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Jess: My Introduction


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Hello everyone,

I've been reading for the last few days, and I thought I should introduce myself, and maybe get some help on a few issues I'm having.

I started Cirpalex 20mgs 14, months ago after my 5th miscarriage. I was diagnosed with PPD, Anxiety and OCD. It was truly hell.. I wont go into details as Im sure you can imagine what it would be like to loose 5babies. 

After the miscarriage, my B12 was depleted and I wanted a shot of B12. My Dr told me it was better to do the cirpalex.. He said no research shows that B12 shots would help with my issues..   :(
Anyways- regretting that  choice now, but I needed help at the time- I felt desperate. I feel like he put a big bandaid on my issues. Im now correcting my B12, and other vitamin issues.

I was horribly sick on 20mgs, so I went down to 10mgs. Stayed on 10mgs for about 8months.
The last 4-5months I have weaned off slowly, but not the way this site recommends- I had no idea.

My Dr actually told I could quit cold turkey cause 10mgs was such a low dose, but I knew in my heart to take it it slow. I decreased by 25% per month.

I got a kidney infection, when I was on a dose of 2.5mgs  every other day of Cirpalex and the ER Dr asked me to stop it as the antibiotic she put me had adverse side effects (cardio) with the Cirpalex.  I weaned off the 2.5mgs, and have been off all meds for the last 2weeks.

Over the last year on Cirpalex I felt like a zombie. I had no feelings, no reactions and no sex drive and never slept well.
Im slowly getting my emotions back, and sleep is improving. Libido is still slow.

The one main concern I have is I have a hard time waking up in the morning. I feel like Im stuck in a dream, and usually not a nice dream. Does that make sense. This is giving me anxiety, as I dont like the feeling at all.

Hoping someone else can share some insight on the sleep issue.

I know I didnt tapper off what is recommended on this site, but I had NO clue. If Iwould have listened to my Dr, I would have stopped cold turkey  :blink:

Thank you all for being so brave and open to sharing your stories. Its very encouraging.


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  • Moderator Emeritus

Jess, hey.


Wow. You  knew precisely what you needed and your doctor talked you in a different direction. I am so sorry.


Miscarriages are terrible. My wife had one and I was totally crushed - but for the women, it I can't even imagine. There are so many factors including hormonal changes, etc. And your saddness, anxiety, and "OCD" - how could you not feel depressed, anxious, and obsessive after 5 truly traumatic incidents.


I just wanted to welcome you, tell you I am sorry for what you've been through, and wish you well. I am sure a moderator and others will be along in due time to give you some words.


Hang in there.



1996 - .5mg Ativan as needed, 7.5mg Remeron daily2008 - .5mg Xanax, Ativan discontinued, Remeron continued2012 - .5mg Xanax, .25mg Ativan 3x daily, Remeron continued2/2012 - Jumped from Remeron, continued .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily4/2012 - Began rapid taper of .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily6/2012 - Jumped from Xanax and Ativan, voluntary hospitalization followed7/2012 - 2nd voluntary hospitalization, reinstated Remeron, bumped to 30mg, also given risperidone.8/2012 - discontinued risperidone, tried gabapentin, dicontinued gabapentin, Remeron 30mg continued10/2012 to current - tapered Remeron 10% every 4 to 6 weeks (sometimes more time) using liquid compound12/2014 - 2mg Remeron 1/16/2015 - 1.9mg Remeron 8/1/2015 -1.6mg Remeron - 03/1/2016 - 1.5mg Remeron - 1/2/2017 1.3mg - 5/7/2017 1.2mg - 5/13/2017 - syringe size change - 6/8/2017 - 1.1mg - 7/10/2017 - 1mg - 9/1/2017 - 0.9mg - 10/22/2017 - 0.8mg - 11/22/2017 - 0.7mg - 2/2/2018 - 0.6mg - 3/13/2018 - new compound pharmacy - 5/20/2018 - 0.5mg - 8/31/2018 - 0.4mg - 11/16/2018 - 0.3mg - 12/24/2018 - 0.2mg - 4/1/2019 - 0.1mg - 5/1/2019 - .05mg - 0mg achieved 2019-06-15. 🤞

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Thanks Dave!

It's been a hard road.. but I feel like with all hardness, we can be changed for the better to. Power of positive thinking right..

I do think taking Cirpalex was my Dr's way of not knowing how to deal with my situation. :P

Thankfully Im using other Dr's and getting to the bottom of low hormones and vitamin issues.  Not to mention a great therapist!

Thanks again :)


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  • Member

Welcome to the site, Jess, and we are all sorry to read of your sad story. It is unfortunate that instead of the counseling you probably should have had after the loss of another baby, that you were given a very strong drug instead. While it is possible that low b12 might have had something to do with it, I don't feel that was the whole problem. Your very real feelings of loss (which were 'mediacalized' as 'OCD and anxiety and postpartum depression') were not addressed at all in that context. Instrad they were treated as 'psychiatric' disorders and you were medicated. Are you now receiving any counseling?


I have read through your description several times trying to get a feel for what might be helpful to suggest at this time. I do think you would benefit from appropriate counseling (and perhaps involving your significant other also). The issue of the drug needs to be handled too. You state you were taking alternate day doses of it at the end which we definitely do not recommend. It is quite possible (since you have been off such a short time) to resume the cipralex (perhaps just a bit of it, say 1 mg?) to see if your withdrawal symptoms reduce and then after you have stabilized at that small dose (it could take quite a while) slowly taper off that. I do feel that a lot of what you describe (including the sleepiness and bad dreams in the morning) is due to coming off that drug way too fast.


In the absence of trying a bit of the drug to stabilize, you can read the articles in our Symptoms and self-care  forum for techniques that are non-drug that our members have found helpful as they recover. I am afraid that there is no drug or supplement that will fix withdrawal syndrome but you can definitely recover from it, it just takes time. You'll want to be careful at trying too quickly remedy any 'vitamin deficiencies' you might think you have: many members have found that when they become 'sensitized' after taking antidepressant drugs that they react to vitamins and supplements in ways that are not very predictable or comfortable. We always suggest starting at a fraction of the normal dose and only increasing if the dose causes no reactions.


Almost everyone is helped by magnesium and omega3 supplementation and very few find them to be a problem:






Please let us know how else we might be able to help you and feel free to ask questions about your situation in this thread. It is your journal here.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878


July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.


Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Hi Jess,


I am off Lexapro (Cipralex,Escitalopram, same thing) for one year now -


I took Lexapro for 5 years. For me, the worst side effect from Lexapro was a loss of deep sleep. Lexapro is known to interfere with sleep patterns. I felt it keenly, and I didn't know it was the Lexapro that was doing it. If I didn't get the right sleep, I would feel out of it and very irritable. I think it reduces restorative REM sleep. Not good!!!


Seven months after stopping Lexapro,  I got hit with a bizarre insomnia wave that lasted for three months. There were weird, scary brain sensations I felt while trying to fall asleep. Once the 3-month insomnia wave was over, I was restored to natural deep sleep. I sleep better (for 3 months now) than I had during all 5 years while on Lexapro. Lots of deep REM. So it appears that the insomnia wave was my brain healing itself. But that is just how Lexapro affected me (among other symptoms).


I'm so happy to have this crap out of my system !! WD is challenging, but I continue to heal on a daily basis. It's a long process. Patience is key to weathering protracted SSRI WD.  


Good luck - it's great that you found this forum.

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....


Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.


24 months SSRI-free  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Jess, welcome from me too. I am so sorry to read of all that you have been through and agree that it was not drugs for 'mental illness' that you needed, you were grieving and that is understandable, losing 5 babies is a massive trauma that needs kindness, understanding and love not drugs :(


You have come to the right place for support here, we help each other through the bad days and share the good ones. 

I agree with CW that you may benefit from reinstating a very tiny amount of cipralex, and that may help your sleep problem if it has only started since quitting. It would be a very low dose and side effects are dose related so you shouldn't get all the nasty side effects back again.

Sadly doctors know nothing of tapering and withdrawal, it is good that you decided to taper instead of doing as the doctor suggested and going cold turkey.  


Here is the topic on reinstating, if you decide to think about it. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/ Reinstating is most likely to help when started as soon as possible after quitting, as time goes by it is less likely to help but you are well within that time at 2 weeks off. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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Thank you for all the information everyone, wow, so wonderful!

I am taking all the recommended vitamins, except the Magnesium Glycinate.  I'll ask my Naturalpath Dr to add it.

Also, going to therapy alone and with my husband. It cost an arm and leg, but I know it's needed.

I'll see if my Dr will give me a new prescription to tapper off better. How do I convince him of this though, since he was the one that told me to quit cold turkey?

He also mentioned, if I stopped Cirpalex and felt bad again, he recommended Wellburtin (sp???).. Im a little nervous to deal with him over all this again.
I could go to a walk-in clinic and plea my case with a new Dr, and hope it's better recieved.

Thanks again for your help.   :)


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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Jess  ,    welcome from me too.


It sounds like your doctor has no working knowledge of antidepressants and is a dufus.

I see you've been through a lot already , and you're only part-way along your journey.   I agree with your idea about trying a new doctor , where you will be beginning the relationship from a position of strength and knowledge.    You want to have a gp who will work with you , not give misguided information.


Good to have you here ,    Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Administrator

Welcome, Jess.


Do you have any other symptoms other than feeling groggy in the morning?


Sleeping a lot is actually not a bad withdrawal problem -- most people experience the opposite, a grueling sleeplessness.


Do you have any Cipralex left?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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