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TexasBob: Lexapro withdrawal and me


TexasBob

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Hi Everyone,

 

Im so glad I was referred to this site from Reddit.  I’ve been reading the forums over the last several days before signing up and introducing myself.  Here’s my history and where I’m currently at.
 

I have been on Lexapro 20mg since summer of 2007. Starting in 2016 I began experiencing debilitating left jaw pain and left eustachian tube dysfunction as a side-effect of the Lexapro. I did not know at the time the Lexapro was causing these side-effects.  I was grinding my teeth so badly that I thought I had trigeminal neuralgia in my left cheek.

 

In November 2019 I was prescribed Cymbalta 60mg by my neurologist at the time for the pain in my face. I was on Cymbalta 60mg until February 2020 because it killed my libido. Went down to Cymbalta 30mg. Stayed on 30mg until August 2020 when my neurologist reduced the dose down to 20mg to being to taper off the meds completely. In October 2020 I began to experience withdrawal symptoms from the cymbalta: vertigo and adrenaline surges. I did not know at the time that these were related to the cymbalta withdrawals.
 

A few days before Xmas 2020, my mind began to catastrophize about the holidays and death and I was sent into a constant state of adrenaline fueled panic attacks that did not stop for five days. I spent Xmas Eve in the out patient psych ward. They gave me hydroxizine and sent me home. I looked for a psychiatrist and was able to get an appointment with my current psychiatrist two days after Xmas. He switched me back to Lexapro 20mg. On the morning of the second day of taking the Lexapro the adrenaline stopped surging and the panic attack state stopped. I was stable from then on until August 2021.
 

In August the panic state returned, this time without the adrenaline surges, and lasted for two weeks straight. My psychiatrist prescribed me gabapentin 300mg x3 daily. The gabapentin saved my life. I was on this regimen until May 2022 when I felt stable enough to begin to taper off the Lexapro. I went from 20 to 15 to 10 to 5 about a month at a time until I finally came off the Lexapro a month ago on October 15th, 2022. I began tapering off the gabapentin and have been off it since Halloween.

 

The panic state returned Sunday night and I’m back on the gabapentin but not the Lexapro.  The gabapentin keeps my brain from catastrophizing but I can feel underneath the gabapentin that I’m still having the panic attack: heart palpitations, chest tightness and some pain, butterflies in my chest, paresthesia in my arms and hands.

 

I’ve read about the 10% dose reduction and about going back on a smaller dose of the Lexapro to stabilize and start the taper again at the 10% rate.  I’ve been off Lexapro for a month now.  I don’t know if I’ll kindle by going back on or not.

 

I’ll stop here and wait for replies from mods and you other guys who know so much about what we’re going through to get healthy again.

 

Much love!

 

Edited by ChessieCat
resized font

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to TexasBob: Lexapro withdrawal and me
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  It is a good thing you found us.  It appears that you are experiencing withdrawal from going on and off Lexapro, Cymbalta, and changing doses of gabapentin over the past several years.  Let me give you basic information about these drugs and their tapering and withdrawal, then some specific suggestions to your case.  

 

On 11/22/2022 at 8:14 PM, TexasBob said:

In November 2019 I was prescribed Cymbalta 60mg by my neurologist at the time for the pain in my face.

Was the Cymbalta in addition to the Lexapro, or did you quit Lexapro and switch to the Cymbalta?  

 

On what date did you updose back to 300 mg gabapentin 3x daily? 

 

Here is some important information about how these drugs actually work.  This explains why we get symptoms from going off of these medications, and why it's so important to taper slowly and carefully, and be very cautious about changing our doses: 

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

Here is a link with checklists of common WD symptoms: 

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen Withdrawal Symptom Checklists

 

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Stability is really important when we are tapering off psych meds.  Please read the link about stability:

 

Keep It Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

If it were me, I would do a reinstatement of a very small dose of Lexapro.  Lexapro is a very powerful drug - it is 2x to 4x times more potent than other SSRI drugs.  These drugs are still very powerful at very low doses, and jumping off at 5 mg is like doing a cold turkey.  No fault of yours, 99% of people aren't aware of this.  We on this site take a harm reduction approach, and we suggest tapering off at the rate of 10% of the current dose every 4-6 weeks, and go to an extremely low dose before jumping off to minimize withdrawal symptoms. My suggestion is to reinstate 1 mg of Lexapro per day.  I suggest getting the commercial liquid Lexapro.  Here in the US, one ml of the commercial liquid contains 1 mg of the drug, so that is what you would take.  You can get the syringes from amazon, or your local pharmacy.  

 

A reinstatement is best done very carefully.  This is temporary, and after stabilizing you would then taper gradually off of this.  There is some risk involved.  The sooner your reinstate after you jumped off the drug, the more likely it is to work, so I would do it sooner rather than later.  Here is some information about reinstatement.  

 

About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms

 

If you choose to reinstate, give it at least a week, as it takes this long to register in your system.  If you feel significantly worse after the reinstatement, stop it right away.  It should reduce your symptoms, not make then go away entirely.  I would give this several months before resuming tapering.  

 

We strongly suggest only tapering one drug at a time, as this is much easier on your system, so I wouldn't try to reduce gapapentin until your Lexapro taper is done.  Not only that, when something goes wrong, you won't know which taper to blame.  

 

Be sure and take your drugs each and every day at the same time, not skipping or varying your doses.  This is very important.

 

Please keep us posted, and let us know what you decide to do.  

 

I've given you quite a bit of information here.  Please read through it, and mull it over, and we will take it from there. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and take heart.  We in this forum have been through this, and we understand first hand the pain and discomfort you are going through.  Please know that the brain is amazing in it's healing abilities.  It takes time, but healing can and will happen. 

Edited by getofflex

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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Hi Getofflex,

 

I quit Lexapro and switched to cymbalta.  I never took lexapro in conjunction with cymbalta.  The neurologist told me I did not have to taper or slow dose up on the cymbalta because they both worked on serotonin, in addition to cymbalta’s effect on norepinephrine.

 

I updosed gabapentin back to 300mg 3x daily on Sunday 11/20/22, exactly a week ago.  The gabapentin is the only thing making me functional right now.

 

The supplements I have always taken before my ordeal began two years ago are fish oil, vitamin D, multivitamin, methyl B-12, and methyl folate.  I also take nexium twice a day.  In my experience, these supplements have never caused me to feel worse.

 

I have an appointment with my psychiatrist this coming Friday 12/2.  I’ll be asking for the liquid Lexapro and will reinstate at 1mg.  I’ll wait several months to stabilize before I try to taper at 10% of the current dose.

 

Over the past week I have read all the articles you’ve mentioned.  Many thanks to everyone who has put together this information!  I’m very thankful to all of you for helping everyone to understand how powerful the meds actually are and how to safely taper off. 
 

I’ll be working to taper off the Lexapro only until I stabilize, no matter how slowly or long it takes.

 

I’ve read about your journey, getofflex, and I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am to know that you healed and that healing is possible for us all.

 

Much love and respect!  I’ll update again after my psychiatrist appointment next week.

 

All the best to all of you!

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 11/27/2022 at 11:39 AM, TexasBob said:

I have an appointment with my psychiatrist this coming Friday 12/2.  I’ll be asking for the liquid Lexapro and will reinstate at 1mg.  I’ll wait several months to stabilize before I try to taper at 10% of the current dose.

Sounds good.  Please be aware that your psychiatrist may try to push you to go on a higher reinstatement, or go on another drug.  We see this sort of thing all the time here, and it almost always makes people even worse. Reinstating too high can cause kindling, which most doctors are in denial about.  Just remember you have a choice about doing what this doctors says.  Good luck!  Thanks for taking the time to read the information, it's a lot to read but well worth it.  

 

Hypersensitivity and Kindling

 

How to Talk to a Doctor About Tapering and Withdrawal

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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Reading those links right now.  Thanks!

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

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So I have a conundrum.  The gabapentin has stabilized me enough that I’m not having panic attacks, body pain, paresthesia in my arms, not am I feeling doom and despair beyond mild depression from withdrawal.  In other words, I feel like I’m in a stable enough state to continue with 0mg of Lexapro and 300mg 3/day gabapentin that I don’t know if reinstating is worth it at this point and won’t cause me to feel worse than I am now.

 

I'm leaning toward remaining on my current regimen so as not possibly to worsen my current state.  Any advice is welcome and appreciated.

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

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  • Mentor

Hello @TexasBob and welcome to SA!

 

I’m glad you are feeling better!
you have tapered the lexapro pretty fast and you were on it for sometime so I would get the liquid lexapro prescription. 
at this point you don’t have to reinstate just get the prescription and you will have it. And then make the decision with the mods here. It’s good to have options in your tool box! 
 

Please be careful with you body language and what you say to dr. He reads people for a living.  Poker face. Just let him know you are struggling coming off lexapro and have to taper slower and need liquid to do this etc. etc. which is true. I would be careful telling him you are feeling better. I probably wouldn’t even mention that. And just be prepared drs will usually say something like I don’t even know if it’s available or I don’t think you insurance will pay for it - ask me how I know🙄. If you are in USA then it’s available 1 to 1.  

 

prescription liquid is the easier less stressful way to taper this stuff. Not that it is easy but you know. 

Good luck with the dr appointment tomorrow! 

 

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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Thanks Heath!  Much appreciated!

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I’m very glad that you’re feeling better and have stabilized on the gabapentin. I second what heath said about getting the liquid Lexapro, and having it on hand just in case.  But if you don’t have to reinstate the Lexapro, that’s all the better. It’s one less drug you would have to taper off of in the future.

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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Many thanks, @getofflex!  I’ll do just that and check back in later this evening.

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

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Hi guys!  Good news and bad news.  I wasn’t able to get the rx for liquid Lexapro.  My psychiatrist was happy that I was stable on the gabapentin and chose to continue that treatment.  I can live with that.  I’m doing well right now and will just have to ride this out.

 

I’ll update as needed moving forward.  Thanks for all your advice and support!

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
23 hours ago, TexasBob said:

I wasn’t able to get the rx for liquid Lexapro.  My psychiatrist was happy that I was stable on the gabapentin and chose to continue that treatment.  I can live with that.  I’m doing well right now and will just have to ride this out.

I'm sorry to hear this. 

 

If you still have some of the tablets, you can make your own liquid out of them.  This link explains how. 

 

Tapering and Dosing Lexapro

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update #1

 

So I’m almost at the two month mark of being completely off Lexapro.  My two month anniversary will be 12/15, this Thursday.  I am still taking 300 mg gabapentin x3/day.

 

I’m having another multi day panic attack that won’t stop.  It feels like there is a hole in the middle of my brain (amygdala?) and the hole is pulling straight down into my chest/esophagus area.  My brain and whole body feels like it’s vibrating/convulsing.  I’ll have intrusive thoughts of death and abject terror/despair.  Memories of happier times, especially those of the holidays, and how happy I used to feel tend to make my brain think about death and despair.  The gabapentin keeps me functional so I can do my job and hide the physical and mental pain I’m in.  Being busy also helps.  But if not for the gabapentin I would be a wreck.

 

I have had to take about 1mg of melatonin the last two nights to help me sleep.  I am getting between 6-7 hours of sleep, so I can’t complain there aside from my body vibrating all night and my brain hurting.

 

My acid reflux has gotten worse in the last two weeks.  I haven’t changed my diet or added any new meds.  I still take nexium OTC twice a day in the morning and at bedtime.  I always thought the Lexapro had something to do with my LES not closing at the top of my stomach.  I hope as I progress through the healing process that my suspicions will be confirmed.

 
I do know that I will stabilize again in the coming days.  This is all a part of the healing process.  I have had a few days of windows in the last two weeks where I have felt a lot better.  This is just a wave and it will pass.

 

Much love!

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

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Wow!  Today is the complete opposite of yesterday.  Big window day for me.

 

I’ve noticed that my withdrawal has a great effect upon my bowels.  I can feel my GI and bowels squeezing from top to bottom.  The squeezing seems to start at one point and move down as time progresses.  I had a bad bout of diarrhea last night as this process continued.  I felt like garbage as if I had a really bad flu: head pounding, bad body aches, nerves vibrating.  I took my gabapentin and nexium and went to bed.  I fell asleep around 11 PM and woke up with my alarm at 5:45 AM.


I woke up still feeling my whole body vibrating and hurting, almost like I had been in a car wreck. During these withdrawals I move slowly, also due in part to the gabapentin.  I took some ibuprofen for my body aches.  Didn’t really notice any effect.

 

My window began around 9 AM.  Body aches largely gone, vibrating stopped except for the normal effects of gabapentin (my forearms and hands feel a little buzzy from it), feeling happy, bowels are still a little uncomfortable but nothing serious.

 

Took my first 300mg dose of gabapentin at 12:30, my usual time.  The day is still going great.  Enjoying the window while it lasts.

 

Best wishes to all!

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

So Christmas was bad.  Constant anxiety, panic, palpitations, paresthesia, insomnia, depression, sadness, terror, and despair.  I soldiered through it.  Broke down crying tonight.  My brain tells me I’m letting myself and family down by going through this and things will never change.  I know it’s not true and just keep pushing through.

 

I never in a million years thought that I would hate Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I do now.  My family fell apart two years ago.  Now we don’t have any family to celebrate the holidays like we used to.  The withdrawals make all of this worse.  I’m sad and miserable all the time.  Every smile is fake and forced to hide the fact that I’m in mental and physical pain at the moment.  I feel like my life is slipping away.  It’s like I have good days between Tuesday and Thursday, but Friday through Monday can really suck.  I just want to be better for my family so they can stop worrying about me and I can do more for them.

 

I hope you all had a merry Christmas and happy holidays!

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

Link to comment
  • Mentor

Hello @TexasBob and Merry Christmas!

 

you brain is telling you this because of withdrawals and another very common wd symptom is guilt of past mistakes will come back in you mind . Try and remember this is temporary wd symptoms when the negative guilt thoughts come up. 
 

sorry to hear about the family coming apart that has to be tough. Holidays are stressful any way good and bad stress. I’ve been very irritable this week which is a normal wd symptom that I noticed when I started tapering. Our nervous system is very sensitive rt now. I’ve had to go to bathroom at work for a good cry before. 
 

So let’s talk about your good days! Do you work Monday through Friday?

Do you work around people? 
I have been in the same rut. Good Tuesday through Friday and bad Saturday through Monday. It does pass. 
 

There are some reasons for this. For me I work around people and I am busy. So two things being around people(non toxic) and distractions from wd help symptoms . Keep your mind busy with something else. 
 

On weekends I would drag around and my mind would start thinking yep negative stuff. So on weekends when I could I started making myself get up and move distract, do something even though negative thoughts kept coming at me just move my hands , cut the board, drive the nail, clean the garden, mow grass, etc. keep moving with that fake smile. And yes sometimes it’s was almost impossible, and tough. Each day move a little more. Distraction and cold water are in the top drawer of my wd toolbox. When I have been in your position distraction was the best thing that helped. 
hang on 💪

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. 

Link to comment

Hi Heath,

 

Today was a much better day!  It’s like the withdrawals come to a climax and then my brain finally adjusts what it needs to and then I have a series of much better days before the cycle starts back over again.  Today was a really good window.  I think bawling my eyes out last night released a lot of the tension and pain that built up over the last four days during Xmas.  
 

My withdrawals, however, feel different as I continue on the journey.  My negative thoughts don’t seem to come from deep in my brain anymore.  It’s like I can feel my brain rewiring itself as it heals.

 

I totally agree about distracting yourself and finding something to do.  There are days the physical pain from all the buzzing electricity coursing through my brain and all the way to my toes just doesn’t allow me to do any kind of physical activity.  Other days I get chores done and try to do something to keep me busy.  Before my tapering/withdrawal experience started I lifted weights five to six day a week.  I haven’t been able to lift consistently since August, so that’s been frustrating.  I’m a big reader but unless my brain is stable (like today) I have a hard time concentrating and get frustrated because I can’t remember what I just read.  I also try to distract myself with video games or model making just to keep my mind off the uncomfortable symptoms.

 

I had a good friend from work come by today and spend a few hours visiting.  I’m in the education business and we’re off right now.  It was great and I experienced no problems.  I’m starting to feel a little anxious now and I can feel a little of that hot/cold panic feeling in my chest, but it’s manageable at the moment.  No intrusive thoughts today.

 

It’s really unbelievable how these withdrawals drag you down so low that you can’t experience anything beyond terrifying despair, but the next day it’s like the last several days never happened and you’re back to normal.

 

Thanks for the advice and for checking in, Heath!  Best wishes for the new year and much love!

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

Hi guys!  I am still off Lexapro.  The worst of the psychological withdrawals are over.  I no longer have intrusive thoughts of death and despair or worry about my loved ones dying.  My mind is clear and I am experiencing the vividness of life like I never have before.  So that’s all good.

 

But I’ve run into what I think is a severe physiological withdrawal symptom from Lexapro now that my brain is doing ok.  I finished a long taper off gabapentin three weeks ago.  During the second week I started to develop GERD, which I was diagnosed with back in 2012, five years after I started lexapro.  This bout with GERD has been the absolute worst.  I have had near constant reflux into my throat.  I have taken nexium twice a day for ten years, but this no longer cut it with the severity of this episode.  My GP put me on pantoprazole twice a day and sucralfate twice a day.  The violence of this reflux keeps me from sleeping.  I haven’t slept more than two hours a night for a week now.  It feels like my whole gut, from my esophagus down to the bottom of my stomach, is squeezing and contracting and spasming all the time.  It feels like I’m having a panic attack in my heart and my limbs, but not in my brain because I’m able to remain calm while my body vibrates and heart thumps.

 

I always suspected Lexapro was the cause of my GERD.  I hoped getting off Lexapro would cause my lower esophageal sphincter to work again and stay closed.  Im hoping this bout of GERD is withdrawal related because I haven’t really changed anything except getting off gabapentin, which I had to reinstate to deal with the pain of my gut.

 

If any of you guys are still reading this, have you yourself or some else here on the forum dealt with GERD like this?  Did it resolve?

 

Thanks and much love!

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

Link to comment
  • Mentor

Hello @TexasBob and glad you have been having some good windows ! 
Are you back in school ?
 

The stomach troubles 🙄. It is possible it could be from stopping gabapentin . I might suspect that if it happened soon after. But I’m like you I’ve developed things long after starting or changing these drugs. That was most definitely caused by the drug. 
 

I ve had reflux and acid indigestion , heartburn and gut pains with these drugs. Off and on start up side effects , during and tapering.
 

The worst time was when I took Prozac. It was the worst heartburn I every had. I had to be very careful what to eat. So even though I suspected it was the drug I did what I could until I could get off of it, back before SA.
I changed food habits, tried this and that. Tums, Prilosec etc. I chewed sugar free gum which helped. Saliva neutralizes acid - chewing gum creates saliva. I would be careful about sugar substitutes . 

 

I stopped sodas and acidic foods about a year ago and was able to stop Prilosec. But I still sometimes give in and have to use it temporarily. 

 

I wished I could tell you more about what caused it. It may take a little detective work and record keeping. 

Do what you can to treat symptoms in the meantime. 
 

Below are some links from SA if you haven’t seen them. Oh wait would that be seen or saw them ? 
 

Please update your signature when you stopped and started the gabapentin or any other changes so If a mod has any good info on this they will be able to help. 
 

Thank you for sharing and updating us. 
💪
 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16067-digestive-problems-nausea-diarrhoea-bloating-gerd/

 

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/9026-acid-reflux/

 

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. 

Link to comment

Thanks Heath,

 

Im afraid it’s the gabapentin as well.  Really desperate right now.  The reflux keeps hitting my throat and my chest is really sore from esophagitis.  Really desperate for answers right now.

 

I’ve been eating a high protein, very low carb diet for the past two months.  I’ve lost about thirty-five pounds since Christmas.  I don’t eat sugar anymore and have not drink coffee since last Friday.  I don’t do sodas or alcohol either.  I’ve been drinking just water and eating a limited diet since Saturday when my condition seemingly worsened.  The meds my GP prescribed have helped make the reflux less acidic, but the frequency of the episodes is infuriatingly frequent to the point where I’m not sleeping well.  My psychiatrist prescribed hydroxyzine to help me sleep.  I had to get back on the gabapentin because my nerves were going berserk at the feeling of the reflux and the lack of sleep.

 

Thanks for the quick reply!  Much love!

 

 

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

Link to comment
  • Mentor

Yes our nerves are very sensitive at this time and when pains come along they seem to be 10 times bigger. 
 

I started low carb again 7 weeks ago and I’m eating more protein and veggies. I do give in some times. I’ve had bread about 4 times since. I ve lost about 12 pounds but can’t get past that for about 2 weeks. I’ve had a gastritis flair up this week, in which I may be thinking diet could be the cause, don’t know. When we are in wd or tapering it’s hard to know what causes what. 

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. 

Link to comment

So I haven’t had any psychological withdrawals in about a month.  No intrusive thoughts or anything I couldn’t contextualize and handle.  Can different parts of your body go through withdrawal at different times?  It feels like now that my brain has worked out its issues, my chest, esophagus, stomach, and arms are all working out theirs.  It’s like the nerves in my whole body is going through a process of reawakening from Lexapro.  Life has never been so vivid and intense, but my esophagus and stomach really hurt and my thorax and abdomen are just vibrating and quivering along with my arms.

 

Anyone have any insight into this?

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

Link to comment

So I’ve had another near sleepless night.  I to take two 50mg hydroxyzine because the first one didn’t work and the second didn’t work until like 4am and I woke up at 5:30am.

 

I'm still dealing with a near constant panic state in my body, not my brain, stemming from acid reflux, stomach problems, etc. which I assume are a near manifestation of withdrawals.  At this point I’m seriously considering getting back on Lexapro.  I can’t live life like this.  I’m making my family just as miserable and worried as I am.  Any advice if I were to reinstate Lexapro?  Thanks!

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

Link to comment

Talked to psychiatrist.  I’m reinstating Lexapro at 5mg.  I’ll keep you posted.

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

Link to comment
  • Mentor

@TexasBob

please try and be patience a mod may be trying to catch up on your situation and help. 
 

Have yo take the lexapro yet ???

 

 

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. 

Link to comment

Yes.  Around four hours ago.  It’s helped with my anxiety and pain from whatever is going on in my stomach and the continual acid reflux.

2007-11/2019: Lexapro 20mg.

12/2019-2/20: Cymbalta 60mg

2/20-8/20: Cymbalta 30mg

8/20-12/20: Cymbalta 20mg

12/20-8/21: Lexapro 20mg

8/21-5/22: Lexapro 20mg and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

6/22-7/22: 15mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 3x day.

8/22-9/22: 10mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

9/22-10/22: 5mg Lexapro and Gabapentin 300mg 2x before bed.

10/22-Present (2/21/23): 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

2/22/23-3/10/23: 0mg Lexapro and 0mg Gabapentin.

3/11/23-Present: 0mg Lexapro and 300mg Gabapentin 3x day.

Link to comment

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