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zeilia: New mom trying to taper Lexapro


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I'm so glad I found this forum! In Sept I was put on 10mg of Lexapro for post-partum depression and anxiety, with some OCD tendencies. This was quickly raised to 20mg, even though 10mg seemed to be working fine. I gained 30 pounds very quickly, so 150mg Wellbutrin was added to the mix, and I was told to drop to 10mg Lexapro by just cutting the 20mg pills in half. Suspecting this was too fast, I decided to taper by 5mg instead. But within 3 days I had terrible stomach pain. I searched the internet and found out this could be a symptom of Lexapro withdrawal. So, I reinstated the 20mg and cut by 10% instead. After 3 days (today) I again feel some stomach pain and headache, but it's bearable, so I will continue to cut slowly, at least down to 10mg and then reassess.


I was wondering if anyone has found anything to help with stomach issues (cramping/burning feeling) while tapering? Supplements? Foods? A special diet? Also, with a new baby who has trouble sleeping through the night, I am working on very little sleep, any ideas how to mitigate this during withdrawal? Thanks so much for taking the time to read this intro.


2005-2010: 300mg Wellbutrin for depression, easy/quick taper.

Sept 2017: 10mg Lexapro for post-partum depression and anxiety, with some OCD. Quickly raised to 20mg

Jan 2018: Had gained 30 pounds, so 150mg Wellbutrin added to the mix. 

Tried to taper Lexapro by 5mg, but got bad stomach pain. Reinstated 20mg and cut by 10% instead. Some stomach pain again, but will continue this taper until 10mg and reassess. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello, zeilia and welcome to SA.


I am sorry you are suffering due to the bad advice you received.  You were wise to research on your own.  At Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.
To get you started, and familiarized with the protocols followed by SA, I am linking a few topics so that you have a better understanding of what is recommended here. 


If you tapered 20mg by 10%, that would leave you at 18mg.   You should hold at 18mg and not taper any more for at least 8 weeks (you've already done your 10% this month and then you need four more weeks for your body to get accustomed to the lower dose.)  Then, if you feel stable,  you can taper by 10% of 18mg, etc.  You have undergone several dose changes in a short time and your nervous system craves stability.  
This link explains the need for a slow taper:
I too am tapering Lexapro and have had success measuring doses with a Gemini-20 scale, available on Amazon.  Making a liquid is also an option, as is using a compounding pharmacy.
To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.
You will see from this link that stomach pains and cramps are a common withdrawal system.  It's good that the symptoms have improved somewhat.
PDF Monthly List of Dr Glenmullen's Symptoms to Print & PDF Monthly List BLANK to Print
Regarding relief from the stomach pain, time will be the best cure.  As your nervous system settles into homeostasis, the pain will diminish more and more.
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 
Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. 
Some members, including me, have gotten some relief from insomnia with melatonin.  Start with a low dosage, no more than 1mg, as higher doses can turn paradoxical.
This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community. 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 I am glad that you found us.



Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 22: 7.6mg

Taper is 90% complete.  


Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotics, zinc, melatonin .3mg, anti-candida, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to zeilia: New mom trying to taper Lexapro

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