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mercha: Tapering off of Lexapro 20mg


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Hello everyone! I made the decision recently to just finally do it--I'm gonna try to taper off of my prescription Lexapro 20mg.

I suppose it was two years ago that I began taking 10mg of Lexapro. I am a shy person and visiting doctors is stressful, so although I didn't feel like the dose was helping, I had the mindset that I needed to "wait" and maybe it would kick in. It never did for around a year or so--I was just a zombie. When my medication ran out around 11/15, I didn't bother to fill it. I was off it for a month with no bad side effects when a very hard life event struck my family and I went to my doctor again. I continued again for a few months until she finally said to kick the dosage up.


From there, I was still "eh." Then, another life event occurred--but it was great! I was so happy! It was an invaluable experience. It is, unfortunately, over, but I do feel fulfilled and more confident today. But since I have been on 20mg of Lexapro, I gained weight. I have been exercising (and enjoying it!) and making healthy decisions but I just don't see the difference on my body. I used to be a soccer player and runner, so when I worked out and exercised, it showed and it gave me confidence! But I see nothing now--no muscle toning or anything. My slip dress just feels tighter and my breasts are heavier. It's discouraging to me.


Although I had quit the drug cold turkey once with no side effects, I did have a difficult time when I went on vacation last February and was not able to fill my prescription for two weeks. It was manageable. The worst part was brain zaps, but those subsided over a few days. One time, I cried hysterically because the lady next door was playing opera music and I HATED it, haha.


I also just don't want to be confined to this drug my whole life. I am not sure if it has helped me or not, but I do feel more alive after taking it for two years, but I'm not sure if that's also in conjunction to what has been happening to me life-wise. Before I took the drug, I was in an unstable, critical moment of my life. I didn't have a full-time job, my mother's mental health was on the fritz, and I was overcome by student loans. But now, I have a nice apartment with two cute cats, I have enough money to get by, and life is just much more stable.


Although not recommended by you folks, I cut my dosage in half since 10/30. I read that the effects won't start until approximately four or so days of taking a new dose, but I have not yet felt anything new or bad. Today I have been rather tired, but I'm not so sure that's different from my normal routine.


Thank you for being involved in such a wonderful forum. I really hope I can cut most of the Lexapro out of my life.


11/2014: Began taking Lexapro tablets 10mg. Made me feel like a zombie.

3/2016: Increased dosage to 20mg. During this time I also had an encouraging life event. Now that the life event is over, I question if the 20mg Lexapro helped me at all. After a noticeable increase in weight, I have decided to taper off.
10/30/2016: Began tapering from 20mg to 10mg.

11/1/2016: 10mg, drowsy and mildly irritable. Maybe foggish? Overall mood is good.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

mercha -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)


Thank you for posting a signature. Is Lexapro the only medication (prescription, over-the-counter, or street drug) you take? If not, please post about that and add it to your signature.
Lexapro is one of the strongest antidepressants. A 50% reduction could send you into very difficult withdrawal symptoms. If you want to minimize that risk, please make your next dose 18 mg not the 10 mg you've taken since Sunday. It's much better to make this change now than wait until symptoms "slam" you.

Like most of us, you want to get off the medication NOW, or ASAP. Unfortunately sometimes going fast means causing harsh symptoms that require longer holds or even updosing making the "fast" taper slower than the gradual taper.

Please read this topic with guidelines about tapering: Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know
If you read our topic about tapering by 10% of current dose once per month, you'll see that we suggest modifications if you have no symptoms after 2 dose reductions and holds of 1 month after each.
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

I've gone through a few cycles of 4 weeks, then a few at 3 weeks. This time I will test holding for only 2 weeks before the next dose reduction. If it works, great! If not, back to 3 weeks for me. ;)

Here's some information about Lexapro:
Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here

scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • 1 year later...

Any update?

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.


Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017



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