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?
Lexapro withdrawal symptoms?
Question posted by sfsyed on 10 Aug 2006
thanks... told you i'm losing my mind... can't find my way around this site today... oops... :o
Post your questions on the "lexapro withdrawl" forum. It is a much more active thread and all of us there will be happy to direct you on the use of supplements etc... Peace... Erin
i'm so glad i found this site/thread. this is my 8th day off lexapro--i didn't think i'd have such horrible withdrawal because of the low dose (10mg) that i've been on for 4 or 5 years (what was i thinking??). i'm extremely weepy, craving stupid food like crazy, and i have this weird thing going on with my eyes--i can hear them move, which i read about in some of the other posts, so at least i know it's not just me. i'm also having lots of brain zaps several times an hour, horrible nightmares to the point i'm afraid to go to sleep, and awful night sweats. but just reading through the posts i've found, at least i know i'm not alone, and that there are things i can try to get through this.
couple questions--good supplements to take? i've read so many in different posts that i don't really know where to start. i have hashimoto's thyroiditis and type II diabetes, so i have to be careful with certain herbs.
and the big question: HOW LONG DOES THIS LAST? i feel like i'm losing my mind... i'd like it back now please.
I havent been able to read through all of the posts yet, but its great to see others going through the same things I am. I am currently going through the freaky withdrawls. I was on effexor before they switched me to Lexapro and I have to admit thesewithdrawls are not as bad but they are still hard. So many people seem to have similar things going on and some I never even thought would be connected to the meds.
I too have experienceda weight gain, increased smoking, insomonia and nightmares. the night mares seem to be more now though. In fact the other night I had a nightmare where Iwas having nightmares:eek:.
Part of the reason I am coming off the meds is becuase of some medical stuff. I was diagnosised with Pelvic congestion syndrome. Its essentially a vericous vein. We were told that because of this and the subsiquetional treatments that if we were to have another child it would need to be sooner than later. Becuase of this I started weaning from the Lexapro. Ironically the pain from the vein has decreased and if anything since I stopped taking it the pain has decreased to mild discomfort if anything.
However, the feelings associated with the withdrawls are driving me nuts. I feel like nothing in my mind and body is functioning the same. Ive got the shaky feeling, trouble focusing on things both mentaly and with my eyes and this somewhat surreal feeling. the shakiness is the worst of it though.
It's just so nice to find others experiencing the same thing. What Im trying to figure out though is how long does this last? Does it get better or worse(at least at first)? Ive supposed to go on vacation in a week and want to be able to enjoy myself not feel like im walking through a dream and shaking.
Thank you so much to all who have posted on this thread. It helps tremendously to know we are not alone. According to the posts on here, it looks like I weaned myself off of Lexapro too quickly. I have been on 20mg for about 4 years. I cut my pills in half and took 10mg for one week. Then I cut the halves in half and took 5mg for one week. Then I stopped taking it altogether about 5 days ago. I can live with the brain zaps, on and off numbness, and dizzy feelings. The side effect that is driving me crazy is restless legs. I am normally an excellent sleeper, but since I stopped taking the drug I wake up constantly through the night and have to get out of bed and walk around for a while. I am typing this now at 1:30 am because they have woken me up again. I am going to try some of the recommendations posted on here, such as Benadryl or natural herbs to help me sleep. I do not want to take another drug to combat the side effects. I will keep you posted on my progress.
I'm glad to hear you are doing well. Good luck.
I was only on lexapro for 5 weeks ( 5 mg is most I could take) It made me incredebly tired to the point I was going to bed at 5 or 6 pm because I could not stay up. No strenght or energy.
Doctor changed me to prozac and now I am not as tired but sleepy most of the day. Only taking 5mg prozac. These ssri's do not agree with me. Have to get off all of them. I beleive I am getting withdrawl from the lexapro after 4 days and it keeps changing. How do I tell which pill is doing what?
I am 69 years old and do not need this. I was fine until Jan. 08 then I went through a traumatic time with a neck injury which was worsened by some bad treatment. It all just got to me and I was put on antianxiety meds 6 weeks ago.
As bad as the anxiety was 24/7 it was better than this.
I am going to an upper cervical Chiropractor tomorrow as I understan that bad alignment can also cause a lot of anxiety problems.
I never had a situation like this before.
Anyway good luck with your situation and if anyone has any advise for me I would appreciate it.
My first submission here. I've been on lex for 2 years - started at 10 - quickly down to 5 - then 2.5 about 8 months ago. Am tapering at 2.5 for 2 days then off 1 - this for 3 wks; then 2.5 every other day for 3 wks; then 2.5 1 day and off 2; then stop. Am still in the first phase. W/D - having headaches on and off; heart palpitations; really odd pains in my legs (almost feels like something moving through my veins); some 'brain zaps'; lots of neck/shoulder tension; sometimes just feel like i have the flu. I see an acupuncturist twice a week and she is helping tremendously; also take omega 3, GABA as needed; Rescue Remedy; but am trying to stay away from "helpful" drugs as much as possible. Lots of pain in my arms too.
I'm just wondering if all of the above are actually symptoms of withdrawal - I know everyone seems to have their fair share of this but it's really good to be able to read that I'm not having a heart attack or any other of the imaginery stuff I can conjure up! Dreams are becoming really bizarre too. Also do a lot of alternative energy therapy: Reike, Relfexology, etc. Anything that helps with the stress & anxiety is great. Thanks for any input.
I just have to express my aggravation with the whole weight gain thing. Man, I am down to half the dose i was on (from 30mgs to 15mgs now) and i am not seeing the weight budge yet. I was hoping when i started lessening the dose it would start to come off. I have gained about 20-25lbs being on this stuff and it is miserable for me. I am a little girl and i have NEVER been overweight. I actually struggled with an eating disorder when i was 14-15yrs old and have ALWAYS been very weight conscious. This is so difficult for me, because i cant do anything to make it come off. I eat right..not perfect but really good and exercise and drink a ton of water. I use to see a change in about two weeks if I'd "diet" which meant ..tons of water and lots of protein low carbs..etc..well NO MORE and this sux! It is summer time I'm 28yrs old and I want to wear my bikini! The only place i really gained is in my stomach. I switched to more cardio and nothing. It is very frustrating.
Any suggestions. It makes me want to go off completely right now, but I know i can't do that because i will feel so terrible and drive myself and everyone around me crazy. Any experience with how long it takes to see results of weight normality after weaning off this miserable drug??
On a better note, i am feeling fine, my headache is gone after 3days of misery and i am back on track. I don't have any depression, i am sleeping and really no anxiety. I am progressing good in every other aspect of this process. Hope everyone is well!:p
I had been on 10 mg. of Lexapro. Because of 3 side effects, I have chosen
to go off it. These side effects were 1. Food cravings and overeating and
sugar cravings like I've never known with consequent weight gain. 2. Joint pain and tremors in my arms and hands when I awake. 3. Headaches.
(Note: I started using the Bodypure foot patch, which is supposed to
detoxify your body and interestingly enough after it's first use, my headache
went away the next morning. I had had a headache every morning for
3 weeks and had to take bufferin everyday with breakfast.)
I am having good success with weaning off the Lexapro thanks to all the
advice here. I purchased a 7- Day pill container at Walgreens. In it I put
3/4 of a pill for 9 consecutive days. Then I went to 1/2 pill for 10 days.
Now I am at 1/4 pill for 9 days. After 9 days of the 1/4 pill --I will go without it every other day 1/4 and then I may stop completely. I have not had any "brain zaps". I do feel a bit tired. But I am taking B Vitamins. The night sweats have all but gone away at this point. I have not had the obsessive thinking and/or any depression return so far. I am using "cognitive therapy"
to gain control over those problems. Hope you all find this useful.
:eek:O.K. Ya'll It's a week today that i went down to 15mgs and i have had no side effects at all besides this fn headache for the past THREE days!! My neck is extremely tense and the headache is just there. All day and until i go to bed. I am not having any trouble sleeping or anything else. No sexual side effects..nothing. Just the painful headaches. Anyone experienced the neck/headaches when tapering off?? I' am definately not lowering any time soon. I have vacation in 23 days i want the pain to go away... :o
Benedryl can serve a few purposes during the withdrawl. The most common is that taking benedryl before bedtime can help you sleep as drowsiness is one of its effects. As strange as this may sound, benedryl can also help nausea. I also smoke and have since age 13 also, I am now 35. My smoking has increased significantly while on lexapro, it seems to make my nicotine cravings stronger... Have you noticed any difference in how much you smoke since being on lexapro? There is no conclusive evidence that SSRI's cause PERMANENT damage or changes in brain chemistry so, try not to focus on that; it only makes you feel worse and you DO NOT need that right now. If you have only been off of lex for 4 days you may not yet be feeling the full effects of stopping, it can take as much as 8 days for symptoms to appear. I am not trying to alarm you however, I do want to caution you in the hope that, should more symptoms occur you will be better prepared to deal with them.
I have been on one SSRI or another for 11 years due to panic attacks also, so, I understand the "feeling like you are on something" when you are comming off af the SSRI med. Do you take a benzodiazepine? Lunesta disrupts neuro-transmitters as well, most rx sleep meds do, Ambien especially. If you can manage without an rx sleep med that would be great. Try passion flower capsules one or two 250mg capsules 2-3 times daily for anxiety or just take two 250mg capsules before bed. Passion flower is very safe, I even ran it by my pharmacist after doing my own re-search just to be sure and, it helps me alot. I would stay away from melatonin supplements at least for awhile until you your sleep cycles have a chance to re-regulate. Dramamine or other motion sickness OTC meds help some people with the vertigo/balance problems as well as the nausea. I hope that you tapered slowly off of the lex. There is not realy anything that you can take to "make you appear normal" while in withdrawl. I wish there was :rolleyes:. If the withdrawls hit and become overwhelming, you can re-instate to your previously effective lex dose until you are stable, wait a few weeks to a month and then begin a slower more gradual taper. How successfull you will be at staying off the lexapro has alot to do with how you stopped taking it. I hope that you are one of the people who does not have a difficult time withdrawling. Let me know if I can help in any way. Good luck to you... Peace... Erin
benedryl really helps with withdrawl symptoms? what syptoms does it relieve? i stopped taking lexapro 4 days ago. i had been on 10mg for almost 2 years. so far my only side effects are those brain zaps... at least i think thats what im experiencing. i get sorta disoriented for a plit second and feel like im going through vertigo. it happens alot more when im moving around as opposed to being stationary and i also get extremely hot. no sweating just hot. i still cant sleep at night but i had insomnia for the past year. the dr. gave me lunesta 3mg for it and at first that worked great then after a week it didnt work anymore. i feel like im going nuts. but i want to be off the drug. i suffered from bad panic attacks to the point where i would pass out but i havent even had so much as an anxiety attack since i started meds.
i think its time for me to get off but i dont want it to seem like i'm on drugs to the outside world (since no one except for a select few knew i was on lexapro) and i feel like i'm "on" something even though its actually me getting off something if that makes any sense. i read somewhere that prolonged use of lexapro causes permanent damage to neurotransmitters and i dont want my brain to be fried by the time im 40 bc of this (im 25 now). i dont abuse drugs, legal or illegal, never have never will and my drinking is once in a blue moon. so its not like i have anything else in my system. i smoke ciggs but ive been doing that since i was 13. does anyone have any advice on how i can appear more normal while coming off of being on lex? any ideas on how i can sleep at night? i have read some of the posts on here and it seems like everyone is going through similar things bc of lex.
Thank you for the info.
Did you or anyone else on this forum experience sever fatigue and or backaches on Lexapro?
I should have been more clear I guess, in Featured Conditions under Lexapro Withdrawal started by auntybiotic.
I'm helping my daughter taper off also but you might want to see the other thread in Featured Conditions started by auntibiotic. Many people there would say you are dropping down too fast. They suggest no more than 10% at a time and to stablize at each taper before going down again (however long that takes 2-3 weeks is suggested) and often more like 5%.
My daughter did go from 10mg to 7.5 for two weeks then to 5mg for a month without any withdrawal problems however if she had she would have gone back up and tapered slower. She is now going at .5 (½mg) at a time to try to avoid problems later on. I know it means stretching it out but it might be a smoother ride. Just a thought.
- Lexapro uses and safety info
- Lexapro information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side effects of Lexapro (detailed)
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