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I replied to this thread about a month ago. I was tapering down after taking 10 mg of Lexapro for 6 months. I did 7.5 for a week, 5.0 for a week, 3.75 for a week, 2.5 for a week, 1.25 for a week, and now I'm almost done completely. I've gone to skip a day, take 1.25, and now I'm skipping 2 days, take 1.25, and then if I can go 3 days with no effects, I'm stopping completely.
I had no serious side-effects at all doing this. I had some mild dizziness and fatigue off and on, but that was it! No headaches, brain-shivers, insomnia, nausea, nothing! I've been sleeping great, falling asleep usually within 10 or 15 minutes and barely waking up at all during a 7-8 hour sleep. I don't even think I would have hardly noticed the fatigue that much if it wasn't for the running 4-8 miles I do almost every day. A few days, especially when I cut down to 5.0, I felt pretty pooped out when I went to work out! I still finished my workouts, but just slowed down a bit.
I think the running and weight workouts probably helped keep my seratonin levels higher and probably helped replace the drug. I'm not a doctor, so that's just my own guess! I'm also not taking any other medications, so maybe some of the other effects other people have had could also be related to their other medications. I should be totally drug-free within a week. I'll report my findings back in a couple of weeks.
Hopefully, this info. will help other people who might be having problems getting off this stuff!
OK, my dizziness got so bad last night and this morning. It was almost dangerous to drive. I took a 1/4 of a 10mg this morning and I feel half better now. I guess I will take a 1/4 every other day and then stop again after about 10 days.
quote:Originally posted by dooda
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.
When a person is on an antidepressant for a period of time it must be weaned off slowly and I mean slowly. Everyone is different and if your daughter is having problems getting off it is imperative that you take her to your psychiatrist. She may need another medication to help her through the weaning off process. If she was on the drug 2 years it may take her 2 years to get off the drug. Because she is a teenager I would also check to make sure that she is not taking any other drugs (legal or illegal) that may be interfering with her slow taper. People weaning off these types of medications can have seizures so they may place her on xanax or some other antianxiety medication. Remember all psych drugs have the potential to be habit forming either physically or psychologically and this may be a long haul. You may need to see a doctor that specializes in medications. Hopefully this will be a shorter problem than you are thinking. Good Luck Irish
I replied further up the thread a couple of times about weaning off this drug. I'm now feel that I'm completely free of it! I'm drug-free for just over 2 weeks now and the mild fatigue and light-headedness I was experiencing is 99% gone. I noticed the dizziness dissipate just about the end of the 2 weeks. I feel like I'm probably 99% back to normal with no remaining side-effects!
I don't know if my wean-down plan will work the same for anyone else as it did for me, but at least it gives somebody else a plan to try if you'd like. I went from being on 10 mg for 6 months to 7.5 for a week, then 5.0, 3.75, 2.5, 1.25 all for a week, then 1.25 every other day for a week and stopped. I only experienced mild fatigue and dizziness that didn't really affect me at all until most of it disappeared after about 2 weeks.
I broke 10 mg pills into quarters by hand with no problem and used an Exacto knife to cut the quarters into 1/8ths. Sometimes they got a little crushed, but just make the pieces (crushed portions) fairly even and you'll be OK.
I'm Free!! Hopefully, never to return!
My experience with Lexarpo:
I've been on Lexapro 20mg for about 7 months now. Took it as suggested by psychatriast for GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). It has worked wonderfully in addressing problems in that regard. Decided to taper off/stop altogether due to the very obvious sexual side-effects this drug has. As an interesting side note, I've have absolutely none of the weight gain side effects that I've read in prior posts. And I've been out of commission during my lexapro time due to dual foot surgeries.
I consulted my psychiatrist about withdrawal symptoms / taper off plans, and told not to worry - there really aren't any. After going cold-turkey for about 3 days, I realized "bzzzzzz" ... not true .. the electrical "shock" sensations that I was receiving were a direct result of lack of this drug. It felt like a "reboot" every 5 seconds or so. I'd be walking down an aisle at a grocery store, turn my head to look at something, and wham....I'd get 3-4 sensations of "resetting" or "rebooting" .. very annoying and very disconcerting. After reading the posts on this site, I realize my "resets" are the equivalent of the mind zaps everyone else refers to. Since then I've entered a taper-down program of my own creation...cutting doses by 1/2 every week. I am now down to 5mg or less, and experiencing very very strong symptoms minute by minute. I don't know how long this will last, but am encouraged by the fact that others say that this is all temporary. I have no complaints about Lexapro's ability to combat GAD, but I wanted to get off and see if I still needed it. UGHH! Be sure you need this drug (or any other SSRI) before getting on, and then getting off. The withdrawal symptoms so far have been extremely annoying at least, and debilitating at their worst. In fact, I have experienced the "reset" or electrical pulse sensation 9 times since writing this comment.. My best to all of you out there struggling with getting off! I am just going cold turkey now, been on 5mg or less with cut pills the last week or so, and want to get off right away! I can't wait for the mind zaps to subside ... what a pain my #$#%%!!!
I'm sweating as I sit here writing this.
My wife and I separated back in December. I started taking Lexapro 2 days after our separation. Now almost a full 5 months later, I have to think that my Lexapro experiment has been a failure. It seemed to numb my emotions a bit, but it also seemed to numb my motivation toward doing anything about what was causing the depression.
I had one heck of a time getting on the Lexapro. Almost 6 weeks to get ok with even a 10mg dose. For the first time in my life, (45 years) I have gained weight and have a gut. I have had terrible muscle tightness in my jaw.
Anyway, I cut my dose in half to 5mg for a week and now 2.5 mg for the past week. I have been experiencing moodiness, sweats, insomnia, but every time I'm about to give up and increase the dose, something happens and reminds me of how much clearer my thought process is becoming.
I was thinking about stopping completely within the next few days, but after reading here, I might go to 2.5mg every other day for a week, then every two days, then 4 days, then off.
Thanks for sharing your hope everyone, and good luck!
Keep the faith!
It's what you learn after you know it all that really matters!
I have been off my Lexapro for a week now..
any suggestions on how to mitigate the dizziness and zaps?
Anyone try advil? beer?
Keep Smiling...It Makes People Wonder What You're Up To...
I take Lexapro 10mg, i've been off of it for about 3 weeks now, without any other anti-depressants also, the first week i was kind've depressed, but it was nothing serious, now I feel fine.
Thanks to all of you who've shared your experiences. It's helped me realize I am not having a stroke....
I was on 10mg of Lexapro for 8 months. Due to all the side effects mentioned on this forum, I decided to wean off. My dr. suggested taking 5mg every day for a week; 5mg every other day for one week; then stop altogether. I followed her instructions, ending about 2 weeks ago. Since then, I've been experiencing weird sensations in my brain and in my vision as well as dizziness. I was beginning to think I was having mini strokes. I've never heard of brain 'shivers' and now know that's what been happening.
I agree with those of you who say Lexapro is not a good drug to be on or wean off. Although, there are times that warrant being on for a short time until we work through our emotional hurts that put us on in the first place. I hope the best for you in your endeavor to be emotionally whole, without Lexapro
I'm currently taking 20 mg Citalopram (Celexa) and really would like to stop taking this drug! I've been on it for 6 1/2 year--way too long. I know I should talk to my doctor about this, but I think I'm only addicted to this stuff. I would like to try taking 15 mg now for a while. I wonder if that's too fast already. Perhaps I should do a half, then 1/8. I am aware this will probably be a long process of weaning off since I've been on it for so long.
Well it's been 3 weeks now and I'm sicker than ever. I had some zaps and nausea the first 10 days but it subsided.
Since Monday it's been back with a vengence - zaps, dizziness, nausea - how can it come back like that? I thought I was done with the withdrawals. Geez, is this like acid where I'll keep having flashbacks the rest of my life?
Keep Smiling...It Makes People Wonder What You're Up To...
I read that the withdrawal symptoms can last between 1 and 8 weeks, so maybe you're one of the ones that might take a while to get rid of the side effects. I never had any severe withdrawal side effects and mine were basically gone in 2 weeks.
I've read on some other forums that people had bad withdrawals for up to a couple of months, but they all said they finally disappeared. Other people went back to taking a tiny dosage off and on until the effects wore off. So you may just have to hang in there for a bit longer. I really think exercise, especially aerobic, helps all around, keeps your seratonin levels high and tires you out for better sleeping. Good Luck!
I just got my dosage of lexapro upped to 20 mg from 10 mg and am a bit hesitant. I saw a new doctor for a only a few minutes and my dosage got doubled. I org. took it for social anxiety which seems to have come back after going away for a while. I have been on the Lexapro for a year now. I am also going to start therapy in a month and am wondering whether to wait for the increase until after a few therapy sessions and a good chat with the Psych. about side effects. What I'm most worried about is going off the Lexapro in the future, and upping my dosage will just make it worse. Is it worth it?
P.S. I am so relieved to see people describe the shocking sensation in the face. I thought I was imagining the feeling. Everytime it happened I thought I was just super dizzy for a second, but then actually related it to being electrocuted in the face for a moment, mostly in my chin. I noticed it to happen if I skipped/delayed a dose. What an odd side effect.
So I've been taking lexapro 25mg for a while, i think about a year. Before that I took Celexa and before that Paxil. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder back in high school. I went to a lot of "doctors" but they just want to fill you will pills, which is what I have been doing until now, I've been wanting to get off of drugs for a while now (I'm 22 now so it'll give you an idea of how long this has been goin on). I realized that there are places that will treat anxiety without giving you a handful of pills to cure it. I don't think there is a cure, but there are other ways to cure it. I finally said enough is enough, and I stopped taking Lexapro about 4 days ago, I am already experiencing withdrawl symptoms of being really tired, feeling kind of dizzy and just plain 'out of it', feeling like if i turn my head fast it takes a second for my brain to catch up with the rest of my body. After reading on some forums i found I should taper off this horrible drug so i'll start tomorrow with taking half my normal dosage of 25mg. And it gives me great hope to know that the symptoms DO go away, but it will take a long time. I've been on meds too long and ready to be free.
Hi -- Just thought I'd add my experiences. I'm being treated for Hepatitis C Virus (things seem to be going well, thank you) and my Doctor added 10mG Lexapro to the regimen to offset the possible depression caused by the other drugs I'm on. I've been bothered by restless leg movement while trying to sleep, I wake up a lot, I'm generally very tired and for some reason the meds caused my face to break out. That was kind of annoying for a 51 year old man. Hard to know what is causing what since I take so many pills and injections. Treatment for HCV is kind of a rocky road. Lots of blood work, red and white cell count problems and lately my liver enzymes started climbing. The Doctor suggested I stop the Lexapro (the least needed of the drugs I'm on) and felt there was no need to taper off. That was two weeks ago. It took a few days to affect me (guess Lexapro has a half-life of about 36 hours)and then I developed a dry cough, dizziness, the 'brain zaps' mentioned in a few places. That hit about day 4 after stopping. I was a lot more tired than usual. I'm now up to day 12. I feel better, I'm not quite as dizzy and the little electric feelings have decreased. The good news is that a test of liver enzymes 7 days after stopping showed a marked improvement. AND my face has stopped breaking out. How about that?
Kind of glad this is out of the way. Would have been a bear to go through almost a year of uncomfortable treatment and then have to deal with a couple of weeks of withdrawal.
So - for what it's worth...
Luck to us all,
My daughter has tapered from 20 Mg of Lexapro to 14 1/2 over the last 4 to 5 months. It has been horrible.
Severe sweating and chills
Adrenaline surges where she cleans her room till 2 AM
Craving for carbs
Unable to sleep
Extreme exhaustion all day and into the night
SEVERE VIVID NIGHTMARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We have weaned/tapered SO SLOW and she has still experienced severe withdrawals.
I am apprehensive what the future of more tapering will bring.
Anyone Not have the brain zaps?
WOW. I am just SO thrilled that I found this site. I suffer from an intestinal disease, and two years ago I was prescribed a drug to help control it. Well after a few months, I began to suffer from anxiiety (a rare side effect of the drug). My doc then put me on lexapro. it was great!! but then the 10 mg didnt cut it anymore...and i needed more. i went up to 20.
long story short...I chose to go off both meds. I went down to 10 and then just stopped. thats when the SHOCKS through the body and to the head began. the insomnia. in the middle of all this i have graduated with my masters and moved to a whole new city...stressors that arent exactly helping me. I really didnt know what was wrong with me until I read all of your wonderful comments. i now no longer feel so alone.
I cannot believe your daughter is going through this at her young age. I am 25 and i vividly remember how horrible being a teen can be, with out going through withdrawl. Have you researched at all about what types of things are done for those who are in rehab for other types of drug addictions? I think I may look into that.
someone else had written about how being at the gym was the only escape. i actually found that to be true for me. I have an eliptical machine in my home, and I found peace from the shocks and dizzyness while I was working out. excersize releases endorphins...maybe that is why.
I wish you all luck. its been over two weeks for me...and its still pretty bad.
I took myself off Lexapro about 5 weeks ago cold turkey.
I am angry and irritable and moody. Should I go back on or will this go away.
Don't know if these are withdrawals symptoms or I need this pill.
Has anyone else taking Lexapro had problems emptying your bladder completely. I have been on Lexapro for over a year now and started having urinary problems about 4 mos. ago. I'm thinking of taking myself off the Lexapro to see if it helps.
As I was sitting up last night, unabl to sleep (gotta love the insomnia)I found myself thinking about your daughter. Have you ever considered the placebo effect? I mean, i have NO DOUBT that your daughter is experiencing all these things, but it has been long known (but not well understood) that there is a mind-body connection. If your daughter is AWARE that her dose has decreased, the anxiety of it all could actually be making it worse. Have you considered lowering her dose without her knowing? Or lowering her dose more significantly than you actually tell her? The truth is, after reading how long this is going on, I would almost think about REALLY reducing her down, like to 15, 10, 5 and then off over a month or so. The ONLY reason, is because this withdrawl is stretching out for so long. Maybe it would be better for her to have slightly worse side effects, but for a shorter amount of time. And maybe you can do this without letter her know. It is just a thought.
The truth is, I would think that finding a doctor or psych that specializes in withdrawl would be the best person to turn to, however I dont blame you for not having a lot of trust anymore. But it may work.
Well good luck. I have to say that yesterday has been my BEST day. I had many headaches, but not as much shocking, which for me is the worst. Hang in there!!
My daughter is not a complainer and really wants to be off of this Lexapro because it is interfereing with her life.
We do have a specialist that is familiar with the medications but it is different for each person so we are to use our judgement and taper based on symptoms.
Authors who have reseached SSRI withdrawal say not to taper more then 5 or 10% of the current dose of the SSRI to enable the brain a chance to heal.
Her family doctor started her on 20 Mg of Lexapro which I have recently discovered is the highest dose. We were not told of any side effects or that Lexapro was addicting. It was not until she missed a dose of Lexapro at Christmas vacation and began to act differently, that we suspected it was from side effects and from missing a dose of the Lexapro.
I'm currently trying to go off of Lexapro 10mg dose. I recently
found out that i'm pregnant and my family doctor said this was a
"C" class medicinewhich means may cause harm to the fetus so i have to stop taking it. I was told to go to 5 mg a day for a week then
every other day for a week, but i was scared about this medicine
hurting my baby so i stopped cold turkey. Well i wish i didnt do that
because i feel horrible. I feel dizzy and fatigue and want to sleep
all the time/ i thought this was just symptoms of pregnancy, but
after reading this site i know its because of the medicine. Is anyone
or does anyone know someone who is pregnant taking this medicine or
had to go off of this medicine do to pregnancy??? Any advice???
I just took 5mg's today and will wein myself off instead of doing
the cold turkey thing which definetly isnt working. I can deal with
alot of things, but not the way i've been feeling!!
Hi.. Thought I'd give you the view from 18 days cold. The 'Brain Zaps' have pretty much gone away - except when I'm really hungry or tired. No dizziness worth mentioning left. Legs seem to be able to stay still when I lie down. My appetite seems to have picked up some and I seem to have a lot more energy. I'd say that in the last few days I've felt better than I have in a while. Looking forward to next week.
I spoke with my doctor about the reaction to going off the Lexapro. He restated that there should be no reaction according to the literature. On the other hand - he's no fool. Think he's willing to believe I experienced something (hell, I'm sure convinced I did). Probably doesn't mean much but maybe he'll watch the next person a bit more closely. We have a responsibilty to educate our Doctors. (grin)..
Oh - and the peripheral stuff - the HCV and liver enzymes - viral levels remain undetectable and the Doc seems to feel the liver enzymes have improved even more. I saw the numbers and I'm not sure I'd say improved - but it's certainly no worse.
12 weeks and change of HCV treatment to go. When it's over the party is at my place!
Luck to us all!
hi everyone! im new here, and i am going to start weaning myself off lexapro in 28 days (the day after my 21st birthday) I hope everyone is going ok with their withdrawl symptoms, i am very scared about them, BUT i cant be on lex for the rest of my life! Aunty... I hope your daughters withdrawl symptoms ease soon, the poor thing is so young to go through all these things. i thought it was weird that she was put on lexapro for clenching her teeth.... as since i have been on lex i have been clenching my teeth (mostly in my sleep), and constantly have a sore jaw. i have been on it for just over a year, but feel i dont need it anymore....plus, id like to feel "normal" again..... because lexapro has made me lose my libido completely, plus i think it numbs ALL of your emotions, sadness as well as joy!
if anyone wants to contact me, my email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Boy am I glad to find this forum. I was taking Lexapro for 3 1/2 years and decided to wean off of it (under a psychs care) and have the most awful side effects. I can't sleep, I can't concentrate, I cry at the drop of the hat, I'm nautious from morning until night, and while I was sitting in bed tonight trying, trying to get to sleep my legs started feeling like they had a life of their own. I will NEVER EVER take another SSRI so long as I live. I was hesitant about it in the first place, but my psych was so dead set on it-and I was so depressed at the time I couldn't fight back. They didn't want to treat my depression with therapy when they could just write me a script, have my twenty bucks, bill my insurance, and have me outta there in 15 minutes. Even the psych I am seeing now didn't really want me to go off on it, but I pretty much told her either to help me or I would do it on my own. My husband and I would like to start a family in a couple of years and there just isn't enough information out there to see if this is detrimental to fetuses or not. When I told the psych that she insisted it would be fine to take during a pregnancy if I had to take it, I told her absolutely not-I'm not going to risk hurting my baby just so some drug company can line their coffers for a little longer and 10 years from now someone can tell me my kid has developmental problems due to the >>>> that was in my system.
Sorry to vent...it feels so good to get this off my chest...
I have been on a combination of Lexapro 15 mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg for approximately 6 months. I just joined a Depression/Anxiety support group because I would like to use the support and not the drugs. I started taking 10 mg of Lexapro instead of 15 mg and I'm SOOOO tired. Is this normal? Also, I feel like I have PMS 24-7. I'm not sure if I should try to wean off of the Lexapro and Wellbutrin at the same time, or at different times? Any comments about the side effects I'm in for and what to do about them and should I wean off of both, or just one at a time? Which one first?? I have GAD and Depression.
Hi Guys, hope you are all doing ok!!! Aunty.. I went to my doctor about clenching my teeth all the time, and i got blood tests and all that....... and it turns out i am low in magnesium, and if your daughter is too, thats what could be causing her to clench her teeth, magnesium is a muscle relaxant........ id give that i try! i have been on magnesium tablets (which u can buy from any chemist) for 2 days, and i think i can already notice the difference! also, to you others on lex that have noticed you are clenching your teeth, or ur muscles, prehaps you could have a megnesium deficiency, like me! good luck to us all........ just thought id share![8D]
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