well as meditation and supplementing St. John’s wart herb in tea about 3x a week or as needed. It’s been about 4-5 ish months now, and I can say that I have definitely made progress. Checking in with yourself like a good friend, and nurturing your for fronted emotions like a child is very beneficial, do what feels right for you and if you need to get connected with a therapist that you feel comfortable with. I believe it would be much easier to taper off of the medication rather than what I did, but I hope my jump-in story might spark some hope for someone who is nervous about the easier taper-off process. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and remember that you can do it. You are capable of great things, and the power is within you, not the pill. I know you can do it.
1 Dec 2021
I've been on Lexapro for 5 years. I've gotten to a point in life I felt I don't need it. I also think I shouldn't off been on it this long... I wish I had known how hard it was to tapper off this medication. I wish my doctor at the time would of been informative of SSRI's. I'm ADHD and I think my depression was due to that an executive dysfunction.
Right now I'm down to 10 MG after tapering off 20 MG. It took a few weeks for the side effects to stop and I'm trying 5mg now. But I'm back to 10 MG, it is difficult because I'm going through some stress in life that had me go back to the 10mg. I couldn't deal with both at the same time.I'm feeling very tired at times and moody. I take medication for my ADHD so that maybe helping and taking some vitamins.
I'm so glad I came across this thread, it's been so hard to find others who have been on it as long or longer then me. It gives me hope and courage to do this. Has anyone had issues with their cycles? I have a IUD (almost 3 years ) and I've been spotting for a month since I started tapering.
Don't worry I'm seeing a doctor for it. But any other advice to help tapper would help. Did working out really help? And eating "right"? Whenever I google advice that's the only advice I see half the time. I never knew about the weight gain ... since I started tapering I've lost weight.
31 Jan 2021
Been on 5mg Lexapro for a year or so. Tried tapering off by cutting pills in half but my dizziness gets intolerable. My doctor says 5mg is the smallest dose and he won’t prescribe me less. The weight gain is annoying. I don’t like the feeling of being on it. I don’t know how to get off of it. After about 2 weeks of stopping it the withdrawals are too much. 6 hours after I finally break down and take a 5mg dose all withdrawals stop. I feel stuck.
8 Oct 2019
Lexapro was the easiest to quit... Just take vitamin C and Niacin. Smooth sailing
5 Oct 2019
A month isn't enough to wean off lexapro to be honest. One needs to reduce in steps of 20% from previous dose and stick with that dose for a month. I was on lexapro 10 mg and it took me 9 months to successfully taper. Now although I do have bouts of depression here and there, it’s not unmanagable though. The first time I tapered really fast, just like you, I was hospitlized due to severe withdrawls effects. Lexapro takes nearly three weeks to get off system and that is when actual withdrawal symptom starts, as your brain goes into shock and is left to make seratonin on its own. So best is to understand the mechanism of how all this stuff works. Have patience, reducing by small steps your brain may adjust a little by little after every decreased dose instead of undergoing some tremendous shock. All the best.
14 July 2019
I stopped Lexapro several times thinking that I was "cured" and experienced no discontinuation symptoms at all due to a slow and supervised taper. Unfortunately, all my ORIGINAL depressive symptoms and co-morbid anxieties returned each time. Mine is a clinical disorder that requires medication for life... and I'm happy to take it. I'd rather live a full and functional life than worry about the supposed long term effects which my pyschiatrists agree are insignificant at worst.
14 July 2019
Hi, I was on Lexapro for about 3 years (10mg). I tapered off the medication in April of this year (for about a month). I had a couple weeks of weird symptoms where I felt light headed. I was worried at first that they wouldn’t go away, but then they did. Now, I do notice that I get anxious easier than I did when I was on Lexapro, but that’s just because that’s how I was before I took the medicine. I have noticed that exercise helps tremendously. Any time I have that “worry” feeling where I can’t get thoughts out of my head, I get on my peloton for 30 minutes or so and meditate for 10 min and I find that pretty effective. Sure, it’s as easy as popping a pill every morning but I would rather be off medicine completely :) hope this helps!
14 June 2019
Yes I have! Last pill February 5th and feel fine! Lexapro was actually giving me anxiety, sensitivity to sound, irritability and didn’t realize until I weened off. I feel better without it! I’m calmer for sure! It’s very possible to get off that drug! Don’t give up!!! I took it for 20 years at 10-20 mg
14 June 2019
Hey. Happy I came across this forum. I’ve been in a hellhole too. I was on 20mg for about 2 years. I tapered down over a 4 week period, each week going down by 5mg. I’m still on Wellbutrin as I was planning on tackling that after the lexapro. Anyways, life is beyond miserable. Pretty much what everyone is saying. Random crying outbursts. Many panic attacks a day and I’m SOOO NAUSEOUS all the time. And I’m taking it out on the person I love the most and I can tell it’s taking a hard toll on him. I was hoping for a success story :/ so hard not reaching for the bottle to just be normal again. Starting to believe a holistic approach is not possible.
21 March 2019
So I've been weaning off Lexapro from starting with 10mg that's I've been on for over 4 years and I started with going down from Feb 25 started half pill .5 mg then March 10th I started half of pill so half of .5mg. So a quarter of 10mg and then March 16th 1st day off pill... today is my fourth day off Lexapro and I've been so sick. My stomach is a mess, I don't feel like eating. I've thrown up a couple of times randomly. Panic attacks here and there. So I've been taking Xanax to get through these withdrawals. Just wondering anyone else is taking a benzo to help with the withdrawals.
21 Feb 2019
I started taking Lexapro about a year ago for anxiety. I was dealing with a terrible psychopathic neighbor. I was taking 10mg every day. We won our Civil Case and the neighbor moved so I figured it was time to quit Lexapro. After 2 days I had terrible withdrawals, including a tingling feeling over my whole body so I immediately started taking it again and researching Lexapro withdrawals... man, I wish my Dr would have warned me about this. Anyway, after a couple of more tries to quit, I weaned myself off taking 5mg every day, to 5mg every other day with no ill effects. I quit taking it completely about 5 days ago and the tingling feeling is in full force. I'm determined to not take it though, I'll deal with the discontinuation affects. I don't suffer from depression and as I said I only started taking it to deal with a bad situation, so hopefully I don't encounter any depression or aggression. As others have said, I've also gained weight while on Lexapro so I'm anxious to reverse that.