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Phil52 Escitalopram Withdrawal linked to Wide Spread Tendonitis / Joints Cracking & Popping


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Where do I begin,


I could start from the beginning where i was an anxious young boy and depression reared its ugly head at 18yrs old, and how i wholeheartedly brought in to the pharmaceutical lie, and how i went down the medication rabbit hole trying to fill this ever expanding void and crush out any anxious thought but just about everyone on this Website knows that meds are not the answer long term. 


The main reason i have decided to made a post/thread is that after 5 attempts of coming off Escitalopram i have now directly correlated the withdrawls with wide spread tendonitis.


I have been extremely active most of my life, heaps of hiking, running, gym, diving, heavy labour jobs, it's the only was i can sleep at night, is to burn out all my physical energy.


The first time i got smacked with heavy withdrawls was 24, i had met the girl of my dreams and she was the perfect antidepressant, i didnt want the drugs/meds messing with our intimacy so i dropped to half (5mg). 1 months later i noticed pain in both my Achilles tendons after a 3 hr easy flat hike, i disregarded it and went back to work. I was working as a mountain guide, using a ice pick for 6+ hrs a day, both forearms were soon to develop medial epicondylitis (Golfers Elbow). I ignored the pain, lumps developed where my tendons connected to my elbow. I worked until i couldnt even lift a cup of coffee in the morning. I had to stop my gym workouts. Ultrasound scans showed sever scaring and inflammation. 


I started running, after the second run, both knees ached so much i had to walk back to the car. I did long walk instead, my R ankle gave out. I was confined to my house, i was in so much pain, i was depressed, i went back on the drugs/meds. My tendons settled down over 2 years, i could never lift as heavy, run as far, walk as long but each month i noticed improvements. I Googled a correlation, nothing, just a heap of psychological issues but nothing so physical and seen on doctors tests, seen some people with UTI symptoms but results came back normal.


At 27 i still wasnt 100%, one day at the gym, i was doing a workout and the whole room went black, i could feel something funny on my knees and looked down to see both hands moving by themselves, my left hand came back to me and i grabbed my right one to stop it grabbing my right knee, i stumbled outside to get some air, my mate came out and looked at me, my left side of my face and drooped and i couldnt talk, all i could get out was help. An ambulance was called but by the time they got there i had come to. They did a 12 point ECG scan which came back normal. A stroke / seizure ? 

I later started having ******** pain, like excruciating pain, got a ultrasound, inflammation of the epididymis. Ibprofen and see ya later.  


I was over being on these drugs and wanted off, if i was ever going to get my body back to 100, i wanted this pharmaceutical rat poison out of my system. I tapered a lot slower this time, i cant remember exact % but ~25% every 2months. So a 6month taper. I stayed off for 3 months, or should i say a 3month visit to hell. I terror, fear, akathisia, suicide thoughts, brain zaps, insomnia, the list goes on. It was like a mix of the worst flu and my worst hangover x1000. I didnt want to die, i needed to die. I was developing tendonitis everywhere. Forearm tendon from cutting a pumpkin, shoulder tendon from sleeping on my side. All this while trying to manage a team of 5 ranger for back country trips, flying in helicopters, driving 8 hrs a day, i was so close to death i cant believe im still alive today. 


I starting smashing back the pills, i needed that drug back in my system to restore me to sanity, my synapses had waaaay to many serotonin receptors established on them. This only made matters worse. I went into this weird 'dissociation trip' for a few more months. Psych nurses throwing more drugs at me, i think mirtazapine, cant remember at what dose, very low, i woke the next day with feelings of have had smoked 5 joints. I started to not trust these 'Docs', they were throwing anything at me to see if it worked, i did my own research and brought books after books, Will Hall, Robert Robert Whitaker, Peter Breggin, YouTube, Laura Delano, Michael Priebe, Forums after Forums, the cracks all joined and the realisation was haunting. It would induced more fear at times, reading "8 years and still in WD", then hope "3 yrs on and its more of just a bad dream", then fear "reinstatement is no safety net". I got off research buzz and engaged my own taper plan. 


Transition to Fluoxetine, with it having the longest half life, the easier it is to taper. Stop work.  Move home to Mum and Dad. Buy scales, drop %10 a month, a logarithmic decline, so say at the halfway mark a 10% reduction of 10mg is a 1mg reduction, not %10 reduction of 20mg a 2mg reduction. I did what work i could do for money, helping out friends and family, they all knew my plan and were very supportive. I had to keep busy, my tendons were wrecked but a whole lot of rehab work got them back to 80% after 3 years. Some still got impinged at certain movements, L wrist, L elbow, R shoulder, R ankle, R knee.


I stopped drinking, i took Curcumin Meriva 500mg for inflammation, glucosamine and chondroitin for cartilage (a MRI of my wrist showed cartilage damage), Each drop was noticeable but i had a game plan, after 10yrs trying to figure out why my mind was a mess after stopping these drugs i finally knew why. I was sleeping a lot. Fortnight massages, they would wipe me out for the rest of the day. Saunas, heeeaaaps of saunas. I finally had hope, depression was just a feeling that arose in my teens from reasons i choose not to disclose on here, and same with the anxiety. They were a passing feeling, 'not a sickness of the mind'. 


The brains zaps started half way through my drops, more towards the end of the 6 weeks, i would drop again and they would subside (now realising i should have held till they subsided on that current drop). Tendons were ok, occasional flare, ibprofen for a few days and it would settle. I was 80% better, i was now working full time building with a friend, hiking in the weekends with my new partner, sometimes working weekends, running a wee bit, gave an epic best man speech at a wedding, was able to have a few beers, could drink coffee. 


My final drop was the 1st of April 2020 (lockdown). I was so proud of where i was. I had a house with my new partner, a work van, muscles were back, i felt good, not great (i still had tendon pain/joints that now click, pop, crack and psychological trauma from the mental health services telling me it was all in my head, psychosomatic. I had so much anger and resentment towards Eli Lily that it would over flow onto others. 


3 months med free and i couldnt believe it. I had f**ken done it. The happiness and sense of achievement for accomplishing a 3 year goal was liberating. Till it wasn't! 


A catch up with a old mountain guide turned into 1 whiskey 1 too many, the next day, the gates of hell opened up again. Hello darkness my old friend. This goal is unattainable. I tore both shoulder tendons, blew both wrist tendons, R quad tendon, low back tendons. Joints crack so loud that it wakes my partner up at night. Stop work, too much pent up energy, insomnia starts, start work for a friend 1 day a week planting flowers. Thumb tendon goes. Go to the gym to do rehab work, knees give out, big toe tendons seize up. There is no stopping this degenerative work of the SSRI's. They have me by the b*lls. 


I have had so much support from so many friends and family that i cant go back on. I cant handle caffeine, alcohol, valerian, passionflower, my CNS is fried. 

I have continuous muscle twitches, joint pain, tendons impinge in absolutely every joint, i seem to have done permanent damage as once the tendons impinge, they dont settle. Surgeons have informed me this. I am now unemployed, of the sickness benefit luckily, and just hoping every day that i will wake up and thing will be different, not getting worse and worse like the current trend i am seeing. 


15months and counting. Some days are good, then a tendon will get inflamed and set me back a week or two depending on what tendon it is. This is one hell of a journey, spiritual process, test, mind f**k, call it what you will. 


I hope someone out there reads this and sees that their tendon pain is also linked to the withdrawls. The piece of mind it gave me when i figured it out what liberating, but realising that this is a lot harder than a simple taper fix like most was a burden. 


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  • Altostrata changed the title to Phil52 Escitalopram Withdrawl linked to Wide Spread Tendonitis / Joints Cracking & Popping
  • Administrator

Welcome, @Phil52


I am sorry that coming off escitalopram has had this effect on you. It appears that you also have withdrawal hypersensitivity to various substances. This is common and where a lot of people run into problems, as they ingest substances they previously with which they previously had no problems and then experience outsized adverse reactions. 


It also appears you have periodic bouts of drinking alcohol. We have seen this make withdrawal syndrome and its hypersensitivity very much worse. I hope you have completely stopped drinking any alcohol -- none at all -- as this will perpetuate your withdrawal-related symptoms.


As a sample of exactly one, in the depths of withdrawal syndrome, I also experienced injured or trapped tendons in my wrists and arms. Gentle stretching exercises can release this. I received my instructions from a very good chiropractor. While the tendonitis cleared up years ago, I still occasionally do the exercises when I have painful twinges from too much typing on the computer.


Many people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, see






You might try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you. Please let us know how you're doing.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi @Phil52--I can really relate to the problems that w/d can have on our tendons.  I had my hips scanned and was given the diagnosis of tendonitis.  Then a physical therapist showed me a bunch of basic exercises to strengthen the muscles while the tendons healed.  Every now and then if I hike too much uphill, they hurt again, but by and large, slowly, they've got better.  I hope this can add some hope for you--

Best wishes,


Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 2022

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  • Mentor

Welcome @Phil52. Sorry you are going through this hell. And thank you for posting this as it will definitely help others! Because one of the hardest things is to figure out it is from the drug! I have been there to and just have to close the book. I also had severe tendinitis in both elbows severe. Iced EM every day. I did acquire this before the drug but it come and go and really didn’t bother me much. But about 2 years after starting Paxil man it hit me and then went away. Looking back from here I can see me going to dr for inflammation for different things during a taper or increase! 
hang in there!

2000-2013 Paxil - 1 year fast taper

2013-2018 merry go round
zoloft, cymbalta, lamictal, Prozac.

 Nov. 2018 lexapro 15 mgs, Dec. 2019 to Mar. 2020 taper to 10mg. Jul 2020 to October 2020 taper to 8.5 ml.
Oct 2020 reinstated to 9 ml.
Apr 2021 to Jul  taper to 7ml. Oct 2021 to Jan 2022 taper to 5.9ml, Mar 5 2022 5.8 ml, Mar 12 5.7ml, Mar 20 5.6ml, Mar 27 5.5ml, April 23 5.4ml, April 30 5.3ml, May 7 5.2ml,  Jul 9 2022 5.4ml, 

Klonopin prn, Allegra 180 for 3 seasons, aspirin 81 mg, plavix , nitroglycerin 0.4 mg prn, 2k mg  turmeric Qunol, 4- Trader Joe’s omega 3 -2400 mg, Pepcid 20mg,  Prilosec 40 mg, Tylenol arthritis 4 tablets daily, 350mg calm magnesium citrate, melatonin 2.5- 5mg as needed to sleep. Saline spray as needed. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Phil52 Escitalopram Withdrawal linked to Wide Spread Tendonitis / Joints Cracking & Popping
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Phil52


Please create your drug signature following these instructions.  This will allow members to see your drug history whenever post and it gives your posts context:


Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi @Phil52

I am so sorry you've been having such a painful go of it!

How are you faring these days?

Best wishes,


1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc


Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house


I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi @Phil52 How have you been?

2013-2021 Lexapro 20mg

10-21 started lexapro tapering

3-22 lexapro free
5-22 started to get paresthesia all over body mainly in legs , numbness, tingling, stinging sensations 

6-22 neurologist started me on Lyrica 25mg twice a day to see if it helps with the paresthesia, got a nerve conduction test which was negative

6-22 neurologist suggested quitting lyrica as it isnt seem to be helping, and reinstating 5mg lexapro to see if it helps with the symptoms, thinking of starting lower at 2.5mg

6-13-22 stopped lyrica by doctor order (only took it 4 days )

6-14-22 reinstated 2.5mg lexapro

6-15-22 neurologist added 10mg amitriptyline to try and help with paresthesia sensory symptoms

6-22-22 updose to 5mg lexapro (bad reaction, paresthesia got worse, back to 2.5mg next day)

6-27-22 went to see a new internal doctor, per symptoms (lack of appetite that had been going on for almost a month, the paresthesia, and gi problems), told me to suspend everything i was taking and take new low dose combination drug (Adepsique) 5mg amitriptyline/ 1.5mg Diazepam / 1mg Perphenazine and 40mg Propranolol for daytime sinus tachycardia


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Hi @Pepms


My heart goes out to you that your are going through a similar taper process/withdrawl symptoms as me. I was going to say i wouldnt wish this upon anyone but i think i would wish it upon the manifactures and drug pushers. 


Im still up and down 2 years on. Im getting stronger and the fatigue has lifted a lot, go days with out a nap now. Upper body is strong but legs are still weak. Although managed a 4hr hike in the mountains a month ago which was absolutely incredible for my mental health. 


This week has been bad - dont know wheter it has been the weather or diet (gluten and dairy) or just random. Brain Zaps are still very intense in the morning and lessen throughout the day. 


I see you have just reinstated yourself? I think about that every day, as it worked for me last time. But reading the threads on Reinstatements, it doesnt look promising the longer you have been off it. 


3 months off for you, youll see improvements with your reinstatement. My advice is stay with the reinstatement, your nervous system is frazzled from the drop in serotonin depletion ( thats if your body can handle going back on). 


Please keep me updated,





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