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JustaGal: My Lexapro History


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I tried to taper slowly after 10 mg Lexapro dosage for 12 years. 2 months later off it, I had a major rebound of depression and anxiety. I tried to tough it out but it was too much for me. I went back on 10 mg and it was not working so the doctor increased it to 20. In the interim of waiting for the Lexapro to work I took lorazapem as needed. I have gained 50 lbs. My rebound symptoms included intense constant adrenaline rushes, insomnia, intense fear, intense agitation, feeling like I was not in my own skin, and like my nerves had a short circuit. I would also say mild de-realization at times.

Natural remedies did not work at that point. So I am wanting to find a doctor that will do the 10% taper with me, at least back down to dosage 10 until I can face that again.


I live in Orange County, CA.



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Lexapro side effects and withdrawal can be very tough - I am also going through protracted Lexapro withdrawal.


Please go to "My Settings", there you will see "Signature" - fill out your drug history; mine at the bottom of this post is an example.


A moderator should be along soon to talk about your dosage and taper schedule.

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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So sorry you are suffering, I tried to get off of 5mg after 2.5 years and just like you I ended up in "hell". Reinstating didn't work for me and in fact made things worse.

I transitioned to zoloft but nightmare continues and I have no choice but to tough it out and suffer.

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Justagal,

I'm sorry you are having some problems getting off Lexapro. I also experienced withdrawal symptoms from tapering it too fast. My situation was a lot like yours really, been on antidepressants about 13 years, I tapered too fast and then withdrawal symptoms started to kick in badly about 2 - 3 months later.


How did you taper? When did you reinstate at 10mg and how long have you been on 20mg? It would be great if you would put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature. Doing this helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts. Here are instructions for how to do it:




How are you feeling now?


See:   Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)


What is withdrawal syndrome?


You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want.



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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hi Justagal,


I'm so sorry you are hit by lexapro withdraw! What you got is most likely the withdrawal effect not rebound of your original problems. I'm another lexapro victim, been suffering years even with the super slow taper n still on 3.2 mg. 2 month taper is way too facets for this powerful drug and in general too fast for any ssir withdrawal. 20 mg is way to high per my knowledge as a reinstate dose giving your original dose is only half of it. Once you add your meds and taper history in your signature, you will get good advice as what can be done the best.


Hang in there,

Lex from your neighborhood

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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Hi JustaGal and welcome to the forum. Your history is similar to mine. I have been on Lexapro for almost eight years and was also on Lorazapam for twelve months. I also gained 50lbs in a twelve month period! Thankfully that is starting to resolve itself now.


Don't blame yourself for what has happened. Most doctors are completely ignorant when it comes to tapering from these drugs. My doctor also told me that I could just come off my remaining 5mg of Lexapro 'cold turkey' as it was such a small amount. Thankfully I had already visited here and knew that not to be true. Lexapro does come in a liquid formula which makes it easier for tapering purposes. I am not sure what the moderators will recommend for you right now but you can keep that in mind. 


I will keep an eye on your journey and hope that you will find some good advice and support from others who are travelling a similar path (or who have travelled that path and come out the other side) 

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  • 3 months later...

Petunia, this is my first time posting. What you wrote in October sounds like exactly like I did. I will add my history when I have more time. I just wanted to say its very refreshing to see someone else that has been taking ADs for 13 years and had withdrawal symptoms 2-3 months later. I did a 50% cut (I had no idea). Almost exactly three months later my face, jaw, mouth and tongue started hurting. A lot. I reinstated to no avail. That was all with Celexa. Dr then switched me to Lexapro. That was two months ago and the pain is getting worse.

13 yrs on SSRIs-tried all of them-august 2015 did a 50% taper from 40mg Celexa to 20mg-protracted withdrawal November 2015. Reinstated 40mg Celexa. December switched to Lexapro 20mg bc its available in liquid form to prepare for taper. Three unsuccessful prior attempts to wean and determined to be successful. No doctor will help me.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi mrsbeccahall ,    this is justaGal's personal thread.   Please start one for yourself in the Introductions section

so we can get to know you.


Best  wishes ,    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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