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Somethingblue: Intro post- Here to find experiences about maintenance of results while and after tapering off Lexapro


Somethingblue

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I'm tapering off lexapro after ~2 years on 10mg. It's been amazing but I'm ready to try life without it (I'm ready to kick the lethargy and stop wanting to sleep

10-11hr a day, it also blunted my ability to feel excited, which I'm ready to feel again!) The biggest thing Lexapro has helped me with is my over-thinking/ endlessly ruminating thoughts. I also felt more safe going with the flow than I ever did before lexapro.. like an inner knowing that everything is or will ultimately be ok.

 

Can anyone provide experiences about their ability to

maintain these results coming off lexapro? Could you remind your brain that those thoughts were unnecessary? Or did they ultimately come back?

 

I've felt the first of them coming back now that I'm in my end game withdrawal (+ some excessive sadness/emotional sensitivity). Just went from 1.25mg → 0mg x5 days, so not sure if it could be me finally feeling withdrawals that will eventually go away too.
 

history

On lexapro 10mg for 2 years, have tapered (7.5mg —> 5mg —> 3.75mg —>2.5mg —> 1.25mg —> 0 —> back to 1mg after 5 days at 0 due to ? Withdrawals ? 

On lexapro 10mg only for almost 2 years starting in July 2022

April 14 2024 tapered as follows: 7.5mg  x 1 week

April 21 2024 → 5mg  (held for longer because I noticed some trembling/jitters/irritability windows on day 4 that were manageable and went away by ~day 7)

May 26 2024 → 3.75mg

June 2 2024 →2.5mg 

June 9 2024 → 1.25mg

June 14 → 0

June 19 reinstated 1mg due to more intense Withdrawal symptoms (resolved after 4 - 5 days on 1mg)

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  • getofflex changed the title to Somethingblue: Intro post- Here to find experiences about maintenance of results while and after tapering off Lexapro
  • 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.  Congratulations for getting off of Lexapro!  It looks as though you tapered faster than your brain was able to adjust, and part of the overthinking and ruminating could be from withdrawal.  It's good that you reinstated right away to 1 mg.  

 

Thanks for giving us a picture of your taper.  Can you possibly give us dates, as specific as you can remember, for each of these decreases?  Are you or have you been on any other drugs or supplements? And, what date did you reinstate to 1 mg of Lexapro?  Please put this information in your signature.  

 

How to List Your Drug History in Your Signature

 

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

 

 

Tapering is best done extremely slowly, and we generally taper by 10% of the current dose no more than once every 4 weeks, so that the reduction becomes exponentially smaller.

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Tips for Tapering Lexapro

 

I would suggest that you stay on the 1 mg reinstatement for a while.  It takes about a week for it to fully register with your system, and can take a month or two to get the full benefit of it.  Don't expect a reinstatement to take away all of the withdrawal, but it should help significantly.  It is really good that you reinstated 5 days after you jumped off.  You should be fine.  Here is our topic on reinstatement.  

 

About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Did you have any withdrawal symptoms at all previously to jumping off Lexapro?  If so, at what dose, and when?  

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

To answer your question about overthinking and ruminating, I'm the same way.  I've been this way all my life, and Lexapro also helped me with that.  And yes, now that I'm off, it's become an issue for me again.  However, I'm using some non drug techniques to help.  They are prayer, deep breathing, listening to relaxing music on low volume, daily walks, and listening to spiritual and inspirational podcasts.  They don't completely take it away, but it does help me to lessen and manage it.  

 

Rumination, Repetitive Thoughts, etc.

 

OCD, Repetitive Intrusive Thoughts, etc.

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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Thank you so much for your response and personal experience, I’ll take a dive into these articles and hold on at the 1mg for a while. I updated my signature with a bit more info 🙏🏼 I had some jittery-ness and irritability windows at 5mg ~ day 4 that were manageable so I just held at that dose a bit longer (3 weeks total) symptoms went away after a few days. After three weeks total at 5mg, I  started weekly tapering again with no issues until I got to 0.

 

I have been and will continue working with my therapist to hopefully recognize the patterns coming back and reminding myself how to cope instead..

On lexapro 10mg only for almost 2 years starting in July 2022

April 14 2024 tapered as follows: 7.5mg  x 1 week

April 21 2024 → 5mg  (held for longer because I noticed some trembling/jitters/irritability windows on day 4 that were manageable and went away by ~day 7)

May 26 2024 → 3.75mg

June 2 2024 →2.5mg 

June 9 2024 → 1.25mg

June 14 → 0

June 19 reinstated 1mg due to more intense Withdrawal symptoms (resolved after 4 - 5 days on 1mg)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Compared to our protocol of tapering 10% of the current dose every 4-6 weeks, this is a very fast taper.  It's good that you will stay on 1 mg Lexapro for a while.  Please keep us posted on how you are doing.  Do not be shocked if you have some waves of symptoms.  When that happens, just hold steady on the 1 mg of Lexapro - do not have a knee jerk reaction and increase your dose or jump off.  Stability and consistency are very important.  

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Here is some more information to help you understand and cope with withdrawal.  

 

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

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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Much appreciated.. 🙏🏼

As an update ~5 days in since reinstating 1mg, rumination/sadness slowly improved and are essentially gone. I’ll plan to remain on the 1mg for a month or so.

On lexapro 10mg only for almost 2 years starting in July 2022

April 14 2024 tapered as follows: 7.5mg  x 1 week

April 21 2024 → 5mg  (held for longer because I noticed some trembling/jitters/irritability windows on day 4 that were manageable and went away by ~day 7)

May 26 2024 → 3.75mg

June 2 2024 →2.5mg 

June 9 2024 → 1.25mg

June 14 → 0

June 19 reinstated 1mg due to more intense Withdrawal symptoms (resolved after 4 - 5 days on 1mg)

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
On 6/24/2024 at 4:17 PM, getofflex said:

Thanks for giving us a picture of your taper.  Can you possibly give us dates, as specific as you can remember, for each of these decreases?  Are you or have you been on any other drugs or supplements? And, what date did you reinstate to 1 mg of Lexapro?  Please put this information in your signature.  

 

How to List Your Drug History in Your Signature

Just a reminder, we really do need more specific date information in your signature.  As an online forum, all we have to go by to help you is the detailed information that you give us.  We are a small group of volunteers helping many, many people, and it is essential that we have a quick snapshot of your detailed drug history at a glance.  Thank you.  We mainly need the specific dates that you did each of your reductions starting in April 2024.  Thank you. 

 

On 6/28/2024 at 8:31 AM, Somethingblue said:

As an update ~5 days in since reinstating 1mg, rumination/sadness slowly improved and are essentially gone. I’ll plan to remain on the 1mg for a month or so.

That's fantastic!  This sounds like a good sound plan.  When you resume tapering, please still be super cautious, and only reduce by no more than 10% of your previous dose.  Believe it or not, these drugs are still very powerful, even at very tiny doses.  Even when I was reducing at minute doses like 0.05 mg, I still felt it each time.  

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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