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Marianna: Withdrawal- Not sure what is happening


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I was on lexapro 10mg for a year Dr .tappered me in 2 weeks. 4 weeks later i had crazy withdrawls. had to go back on stablized after 4 months. then got the liquid tappered for close to 18 months. I went too fast after 3mg because i was doing great going down from 10mg so i thought it would be ok. I got off last June and withdrawls hit last july i stayed off fighting hopping I would get better. by november i went back up .5 then up to 1mg in january. 2mg february by end of March i made it to 3.5mg. I am better still a little low. last week I changed from using a 5mg syringe to a 1mg syringe to measure 3.5mg . i transitioned to the 1mg syringe at 3.5 for 4 days then dropped my dossage to only 3.49 for 4 days then 3.48 for 4 days about  a few days later i began feeling off  by day 5of feeling off ( low mood)i went back to my 5mg syringe at my beginning dosage of 3.5. not sure what happened. 

does this low mood ever go away? its the main withdrawl symptom that lingers. 

Edited by Catwoman73

April 2020-June 2021-lexapro for a year

July 2021 - reinstated 10mg lexapro

December 2021 began liquid taper at 10%
june 2023 - off lexapro 

November reinstated .5 lexapro

december 1mg lexapro

january 1.5 lexapro

february 2mg then 2.5 lexapro

March 3.5 lexapro

 

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  • Erimus changed the title to Marianna: Withdrawal - Not sure what's happening
  • Moderator

Hello @Marianna, and welcome to SA!  We are a community of volunteers providing peer support for psychiatric drug tapering, and its associated withdrawal syndromes.  

 

I know Erimus has sent you a warning already, but if you could please complete your drug signature by clicking the following link, we would appreciate it.  Please include dates and dosages to the best of your ability, and any supplements you might be taking.  Just fill the info in the box, and click save.  You can use mine below as a reference. Bookmark this page so you can update as you proceed!

 

Drug signature

 

It sounds to me like you're going to move much slower with your taper.  I know you feel like you're moving slowly by going down by 0.01mg at a time, but I think you're going to need to spend more time at each dosage.  It takes at least a week to stabilize on a new dosage, so even with such small drops, I would recommend holding AT LEAST 7 days, and probably a bit longer, as sometimes, withdrawal reactions can be a bit delayed.  And you may need to move even slower as you get closer and closer to zero, as low doses of SSRIs have MASSIVE effects on the brain and body.  If you want to understand more about how these drugs are actually working on your brain, and why you are experiencing these issues at lower doses, check out the following links:

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

What is happening in your brain?

 

I know this sounds dismal, but you are NOT alone in needing to taper extremely slowly.  Off the top of my head, I know that Emonda and LostInCanada are also moving incredibly slowly- look up their threads- you will definitely be able to relate!

 

You may wish to consider trying a slightly different method of tapering that those here who are highly sensitive often find success with.  It is known as the Brassmonkey Slide method of micro tapering.  This is when you taper by a small percentage of your dose each week for four weeks, then hold for an additional two weeks before proceeding.  I think this would be an excellent way for you to proceed, though in smaller increments.  Brassmonkey recommends 2.5% per week- I think you would benefit from going slower, like 1.25% per week (which would amount to 5% per six weeks).  This method of tapering is nice, because it feels more active that holding for long periods, while allowing you to actually feel like you're doing something, rather than holding at dosages for many, many weeks.  Check it out here: 

 

Brassmonkey Slide

 

In answer to your question, yes, the low mood does get better.  Particularly with slower tapering, and active participation in your own recovery.  By that, I mean you have to actively engage in finding non-drug ways of coping with your symptoms.  Here are some links to help you out.  We are all different- it will take some time to find what works for you, but we're here to support you along the way!

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/658-easing-your-way-into-meditation-for-a-stressed-out-nervous-system/

Music for self-care

 

Dealing with Emotional Spirals

 

It is absolutely normal to go through periods where you feel better and periods where you feel worse when tapering.  This is known as the windows and waves pattern of stabilization.  Read more on this here:

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

We only recommend two supplements here on SA, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids.  If you wish to try these to help your symptoms while you taper, be aware that many people develop sensitivities while tapering- to drugs, to supplements, and even to foods!  Start with a low dose, and see how you go.  Read more on these supplements here:

 

Magnesium

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

 

In summary, I would strongly recommend you try the Brassmonkey slide method of tapering!  You are the ideal candidate for this!  There are calculators available to assist you with figuring out your dosages, but we can help you with the math as well, if you need it.  You would absolutely benefit from engaging in some non-drug methods of coping.  Once you build a habit out of using these methods (or others- I like swimming lol- it seems to ease all my troubles!), it makes the journey much, much easier.  And most importantly- there absolutely is hope!  You will get through this!  We are here to help you along the way!  This is your introduction topic- please post questions, updates, etc here.  But do explore the rest of the forum as well, and engage with other members.  This journey is much easier when you see that you are NOT alone! 

 

Hang in there! ❤️‍🩹

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell for many years.

2009- Daughter born 🥰 Post partum depression/psychosis- no meds taken.

2016- Back on escitalopram due to job change/anxiety

2022- Severe covid infection- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  June 12- 8.5mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 8- Brassmonkey micro taper started.  8.4mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 15- 8.3mg esc, 1.5mg LDN.  July 18 8.3mg esc, 2.0mg LDN

 

Supplements/other meds: Vitamin D, B12, Claritin

 

I am not a doctor.  I don't even play one on TV.  This is not medical advice, but based on personal experience.  Please consult a medical professional.

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I am currently on 3.5 lexapro down from 10mg. I know the lowest amounts are the hardest. 

Are there any success stories of successful tappers? 

 

April 2020-June 2021-lexapro for a year

July 2021 - reinstated 10mg lexapro

December 2021 began liquid taper at 10%
june 2023 - off lexapro 

November reinstated .5 lexapro

december 1mg lexapro

january 1.5 lexapro

february 2mg then 2.5 lexapro

March 3.5 lexapro

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Hi Marianna,

I've moved your new post back here to your own thread.

 

4 hours ago, Marianna said:

Are there any success stories of successful tappers? 

 

To answer your question, if you go to the "Success Story" section of this website, you'll find plenty of accounts to read.

 

Best wishes

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg, 23 May 1.80mg, 30 May 1.76mg, 8 Jun 1.72mg, 13 Jun 1.66mg, 3 Jul 1.62mg, 10 Jul 1.58mg, 17 Jul 1.54mg

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I am using a 5 mg syringe to measure 3.5mg lexapro. I want to change over to a 1mg syringe. Mark Horowitz told me its more exact.

will I have any issues switching syringes? i am worried that 5he 5mg syringe is holding more.

April 2020-June 2021-lexapro for a year

July 2021 - reinstated 10mg lexapro

December 2021 began liquid taper at 10%
june 2023 - off lexapro 

November reinstated .5 lexapro

december 1mg lexapro

january 1.5 lexapro

february 2mg then 2.5 lexapro

March 3.5 lexapro

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hi Marianna- if you want to use the 1mL syringe, you absolutely can.  This should not cause you problems, as long as you continue taking the same total amount.  Personally, I wouldn't bother at this point- using smaller syringes makes a big difference when you are at really low doses, but at 3.5mg or 3.5mL, the 5mL syringe is adequate.  Unless of course you feel like you are really inaccurate with your dosing using the 5mL syringe, or if you are hypersensitive to even the slightest variation in doses, as some people here are.  Then using smaller syringes would be helpful in ensuring precision. 

 

I'm currently taking 8.5 mg or 8.5mL of lexapro- I use a full 5mL syringe, a 3mL syringe, and then I measure the last 0.5mL on the 3mL syringe.  Now, when I get to lower doses, like 0.5mg or 0.5mL, I wouldn't use a 10mL syringe to measure such a small amount, as it would be very easy to be inaccurate measuring such a small amount in a big syringe.  

 

Hope that helps a bit!

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell for many years.

2009- Daughter born 🥰 Post partum depression/psychosis- no meds taken.

2016- Back on escitalopram due to job change/anxiety

2022- Severe covid infection- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  June 12- 8.5mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 8- Brassmonkey micro taper started.  8.4mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 15- 8.3mg esc, 1.5mg LDN.  July 18 8.3mg esc, 2.0mg LDN

 

Supplements/other meds: Vitamin D, B12, Claritin

 

I am not a doctor.  I don't even play one on TV.  This is not medical advice, but based on personal experience.  Please consult a medical professional.

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  • Catwoman73 changed the title to Marianna: Withdrawal- Not sure what is happening
  • 2 weeks later...

 I am using a 5 mg syringe to measure 3.5 mg lexapro liquid. I tried pouring that dosage in a clear medicine cup and pulling that 3.5 mg liquid using a 1mg syringe. I feel the 5mg syringe is holding more in reality. 
anyone have advice?

April 2020-June 2021-lexapro for a year

July 2021 - reinstated 10mg lexapro

December 2021 began liquid taper at 10%
june 2023 - off lexapro 

November reinstated .5 lexapro

december 1mg lexapro

january 1.5 lexapro

february 2mg then 2.5 lexapro

March 3.5 lexapro

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
11 hours ago, Marianna said:

 I am using a 5 mg syringe to measure 3.5 mg lexapro liquid. I tried pouring that dosage in a clear medicine cup and pulling that 3.5 mg liquid using a 1mg syringe. I feel the 5mg syringe is holding more in reality. 
anyone have advice?

I can assure you that the 5mL syringe is 5mL.  So if you are pulling up 3.5mL in your syringe, that's what you're getting.  Of course, we're not robots, and there may be some mild variation in that 3.5mL from day to day, in the 2 decimal place range.  But it all balances out in the end.  Like I said above, you can absolutely just use your 1mL syringe if it makes you feel better in terms of accuracy- no judgement here lol!  We all have to do what's best for us.  

 

How are you feeling?  Are you keeping a symptom journal?  Keep putting one foot in front of the other, Marianna!  Every day is a day closer to healing! 

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell for many years.

2009- Daughter born 🥰 Post partum depression/psychosis- no meds taken.

2016- Back on escitalopram due to job change/anxiety

2022- Severe covid infection- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  June 12- 8.5mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 8- Brassmonkey micro taper started.  8.4mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 15- 8.3mg esc, 1.5mg LDN.  July 18 8.3mg esc, 2.0mg LDN

 

Supplements/other meds: Vitamin D, B12, Claritin

 

I am not a doctor.  I don't even play one on TV.  This is not medical advice, but based on personal experience.  Please consult a medical professional.

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I do t think you understand I’m using a 5 ml syringe he when I cross over to a 1 mg syringe I’m noticing it’s not accurate I’m taking a big cut! 

April 2020-June 2021-lexapro for a year

July 2021 - reinstated 10mg lexapro

December 2021 began liquid taper at 10%
june 2023 - off lexapro 

November reinstated .5 lexapro

december 1mg lexapro

january 1.5 lexapro

february 2mg then 2.5 lexapro

March 3.5 lexapro

 

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