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LucyLou

LucyLou: switching to Prozac to taper from there

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LucyLou

I am thinking about trying to taper 2 mg for each drop until I hit 10 mg. Then at 10 mg do the 10% of current dose. I am planning to do another drop in a week. Overall my symptoms were mild and I haven't had any for days. It basically topped off at at a "3" on Glenmullen's scale on the 7th day with primarily tiredness/fatigue as well as that weird urinary discomfort/weak stream(?).

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LucyLou

Still thinking about making own liquid to save money, but worried about having consistent doses. Is that an irrational fear? Anyone have trouble making own liquid and being consistent?

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Petunia

Hi Lucy,

Many members make their own liquid and after a little practice do just fine. I don't have any experience of it myself, because I didn't taper properly and found this site too late, but from everything I've read from others, it sounds like its quite easy once you get used to it. But worrying about it before trying it, that's fairly common :)

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LucyLou

Thanks for the response, Petunia.

 

I was going to taper 2 mg today, but I might have a job interview next week and don't want any symptoms. So, holding longer, but frustrated about waiting. Got my liquid prescription figured out so it is not so expensive.

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LucyLou

Had job interview today and trying not to obsess. Trying to notice my thoughts and let them go without judgment.  ;)

 

Because that is over--whew--I dropped to 16 mg tonight and set up my May taper chart to chart any symptoms.

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LucyLou

Didn't get job, but feel much clearer and have more energy on lowered dose.

 

It's been 3 weeks at this dose, so I tapered to 14 mg tonight. Hope it goes smoothly.

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LucyLou

So far so good on 14 mg Escitalopram. Maybe stiff leg muscles. Have been meditating almost daily for just short periods this month and I think it has helped a lot.

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LucyLou

I have been getting headaches for last three days and very stiff calf muscles. I think I need to hold longer than 3 weeks next time.  I held for 34 days on 18 mg before I went to 16 mg. This last time it was 21 days. Probably should do 30 next time. Seems like 2 weeks is too fast. Bummer. I am not suffering badly but was really thrilled when I dropped to 16 mg with no problems. My head felt hot today, too, and had a short-lived mini hot flash and right now my lips feel kind of numbish...

 

When I look back on my history, I see that when I went back to my 20 mg dose after the fluoxetine experiment I held for 20 days. And that time I also experienced withdrawal symptoms. More evidence to support my do 30-34 days theory. So with that plan I shouldn't drop again until June 20 and could just hold untile July 1 and then have a clear date to track info...

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LucyLou

Stiffness and headache not a problem today. A hint of a headache before dinner. Busy day, so I might be distracted but hope my symptoms peaked yesterday...

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LucyLou

Yesterday very tired but I didn't get alot of sleep because I went to bed too late. Took 2 hr. nap, so then I was up too late finishing a novel. But today is going well. No symptoms really. Peak of symptoms may have been Monday.

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LucyLou

Ok. Feel really stupid. Have started drink Coca Cola Life last few weeks & started getting headaches. It is sweetened with Stevia. Just looked up Stevia side effects. Can cause headaches and slows release of serotonin and dopamine! I knew there was a reason I had avoided Stevia before, but when I tried and liked the soda sorta accidentally on purpose didn't look up side effects--avoidance denial. Well, I definitely wouldn't have kept drinking it if I had known about its effect on neurotransmitters! (In the back of my mind I thought maybe headaches but was blaming allergies.) given that it affects neurotransmitters, I guess I have been pretty lucky mentally-emotionally, but I did have blowout fight w/ husband Monday night....

 

Here's my source for Stevia info: http://www.livestron...ects-headaches/

http://www.livestron...-psychological/

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LucyLou

Dropped to 12 mg of Lexapro last night. My skin feels hot to me but not to others. Weird withdrawal effect? So soon?

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scallywag

Lucy, "Burning" skin sensations are a withdrawal symptom. I ran a search in the Symptoms forum that resulted in several topics, here's one:  Burning skin a side effect

 

 
It helps the moderators to see what's been happening with your taper in an "at-a-glance" format.  The forum software's signature tool is the best thing we have to do that.  Would you summarize your withdrawal history in a signature? Please put your withdrawal history in signature

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LucyLou

Dropping down to 9 mg today. Waited longer than usual because I am a teacher and had the summer off and school started again which can be a bit stressful  :blink: .

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ChessieCat

"Waited longer than usual because I am a teacher and had the summer off and school started again which can be a bit stressful"

 

Very good idea.  Hope the drop goes well.

 

Don't forget about the Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

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LucyLou

dropped to 9 mg two days ago. dizzy today

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LucyLou

Dropped to 8 mg Escitolapram last night. Will update my signature when I get to my computer. Back at work since end of August (teacher w/ 2 months off in summer) and my mind feels so much clearer and flexible and calm. This is an easier year than last one (we transitioned to middle school and structure changed throughout year as we fixed problems the district office didn't foresee) but I definitely think tapering is clearing my mind.

 

My wonder right now is about Wellbutrin. I am on highest dose of Wellbutrin XL--450. mg. I really want to keep things simple and taper one drug at a time, but worry that the stimulating effects of Wellbutrin might become a problem if the sedating effects of Escitolapram are lessened due to tapering...

 

Last week we were concerned our 3-year-old cat might have cancer--he doesn't; it's something treatable--and I felt tons of anxiety and irritable too. It dropped away when u got cat's test results, which indicates a clear connection between anxiety and ill kitty, but while it was going on I wondered about my mid-day dose of 150 mg Wellbutrin XL, briefly thought I should skip it /and then changed my mind and resolved to stay the course and I'm glad.

 

Wondering about others who tapered with the same or similar "cocktail" of Escitolapram and Wellbutrin...

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scallywag

Glad to read that you're noticing improvement as your dose decreases. And good that you're sticking to your current doses of Wellbutrin.
 
Both escitalopram and wellbutrin tend to be "accelerators" not sedatives or "brakes". You'll probably be fine as you continue to carefully reduce the escitalopram.  The concept of "accelerators" and "brakes" is discussed in this topic:

Taking multiple drugs? Which to taper first.

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LucyLou

Have had headaches this week and I haven't had them for awhile. Hope I don't have a sinus infection. Have been able to avoid many sinus infections since I cut out gluten and dairy two years ago. But also think I am experiencing agitated depression and could be a SAD thing which I do get. At the recommendation of my psychiatrist (who I had appt. w/ this week for regular check in) sat at in front of light box for 30 min today but it was the one with 7500 lux not 10000. Seemed to lift mood while I was sitting there and a bit after but now I am down again and feel this headache waiting in the background which sucks.

 

It was the whole headache thing that ultimately brought me to work on tapering and I am so glad I have been tapering but wonder if I should hold til spring... Really don't want to. Don't know if it was this last drop that has brought on this agitated depressed feeling or what. I am not a fan of this time of year and get really stressed because my son's birthday is Nov. 16 and then Christmas and holiday events with expectations and stuff really stresses me. I find myself sort of rolling my lips under my teeth and think that is probably why I think I have a withdrawal symptom of numb lips but it is really I think a tension reaction. 

 

I think the headache is really premenstral thing because it is like one day before my period and that's when headaches come and also agitated depression. I said a bit about that to my shrink who always suggests something that will activate serotonin and I just laugh inside because of course I am not going to play around like that and it is so funny that she thinks I might. I am grateful though that she just writes the scripts to facilitate tapering so I don't want to be too hard on her. She asked me this week where I was getting my info for tapering and I said SurvivingAntidepressants.org with a kind of uncomfortable laugh. Hope she checks it out and sees this other point of view and reads some of the published studies. Pretty sure she is a professor at the U of M and you would think they would be hip to this stuff. Whatever.

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jmncrr

Hi,

 

I've been reading your thread

 

It sounds like anxiety has not really been an issue for you during your taper.

 

My research tells me Wellbutrin is prescribed for anxiety for some people with great success.

 

Do you think the Wellbutrin has helped you with anxiety during your taper?

 

Thank you and good luck

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scallywag

Lucy, you could continue tapering through the winter, just make smaller dose reductions, maybe 7.5% or 5%. Or use brassmonkey's 6-week slide approach. It's gentler than a 10% decrease all at once.

 

An example using 10% and a current dose of 40 mg

  1. Calculate reduction 10% of current dose: 0.10 x 40 = 4 mg.
  2. Divide total reduction by 4: 4 mg / 4 = 1 mg
  3. Week 1 reduce dose by 1 mg, 39 mg
  4. Week 2 reduce dose by 1 mg, 38 mg
  5. Week 3 reduce dose by 1 mg, 37 mg
  6. Week 4 reduce dose by 1 mg, 36 mg
  7. Week 5 hold at 36 mg,
  8. Week 6 hold at 36 mg.
  9. If symptoms are stable, repeat from step 1. If symptoms are not stable hold until they stabilize, then repeat from step 1.

It looks like we didn't follow up with you about creating a signature. Would you take a few minutes to summarize your withdrawal history?

You can find instructions in the first post at this link: Please put your withdrawal history in signature.

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LucyLou

Dropped to 7 mg two days ago, but have sinus infection and on antibiotics and experiencing dizziness and nausea and tonight was agitated and angry so I went back to 8 mg dose and wait until I am done with antibiotics to drop, also maybe should only drop 10% instead of 1 mg even though dosing will be more

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LucyLou

Whoops!

 

Meant to write: dose will be more complicated to measure.

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LucyLou

So I figured out how long it would take to get off escitalopram using Brassmonkey's 6-week slide approach at 10% reduction, and, wow, it will be years.

 

I like the idea of the slow approach, though. I might try this way through winter and then speed it up again.... What if I skipped the two week holds with the slide approach? Anyone know about doing that?

 

I am anxious to do my next drop because it is overdue, but my poor 3 yo kitty's health is in question again (!) and the anxiety around not knowing (Is it fatal cancer or treatable pneumonia--follow up x ray tomorrow will give us clues--and I don't want to torture him with invasive tests just for my peace of mind...), so I think it would be best to wait until this crisis passes.

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scallywag

Guess what I'm going to say? 

...

 

Skipping the holds is not recommended. If you do a many sequential weekly decreases, even small ones, the risk of symptoms increases because your CNS is always dealing with another dose change. Symptoms *can* accumulate and then break through in a torrential downpour.

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LucyLou

How did I know  ;) !

 

I am resolved to slow and steady again. I was on the drug for years, so it will take time. I am waiting for next drop, though, until I find out about kitty. Riddled with anxiety over it. :(

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scallywag

Hope you get good news about your cat.

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LucyLou

Thanks.

 

We are worried he might have cancer in his lungs or it could be pneumonia. We have been treating him with antibiotics and prednisolone as if it is pneumonia; we don't want invasive tests that won't prolong his life. He got a second xray at the vet today and it showed some improvement and he has gained back a pound in the last week, so vet is cautiously optimistic. :) We will have another xray in two weeks -- thank goodness we got pet health insurance. So hopefully, my anxiety will start to fade a bit. Can't believe how edgy I have been.  :wacko:  

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LucyLou

I am trying brassmonkey's 6-week slide method starting today. Dropped 0.2 mg on escitalopram, so I am at 7.8 mg.

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LucyLou

Dec. 14 dropped down to 7.6 mg Escitolapram. Have experienced more anxiety--I think... And on winter break so depressed--as usual I think!

 

Haven't tracked symptoms this last drop (I have a glenmullen spreadsheet) & now wish I would've. Am going to hold here awhile and hopefully anxiety and depression get better.

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LucyLou

Could withdrawal effects from last drop (2 weeks ago) be hitting me harder than at first?

 

I was a mess at family Christmas thing tonight. Shame was triggered. I was talking/arguing with my mom and my sister told me she thought my son could hear and I snapped at her.

 

Horribly ashamed and feel like such a failure as a mom. Worry about all the research that says children w/ depressed and anxious moms fare worse in life. That's an ongoing worry.

 

All my triggers felt (and feel) activated -- things like I think my sister thinks she is a better mom. That I am awful for not being able to push away bad feelings so I don't upset my son.

 

My husband was really late due to work and I was agitated and angry about that. No point in trying to talk that through in my state.

 

He thinks I was doing a lot better since dropping Escitolapram dose, but since last two drops not doing well--he's right--he thinks it's because maybe the 8mg dose of Escitolapram was right for me and I should stop at 8. But he hasn't read Glenmullen's book or anything on this site and seems like he still buys the chemical imbalance thing, though I have tried to explain how it is not really that... mad about his lack of knowledge actually because he is very smart and it would be nice if he had same info as me because I would think his opinions are more valid.

 

So, I'm struggling.

 

Is this a wave?

 

I think someone on the site said it gets harder to lower dose of Escitolapram if going below 10 mg. Could this be related and should I go up 0.2 mg or just hang in and it will stabilize?

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LucyLou

Couldn't sleep most of the night. Just lay there half asleep and then would notice ruminating thoughts. Going to try redirect negative thoughts. "Just for today" set the worry or guilt or shame aside.

 

Trying to identify where in my body the anxiety is. It is a weird physical experience of anxiety--tense muscles in shoulders and arms and hands.. and then not resist and just let it be. Detach from the feeling and know that it is not me. Going to do a Calm.com meditation too.

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LucyLou

So I have been dealing with angry depression this whole month. The agitation I was experiencing during Christmas break got better, but I have had intense angry feelings over things that just aren't that big of a deal (like the supposedly waterproof boots I got my son aren't waterproof) and was crying and angry and hating myself Sunday night when I had some time to spend alone with my husband. His feedback was that these emotions I have been experiencing seemed like brain chemicals were off (I think that means neuro-emotions), so I decided to try up dose back to 7.8 mg escitalopram and wait until I am really feeling better before dropping any more. I would rather do that then have this emotional junk and this time of year is never the best for me, so I will probably hold until spring. 

 

I'd be interested to hear what moderators think about this experience and holding for awhile. I know one member said that escitalopram gets more challenging to taper when going below 10 mg.

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scallywag

Holding for long periods is *almost* always helpful.

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LucyLou

Feeling better today. Maybe upside to 7.8 mg escitalopram was a good idea.

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LucyLou

Diagnosed with shingles on Thursday ☹️. Rash in neck and shooting pain in ear. Taking Valtrex. Hope it's helping but glad it's not causing emotional upset.

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