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. My name is Kim. I'm new to the forum. I am trying to get off of escutalopram. I have been taking it since July of 2014. I currently take 10mg. I take two 5 mg. pills a day. I tried to lower my side awhile ago but I got terrible withdrawals--severe anxiety and headache. I cut it down 25%. After withdrawal effect I went back to regular dose. My psychiatrist is no help. He told me to just cut it in half. No way! He is clueless. I wonder what some of you have to say.

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Hi Kim


I am also weaning off 10 mgs Escitalopram and have been doing so slowly for nearly two years after several failed attempts at withdrawal from other ssris. All i can say is it has to be done very slowly.

I am down to 2.2 mgs now and even my ultra slow taper has not been completely symptom free but certainly musch better than the last few times.

Read the info on here regarding the 10% taper and others will no doubt be along to advise further.


Best wishes

PN xx

1995-1998 various SSRIs then withdrawal

2000 Sertraline

2003 Sertraline then changed to Prozac to attempt withdrawal.

2004 failed at withdrawal so Citalopram.

2010 attempted slow withdrawal over 12 months but failed- sever episode depression 2012

2012 3 days of Mirtazepine with bad reaction so started escitalopram 20mgs

2013 started very very slow taper with a number of slight reinstatements

Currently on between 0.5 and 1mg escitalopram drops at day.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Kim, and welcome to s/a,


You are right that your psychiatrist is clueless - most doctors are when it comes to SSRIs and withdrawal.  The good news is that If escitalopram is the only SSRI you have taken, then it should not be too complicated for you to successfully do a gentle taper. 


This forum recommends tapering by 10% at a time, to allow your brain and nervous-system to cope with the changes.  See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/ for details on why and how.  You can also look at http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/  for info specific to escitalopram.


If you fill out a signature it will be easier for people to answer your questions further down the track, as it appears on each of your posts.  You can include how long ago you did that taper and then how long till you reinstated?  Have you stabilised since then?


You'll find heaps of support here, so have a read of the links, and come back to ask more questions.  You'll be able to sort out a plan for tapering in a gentle way.



2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

2023 Now on 7 micro-beads of Effexor. Minimal symptoms but much more time needed between drops.

 'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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I came off Lexapro this year and I agree...your doctor hasn't a clue. I went from 20mg to 10mg over the course of two weeks. Withdrawal has been fierce. I didn't realize what was going on right away until I found this forum. The 10% taper recommended on here is definitely the way to go. Hang in there.

Lexapro four times in the last ten years. Each time 6 month use. Two week taper.

Lexapro 20mg August 2014 until Feb 28 2015. Two week taper

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  • 1 month later...

I accidentally took an extra pill 5mg. Escitalopram. I usually take 10 mg. a day, 5mg. In AM and 5 mg. in PM. Two days ago I took the extra pill and I am still dizzy after I take my regular dose. The dizziness has lasted for 2 hours after I take my regular dose.


Has anyone else experienced this?


I phoned my psychiatrist after it happened but he didn't return my call til the next day; and his advice wasnt so good. First he claims he cannot believe I would be so dizzy and secondly he advised me to take an alprazolam. Of course I didn't take the alprazolam.


I have an appt. with a new psychiatrist in early January. I need someone who will take me seriously and not try to just keep adding more and more medicines. I have several prescriptions already but I only take the escitalopram because when I try to get off of it I get severe anxiety.

I have read the literature here about getting off the antidepressants but I don't feel ready until I get a sympathetic psychiatrist who can supervise me when I do it.


Any thoughts?

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Hi Kim i wouldnt stress too much over it ...


So what you are saying is you took a 10mg when you usually take a 5mg

Here are my thoughts,


1. Maybe you could use this to move to taking 10 mg once a day instead of a 5 mg twice. And see this as being the first day at 10mg.

Maybe a day has elapsed since though right? The half life appears longer than some  others.(27-32hrs) compare to say paxil which is about 21 hours So i wouldnt have thought this was a problem.

Is there a reason why you are taking it twice daily.


2. If you are going to continue taking it twice daily then try to carry on as usual and not worry, things may take a week or so to settle down. 

Are you able to put things in place so this doesn't happen again.


You talked in Oct about starting the taper i was going to politely ask what is the hold up and then i read this:


I don't feel ready until I get a sympathetic psychiatrist who can supervise me when I do it.


You may be holding out for something that doesnt exist. In terms of supervision ..well its like the Moa bird ...it doesnt exist. 

These people  only offer drugs and when all you have is a hammer everyone looks like a nail! They are unable to acknowledge withdrawal exists and avoid responsibility by calling it 'relapse'. They cannot concieve of a taper lasting longer than 1 or 2 months. 


Have you considered the possibility of stepping up and taking control, take responsibility for your healthcare, not an easy thing to do but you have the resources right here at sa.

You can do it. Else you may find you are leaning your ladder onto a house of cards. I think you already are aware of this.


Can i invite you to download the free copy of the icarus project 'Harm reduction guide to coming off Psychiatric drugs'

I think it was Petu who recently posted a very revealing quote from this book...


"The leading UK charity MIND, in their study on coming off psychiatric drugs found that "People who came off their drugs against their doctors advice were as likely to succeed as those whose doctors agreed they should come off". As a result of this finding MIND realized doctors are sometimes too controlling and so they changed their official policy.: MIND no longer reccommends that people attempt to go off psychiatric drugs only with their doctors approval. "  p28


You can take control with support, and you can get support from sa.


You can do it.

YOU are the boss! and when you get drug free then you don't have to take a damn thing ever again!

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.


Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017



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I need someone who will take me seriously and not try to just keep adding more and more medicines.


Sounds like the exact opposite of most psychiatrists.

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...


January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.


4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram - More lasting damage...

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi ,


This is the link to the Icarus Project HarmReductionGuideComingOffPsychDrugs.  At the bottom of the page are links to different languages of the Guide.  I posted it here for you because I've tried to find it several times after reading it and have had trouble locating it.  CC


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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I need someone who will take me seriously and not try to just keep adding more and more medicines.

Sounds like the exact opposite of most psychiatrists.

I dont know why these psychiatrists are so stupid. Normally they should listen to people and support them to live drug free, actually we are clients for them. They should compete to do for us everything they can.

05/2013 Lyrica 100 mg / per day for pain + PGAD resulting from caesarian delivery11/2014 started to taper: 50 mg per day/ for one week then c/tafter one month reinstated at 50 mg /per days of 10 July 2015 drug free-

symptoms OCD

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