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sadpanda Severe Withdrawals Even After Tapering


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I'm 23 years old and have been on many kinds of antidepressants for almost 10 years. My final antidepressant I took was Lexapro, which I tapered off in a month as advised by my psychiatrist and it has been 2 weeks of being completely off the medication.


The withdrawal is very severe and debilitating. I feel like I have a hangover every day. I have brain zaps, dizziness, nausea, headaches and the worst confusion and forgetfulness I've ever felt in my life.


The nausea is particularly bad. I can't move around or move my eyes around too much without feeling like I'm going to throw up. I tried Emetrol but that didn't really help.


My psychiatrist says I shouldn't be getting these withdrawals and there's nothing I can do for it. Is that true? I've only taken Lexapro for about 7 months. Does it matter how long I've been on it to determine when the withdrawal will go away? I do NOT want to take the medicine again. These SSRIs are HORRIBLE and make me more depressed! (Was misdiagnosed with MDD when am actually bipolar II)


Any good home remedies?

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  • Moderator

Hi sadpanda--  welcome to the group.  I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a rough time now that you're off  the lexapro.  Unfortunately your doctor did you a real disservice in the way he took you off of it and you have a nice case of withdrawal syndrome.  Seven months is plenty of time for these meds to get their claws into you and cause trouble getting of of them. Here are some threads that will help you understand what is going on;


What is withdrawal syndrome? 


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 


Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, sadpanda.


How much Lexapro were you taking? If I were you, I'd immediately reinstate a half-dose and read the links brassmonkey gave you.

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

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