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MJ10: Lexapro - 4.5 months off, protracted withdrawal


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About 4.5 months ago, I went off of Lexapro 10mg after 2 years on (was previously on for another 2.5 years prior to that as well, then off for 6 mths before I restarted). Instead of a taper, I was instructed by a psychiatrist to switch from lexapro to Prozac (bc of its longer half life) for 3 days before stopping the medication completely.


I made it through the physical withdrawal and then began experiencing plenty of other symptoms: anxiety, depression, apathy, detachment, social isolation, etc. It seems to go in waves, but when I have short periods of feeling well, I feel quite fragile.


Now, after 4.5 months, I have been feeling depressed for about the past 2 weeks. I’ve felt high levels of anhedonia for a while as well. I should also mention that I am planning a wedding that is 7 months away. I fear that I will continue to feel this way, and I am sad and terrified at the prospect of not feeling better, not being able to enjoy wedding planning, my bachelorette, my wedding.


I chose to come off of the lexapro when I did because I didn’t want to deal with this during year 1 of marriage or while we’re trying to have children. I’ve been eating a healthier diet and I do weight training most days. I push through at work and in social situations, but this is very painful and I need to know that this won’t last for too long and that I’m doing the right thing. I don’t want to go on medication again because I don’t want to experience this again, but I also don’t want to suffer through what should be some of the most exciting parts of my life. Reading others posts on this site have been reassuring for me. Any insight, suggestions, or stories of how any of you can relate would be appreciated. 

Edited by scallywag
insert paragraph breaks for readability
  • Was on Lexapro 10mg from approximately October 2015 to late September 2017
  • In late Sept 2017, switched to Prozac 10mg for 3 days then stopped completely (per psychiatrist’s advice) in place of a taper
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  • ChessieCat changed the title to MJ10: Lexapro - 4.5 months off, protracted withdrawal
  • Moderator Emeritus

MJ10 - -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)


Your struggle with emotional symptoms months after a rapid discontinuation is -- sadly -- fairly common.  Please tell us more about how you switched from Lexapro to Prozac and then how long you took Prozac.  A request: Would you summarize your 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.

Many people have found the following links to be helpful in explaining what's going on in withdrawal from psych meds:

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"

Youtube video, 4 minutes: Healing from antidepressants


You may also find the following discussion helpful: Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms.


Some other discussion topics for reference:

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)


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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Welcome to the forum MJ10, (and nice to see you back Scallywag after what seems to be a bit of a hiatus for you).  

You will feel better.  Hang in there.  You are having windows already, and they will get wider.  Just be confident in your full recovery.

Best wishes,


200 Zoloft; 10 mg Zyprexa; 4 mg valium as of May 2021;  Valium taper: July 16: 3.5 valium; July 30: 3 mg (paused valium taper); Aug. 23: 2.5 mg
Zyprexa: July 26: 8.75 mg; Aug. 9: 7.5 mg; Aug. 30: 7.1 mg

Dec 1, 2016. 10 mg zyprexa for 1.5 month. Started taper mid-Jan. 2017. Cut 1.25 mg every 2 weeks; smaller cuts 2.5 mg down. Stopped at .6 mg. May 7, 2017: zyprexa free. 
Zoloft: Dec1, 2016, 200 mg. Started taper: Jun12, 2017: 197.5 mg; Jun19,:195 mg; July 2:185mg; July 9,:180 mg; July16,: 175; July 23: 170; July 30: 165; Aug6: 160; Aug13: 155; Aug. 20: 150; Aug.27: 146 mg; Sept3: 145 mg; Sept10:143 mg; Sept17:140 mg....Nov5: 122 mg...Dec3:112.5 mg; Jan14, 2018: 95 mg...Jan28: 90 mg; Feb21:80 mg; Mar11: 75 mg; May2:70 mg; May15: 68 mg; May28: 65 mg; Jun9: 62 mg;Jun25: 60 mg:July22: 55 mg; Aug25: 45 mg. Aug28: 50 mg...Oct 28: 38 mg; Dec.4: 30 mg; Jan8,2019: 25mg; Feb6: 23.5 mg; Apr1:17.5mg; May1:1 mg; May 5: 18;  May 18:15mg; June 16:12.5mg; Sept 10:11 mg; Sept.16:10 mg; Oct. 1: 9mg; Nov. 27: 8mg; Dec.5: 7mg; Jan.1,2020, 6 mg; Feb1: 5 mg; May 1: 2.5 mg; Jn 1: 2 mg; Jy 1: 1.5 mg

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Thank you scallywag, I updated my signature. Hopefully I did it properly.


Madeleine, thank you very much for your kind words.

  • Was on Lexapro 10mg from approximately October 2015 to late September 2017
  • In late Sept 2017, switched to Prozac 10mg for 3 days then stopped completely (per psychiatrist’s advice) in place of a taper
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