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  1. I'm a 60-Year-old male, ex-smoker for 30 years ~1 pack per day. Quit smoking on March 1, 2022. I started taking antidepressants in 2000. Tried various antidepressants that didn’t work (i.e. Prozac, zoloft). At some point I started taking Adderall. I can’t remember for how long and the dosage. In ~2013 I started taking 20mg Lexapro and 50mg Vyvanse, which worked like a charm. Prescription history: Lexapro 20 mg 2013 through October 2019 Lexapro 10 mg October 2019 through April 2021 Lexapro 5 mg April 2021 through March 2022 Vyvanse 50 mg 2013 through May 2022 In February I was prescribed 1mg Finasteride for hair loss, which I took for 40 days. When I realized the side effects (mainly Low Libido), which triggered my anxiety. blood test revealed low levels of Free Testosterone and Estradiol. Approximately a month later I started feeling my Tinnitus which became increasingly bothersome as time progressed. My depression and anxiety levels were becoming increasingly elevated. June 27th - I tested positive for Covid and had to stay in isolation for 7 days. This added to my depression and anxiety which became frequent panic attacks. In the beginning of July I went back on Lexapro and Vyvanse in hopes to reverse the severe reaction that I was having. I'm now on 20mg Lexapro and 50mg Vyvanse. Still experiencing brain buzz, anxiety and depression as well as dizziness and vertigo. Anybody with insights to what I am going through and advise would be greatly appreciated!!!
  2. I've been on 20mg Paroxetine for over a decade. Regular cannabis user. Trying to taper off since 2019. Many mistakes along the way. My 2019 journey was too fast. I decreased 5mg steps every month, by splitting a 20mg tablet. I made it relatively stable into 5mg (although fighting some symptoms) and then quit. Symptoms were too overwhealming so I desperately and naively reinstated into 18mg. Then I started a slower taper on liquid. Went up and down a few times and parked at 16mg for over 6 months, seeking stabilization. Coudln't stay away from cannabis in that meanwhile. Then I had to relocate to Brazil (I'm Brazilian) because of the pandemic. Here there's no Liquid Paroxetine available on the market, so I was forced to adapt my strategy. Started compounding Paroxetine and went for the Fluoxetine Bridge in January. Longer half-life, etc. Got as low as 4mg Paroxetine plus 12mg Fluoxetine. Cannabis on and off. Until last month (June). I had to take a dose of antibiotics (Azithromycin). Had an instant reaction with Thunderclap migraines. So I started going up with the dosages, which helps only temporarily. After a few days, the migraines come back, along with insomnia. Not touching Cannabis. Now I'm at 6mg Paroxetine + 20mg Fluoxetine and I fear I'm spiraling out of control, since reinstating doesn't seem to solve the issue. Upping Fluoxetine doesn't seem to make much difference. Also trying some Magnesium supplements, no success. Maybe I should kick it up in larger steps? Go up to 10mg Paroxetine? I have 2 very hard problems to solve: What's the best short term strategy? How do I get rid of migraines, get some sleep and stabilize? What's the best long term strategy? Did I mess up my Fluoxetine bridge? I fear that my Fluoxetine bridge was too slow and now I'm stuck with 2 SSRIs instead of one. Plus the long-term synergistic effects of both are even less known, which makes things even scarier. Any help is appreciated 🙏
  3. Hi everyone. I’m looking for some advice on two things. I’m on Cipralex drops 20mg/1ml. I’ve managed to wean myself from 15mg to 2mg. But I need to know how I can safely dilute the drops so that I get the accurate dosage of the active ingredient. Also does anyone know why you have to throw away Cipralex drops after eight weeks? If you keep them longer, does this have an impact on the active ingredient? Thank you so much in advance.
  4. Hi, I am grateful that this forum exists. There is so little information out there about this process of slowly quitting an SRI! I feel determined to this, if only to see if my body really needs the med I have been on for 20 years. I feel in no danger of a reoccurance of depression, having done so much therapy work over a lifetime. If there is a chance that it is possible to separate from this Rx, I would like to do so. I would also like to know if others have done it after such a long-term use. (I am 65.) I would also like to know if begin very tired is one of the symptoms of coming off of esitalapram. Thanks!
  5. Hello! Newbie here. I hope this is the right forum to be posting this! There don't seem to be many places to discuss long term use and its effects, which I would imagine are only now starting to emerge. I took Lexapro for about 20 years. After trying several others, it was the only one which really helped me. And it did help me for years, although with the sexual side affects that are well-known. In 2017 I decided I would like to try living without them, especially as studies were coming out about long term antidepressants making you more susceptible to cognitive decline (dementia, Alzheimer's) as you get older. Plus I have never wanted to reply on big pharma, especially for the rest of my life (which is what I told I might have to do). At the time I was taking 10 mg Lexapro. I was able to wean myself gradually, and also used Ayahuasca and psilocybin successfully to help combat depression which I still deal with. However in the past year, neither psilocybin nor Ayahuasca have any effect on me. I can take huge doses with very little effect (for example, 8 grams mushrooms) Occasionally I have used MDMA and it also rarely affects me. I am going through huge transitions and challenging times right now, and for added support (also doing talk therapy) I decided to start taking 5 mg Lexapro about a month ago. I wake up almost every day with a sense of dread and panic, feeling it strongly in my body, like a nervous current running through my arms and legs. It almost feels like the Lexapro is making the anxiety worse. Not sure what to do anymore? My gut feeling is that such long term use of Lexapro may have permanently altered my brain chemistry, or even depleted my stores of serotonin. Since my brain no longer seems to react to plan medicines which affect serotonin, I really worry that my brain no longer has the ability to feel joy or pleasure. It is scary and, well, depressing. I am writing this in the hopes of getting feedback from other long time users of Lexapro to see if they have experienced anything similar. Does anyone have suggestions for other substances which would help me regain healthy serotonin levels, such as 5-HTP, GABA, l-tyrosine and l-theanine, etc? Has anyone else had issues not being able to use plant medicines such as mushrooms anymore? Thanks in advance for any feedback!
  6. Hello everyone! Forty+ male from Germany here. As you can see in my signature, I've been on psychiatric medications, i.e. antidepressants, for most of my adult life. It all started in 2004 (maybe a lot earlier, but more on that probably later) when I was no longer able to sleep, felt like a piece of sh*t and could no longer go to university to finish my studies. Went to a psychiatrist after an amount of nagging by my girlfriend and was put on a low dose of amitryptiline, which actually helped with sleep for a while, but did not seem to do anything besides. Finally quit university after a while and sacked the shrink and amitryptiline on my own in early 2007. Until that no other therapy except meds. Fast forward to the summer of 2007 where I got into another crisis concerning my education and my future in general. Suicidal. Went to my GP who referred me to a different psychiatrist who ordered a course of mirtazapine and CBT. The mirtazapine helped me sleep (a lot) and made me gain weight (a lot). CBT was interesting and, in the beginning, helpful. When my therapist got pregnant at after about a year, I decided I'd had enough of therapy for the moment. Life went on, rough at times, and as the mirtazapine lost its effect, it was time to try Fluoxetine, as this was supposed to be more effective at lifting my mood (or so I was told). As I could not sleep without the mirtazapine, my doc added Trimipramine to the Fluoxetin. The fluoxetine regularly gave me diarrhea and after another (deeper, I'd say the absolute worst until then) crisis in 2012 which had quetiapine added to my cocktail, I ended up with clomipramine and quetiapine. The clomipramine was terrible during the first weeks to months: I was sweating like a river and short of breath at even the smallest exertion, could not have an orgasm, but at least my anxiety was gone. Quetiapine was discontinued quickly in 2015 after blood tests showed it affected my liver function. (And I blame it for my type 2 diabetes which was discovered in 2016, but try telling that a doctor...) After that my doctor recommended a switch to escitalopram as its side effect profile was supposed to be more tolerable compared to clomipramine. Pregebaline was added as escitaloprame was not as effective as clomipramine in killing my anxiety. Stopped the pregabaline for a while after I weighed over 90kg (about 198 lbs) at ca. 170cm height (about 5 feet 7 inches if I am not mistaken). To make a long story short: In 2021, when I was stuck at home due to the pandemic, I decided I'd had enough of those meds and started a, retrospectively, very quick taper: if I remember correctly I went from 20mg escitalopram to 0mg in about four weeks. I cannot say that I felt really bad during that time -- I was more energetic, but unfortunately also a lot more aggressive (my poor wife... now I know it was probably withdrawal) and as summer was approaching, my anxiety and mood swings kept returning. I discontinued the doxepin as well, but more slowly. I do not remember how exactly, to be honest. In July, as I desperately wanted to enjoy my summer holidays and not battle with anxiety, sleepless nights and mood swings, I went up from 0mg to 20mg abruptly. Nausea for one or two days, then I felt als I had always felt while taking escitalopram. Indifferent to anything and everything. For me, escitalopram is a real I-don't-care-at-all-pill. But I could function and sleep. Ok, now am I here in spring 2022 and want to get rid of my psych meds for good. I started tapering in autumn '21 and am currently at 7,5mg escitalopram. My current schedule is reduction by 2,5mg on a monthly basis. I often feel reasonably well, but unfortunately am experiencing some mood swings on a day to day basis. Sometimes I just long for the day to be over so I can go to bed. As today is a day that could be a lot better 😆, I am not sure if I will take the next step to 5mg which would be due on the next friday. Thanks for reading that far and I'd be glad to hear from you! N.
  7. Hello everybody, I wonder if it does make sense to cut the daily Escitalopram dose into a morning and a night dose during taper for a smoother more even distribution (less half life sensitivity)? I.e., for example 0,5 mg morning and 0,5 mg night instead of 1 mg every morning... Thanks!
  8. Hey there, This is my first post and I'm feeling rather desperate. I'm a 26 year old woman and have been on Lexapro for over 6 years now. Around that time, I also became chronically fatigued (could easily sleep 12+ hours, couldn't keep my eyes open on the bus, work etc...) and no doctor told me that antidepressants could be the main cause. During that time, I tried adding Wellbutrin to no avail, and also got various blood tests, sleep studies, changed times of day I took my meds, tried supplements, different diets etc... and nothing seemed to help. Only after doing some research on Reddit am I realizing that Lexapro causes this chronic fatigue for a lot of other people and after trying Wellbutrin one more time with no increased energy, I've decided to taper. It is nearly impossible to find a doctor where I live, and my current GP told me I could taper from my current 10mg dose in 2 weeks which seems insane from what I've read. I went on 5mg for 2 months and am currently taking 5mg every second day, and my fatigue is only getting worse and I'm at the point where I'm unable to function. Is there a better way I could be tapering? How long should I expect this fatigue to last? Thank you so much.
  9. Hello everyone, The past year has been the year from hell for me and it has just gotten worse. I got covid in March 2020 and became a covid long hauler. I still struggle with breathing issues, sleeping issues, body aches, fatigue and post-exertion malaise. I'm 38 with no previous health issues and I was unable to get tested at the time I got covid because in New York at that time they were only providing tests for people 65+ or with underlying conditions. I developed covid symptoms a week after returning from the hospital for my daughter's birth. After being sick for over month I was told covid only lasts 2 weeks and I must just be anxious because I was a new father. The amount of medical gaslighting I received was insane. I let myself get talked into taking 5mg Escitalopram but I became very depressed and had suicidal thoughts a few days after taking it, so I stopped after a week. I have no previous history of anxiety or depression before covid. In May 2020, I was so depressed from being sick for so long and getting no answers from doctors that I became very depressed and my wife thought I was suicidal so she called 911 and I was hospitalized for 2 days. At the hospital I again took 5mg of Escitalopram but stopped after 6 days. In July, my depression was still really bad and I decided to try 5 mg Escitalopram one more time, but it made me so anxious and jittery that I stopped after 4 days. In August I decided to try Prozac (I forget what dose), but I had a very bad reaction (insane anxiety, insomnia and muscle spasms) and stopped after 8 days. I had no withdrawal symptoms from any of these attempts at taking antidepressants. Throughout the fall and winter I gradually improved and in February I would say I was about 80% recovered. I was working full time, but still had trouble breathing and couldn't exercise or anything. I got my first Moderna vaccine shot and was trying to increase my daily activity at the same time. I'm not sure what caused it, but I had a major crash and was bedbound for a week. Then I got my second vaccine shot and a week later crashed even harder. It was devastating to have made so much progress in my recovery only to slide so far backwards. If you know anyone in your life who is suffering with Long Covid, rest assured that it is hell on earth. My entire life feels like it has been taken from me and I became very, very depressed again. I still had 5mg Escitalopram pills left from my old prescription, so I decided to try one more time but at a 2.5mg dose to see if I could tolerate the side effects. The first week I felt kind of hazy and was anxious and jittery but I pushed through. After 26 days I met with the psychiatrist and she prescribed me buspirone and I decided I would stop the Escitalopram before I started that. I stopped on 4/28 and 2 days later on 5/1 I began feeling like I had the flu with body aches and was very anxious. Last night I was having panic attacks all night and I didn't sleep at all. Today I'm exhausted, nauseous, and extremely anxious. It feels like I'm on the verge of a panic attack at all times. I'm surprised that I would have such strong withdrawal symptoms after less than a month on such a low dose. I know that no one can say anything for sure, but is it possible these symptoms will subside once the Escitalopram is fully out of my system? Or is it more likely that I will have a short withdrawal due to the low dose and short time frame? Is there any reason to consider reinstating the 2.5mg dose and trying to taper or should I just try to ride this out? Needless to say, I won't be starting the buspirone! I was already at my breaking point after more than a year of dealing with long covid symptoms and trying to raise my one year old daughter at the same time. (Oh and I'm a teacher, so pivoting to doing remote teaching has been the cherry on top). I can't add AD withdrawal symptoms on top of all of this. I just can't. Please someone give me some hope.
  10. I have been put on Escitaloprám ( 10 years) then stopped working, next day on Zoloft (7 weeks) made me terrible ill and stopped, put on Citalapram for 9 days and Dr said stop for 2 weeks and he will evaluate me. I didn't go back ro see my Dr and was clean for 3 months and I crashed. Went on Cymbalta for 1 day and was out cold for 2 days, Dr put me on prozac (2 days) made me sick, so I stopped, then put back on Zoloft for 2 days and became really ill and lost 8kg in 2 weeks. 23 days clean and I was going crazy. Went to my Dr and she put me on Mirtazapine 7.5mg, 11 days in and I don't want ro take it anymore. It's a awful drug. Can I CT after 11 days?
  11. Hello all. I am currently at Escitalopram, 2.5mg/day and Seroquel, 6.25mg/day. Any idea or link to a guide on how to taper this? How do I cut the tablets when they're already too little? If in liquid form, any link in this forum on how to do this. Thank you for all your help. You're all doing God's work.
  12. Hi, my name is Aember and I have had severe negative reactions to SSRIs after very fee doses. I have been sick since January 2020 with a mystery degenerative neurological condition that is affecting my ability to think and feel. I am experiencing progressive dementia and confusion. Here is my story: Have had mystery neurological illness since Jan 2020, started with delirium, a flu and then a gastrointestinal flu that woke me up with a pounding heart and nocturnal defecation for months and body temp above 99 -101F. Sleep became interrupted with very vivid dreams and bizarre hypnagogic states. Started hypersalivating. Vision became altered, blurry at distance, slightly photosensitive. Extreme fatigue and bed in early evening, sleeping in and off until noon. Increased red pinpoint angiomas developing all over my body. Gradually became anhedonic in March 2020, unable to laugh or cry. Confusion and anxiety increased. Was put on Seroquel 25 mg end of March 2020, immediately had some involuntary movement so stopped after 1 dose. Switched to Trazodone 2 days later and had an extreme Akathesia episode with involuntary movement, was up for 24 hours pacing and raging internally. The next week was put on Citalopram 10mg for 2 days, immediately got dyskinesia (pill rolling, teeth grinding, twitching, teeth licking, bunny nose) with compulsive behaviour, vision became blurrier and developed horizontal double vision halos, perception of time sped up, switched to 5mg Escitalopram for 1 day, started muscle twitching, became flushed, feverish could not sleep (serotonin syndome?), next day became psychotic and babbling, compulsive, bit myself, could not walk. Hospitalized April 2020, put on respiridone 0.125 upped to 0.25 for 2 weeks. Felt weird hot icy burning in chest and esophagus upon initiating, had issues swallowing, voice got raspier, experienced increased hunger, constant fatigue and sedation, dry skin some teeth grinding and muscle tension on and off, vision worsened further (my left eye is now -1 and blurry, was perfect in December 2019), increased constipation, little change in anxiety, increased social compulsiveness (speaking without thinking). Started lactating. Quit April 29 after tapering to 0.125 mg for 3 days. Since then, I had episodes of dyskinesia and teeth grinding, bunny nosing, cramping in hands and feet, but it's gradually lessening as my body adapts to being antipsychotic free. I am still in a confused state (feel like I am about to pass out, cannot focus) with abnormal sleep emotions (cannot feel happy, cannot work) and decreased intellect (issues with spelling, time perception, planning, focus and my degenerative neurological condition persists as well as the hypersalivation and weakness. I am in bed all day.
  13. Hello! Please help me! My little story : 1 month ago i moved to new apartments. But i can't sleep good in new home , and there was a fear that I would lose my job due to lack of sleep. Also i heard a little noise in my haer My doctor assigned me Escitalopram. After 7 days 0.5mg I completely lost my libido and my ears are always ringing strongly. Doctor said that is good , and after few weeks my health will be good and side effects will be gone. And i eat drugs 5 days 10 mg , but ears ringing more loadly, and libido still at zero. After this i used this drugs 3 days 2.5 mg and stop use it. i stop use this drug 15 November and now my erection function and libido are recovered , but my ears still ringing , i can't sleep good and working. if i can sleep i wake up 30 minutes later from a nightmare. I also have a effect " brain zaps" , but it is not horrible like ringing in ears. I'm 29 years old , basketball player and programmer, but now i look very bad.
  14. Hello everyone, I would be grateful for some advice about which one of these drugs to taper from first. I am currently tapering the Quetiapine after a crisis last year when my dose was put up. My current medication: Escitalopram (Lexepro) 15mg - been on this for 10 years Quetiapine - 300mg - been on this for about 4 years Pregabline - 150mg - been on this for 3 months (and once in 2015 for about 6 months. I have been on Escitalopram for 10 years. At that time, I was also given Mertazapine 30mg which I was easily able to withdraw from quite quickly. I continued on the Escitalopram alone until 2013 when I felt brave enough to try and taper. I spent about 6 months doing this (but now realize that I was tapering much too quickly). I cleaned up my diet and self-care, took supplements and didn't experience any withdrawal symptoms. 2-3 months later, I woke up one day in extreme panic with the most intense physical sensations. A few months living with this constantly, I was suicidal and in crisis. I immediately went back on the Escitalopram.To cut a long story short, I was put on lots of different drugs again (on top of the Escitalopram) for 'treatment resistant depression' - Mertazapine, Lithium. Nothing helped, I became homeless and suicidal. After some time, I began taking Quetiapine 200mg and 150mg of Pregablin on top of the Escitalopram 15mg. In 2015 stabilised but don't believe it was because of the drugs. I came off the Pregabln using the liquid medication and didn't have any withdrawal symptoms. I was completely stable for about 4 years on this combination of drugs but hated the side effects of the Quetiapine - mainly weight gain and the disruption to my social life and it's extreme sedation. However in September 2019, completely out of the blue, with no triggers, again I woke up in extreme terror wit the same physical sensations which led me into suicidal crisis again and was hospitalised briefly. I didn't want to adjust my medication because I really didn't believe it was doing anything. If it was, how could this happen to me again? After a few months, I was so desperate, I sought out psychiatric input and my Quetiapine dose was put up to 450mg (50mg in the morning, 400mg at night). I have since stablized and have begun to reduce my Quetiapine dose. I have been reducing 25mg every week and am now on 300mg. Questions: In the last few years, I didn't have the courage to taper down from the 200mg of Quetiapine I was on for 4 years. Should I keep going on the taper I'm on now and try to get off it completely? My previous withdrawal from Pregablin in 2015 was easy. Should I start with this? When I withdrew from the Escitalopram in 2013 and had severe symptoms 2-3 months later, the psychiatrist said that this was the underlying illness recurring. I'm not sure this is true as I had no obvious triggers, no extra stress in my life. The drug i would most like to be free from is the Quetiapine. Thank you for any input.
  15. Hello All, I am a college student who has been on 400mg of Wellbutrin for 5 months and 10mg of Lexapro for a bit less than six weeks. I didn't want to be put on Lexapro. I had been experiencing mild anxiety but for the most part, I was doing really well. (Sleeping and eating better, more energy, basically what one hopes for when being put on antidepressants.) In late November, my doctor insisted that I needed to start Lexapro. I pushed back and he insisted further - basically almost threatened to drop me as a client unless I took this medication but never gave a clear reason as to why. This whole thing was so suspicious that I actually researched him to see if there was any connection he may have had to the pharma industry. (Couldn't find anything.) Now, 6 weeks later, I'm not doing well at all. My anxiety hasn't decreased at all and I've been experiencing headaches and extreme fatigue. I went from sleeping 7-8 hours a night to 11 hours a night in addition to an early evening nap. I feel like a zombie. Basically, I'm very convinced this is medicine is not for me. I told me doctor all of this in an email and he essentially refused to even consider me stopping the medicine. He said that if I wanted to even discuss the subject, I needed to come in for an early appointment (I would be charged extra $50). He refused to give me any details on how to taper off Lexapro. I really don't want to see him again. Therefore, I was hoping some of you may provide me with some advice on tapering off Lexapro. Beginning in early December I took 5mg for a week and then 10 mg since then. Therefore, I've only been on 10mg for a bit over a month. I feel like tapering off by 10% every 3 weeks is a bit too extreme for my case - seeing as I've only been on it for a bit. I was considering doing a week of 7.5mg, a week of 5mg, a week of 2.5mg and then nothing. If you tapered off lexapro after being on it short term I would love to hear your advice, experience, and side effects. Thank you very much! Also, I get my Wellbutrin from my PCP so no worries about losing that prescription.
  16. Hi there, I've been on escitalopram 2 months and then on venlafaxine for 7 months more for depression . With venlafaxine I've experienced severe lack of motivation, reduction in creativity(I can't write anymore),emotional blunting when I used to be the sensitive artist type and there may be some cognitive impairments . However I quit taking my meds 2 months ago (spent 2 weeks like hell with the withdrawal) and while I may have seen some improvement, my sensitivity, my emotions and my creativity have not returned . Can someone who had a similar experience help me understand if I will ever be able to feel like myself again? It's unbearable. I'm also 20 years old
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