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Lurvetass: withdrawal trouble from 2 weeks of cipralex


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Hi all!



I've been using Cipralex (5 mg) for two weeks, but quit because of stomach pain/GERD.

Because I had been using Cipralex for only two weeks I desided to quit "cold turkey". As ws to be expected I felt slightly bad for a couple of days, and then just fine. However, after about six weeks I started to have problems. More presisely I got hypersensitive to all psychactive stimulants such as coffe, chocolate, tea, ginseng etc. I have'nt tasted any stimulants including alchohol for the last couple of months, it is now about three to four months since I quit Cipralex, and symtoms are only getting worse.

Typically I'm not able to concentrate or focus. I have this weird feeling of being somewhat energized in my brain, but in a very unconstructive way. It feels like some kind of chemical unbalance. Anyone please give me an estimate of how long until this situation gets back to normal!


Edited by scallywag
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Welcome. Sorry to hear that using Lexapro/Cipralex for only two weeks has put you into protracted SSRI withdrawal.


On the other hand, it is great that you were on this harmful drug for only two weeks; many of us, including myself, were on it for years, and are now suffering long-term.


There is no way to tell how long this situation will last for you, or what course it will take.


But you should recover faster than those of us who were on Lexapro for years.


It is typical for symptoms to "worsen" and change during your recovery. It is part of the healing process.


Healing occurs via "windows" (periods of reduced symptoms) and "waves" (return of symptoms, morphing of symptoms).


There are others on here who are also quite sensitive to these SSRIs, being affected for months after using them for only a few weeks.


But they usually heal much quicker than those who were on an SSRI for years.


Regarding your brain feeling "energized", I will quote Altostrata: (from http://beyondmeds.com/2011/07/28/ssriprotractedwithdrawal/


"Antidepressant withdrawal syndrome itself has nothing to do with the mythical imbalance of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine that antidepressants are supposed to treat. It is autonomic damage: Disinhibition of the locus coeruleus and the glutamatergic system, which develops in the context of serotonin receptor downregulation, a recognized consequence of antidepressant use.

For some people, it takes a long time for the serotonin receptors to correct. Without adequate serotonergic participation, other systems take over and establish a dysfunctional homeostasis.

With the locus coeruleus reacting with “fight or flight” to the least stimulation, the dysregulated alerting system causes inappropriate production of the “fight or flight” hormones norepinephrine, noradrenaline, and cortisol. Spurts of elevated cortisol cause many symptoms, from muscle stiffness and pain to waves of anxiety, panic, and despair. CNS instability causes “autonomic dumping.”

Cortisol level may be elevated enough to show up in conventional testing, but since it is not related to adrenal or pituitary tumor, medicine doesn’t know what to do with that information."

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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Welcome lurvetas


Healy has documented withdrawal symptoms for months after healthy volunteers took an an ssri for only two weeks. So you are not alone.


Telling a doctor you think you have a chemical imbalance may not have a helpful outcome.


Some people suffer withdrawal symptoms for many months after stopping an antidepressant. So you will have to be patient and give it time.


You only took it for 2 weeks so it is hopeful you will recover quickly.


 Sounds like the lexapro has left your cns and digestion sensitized.


I would not look back and keep away from all psychotropic drugs in the future.


In the meantime you might want to take a holiday from coffee alcohol etc until your cns is stronger.


Do you have a way to/would you consider to, make a complaint to the appropriate authorities/regulators about this (uninformed?) adverse effect. 



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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi lurvetass , welcome to the site.


You're clearly very sensitive now to a range of things you may have had no trouble with in the past.  It may take

some months to recover , but you may always have this sensitivity.  

The withdrawal symptoms are temporary , but it's not possible to predict how long it will take.  Everyone is unique in their

recovery.    As Clearday said ,  the fact that you had just a short stint on ad's is in your favor.


Please could you fill in your signature , which comes up each time you post.

Instructions are here  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/


Include all vitamins , supplements and medications you've been using for any condition.  Any of these may be

exacerbating your system , so we can see if there are any known offenders.


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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one more thing,



when using cipralex, several times i had the feeling of being on "hard drugs", with surroundings appearing beutiful, with strong colours etc.


also, after i got type 1 diabetes and some other autoimmune chronic diseases some years ago, my sensitivity to cannabis and other drugs has increased. now i often get insomnia and rapid hart beat from cannabis (bedrocan)



thank you all from very helpful replies and insights

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  • 11 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Sorry to read that you haven't noticed any improvements yet. It's frustrating when the healing is invisible to us. People get through this. You will too.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here

scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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