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Breeze: Support for Mom to taper my daughter


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Posted (edited)

Hello, I’m so glad this site exists and so grateful I found it. Anyway my daughter 15 is on lexapro 20mg since October 2023 for anxiety/selective mutism. She has been working and dealing with this lots of therapy since 5yrs old. The start of this school year things just turned for the worst and she asked me to get her help with medication. She was being bullied being the “weird” kid in class that doesn’t talk just became too much.  Anyway the medication did work giving her that edge she needed to break from the anxiety along with us moving her school and starting fresh and therapy. The way the pediatrics Phychiatrist  moved her to 20mg lexapro was so fast that I think I’m traumatized and scared. She had so many side effects from the medication the biggest that she still has is insomnia and the stomach pains.  I got “yelled”for not giving her Klonopin and doing the melatonin.  I was told

she may be developing eating disorder that we stopped saying anything about the stomach issues. Anyway we did change the phychiatrist and got a new therapist also. The Phychiatrist’s is “younger” doctor and I asked him to prescribe liquid lexapro so we can taper her off slowly.  His response liquid tastes horrible she can drop 2.5 mg asap. I refused I asked for liquid and once she transitions to liquid we can start 1mg drop and monitor withdrawal symptoms hopefully none.  I’m just so discouraged with the pediatric phychiatrist how they wanted to add more medication and just “arguing” with me when I refuse.  Refused klonopin after she started she hated the brain fog she got from it we have been doing melatonin but she still is so tired during the day.  
 

Anyway I was told to start the liquid no need to slowly introduce it. I went in the middle 10mg pill and 10mg liquid two days now seems ok nothing changing no new symptoms. I’ll do every few days switch by 5mg to liquid and then wait and start the taper 1mg

 

thank you if you read so far any advice/ opinion guided to specific info greatly appreciate it 

Edited by Emonda
Name to title

Help my daughter 15yr taper properly 
Lexapro 20mg since October,2023 

Melatonin 3mg
Stopped clonazopan took about 10pills .25 refused to continue she couldn’t focus or function

currently switching to liquid lexapro so we can slowly taper.
This is challenging no support from pediatric phychiatrist switched doctors but seems

i understand with my limited info about tapering more


side effects nausea/insomnia/agitation/gastrointestinal issues that never went away 

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  • Moderator

Hi @Breeze

welcome to SA.  So sorry you have to go through this. Dealing with Psychiatry is not for the faint hearted. But I am glad you are advocating for your daughter and I am glad she is getting better. But lexapro 20mg is a very, very high dose especially for a child so lowering it will likely deal with a lot of the side effects. 

 

Regarding transitioning to liquid - when you are substituting half pills and half liquid are you using the same pills and cutting in half or are you using a new manufacturer? If you are doing the latter, you may be introducing small dosage variations which in general do not matter and may be OK but if your daughter is sensitized it may be easier to switch to liquid directly. 

 

You are doing the right thing looking for help. I hope your daughter gets better soon. Anxiety is not easy on anyone and so much harder on kids. 

OMW

"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

In the next few weeks I do not have a lot of capacity to respond to questions. If you need a quick answer pls tag or ask other moderators who may want to be tagged. 

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week (off by 4/14/19- no tapering)

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48, 2/15/22 - 0.43, 25/07/23 - 0.25 (mistake), 6/08/23 - 0.33mg

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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Thank you so so much for the info the liquid is different manufacturer starting tomorrow we will do all liquid. She is ready.  My gosh I never in a billion years would have expected child psychiatrist to ignore side effects and just want to medicate heavily to “fix” side effects. She has a good therapist now and new phychiatrist for the medication.  I need to be fully informed moving forward can’t trust the doctor for her overall well-being 

Help my daughter 15yr taper properly 
Lexapro 20mg since October,2023 

Melatonin 3mg
Stopped clonazopan took about 10pills .25 refused to continue she couldn’t focus or function

currently switching to liquid lexapro so we can slowly taper.
This is challenging no support from pediatric phychiatrist switched doctors but seems

i understand with my limited info about tapering more


side effects nausea/insomnia/agitation/gastrointestinal issues that never went away 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
Posted (edited)

Hi @Breeze

 

I would consider cutting 2mg instead of 1 one you ascertain that the liquid transition is OK. This is because of the side effects. It's still within the 10% guidelines of SA and may provide relief quickly. Also, is she taking the medicine in the morning or in the evening?  Switching to morning may help with sleep if you don't already do that. Always use syringes rather than droppers with liquid. 

 

You need to wait a couple of weeks for the full effects of a lower dose to be noticeable. I have a feeling she'll feel much better in a few months. Please watch your daughter closely. These drugs and the changes they bring in young people can be dangerous. 

 

I can't believe someone prescribed 20mg of escitalopram to a child. The normal dose is 10mg for adults. No wonder she's having those side effects. I think you should report the doctor to the medical board. They shouldn't be doing this. 

 

Do any of these symptoms apply to your child while on the medicine ?

 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/serotonin-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20354758

 

Omw

 

 

Edited by Onmyway

"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

In the next few weeks I do not have a lot of capacity to respond to questions. If you need a quick answer pls tag or ask other moderators who may want to be tagged. 

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week (off by 4/14/19- no tapering)

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48, 2/15/22 - 0.43, 25/07/23 - 0.25 (mistake), 6/08/23 - 0.33mg

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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  • Mentor

You might want to do an hyperbolic/exponential taper...20mg -> 18mg, 4 weeks holding time, 18mg -> 16.2mg, 4 weeks ht, 16.2mg -> 14.58mg, ... and so on, steps getting smaller and smaller because the lower the dose, the stronger the change in effect when reducing an antidepressant.

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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  • Emonda changed the title to Breeze: Support for Mom to taper my daughter

Just thank you ! We will wait a few days to make sure she adjusts to the liquid she usually feels negative effects within a day or two and then go to 18mg and wait at least four weeks. She takes it in the morning 7am I was able to quit my job to watch her those first months my gosh I just don’t know how we avoided hospitalization (long story) and I didn’t know any better. I just feel so awful. We went from 5mg side effects within two days (where told it can’t be the medicine it doesn’t work that fast) than 10mg for week, 15mg another week and then 20mg. Apparently therapeutic dosage is 20mg I’m just so angry the more I learn. 

Help my daughter 15yr taper properly 
Lexapro 20mg since October,2023 

Melatonin 3mg
Stopped clonazopan took about 10pills .25 refused to continue she couldn’t focus or function

currently switching to liquid lexapro so we can slowly taper.
This is challenging no support from pediatric phychiatrist switched doctors but seems

i understand with my limited info about tapering more


side effects nausea/insomnia/agitation/gastrointestinal issues that never went away 

Link to comment

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