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Fruitbat3: Lexapro taper


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I’m 27 and have been taking Lexpro for 8 years, mostly for anxiety. I started at 10 mg but quickly went up to 20, and have been here for a while. I’ve tried a couple times to taper off with the usual advice of going down to 15 mg, but neither time worked. My previous psychiatrist even went so far as to say, “You have an anxiety disorder, maybe you should come to terms with the fact you’ll be on medication for a very long time.” I don’t go to her anymore! I also have a prescription for 0.5 mg Ativan, but I don't use it very often—maybe once every 6 weeks. 


Now, I’m trying essentially the 10% regimen. I’m starting by cutting my 20mg pill into quarters and doing two days 20mg/one day 15mg. I would like to switch to the liquid, though, to make small dose changes easier. So far, I’ve had some fatigue and nausea. I’m still working my way through reading the site, but am feeling really thankful that I found this community here! 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, fruitbat3.


We don't recommend alternating doses, because it causes the amount of the medication in your bloodstream to go up and down, battering your nervous system and making withdrawal worse.  This would account for your fatigue and nausea.  Taking a consistent dose every day is extremely important.


As you've probably read we recommend tapering no faster than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


This link is specifically about tapering Lexapro, including instructions of how to get the nonstandard doses you'll need for your 10% taper.  The methods described are making your own liquid, having a liquid compounded or weighing tablets using a digital scale.  You mentioned a preference for liquid, which is fine.


Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)


I suggest going back up to 20mg every day to stabilize your system.  I would not continue to alternate doses.  Then, when you've stabilized on 20mg (no more fatigue and nausea) and when you've got your liquid ready, taper down 10% of 20mg, which is 2mg, making your new dose 18mg.  Hold there for four weeks.  


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 (glycerinate is a good form) and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 


Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 


Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 


Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.


Please be careful with the Ativan, which is extremely addictive.  Dependence can result within 2 to 4 weeks of regular use and also with intermittent use.


This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.











Edited by Gridley

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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