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moomoomoo: lexapro to prozac withdrawal?


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I was on lexapro 50 for over 4 years. it wasn't working that well for me so my psychiatrist decided it would be best to try a different medication,so she put me on prozac 10 then upped me to 40. I tapered off of lexapro for 2 weeks and everything went fine, I started prozac at the same time. I was on prozac for 2 months until I felt it was only making me worse. so I tapered off of it for 2 weeks. it has been about 4 weeks now and since I went off of it completely I have been agitated, random crying fits,tired,no motivation and having memory and speaking issues. could this be a withdrawal issue or something else?


*side note*

I was put on lexapro for anxiety and OCD. I don't have depression or bipolar disorder.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi moomooomoo,


I'm glad you found your way here.  You are definitely having withdrawal symptoms, and it is likely that you weren't doing better on the Prozac because you were actually in withdrawal from Lexapro from coming off too fast, and the Prozac couldn't contend with it.  I am hoping that a more experienced moderator will join in because with the Prozac for two months, that muddles the water as to which med reinstatement would help.


It will be helpful if you could put your drug history in your signature with dates and dosages to the best of your ability:




This will allow anyone to see your history


at a glance.  You can use your intro thread for updates and questions, and by clicking Follow this Thread above, you will be notified of any responses.


Meanwhile, it will be helpful to read the following links:






Your nervous system has gone through the ringer, so stability is what you need now.   You may be in withdrawal from both drugs.  Hang tight and we'll try to come up with a plan to get you some relief from these symptoms.  Unfortunately, the only thing that can improve withdrawal is a bit of the drug you are in withdrawal from :-)  So, please read the link about reinstatement above.


Reinstatement is about harm reduction, and is usually at a fraction of the dose you came off of.  Once you have gotten stable for a good 1-2  months, you can then commence a 10% taper, which is recommended here at SA to keep you comfortable and functional while coming off.  


You can use the search box above to search the forums for Lexapro and Prozac.  There is much to be learned in the Symptoms and Self-Care sub-forum as well.



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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi moomoomoo , welcome.


As squirrellygirl suggests , you are having symptoms of withdrawal - after 4 years with meds. your brain isn't able to adjust to life with none quickly enough.


Given that you were on prozac for 2 1/2 months (total) most recently , I'd try 1mg of prozac to see if you get any symptom relief.  

We recommend starting with a tiny dose partly  in case you have an adverse reaction , and partly because 1 or 2 mg is often enough for a sensitized nervous system.

You need to stay on the starter dose for 4 days till it reaches a steady state in your blood stream.  Then we can assess if you need to increase it or not.

The idea is that once your w/d symptoms are stabilized , you can taper off very slowly without disabling w/d symptoms.


We have all the information you need to work out the best way to get 1 or 2mg's from a 10 or 20mg tablet.


The symptoms you're having are likely to continue for many months after stopping abruptly. Reinstating is the way to feel better more quickly and remain in control of your life.


Glad you found us !!

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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Hi M .    I was on prozac for 2 months until I felt it was only making me worse.


You might be sensitized , to the drug , but if you try reinstating a little , as suggested you will soon know whether you can handle it or not .  If not , you can immediately stop !


About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 



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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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Moderator

Hey Moomoo -  I want to encourage you.  You are in withdrawal from a drug that your doctor doesn't think is addicting.


You are within the window of opportunity to reinstate a tiny amount of the drug you are in withdrawal from.  Without your signature I'm taking a sort of stab in the dark, but it is my guess that this is lexapro.


To reinstate, you need the tiniest amount of that drug, like 5 mg.  This is often enough to take the edge off of your withdrawal symptoms.


You say you had some tolerance on lexapro - that it wasn't working as well as it used to.  But it feels like (from here) that the prozac never addressed the issue at all.  So I would suggest you try just 5 mg of lexapro.


We have had some good successes at bringing people back from CT withdrawal if we catch it in time, and you just might be in time to catch it.  It will take at least 4 days to know if reinstatement has been a success, and some people in SA have felt relief within hours of reinstatement.


Withdrawal from these drugs is different from the "addicting" drugs.  Those drugs, you crave.  These - your body gets used to the drug, and your brain restructures itself around the chemicals, so that when you pull the drug out - your brain & nervous system collapse, as if a trellis was pulled out from the climbing rose bush.  Rhi said it best, here:  Rhi's description of healing the brain.


If you are writing from a phone, here is how to put your signature in.  It is a requirement of participating in the forum, so that we can see at all times where you are in your tapering / withdrawal process:  Complete your Signature from Phone or Tablet


and here is a video made by a former moderator (who is techie extraordinaire) on how to use SA on a phone:

How To Use Surviving Antidepressants from a Phone


Please consider reinstating.  It was a crime for you to be switched so quickly on these drugs - and an even larger crime that the pharmaceutical companies don't give you the doses you need to taper safely.


See:  Tips for tapering off Lexapro


It is available in many places as a 5 mg tablet, and is available as a liquid as well.  Liquid would be best when you are ready to taper.  But don't worry about that yet.


My suggestion is for you to get 5 mg tablets, and plan on staying on them for 3-6 months.  During that time, while your nervous system settles down, you can learn about withdrawal, tapering, and taking care of yourself so that you can stay well.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna


Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.


My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.


A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.

The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/



I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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