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Mars11: Seeking improvement


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I have always been anxious, but it was manageable. Until I started working in 2000. I was 1st put on blood pressure meds (perindopril). Then around 2002 I had my 1st panic attack and was put on benzodiazepines, which I of course needed more of as time went by. Then in 2005 escitalopram was added. I managed to stop the benzodiazepines in 2007 cold turkey (severe withdrawal for about 3 months). I am still on escitalopram 10mg, but it feels like it stopped working. Reading this site I am 100% sure I should not increase the dosage and is considering tapering off, but I have seen many horror stories (although there are some succeses), so fairly scared, even though I do think the meds are not doing anything for me( may even be the reason for my sleep issues and health anxiety). I am the UK and as far as I know we only have the tablets (20mg, 10mg and 5mg). Any suggestions in how I should taper?

2002: put on perindopril 8mg for hypertension, still on this with felodipine 10 mg added in 2007.

2003: 1st panic attack, given activan 1mg as needed, dosage slowly increased to about 5mg per day on average. Cold turkey in 2007, 3 months of severe withdrawal.

2005: Escitalopram 10mg added, still on same dosage.

2008 - now: use propranolol when in stressful situation.

Considering tapering of Escitalopram, given insomnia and lack of motivation which I attribute to the drug. Although reading about the withdrawal effects, I am fairly reluctant.


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  • Mars11 changed the title to Seeking improvement
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Mars11: Seeking improvement
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Hi Mars11 and welcome to SA,


Because you have been on escitalopram since 2005 there is a possibility that the drug has stopped working.  This is called by several names:  tachyphylaxis, poop out and reaching tolerance.  The general medical professional response to this is the increase the drug, add a new drug or switch drugs.  If the drug is increased due to poop out, there will most likely come a time when the drug reaches tolerance again, and then the process is repeated, increase, add or switch.


What can happen when tapering out of poop out is that after a reduction you start to feel a bit of improvement, and then gradually the symptoms start to worsen.  Tapering when not in poop out can be different in that after making a reduction you might get mild withdrawal symptoms and then those symptoms resolve over a few weeks.  You can read more about it here:


Tachyphylaxis, Reaching Tolerance or as It's Lovingly Known “Poop-Out”



SA usually recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  The idea is to keep withdrawal symptoms to a minimum.  If you experience bad withdrawal symptoms after a reduction, or the symptoms last for too long after a reduction that is a sign that you have reduced too much.  The 10% every 4 weeks is only a guide.  You need to listen to your body/symptoms and taper according to them and not the calendar.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Tips for tapering off escitalopram (Lexapro)


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist




And Brassmonkey wrote more about it here:




Some members do a different taper making their reduction over a 6 week period.  Brassmonkey, who has successfully tapered off Paxil (now about 3.5 years off) whilst experiencing poop has posted about this tapering method here:






Please create your drug signature following these instructions:


Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature


This link goes straight to where you create your signature.

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature


This is your own Introduction topic.  Each member has only ONE.  Your Introduction topic is the best place to ask questions about your own situation and is where you should journal your progress.  This keeps your history in one place and means that you do not have to repeat your story.


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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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, I think the escitalopram has led to my sleep issues.  I feel as though I never get enough sleep.  I have periodic arm movements.  I wish you the best in your decision.  

2010 - 2018 Zoloft 75 mg 2019 Zoloft 50mg 2019 Zoloft 25 mg

2020 Zoloft 12.5mg

2020 Switched July 6, 2020 to Lexapro 10 mg  Nov 10, 2020 5 mg 

2021 Feb 2, 2021 2.5 mg until July 24, 2021 (Date quit)

2021 Lexapro .5 mg Reinstatement Aug 18, 2021 

2021 Lexapro .42 mg Nov 16, 2021

2021 Lexapro .35 mg Dec 1, 2021

2021 Lexapro .5 mg updose Dec 11, 2021

2022 Lexapro 1.0 mg updose March 15, 2022

2022 Quit Lexapro March 19, 2022

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