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PowerOfPositivity Tapering off Escitalopram (Lexapro) after 1 week of use


PowerOfPositivity

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Hi all,

 

I was put on Escitalopram / Lexapro last week, starting on 5mg, for depression and anxiety. I didn't want to start on it since I have made great improvements with therapy without any meds, but my psychiatrist insisted I give it a try for a few months. I haven't noticed any affects yet, positive or negative, but have decided to get off of them after just 1 week, at least for now, to try to cure my anxiety without meds.

 

Will I need to do a slow taper since I was only taking it for a week? My primary care doctor said I should be good to just go down to 2.5mg, then stop completely. Is this true? The pills are 10mg and I was splitting them to get to 5mg.

De-Personalization / De-Realization / GAD / Depression / Panic Disorder following a panic attack on 3/15/2016

Lorazepam 0.5mg as needed, take it very rarely

Lexapro 5mg - Stopped after only 1 week

Supplements: Fish Oil, Vitamin B12 Complex, Vitamin D, Vitamin E

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Hi pop,

 

Welcome!

I consider you extremely lucky reaching out and finding SA at this early stage!

If I were you, I would just stop it and ride out the WD if any.

 

But it's just my own opinion, so please wait for advice from our mods and more experienced members.

 

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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Thanks! Some of the stuff I read on here was a big reason I decided to stop taking it.

 

I saw the doctor for a huge panic attack I had out of nowhere that triggered permanent depersonalization / derealization. I've been going to therapy and am improving, but when I saw a psychiatrist he wanted to put me on antidepressants. I thought I was making good progress without antidepressants, and from what I've read they don't help much with DP / DR, and could actually make it worse during withdrawal.

De-Personalization / De-Realization / GAD / Depression / Panic Disorder following a panic attack on 3/15/2016

Lorazepam 0.5mg as needed, take it very rarely

Lexapro 5mg - Stopped after only 1 week

Supplements: Fish Oil, Vitamin B12 Complex, Vitamin D, Vitamin E

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi PowerOfPositivity, 

 

Welcome to SA!  

 

You were smart to question going on the meds, and it is a good thing you have only been on them for a week.  I would do as your doctor said, 2.5 for a few days and then off, just to be sure that a 50% cut doesn't mess with you too much.  Generally for short term use, we say take as long to come off as you took the drug.  So, one week to come off.

 

Since p-docs are basically good for one thing, prescribing drugs, I suggest ditching the p-doc and continuing with your therapy.   There are so many non-drug ways to deal with anxiety and depression and it sounds like you feel what you are doing is helping.  Best not to mess with your precious brain with brain-altering drugs!

 

You might enjoy surfing around here:  Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

In case you want to spend more time with us or have trouble coming off of this med with a quick taper, please fill out your signature block with your drug history:  Please put your Med History in Signature

 

It may be helpful to read the link for tapering off Lexapro as well:  Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Feel free to ask questions here.  And let us know how you are doing and whether you encounter any difficulties.

 

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.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, PowerOfPositivity.

 

Great response, SquirrellyGirl.

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.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Powerofpositivity, I like your user name! It's great that you came here after only one week, well done for taking a stand and making the right choice ! :) 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Thanks guys! I started the taper, been only taking .25 for the past few days. Unfortunately all day yesterday I had loud ringing in my ears, which I guess is a common side effect of Lexapro. I read that this could be permanent so it freaked me out a bit and yesterday I had one of the worst days ever.

 

It just makes me glad I made the decision to not take it. It's crazy how it can affect you after only a week.

 

I think I may stop taking it after I take another .25 today, hopefully that's good enough

De-Personalization / De-Realization / GAD / Depression / Panic Disorder following a panic attack on 3/15/2016

Lorazepam 0.5mg as needed, take it very rarely

Lexapro 5mg - Stopped after only 1 week

Supplements: Fish Oil, Vitamin B12 Complex, Vitamin D, Vitamin E

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi PoP,

 

I think you're making the right decision in getting off these drugs as quickly as possible. Ask anyone here and they'll tell you that they wish that they had never taken anti-depressants. If we could turn back time, we would all have screwed up that first prescription and thrown it back in our doctor's face.

 

Your psychiatrist may be very insistent about your need for AD's, but he can't force them down your neck unless you are a danger to yourself or others, all he can do is recommend that you take them. Ultimately, the choice is yours as to what substances you put into your body. If you don't want to take them, you don't have to.

 

As for the ringing in your ears, you are absolutely right, it is a very common side effect of starting and stopping lexapro. In all likelihood it will clear up fairly quickly, but if it doesn't there are many online resources to help you cope with it. I've had tinnitus myself for several months now, it's a bit annoying at first, but you just get used to it.

 

Please keep us updated about your progress and let us know about any new symptoms that you encounter.

2001: 20mg paroxetine
2003-2014: Switched between 20mg citalopram and 10mg escitalopram with several failed CT's
2015: Jan/ Feb-very fast taper off citalopram; Mar/ Apr-crashed; 23 Apr-reinstated 5mg; 05 May-updosed to 10mg; 15 Jul-started taper; Aug-9.0mg; Sep-8.1mg; Oct-7.6mg; Nov-6.8mg; Dec-6.2mg
2016: Jan-5.7mg; Feb-5.2mg; Mar-5.0mg;  Apr-4.5mg; May-4.05mg; Jun-3.65mg; Jul-3.3mg; Aug-2.95mg; 04Sep-2.65mg; 25Sep-2.4mg; 23Oct-2.15mg; 13Nov-1.95mg; 04Dec-1.75mg; 25Dec-1.55mg.
2017: 08Jan-1.4mg; 22Jan-1.25mg; 12Feb-1.1mg; 26Feb-1.0mg; 05Mar-0.9mg; 15Mar-0.8mg; 22Mar-0.7mg; 02Apr-0.6; 09Apr-0.5mg; 16Apr-0.4mg; 23Apr-0.3; 03May-0.2mg; 10May-0.1mg

Finished taper 17 May 2017.

Read my success story

 

I am not a medical professional. The information I provide is not medical advice. If in doubt please consult with a qualified healthcare provider.

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  • 2 months later...
Hi all,

 

I'm not sure if this post belongs on this site, but I'm hoping to get some advice.

 

Since I got off the Lexapro I reached a point where I was 100% recovered. Unfortunately this was followed by a panic attack and I sort of relapsed. Since then I recovered again then relapsed once again with a panic attack.

 

Both my therapist and doctor, who were both very supportive when I decided not to take the Lexapro, now think I should see my psychiatrist and get back on Lexapro, since I don't seem to be getting better.

 

The psychiatrist told me I would be on it for a year then I would taper off if things got better. He believes that my years of social anxiety and agoraphobia are what lead to my current situation of having De-personalization, and that Lexapro would help me.

 

I don't know what to do and I'm hoping I can get some advice here. I really wanted to recover from this without meds, but it's really hard. I am worried about getting worse. However there are many accounts of SSRIs causing DP/DR in people, so I don't want it to make things worse for me. Should I start taking Lexapro?

De-Personalization / De-Realization / GAD / Depression / Panic Disorder following a panic attack on 3/15/2016

Lorazepam 0.5mg as needed, take it very rarely

Lexapro 5mg - Stopped after only 1 week

Supplements: Fish Oil, Vitamin B12 Complex, Vitamin D, Vitamin E

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Personally I wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot-pole.  Considering that it just isn't necessary - that there are other much more effective ways of managing anxiety etc - it basically boils down to whether you want to keep looking to drugs, or not. 

 

Anti-depressants lead to de-personalisation.  They also cause anxiety and depression.  Have you read Your Drug May Be Your Problem by Peter Breggin?  Also Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.  Those with the best outcomes are those who never use psych drugs.  Next best are those with the lowest use rates.  Worst outcomes?  Those who use psych drugs for longer. 

 

A therapist who can't see past drugs isn't worth your time or money. 

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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Can't agree more with Karen!

I always tell my friends to pass the words, never touch any of these drugs even you feel you are dying.

 

You will survive the panic attack with thousand times less suffering by NOT taking these poisons. Ppl often feel their situation can't be worse before the drug experience but you would wish with every penny you have you stayed away from them AFTER you know how much worse it can be.

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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