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ShortStraw: 2 doses of Lexapro turned out to be a big mistake...


ShortStraw

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Hello everyone.

 

From reading many posts here, I definitely don't have it as bad as a lot of people, it seems like, and haven't been dealing with SSRIs or side-effects or withdrawals for very long at all (only about a week, at this point). But it's already had such a significant (and hopefully temporary) effect on me.

 

About a week ago I saw my doctor with complaints of anxiety related to some other health issues I (believed) I was having. Chest pains and the like. The doctor had the idea that it was just GERD and gave me some Rx prilosec and zantac. He also gave me some Lexapro. He was even hesitant about it, and told me that I didn't seem like I had very severe depression. I told him that I'd just try it out and if it wasn't working, I'd come off it.

 

Well the prilosec and zantac worked. The Lexapro, however, I should never have taken.

 

1st day wasn't too bad. The chest pains started tapering off, along with much of my anxiety, and the yawning began. I took the Lexapro that evening after I came home from the doctor. Yawn yawn yawn, must have yawned two dozen times in the span of a couple hours. Big yawns too, that hurt and sent shivers through my jaw. Also this profound tingling sensation in my scalp and down the back of my neck. A little lightheaded. That was weird. I did feel a bit less anxiety though. I guess it's working.

 

Next morning, I was already reconsidering taking another dose. "What's the worst that can happen," I thought. 2nd dose down. More yawning. Also I was still tired from the night before, though I'd gotten a full night's sleep. I figured it might have been rough as I have a 3-month-old and while she does well at night usually, maybe she didn't that night and I just didn't really remember it. It was early on in the day that the dizziness and fog started. Just couldn't focus. It felt like I had a screen pulled over my eyes, like I was dreaming or underwater. At this point I decided that, even if these symptoms are only temporary and would go away in a month or less, it might not be worth it.

 

That night I came home and saw my wife and newborn and felt... nothing. I smiled, gave my wife a hug and kiss, and cuddled my baby for a while but it was different. I felt like I was just on autopilot, or just watching myself go through familiar motions. Immediately I knew I had made a terrible mistake. this wasn't right, wasn't at all worth it. I'd rather have panic attacks every day than feel completely flat towards my amazing wife and newborn.

 

That was about a week ago. The symptoms - I'm not sure if it's truly withdrawal as I only took 2 doses - they've been coming and going in waves. Some things have gotten better, some things have gotten worse, some things have gotten worse before they got better. Currently it seems like the derealization/depersonalization is on the decline, though I still feel "disconnected". Motivation comes and goes in waves - sometimes I just can't see the point in anything, other times I'm full of hope. The dizziness seems to peak late morning and feel better by the evening. Still having problems focusing, both mentally and physically (but maybe I just need glasses now). Getting these short stabbing pains in my brain, right side only, every now and then. Light hurts my eyes.

 

I know it's only been a short time, but the idea that this could go on for months or years scares me so much. I know SSRIs save lives and many people get on and off them with no problems... but apparently I'm not one of them. And I'm kicking myself because I probably could have gone without trying these at all.

 

So here I am. Hopefully I can post a success story in a couple weeks!

9/15/15 - Lexapro 10mg, taken for 2 days. Bad side effects, decided Lexapro wasn't for me. Constant yawning, brain zaps, lethargy/insomnia, constant fog/lightheadedness, DP/DR, fear and anxiety worse than before. Intolerable.

 

Current symptoms: "Disconnected", mild but constant dizzy/lightheadedness, head pressure, brain fog, intermittent sharp brain pains, low grade headache all the time, anxiety. Vision weirdness... might just be heightened awareness of a preexisting need for Rx glasses. Hypochondria.

 

In awe at all the strong people I read about here.

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  • Moderator

Hi ShortStraw-  Welcome to the group.  I'm sorry to hear about how hard two doses are hitting you.  Very good that you didn't take the third.  This sounds like a classic adverse reaction to the drugs.  Some people just react very badly right from the start.  Do not let the doctor talk you into trying a higher dose, toughing it out until they kick in, or switching to a different AD. All that will do is cause you trouble.  For right now you're going to be sensitive to a lot of things for a while and your emotions will be up to a lot of strange tricks but it should all settle out and you'll be back to your old self in a few weeks.

 

Thank you for putting your information into a signature block, it really helps us to help you.

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

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welcome 'shortstraw' sorry to hear about your bad reaction to this drug.

I wish you well

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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Maybe a dumb question, but feelings of anxiety reached a very high, uncontrollable point during the day today, something I've never felt before. Thoughts about whether I'd ever feel normal again just set off a feedback loop of anxiety and obsession over these symptoms, which made me feel more anxious, and on and on. I've never had a panic attack before, but I imagine that was what one would feel like leading up to it.

 

If you'll see my sig, I only took 2 10mg doses of Lexapro a little over a week ago, but I am still having side effects/withdrawal. My symptoms always seem the worst late morning to early afternoon, and then in the evening I tend to feel good in general.

 

As my anxiety finally started to peter out after a couple hours and a nap over lunch break, I was left wondering if I should really just stick it out a few more weeks, or perhaps I should try reinstating a small dose to try to take the edge off the symptoms, and then taper down from there? I've read the thread on reinstatement, but I'm not sure how it should apply to my situation.

 

As I'm sure you can guess, I'm terrified of this worsening my symptoms and putting me back to square one. This seems so hard... I don't know how some of you go through even worse symptoms than I am having for months at a time. I feel like such a baby!

 

Thoughts?

 

I've also been keeping a journal of my symptoms, hopefully so I can look back on and notice a clear trend of improvement.

9/15/15 - Lexapro 10mg, taken for 2 days. Bad side effects, decided Lexapro wasn't for me. Constant yawning, brain zaps, lethargy/insomnia, constant fog/lightheadedness, DP/DR, fear and anxiety worse than before. Intolerable.

 

Current symptoms: "Disconnected", mild but constant dizzy/lightheadedness, head pressure, brain fog, intermittent sharp brain pains, low grade headache all the time, anxiety. Vision weirdness... might just be heightened awareness of a preexisting need for Rx glasses. Hypochondria.

 

In awe at all the strong people I read about here.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi ShortStraw,

I moved your topic from the tapering section to your own introduction thread. Please read through the replies here. After taking only 2 doses, reinstatement is not a good idea, its unlikely you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, its more likely to be an adverse effect from the the 2 doses you took.

 

You will recover, but it may take a little while.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Welcome shortstraw!

 

Can't believe such a poison are being given out like candy everyday! Good you realized the problem and stopped.

 

You mentioned Prilosec and Zantac worked, did you ever take them? If so when and for how long?

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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  • Administrator

Welcome, ShortStraw.

 

Some people have serious adverse reactions to SSRIs like Lexapro right away, and suffer symptoms identical to withdrawal syndrome afterward.

 

You will very gradually recover. It can take some months, please be patient.

 

There is no reason in the world to take both Zantac and Prilosec. They do the same things.

 

If you do not actually have GERD, a very serious, chronic condition, taking Zantac and Prilosec may cause long-term adverse health consequences. See

 

That acid reflux pill may be causing your health problems

 

Combating Acid Reflux May Bring Host of Ills

 

Heartburn Drugs Linked to Heart Attacks

 

Acid-Suppressing Drugs Linked to Vitamin B12 Deficiency

 

Most likely, you have garden-variety indigestion, for which stomach acid blockers are vastly overprescribed. You may wish to try digestive enzymes or betaine HCL or stop eating whatever foods are causing indigestion, such as

 

Got Milk? You Don't Need It

 

Chris Kresser and healing gut problems

 

Your doctor does not sound well-informed.

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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Thanks, everyone. Alto, I've done a lot of reading here and elsewhere and your posts are always a wealth of information.

 

I agree that my doctor doesn't really sounds like he knows what he's doing. One of the receptionists even remarked about him "Oh, you're seeing the new guy..." not in an endearing manner either.

 

To be honest, I've only taken a couple doses of omeprazole, especially after finding that there's a significant drug interaction between that and escatalopram. Wouldn't you know it, it downregulates one of the key enzymes in elimination of the drug, resulting in elevated concentrations of it by up to 50%. Of course the first 2 days I took omeprazole at the same time as escitalopram. It's almost as if I'd taken 3 doses within 2 days instead of just two doses.

 

As far as whether I actually have full blown GERD, I'm also not so sure. I like to think I caught it at the beginning, but who knows. I haven't taken the omeprazole in several days now, and have been substituting it with ranitidine. Wanting to get off of either, I've been taking the ranitidine (the OTC bottle I bought before my doctor visit) just at night for the past couple days and have not seen a resurgence in my chest pain. Hell, I haven't had any significant chest or stomach pain in over a week.

 

As a doctor myself (well, a dentist, so a half-doctor  ;)), this whole ordeal has been an exceptionally enlightening experience. I try to be very conscious of the medications I prescribe my patients and really listen to their symptoms and try and spot adverse effects before they happen, but sometimes it's easy to try and just stick to what you know, or what theoretically "should be". Of course I'm not prescribing psych meds and the like, mainly just pain medication. My education has given me an appreciation for scientific research, and as I've come to realize, an unfounded trust in research that is manufacturer-sponsored, and just physicians in general.

 

In any case, thank you. I'll stick it out, and try to keep in mind that healing from this poison takes place potentially over months, if not years. Thankfully I my symptoms aren't so severe that I can't function at work. Let's hope they don't get to that point.

 

And Lex, to give details, at this point I've taken maybe 3 doses of omeprazole and a handful of doses of ranitidine. I feel like the ranitidine definitely helped with the pain I was having, but I'd rather not be on it for a long while. I'm already getting off it. The omeprazole I feel like I could have done without, especially considering it's interaction with Lexapro. I don't see any particular advantage of it over ranitidine.

9/15/15 - Lexapro 10mg, taken for 2 days. Bad side effects, decided Lexapro wasn't for me. Constant yawning, brain zaps, lethargy/insomnia, constant fog/lightheadedness, DP/DR, fear and anxiety worse than before. Intolerable.

 

Current symptoms: "Disconnected", mild but constant dizzy/lightheadedness, head pressure, brain fog, intermittent sharp brain pains, low grade headache all the time, anxiety. Vision weirdness... might just be heightened awareness of a preexisting need for Rx glasses. Hypochondria.

 

In awe at all the strong people I read about here.

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Hi Shortstraw,

 

It sounds you are already equipped with all the critical information and knowledge. I asked about the prelosec and Zantac as PPI is part of the reason got me to the current condition I am. The PPI I took is actually Zantac. Although it's a H2 blocker not a PPI, they are basically same except for H2 blocker is just tiny bit less effective in blocking the acid secretion.

 

You are now off the lexapro, there should be no more concern about the interaction.

Fingers crossed the 2 doses didnt do too much damage.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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