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BornToBuild22: Lexapro/Pristiq - From good to a horror story


BornToBuild22

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Basically, I've been on antidepressants since 2017. Lexapro from 2017-2019 (7.5mg) no antidepressants for most of 2019-March 2020. Then a very low dose of Lexapro (2.5-3mg liquid) until July 2023. I felt so amazing on this low dose of Lexapro! My life changed 100% for the better. I was living the exact life I wanted to live. I was working out so hard, my co-workers said I looked like a bodybuilder, I had a job in a difficult field, and best of all no side effects! I was even starting to enter the dating world! Something that I had never done before. The greatest 3.5 years of my life. No drugs (besides Lex), no alcohol, My family thought this Lexapro was like a secret formula!

 

I had an extreme interest in bodybuilding and my whole life revolved around in. I went into an extreme depressive episode (I will talk about it later) when I increased my lexapro to 7.5mg, and only had a 1 month relief from it when I went back to 3mg. It's like all of a sudden now, I don't have any interest in working out let alone bodybuilding. 

 

Then in July 2023, I decided to up the dose. I was struggling with insomnia and some increased anxiety. Increased from 3 mg to 4mg. No big deal didn’t really help my anxiety, but I’m still happy and have no side effects. No depression just yet. 

 

September 2023 hits and hallucinations are starting to happen. Man, my anxiety is starting to get bad! Talk to my doctor, it’s only natural I up it to 5mg. It’s a pretty standard dose, and I bet my brain will stabilize on that! No depression just yet.

 

In October 2023, I went to my doctor again, and he recommended an increase to 7.5. Hey, not a big increase, but I’ll give it some time. Nope, dumbass me is having a panic attack for literally 3 weeks straight. 

 

What then ensues is a Truman Show like 60 days of torture. The worst days of my life. Oh, the life I used to live. I was on 7.5 for a month. I got every side effect in the book. Nausea, vomiting, increased anxiety, SEVERE INSOMNIA (never had sleeping problems, I slept 8-10 hours a night before. Now I’m lucky for 4-5, some nights I even stay up all night). The only thing I didn’t get was the sexual side effects. Not to mention a SEVERE DEPRESSION. Severe anhedonia and apathy which is something I've never had before. 

 

Then I went down my Lexapro back to 5mg, as my doctor ordered. Some side effects lessen but no relief. I then go down to 3mg, and life is actually back to normal for a month! I'm so thankful! Some anxiety, but at this point I will live with it. The anhedonia, apathy, and no motivation is gone! 

 

Then I struggled with depression again. I have a bad depressive episode and, I see a new psychiatrist and he recommends Pristiq for MDD. I was on 25mg for a month, no relief. I was on 50mg for a month with no relief. My mind and body do not want to do anything ever. Everything seems extremely boring. Nothing gives me any pleasure anymore. I'm so done. I still have kept my normal work and workout schedule, I'm just so mentally fatigued and done. I'm tired of not wanting to ever do anything all day. I have so much apathy, fatigue, and no motivation. I just want to go off of all antidepressants now. I was thinking 25mg for a month, 12.5mg (compound) for a month, and then going off since I wasn't on Pristiq for that long. The weirdest thing has been, I've still been working out on Pristiq, and if anything I've been stronger on most lifts, and I've lost almost all of my muscle. I haven't even lost any weight!

Edited by Emonda
Name to title

Lexapro 2.5-7.5 2017-2019
Off from June 2019-March 2020
Lexapro 2.5 March 2020-May 2021
Lexapro 3 May 2021-July 2023
Lexapro 4 August 2023
Lexapro 5 September 2023
Lexapro 7.5 October 2023
Lexapro 5 November 2023
Lexapro 3 December 2023-January 2024
Pristiq 25 February 2024
Pristiq 50 March 2024-Now

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  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. We are a peer support forum to assist in tapering off psychiatric drugs safely, or recovering from psychiatric drug withdrawal.

 

Your first task is to create a drug signature, with the following:

 

  • All current medication you take, the dose you take, when you started the drug, and when you made dose changes
  • All current supplements you take
  • An accurate history of recent drugs, taken in the last 12-24 months
  • Dates for recent should be written as 7 Oct 2023, or Oct 7 2023, or early Oct 2023, or mid Oct 2023
  • A history of drugs taken 24 months ago and beyond - if applicable
  • Dates for historical drugs can simply be listed as start and stop years
  • Please do not use 07/10/23 // 10/07/23 as this is intepreted differently around the world

 

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. See my signature for example of clear and concise information.

 

 

 

This topic is for anything relating to you, and any questions you have. Please do not start another topic.

 

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your CURRENT dose each month, to limit withdrawal symptoms. E.g. 10mg --> 9mg --> 8.1mg --> 7.29mg

 

All the answers you are looking for regarding tapering and antidepressant withdrawal are on this site. Please search around and continue to read as much as you can manage. Use the site search function to search for specific words or phrases, such as drugs or symptoms.

 

Here are a few of the most useful links:

 

Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

Micro tapering

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

Using a scale to weigh and measure doses

 

We only recommend two supplements. Omega 3 Fish Oil and Magnesium. Both should be introduced separately and increased slowly.

 

Regards

Erimus

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Don't change anything else for now. Once you've completed your signature I can better assess what might be a sensible plan.

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
7 minutes ago, Erimus said:

Don't change anything else for now. Once you've completed your signature I can better assess what might be a sensible plan.

I just edited my signature. I would like to get off this medicine as soon as possible. I don't think a 10% is necessary as I haven't been on for long. I've been on antidepressants for awhile but at a low dose. I tend to think since I've only had success at extremely low doses, I never needed it in the first place. 

Lexapro 2.5-7.5 2017-2019
Off from June 2019-March 2020
Lexapro 2.5 March 2020-May 2021
Lexapro 3 May 2021-July 2023
Lexapro 4 August 2023
Lexapro 5 September 2023
Lexapro 7.5 October 2023
Lexapro 5 November 2023
Lexapro 3 December 2023-January 2024
Pristiq 25 February 2024
Pristiq 50 March 2024-Now

Link to comment
  • Moderator
1 hour ago, BornToBuild22 said:

I just edited my signature. I would like to get off this medicine as soon as possible. I don't think a 10% is necessary as I haven't been on for long. I've been on antidepressants for awhile but at a low dose. I tend to think since I've only had success at extremely low doses, I never needed it in the first place. 

We can't stop you tapering faster, but we don't suggest it. These drugs still have vast impacts at what you describe as "low" doses.

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
Just now, Erimus said:

We can't stop you tapering faster, but we don't suggest it. These drugs still have vast impacts at what you describe as "low" doses.

Please suggest an appropriate taper at what I am at now. As you know, Pristiq only comes in 25mg increments and can not be cut up or made into a liquid.

Lexapro 2.5-7.5 2017-2019
Off from June 2019-March 2020
Lexapro 2.5 March 2020-May 2021
Lexapro 3 May 2021-July 2023
Lexapro 4 August 2023
Lexapro 5 September 2023
Lexapro 7.5 October 2023
Lexapro 5 November 2023
Lexapro 3 December 2023-January 2024
Pristiq 25 February 2024
Pristiq 50 March 2024-Now

Link to comment
  • Moderator
Posted (edited)

Read Tips for tapering off desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) .

 

You're correct. I wasn't aware how difficult it was to taper Pristiq in small increments.

 

Some people have reported success in cutting the tablets, although you may need to take a split dose if you do this, due to breaking the extended release coating.

 

See:

 

Edited by Erimus

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
4 minutes ago, Erimus said:

Read Tips for tapering off desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) .

 

You're correct. I wasn't aware how difficult it was to taper Pristiq in small increments.

 

Some people have reported success in cutting the tablets, although you may need to take a split dose if you do this, due to breaking the extended release coating.

 

See:

There's no point in making the taper longer than I was on the med. 

 

Lexapro 2.5-7.5 2017-2019
Off from June 2019-March 2020
Lexapro 2.5 March 2020-May 2021
Lexapro 3 May 2021-July 2023
Lexapro 4 August 2023
Lexapro 5 September 2023
Lexapro 7.5 October 2023
Lexapro 5 November 2023
Lexapro 3 December 2023-January 2024
Pristiq 25 February 2024
Pristiq 50 March 2024-Now

Link to comment
  • Emonda changed the title to BornToBuild22: Lexapro/Pristiq - From good to a horror story
On 4/15/2024 at 8:21 AM, Erimus said:

Hello, and welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. We are a peer support forum to assist in tapering off psychiatric drugs safely, or recovering from psychiatric drug withdrawal.

 

Your first task is to create a drug signature, with the following:

 

  • All current medication you take, the dose you take, when you started the drug, and when you made dose changes
  • All current supplements you take
  • An accurate history of recent drugs, taken in the last 12-24 months
  • Dates for recent should be written as 7 Oct 2023, or Oct 7 2023, or early Oct 2023, or mid Oct 2023
  • A history of drugs taken 24 months ago and beyond - if applicable
  • Dates for historical drugs can simply be listed as start and stop years
  • Please do not use 07/10/23 // 10/07/23 as this is intepreted differently around the world

 

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. See my signature for example of clear and concise information.

 

 

 

This topic is for anything relating to you, and any questions you have. Please do not start another topic.

 

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your CURRENT dose each month, to limit withdrawal symptoms. E.g. 10mg --> 9mg --> 8.1mg --> 7.29mg

 

All the answers you are looking for regarding tapering and antidepressant withdrawal are on this site. Please search around and continue to read as much as you can manage. Use the site search function to search for specific words or phrases, such as drugs or symptoms.

 

Here are a few of the most useful links:

 

Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

Micro tapering

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

Using a scale to weigh and measure doses

 

We only recommend two supplements. Omega 3 Fish Oil and Magnesium. Both should be introduced separately and increased slowly.

 

Regards

Erimus

Just an FYI, even Dr. Mark doesn't recommend a taper lasting longer than you've been on the drug. I've been on 8 weeks, a year long taper wouldn't make sense.

Lexapro 2.5-7.5 2017-2019
Off from June 2019-March 2020
Lexapro 2.5 March 2020-May 2021
Lexapro 3 May 2021-July 2023
Lexapro 4 August 2023
Lexapro 5 September 2023
Lexapro 7.5 October 2023
Lexapro 5 November 2023
Lexapro 3 December 2023-January 2024
Pristiq 25 February 2024
Pristiq 50 March 2024-Now

Link to comment
  • Moderator
2 hours ago, BornToBuild22 said:

Just an FYI, even Dr. Mark doesn't recommend a taper lasting longer than you've been on the drug. I've been on 8 weeks, a year long taper wouldn't make sense.

Do as you see fit. You can only go as fast as the brain allows. Some people can come off quickly, others much slower, often irrespective of time taking medication.

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment

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