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Lois: Withdrawal Help Lexapro


Lois

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Hello folks I am somewhat new to this forum and have been reading a lot. I have been taking Lexapro since 2004 10mg then upped to 15mg two years ago when my mom passed. In the meantime, I was put on a PPI Protonix for reflux. Bad idea because I think the ppi increased the serum levels of Lexapro in my brain to mimick a higher dose.

I need help with my symtpms.
In the last week I dropped my Lexapro back to 10mg after 2 years at the higher 15mg. And I also stopped taking Protonix. What percentage did I drop?

I am not sleeping as I am dealing with severe chest tightness, increased heart rate, and muscles are so tight, also strange numbness. I have no appetite. Is this normal? I am so afraid and the docs I have seem to think this doesn't happen.

I want to try and stick this out how long will this craziness last.

I appreciate anyone's experience and advice.

Edited by scallywag
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Lexapro started 2004. In 2014 upped dosage to 15mg when my mom passed and then started Protonix a PPI. So been on the PPI and the increased dose of lexapro for two years. This November 2016 decided to drop lexapro back to 10mg and stopped taking ppi because I felt like I had some seratonin syndrome like symyptoms (not sure). Doc wasn't sure either. Trying to get through this...

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Hi Lois,

 

Welcome to SA! So glad you found the site. I know it's been a huge help to me and I trust it will be the same for you.

 

Moderators will be along shortly to offer more specific help, but in the meantime, let me reassure that everything you are experiencing is very common in Lexapro withdrawal. I am also not surprised that your doctors don't recognize any of these symptoms as withdrawal. This too, unfortunately, is very common.

 

Just know you are not alone. Many of us are walking this road with you, and can say without a doubt that healing, though slow, does happen.

 

Peace, love and healing.

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 

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Thanks so much for replying and for your kind words. Sometimes it just feels so hopeless and mornings are terrible for me as I know they can be for most. The not sleeping and feeling so full of tension and tightness are the worst for me. I do have ear ringing and headaches. I have had so many medical tests that show nothing. Need some better days than the bad ones.

 

Lois

Lexapro started 2004. In 2014 upped dosage to 15mg when my mom passed and then started Protonix a PPI. So been on the PPI and the increased dose of lexapro for two years. This November 2016 decided to drop lexapro back to 10mg and stopped taking ppi because I felt like I had some seratonin syndrome like symyptoms (not sure). Doc wasn't sure either. Trying to get through this...

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Hi Lois . Welcome. I'm so sorry you're experiencing these symptoms. Unfortunately , they are common in withdrawal and it sounds like you are in the midst of this after dropping your dose too quickly - about 33% approximately which is faster than we recommend.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Do you want to taper off Lexapro totally?

 

How long were you on the PPI and how fast did you taper ? If you can add a few more details to your signature, it would be helpful and then we can answer your questions more concisely. 

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Ali,

 

Thank you for replying.

 

I figured that I was dropping a bit fast with the lexapro but my doc said that it would be fine. Little did I know I would feel so bad. I did taper the ppi from 40mg to 20mg then some evry other day then stopped.

 

I updated my signature with more information.

 

When might I stabilize from this drop that I made a week ago at the end of Nov? My appetite is weak when im this anxious. I do have mild nausea and I force myself to eat. I want to stay at 10mg for now.

 

Thanks,

 

Lois

Lexapro started 2004. In 2014 upped dosage to 15mg when my mom passed and then started Protonix a PPI. So been on the PPI and the increased dose of lexapro for two years. This November 2016 decided to drop lexapro back to 10mg and stopped taking ppi because I felt like I had some seratonin syndrome like symyptoms (not sure). Doc wasn't sure either. Trying to get through this...

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  • Moderator

Ho Lois:

 

Welcome to SA. You have come to the right place to get help. The thing I can stress the most is please listen to the moderators. And Altostrata. They know what they are doing.

 

I was stupid and didn't listen to them. I listened to my dr instead and I'm reaping the consequences now.

 

I cut my Lexapro in half in June and have been nauseous every morning since. Had I found SA before that I probably would be better. But then I decided to do some other things (read my signature) and I'm sick because of all of this.

 

But I know now. I'm listening to everything they have to say and I will get better.

 

Everyone has their own type of withdrawals. Mine happens to be nausea. I know people on here that have insomnia, and others with other symptoms.

 

We are all here for each other. If you want to talk, I'm here.

 

Good luck. :)

 

Keep in touch.

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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Dear Lois,

 

Mornings are always the worst, at least they are for me. The nausea and cortisol spikes can be so overwhelming. Some info on why the mornings are difficult for many of us can be found here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/33-waking-with-panic-or-anxiety-managing-cortisol-spikes/

 

It has taken a long time (almost a year actually), but I have finally come to the point where I can accept these symptoms as withdrawal which will pass. I realize now that a misguided attempt to escape negative emotions is what ultimately brought me so low, and it is only through accepting them and considering what it is they are trying to teach me that I can ever be free of them.

 

Try your best to avoid fighting the worst of the symptoms and try relaxing into them. I use deep breathing and repeating mantras like "I am healing" and "This too shall pass" when I am in the worst of it.

 

No matter what path you choose to take from here, you WILL heal. I have no doubt. Just trust your body and brain to bring you back into perfect balance, and they will.

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 

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Just chime in and welcome you on board to SA Lois!

 

I stopped my PPI in middle of my tapering Lexapro. I got immediate withdrawal reaction from that, and I updosed from 2.7mg to 4.5 mg assuming the PPI would incraese the serotonin level while taking together with Lexapro up to 50% ( I read a research paper about this). Now looking back, I know I increased too much and ever since then, I have been dealing with Lexapro reaction effect on top of WD. I would guess it better to guess the PPIs effects are about 20-30 percent.

 

Have you saw the dose vs. serotonin concentration chart? It shows beyond 10 mg of Celexa ( half of potency of Lexapro, so 15 mg lex is equivalent to 30 mg Celexa), serotonin level doesn't increase much with dose increase. So I feel you may want to try to ride it out.

 

I will post the chart in the next post, please note the chart is for Celexa not Lexapro.

 

Hope you feel better soon.

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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Hmm, didnt get the attached work, trying again

post-3002-0-76464100-1480802134_thumb.jpg

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

This is the link to the discussion about the graphs:  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

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

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

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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LexAnger, thanks so much for the info! I appreciate your validating my suspicions about lexapro and the ppi. Doc was not sure. I guess I'm going to try and ride this out and see how far I get.

 

I have had heartburn most of the day today and will take 150mg of zantac tonight. I hope to get some sleep tonight.

 

Lois

Lexapro started 2004. In 2014 upped dosage to 15mg when my mom passed and then started Protonix a PPI. So been on the PPI and the increased dose of lexapro for two years. This November 2016 decided to drop lexapro back to 10mg and stopped taking ppi because I felt like I had some seratonin syndrome like symyptoms (not sure). Doc wasn't sure either. Trying to get through this...

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Oh, Zantac is very similar to PPI.

 

I was on PPI ( Prevacid) for many years, then the doctor switched me to Zantac while I was stable on the lex tapering. I started feeling some mild WD symptoms from lex when I switched to Zantac even I didn't drop lex. I stayed on Zantac for two months before stopping it suddenly when the severe WD of lex started.

 

Basically Zantac is about 94% as strong as a typical PPI.

 

I know how intolerable the heartburn can be, I don't know if you can try a smaller dose of it to take care of the heartburn.

How long have you been off PPI? I would guess getting back tips PPI will also make the real reduction lex less by increasing the serotonin level.

 

I wish I had got back to PPI at that time point instead of increasing lex, a bad guessing game resulted in years severe reaction to lex and took my originally fair taper to a complete chaos.

 

Be careful about every new thing you do as it could blow your mind off later on and change the path completely.

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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  • 4 weeks later...

Oh for goodness sakes, this sounds almost like what I went through during my withdrawals at their worst. It's not easy doing any withdrawal because one's body has a way of adapting to the introduced meds. It's called tolerance.

 

The best thing for such, when being polydrugged like you are- is to taper one drug at a time. Yeah it takes longer, but it's also easier on the body when you do that. 

I've noticed during my Benzo use that my serotonin levels did seem to elevate excessively as well.

 

And I made the mistake of trusting the doc about dropping dosage levels quickly. 

 

I wish you the best, during  your withdrawal and eventual recovery, Lois.

1)Zoloft- 6/99 to 8/04 2)Escitalopram- 8/04 to 8/10 3)Citalopram 8/10 to 4/14 (C/T), 4)Paxil a week or so, 5)Wellbutrin a week or so, 6)Reinstated Citalopram- 9/14 to 7/15

Before Taper- Celexa/20 mg....Taper Start- 04/21/15- 15mg....05/26/15- 10 mg...06/22/15- 5 mg...07/18/15- 0mg. http://tinyurl.com/qjfoqe9 Ativan/Lorazepam use/taper 10/14 to 2/15- http://tinyurl.com/ljebp84

Baclofen- Intermittent use of from 2008 till 2014. Some use of Promethazine. Some use of Zofran. Clobetasol Propionate- for Lichen Planus. Some Flexeril use. 

Ativan- GABA,A receptor Agonist., Baclofen- GABA,B receptor Agonist., Celexa/Lexapro- Serotonin 5-HT1A Receptor Agonist., Zofran- Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Agonist..Promethazine- Histamine H1-Receptor Antagonist. Flexeril- Serotonin 5HT2a Antagonist.

 

My self imposed Amino Acid Therapy: Tyrosine 500mg 1xday, Theanine 200 mg 1xday, & Taurine 500 mg 2x day. (All neurotransitter pre-cursors)- seems to have helped me immensely. And of course- eating healthy, including Black Beans for the oligosaccharides for gut health.

 

The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of trick learned while mastering the Art of Living. - Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning.

 

 

 

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