Jump to content

KtKat: and the Escitalopram


KtKat

Recommended Posts

Hi all, to start I would like to say I wish I'd found this website 8 months ago.

But if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

 

Just a disclaimer here, I'm a writer, so this is going to be detailed....

 

I started taking Escitalopram after I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression in April 2013 (At that point I had a 21 month old and a 3 month old), I had just hit the crazy 3 month post partum hormone phase, my hair had started falling out the week before and the hormones, lack of sleep and a pigheaded obsession with just taking on too much while having two small children just got to me. 

 

When the Dr and the mental health nurses suggested that I go on Escitalopram, I investigated the possible side effects from the medication, asked how long people usually take them for, but I didn't ask about the withdrawals....

 

After 9 months on them, I decided that I was probably in a better place with the kids and the pressure, I'd been back at work for 2 months, I'd had one appointment with a psych and missed a second one, I foolishly thought that I would be fine. The mental health service wouldn't take me back to give me advice about cessation, so I called and asked to speak to the mental health doc in the Post natal ward at the hospital who told me that I could just go off them cold turkey. Yep, thanks for that, Lady!

 

I stopped about a week before Christmas and went back on them about 6 weeks later - I had been driving to work and found myself thinking about suicide, not planning, just thinking and that is a huge warning sign for me, so back on the tablets I popped.

 

This year I decided that everything was a bit more stable, the kids were 3 and 4, and I thought that I might be in a position to start coming off the tablets. My doctor advised that I should be able to come off them, but only went as far as giving me a prescription for the suspension. He offered to do a mental health plan assessment and get me some free appointments with a psychologist, again, something I should have considered, but I went into this with a pretty cavalier attitude. 

 

I then discovered that I couldn't get the suspension, I tried a couple of pharmacies, but was told that it had been discontinued (although it is still on the PBS in Aus). 

 

I think my first dose reduction was to 5mg (much too large as I know now, but looking at the charts, it seems as though a difference in the larger doses is not as critical). After a couple of months, I made a suspension using tablets and water (I am a scientist by training, I convinced myself that I knew what I was doing), I think my dosage drops went to 3mg, then maybe 2, I'm not entirely sure as I didn't document it (naughty me). 

 

Over those few months, I didn't have too many issues, I noticed a few times that I was a bit anxious in the mornings, but I could always talk myself out of it, I might have had a few melancholy days, but all manageable. There were also a couple of positives, like the return of my libido, that was certainly a bonus.

 

In October I finally found a compounding pharmacy who made me the suspension and I started on 1.25mg/day. October/November were crazy busy, so I just maintained that dose until the markings on my syringe started fading. I think I missed a couple of doses, but I reckon my last one was about the 19th or 20th of December. 

 

On Xmas eve I came down with a cold, so I spent Xmas day feeling pretty seedy, only had one glass of sparkling. 

On the 26th and 27th hubby and I were finishing the construction of a cubby house for the kids in about 35degree temperatures, which wasn't pleasant. In hindsight, I think I knew I was on edge, I needed to take a break, but I really just wanted to get the damn thing finished, despite the heat. 

 

On the evening of the 27th I had a panic attack, as is my usual reaction, I then had the stress runs, then total freak out. I made a Dr appt for myself and my daughter (who I caught the cold from) the next morning as by then I had lost my voice. Then the next morning I had a text saying the Dr was not coming in and I should reschedule, when I got that message I broke down again. I managed to see a GP who told me that it probably was withdrawals and I should wait two weeks to see how it went. I was too frantic to wait and when I popped the antibiotic for my cold, I also popped a full 10mg Escitalopram.

 

In the cold light of the next morning, probably with the clarity of relieved withdrawals, I decided that I should stick it out and not keep taking it. Yep, super foolish, I know that now.

 

Over the next couple of days I had a thumping headache (fortunately only for one day), anxiety, gastro upsets, dizziness, nausea, decreased appetite, lethargy, pretty sure I had heart palpitations, and no real drive to do anything (at least it was the Christmas break and hubby was home with me and the kids). I prescribed myself a lot of time on the couch and spent a lot of money on Romance novels in the kindle app. Oh and on Friday morning, I remembered that I noticed a pink spot in a stretch mark on my breast about a month ago and convinced myself that I was dying of breast cancer, because anxiety.

 

I managed to convince myself to go out on New Years Eve and we spent the night at a friends beach house, with the kids, I had a single glass of sparkling (forgetting that I don't drink it because it gives me horrible gas tummy aches, fortunately I know how to relieve that) and a single bottle of cider. I forgot about antibiotic interactions and wound up with a terrific hangover, wise move Kat, wise move. 

 

After a healing dose of bacon, eggs, toast and fruit, I felt much better, but still didn't trust myself to do that so poor hubby, who was still recovering from an 11pm Jagerbomb, still had to drive the 1.5hrs home. I was feeling okay, but fragile; a little shaky and my heart still felt like it was racing.

 

Monday morning I was anxious, I spent the morning on the couch with aforementioned romance novels, a nap and a trip out for a late lunch for a friend's birthday. After lunch, which I forced myself to eat half of and normally I gorge, we took the kids to a beautiful park with lake and streams that you can walk in. While out I felt okay, but fragile and a little shaky. When we got home, I still felt shaky and collapsed on the couch. Dinner for all was toast. I played a couple of games on the Wii and felt much perkier, almost happy as the kids were going to bed.

 

When Tuesday morning rolled around, I was home alone with the kids (3 and 5). I was anxious when we woke up, but managed to feed us, shower (with company), brush all of our hair and get out for a walk before lunch. After lunch I felt pretty good again, but had an appointment with my regular GP, who I planned to talk to about whether I was having withdrawals or becoming symptomatic. He told me that I wouldn't still be having withdrawals and I should just go straight back on the medication. I filled in a K10 and he organised for me to have 6 appointments with a psych covered by medicare. He also told me that the spot on my breast is nothing to worry about. When I told him that I wasn't going to go back on the escitalopram he said he wanted to see me in two weeks. 

 

Despite his assertions that it couldn't be withdrawals, I couldn't quite believe it; anxiety wasn't the reason that I went on the medication initially, nothing else could explain the nausea or the dizziness, or my racing heart (I was feeling that my heart was racing, which you expect with anxiety, but I wasn't even anxious when the heart was pounding).

 

Wednesday morning again started with anxiety, and was now saddled with a 4 and 5 year old as it was the little ones birthday :). I had decided that I wanted to take the kids to the zoo. Unfortunately, I couldn't get organised until about 10, so we didn't get there until about 11, when it was already about 30degrees in the shade, not pleasant. We got home at about 3 and I was shattered; exhausted and anxious. I tried to have a nap on the couch, but the kids were too excited about the new slip n slide to let me rest long, although I did manage to get them to clean their room before letting them play. I was then short tempered and snappy while I tried to get the wretched thing working. After dinner, I went to bed pretty tired, but mostly happy. I had also realised the theme in how my days had been running and did a little positive thought work before bed. 

 

Thursday I woke up feeling fairly good. I managed to get to the gym for a Les Mills Body Balance class with my favourite instructor, I was still a little wired after the class, but by the afternoon I was feeling quite happy, I managed to get through the rest of the day, pulled down the Christmas tree and tidied the house a bit and did nothing out of laziness rather than inability. Even hubby said I seemed better. 

 

Of course, that didn't stay the way today. I forgot to do my positive thinking exercises last night, and I realised that in the night. I'm not sure if I was going to rebound a bit today anyway, if it was because I didn't do the exercises or if it was because I woke up in the night and remembered that I hadn't thought about not being anxious and worried that I would then become anxious. Aren't our brains amazing things?

 

Today was hard. Its been stinking hot here, I've been stuck in the house with the kids all day. I started out anxious and had loads of jobs to do to prep for the birthday party on Sunday (which is shared with two other kids and not at our house, thankfully). I didn't manage to get out to do the job I had to do, but at least I did get the computer prep. I was almost in tears when I was on the phone to DH (twice). My brain was playing the anxiety game, worried about dying, worrying about depression, worried that I'll get to fifty and not have beaten the depression and lose the battle with it anyway. Then I thought that maybe I do just need to be on it, life with two young kids is hard (esp as miss 4 is going through a phase of just completely ignoring any direction or requests), I was good yesterday and I'm bad again today. I spent some quality time on the couch with the latest romance novel. I managed today, the tv was on all day, we were inside (not completely my fault), I still managed to feed everyone (although it was four snack packets of chips for afternoon tea between the three of us), I pushed myself to vacuum the rest of the chips off the couch. I had a cry when DH got home.

 

Now I feel good. After reading some more information on the page, I have realised that my final taper was probably inadequate. I have been trawling the internet all week for information on tapering and withdrawals and had convinced myself this morning that the 1.25mg dose probably wasn't even a therapeutic level. Thanks to the article linked on the tapering page I now know that this isn't the case, even though they only look as citalopram in that article, I think there is some data to extrapolate for escitalopram. 

 

I'm now at the point of deciding whether to just ride it out (as much as you can ride out a hurricane that just keeps blowing back to shore), or to go back on to my lowest dose. At this stage, I've decided to wait until Sunday, then go back to 1.25mg if I feel I need it. I'm back at work next week, which has both positive and negative impacts. At least at work I will have something to keep me busy and distracted, but business won't actually ramp up properly until the week after, so it won't be too stressful, plus the kids will be at childcare so they will be adequately stimulated as well.

 

But for now, to bed, some positive thinking and hopefully a good nights sleep! Even though I know people might not actually make it this far in the post (it is very long) I have found the process of writing it very soothing and I have seen how far I have come in the last few days. I have felt relaxed and happy, but now I am getting wired again, so off to bed I go!

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment

Hello KtKat

 

It's good to see you on here but of course I am sorry you have been suffering so much over the holidays.

 

All your symptoms sound like classic WD to me. (I have been through a too fast taper thanks to my Dr. and had all the same.) 

 

The moderators will be able to advise you on how much they feel would be good for you to reinstate on. 

 

You have a busy life with two young children - you may need to reinstate just to take the edge off the anxiety etc.

 

Hope you had a restful night.

 

Best Wishes Flowers xxxx

15 yrs on 20 to 30 mgs CITALOPRAM.  MAY 2014 Increased to 40 mgs per day.SEPT/NOV 2014 tapered in 6 weeks down to 10 mgs as per Dr instructions due to violent nightmares/palpitations.Given Noctamid (lormetazepam) to help with anxiety. On average took 2mg per day for 8 weeks.No taper was advised.DEC 2014 WD severe. Nervous tic in eyes and limbs, muscle pain,fluct  temp, weakness, dep and anxiety, nausea, giddy, unstable when walking. Different Dr suggested taking 20mgs CIT. BROMAZEPAM 3mgs up to 3 x daily for anxiety.DEC 9 2014 Updose CIT to 30mgs. Only taking BROMAZEPAM in emergency.DEC 31 2014 Settling at 30mg CIT - helping with depression. No Brom for 2wks.Found SA.APR 2015 Trying to stabilise on 30mgs CIT.  JAN 2016 Started Cit Taper reducing by 5% per month.  28.5 mgs 
FEB  Taper held bereavement. APR Taper resumed 27mgs . MAY 25.50 mgs .  JUNE 24 mgs .  JULY I stupidly mixed up my BP meds with CIT. Consequently took no CIT for 3 days and doubled my BP meds. Waiting for the fallout....Holding for a while until any chance of repercussions have abated. SEPT taper resumed to  22.5 mgs . OCT 21 mgs .NOV 19.95 mgs DEC crashed. 2017: FEB 3rd updose to 20.5 mgs to try to stabilise.FEB.switched over to 75mgs of Venlafaxine XR for 3 weeks.Too stimulating so switching back to Cit. 12 March 37.5 Ven and 20 Cit. 21 March 18mg Ven 20mg Cit. 4 April 9mg Ven 20mg Cit. Xanax .50mg when needed.  13 April 0 mgs Ven, 20mg Citalopram. Xanax .50 mg per day. 5 May reinstated a small amount of Ven to stabilize  1 mg twice a day. 20 mg Citalopram at night. Xanax .25 mg twice per day.Other Meds: Losartan (BP)Started 1993 at  50 mgs at night.  Seretide (Asthma) Started 1996 at 1 puff twice a day. Jan 2019 Antibiotic Ceclor 500mgs twice a day for bronchitis and  Atrovent 2ml capsules twice a day for asthma. Finished the course of both Jan 17. 

XANAX  Jan 27  - Feb 3 2019 Failed Valium Crossover.   Feb 14 2019  Updosed Xanax by .0625  Feb 17 2019 Decreased Xanax by .0625. Back to .50mg daily.  Update Xanax 28.2.20 tapered to .1250 mg 8am .25 mg midnight. Update Xanax 11.8.21 tapered to .25 mg at night. 

Current Meds 28.2.19: CITALOPRAM  20mg  taken at midnight. VENLAFAXINE  .9 mg twice a day at 8am and 10pm.  XANAX .50 mg split into 4 doses per day. 10am .0625mg / 2pm .1250mg/ 6pm .0625mg / midnight .25mg.Update 10.8.22 .25 mg at night.  LOSARTAN 50 mgs taken at midnight.  SERETIDE 1 puff taken at 8am and 10pm.   7.7.19 VENLAFAXINE UPDATE: Started tapering 10% every 4 weeks. Currently .4 mg twice a day at 8am and 10 pm.  2.9.19 .36 mg x 2. 1.10.19  .32 mg x 2. 26.11.19 .29 mg x2. 26.12.19 .26 mg  x 2. 23.1.20  .23 mg x 2.  20.2.20 .21 mg x2.20.3.20  .19 mg x 2. 21.4.20 .17 mg x 2. 19.5.20 .13 mg x 2.  18.6.20 .11mg  x 2 .18.7.20.10 mg x 2.1.9.20.09 mg x 2. 30.9. 20 .08 mg x 2. 1.11.20 .07 mg x 2.  2.12.20 .06 mg x 2.  8.1.21 .05 mg x 2.  4.2.21 .04 mg x 2. 9.3.21 .03 mgx2.  7.4.21  .02 mg x 2.  9.5.21 .01 mg x 2.  21.6.21 .01 mg x 1.  11.8.21 ZERO!

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

KtKat -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

Thanks for posting a full account and for creating a medication history signature.

 

Escitalopram (Lexapro) is a very potent "anti-depressant" medication. I'm glad you did some reading around the site and have learned that even though you were taking less than the minimum therapeutic dose the drug was still having an effect on you and its absence is having one now.

What is withdrawal syndrome

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list

 

On Sunday, it will be 3 weeks since your last dose of 1.25 mg escitalopram.  It would be a good idea to reinstate less than that, 1.0 mg or less.  You may need to get a few new syringes, though. ;)

 

The reason for reinstating a lower dose is that when you started escitalopram, your CNS (central nervous system) made adjustments to its presence. Since you stopped, your CNS has been making adjustments to undo the previous changes. Here are links to several discussions with helpful descriptions and analogies:

One theory of anti-depressant withdrawal syndrome

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"

Youtube video, 4 minutes: Healing from antidepressants

 

Whether you reinstate or not, it would be a good idea to track your symptoms. You can use the checklist linked above or a more detailed daily log. This post has a useful format for a daily log:

Take notes of doses and symptoms

 

If you reinstate escitalopram, you'll want to give yourself time to stabilize, no LESS than 6-8 weeks. Once your symptoms have disappeared or settled to a tolerable level that doesn't change much, it would be time to consider slowly tapering off.

Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

Thank you for the support, Flowers, and the advice, Scallywag.

 

After reading your response, I decided to hit up the 1mg dose this morning. I might have the strength to keep up the withdrawal fight, but I know that when I go back to work, I won't have the time I need to look after myself as well as I will need to.

 

Having said that, I woke up feeling anxious about the fact that I might later feel anxious, so it was an improvement overall, but all the evidence says that the longer you wait to restart, the smaller the chance that it will work :)

 

And, fortunately, I had already found some syringes :D

 

Thank you again, wish me luck ????

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment

As an aside, from reading all that info, it seems as though they make it hard for you to be able to come off these meds. The closet conspiracy theorist might actually think it's because they don't want you too....

 

And the doctors who prescribe the meds are shamefully unaware of the possible ramifications of coming off them again. It is quite alarming (and that's not just the anxiety talking :P)

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment

Hi Kit. I just wanted to welcome you too from another Aussie. There are quite a few of us here now.  Please read through all of Scally's many links.

 

There are a lot but it does take a bit of reading to start to understand this. Come back with any questions or concerns that you have.

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
.
         

Link to comment

Hi KtKat

 

Good luck - reinstatement worked for me so I hope it helps you too.

 

I agree with your comments re the drugs (manufacturers and suppliers). It is criminal that they can get away with it.

 

Let us know how you get on.

 

Flowers xxx

15 yrs on 20 to 30 mgs CITALOPRAM.  MAY 2014 Increased to 40 mgs per day.SEPT/NOV 2014 tapered in 6 weeks down to 10 mgs as per Dr instructions due to violent nightmares/palpitations.Given Noctamid (lormetazepam) to help with anxiety. On average took 2mg per day for 8 weeks.No taper was advised.DEC 2014 WD severe. Nervous tic in eyes and limbs, muscle pain,fluct  temp, weakness, dep and anxiety, nausea, giddy, unstable when walking. Different Dr suggested taking 20mgs CIT. BROMAZEPAM 3mgs up to 3 x daily for anxiety.DEC 9 2014 Updose CIT to 30mgs. Only taking BROMAZEPAM in emergency.DEC 31 2014 Settling at 30mg CIT - helping with depression. No Brom for 2wks.Found SA.APR 2015 Trying to stabilise on 30mgs CIT.  JAN 2016 Started Cit Taper reducing by 5% per month.  28.5 mgs 
FEB  Taper held bereavement. APR Taper resumed 27mgs . MAY 25.50 mgs .  JUNE 24 mgs .  JULY I stupidly mixed up my BP meds with CIT. Consequently took no CIT for 3 days and doubled my BP meds. Waiting for the fallout....Holding for a while until any chance of repercussions have abated. SEPT taper resumed to  22.5 mgs . OCT 21 mgs .NOV 19.95 mgs DEC crashed. 2017: FEB 3rd updose to 20.5 mgs to try to stabilise.FEB.switched over to 75mgs of Venlafaxine XR for 3 weeks.Too stimulating so switching back to Cit. 12 March 37.5 Ven and 20 Cit. 21 March 18mg Ven 20mg Cit. 4 April 9mg Ven 20mg Cit. Xanax .50mg when needed.  13 April 0 mgs Ven, 20mg Citalopram. Xanax .50 mg per day. 5 May reinstated a small amount of Ven to stabilize  1 mg twice a day. 20 mg Citalopram at night. Xanax .25 mg twice per day.Other Meds: Losartan (BP)Started 1993 at  50 mgs at night.  Seretide (Asthma) Started 1996 at 1 puff twice a day. Jan 2019 Antibiotic Ceclor 500mgs twice a day for bronchitis and  Atrovent 2ml capsules twice a day for asthma. Finished the course of both Jan 17. 

XANAX  Jan 27  - Feb 3 2019 Failed Valium Crossover.   Feb 14 2019  Updosed Xanax by .0625  Feb 17 2019 Decreased Xanax by .0625. Back to .50mg daily.  Update Xanax 28.2.20 tapered to .1250 mg 8am .25 mg midnight. Update Xanax 11.8.21 tapered to .25 mg at night. 

Current Meds 28.2.19: CITALOPRAM  20mg  taken at midnight. VENLAFAXINE  .9 mg twice a day at 8am and 10pm.  XANAX .50 mg split into 4 doses per day. 10am .0625mg / 2pm .1250mg/ 6pm .0625mg / midnight .25mg.Update 10.8.22 .25 mg at night.  LOSARTAN 50 mgs taken at midnight.  SERETIDE 1 puff taken at 8am and 10pm.   7.7.19 VENLAFAXINE UPDATE: Started tapering 10% every 4 weeks. Currently .4 mg twice a day at 8am and 10 pm.  2.9.19 .36 mg x 2. 1.10.19  .32 mg x 2. 26.11.19 .29 mg x2. 26.12.19 .26 mg  x 2. 23.1.20  .23 mg x 2.  20.2.20 .21 mg x2.20.3.20  .19 mg x 2. 21.4.20 .17 mg x 2. 19.5.20 .13 mg x 2.  18.6.20 .11mg  x 2 .18.7.20.10 mg x 2.1.9.20.09 mg x 2. 30.9. 20 .08 mg x 2. 1.11.20 .07 mg x 2.  2.12.20 .06 mg x 2.  8.1.21 .05 mg x 2.  4.2.21 .04 mg x 2. 9.3.21 .03 mgx2.  7.4.21  .02 mg x 2.  9.5.21 .01 mg x 2.  21.6.21 .01 mg x 1.  11.8.21 ZERO!

 

Link to comment

Well, they say knowledge is power so I've hit up one of my old textbooks today - Principles of Neural Science.

 

There may have been a few paragraphs that I've had to read a couple of times to get them to sink in; could be because I'm out of practice or because my brain isn't quite switched one....

 

I'm feeling okay today, had a birthday party for my 4yo at a swim centre so it was out of the house and no pressure, which was lovely. I was still anxious this morning, but all of my GI symptoms and most of my neuro symptoms have subsided.

 

Like others, I find that I am anxious in the morning, then almost back to normal in the afternoon/evening. I also find that I wake up in the night and try to work out if I'm anxious, which wakes me up and makes me anxious. Sigh.

 

Back to work tomorrow. At least that should distract me and give me the motivation to keep rolling on :)

 

As an aside, I'm still on 1mg as of yesterday, but I made a fresh suspension today as the one from the pharmacy had expired and I did some reading on other threads about using suspensions past their expiry :)

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment

Well the last couple of days have been interesting.

Monday I came to work, someone asked how I was and I burst into tears.

I got a lot out of my system. Monday night I felt good, lots of energy even.

Tuesday started okay. But I ended up being anxious for more than half the day. Then exhausted at night, I was in bed at 730 with a book and asleep around 930.

Hubby's alarm goes off at 5 and I have trouble getting back to sleep after that.

This morning I'm on the verge of panic. I came to work ok and had a walk from my car to work feeling wired but okay. I just feel like I'm on the edge of a meltdown now.

Aargh.

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Are you at work now?  It makes it tough having to cope with w/d plus being out and about and therefore not having private spaces to go to.  There are some simple things that might help you ease your way through the day.  Sipping at cool water can be calming.  Try to notice when you feel anxiety or distress as it begins, then you can try to 'nip it in the bud.'  The 'nipping' could involve some focused breath work - in slowly thru nostrils, out slowly thru nostrils - or placing your hands on your thighs and your feet on the ground in order to ground yourself.  Not sure what your work involves, but if you can, some music via headphones can also be soothing. 

 

And if there is somewhere private you can go for 5 mins, try lying on the floor with your legs up the wall.  It's amazing how well that works to reset our emotions.

 

Hope you find someway to get through the day,

Hugs,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

Link to comment

Thank you Karen (hugs accepted willingly!)

Fortunately I have a very supportive workplace! I ended up having a massive, teary breakdown on one of my co-workers and then they collectively sent me home.

I do feel a lot better after the big tear session though. Although I had no particular reason to be sad and teary, I guess that's confirmation of withdrawals. And I'm hoping it signals a change in symptoms and maybe that the stabilising dose is coming into effect. In the words of the doctor "I am the hoper of far-flung hopes and dreamer of impossible dreams".

Now I'm at home on the couch, winding down to try and have a sleep.

Phew!

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment

So sorry you have been feeling anxious.  Maybe your reinstatement hasn't  got into your system yet?

 

Are you still having the other symptoms as well as anxiety?

 

Your colleagues sound like a lovely bunch. 

 

xxxxx Flowers

15 yrs on 20 to 30 mgs CITALOPRAM.  MAY 2014 Increased to 40 mgs per day.SEPT/NOV 2014 tapered in 6 weeks down to 10 mgs as per Dr instructions due to violent nightmares/palpitations.Given Noctamid (lormetazepam) to help with anxiety. On average took 2mg per day for 8 weeks.No taper was advised.DEC 2014 WD severe. Nervous tic in eyes and limbs, muscle pain,fluct  temp, weakness, dep and anxiety, nausea, giddy, unstable when walking. Different Dr suggested taking 20mgs CIT. BROMAZEPAM 3mgs up to 3 x daily for anxiety.DEC 9 2014 Updose CIT to 30mgs. Only taking BROMAZEPAM in emergency.DEC 31 2014 Settling at 30mg CIT - helping with depression. No Brom for 2wks.Found SA.APR 2015 Trying to stabilise on 30mgs CIT.  JAN 2016 Started Cit Taper reducing by 5% per month.  28.5 mgs 
FEB  Taper held bereavement. APR Taper resumed 27mgs . MAY 25.50 mgs .  JUNE 24 mgs .  JULY I stupidly mixed up my BP meds with CIT. Consequently took no CIT for 3 days and doubled my BP meds. Waiting for the fallout....Holding for a while until any chance of repercussions have abated. SEPT taper resumed to  22.5 mgs . OCT 21 mgs .NOV 19.95 mgs DEC crashed. 2017: FEB 3rd updose to 20.5 mgs to try to stabilise.FEB.switched over to 75mgs of Venlafaxine XR for 3 weeks.Too stimulating so switching back to Cit. 12 March 37.5 Ven and 20 Cit. 21 March 18mg Ven 20mg Cit. 4 April 9mg Ven 20mg Cit. Xanax .50mg when needed.  13 April 0 mgs Ven, 20mg Citalopram. Xanax .50 mg per day. 5 May reinstated a small amount of Ven to stabilize  1 mg twice a day. 20 mg Citalopram at night. Xanax .25 mg twice per day.Other Meds: Losartan (BP)Started 1993 at  50 mgs at night.  Seretide (Asthma) Started 1996 at 1 puff twice a day. Jan 2019 Antibiotic Ceclor 500mgs twice a day for bronchitis and  Atrovent 2ml capsules twice a day for asthma. Finished the course of both Jan 17. 

XANAX  Jan 27  - Feb 3 2019 Failed Valium Crossover.   Feb 14 2019  Updosed Xanax by .0625  Feb 17 2019 Decreased Xanax by .0625. Back to .50mg daily.  Update Xanax 28.2.20 tapered to .1250 mg 8am .25 mg midnight. Update Xanax 11.8.21 tapered to .25 mg at night. 

Current Meds 28.2.19: CITALOPRAM  20mg  taken at midnight. VENLAFAXINE  .9 mg twice a day at 8am and 10pm.  XANAX .50 mg split into 4 doses per day. 10am .0625mg / 2pm .1250mg/ 6pm .0625mg / midnight .25mg.Update 10.8.22 .25 mg at night.  LOSARTAN 50 mgs taken at midnight.  SERETIDE 1 puff taken at 8am and 10pm.   7.7.19 VENLAFAXINE UPDATE: Started tapering 10% every 4 weeks. Currently .4 mg twice a day at 8am and 10 pm.  2.9.19 .36 mg x 2. 1.10.19  .32 mg x 2. 26.11.19 .29 mg x2. 26.12.19 .26 mg  x 2. 23.1.20  .23 mg x 2.  20.2.20 .21 mg x2.20.3.20  .19 mg x 2. 21.4.20 .17 mg x 2. 19.5.20 .13 mg x 2.  18.6.20 .11mg  x 2 .18.7.20.10 mg x 2.1.9.20.09 mg x 2. 30.9. 20 .08 mg x 2. 1.11.20 .07 mg x 2.  2.12.20 .06 mg x 2.  8.1.21 .05 mg x 2.  4.2.21 .04 mg x 2. 9.3.21 .03 mgx2.  7.4.21  .02 mg x 2.  9.5.21 .01 mg x 2.  21.6.21 .01 mg x 1.  11.8.21 ZERO!

 

Link to comment

Yeah, they really are lovely (I work in a hospital which probably helps too).

I read that it can take a week for dosages to stabilise, so I'm using that as my mantra at the moment.

Apart from the anxiety, I'm still having a higher heart rate and crazy dreams and sleeping poorly (waking every hour or so).

I do feel a bit better this morning, sort of like I only had 2 coffees instead of 8. I can feel the anxiety buzzing in the background, but I can actually manage it today, so I think we might be getting somewhere.

Off to the Gp this afternoon to convince him that withdrawals are real and hopefully get a referral to a psychiatrist.

Thanks all

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all, I have an update and a question for you.

I'm doing ok. Everything stabilised after that first week and I have been feeling a lot better.

However, I have had ongoing issues with my tummy. The first week I had cramps and bloating, that's now subsided, but I've been getting tummy cramps this week, including in a spot that I know cramps when I am stressed. I had tests done for parasites and bacteria in the bowel, but these all came up negative, and that's when I remembered that I have had IBS in the past. And SSRIs have been used to treat IBS in the past. 2+2=.....

Coupled with this, I also feel like I'm sliding back into depression, which could be by itself, or it could be feedback from the IBS, I think there is an established relationship between the two.

Anyway, this led to a midnight decision to start ramping back up to a dose of about 5mg escitalopram, (or perhaps 5 or 10mg citalopram).

So, my question, when ramping back up, can you avoid side effects by increasing at the same sort of rate you decrease? And does anyone have any experience switching from escitalopram to citalopram?

Thanks all x

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment

If you are in withdrawal your nervous system might be quite stressed and can respond differently to previously tolerated doses of lexapro. I would be very careful about increasing the dose If i were you. Some people find probiotics helpful for stomach issues during withdrawal.

<p>Sept 2015: 5 mg Cipralex for 3 weeks. Lots of side effects. Reduced to 2.5 mg for 2 weeks. Experiencing withdrawal and side effects still after dose reduction. Quit after almost 4 weeks on 2.5 mg because of adverse effects. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms still. Reinstating 1mg after 3 weeks. Reduced to 0.50 after 2 days due to sensitive reaction (dysautonomia) and trip to ER. January 2016: After 14 months of tapering from 0.5 mg im now down to 0.08mg. Planing on one more drop before 4-8 weeks healing, then jump to zero. 14.03.17: Lexapro free!

Link to comment

Thanks Cipramillion, would it still be considered withdrawal though if I have reinstated at a lower dose and am not experiencing the withdrawal symptoms anymore (except the previously mentioned GI upset)?

 

I've just started on probiotics, vitamin D (Blood test a couple of weeks ago showed low vit D), a general Multi vitamin and Spirulina (at my sister's recommendation for energy). I have had an appointment with a psychologist, and I had a referral for a psychiatrist, but I only sent that through on Thursday and haven't had a reply (apparently she likes to see the referral and 'if she thinks she can help you she will offer you an appointment'). 

 

It has also been a huge week for my family, my big kid started school and the little one started preschool, the big one coped beautifully, but the little one has had all sorts of separation anxiety and had both of us bawling at the drop of on Thurs :(

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

We suggest increasing slowly to reduce the potential for destabilizing your CNS (central nervous system) with too high a dose.  Now that you've made one change to 5 mg, please stay there for at least 2 weeks before making another change. It takes about 4 days for the drug to establish new steady state levels and then a week or more for your CNS to adjust in a way that stops the symptoms. Please read

How long to stabilize after reinstating or updosing.

 

Please keep these ideas in mind: 3KIS: Keep it slow. Keep it simple. Keep it stable.

 

Some people find they need to be careful with multi-vitamin-mineral complexes. If symptoms arise, it is difficult to tell which component of the multi is causing the symptoms. Some people are particularly sensitive to B vitamins and choose to get the other vitamins and minerals in single ingredient formulations.

 

You would be wise to introduce the supplements one at a time and at as low a dose as possible then working your way up. Again, this is so that you can tell whether you have a reaction to the supplement.

 

It's also a good idea to take notes. Please keep notes on paper of your symptoms and the times of your dose(s). This post has a useful format for a daily log:

Take notes of doses and symptoms.

 

Digestive symptoms are common side effects of SSRI medication and are also common withdrawal/discontinuation symptoms:

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.

Digestive problems: nausea, diarrhea, bloating, GERD

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

Lol, I'm not that crazy,I didn't leap up that much in one go! I made a moderate increase to 1.24mg this morning (I have a 2mg/ml suspension) as my last stable, non-symptomatic, dose was 1.25mg from October to December prior to cessation. I've been on the 1mg dose for 4 weeks.

 

Thanks for the advice on the supps, I'll wind back to just the vitamin D.

 

I'll stick to the 1.25mg dose to stabilise now that I have started it and I've been prescribed colofac for the cramping, which is quite bothersome. There are no known drug interactions for colofac so hopefully that will give me some relief!

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment

Good to hear, KtKat! You are doing an incredible job fighting WD ???? Like Scallywag said, all changes in dose on these meds can give unexpected results, even If you dont experience WD, you could be slamed down again after a small change. Best to play safe!

<p>Sept 2015: 5 mg Cipralex for 3 weeks. Lots of side effects. Reduced to 2.5 mg for 2 weeks. Experiencing withdrawal and side effects still after dose reduction. Quit after almost 4 weeks on 2.5 mg because of adverse effects. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms still. Reinstating 1mg after 3 weeks. Reduced to 0.50 after 2 days due to sensitive reaction (dysautonomia) and trip to ER. January 2016: After 14 months of tapering from 0.5 mg im now down to 0.08mg. Planing on one more drop before 4-8 weeks healing, then jump to zero. 14.03.17: Lexapro free!

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for clarifying. I'm not sure where I got the idea that you jumped directly to 5 mg. :blink:

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

Good Luck KtKat! You are doing so well. It's not easy coping with WD and children and IBS.

 

Hope you stabilise soon and things improve with your tummy.

 

Best Wishes

 

Flowers xxx

15 yrs on 20 to 30 mgs CITALOPRAM.  MAY 2014 Increased to 40 mgs per day.SEPT/NOV 2014 tapered in 6 weeks down to 10 mgs as per Dr instructions due to violent nightmares/palpitations.Given Noctamid (lormetazepam) to help with anxiety. On average took 2mg per day for 8 weeks.No taper was advised.DEC 2014 WD severe. Nervous tic in eyes and limbs, muscle pain,fluct  temp, weakness, dep and anxiety, nausea, giddy, unstable when walking. Different Dr suggested taking 20mgs CIT. BROMAZEPAM 3mgs up to 3 x daily for anxiety.DEC 9 2014 Updose CIT to 30mgs. Only taking BROMAZEPAM in emergency.DEC 31 2014 Settling at 30mg CIT - helping with depression. No Brom for 2wks.Found SA.APR 2015 Trying to stabilise on 30mgs CIT.  JAN 2016 Started Cit Taper reducing by 5% per month.  28.5 mgs 
FEB  Taper held bereavement. APR Taper resumed 27mgs . MAY 25.50 mgs .  JUNE 24 mgs .  JULY I stupidly mixed up my BP meds with CIT. Consequently took no CIT for 3 days and doubled my BP meds. Waiting for the fallout....Holding for a while until any chance of repercussions have abated. SEPT taper resumed to  22.5 mgs . OCT 21 mgs .NOV 19.95 mgs DEC crashed. 2017: FEB 3rd updose to 20.5 mgs to try to stabilise.FEB.switched over to 75mgs of Venlafaxine XR for 3 weeks.Too stimulating so switching back to Cit. 12 March 37.5 Ven and 20 Cit. 21 March 18mg Ven 20mg Cit. 4 April 9mg Ven 20mg Cit. Xanax .50mg when needed.  13 April 0 mgs Ven, 20mg Citalopram. Xanax .50 mg per day. 5 May reinstated a small amount of Ven to stabilize  1 mg twice a day. 20 mg Citalopram at night. Xanax .25 mg twice per day.Other Meds: Losartan (BP)Started 1993 at  50 mgs at night.  Seretide (Asthma) Started 1996 at 1 puff twice a day. Jan 2019 Antibiotic Ceclor 500mgs twice a day for bronchitis and  Atrovent 2ml capsules twice a day for asthma. Finished the course of both Jan 17. 

XANAX  Jan 27  - Feb 3 2019 Failed Valium Crossover.   Feb 14 2019  Updosed Xanax by .0625  Feb 17 2019 Decreased Xanax by .0625. Back to .50mg daily.  Update Xanax 28.2.20 tapered to .1250 mg 8am .25 mg midnight. Update Xanax 11.8.21 tapered to .25 mg at night. 

Current Meds 28.2.19: CITALOPRAM  20mg  taken at midnight. VENLAFAXINE  .9 mg twice a day at 8am and 10pm.  XANAX .50 mg split into 4 doses per day. 10am .0625mg / 2pm .1250mg/ 6pm .0625mg / midnight .25mg.Update 10.8.22 .25 mg at night.  LOSARTAN 50 mgs taken at midnight.  SERETIDE 1 puff taken at 8am and 10pm.   7.7.19 VENLAFAXINE UPDATE: Started tapering 10% every 4 weeks. Currently .4 mg twice a day at 8am and 10 pm.  2.9.19 .36 mg x 2. 1.10.19  .32 mg x 2. 26.11.19 .29 mg x2. 26.12.19 .26 mg  x 2. 23.1.20  .23 mg x 2.  20.2.20 .21 mg x2.20.3.20  .19 mg x 2. 21.4.20 .17 mg x 2. 19.5.20 .13 mg x 2.  18.6.20 .11mg  x 2 .18.7.20.10 mg x 2.1.9.20.09 mg x 2. 30.9. 20 .08 mg x 2. 1.11.20 .07 mg x 2.  2.12.20 .06 mg x 2.  8.1.21 .05 mg x 2.  4.2.21 .04 mg x 2. 9.3.21 .03 mgx2.  7.4.21  .02 mg x 2.  9.5.21 .01 mg x 2.  21.6.21 .01 mg x 1.  11.8.21 ZERO!

 

Link to comment

Thanks folks, the support and encouragment is really heartening <3

Scallywag, I did say I was planning to land at a 5mg dose eventually, so you did read it in there :)

And yes, it is tough with all of the side effects and kids and work, lets just say there hasn't been an awful lot of housework done recently....

Tummy is not so crampy today, have just had to dash to the loo though , so there might be an effect there.

One of the toughest things is the second guessing "I changed my dose because I was feeling bad yesterday, but I'm feeling better again today and I know it takes longer than that to start working, so maybe my last dose was okay and I should drop back down again", you know what I mean? (don't worry, I've made a decision and I'm sticking to it)

I have also been reading a book called the happiness trap and I think the techniques in there are quite helpful, it goes through the ACT technique/protocol/program/whatever you want to call it.

Thanks again, hopefully I'll be able to give another positive update soon :)

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

Hi all, it has been an interesting month, to say the least. 

 

So, everything did sort of stabilise after I upped to 1.25mg, I had a couple of visits with the psychiatrist and was still waiting to see the psychologist. I have noticed over the last few weeks that I seem worse on Fridays, maybe a culmination of working through my energy reserves during the week and the fact that I am home with no real goals/routine for the day, but overall I was doing okay with some anxiety and tummy issues being the main ongoing problem. One of my ongoing fears is still that I will one day lose the battle and I had a moment a couple of weeks ago where I was thinking about what would happen to my kids if that happened and I had the sudden thought 'What if I took them too?' Needless to say, that was a terrifying and confronting thought and I spent some time talking to the local mental health team and worked myself steady again. 

 

Last Thursday (2nd March) my Escitalopram suspension also ran out, and the pharmacy didn't have any of the drug in stock to make it up again, so on Thursday morning I only had about 0.8mg instead of 1.25mg. I don't know whether it was that or the fact that my weekend routine was just so far out of kilter, but I had some anxious patches over the weekend, I did Monday off work and I was trying to meet a deadline, so I was a bit rushed. I went back to work on Tuesday and I was anxious before leaving home, but that has happened in the past weeks anyway and I have been able to get on top of it when I started working, with maybe some bother every couple of hours. Not so on Tuesday. I was just wired and could hardly get past it for most of the morning, it did settle a little in the afternoon, but I ended up leaving work early. Does is seem possible that the single lower dose could cause that sort of anxiety?

 

On Wednesday I received a call offering an appointment with the psychiatrist yesterday as they had a cancellation, which I gratefully accepted. 

I have come away from that with mixed feelings. She suggested that if I want to try without medication, I should be fine to come off of it. She prescribed me Xanax 0.25mg/twice a day to help with the withdrawal symptoms and suggested that I should be able to wind down my medication over the course of about 12 days(4 days each of 1mg, .75mg, .5mg escitalopram with an AM and afternoon Xanax). Has anyone had experience withdrawing this way?

 

My other concern is that if I am still unstable on my current escitalopram dose, is it wise to start messing with the system again? 

 

Thanks again for all of your help xo

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment

I have come away from that with mixed feelings.

You too huh ...i define 'mixed feelings' as watching my ex-doctor drive over a cliff in my brand new Holden Commodore.

 

She suggested that if I want to try without medication, I should be fine to come off of it.

Why does she think this?

What does she base this on?

 

She prescribed me Xanax 0.25mg/twice a day to help with the withdrawal symptoms and suggested that I should be able to wind down my medication over the course of about 12 days(4 days each of 1mg, .75mg, .5mg escitalopram with an AM and afternoon Xanax). Has anyone had experience withdrawing this way?

 

May i ask you a question.

Based on all the info provided in the links above (assuming you have read them), and your experience to date, what do you think of this advice?

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

Link to comment

Thanks NZ11.

 

You too huh ...i define 'mixed feelings' as watching my ex-doctor drive over a cliff in my brand new Holden Commodore.

Oh dear, funny and not funny at the same time.

 

Why does she think this?

What does she base this on?

My original diagnosis was for post-natal depression, I had a 19month old and a 3month old and I was at the point where all of my hormones hit the post-delivery slump; all my hair fell out, my body changed and I had sleep deprivation. Post natal depression ensued. I explained that to her and that I am in a pretty good place  now with my kids (although I argued with my youngest, who is now four, yesterday morning because she wanted chocolate milk on her cocopops... pretty standard parenting), my work is steady, hubby is good, I have better family support than I had then. I explained to her that I have no problems with continuing a medication if I need it, but I'm not sure that there is a clinically defined need anymore. So she agreed that a trial without the medication sounded perfectly reasonable.

 

 

May i ask you a question.

Based on all the info provided in the links above (assuming you have read them), and your experience to date, what do you think of this advice?

Yes, I have read most, if not all, of the links. From what I have read and my experience, I think that the most successful withdrawals seem to happen when your system is stable and slow is better, but I don't believe I have read much about using another medication to mask/alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. Honestly, yesterday I was having a non-anxious day, until she said that. The suggestion filled me with fear. She did say that in her experience, most people only suffer from withdrawals for about a week, but everyone is different. I think that this community represents the portion of people who are more sensitive to this type of medication and the cessation of them. 

 

But that didn't really answer the question; I think the strength of my confidence in the advice is pretty clear, I posted on here asking about it didn't I?

 

At the moment, my system seems so out of kilter and my decision making skills are so shot that I can't even decide what to wear when I get up in the morning. I am also about to start a topic with questions related to thyroid conditions as I think I may be suffering from an imbalance in that area, just trying to work out where to put the thread :D

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

It is usually better to stay on the drug you on and taper off that.  That is the drug that your brain has adapted to.  If you change drugs then you may experience withdrawal from the former drug, start up issues and possibly side effects from the new drug.  You won't know what is causing any problems.

 

To search for topics about thyroid on SA use a search engine and type in survivingantidepressants.org thyroid.

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

Link to comment

It is usually better to stay on the drug you on and taper off that.  That is the drug that your brain has adapted to.  If you change drugs then you may experience withdrawal from the former drug, start up issues and possibly side effects from the new drug.  You won't know what is causing any problems.

 

To search for topics about thyroid on SA use a search engine and type in survivingantidepressants.org thyroid.

 

That is kind of how I feel, I'm not sure about starting another drug in order to get of the first one... the words I hear are "she swallowed the spider to catch the fly..."

 

Thank you for the help on the searching, I was using the search bar the top without much luck - not all search boxes are created equally :D

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

Link to comment

Thanks for the very candid reply ktkat.

 

I explained to her that I have no problems with continuing a medication if I need it, but I'm not sure that there is a clinically defined need anymore. So she agreed that a trial without the medication sounded perfectly reasonable.

Regardless of all the support,as great as that is, there is a need that you are overlooking and it is that you are now a escitalopram drug addict.

So you now need to back out of it carefully. You are still experiencing feelings of depression, generalised anxiety  withdrawal  symptoms, symptoms of abstinence. (They mimic depression and anxiety etc but they are withdrawal).

 

You have already had a trial without drugs ...see dec 13 and 27 dec 16 to now (which is longer than a week right? has your doctor acknowledged this?). If you taper off again following your doctors latest advice there is a good chance this merry go round will repeat itself once more.

 

She did say that in her experience, most people only suffer from withdrawals for about a week.

So how does she explain the current position you are now in which has been going on for well over a week and is such that you had to seek relief by ri of a small dose. (then there was the dec 13 effort)

Perhaps your doctor doesn't see it that you are currently experiencing withdrawal, and like so many doctors who are ignorant of wdl syndrome, sees it as a relapse or emergence of some other condition.

 

At the moment, my system seems so out of kilter and my decision making skills are so shot that I can't even decide what to wear when I get up in the morning.

You are unstable and it could take months to stabilise.

Personally i wouldnt add more drugs to the mix and i would just wait this out doing nothing until the waves of withdrawal recede. 

It could take months.

You are not alone.

We are all learning new levels of patience.

 

As cc says you are better to taper off the drug you are on.....when you are stable.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

Link to comment

Thanks for the very candid reply ktkat.

 

There didn't seem much point for anything but candour!

 

But I don't want *stamps foot* to be a drug addict!!  (Can I have an award for the most ludicrous comment ever?)

 

You have already had a trial without drugs ...see dec 13 and 27 dec 16 to now (which is longer than a week right? has your doctor acknowledged this?). If you taper off again following your doctors latest advice there is a good chance this merry go round will repeat itself once more.

Considering I have reinstated since the 27dec cessation, I don't think she recognises my current symptoms as still being withdrawal. She kind of glossed over the current anxiety and I think she was sort of thinking, 'lets get it out of the system completely and see where we are after that.' However, I did indicate to her that I thought there may be a hormonal imbalance/thyroid issue which could be causative for a few things going on with my symptoms. 

Of the symptoms I had with my initial withdrawal (thumping headache (fortunately only for one day), anxiety, gastro upsets, dizziness, nausea, decreased appetite, lethargy, pretty sure I had heart palpitations, and no real drive to do anything), only three of them remain - anxiety, GI issues and palpitations. Which can all be explained by a thyroid condition. 

 

I think my plan from now is to stick out my current protocol, get my hormone levels all checked properly to make sure there isn't anything else going on and then consider a plan of attack. 

I will admit, there is a bit of an Eve and the snake appeal about the thought of a drug that will ease the anxiety that will be induced by withdrawal, that should probably be a bit of a tell that it might be a bad idea though....

Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram

4 Feb 2017 - inc to 1.25mg Escitalopram after some feelings of depression returning

Currently experiencing generalised anxiety in waves

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