Jump to content

PrinceChuck 8 years on 20mg Lexapro


PrinceChuck

Recommended Posts

I stopped COLD TURKEY off 20mg a day 12 days ago. The symptoms I feel are more like a SYNDROME than constant symptoms but they are pretty brutal. Here is a list of my problems:
 
1. Dizziness all the time (Vertigo around 2pm-8pm)
2. Random insatiable itchiness that started with my hands on day 5 and has moved to my feet and legs and other parts of my body sporadically. Feels like Poison IVY.
3. Extreme irritability (I have fits of rage and outbursts over trivial things)
4. Cold sweats and heavy breathing while sleeping.
5. Bloated / Gas Pains in digestive system
6. Feel like I'm floating when I walk.
 
Positive Symptoms:
1. Appetite has increased 500%
2. Libido has increased 200%
3. Despite the sleep disturbances when I do sleep it's DEEP RESTFUL sleep but I don't have a constant routine of sleep.
4. Minor headaches in the forehead but are massaged away with NSAIDS.

Some tips for people:
 
1. One glass of wine actually HELPS with the dizziness. Unbelievably.
2. Medical Marijuana helps with the itchiness and agitation.
3. HOT BATHS followed by ICE COLD showers seems to regulate my equilibrium temporarily.
 
Misc Advice: I am a 35 yr old male on no other meds except for emergency Xanax but since stopping Lexapro I have not yet had ANY ANXIETY WHATSOEVER. Just minor worry and slight depression because of the withdrawal side effects.
 
 
I would never recommend this medication to ANYONE. Even when I desperately needed it after a nervous breakdown in 2008 I feel like the last 6 years of my life have been an absolute VOID and WASTE of LIFE. This medication destroyed my inspiration, motivation and sex life. It damaged so many relationships in the long run.
 
 
I will never trust a western psychologist or Dr. ever ever again. If you get anxiety or Panic attacks from life Trauma you are better off just taking a year long break from whatever is causing it unless it's biochemical and even then you're better off living with some anxiety than taking this SOUL KILLING medication. Lexapro will make you a functional emotionless sexless ZOMBIE if that's what you need or want in the rat race. As I've aged I realized I'm on these meds out of habit, not necessity.
Deal with your inner perceived mental problems ON YOUR OWN unless you are a violent criminal and an EXTREME case of Panic and GAD disorders.
 
Trust me on this. I'd do anything to get the last 6 years back. My only worry now is how LONG will I have these annoying symptoms. I don't want to be a broken dysfunctional person anymore. These SSRI's are a temporary solution to temporary problems in most cases.
Of course I am not a Dr. and everyone is different in their pathology and biochemical processes but all things considered equal these meds do more damage than good.
 
Avoid at all costs.

 

Edited by scallywag
tags added
Link to comment

Also,

 

I tried to taper from 10mg to 5mg 7 years ago and that caused an ENTIRE relapse of Panic/GAD disorder. Cold Turkey, while super annoying has been the better option for me.

 

 

I have not any suicidal ideation whatsoever since stopping cold turkey after almost a decade of having suicidal thoughts while ON THE MEDICATION.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, PrinceChuck.

 

Cold-turkey is a high-risk way to go off psychiatric drugs. There's wide variability in the ways people react to dosage decreases. I hope you recover quickly from withdrawal syndrome, which can get a lot worse and last for months or years.

 

You might have tapered too fast before. We recommend a gradual taper of 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage (the amount of decrease gets smaller), to minimize withdrawal symptoms. This can take a long time but is the only way some people can go off drugs without being incapacitated.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.
 

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

PrinceChuck--if you think the Lexapro ruined your life while you were on it, wait till you see what withdrawal from Lexipro does to you. I agree with the mods--TAPER REALLY SLOWLY to avoid the possible life-crushing effects of withdrawal. You might be lucky--who knows--but if you look around these boards for what others have experienced getting off of Lexipro, you'll see that withdrawal can be way worse than maintaining. I would say that if you still have the window of opportunity to taper slowly, do it. You might be able to avoid the sleeplessness, akathisia, psychosis, agitation, constant negative ruminations, etc. suffered by others.

Drugfree Prof

Psychologist and Psychotherapist

Prozac 20 mg for approx 3 months during 2000, withdrew, no w/d sx

Prozac 10 - 30 mg Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2014

Ritalin 30-40 mg Jan. 2008 - Mar. 2015

W/d sx from Prozac started around 3 months after cessation--crying spells, depressed mood, lethargy; resolved in 8 - 12 mos. post cessation

Used and continue to use a TON of alternative methods--meditation, mindfulness, nutrition. supplements, exercise, etc.

Link to comment

PrinceChuck,

 

I'd agree that CT and only being 12 days off is way to early to call how you are going to be feeling in say 6 - 12 months.  I would also expect that the true WD symptoms to be pretty evident in approx. 1 months time.

 

If you can reinstate a small dose and then taper using the various plans that SA provide.

 

Wishing you all the best,

 

DC.

1997 - 2001 Seroxat 10mg

2001 - 2013 Escitalopram 10mg

Gradual taper from 10mg to 5mg over 2.5 years (between 2011 - 2013)

Last taper from 5mg to 0 under advice from doctor done in 1 month (too damn fast!) - included missing out days.

Have been drug free since Oct 2013.  - Yep 5 years drugs free

Link to comment

Prince Chuck,

 

I agree that Lexapro is awful stuff, but as bad as it is, withdrawal makes side effects look like nothing. At the beginning of my taper, I reduced my dose by 1/2 in about 2 months. For three months - no big deal - dizziness, sporadic angry outburst, but no depression or anxiety. I was so much clearer-headed and actually able to stay awake most of the day. It was great..

 

Then it hit. About three months after the initial drop. I had continued to taper much more slowly in the meantime. Got down to 1/3rd of my initial dose and all hell broke loose. Extreme akathesia, crying for hours, barely able to function. Even though I was tapering in the meantime, it was pretty clear this crash had more to do with the initial kamikaze drop than anything.

 

I ended up updosing on the Lex by a small amount and worked on tapering other drugs that were aggravating the withdrawal. Over a year after those first drops, I'm still at 9mgs and holding. Still having pretty significant ups and downs, and in no hurry to go back to where I was this past spring.

 

Watch that three-month mark. It could be a doozy!

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to comment

PrinceChuck,

 

I'd agree that CT and only being 12 days off is way to early to call how you are going to be feeling in say 6 - 12 months.  I would also expect that the true WD symptoms to be pretty evident in approx. 1 months time.

 

If you can reinstate a small dose and then taper using the various plans that SA provide.

 

Wishing you all the best,

 

DC.

 

Many people do well with a reinstatement. Some of us don't. I had a difficult time. To understand what I went through, have a look at my intro thread reachingforthestars Introduction topic. I have reinstatement induced anhedonia and i still cannot feel love towards my child since reinstatement year ago. Reinstatement is recommended to do within a week from quitting to prevent adverse reactions. 

Citalopram 40mg from 2003-2015

Jan 2015 started tapering first dropped to 35mgFeb 30mg, March 25mgApril 20mg, May 17,5mg, June 15mgJuly 12,5mg, Aug 12,5mg,

Sep 0mg for 5 days because of stomac flu and after I raised to 7,5mg. All the symptoms of acute WD shaking, diarrhea, vomiting, barely could walk ect. Still didn't realize that it wasn't only stomac flu but I was also going through WD.

Oct 2,5mg and crashed again badly and quickly raised to 4mg. It was then when I knew my symptoms were due to WD.

Then in November after a month holding on 4mg raised to 5mg due to muscle weakness and had a VERY BAD reaction to reinstatement: akathisia(lasted for one or two weeks), insomnia, anhedonia... Drop quicly back to 4mg, Dec 3mg

Jan 2016 2,6mg( in the middle of Jan after I had been on 2,6mg for a week I tried to updose to 2,8mg and immediately had bad reaction to it: akathisia for a day, andehonia got worse. The next day dropped back to 2,6mg), Feb 2,4mg( a new symptom PGAD lasted 24/7 for 2 months after that on and off), March 2,4mg, April 2,3mg, May 2,2mg, June 2,1mg, July 2,0mg( Pgad almost nonexisting, sleeping pretty good, still some anhedonia but there has been a lot of gradual progress), Aug 1,97mg-1,89mg, Sep 1,88mg-1,49mg, Oct 1,48mg- 1,70mg,

Nov 0,65mg- current dose 0,5mg

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Many people do well with a reinstatement. Some of us don't. I had a difficult time. To understand what I went through, have a look at my intro thread reachingforthestars Introduction topic. I have reinstatement induced anhedonia and i still cannot feel love towards my child since reinstatement year ago. Reinstatement is recommended to do within a week from quitting to prevent adverse reactions. 

 

 

 

Reachingforthestars, everyone's situation is individual.  It is acceptable to let other members know about your own experience and to refer them to your topic but please be careful about making statements about the timeframe for reinstatement.  Some members have successfully reinstated 2 or 3 months after quitting their drug.  There is no hard and fast rule about it.  Members need to be presented with all the information so they can make an informed decision.

 

 

Regarding reachingforthestars' statement:  Reinstatement is recommended to do within a week from quitting to prevent adverse reactions.

 

From the SA About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms:

 

What is known about reinstatement

from my reading and from patient experience as posted on online support sites:

  • Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of withdrawal symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work.
  • The length of this window of opportunity varies according to the individual. Sometimes people can reinstate successfully months after quitting. Others cannot.

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

Link to comment
...Lexapro will make you a functional emotionless sexless ZOMBIE if that's what you need or want in the rat race. As I've aged I realized I'm on these meds out of habit, not necessity....These SSRI's are a temporary solution to temporary problems in most cases.
Of course I am not a Dr. and everyone is different in their pathology and biochemical processes but all things considered equal these meds do more damage than good.

 

Lots I can relate to here.  Have been on lexapro for a long time...was told it was 'gentle' medication.  In some ways it was, but it took me a while to realize the emotional flatness...I think it caused.

 

I am also not a doctor, but also feel these should be used as a temporary solution not long-term one.  Hoping coming off lexapro (next on the hit list) will give me some of that enthusiasm back.  Will see.

On and off various medicines since 1989

2009:  Prescribed Lexapro 5mg and Abilify 5mg
2015:  discovered MTHFR snp, went on Walsh protocol, felt better

2016:  down to 2.5mg each of Lexapro and Abilify

2017:  down to .7mg of Abilify, obtained liquid form.

Currently at .4mg of Abilify

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

PrinceChuck, I just saw your post and wanted to comment on my experience with Lexapro.  I also took this medication on and off for 9 years.  I have a love hate relationship with lexapro.  It did help my anxiety and panic attacks but it made me a zombie.  I became so reckless on it.  I would put up with things I normally would not, I would spend money like no other, go out with guys just because they were of opposite gender.  My libido was shot.  I felt like I was stuck in this hole and I could not get out.  It is not that I became unhappy, but I stopped feeling like my old self and happy.  Happiness just vanished and the joy of doing fun things.  I did function, but just did not feel good at all.  I was EXHAUSTED all the time.  I did not care how I looked during the day or what I wore to work.  I would make effort on weekends though. I still had anxiety but not as intense.  I could sleep for so longggg, and my biggest wish was to wake up early one day and not to feel tired.  My dosage was also much higher than yours I was all the way at 20 mg.  I am also petite 5'3 and about 115 so that was alot for me.  I withdrew completely in July of 2016 and I was ok for the first 2 months and now I feel like sh*t.  I do not know how I manage to go to work and function.  I am so dizzy and detached, anxiety is back here and there and had a few panic attacks.  

Few things that are helpful - clean diet (I cut out dairy completely and try to eat less wheat, no bread, no sweets, just vegetables and fruits and meat)

I try to do yoga at least once a week, sometimes I get so anxious there but towards the end of the class I am relaxed and it does help with breathing and awareness

I take vitamins - Omega 6 (invest in high quality one), vitamin D, magnesium, and adrenal support complex (helps with exhaustion)

Hope you are doing better

B.  

04/10 Luvox 25 mg PM, Nortriptyline 1 mg PM

03/08/19: Buspar 2.5 mg AM, 5 mg PM

01/01/19: Xanax 0.125 AM 5 times a week. Occasionally, 0.125 twice a day AM & noon

12/18 Armour Thyroid 60 mg (for hypothyroidism) 

 

Supplements: B Complex, B12 (adeno), multi-vitamin, D, Adrenal Cortex, iron

  • Lexapro 20 mg 2007 - 2013 with various attempts to stop
  • 2013 found a new Dr and started trying other meds: Prozac, Notryptoline, Effexor, Buspar, Gabapentin, Paxil, Nardil
  • Lexapro 15 mg 2015 - 04/2016
  • Vibryiid 10 - 15mg 05/16-06/16 
  • NO MEDS 07/16 - 10/31/16
  • Reinstated 10/31/16 at 2.5 mg lexapro, increased to 5 mg   
  • 1/13/17 switched to Luvox 50 mg before bed
  • 1/20/17 Luvox 37.5 mg PM
  • 12/18 Luvox 10 mg PM, Nortriptyline 2 mg (started Nortriptyline 06/17 at 10 mg)
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy