Jump to content

Clio: success thanks to this forum


Clio

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone -- I guess I am coming at this backwards!  I didn't really know about this community until I was done with my tapering, but it was the advice I found here when searching on how to detox from Lexapro that finally allowed me to successfully taper off.   

 

Last night I received a message from someone on this forum and it got me to thinking that my experience could be helpful to others.  So I wanted to share how I was able to become totally free of anti-depressants. 

 

I have had some low level depression for much of my life and always resisted any suggestion that I try an SSRI.  After gaining a lot of weight over one winter - I have mild Seasonal Affective Disorder -- I agreed to try an anti-depressant.  I first went on Lexapro 10 mg. For some reason -- I can't recall the specifics -- my doctor switched me to Effexor after about a week or two.  On Effexor all I did was sleep.  So it was back to Lexapro 10 mg.  Not long after starting (fall 2002), I went up to 20 mg.  I stayed on 20 mg for about six years.  I finally realized that on 20 mg I really just didn't care.  My marriage tanked.  Not sure if it is related to the who cares attitude, but I am sure it didn't help.  Being on Lexapro didn't really help my Seasonal Affective Disorder, but it did cut down on  any anxiety I had, which was kind of nice.  

 

Because of the "who cares" feelings, I decided to taper to 10 mg. with thoughts of possibly getting off all together.  I was able to taper from 20 to 17.5 to 15 to 10 mg with no discernible side effects.  I found that I could not continue this taper to 7.5 mg without getting a "jumpy" and "jittery" feeling that was not acceptable.  So I would go back to 10 mg.  This happened several times.  

 

Even on 10 mg Lexapro I would have some bad times, crazy times (going through a divorce can do that).  I also felt like I never experienced joy.  So, I would say, why even bother putting this into my system?  It wasn't exactly a "happy pill." 

 

I started doing research on how to come off Lexapro without withdrawal or how to lessen withdrawal.  I found the information on the  10% tapering regimen written by Altrostrata.   My doctor was totally cool with prescribing a combination of liquid and pill Lexapro and I began tapering in March 2015.  

 

Other than some occasional feelings of the blues, I have had no discernible withdrawal symptoms.  No "brain zaps" no brain fog, no feeling detached from myself, no insomnia, etc.   I do cry more easily at sappy movies and special occasions, but I kind of like that.  

 

I did read Spontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil and also consulted The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. I had been meditating for some time prior to beginning the taper and I think that is a KEY to managing blues/lows.  I attended a Buddhist meditation service on a regular basis until it was discontinued.  I highly recommend meditation and the books of Pema Chodron.  Buddhism encourages "sitting" with the emotion rather than running, hiding or covering it up.  That works for me -- maybe not for everyone; however, I have met people at the Buddhist Center that have been through life and death situations and meditation has been their lifeline.  

 

Today I am thrilled and so happy to be totally off Lexapro and being able to feel JOY again!  I am working to make sure I know who I really am, what I really feel and learning not to be afraid to be who I am and say what I feel (thanks, Dr. Suess). 

 

Clio

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment

Clio,

 

I am so happy you are were able to achieve wellness, and find joy again

 

I have a question for you. While I experience all the same mental/emotional symptoms you did, the most troublesome and disabling w/d symptoms for me are the physical ones. (Pain, insomnia, neuropathy.... But IU name , I've got it. So far, my attempts at meditation and prayer have been unsuccessful. I am so used to depression, I feel as though I could "behave my way out of it" if we felt better physically. Did you have physical symptoms as well as the depression and emotional blunting you describe?

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

 

Grace

amitriptyline from 1980-2002, along wi/ intermittent, infrequent use of benzos over 2 decades

2002-2010 Klonopin 1-2 mg., ambien 10--20, mg, remeron 4 mg. and  trileptal 300 mg

2011 Stopped ambien and crossed over to valium 17.5 mg. (updosing 2.5 mg. to cover ambien C/T ) tapered valium w/ long holds to 12.74 mg.

2015-present  tapered from 300 mg. trileptal to 103 mg.;  12.74 valium,  4 mg. remeron

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hi Clio-- welcome to the group.  Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us.  I get so excited when I hear that someone has made a successful taper and is back to enjoying life.  It is an inspiration to the entire group.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

Link to comment

Hi Grace -- I am sorry to hear that you are having physical pain and meditation is no help.  I had none of the physical symptoms the are listed as possible withdrawal from Lexapro and I credit that to the slow withdrawal and possibly to recommended supplements.   I have not heard of two of your medications so don't know if their withdrawal is more difficult to achieve?   I hope it isn't annoying to say that eating right and exercising really make a difference to me. (Andrew Weil's book Spontaneous Happiness talks about how important it is to get outside everyday.)   I know that can be difficult when you don't feel well physically.   There has been a lot recently about how important the gut flora is to mental health -- I take probiotics and try to maintain my gut health. 

 

I hope you find some answers soon,

Clio

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment

Hi Brassmonkey -- thanks for the welcome!  Clio

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment

Hi Clio,

 

No it is definitely not annoying to say that living a healthy lifestyle goes hand in hand w/ achieving freedom from these drugs.

 

I have embraced, and lived, this concept for quite some time.  I live such a clean and healthy lifestyle that it is annoying, a lot of work, and not much fun!  That said,  I know I am reducing my "toxic load" by doing so, and so I stay committed.

 

Yes, my history (and genetics and epigenetics) and long and quite complicated.  I wish I could say I had never heard of the drugs I am on.  Honestly, if I could have just one wish granted for the rest of my life, that would be my wish...to be drug free.  In the meantime, I will continue to crawl and inch my way towards harm reduction, and if I am lucky, maybe I will live long enough to be drug free.

 

Oh, how I wish I could meditate.  My CNS is who whacked out, I can't ever achieve enough relaxation to get anywhere w/ meditation no matter how hard I try.  I do know it takes practice, but I often get tenser because I can't relax!

 

 I consider those who don't struggle with the insomnia piece of w/d the luckiest ones.  Insomnia has always been my Achille's heel, and it hits hard and fast, even with 1% cuts.

 

Thanks again for sharing.

 

Grace

amitriptyline from 1980-2002, along wi/ intermittent, infrequent use of benzos over 2 decades

2002-2010 Klonopin 1-2 mg., ambien 10--20, mg, remeron 4 mg. and  trileptal 300 mg

2011 Stopped ambien and crossed over to valium 17.5 mg. (updosing 2.5 mg. to cover ambien C/T ) tapered valium w/ long holds to 12.74 mg.

2015-present  tapered from 300 mg. trileptal to 103 mg.;  12.74 valium,  4 mg. remeron

 

Link to comment

Hi Grace -- I meant to mention my experience with insomnia -- this was when I was on Lexapro, so not a withdrawal symptom.  If I get wound up about something now, I do use these techniques from the past.   My ob/gyn recommended counting backwards by 7s -- not as rote as counting backwards because most people have to concentrate.  Also, I went to a hypnotherapist for help in maintaining healthy eating habits - I continue to use the relaxation techniques anytime I need to calm down to sleep (they also came in handy at the dentist recently!).   

 

Dr. Weil recently reposted his relaxation technique -- he recommends it for stress, falling asleep.  I have been doing a sort of modified 4-7-8 when I get into bed at night and I am out like a light.

 http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/VDR00112/The-4-7-8-Breath-Benefits-and-Demonstration.html(video demo)

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html

 

The one thing that got rid of my insomnia that I was having issues with several years ago was going on bioidentical hormone replacement.   

 

Clio

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment

Grace -- oh, I forgot something else I meant to mention (!) ...  Regarding meditation -- have you tried guided meditation?  I have found that if I am feeling a bit too caffeinated, a guided meditation is easier to handle.  Tara Brach is my go to for this -- she has free guided meditations on her website tarabrach.com.  with meditations of varying times.  

 

And -- before I got into more extended meditation, I started with being mindful for one to three minutes - sometimes less.  I set a bell timer on my phone (there are mediation apps with bells to start and end) and I was reminded at 11:00 am every day to do this.    I was taking a class on Pema Chodron's Taking the Leap at the time and being mindful for a minute was part of the class.  Baby steps?  

 

Diane

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment

... Buddhism encourages "sitting" with the emotion rather than running, hiding or covering it up.  That works for me -- maybe not for everyone; however, I have met people at the Buddhist Center that have been through life and death situations and meditation has been their lifeline ...

 

Today I am thrilled and so happy to be totally off Lexapro and being able to feel JOY again!  I am working to make sure I know who I really am, what I really feel and learning not to be afraid to be who I am and say what I feel (thanks, Dr. Suess). 

 

Clio

 

Hi Clio,

 

It's great to hear from someone who has successfully done this. I am just starting my taper of Cipralex (Lexapro).

 

I love what you said about Buddhism encouraging sitting with an emotion. I have been trying to do this as well. I started mindfulness mediation after reading works by Jon Kabat-Zinn (his work is derived from Buddhism). Here is a quote I like from Wherever You Go, There You Are:

 

You certainly have to be ready for meditation. You have to come to it at the right time in your life, at a point where you are ready to listen carefully to your own voice, to your own heart, to your own breathing – to just be present for them and with them, without having to go anywhere or make anything better or different. This is hard work.

 

I will take a look at the books and videos you mentioned. I have come across several quotations from Pema Chodron and they are always inspiring.

 

It is really wonderful to hear someone embracing all the parts of their life, joy and tears. Thank you for sharing this with us.

1980-84?: tricyclic antidepressant? unknown dosage, gradually quit by forgetting to take it

2011: Cipralex 10 mg increased to 20 mg after two months, Zyprexa 2.5 mg increased to 5 mg after one month

2012: Cipralex 20 mg, Zyprexa reduced to 2.5 mg, then stopped (withdrawal symptoms attributed to depression), Abilify 2 mg, then increased to 5 mg 

2013: Cipralex 20 mg, Wellbutrin 150 mg, Abilify decreased to 2 mg and then stopped

2014: Cipralex reduced to 10 mg (no taper and withdrawal symptoms), Wellbutrin 150 mg

2015-16: Cipralex 10 mg, Wellbutrin 150 mg

Started tapering Cipralex on March 31, 2016: 9 mg; April 27: 8.25 mg, May 25: 7.25 mg

Off Cipralex late fall 2016 after a slow taper.

Off Wellbutrin late winter/early spring 2017 after a taper.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Clio, 

 

It was so exciting to read your post since we don't see many folks posting that have made it through the 10% taper; everyone seems to be in progress!  

 

What dose did you jump from?  I'm happy to hear that your doctor was supportive and made it easy for you to do this taper!   Maybe he should be added to our list of doctors!

 

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.

Link to comment

"You certainly have to be ready for meditation. You have to come to it at the right time in your life, at a point where you are ready to listen carefully to your own voice, to your own heart, to your own breathing – to just be present for them and with them, without having to go anywhere or make anything better or different. This is hard work."

 

Persephone -- Love this quote!  I have a book by Zinn - on the mountainous TBR pile!  I do highly recommend Pema -- she has such a wonderful way with words and is so down to earth.  

 

Clio

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment

Hi Clio, 

 

It was so exciting to read your post since we don't see many folks posting that have made it through the 10% taper; everyone seems to be in progress!  

 

What dose did you jump from?  I'm happy to hear that your doctor was supportive and made it easy for you to do this taper!   Maybe he should be added to our list of doctors!

 

SG

 Hi SG -- I started at 10 mg.   I do like my doctor -- she does not push pills at all and listens to what I have to say.   How do I add my doctor to the list?  

Clio

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment

Clio,

 

thanks for your thoughts on baby steps with meditation.  I know I have to keep trying, and if I can just "be with my emotions" instead of fighting them, perhaps that in and of itself resolves the anxiety for that moment.  I do believe that is an awful lot to be learned from the basic tenets of Buddhism.

 

Grace

amitriptyline from 1980-2002, along wi/ intermittent, infrequent use of benzos over 2 decades

2002-2010 Klonopin 1-2 mg., ambien 10--20, mg, remeron 4 mg. and  trileptal 300 mg

2011 Stopped ambien and crossed over to valium 17.5 mg. (updosing 2.5 mg. to cover ambien C/T ) tapered valium w/ long holds to 12.74 mg.

2015-present  tapered from 300 mg. trileptal to 103 mg.;  12.74 valium,  4 mg. remeron

 

Link to comment

Grace -- "being with your emotions" is what Pema Chodron -- and I guess, Buddhism, is all about.  She gives us permission to just let the feelings come and go, not to dwell on them, but to say hello, then goodbye just as easily -- like clouds passing by, sometimes staying for awhile -- nice fluffy ones or dark scary ones.  Best of luck to you, Diane

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment

Hi Diane,

Sometimes when I say goodbye to negative emotions, like fear, they won't leave...like company that won't leave, even if you start turning off the light! :)

amitriptyline from 1980-2002, along wi/ intermittent, infrequent use of benzos over 2 decades

2002-2010 Klonopin 1-2 mg., ambien 10--20, mg, remeron 4 mg. and  trileptal 300 mg

2011 Stopped ambien and crossed over to valium 17.5 mg. (updosing 2.5 mg. to cover ambien C/T ) tapered valium w/ long holds to 12.74 mg.

2015-present  tapered from 300 mg. trileptal to 103 mg.;  12.74 valium,  4 mg. remeron

 

Link to comment

Grace -- maybe that was the wrong analogy... more a "letting go" than a goodbye?  It is usually at night when something negative wants to hang around.. I have learned ( the hard way -- what other way is there?) that night time emotions are usually false or over wrought and a good night's sleep will send them packing... I am in a period of being able to fall asleep pretty quickly, so this is easy right now.   

Diane

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment

Letting go is so powerful; not just w/ emotions but with people, things, situations over which we have no control. I will be working on this for the rest of my life, but reminders always help. Thanks, Diane.

amitriptyline from 1980-2002, along wi/ intermittent, infrequent use of benzos over 2 decades

2002-2010 Klonopin 1-2 mg., ambien 10--20, mg, remeron 4 mg. and  trileptal 300 mg

2011 Stopped ambien and crossed over to valium 17.5 mg. (updosing 2.5 mg. to cover ambien C/T ) tapered valium w/ long holds to 12.74 mg.

2015-present  tapered from 300 mg. trileptal to 103 mg.;  12.74 valium,  4 mg. remeron

 

Link to comment
  • 5 years later...

Do not cut or crush, what to do?

 

I have been through a very rough time after my daughter died suddenly three years ago.  One of the medications I was prescribed was Lunesta.  I have been able to decrease from 3 mg to 1 mg.  Even though the directions said "do not cut"  -- I did it anyway to get down to 1 mg.  Really had no problems.  But now I want to crush the 1 mg pill (it is so tiny that it is very difficult to cut in half) and am wondering about the "do not crush" warning.    Any advice?  (I tried to search for this, but there were way too many posts to search through).  thanks 

Edited by manymoretodays
merged topic, title added

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hi there Clio, @Clioand welcome back,

And oh my, I am so very sorry for your loss......my heart goes out to you.

 

I merged your new topic back here, and will update your tags too.

 

So you are working on the Lunesta taper now? 

 

And then back on the Lexapro 10 mg since November 2018. 

Many thanks for updating your signature.

 

I'm just finding the appropriate topics for you right now, and this should help to make the best plan going forward.

How long have you been on the 1mg dose of Lunesta?  If you recall the date, note it.  Thanks.

And by what percentages have you done your tapers, and at what intervals?  If you have this information.

 

Tips for tapering off Z drugs for sleep(Ambien, Lunesta, etc.)

 

Which tablets or pills may be split or crushed?

 

Like all psychoactives, we'd recommend a 10% taper or less, for harm reduction.

Why taper by 10% of my drug

 

And having just looked up the hypopnea, I see it means a shallow or slow breathing?

And then, I take it this is why you have chosen to taper the Lunesta before the Lexapro?

Are you experiencing a high blood pressure now?

On any other medications?

 

It's always worthwhile to run through the Interactions check at Drugs.com too. 

So do one of those, and then share the link with us, or copy and paste the results here in a reply.

 

I know I did not really answer your question directly.......and just asked more questions.  I did just want to get you restarted today, and merged back on in with your original Introduction.

Again,  so very sorry Clio......surely I do not have the right words......💜

And I'll check back soon, or others may stop in.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

moderator manymoretodays(mmt)

 

 

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Clio: Success thanks to this forum

Hi MMT,

 

thank you.   

 

Yes, I am going to do the lunesta taper first.  I have not started a final taper yet.  I have been traveling a lot between last August and now and want to have a period at home to do the final taper.  Plus, I did just find out about the hypopnea, which makes getting off the lunesta more urgent.  I thought that I was having sleepiness due to the lunesta alone, but it is most likely due to the hypopnea, which is, as you noted,  shallow breathing --  to where my oxygenation levels go down.  My sleep study did not show apnea or snoring.  

 

I do not recall exactly when I tapered from 3 mg to 1 mg.   I went down to 2 mg for a time, then down to 1 mg.  I went down by .5 mg or so for each step, which of course is more than 10%.   The tablets are very small and since I didn't have any issues (rebound insomnia or other withdrawal symptoms that I was aware of) I kept to the .5mg decrease over a couple of weeks.  In November 2020 I attempted to reduce from 1 mg to .5 mg, but I did develop a headache.  Decided to shelve the taper plan for the time being. 

 

My blood pressure is high now  (rarely gets below 140/80 and I am on two blood pressure medications since October) and I have had two hypertensive crises that landed me in the ER since October.  I also put on weight last winter and I am sure that also has an effect on my hypopnea.  I am seeing a pulmonologist  in a couple of weeks about the hypopnea (I had a sleep test a few weeks ago).   My blood pressure meds are losartan 100 mg and amlodipine 5 mg.  I am also on Metformin 1000 mg 2 times a day. 

 

It doesn't look like it will work to use a scale to measure such a small amount of medication.  I haven't  talked to my doctor yet about her recommendations for tapering.  She may have some other ideas.  She was very supportive of my lexapro taper in 2015-2016.  I did find a compounding pharmacy that said they could make liquid for me, but I have not pursued that as it involves having my doctor provide precise directions for the compounding and length of taper.  

 

I am able to take naps without lunesta and they are very restful, so I have thought about cutting the lunesta in half and dealing with the headache.   I was able to get off PPIs by taking them every other day, then every two days, etc.   I wonder if that would work with lunesta?

 

Thanks for reading.  

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hi Clio, and welcome back.  I'm deeply sorry for the sudden loss of your daughter.  

16 hours ago, Clio said:

I did find a compounding pharmacy that said they could make liquid for me, but I have not pursued that as it involves having my doctor provide precise directions for the compounding and length of taper.  

You could also make a liquid yourself with the Lunesta.  The link that manymoretodays gave you above has links that tell how to do this.  A liquid would probably be the easiest way to taper off the last of the Lunesta.  If you do decide to follow the compounding pharmacy route, then I would explain to your doctor about this website, and about the 10% exponential taper that we suggest.  Here is a link about how to talk to doctors about properly tapering off psych meds.  Ideally, she would be on board with this, especially since she was so supportive of your previous Lexapro taper.  This link has papers you can print that she could read explaining the importance of a very gradual taper.  

 

How to Talk to a Doctor About Tapering and Withdrawal

 

It's great that you are able to sleep OK.  Lexapro caused insomnia for me, and it was my major symptom in WD as well.  

16 hours ago, Clio said:

I was able to get off PPIs by taking them every other day, then every two days, etc.   I wonder if that would work with lunesta?

 

We do not suggest skipping doses to taper for psych meds.  This tends to cause uneven amounts of the drug in our blood stream, which tends to destabilize our nervous systems, and cause very uncomfortable symptoms, which can take a long time to resolve.  If you do the liquid, it will be easy to reduce by very small amounts, and take very small amounts.  

 

What results did you come up with when running the drugs through the interactions checker?  Hang in there, and let us know how you are doing. 

Do not private message me. Please do not tag me unless it's an urgent question about tapering or reinstating.

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '2010 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

Link to comment

I'm so sorry for your terrible loss. Just started reading your "succes" story and felt happy for you. Jumped 4 years ahead and learned that your daughter has died a couple of years ago. So sad to read...I hope you are doing well and I wish you all the strength to heal and feel better again.

 

Cheers

Wish you the best

 

Jozeff

The Netherlands

 

 

- 2016 - Okt 2017 citalopram some months 15 mg some months 20 mg

- Nov 2017- Apr 2018 citalopram 25 mg

- April 2018 -  June 2018 citalopram 3 month TAPER too fast  from 25mg to 16.5 mg (0.1 mg per day decrease, felt horrible and crashed)

- June 2018 - Aug13th 2018 citalopram trying to stabilize at 16.5 mg for 5 wks

- August 14th 2018 - April 29th 2019  citalopram 18 mg (1.5 mg updose).

2019 apr 27 : START taper citalopram @ 18 mg: 29Jun 16.4 mg / 19aug 15.4 mg / 25aug 15.2 mg / 30sep 14.0 mg / 4dec 13.1 mg

2020  03Jan 12.75 mg / 28Jan 12.29 mg / 18Feb 11.83 mg, 25Feb 11.68 mg hold.. / 7May 11.33 mg hold...., 4Aug 10.98 mg / 5Dec 10.0 mg 4 month hold...

2021 30mar 9.8 mg / 06apr 9.5 mg /  13apr 9.4 mg / 14may 8,5 mg / 04jun 8,0 mg / 11jun 7.75 mg, 02jul 7.35 mg /  09jul 7.2 mg hold 3 weeks during holiday /31jul 7 mg/ 8aug 6.8 mg / 15aug 6.63mg / 22aug 6.5mg / 1sep 6.3 mg / 8sep 6.15 mg / 15sep 6.0 mg / 22sep 5.9 mg / 29sep 5.8 mg / 04 oct 5.65 mg / 10oct 5.55 mg / 17oct 5.45 mg / 24oct 5.35mg / 30oct 5.25 mg hold 3 wks / 22nov 5.15 mg / 01dec 5.1mg / 12dec 5.0mg / 20dec 4.85mg / 30dec 4.70mg / 

2022   08jan 4.5 mg / 16jan 4.4 mg / 23jan 4.3 mg / 27jan 4.2 mg / 18feb 4.1 mg / 25feb 4.0 mg / 04mar 3.9 mg / 11mar 3.75 mg / 18Mar 3.65 mg / 09apr 3.55 mg / 16apr 3.45 mg / 23apr 3.35 mg / 01may 3.25 mg / 8may 3.15 mg / 17may 3.10 mg / 28 may 3.0 mg / 7jun 2.94 mg / 18 Jun 2.88 mg / 27 jun 2.84 mg / 05 jul 2.80 mg / 16 jul 2.75 mg / 23 jul 2.70 mg / 01aug 2.65 mg / 09aug 2.60 mg hold 5wks / 18sep 2.55 mg / 25sep 2.5 mg /02oct 2.45 mg / 10oct 2.40 mg / 19oct 2.35 mg / 27oct 2.30 mg / 05nov 2.27 mg / 14nov 2.25 mg / 22nov 2.20 mg / 29nov 2.10mg

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Hello, @Clio Why did you return to 10mg Lexapro in November 2018, after having safely gone off?

 

Did you start taking 3mg Lunesta at the same time you went back on Lexapro, or did you add Lunesta because Lexapro was interfering with your sleep?

 

What times o'clock do you take your drugs, with their dosages? Please put ALL your drugs in this Interactions Checker and post the report or a link to it in this topic.

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.

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hi Clio, calling all Clio's....

How are you doing?

Update when you can.  Thank you.

L,P,H, and G,

mmt

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to comment
  • 9 months later...

I am sorry for not responding earlier to requests to check in.  I had a tough winter/spring.  

 

To Altostrata -  When my daughter died in November 2018,  I had an "acute stress reaction."  I ended up in the ER.  My doctor asked if I wanted to go back on lexapro and I agreed.  I probably shouldn't have, but I wasn't thinking too clearly.   I don't think the lexapro caused the insomnia.  3 mg of lunesta is a lot, but I basically needed something to knock me out.  I did wean down to 1 mg. within the year. 

 

I  weaned off lunesta in the spring 2022, but went back on to see if it would help me tolerate a C-Pap.  It didn't.   I would say that the 1mg. of lunesta wasn't really doing anything for me.   In August/September I did wean off the Lunesta.  It is not like benzos or SSRIs and really is pretty easy to wean off -- I had no side effects.  I just cut the 1 mg down over a four week period -- since one of the warnings is that abrupt discontinuation can cause seizures.  I am sleeping pretty well now. 

 

So I started the taper of the 10 mg of Lexapro on October 1.  In March I began having more frequent ocular migraines, so my doctor had recommended I wait on the Lexapro taper since there are anti-depressants that can help with migraines. Some research and a visit to a neurologist convinced me that Lexapro doesn't help with migraines.  (I just have the aura, then maybe a little headache, nausea and fatigue, but it is usually very short lived; I can deal with it and a CT showed my brain is okay.)

 

 

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment
  • Administrator

You're tapering off Lexapro under your doctor's guidance?

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.

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Clio: success thanks to this forum

Am I tapering off Lexapro under my doctor’s guidance? Yes and no. My doctor prescribed the liquid Lexapro for me to do a slow taper, but she more or less relies on me to know what I am doing.  

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment
  • Administrator

What drug changes have you made in October? If you've reduced Lexapro and gotten worse migraines, I would go back to the earlier dosage and not continue to taper.

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.

Link to comment

Thanks, I have reduced lexapro by 10% beginning October 1 - I am taking 9 mg/ml.  I have only had one migraine in October so far.  I had been having four a month most recently in August and September.  I've had migraines for forty years - they began when I was pregnant as "classic" migraines.  I would have an aura, then the headache.  They weren't really very severe and occurred infrequently -- by that I mean I would go years without one.  Several years ago I began having what I call ocular migraines -- I would have the aura (vision disturbances) for about 20-30 minutes, with no headache after.  This was fairly infrequent also -- I didn't keep track of them.   In January of this year, I tapered off the lunesta.  Began 10% lexapro taper on February 15.  Second reduction on March 1 to 8.1 mg/ml.   On March 4, I started having the ocular migraines much more frequently.  I went back to full dose (10mg)of lexapro on March 6.  I continued to have more frequent ocular migraines. Returning to the full dose of lexapro didn't change the frequency.  I had a CT and saw a neurologist -- he also has the same type of "ocular" migraine -- I spent over an hour with him and he said that these migraines happen when a certain area of the brain gets "excited" -- sounds like they are common and there is no explanation.  The CT was quite normal. 

 

Because of my issues with high blood pressure I had a sleep test earlier this year and a pulmonologist recommended a C-PAP due to periods of hypopnea (shallow breathing).  They thought it might help my bp.  I could NOT sleep with the c-pap, so my doctor reluctantly agreed to letting me go back on 1 mg. lunesta.  It didn't help with sleeping with the C-Pap, so I did taper off the lunesta again in August/September.  

 

I don't know if the migraines and reducing lexapro are related.  The increased migraines did begin the same week in March that I reduced my lexapro to 8.1 mg/ml. However, they continued even when I returned to a full dose after two of the ocular migraines on consecutive days : March 1 - reduce lexpro to 8.1. March 4 - ocular migraine; March 5 ocular migraine; March 6 - returned to full dose of lexapro on the advice of my physician. I then had ocular migraines on 3/9, 3/12,3/17, 3/22, 3/24, 3/25,3/31.   In April I had ocular migraines on 4/1;4/2;4/5;4/7;4/11;4/13;4/14;4/21; doctor prescribed a beta blocker  for the migraines but it lowered my pulse and raised BP so quit that after a day; 4/26; 4/29.  From April 29- May 6 I was at a spiritual retreat in Mexico (no drugs involved).   In May I had migraines on 5/6;5/12;5/15;5/28.  I had six in June. Only three in July.  Four in August. Three in September.  One so far in October. 

 

I retired in August 2021 and am very involved with my grandchildren. My daughter had four children who live just a block from me.  Their father is remarried --  I get along fine with him and his wife, but there is a lot of stress surrounding how they are raising my grandchildren.  I also have a son who lives about 4 hours away.  He and his wife had a baby last year, so I visit them as often as I can.  I stayed with my son and his wife a lot last year right after the birth of their child -- he basically had a bit of a breakdown.  He is fine now, but around the time of his child's birth, he was not in a good place -- he has always been the "golden child" - star athlete, excelled academically, voted "best overall" by his peers in high school; captain of his university's football team; two time academic all american.  He is not perfect, of course, but he is a wonderful son.  I don't know if all the pressure got to him, but he needed me to be there for him and thankfully, I was able to be. 

 

After my daughter's death in November 2018, I manifested my grief physically - as Bessel Van Der Kolk says "The body keeps the score."  I came down with pneumonia and other physical ailments.  Radiologic studies of my abdomen led to the incidental discovery of a pancreatic cyst.  A hospital here wanted to perform radical surgery, but I went to Mayo Clinic for a second opinion -- no surgery necessary, but I have annual MRIs to make sure the cyst remains unchanged and is not developing into pancreatic cancer -- most don't.  

 

I see a psychologist weekly.  

 

Well, that is about it.  I wanted to go off the Lexapro because I don't think it helps my depression and I want to get off as many prescription drugs as I can.

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment
  • Administrator

It may be that going on and off drugs for 20 years has sensitized your nervous system to the more recent drug changes, and that's why you're getting more frequent migraines.

 

What times o'clock do you currently take your drugs, with their dosages?

 

We're not going to be able to help you treat the migraines, we don't know anything about how to do that. How may we help you here?

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.

Link to comment

Actually, my migraines have been decreasing over the past months.    I know you are busy and perhaps did not have time to read what I wrote above, but I am not asking for help.  I was just providing an update and responding to prior messages. Again, thanks for all the information provided here.  

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment

Clio,

 

My understanding from reading the last few posts of yours, is that you are trying to figure out if the Lexapro is causing the headaches, and/or the taper? Perhaps looking for others' thoughts on this.   Does that sound right?

 

Grace

amitriptyline from 1980-2002, along wi/ intermittent, infrequent use of benzos over 2 decades

2002-2010 Klonopin 1-2 mg., ambien 10--20, mg, remeron 4 mg. and  trileptal 300 mg

2011 Stopped ambien and crossed over to valium 17.5 mg. (updosing 2.5 mg. to cover ambien C/T ) tapered valium w/ long holds to 12.74 mg.

2015-present  tapered from 300 mg. trileptal to 103 mg.;  12.74 valium,  4 mg. remeron

 

Link to comment

I didn't think Lexapro was causing headaches or the tapering of Lexapro caused the headaches.  My doctor thought I should stop the tapering last spring because she had read that SSRIs were helpful with reducing migraines.  There IS a temporal relationship between my Feb/March 2022 tapering of Lexapro and the increased frequency of the migraines.  I am not convince that tapering actually caused the increase.  I began tapering again on October 1.  My migraines had been decreasing the past few months and I have only had one in October.  My increased migraines in March did not start until a few days after my second decrease - to 8.1 mg/ml.   I am still on the first increase this time and plan to go 3-4 weeks instead of the 2 weeks I did earlier this year. 

Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

November 4, 2018: stress reaction to sudden death of daughter 

November 2018: prescribed lexapro 10 mg., xanax .25 (didn't refill), lunesta 3 mg.

November 2020: down to 1 mg. lunesta; lexapro 10 mg. 

November 2021: second hypertensive crisis in two months - diagnosed with hypopnea which can be caused by sedative/hypnotics (hypopnea can cause elevated blood pressure)

August/September 2022: tapered off Lunesta over a four week period

October 2022: began Lexapro taper (10% every 3 weeks)

Link to comment
  • Administrator

It's fairly common that a taper will go well until people get to low doses, then they have to reduce even more gradually. Your migraines getting worse may be an indication that tapering 10% every 3 weeks is too fast for you. Usually, we suggest intervals of 4 weeks.

 

Please let us know when you would like peer support for tapering.

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.

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy