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04-03-2010, 12:00 AM #11521
So...not sure this forum gave me hope =)
I tried to go off lexapro CT and it was a terrible idea. I went a couple days, FREAKED OUT and starting balling out of the blue on maybe the 4th day, and was in my doctor's office the next. I love my doctor, and trust her completely, and she gave me a 4-wk lex reduction program to follow.
Over 4 weeks, I slowly withdrew (I was only on 10mg for about 2 years) and I am now at what I believe (sheesh can't even remember i should have wrote it down) is about 3 weeks completely lexapro-free.
My side effects aren't terrible, but at night every few days I start to feel nauseas, a bit lightheaded and get a few of those dang head zaps. I freak out and my anxiety peaks for a few min, but I calm myself down and make myself repeat 'it's withdrawal, it's withdrawal, it's withdrawal.' That somehow makes me feel better, realize I'm not dying, and keeps me going.
Now - I'm a little nervous to read that there is some sort of "Phase II" I'm going to encounter, or that 2 years in I could still have some of these symptoms. Is there anyone out there that has successfully withdrawn!? Had side effects go away after a few weeks? I'm assuming those who have probably aren't on this site. But it's worth a try!
04-03-2010, 02:29 AM #11522
You may not get phase 2. Most people and doctors mistake phase 2 for a return of their illness and reinstate their meds. If you are receptive you may notice the difference between normal depression and anxiety and withdrawal symptoms.
04-05-2010, 12:35 PM #11523
I first posted here on March 10th. I had tried to continue my lexapro taper (from 20 mg for 5 years) by going from 10 to 5 mg, following the tapering schedule my psych gave me, which didn't go too well. I went up to 7.5 and after 3 days or so I felt fine. I stayed at 7.5 for two more weeks. I realize that for some people it's necessary to taper extremely slowly - however, it doesn't seem as though this necessarily prevents withdrawals either. I've been fine with reductions of 1/4 or 1/3 at a time, so I decided to give 5 mg a try. It's been 11 days and I've had no withdrawal symptoms. I'll give it another week, then I think I'll try 3.5 mg.
Meanwhile I've picked up some liquid Lexapro. My GP seemed a little baffled, but not entirely unbelieving when I told her that I'd had withdrawals after going from 10 to 5 mg, and wanted the liquid to make sure I could taper as slowly as needed. (She's mostly been writing my prescriptions for the last couple of years, but all changes in dosage or meds are done by a psychiatrist, who I only see very rarely now, and I notice the GP is pretty uncomfortable discussing anything to do with my psych. medication.)
I tried taking the liquid today, thinking I might take that for a week (at the same dosage) before making any more changes. I've been a bit nauseous all day after taking them, it's getting better though. I put the drops in a big glass of water, and the taste wasn't strong, but still noticeable. Anyone else get this? If so, is there anything that helps? I might try mixing the drops in juice tomorrow. I'm almost tempted to just take the half pills for the next week, and not bother with the liquid until I have to.
04-07-2010, 03:48 PM #11524
Lexapro withdrawl follow-up
I just wanted to thank you for the advice and to give you an update. We filled the Celexa script, but my husband only took one and was feeling pretty unfocused and out of body and had bad zaps and dizziness. The next day, we started supplements - fish oil, a magnesium/calcium/zinc multi, B100 and regular men's multi. I have to say, he's been feeling great! He hasn't taken any more of the Celexa and the only time he's gotten any zaps were last night when he had forgotten to take his supplements all day. I don't know that this will be the end of it, but it seems to be working for the time being! Sure not going to quit taking the supplements any time soon, though! I'll keep you posted!
Originally Posted by pboy
04-08-2010, 10:57 AM #11525
I'm hoping everyone here can wish me some good luck!
I started taking Lexapro about 6 months ago for GAD and when it didn't help completely, my doctor combined it with Buspar and I've had GREAT results from the second drug! I'm now, 15 lbs heavier, weaning myself off the 10mg of Lexapro I've been on.
My doc put me on this schedule:
Weeks 1 and 2: cut pill to 5mg
Weeks 3 and 4: cut pill to 2.5mg
Weeks 5 and 6: 2.5mg every other day
Since I'm on the Buspar and have Xanax as needed, plus haven't slept without Ambien CR in over a year, I'm hoping to be well-prepared for this event.
Any advice, hints, tips, tricks PLEASE let me know! I am scared out of my mind to get off this drug!
04-08-2010, 04:56 PM #11526
Hi there Kubli,
Originally Posted by kublichaun
The weaning schedule you've been given sucks. It is possible that at that fast rate you will suffer withdrawal symptoms. Do an extensive read of this site to be convinced that doctors often recommend this fast wean and patients go through hell because of it. At least your doc knew to do a taper of the drug so if you decide to do it slower he/she will go along with it.
Every second day doses is a disaster - DO NOT DO IT!
The recommendation here is 10% of current dose every 3/4 weeks if you feel ok at the previous level. Sometimes you might wait longer to drop according to how you feel.
Remember quality of life while you taper is the goal.
Exercise, healthy eating and supplements will also help.
Good luck and let us know how you are going.
Typically a wean from 10mg lexapro should take a minimum of 10 months but as you were on it only 6 months you could complete the wean over a shorter time.
I hope others here chime in with some advice.
This is only my opinion. I am not a doctor.
Last edited by marebu; 04-08-2010 at 04:57 PM.
04-08-2010, 05:47 PM #11527
I'm on day 5 at the 5mg dose and still feeling okay. I didn't have ANY physical side effects when I went on it which is why my doc felt a faster taper schedule might work for me.
The Buspar is wonderful for the anxiety which I have read on here gets pretty bad when coming off. It's been my lifesaver for the past 4 months. I'll keep everyone updated. Day 5, still nothing, not even a dizzy spell. I hope I am one of the lucky ones.
04-09-2010, 06:38 AM #11528
Lexapro withdrawl? Too much weight gain!
This is my first posting, but I have been doing lots of searches on the web.
I took Lexapro for about two years (10mg daily) for anxiety. It did make a huge difference and I think I needed it then for family problems. But now when I pull out my spring clothes WAY too tight to wear. I knew I gained and have been eating as usual and treadmill religiously. My Dr did tell me not from the Lexapro (as others have said in other websites including this one). He says from age (near 50) and other factors. So after a negative conversation with him I did taper off. Faster than he wanted; this is my first week without anything in my system. I took half a pill a day for a week and then went to alternating days and now nothing. I was so freaked out by some of the experiences others have shared. I luckily have had no side effects. My main goal is to get the weight off. Added to the Lexapro is steroids for a week from Bronchitis. BUT I will get this off. And I wanted others to know that so far I have had no side effects. Plus I developed an unfounded fear (with panic attacks) of bridges during my time on Lexapro. I drove over three in the last two weeks and I am fine now.
I would love to hear from anyone who is finished with Lexapro and lost weight and how long it took them.
Good luck everyone!
04-09-2010, 09:50 AM #11529
Bridgeboy....that was a fast taper. I hope that it continues to work out for you. The advice that I, and others would give, is to go back on and taper off more slowly. However, if you feel that is not an option, I hope that you get past month 4 or 5 without any phase 2 side effects or "return of your symptoms". Getting off this drug can be tough! I'm sure that some people have done it and not been bothered by phase 2 also though. We all have different body/brain chemistry.
An update on where I'm at: I've been back on now for about 6 weeks. It'll be 8 weeks on the 21st. I'm still dealing with anxiety. I wake up with all of my problems racing through my head, but it's not nearly as bad as it was. I also have a HUGE, HUGE amount of stress in my life right now, and I realize that might be contributing. I don't really have much depression except a normal level that I believe comes with the incredible difficulties I'm facing in life right now. I'm sleeping through the night. It's not excellent sleep, but it's so much better than waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. and not being able to return to sleep. Still dealing with some nausea and lack of eating. My weight is still dropping, but I'm far from looking anorexic. For now, I'm just holding. It's not bad enough for me to change meds (or up my dose) and go through going on side effects again. I tend to get a lot of side effects. At least I did when I reinstated Lexapro.
04-09-2010, 12:34 PM #11530
Lexapro too fast??
I posted so everyone would not think that everyone would have horrible side effects. Lexapro would be out of your body approximately 35-72 hours after your last dose. Different people would have different side effects dependant upon so many other factors. I am fortunate that I do not suffer from any other illnesses.
Those who are suffering from horrible side effects definitely have other issues.
I would not restart Lexapro to ween off again. My main goal is to start dropping weight as soon as possible.
Good luck to everyone.
04-10-2010, 04:38 PM #11531
Originally Posted by Bridgeboy
Did you say you've only been Lexapro free for 1 week? Please come back and post regularly and let us know how you go. Especially up to 4 to 6 months off.
Hope it goes well for you.
04-10-2010, 08:51 PM #11532
I disagree with this. The side effects that many people get are BIOLOGICAL, not due to "other issues". Think about it, you've been taking a drug for quite awhile that ALTERS YOUR BRAIN CHEMICALS. Therefore, your brain becomes dependent on it. Next, you rip it out of your system without much of a taper at all. Why wouldn't it be possible that your brain gets tripped up without it? Your brain has to have time to heal. Fast withdrawal inhibits this process. Now, some do quit with a fast withdrawal and might not get any symptoms 4 or 5 or 6 months down the road, but a lot of people do. What your doctor will think (and tell you) is that it is a "return of your prior symptoms". In some cases it might be, but not in all cases because the phase 2 symptoms can be symptoms you never had before you started taking this drug!
Originally Posted by Bridgeboy
Anyway, I just don't think it was kind to say that the reason people get horrible side effects is because they have "other issues". Yes, I do have a lot of stress in my life right now, but not everyone that has stopped Lexapro does. In fact, many people stop taking it when their stress is over and their life is going well. The only "issue" they have is that the drug companies tout SSRI's as "safe" and the doctors continue to prescribe them like they're candy!
04-10-2010, 10:41 PM #11533
Horrible side effects can happen to anyone who has taken this drug. It is the luck of the draw with your personal body chemistry.
Originally Posted by Bridgeboy
I have low stress, no underlying illness and I'm having brain zaps and sinus issues during weaning.
Sometimes withdrawal effects can kick in many weeks or months down the track. So that is why a slow wean is recommended. It gives the brain a chance to heal in stages. You cannot tell yet whether you are out of the woods yet.
Good luck and go easy on all of us that are struggling a bit.
04-12-2010, 08:51 AM #11534
I agree with Marebu. I was prescribed Lexapro for Fibromyalgia, not anxiety/depression and have been off it for six months after a very slow wean. I never experienced crying jags, brain zaps, all these sinus/teeth/vision issues before I went on the drug so a doctor telling me it's a return of my original symptoms is a giant load. When my son called last night and told me his doctor put him on Cymbalta because of his ADHD I cried. He has been puking his brains out since the first pill. These drugs ARE handed out like candy.
04-12-2010, 10:48 AM #11535
Cymbalta is being used for ADHD? Does the puking mean he is going to reconsider? I know it must be upsetting to watch your son take a similar drug after your experience with lexapro.
Originally Posted by vestabula
How are you feeling, Vesta? I've been so much better recently. Still have some problems, but much less severe now. Keep hanging on --- there's hope!
If it weren't for my own lexapro experience, I'd probably be thinking the same thing bridgeboy is thinking (about "other issues"). I sincerely hope he doesn't soon find out what the rest of us learned the hard way. When you're feeling OK, it's hard to imagine what this is all about.
04-12-2010, 12:03 PM #11536
vesta - let me ditto mims here - I am sorry to hear that your son has fallen into the a/d trap and I do hope he reconsiders since clearly the cymbalta is wreaking havoc on him.
Hang on vesta - like mims, I see the light at the end of the tunnel -
Bridgeboy - I do hope you are one of the lucky ones but it is pretty clear you still have no real idea of how damaging and dangerous these drugs are. Like everyone else, I was a very healthy and productive person until I took them.
all the best,
04-12-2010, 03:47 PM #11537
mims and rj
Thank you so much for asking about my son. Yes...ADHD! Is that doctor nuts? I will add that he is 40 years old and had this since he was a child. He managed to graduate from college with honors in both his BS and Masters Degree, WITHOUT drugs. He was a bit concerned because his job is very stressful...he works with blood...and concentration is paramount. The stupid doctor saw him for about five minutes and gave him the prescription. After barfing all night, he decided to stop the drug. I just talked to him....he has had nothing to eat or drink for three days except Gatorade.
I am in month six and still have waves that are dibilitating. I am trying to get out and force myself out of isolation. Still get brain shivers on occasion, and crying jags. My mouth is an absolute mess...it burns and and I get canker sores. But...I hope to be where you all are soon! Bless you for encouraging words.
04-13-2010, 03:05 PM #11538
I just wanted to drop by and give everyone an update....
It has been apporoximately 3 weeks since I quit Lexapro (basically Cold Turkey) and I finally started feeling normal again. I do still get dizzy at random moments, but it is brief and nothing like the 'zaps' and dizzy spells I was dealing with for the first 10-12 days or so.
The one prolonged withdrawal symptom I have been feeling is a pretty drastic change in my ability to concentrate. I lose focus easily and even forget words while I am talking sometimes. Has anyone else had this problem?
Other than that, I feel like I am most likely finished with the initial withdrawal phase. I have an appointment with my Psychiatrist tomorrow (the first appointment since I went through the harsh withdrawal) and I will let you all know if he says anything helpful.
I sincerely hope everyone here is able to stay strong and make it through their symptoms! I got a lot of comfort and strength from this forum while going through one of the most uncomfortable times of my life so far. So thank you all!
04-13-2010, 03:16 PM #11539
Hi Vesta - Thank God your son came to his senses! he should be okay having only taken one dose!
Originally Posted by vestabula
this is a very challenging time you are currently in dear - it won't get worse that's for sure - just hold on with every ounce of courage you can muster - I had nasty canKer sore last year - call your dentist - they can prescribe a mouthwash (miracle mouthwash) that will help you - please don't "force" yourself to do anything - this is a time to be VERY gentle to your nervous system!
04-13-2010, 08:09 PM #11540
Reply for Potsie Webber and others
I wanted to update for Potsie and others that I am still doing well. All Lexapro should be completely out of my system. I have an occasional light headed feeling usually in the evening and not every day; no other symtoms.
I have not been on the site for several days and I must say I was surprised as it seems a couple people were upset. My use of issues just meant other illnesses or health things going on. I was lucky and just prescribed Lexapro for anxiety due to family drama and problems that no longer exist. I feel good and started taking B12 supplement per a suggestion from this site or another so maybe that helped. I feel clear headed, but tired - which could be the 50 mark headed my way soon?
Good luck to everyone. I will watch and continue to add as I go along Lexapro free.
04-14-2010, 12:15 PM #11541
Don't worry, bridgeboy --- nobody was really offended about other issues! Many of us have been tested by our doctors for all other possible health problems that might explain these symptoms, despite the fact that for most of us, the "other issues" began with lexapro withdrawal. Coincidence? It would be easy to think that, except for the fact that there are so many of us with similar complaints! Glad you posted again, and I do hope you'll be fine and will let us know how it goes. thanks for the good wishes, and good luck to you, too!
Last edited by Anonymous; 04-14-2010 at 12:17 PM.
04-16-2010, 05:44 AM #11542
Hey everyone. to anyone else who is tapering, hows it going?
I'm down to 2.7mg Lex, my next reduction will make it 2.5mg so I'm almost HALF the original Lex dose I was on (5mg). Who could believe it would take so long to just get down to this amount? It's been about 7 months since I started! I'm sort of used to all the side-effects now, feeling irritable, feeling depressed, feeling anxious, brainfog, jumpiness, lack of motivation, stomach bloating, numbness in my hands, etc. All this from just tapering -- so imagine how much worse cold-turkey is! (all of the above multiplied by 100, as no doubt others will tell you). As bad as all this sounds its better than risking going so crazy I want to commit suicide, which I did when I cold-turkeyed.
I found out the other day that a friend of a friend has gone on celexa. It saddens me to see so many around me being offered or actually taking an SSRI. Britain is becoming just as drugged as America. I predict that in the next 5-10 years visitors to forums like this and paxil progress will increase dramatically.
I hope everyone else is doing ok and if not that you will feel better soon.
To anyone reading this, NEVER COLD TURKEY!!!
Last edited by ddcmod; 04-16-2010 at 01:54 PM.
04-16-2010, 06:44 AM #11543
We are at about the same stage and I have found the going quite tough at times. I get zaps the worst after a drop and haven't had a day without them for the 7 months.
I'm just through a rough couple of weeks but feel better now. I am nervous to do the next drop . But I suppose I'll just have to bight the bullet..........
I have a nephew who has been advised to go on an antidepressant and I just hope he at least tries other methods first.
Good advice is just not offered enough from docs who allow young people to go on these drugs without first addressing their lack of sleep, poor diet, alcohol use and work ethic. Only after genuine efforts on all these issues should ssris be considered.
We are led to believe that we can "fix" everything with medication. I wish I had looked at other things thoroughly before I started on lexapro. Now I'm learning the hard way. But I am making progress and i hope others think long and hard before they go on this type of medication.
Last edited by ddcmod; 04-16-2010 at 01:54 PM.
04-16-2010, 06:53 AM #11544
Hi marebu, it's tough isnt it. Do you take fish oil? Its supposed to help the zaps. I havent experienced any zaps myself so I am thankful for that, Im not sure if its the fish oil that has prevented them or what.
I honestly feel as though I'm one of the few sane people amongst the insane, because I am aware of the dangers of these drugs yet everyone else thinks they are harmless. If you say anything about it they dimiss it as conspiracy-theory - that makes my blood boil
I agree people need to be taught coping techniques, theres so many out there like deep breathing, meditation, cognitive therapy, herbal remedies. All of these things should be tried first. If it wasnt for mindfulness I would honestly have found it much harder to cope with withdrawal than I already have.
Last edited by pboy; 04-16-2010 at 06:56 AM.
04-16-2010, 05:25 PM #11545
Yes pboy - I take a lot of fish oil - 4/5 gel caps of a triple strength one. They helped reduce the zaps.
I keep voicing my opinion about ssris without getting on my soapbox too often. I like to think people will respect me enough to at least do a little research before they put psychotropic drugs into their bodies. I certainly didn't do enough homework before I took lexapro. I had this notion that the side effects wouldn't happen to me.
I would encourage others to start their research with the prescribing info from the drug company to see the common and rarer side effects.
Other wedsites that can give great info are paxilprogress, crazymeds and here.
Messing with your brain chemistry is a hit and miss process and can cause added problems to the original ones.
You have to work on the original problems anyway so may as well do that before you try to get a drug to do it for you.
Obviously there are instances where these drugs should be tried but I really think they are last resort not first.
Good healing to you pboy
04-17-2010, 03:36 PM #11546
I recently had an appointment with my psychiatrist where we went over my method of tapering (I had not talked to him prior). I was at 30mg and went down to 20mg for about 2 weeks, 10mg for another 10-12 days and then was off. I mentioned that I had been getting support from a forum and that the general consensus seemed to be that I quit Cold Turkey. He said that my taper was appropriate and close to what he would have recommended....
Originally Posted by pboy
I had very similar withdrawal effects as you have mentioned with a little over a week of hell and another week of general discomfort. For me, I feel strongly that an extensive prolonged taper is NOT the way to go-essentially you are just lengthening your suffering!!!
I am not saying to anyone that I think they are wrong to taper slowly, I am just putting my experience out there for people to consider. Good luck!
04-17-2010, 05:44 PM #11547
So you have been off lex for about a month - is that right? I hope you continue to do well off this drug. Everyone is different and you may be through the withdrawal. Lets hope so!
Please let us know how you are further down the track.
I'm here to learn about others' experiences as well as get support so please do report back.
Good luck to you too
04-17-2010, 08:56 PM #11548
I'm extremely pleased to see so many of you forming something of a support network here in this thread. I'm in serious need of some advice, and after reading the thread thoroughly I'm convinced that this is a good place to seek it.
I've been on Lexapro (10mg) for six years now. I don't have any real psychological ailments aside from OCD, and 10mg of Lexapro is a sub-therapeutic dose for OCD in any case. I was originally put on it for severe depression (which I think may have stemmed from the onset of the OCD--I just didn't realize what was going on at the time). I've sense been able to get the OCD under control with cognitive behavioral therapy. I don't feel as if I need to be on Lexapro any longer.
My main motivation for getting off Lex is curiosity over whether or not I'll be sharper, think more clearly, and stop sleeping too much. Otherwise, I'm mentally and physically in great shape. I'm not sure whether I've been feeling so well these past years because of the Lexapro, or whether the Lexapro is in fact holding me back from feeling even better.
I'm starting a PhD program in September, and by that time I need to be back in peak mental condition. Is four months really enough time to taper down to the point where I can see whether I need to go back on Lexapro?
04-18-2010, 06:28 AM #11549
I tapered again, from 5 mg to 3.5 a week ago, without any withdrawal symptoms. If things continue to go well, I'll stay at this dose for another week, then reduce to 2.5. I feel lucky that my taper has gone well, so far, compared to many of you here who are struggling with withdrawal even with much slower tapers. I know most of you think I'm doing a too fast taper. I really appreciate all the advice I was given when I first posted here, and I've learned a lot reading through many of the posts, but I'm not sure the same solutions are best for everyone. I'm listening to my own body, following a pace that seems to be working well for me, and at any sign that it's too fast, I'll slow down, like I did a few weeks ago.
I've been taking double doses of fish oil, and extra magnesium, combined with my usual multivitamin and calcium supplement. I don't know whether this is making any difference or not, but it can't hurt. I might add some more B-vitamins as I continue to taper.
Best of luck to everyone!
04-18-2010, 09:02 AM #11550
As awful as this is, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, I'm glad that I'm not the only one that went through this. People don't often mention suicidal thoughts on this forum, but I was the same way when I quit CT too.
Originally Posted by pboy
I wish you the best of luck with your taper!!!
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