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☼ LexFree: Tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)


LexFree

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Hello, I am a new member.  I am currently tapering off Escitalopram, a generic Lexapro.  I have been tapering since January of this year, 10 mg and now at 4.5 mg.  I tapered quite fast at the start and now am reducing .5 mg every 3-4 weeks as I am not having too bad of symptoms.  I should also mention I came off Lorazepam so don't know if the withdrawals I am having are from the Lorazepam or the Lexapro.  I have heard as tapering gets lower on the Lexapro, symptoms may get stronger.  Has anyone experienced this?  I would very much appreciate hearing from anyone who has or is going through Lexapro tapering.  Thank you.

 

Edited by scallywag
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome LexFree,

 

Sounds like you have been tapering too fast - so it's good to hear you have slowed things somewhat.  If at any stage things symptoms seem to get worse, you can always hold your dosage at the same level for a while.  We recommend a gentle taper, reducing by no more than 10% of your current dose each month.  This allows your brain time to adjust as you go, and lessens any withdrawal.  

 

It is true that people find tapering lower doses - of any drug - trickier than the higher doses.  For that reason, making smaller reductions and taking longer holds between drops can be a good idea.  This is especially true for Lexapro, as it is much stronger than other SSRIs. 

 

Many people find Fish oil and Magnesium useful during withdrawal.  

 

Would you be able to fill out a signature – drugs/dates/dosages etc - so we can see your situation easily whenever you post, and help you more accurately?  Especially to give us an idea of what happened with the Lorazepam.  Thanks.

 

Tips for Tapering Lexapro.

 

Have a read of those and then you can come back to this thread to discuss things further.  This will be your journal to record your tapering and healing progress, and to ask questions.  It's good to have you here.

 

Welcome to s/a,

Karen

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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Hello KarenB,

 

Thank you for your response.  I have completed the signature.  I am working on going slower as I want this taper to be a successful one.  

 

Is there anyone who have come off Lexapro successfully?  I would very much like to hear about it.

 

Thank you, again.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for doing the signature.  Because you have so recently c/t'd Lorazepam, going slow will be even more important - this is because it sometimes takes months for all the symptoms to show up and do their thing.  You'll be okay if you keep paying close attention to your body and holding your dosage steady when you need to.

 

We have a thread of success stories, and it also pays to remember that many people disappear from here once they've completed their taper so unfortunately we have less contributions to that thread than we'd like.   

 

Specific Lexapro success stories: 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/11586-missmellie-lexapro-recovery-story/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

 

Enjoy!

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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Hello KarenB,

 

"Because you have so recently c/t'd Lorazepam, going slow will be even more important - this is because it sometimes takes months for all the symptoms to show up and do their thing.  You'll be okay if you keep paying close attention to your body and holding your dosage steady when you need to."

 

When you noted it sometimes takes months for all the symptoms to show up and do their thing, are you referring to Lexapro?  Would you please clarify?  

 

Do you think if I go slow, I can bypass any withdrawals or am I being too hopeful?

 

Thank you...

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm referring to both.  When you stop taking a drug over two weeks that amounts to a cold-turkey.  It can cause symptoms to appear both immediately and over the long term.  So you may still be having w/d symptoms caused by stopping Lorazepam, and now also getting symptoms from your Lexapro taper.

 

If I were in your shoes, I'd be holding my dose for at least a month to allow things to settle a bit more.  

 

I haven't yet met anyone who completely bypassed w/ds, but I know from experience and from being on this site for a while now that going slow definitely reduces them.  This in turn makes a big difference to how well a person copes during the process, and therefore to their ultimate ability to succeed in their taper.  

 

I think you can feel hopeful about your taper because you are researching, and paying attention to what is happening to you.   

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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Hi KarenB,

 

I am currently holding between 3 and 4 weeks between taper.  The withdrawal symptoms have been blue feeling and depression about 1 to 1 1/2 weeks from taper.  It lasts about a day.  I am really hoping with slow taper, I will be one of the lucky ones with very minimal withdrawal after complete stoppage.  Thank you very much for your input.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello,

 

It has been a week since I dropped to 4 mg of Escitalopram (Lexapro).  I have not had any adverse effects.  So far since I have been tapering since January, there has not been much withdrawal symptoms.  What I do get I feel is from the Lorazepam withdrawal.  Could this be a positive trend as I continue tapering? Am I being too positive about the Escitalopram tapering?  

 

Thank you...LexFree

 
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  • Moderator Emeritus

It is possible that you will feel effects from your Lorazepam withdrawal for a while yet.  For some it lasts months, for others even up to a year. 

 

I'm glad this week has gone well for you.  Going slow and careful can prevent a lot of issues, but reducing by a set mg amount will mean you are reducing by increasing % amounts.  This might be okay for you, or it might be that you need to drop by smaller amounts.  Doing 10% reductions would mean your next drop would be to 3.6mg, then 3.24mg and so on.  People often do this as the lower end of a taper can be trickier.  Just keep watching closely - ha, I'm sure you already do :).

 

I think it's great you are positive about your taper. 

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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Hello KarenB,

 

Thank you kindly for responding so quickly.  Yes, I am keeping track of my symptoms and it has not changed since starting the taper.  I really do think the withdrawals I am going through are from the Lorazepam.

 

As I feel I am doing well with Lexapro taper, I was thinking of continuing the drop by .5 mg every 3-4 weeks.  I know you suggest a 10% decrease from current dose but since I am doing well, do you think I am taking a big chance by dropping .5 mg?  My concern is I don't want this med to be in my system any longer than it needs to be.

 

Thank you, LexFree

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi LexFree and welcome to SA from me too,

 

Because your brain and CNS may still be sensitised from your fast taper of Lorazepam, it may be better to reduce your dose by 10% OR LESS, rather than by more.  I can understand your concern about the length of time being on the drug, but SA's recommendation of tapering by 10% and holding for 4-6 weeks to stabilise is so that the brain adapts to not getting as much of the drug and so that withdrawal symptoms are kept to a minimum.  Going slower is preferable to going too fast and upsetting your brain and causing unbearable withdrawal symptoms.

 

These helped me to understand why a 10% taper is recommended.  They have also been a big help to stay patient and not try and rush things.  I tried to go from 100 mg Pristiq to 50 mg last October which is when I found SA.  After updosing and stabilising I have been tapering less than 10% because I was getting bad symptoms and I have only just got to 55 mg, 6 months after I tried to drop by 50%.

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full 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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Yup, CC explained it well.  It may be that you'd be fine on your schedule, but our recommended amount is to try to prevent the sort of trouble that can sneak up on people after they've been tapering for a while.  In your case, as you are still having w/d from your previous taper, I'd also be inclined to be extra careful.

 

People often get off drugs faster by going slower and steadier, than by going faster and getting into trouble and having to up-dose and stabilise before beginning further reductions.  Picture someone running down a mountain and ending up rolling head over heels and breaking a leg, compared to someone carefully descending. 

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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Thank you, ChesieCat and KarenB.  What you both have said makes a lot of common sense.  Today, I am having a baseline day.  On days like today, I just feel like giving up the Lexapro C/T.  I won't, but that is how I feel.  I just want to get out of feeling this way and get back to the normal me.  I know you and many others can relate.

 

Thank you so very much for all your support.  As it has been said many times over, only ones who can understand what we are going through are those who are.

 

I will try to stay focused on finishing this journey on the 10% rule.

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The 10 per cent guideline is a good one and I wish I'd followed it. You express a desire to get Lex out of your system. Try to grasp this if you haven't done so already: The drug isn't still in your system. After a brief period of time what we experience are symptoms brought on by the way it's changed our brains. As Robert Whitaker says (Anatomy of an Epidemic, recommended), antidepressants don't treat a chemical imbalance; they create one. 

Diagnosed w/ ADD and minor depression in 1990. Fluoxetine 20 mg/day. Also methylphenidate, but hated it and quit after about a week. Quit fluoxetine cold turkey (ignorance) 18 January 2013. Experienced brain zaps, flu symptoms, heart palpitations. Nothing after August 2013. Mirtazapine 15 mg/day for sleep beginning around 1999. Began tapering August 2013.  As of March 2015 I'm off mirtazapine and antidepressant free. Don't sleep well after sunrise, feel anxious and sad some of the time, still have tinnitus. Still occasionally take lorazepam for anxiety but never more than 1 mg.  Prescribed metoprolol (beta blocker) for atrial fibrillation diagnosed June 2013. Medical  opinion (two cardiologists) is that it's not caused by fluoxetine w/drawal and is a dangerous, chronic condition requiring lifelong medication. As of Aug 2013 heart palpitations for the most part ceased. Tapered beta blocker and am off of it as of Jan 2015. No wd symptoms or recurring afib at all so far. Maybe it was wd after all, but doctors don't think so, surprise surprise. However, a small victory: the last doctor I related this to shrugged her shoulders. Getting lots of exercise, which has me physically pretty robust at age 71 in spite of persistence of mirt wd symptoms, mainly insomnia and anxiety, but also jaw-clenching annoyance at noises of a certain pitch and timbre. Incessant media fixation on the presidential campaign has ruined my disposition and my faith in the future. My Introduction.

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Hello Ibid,

 

It is a scary thought of the medication changing our brains.  I deeply hope by titrating slowly, the brain will adapt without much issues.

 

Thank you for your input.

 

Best...LexFree

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

 

I am looking for desperately needed positive support.

 

Yesterday I read a post here where a member writes Lexapro is one of the hardest AD to get off.  This really scares me.  My hope has gone down greatly since I read it.  Can someone please tell me this isn't so?  I need hope.  I know it isn't going to be easy but seeing that getting off is difficult, put fear in me.  I need to know that there are people who have come off and are doing well.  I have searched in the Success Story but just need to hear from you.  

 

Thank you...LexFree 

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Hi, Lex. I received your PM but then it disappeared from my inbox, not sure why. Based on what I could gather from your message you might be referring to me and what I said on another member's thread about Lexapro being "very potent." I see that you misinterpreted what I meant, and because others might do the same I retracted that statement. All I meant is that Lexapro has been proven in studies to be much more potent than it's predecessor Celexa. Whether that means that it is also more potent than other SSRI's I can't say for sure but we do know that 5mg of Paxil is "equivalent" to 10mg of Paxil, Celexa and Prozac. I don't believe this necessarily means it is one of the hardest AD's to come off. Everyone is different in how much trouble they have in coming off ADs (or if they even have trouble at all). If you want to give yourself a greater chance of success then tapering slow and steady is key. Hope this helps and sorry for scaring you!

a.k.a JMarie

Paxil since Mar.1998

2006-2007:40-20mg
2009: 20mg to 14mg 2010: 14mg to 10.5mg 2011: 10.5 to 7.6mg  2012: 7.5 to 6.8mg

2013: 6.7-6.3mg 2014: 6.2mg-5.8mg 2015: 5.7 to 5.15mg 2016: 5.1-4.6mg

1/19/17: 4.5mg 3/17/17: 4.4mg

6/15/17: 4.35mg 8/10/17: 4.3mg

1/29/18: 4.1mg 5/07/18: 4.0mg

7/31/18: 3.9mg

 

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Hi LEx

 

I am also coming off lexapro and have recently cut to 4mg. Please don't lose heart. I don't think lexapro is particularly harder than other ADs to come off. I know people really struggling to come off Remeron, for example. Years ago I stopped Effexor cold turkey with no problems, but I've read many accounts of that drug also being hard to come off. Ultimately we're all individual and each reacting differently to the drug we're taking and how we withdraw from it.

 

I tapered off lexapro last Summer. I was only on 5 mg, but did it relatively quickly and jumped off at the end because I felt fine at the time. I crashed a few months later. Now I'm trying to go more slowly. The more you read, you'll keep finding that slow is the key here. It will also give you a chance to build up your own self care skills for the future.

 

Remain hopeful. That, and positivity through this journey is half the battle.

<p>Several periods of depression starting in teens. 2010- 2014 escitalopram 20mgs. tapered to 5mgApril 2011- December 2011 seroquel2012-2014 don't know exact dates! 2014/15 Lamactil 200mg. 2015 lamactil 150mg. (Several attempts at coming off escitalopram and lamactil). March 2015 tapered to 37.5mg lamactil- Reinstated. July- Aug 2015 tapered off 5mg escitalopram. Dose reinstated Nov 2015.

7/1/16 Lamactil 137.5mg. Escitalopram 5mg; 24/3/16 lamactil 125mg; 20/4/16 escitalopram 4.5mg. 6/5 escit 4mg. 5/6/16 escit 3.6mg; 16/7/16 escit 3.5mg. 27/7/16 lamactil 112.5mg 18/8/16 escit 3.2mg 10/9/16 escit 3mg 16/9/16 lamactil 100mg 11/10/16 lamactil 112.5mg 28/10/16 escit 2.9mg 4/11/16 escit 2.8mg 10/11/16 lamactil 125mg 11/11/16 escit 2.7mg. 25/11/16 escit 2.4mg 10/12/16 escit 2mg 1/1/17 escit 1.7mg 17/1/17 escit 1.5mg 4/2/17 escit 1.4 19/2/17 escit 1.3mg 13/3/17 escit 1.2mg 22/3/17 escit 1mg. 4/5/17 escit 1.15mg 5/5/17 turmeric 800mg

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Hello LadyBug,

 

I must have misinterpreted wha you wrote.  I do agree everyone's body is different and will have different results. When I read that you have been on these forums for over 10 years and have seen people have difficulty withdrawing from Lexabpro, did give me great concern.  I am guessing you have also seen people who have recovered fully as well?  

 

Thank you for responding, it is very much appreciated.  I hope your Paxil tapering is going well. I will keep positive thoughts that you will successfully get off and be well.

 

Best...LexFree

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Hello Ali,

 

Thank you for sharing; I truly appreciate your words of positive support.  Last summer I too tapered off 10 mg generic Lexapro over 2 1/2 months.  Symptoms started about two weeks after stopping and progressed.  I was then prescribed Lorazepam and back on Lexapro. I wish I had found this site back then. If I had, I would have just went back on Lexapro at a low dose and tapered more slowly.  Everything is in hindsight.   

 

How much time did you take to taper off Lexapro last summer?  Did you have any symptoms during tapering?

 

So far, I am doing okay. The withdrawals I am experiencing I feel are mostly from getting off Lorazepam.

 

I am trying to stay hopeful and positive that I will succeed this time.

 

Thank you so very much for giving me hope.

 

Best...LexFree

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello,

 

It has been awhile since I have posted about my progress. I've been doing fairly well until Sunday. I reduced Escitalopram/Lexapro to 3.6 mg on May 3. I am having deep depression, dark thoughts, hissing in my head is ramping, intense pins and needles, tight chest. I am thinking this could be the WD catching up. Should I stay at this dose a little longer or go back to 4 mg. Please let me know if anyone has thoughts on this. My apologies if I am not making much sense as it is not a very good day.

 

Thank you...LexFree

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Hi LexF,

 

I'm sorry you are on this journey too!

From years struggling with lexapro taper, I would just hold on for a long while (months) for stabilization.

 

Your taper is rather fast, especially considering the potency of the most powerful Ssri of all. Once you are stable, I suggest a much slower taper like 10% or even lower as it's much harder at lower doses. I'm doing 1% cut every 7 days so it's about 4 % each month still getting severe pain, numb, pressure and brain nonfunctional each round.

 

Severe pins and needles are always my worst WD symptoms, but it dose subside after a while holding.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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Hello LexAnger,

 

Thank you for your reply. Crazy as this may sound, I am feeling great today. I was bed ridden for the last three days with so much despair. Today, I am feeling normal. No symptoms, little hissing in my head, feelings of happiness and energetic. I don't understand how this can be after several days of being in bad wave.

 

You are reducing 1% every seven days. How long have you been tapering at that rate? Am not able to determine from your signature intro.

 

Thank you...LexFree 

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Hey, LexF,

 

So happy you are having a normal day! Great sign!

 

I think the most unpredictable manner as how these drugs do to our system mimic the electric wire and signal to a computer. Each time it got a shock, the whole wire system is in chaos with misconception get points etc, in the middle if some some toon got to the right place, then symptoms from that error would be gone for that moment, then can be bad again during the continuous re wiring to adjust for all connections to find their places. Considering how complicated the system is, it's not hard to understand if any and most weird thing show up then go like insane.

 

Thanks for the reminder. I believe it's time for me to reorganize my signature to make it more readable and only keep the milestones. Did that way years ago before I knew it could be this long and that complicated.

 

So I have been doing this micro taper for like 2 years every since the initial hit fast down from 10 to 2.5 then backed up to 4.5mg.

 

Enjoy the most of a great day! Go for something exciting and memorable

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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Hi LexAnger,

 

I am very much enjoying this remarkable day. I pray it continues.

 

Thank you for explaining how this process all works, helps to understand.  I am going to hold at 3.6 mg for several more weeks.  If all goes well, I will then taper.

 

Thank you so very much for your support.

 

LexFree

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For sure.

You are at the stage like my initial tapering. I messed it up huge by two times of dose increases. I read many being screwed by dose incraese especially for lexapro. So I really hope my lessons learned can be taken by others to avoid the same harm. Going slow is the key to avoid the need to go back up dose and ensure a much smoother and less painful process.

 

I feel I know this poison so well now so feel free to catch up in case I have some ideas to share with you.

 

Wish you a continuos and smooth journey.

 

Lex

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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  • 2 months later...

Hey LexFree,

 

How is your taper going? I'm starting mine (with liquid) on Monday! Hope you're well.

 

-LexAdvice

6/2015: 10 mg Lexapro generic + 100 mg Seroquel following episode of severe insomnia.

12/15 - 2/16: self-tapered Lexapro (no Dr. supervision) too rapidly: 3 weeks at 7.5 mg, 3 weeks at 5 mg, 3 weeks at 2.5 mg then off. NO W/D SYMPTOMS.

3/16 (about two weeks after final dose): bad insomnia again. Tried to hold out. Failed.

5/1/16: Saw psych. He said relapse and put me back on 5 mg Lex + 50 mg Seroquel to be reduced as Lexapro takes effect. I now believe it was only W/D. Dr. wanted me to updose, but after finding this site I decided to stabilize at 5 mg and start tapering at a later date.

Supplements: Magnesium citrate, fish oil, probiotics (from food not from pills)

Month of 7/16: Tapered off Seroquel: 1 week 20 mg, 1 week 15 mg, 1 week 10 mg, 1 week 5 mg. No problems sleeping throughout this process. Stopped Seroquel several days ago (7/21?) and sleep has been mostly good, some bad.

Reinstated 5 mg Seroquel 7/25 and stabilized my sleep.

9/1/16: Started tapering generic escitalopram liquid: 4.5 mg  :D

6/1/17: No longer taking seroquel for sleep. Escitalopram liquid down to .9 mg  :D

6/10/17: .8 mg

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Hi LexAdvice,

 

I am doing well. Been in window for about the last month. I am now down to 2 mg. Sleeping well, good appetite, and have gone back to the gym and working out.

 

Nice to hear you are ready to start your taper journey. What mg are you on?

 

 

Best...LexFree

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Hi LexFree, that's great news, what a great update! Seems like taking it slow with your taper is really working for you. I'm only at 5 mg now so starting next week I'll do 4.5 mg, I plan to drop 10% every 3 weeks but I'll slow it to every month if I see symptoms. Wish me luck :)

6/2015: 10 mg Lexapro generic + 100 mg Seroquel following episode of severe insomnia.

12/15 - 2/16: self-tapered Lexapro (no Dr. supervision) too rapidly: 3 weeks at 7.5 mg, 3 weeks at 5 mg, 3 weeks at 2.5 mg then off. NO W/D SYMPTOMS.

3/16 (about two weeks after final dose): bad insomnia again. Tried to hold out. Failed.

5/1/16: Saw psych. He said relapse and put me back on 5 mg Lex + 50 mg Seroquel to be reduced as Lexapro takes effect. I now believe it was only W/D. Dr. wanted me to updose, but after finding this site I decided to stabilize at 5 mg and start tapering at a later date.

Supplements: Magnesium citrate, fish oil, probiotics (from food not from pills)

Month of 7/16: Tapered off Seroquel: 1 week 20 mg, 1 week 15 mg, 1 week 10 mg, 1 week 5 mg. No problems sleeping throughout this process. Stopped Seroquel several days ago (7/21?) and sleep has been mostly good, some bad.

Reinstated 5 mg Seroquel 7/25 and stabilized my sleep.

9/1/16: Started tapering generic escitalopram liquid: 4.5 mg  :D

6/1/17: No longer taking seroquel for sleep. Escitalopram liquid down to .9 mg  :D

6/10/17: .8 mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Lex people.

 

I just wanted to say hi since I also have this unfinished business with Lexapro...I will follow your journeys. Just don't rush and hold as long as you can. The problem is that you can be doing well for a while only to be hit by symptoms much further down the road. And symptoms accumulate so you can lose ground unexpectedly and for long.

 

It's a tricky and vicious drug. But sharing and supporting each other we can beat it.

 

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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Hello LexAdvice,

 

I wish you much luck.  You will do fine.  Just take it slow and listen to what your body tells you from the symptoms, should you experience any.  Please keep us updated as I would like to know how you progress.  

 

Bubble, yes, I have read symptoms can surface after months of stopping.  I am hoping with slow tapering and the progress I am making, I am staying positive I will be successful.  With support, I agree, we will all be successful.  

 

Best...LexFree

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  • 1 month later...

How are you doing, lexF?

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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Hello LexAnger,

What a coincidence to hear from you as I have been thinking of you. I am doing very well so far. I am now down to 1 mg since Saturday. I've not had much withdrawal symptoms with each reduction. I am eating good, maybe too good, am exercising, sleeping well, and am looking forward to doing things. I so pray this pattern continues as I get lower than 1 mg and eventually off completely. I do wonder what would happen if I jumped now? Anyone reading this and have jumped at 1 mg. Please let me know how you are doing. Thank you.

 

LexAnger, how are you doing? Are you getting near to the end?

 

Best...LexFree

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Such a wonderful update LexFree!

Thanks for sharing this great news!!

 

I believe I read someone jumped off at 1mg but got hit soon after eventually reinstated.

So please don't. You are doing so great and hang in for a bit long won't be too difficult I would assume, lexapro is twice more powerful than other SSirs for example 1mg lex is equavelent to 2 mg Paxil. I also read it has much less side effect and WD effect under 1mg, so please take a few more steps before reaching to zero.

 

Can you update your signature so we know your taper schedule?

You are an aspiration to all of us!

 

BTW, I have been and am still on a very bumpy road. I managed getting down to 1.4mg, but not in good shape unfortunately.

 

Lex

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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Hi LexAnger,

 

Do you recall if it was this forum you read about the person jumping off at 1 mg? I sure would like to hear from hm/her of how it's going and to learn about history and tapering schedule followed.

 

I will update my signature line. I was waiting until I was off completely off and home free; plan on reporting a success story. Can you gather I am being positive that I will get off this time?

 

I am sorry you are struggling as you get lower. But you have done very well yourself. You don't have much to go to finishing. I will keep positive thoughts that you will get through this. Please keep me posted.

 

Best...LexFree

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Hi LexFree,

 

Thanks for updating your signature!

I am in full confidence that you will be a success story very soon!

 

Yes, I read that in this forum. Unfortunately I can't recall from which thread as I have been reading too much lately. I will definitely send you the link once I see it again.

 

Thanks for your kind encouragement! I'm sure I will eventually survive this ordeal and share my success story some day.

 

Looking forward to hearing more great news from you!

Lex

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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