Jump to content

kittyeyes: Did I screw up with my Lexapro?


kittyeyes13

Recommended Posts

I have anxiety, panic attacks and ocd. It runs in my family and I was put on lexapro in 2008 when I was diagnosed with MS. I had a horrible bout of anxiety and attacks due to major MS flare. I had to be hospitalized and and put on lots of iv steroids to get better. So I could not tell after being home and recovering if the lexapro was making me have all the horrible side effects cause I felt so terrible anyway coming down from all the steroids I had to have and was trying to come to terms with my new diagnosis and way of life my anxiety was terrible. 

 

  I ended up recovering. Doing well with my MS and lexapro ended up doing the trick for me and I have been doing so well on it since starting in 2008. But I do always still have a little more anxiety and depression before my period and had gained quite a bit of weight. 

 

 So, I decided to taper off lexapro to see if I still needed it and if I could lose some weight and went on a long safe taper under my doctor. Well, after getting clear down to 5mg every other day and to stop the 12th of July, my side effects were not horrible, but I could feel the anxiety creeping back in and had a couple panic attacks so I decided it's not worth it and to stay on the lexapro. So I talked to my doc about it and he told me to just go back up to the 20mg. Well, I was too scared to do that, so I went back up to 10mg for a couple weeks then back on the 20mg on July 30th. The very night I took the 20 I had instant panic attacks that lasted all night! I could not get myself calmed down. It was like my brain went into shock! I was up all night mabey sleeping in 10-15 min intervals and waking in a panic. I also have 0.5 mg of klonopin as needed and I take 5mg as needed for ambien for sleep, and I took my klonopin and it seemed to take forever for it to kick in for me that night. 

 

  So since going back on lexapro 20mg My anxiety has been horrible every day, my periods are all messed up and I have horrible panic attacks right before, diarrhea, no appetite, and depression. My whole system is messed up and my doctor insists that it is not the lexapro cause I asked him if I went on the 20 too fast and if I should have weaned up slower as well cause I am sensitive to meds. He says no. Ok, so I guess it's just a coincidence that I'm having all the horrible side effects of start after going to 20! It's been 6weeks on the 20 now and I an still struggling! I'm am getting so frustrated and regret weaning off in the first place! I feel like it's not gonna work for me now cause I'm feeling this bad after not even completely going off and having it completely out of my system! 

   I am going to see a psychiatrist to talk to somebody more knowledgeable about these drugs and conditions than my regular doctor but I cannot get into one until November! I am so scared and frustrated and I hate having to take my klonopin and ambien more than  I have to! Anyone ever have this experience on going back on lexapro? Shouldn't it be working for me again sooner than this? My doctor says 20mg should of made me feel better in a few days, and is just brushing off all of the horrible symptoms I told him I'm going through!  :(

 Lexapro 20mg for 6years for anxiety, panic, ocd, and depression. Also have MS. Lexapro has worked very well. Tried to taper off, doctor did not taper me properly, I stayed on, doctor had me go back up to 20mg too fast. It's like my brain and body went into shock. Panic attacks, anxiety every day, blurry vision, loose stools, no appetite, headaches, ringing in ears, and my periods are all screwed up. Been 6 weeks now, SLOWLY getting better. Also take 0.5mg Klonopin as needed and 5mg Ambien for sleep. Have an appointment with psychiatrist but can't get in until end of November.  <_<  Trying to push through on the 20mg till I stabilize. 

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hi Kittyeyes-- welcome to the group.  I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through.  From the sounds of what you have written it all goes back to the way you originally came off of it at the beginning of July.  The taper was too fast, the cuts too big and alternating days all add up to a lot of WD symptoms.  Then jumping back on and changing doses several times didn't help things.  Your best bet right now is to stay on the 20mg until things stabilize, which can take some time. Six weeks is the bare minimum for that to start to happen.  We have some good information that will help you understand what is happening;

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Also if you would put all of your drug and taper information into a signature block it would really help us to help you;

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Kitty,

 

Unfortunately it seems like your doctor doesn't know much about proper tapering like most doctors.

 

Taking a drug every other day is very destabilising for the brain.

 

Since you went off the drug completely, 20 mg was a way too much for you. That is why you got those symptoms. I would immediately reduce by 10% and start taking 18 mg. I believe that as you go down slowly your symptoms will decrease.

 

The way we found to work with tapering is 10% of your current dose every 30 days. Study the links brassmonkey provided and let us know if you have any other questions.

 

Bubble

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

Link to comment

I really appreciate the replies. I'm sure wish I could find a doctor that understands what I'm going through and I cannot get into see a psychiatrist until the end of november. I have a better understanding of whats going on with me now with the withdrawal which helps some with me dealing with it. My anxiety is getting a little better although I do seem to wake up with it every day when I first wake. So my question is, I guess some more opinions on this would help me since it's gonna be awhile before I see a psyc, should I just continue to keep taking the 20mg like I have been for the last six weeks? My brain and nervous system has really taken a hit and I am trying to push through this....

 Lexapro 20mg for 6years for anxiety, panic, ocd, and depression. Also have MS. Lexapro has worked very well. Tried to taper off, doctor did not taper me properly, I stayed on, doctor had me go back up to 20mg too fast. It's like my brain and body went into shock. Panic attacks, anxiety every day, blurry vision, loose stools, no appetite, headaches, ringing in ears, and my periods are all screwed up. Been 6 weeks now, SLOWLY getting better. Also take 0.5mg Klonopin as needed and 5mg Ambien for sleep. Have an appointment with psychiatrist but can't get in until end of November.  <_<  Trying to push through on the 20mg till I stabilize. 

Link to comment

My doctor didn't taper me properly off of my 20mg lexapro and I didn't go completely off. I decided to stay on. Went from 5mg every other day, back to 5 everyday, then to 10 for a couple weeks, and my doc told me to go ahead and just go back up to 20. BIG MISTAKE! He weaned me up too much way too fast and he refuses that is what is happening! My brain and nervous system is in shock right now! I have been on the 20mg for 6weeks now and am still having anxiety/panic issues and stomach issues but getting a little better. I just wanted some opinions on if I should just continue to stay on the 20mg and push through the side effects till I stabilize?? I have an appointment with a psychiatrist but cannot get into one until the end of November.  

 Lexapro 20mg for 6years for anxiety, panic, ocd, and depression. Also have MS. Lexapro has worked very well. Tried to taper off, doctor did not taper me properly, I stayed on, doctor had me go back up to 20mg too fast. It's like my brain and body went into shock. Panic attacks, anxiety every day, blurry vision, loose stools, no appetite, headaches, ringing in ears, and my periods are all screwed up. Been 6 weeks now, SLOWLY getting better. Also take 0.5mg Klonopin as needed and 5mg Ambien for sleep. Have an appointment with psychiatrist but can't get in until end of November.  <_<  Trying to push through on the 20mg till I stabilize. 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, kittyeyes.

 

I merged your new topic into your existing Intro topic. Only one topic to a customer in the Intro forum.

 

Please keep notes on paper about your symptom pattern relative to when you take your drugs. Please put ALL the drugs you take in the Drug Interactions Checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html and copy and paste the results in this topic.

 

It's a good sign your withdrawal symptoms are getting better. I would stay on the 20mg Lexapro for a couple of months, maybe more, before attempting to taper again. Wait until your nervous system settles down.

 

Very few psychiatrists know anything about getting people off the drugs. If you find one, please let us know.
 

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.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

So, it's going on week 8 of being back up to 20mg lexapro, I have seen a small improvement in my anxiety and negative thinking, but I still struggle with waking to anxiety every morning and hardly any appetite. It was pretty bad yesterday and today which upsets me cause it usually decreases through the day after I make myself get up and do things. I think mabey the anxiety level is heightened again cause I looked at the calendar and it's pretty much PMS time. :/ I so hope this is going to get better as I want to stay on the lexapro cause I have done so well on it before and feel I have really screwed myself up. Should I keep pushing on? I know you guys said it can take a long time to stabilize. Just very discouraged and scared. :'( 

 Lexapro 20mg for 6years for anxiety, panic, ocd, and depression. Also have MS. Lexapro has worked very well. Tried to taper off, doctor did not taper me properly, I stayed on, doctor had me go back up to 20mg too fast. It's like my brain and body went into shock. Panic attacks, anxiety every day, blurry vision, loose stools, no appetite, headaches, ringing in ears, and my periods are all screwed up. Been 6 weeks now, SLOWLY getting better. Also take 0.5mg Klonopin as needed and 5mg Ambien for sleep. Have an appointment with psychiatrist but can't get in until end of November.  <_<  Trying to push through on the 20mg till I stabilize. 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

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.

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy