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Christian: Reinstatement Question


Christian

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Hi,
Just curious if anyone can provide some help. I've had a rough 2015. I was in the ER with a couple of incidents of low sodium. As some of you might know, Lexapro and other SSRIs contribute to that. I've been on Lexapro for 15 years. I also had a night time drinking problem. My Dr told me to quit Lexapro in June which I did cold turkey. They didn't tell me otherwise. I had dizziness for a month but that's it. I tried it back up on my own in September but quit after a week cause of the symptoms. Then with my Dr's help I quit booze. Forgetting about the issues with low sodium he strongly urged me to go back on it cause I would be stressed from quitting booze. I did and gave it up 12/3/15 cause of the side effects again. I had some withdrawal from being on it for only a week. Anyways, due to incredible anxiety and insomnia for a week straight I went back to Lexapro on 1/1/16. Part of the stress is due to a new job opportunity to start in January if I want it. High stress gig. I was given meds to help with the low sodium issues. My long winded question is this? Was the stress due to withdrawal or a relapse of stress? I don't know which is the answer I want but I'm scared cause I'm not myself and have been in bed for weeks.

Christian

Edited by scallywag
tags added

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

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Hi Rain,  yes that sums of my symptoms. Cognitive impairment as well. It sure stinks. I am not stabilizing on Lexapro but in my case I havent been stabilized on it in 6 months when I quit cold turkey

I should add I was on Lexapro the last time for 8 days and quit cause of the side effects 12/3. I have been a bundle of stress for the last two weeks

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

Link to post

Sorry to hear you feel like your under a lot of stress.It seems you have alot of balls in the air at the moment.Alcohol recovery, starting a new job, managing your mental health and medical issues. It might feel overwhelming at times.I wonder how do you ground yourself? How do you prioritise what to focus on? What helps you?

I've started taking antidepressants in 2001. I took Cipramil for 3 years. Elflexor for 1 year. Lexapro 10mg - 20mg since 1992 approximately.

 

STARTING DOSE 20mg Lexapro 2016

 

19mg Lexapro (3rd January 2016)-Taper 5%

18mg Lexapro (8th February 2O16)-Taper 5%

17mg Lexapro (? March 2016) - Taper 5% -

16mg (16th May 2016) Taper 5 %

17mg (21st August 2016) + 5%

16mg (3rd January 2017) - 5%

15mg (4th February 2017) -5

14mg (6/02/18) -5%

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Well Lexapro used to "ground me." I'm just trying to determine if this is just a stressful time and needs meds or protracted WD? I mean I quit after 12 years in June and was doing ok with a couple of one week reinstatements in September and December. All I know is I cannot sleep or concentrate as I'm stressed non stop. I guess its back to Lexapro

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Christian and welcome to SA.

 

I' m very sorry you have found yourself in this situation. After 12 or 15 years on the drug your brain has physically changed to adapt itself to its presence. What dose were you on?

 

Removing the drug abruptly was like removing building blocks from the foundation of the building: the building will struggle to remain standing but over time it will sway more and more before it crashes down completely. Unfortunately withdrawal follows this analogy.

 

After 6 months off and with two attempts to go back on the drug reinstatement may or may not work but it's our best shot. I don't know your dose but even without that information I would advise reinstating only 1 mg. Bad reactions you had during your previous attempts at reinstating were most likely because you went to the full dose. After our brain has been traumatised by force removal of the drug it reacts in paradoxical ways. Also over time during which you were off the drug the brain has already made as many adaptation as it could to try and retain homeostasis.

 

I will post some links for you with information explain what you are going through. It's a lot of information so take your time.

 

If you decide to reinstate, it would be best to try with 1 mg as I said and to get that small dose you can either try getting a liquid version of Lexapro or make your own suspension which is not difficult as all.

 

Intro to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Here is the link to the thread with the specific information about tapering including how to taper using liquid: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

 

 

It would be very helpful for us in supporting you on this journey if you could add a brief drug history in your signature as described here: 

 

Withdrawal History in Signature OR Complete your Signature from Phone or Tablet

 

I'm sure you will have a lot of questions after reading this. Many of us have been in very similar situation so we will share with you our experience of how we coped. I stopped taking Lexapro at 2.5 mg (together with a benzo) and came here in agony 40 days later. After I reinstated I managed to get my life back on track. 

 

No one wants to go back on the drug. We are all working very hard to come off. It's just that cold turkeying isn't the way...

 

Once again welcome.

 

Bubble

Current: 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. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Christian and welcome to s/a,

 

Sorry to hear you have been having such a rough time.  The symptoms you mention - insomnia, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, dizziness - are all withdrawal symptoms.  Mistaking w/d symptoms for relapse is the main reason people end up stuck on meds.  

 

Each time a person goes c/t, or tapers too fast, or bounces their doses up and down, their Central Nervous System gets a little more destabilised.  It's all cumulative.  This causes w/d symptoms to start. 

 

What dose of lexapro did you return to on Jan 1st?  And what doses had you been on in the past?  It would be great if you could fill out a signature so we can easily see your details when you post, and so we can help you more accurately.

 

The key now is to get your whole system stable by remaining on the same dose for a good while.  Once you've done that you can make a gentle tapering plan.  We've found that tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose each 4-6 weeks works for most people.  You could also look at Tips for Tapering Lexapro

 

And Reinstating and Stabilising to Reduce w/d symptoms.

 

Have a look through those links, and then you can come back to this thread to ask any further questions.  This can be your journal to record your tapering progress.  I know the anxiety feels awful right now; please know that we all go through this difficult beginning and then we start to find our way - you will too.  You will get yourself back again.  The important thing is not to make decisions from that place of panic.  Look at your options, think things through, discuss with people here. 

 

It's good to have you here,

KarenB

 

EDIT:  Posted same time as Bubble, so you get two sets of answers for the price of one ;)

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.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

:)

Current: 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. 

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Thank you all for your replies. I reinstated at 5 mg. what I don't understand is how I crashed a week ago not months ago when I quit cold turkey after 15 years. I tried to go back to Lexapro on those two recent occasions only because I wanted to relieve some minimal stress I was experiencing. But last week, after 3 weeks being off the last one week failed attempt to reinstate (at only 5 mg), I crashed. Do you still think this is withdrawal and I'm screwed or just stress from the holidays, work, and dealing with a couple WD symptoms from the last 7 day trial?

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Christian,

 

Welcome to SA.  You've found a really great site with lots of information and supportive members.  It is understandable that you are feeling worried and overwhelmed at the moment and you are wanting to get answers to your questions.

 

The mods can make suggestions BUT they really do need you to complete your signature.  By knowing what dose you were taking and when you went on and off them will help them to be able to help you quicker.  I understand that it can be hard to focus and get it done but it is very necessary.  Once you get some suggestions you will be better able to make a decision.

 

CC

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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I'm using my iPhone and see know area to add a signature. But I was on 10 mg for 15 years until June 2015 when I quit cold turkey (my Dr didn't advise me otherwise). When I started up for one week in September it was 10 mg and the last week of November was 5 mg. My only WD symptoms in all three attempts at Lexapro was dizziness for two weeks or so. On 12/24 the insomnia and anxiety set in. I also had my cortisol checked and its high. Of course due to probably stress. My Dr doesn't think this is withdrawal as I only was on it recently for one week in late November. He thinks it's stress related and wants me back on Lexapro. I got a 2nd opinion saying the same thing.

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

Link to post

Don't see

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

2000 - June 2015:     10 mg Lexapro     Quit CT

 

Sept 2015:                 10 mg                   1 week

 

Nov - 3 Dec 2015:        5 mg                   1 week

 

1 Jan 2016:                  5 mg???             current?

 

Hi Christian, until you can get your signature set up, I've done up a chart of your drug history.  If there are any errors, please state clearly what is wrong.

 

Being able to clearly see your drug taking and stopping history it appears it is in fact withdrawal and not a relapse.  Many doctors are not aware of withdrawal symptoms and very often (as can be attested to by many people on this site) diagnose either relapse or a new "condition" and either increase the dose, change or add drugs.  This being the case, you need to stabilise on a dose and hold for a period of time to allow your brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug and then taper slowly at no more than 10% of the current dose, holding 4-6 weeks between drops.

 

If you check these out it might help you to understand what happens to our brain when we take these drugs and why you need to taper to get off them:  Video: Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery & Brain Remodelling

 

You need to keep it Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

I hope this helps.  CC

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Link to post

withdrawal !!

 

I don't understand is how I crashed a week ago not months ago when I quit cold turkey after 15 years

 

My Dr told me to quit Lexapro in June which I did cold turkey. They didn't tell me otherwise. I had dizziness for a month but that's it. I tried it back up on my own in September...

 

CT in June [3 months later] start back up in sept 

Withdrawal symptoms can be delayed for months, 3 is very common.

That wasnt stress that was delayed ssri withdrawal starting up. Its confusing isnt it, confused me also for many years.

 

I tried to go back to Lexapro on those two recent occasions only because I wanted to relieve some minimal stress I was experiencing.

If you were wanting to reach to swallow something it may not have been minimal.

 

My Dr doesn't think this is withdrawal as I only was on it recently for one week in late November.

Your doctor is just plain incorrect you were on it for 12? years not one week. And withdrawal symptoms are delayed.

This is what has happened: see cc's brain remodelling link  (cant understand why it takes me ages to find that link)

 
 

He thinks it's stress related

 

Sorry but he is simply wrong. ..its a very serious iatrogenic injury.

 

And here are the symptoms that manifest

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist (PDF)

 

 

and wants me back on Lexapro. I got a 2nd opinion saying the same thing.

 

Well we are all in agreement on that but for different reasons. Not because of stress. You need it to provide relief from these iatrogenic (doctor caused) symptoms.

You need it because you are an addict and you need it to function but not at the huge dosing the doc thinks...less is more.....stabilize then taper off giving the brain time to heal as explained in the remodelling link.

 

Cold-turkeying off Lexapro is not a good idea. It's like throwing your brain off a cliff. (Alto)

 

My only WD symptoms in all three attempts at Lexapro was dizziness for two weeks or so.

But what about what you called manifesting stress which you tried to relieve by swallowing something.....that was withdrawal symptoms not stress. It was the manifesting of blunt force trauma to the brain.

 

On 12/24 the insomnia and anxiety set in.

What you mean is withdrawal set in. Next it will be crying spells another classic withdrawal symptom.

 

Did you have so called stress like this in the previous 12 years.....so what was  so different this last year ?

 

 

Christian i am so so glad you found sa. You are not alone.

Welcome.

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.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

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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Hi Christian,

 

I have experienced a lot of the symptoms you report when I first attempted to taperfrom Lexapro too qickely maybe 7/8 years ago. I feel your frustration.The need to make sense. The lack of proper information given to patients about these tablets is scandalous.I recall my symptoms were horrific.I recall my G.P. telling me my that my symptoms was just my depression returning and I would be on medication for the rest of my life.He gave me some other label.I left devastated.I really thought that years of psychotherapy would have held me.From reading here actual true stories of individuals supporting & educating each other on the power of these drugs I feel hopeful. I trust them as they walk with me & not judging or pathologing my recovery.

 

Another huge pharmaceutical company opening up in my local community in Ireland.????

I've started taking antidepressants in 2001. I took Cipramil for 3 years. Elflexor for 1 year. Lexapro 10mg - 20mg since 1992 approximately.

 

STARTING DOSE 20mg Lexapro 2016

 

19mg Lexapro (3rd January 2016)-Taper 5%

18mg Lexapro (8th February 2O16)-Taper 5%

17mg Lexapro (? March 2016) - Taper 5% -

16mg (16th May 2016) Taper 5 %

17mg (21st August 2016) + 5%

16mg (3rd January 2017) - 5%

15mg (4th February 2017) -5

14mg (6/02/18) -5%

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Do you still think this is withdrawal Yes

 

and I'm screwed No

 

or just stress from the holidays, work, That will be contributing

 

and dealing with a couple WD symptoms from the last 7 day trial? Yes - it all joins into the wider w/d story.

 

Picture your nervous-system as a strong hammock made of rope - perfectly capable of holding you up.  One day you accidentally snag part of the rope and it frays a little.  That's okay, the rest of the hammock can keep holding your weight.  A few months later you notice the sun and weather have weakened it a little, but all good - you are still held nice and secure.  Then one day you plonk down too hard and bit more fraying happens at one end.  Hmmm, starting to feel a bit precarious.  Okay, try tying it up with a bit of string - tricky, seems to slip a bit.  So you swing gently from now on.  A few weeks later you snag another bit of the rope close to where the original fraying was.  A large section comes apart and you crash onto the ground. 

 

Now the hammock will need a lot of care and detailed work to repair it.  Some knowledge of knots is needed, and the right sort of rope.  It will take time to get it 'good as new.'  But it can be done. 

 

 

 

From what I can make out of your med history, it would be sensible to stay at 5mg for a good while.  Let everything settle nicely.  Then make your tapering plan. 

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.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm concerned that after such a long time off 5 mg might be too much. You will know it is too much if you get a bad reaction which would actually mean worsening of your symptoms.

 

Then you will conclude that reinstatement isn't working, doctor will want to increase the dose or more likely change the drug. To reduce the chances of that happening I suggested introducing 1 mg.

 

Lexapro is a potent drug as all of us who are hit by bad withdrawal just by changing from let's say 2.2 mg to 2 mg know...

 

After 12 years on and 6 months off (and on) I'm afraid nothing can take your symptoms away over night. But certain things can make it worse. I hope this doesn't happen. ADs are not like aspirins or antibiotics. They work by changing the structure of the brain and that's why the changes they introduce are gradual.

Current: 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 post

Thank you all for your help. May I ask how you all sleep during this? I have used sleeping pills in the past and those have allowed me 3-5 hours a night but with consequences. Has anyone tried Ashwaganda in an attempt to lower cortisel as I know mine is high and is why I can't sleep. I'm going to turn down my new job offer and stick with the one I have that alows me to work mostly from home. But I will be asked to travel at some point and right now I'm too much s mess to even consider that.

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I hope you don't mind me replying to your message here. This is an important update that you feel the 'stress', as you call your symptoms feels more controlled after 3 days of back to 5 mg. (A gentle reminder to fill in your signature. Try these tips: Complete your Signature from Phone or Tablet

 

That would indicate that the reinstatement is working. It will also mean that your other symptoms will start decreasing, including insomnia as one of the most widespread symptoms of withdrawal. But it doesn't happen over night.

 

Stabilisation will follow window and waves pattern. You will feel better for an hour or two (or more or less) and then go back to the previous level of symptoms. I would most warmly recommend you stay the course and keep taking 5 mg for quite a while. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/

 

I would also very warmly recommend this post. It explains what is happening to our brains and why we can be hit with withdrawal symptoms so many months out (and many other things):  Brain Remodelling

Current: 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. 

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Thanks Bubble. You are all very kind. I actually almost was able to nap this afternoon (without sleeping pills) but eventually gave up. Maybe the 5 mg of Lexapro is working like you said. The pressure of falling asleep is what keeps me from accomplishing it!

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

That's exactly what happens! The harder you try the most elusive it becomes. Falling asleep is actually becoming very relaxed and surrendering. Trying is the opposite of that. There is so much written here on insomnia: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/53-sleep-problems-that-awful-withdrawal-insomnia/

 

Sorry for 'spamming' you :) But please, please read that post about brain remodelling. It's not long and explains so many things. Have you tried magnesium?

(We avoid all psychoactive drugs as a plague here :( as you noticed in a brain modified by withdrawal they often have paradoxical effects)

 

The internet is full of sleep meditation videos, sounds of nature... I wasn't really a big fan of them but during my recent cortisol surge that lead to sleeping difficulties I fell for this one: 

High cortisol is a withdrawl symptom and not a symptom per se...

 

Give it a try or find a theme that suits you better. I was surprised how the space theme worked for me...

Current: 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 post

Thanks again! Great info!

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

Link to post

Hi Christian,

I can empathize with the sleeping difficulty. This guided meditation from Bubble looks excellent. I will have to try it myself.  Have you tried Magnesium ,and Melatonin yet ?  I find Magnesium is an essential , particularly at night  and then maybe experiment with adding other supplements that some here ,have had success with. However, as  with any supplement in withdrawal , always start off on a very low dose, as your C.N.S. is already sensitized, and some can react adversely.

Here is the link for Ashwaganda  :  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4713-ashwagandha-herb-for-anxiety-stress-and-toxic-overload/.

Some have had some success with it for cortisol and anxiety.     

Maybe if you read or reread some of these links , it might help as well with your sleep.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/189-melatonin-for-sleep/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/53-sleep-problems-that-awful-withdrawal-insomnia/

 

Everyone is individual, and what works for some , unfortunately doesn't for others. It is a case of seeing what works for you, always starting at a low dose.  

 

I hope you find something that works for you. It doesn't have to be a supplement. Sometimes Meditation or a sleep meditation video , will do the trick . However, sometimes it is just time and patience.  :)  

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Some people get hit with severe w/d within a week of a cold turkey, for others it can be a few weeks, and for others it can be months later.  Because so many months have passed, many people assume it is 'relapse' rather than withdrawal.  You've reinstated and stopped several times, which has caused further destabilisation.  I would recommend sticking with your current reinstatement, aiming to stabilise on a dose.  If the 5mg is helping and not causing adverse reactions, that could be a good place to stay for a while.  If you do start to have adverse reactions, a lower dose might be better, as Bubble suggested.  If I were you, I would not be taking on a new high-stress job right now.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Hi Christian - Welcome to SA!

 

Everyone has given you lots of great advice, information, links etc. so I'm not going to add to that.  I'm sure you are overwhelmed with reading, now!  I am just wondering, what led you to decide to go off Lexapro to begin with after 12 years of use?

 

I was on Effexor for 12 years when I tried to go off too quickly last year.   I had been "spellbound" as Dr. Peter Breggin calls it, not at all aware that my quality of life on the drug had deteriorated and that I was as depressed as ever.  Studies have shown that long-term use of these drugs actually makes us MORE prone to depression!  I wonder if that might be due to tolerance withdrawal.  Anyone have a take on that?

 

Anyway, there is no reason you can't come off of Lexapro once you have stabilized on your reinstatement dose, but as you have now learned, you'll just need to do it very slowly and really listen to your body to determine when to make the next cut.  Never make a cut when you are still experiencing symptoms!

 

I will add that once you are stable, you might look into non-drug methods of dealing with the issues that led you to Lexapro to begin with, so that you will have new skills and coping mechanisms in place once you truly are free of the drug.

 

Depression and anxiety are symptoms of dysfunctional thinking, and thinking too much in general!  Thinking leads to suffering.  So, as you venture forward just keep in mind that over-thinking your symptoms and the fact that you are having them leads to stress which prolongs those very symptoms.  Sort of like the sleep; the more you worry about not sleeping, the more you don't sleep!  Neuro-emotions do come up strong and tend to overwhelm us in withdrawal, and overthinking will surely keep you in it.  We have all been there.  As you surf around and look at other peoples' intros, you will start to recognize that syndrome.  I think it helps one to familiarize themselves with that scenario before it happens so that when and if it does, you'll have awareness.  Then you can say "oh, there's those neuro-emotions which are withdrawal; I'll be ok" and let it float on by if you can.  

 

I hope that the reinstatement continues to bring you back to stability, and then you can do a slow taper and hopefully avoid the above scenario!

 

Cheers!

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Thanks Squirly Girl (and all),

I quit Lexapro in June per my Dr's suggestion as it causes low sodium. I was in the ER a few times with it. But I also was sloppy at that time with drinking too much alcohol which also contributes to that. I also thought I was in a better place in my life than I thought. It was odd. When I did quit I just forgot about it and recall a month of dizziness and kind of a slight nervousness I developed while off of it. Then I quit booze (I only drank at night a few times a week) and I started to feel the anxiety a little more but still able to function. Then I started back up on it in late November cause I hated the initial dizziness and lightheadedness it brings. I quit after 8 days and 3 weeks later I was a bundle of nerves, insomnia, high cortisol levels, and challenged to concentrate. I feel a little better after 4 days but it's still early. But here comes the dizziness and light headedness again. I hear it takes two weeks or so for the side effects. Rather be a little lightheaded than a basket case like I was. I'll have to revisit quitting again months from now.

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

Link to post

I meant to say I quit after starting in late November due to the initial dizziness

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

Link to post

Hi Christian,

Do you mean you quit Lexapro  ?  Can you please fill in your drug history signature. ?   The links are above . It will make it so much easier for everyone to be able to help .

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

So, you are feeling the dizziness from 5 mg Lexapro again?  How are your other symptoms?  So, the other symptoms are a bit better aside from the dizziness?   I would encourage you to investigate  getting liquid Lexapro, as you may be ok with 3 mg or so and that is the easiest way to get smaller doses.

 

You can revisit this thread for more information about how to taper Lexapro:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/?hl=lexapro

 

I found this passage very interesting:

 

Special considerations
A significant characteristic of Lexapro is that milligram for milligram, it is much stronger than other SSRIs. Chemically, Lexapro is a variation of Celexa; the molecule was re-engineered to be patentable as Celexa's patent was about to expire. The streamlined molecule is a more potent SSRI, 2 to 4 times stronger than others. (Wikipedia has a good explanation of this at https://secure.wikim...ki/Escitalopram.)

However, many doctors are unaware that escitalopram is stronger than other SSRIs and dose it as though it were the same strength. Although the so-called usual starting dose of escitalopram, 10mg, is equivalent to 20mg-30mg or more of, for example, paroxetine (Paxil), your doctor may have moved you to an even higher dose. If you are taking 20mg of escitalopram, you are taking a hefty dose of an SSRI.

If you are taking 5mg, it's not tiny, it's equivalent to 10-20mg Paxil or Celexa.

Consequently, when you taper off escitalopram, you should be careful to decrease by small amounts, as each drop is magnified by escitalopram's extra potency. If you find withdrawal symptoms from a 10% decrease to be too difficult, after 3-4 weeks decrease by a smaller amount.

 

Christian, read the whole thing because it discusses making your own liquid, how to cut it up and weigh it, etc.  Everything you need to know to take total control is there.

 

Hopefully a more senior member can come in and advise whether 5 mg is still too high, whether you should just stay committed to 5 mg for now and hold out for stabilization, whether dropping the dose again would be too much chaos, etc.  You are experiencing side effects from Lexapro now but have been back on for four days so hopefully that has been short enough a time to go a little lower.

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Yes I'm lightheaded. I also was when I started back up both other times. I've read that's a common initial side effect that could last a couple of weeks. The difference is now is that I'm tired from minimal sleep for a week. Concentration is still off but I feel a little less anxiety. Before I started back up it was hitting me hard a few times a day. Now it's more a controlled stress that is probably due to being worn down.

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the site Christian. How have the last few days been?

 

I'm so pleased to hear you responded well and am confident your sleep will come back as you stabilize.

 

bw , 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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Hi Fresh. I have slept the last two nights. But the lingering anxiety persists. Sometimes intense and sometimes just present. Enough to no being able to focus on the TV. I try to press on. Did the eliptical back to back days. Drive to my errands. The anxiety with the headache that Comes with it. It's only been 9 days since I reinstated. Tomorrow is a new day. But I know now this is very serious now.

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

Link to post

Every now and then I see a post on the internet that someone in my similar situation returned to normal with a 30-90 day period. Might have been this year or five years ago. Not on this site but others. My hope is that those folks didn't know about this site or weren't withdrawing long enough to find us. Then they posted their success and left the topic forever making everyone wonder if it was true and what their details were compared to ours.

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I have slept the last two nights. But the lingering anxiety persists. Sometimes intense and sometimes just present. Enough to no being able to focus on the TV. I try to press on. Did the eliptical back to back days. Drive to my errands. The anxiety with the headache that Comes with it. It's only been 9 days since I reinstated.

 

If you've already had improvement in your sleep, that's a very good sign.  Give it some more time.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

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Thanks Songbird!

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

Link to post

Hello,

 

As some of you know I am a couple of weeks into a protracted WD. What has happened to me is still hard to digest. I have reinstated for two weeks now. I would like to know for those of you who lost or developed challenges with cognitive thinking as part of your symptoms if it ever returned. Mine left on 12/24 and hasnt returned. Watching TV is a struggle. I can read some and work some but something is off. Answers appreciated.   

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

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  • Administrator

Christian, "foggy brain," poor concentration, and difficulty reading are all very common in withdrawal syndrome.

 

You also have health problems from drinking and going off alcohol. You may also be experiencing side effects of the other drugs you are taking.

 

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.
 

Still, it's a good sign that reinstating 5mg Lexapro has helped a little. It may take some time for the insomnia etc. to settle down. What is your sleep pattern? Do your other symptoms have any daily pattern? Keeping notes on paper helps.

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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