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Free2be81: Lexapro 10mg - Ready to begin taper


Free2be81

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Hello everyone,

 

I am a 35 year old mom who works as a Computer Analyst. I have suffered with anxiety attacks and heart palpitations since my early 20's. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age 28. Took a whole host of antibiotics and steroids to get through a really hard time. I eventually ended up on IV Remicade every 6 weeks to reduce the inflammation caused by Crohns. I made a 17 hour move to a new state Summer of 2015. Was very excited about the move, love my new job, have made a lot of really close friends, and life has been good to me in my new state. However, back where I used to live, I would get my Crohn's treatments in a doctor's office. At my new location, I had to go get them at a Cancer center. This *did* not help my anxiety. I started having MEGA panic attacks each time I went to treatment. I would get anxiety so bad at work in meetings, I'd have to go hide in a bathroom stall and sit on the floor and try to "get it together". Finally, I went for my last Remicade appointment in January 2016. I had such a bad panic attack, I pulled over on the side of the road and my husband had to come get me. And I told him, that was it. I wasn't going back to that Cancer Center. I don't care if Remicade helped me. I was done taking it. I was done getting IV drips every 6 weeks. Over it. I was scared that my Crohn's disease would come back strong but oddly enough, it hasn't. I've been fine in that regard. By March 2016, my anxiety attacks and heart palpitations were running my life. My family physician who is very kind and compassionate recommended Lexapro. I even had panic attacks every time I went to her office. I always said I would never take meds. *Never*. But in March, I couldn't take it anymore. I was willing to try. 

 

Here we are almost a year later, and I'm ready to drop Lexapro. It has CERTAINLY helped my anxiety, heart palpitations, my gut is still under control...However, I have gained a ton of weight. I have a flat affect. I am indifferent to things. I don't get emotional at all. I don't cry. It's hard to laugh (like a good belly laugh). I don't want to have sex. I'm always in a brain fog. I feel like I don't listen to people. I love yoga and meditation but I can't get motivated AT ALL to do it on a regular basis because it's as if I don't care much about anything. I live in a beautiful area , have quick access to the beach, and I don't even care anymore. I have never been a depressed person, only an anxious person. I do feel like a zombie. When my husband touches me or kisses me, I feel nothing. I don't get excited or motivated about anything. That is not my personality. I have always had a ZEST for life, albeit an anxious one. I love to cook and eat healthy foods and honestly, that takes too much effort. So, I'll just eat whatever and each day say, "oh I'll do something about it tomorrow". I have begun to drink a lot of wine and even started smoking. Who am I ? 

 

I'm not sure I will be able to get the liquid dose. I sent a message to my doctor so I'm waiting to hear back. If not, my plan is to do the following starting this Sunday 1/22/17:

 

7.5mg for 2 weeks

5 mg for 2 weeks

2.5mg for 2 weeks and then be done with it. 

 

Has anyone tried this route? What do I need to know? How should I prepare? I just want to feel again. 

 

What Lexapro has done for me:

 

Has helped me get through regular doctor visits like pap smears, and dental work

Has reduced the panic 

Has almost reduced the anxiety attacks and if they occur, they are very short

Kept maybe my stomach problems in check

 

How Lexapro has hurt me:

Weight Gain

Lost zest for life

Can't cry, can't laugh

no sex drive

Can't make healthy lifestyle choices and stick to them

Has made me feel flat

People have told me they can't see how I'm feeling because my face shows no expression

Edited by scallywag
tags; CC previously removed place of employment

10 mg of Lexapro since March 2016

 

Started to Taper 1/20/2017 7.5mg 

 

Tapering at 9 mg starting 1/22/17

 

Kept at 9mg until 1/30

 

1/30 7.5 mg 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Free2be and welcome to SA,

 

Have you been on any other psychiatric drugs prior to the Lexapro?

 

You have been on Lexapro for about 10 months now so a slow taper of 10% of the previous dose is recommended by SA.  Please have a read of the following links and then ask any questions you have here in your Intro/Update topic where you can also journal your progress.  Click "Follow" top right and you will be notified when someone responds.

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

 

These helped me understand SA's recommended taper of 10% or less of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug:

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 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.

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Thank you for responding. I went to the pharmacy yesterday and asked about the liquid. She said insurance doesn't typically cover it. I sent my doctor a message asking for the liquid prescription and she obviously didn't read it and just refilled my tablets. Oh the joy of what medicine has become! 

 

I have not been on any other psychiatric meds before, just Lexapro. Looks like I'm going to have to give it a go with the tablets. I've read through the links but I'm still not understanding how to cut tablets by 10%.

Making your own liquid looks too complicated to me. 

10 mg of Lexapro since March 2016

 

Started to Taper 1/20/2017 7.5mg 

 

Tapering at 9 mg starting 1/22/17

 

Kept at 9mg until 1/30

 

1/30 7.5 mg 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Free2B: here's a topic with posts about using a pill cutter; you are correct that getting a 10% reduction is tricky.
Using a pill cutter.

Making a liquid is probably simpler than you think:

  1. measure liquid and put in jar
  2. put tablet in jar and put the lid on the jar
  3. shake the jar until tablet is dissolved or until particles are 
  4. use a syringe to remove "not needed" portion
  5. drink the liquid from the jar.

In your current situation you could put one 10 mg tablet in 50 ml of water (a little less than ¼ cup or 2 oz.). Then you'd remove and discard 5 ml (10%) and take the remaining 45 ml.

 

As your dose gets lower, you use the syringe to withdraw the dose and store the remainder in the refrigerator for the next day or two.

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

I started to taper today. I used a pill cutter and took 3/4 of a tablet which is 7.5mg. I noticed the tablet has a bit of a coating on it. When I cut the tablet into 4 pieces, there was definitely a bit of tablet powder that crumbled in the process. 

 

I also started my menstrual cycle today. May not have been the best day to start a taper but I'm ready to get this show on the road.

10 mg of Lexapro since March 2016

 

Started to Taper 1/20/2017 7.5mg 

 

Tapering at 9 mg starting 1/22/17

 

Kept at 9mg until 1/30

 

1/30 7.5 mg 

Link to comment

Many people arrive at sa are given good advice and then go and do their own thing. Thinking that that advice perhaps is for everyone else except them.

Only to return a little later in much pain and suffering (often with more so called 'medicines' from the doctor) and we feel for them.

I hope you are not one of them.

Just out of interest what was your doctors taper plan?

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

 

 

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My doctors taper plan was to go from 10 mg to 5 mg then wean off.

I appreciate the advice and would love to do the 10% route. But I can't get the liquid from my doctor, so the only way I know how to do this is cut the tablets with a pill cutter. I put the tablet in water but it didn't dissolve. It appears to have a bit of coating on it. Any other advice???

10 mg of Lexapro since March 2016

 

Started to Taper 1/20/2017 7.5mg 

 

Tapering at 9 mg starting 1/22/17

 

Kept at 9mg until 1/30

 

1/30 7.5 mg 

Link to comment

I guess I could crush the pill and put it in water?

10 mg of Lexapro since March 2016

 

Started to Taper 1/20/2017 7.5mg 

 

Tapering at 9 mg starting 1/22/17

 

Kept at 9mg until 1/30

 

1/30 7.5 mg 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes, you can crush the pill and put it in water. Many of the members here who are decreasing their lexapro doses do it with a homemade liquid. Please read these topics:

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)
Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules .
Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques].

In the "making a liquid" topic, there is a video that shows making a liquid from a tablet. They use naltrexone, an opiate, but the method is the same.

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. Do I have to use distilled water? And also, can I make the liquid before I go to bed and take it in the morning? I don't have 2hours to wait in the morning for it to dissolve like the video suggests.

10 mg of Lexapro since March 2016

 

Started to Taper 1/20/2017 7.5mg 

 

Tapering at 9 mg starting 1/22/17

 

Kept at 9mg until 1/30

 

1/30 7.5 mg 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Distilled water, because it has no impurities, will dissolve the tablet slightly more easily than tap water. Use filtered water or tap water instead if that's more convenient. 

 

The two hours for dissolving was specifically about naltrexone; I don't know how long it takes for a Lexapro tablet to dissolve. Make the liquid suspension at night and then take it in the morning if it works for you to do it that way.  It would be a good idea to keep the liquid in the refrigerator overnight. If you share your home with other people, you may want to label the liquid so that other people don't drink it or throw it out.

 

Lexapro is sparingly soluble in water so you'll have a suspension with particles rather a homogeneous solution. Shake the container before using the syringe to remove the 10% and place the syringe in the middle of the liquid to remove the amount not needed.

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

Okay I did it. I cut the tablet in 2 pieces and put it in 50 mL. Once dissolved, I swirled it around, stuck a 5 mL syringe in and pulled out 5 mL. This would equal a 10% reduction correct? So, then I drank 9mg of Lexapro. I should do this for 4 weeks and then pull out 10ml to equal 8mg, then 15mL to equal 7mg and so and so forth at 4 week increments. Correct??

10 mg of Lexapro since March 2016

 

Started to Taper 1/20/2017 7.5mg 

 

Tapering at 9 mg starting 1/22/17

 

Kept at 9mg until 1/30

 

1/30 7.5 mg 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

You've got it correct - remove 10% and hold steady doing exactly the same thing for 4 weeks.

The 10% reduction we suggest is from your current dose, so your next reduction would be 10% of 9 mg, 0.9 mg, taking you to 8.1 mg.
After that the 10% reductions are 7.2, 6.3, 5.4.

The easiest way to do get to tenths of a milligram is to dissolve the tablet in 100 ml of water. Then you've got a liquid where 1 ml of solution = 0.1 mg Lexapro. With that concentration for 8.1 mg you take 81 ml, 7.2 mg = 72 ml, etc.
 

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

Okay...thanks for clarifying that ! I didn't realize it was 10% of your actual dosage. So, with that being said, it sounds like it will take over a year to wean off ?

10 mg of Lexapro since March 2016

 

Started to Taper 1/20/2017 7.5mg 

 

Tapering at 9 mg starting 1/22/17

 

Kept at 9mg until 1/30

 

1/30 7.5 mg 

Link to comment

Just took 2nd day of 9 mg via make your own liquid. Looking at the particles in the glass, I just don't feel confident yet that this is accurate. But, I'm doing it anyway. I had chaotic vivid dreams all night long. But that's not really anything new. I wasn't much of a night time dreamer until I started this drug.

10 mg of Lexapro since March 2016

 

Started to Taper 1/20/2017 7.5mg 

 

Tapering at 9 mg starting 1/22/17

 

Kept at 9mg until 1/30

 

1/30 7.5 mg 

Link to comment

Took another 9 mg this morning. Feeling normal.

10 mg of Lexapro since March 2016

 

Started to Taper 1/20/2017 7.5mg 

 

Tapering at 9 mg starting 1/22/17

 

Kept at 9mg until 1/30

 

1/30 7.5 mg 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Good to know you're doing well. 

 

Yes it does take a while to taper off medication when you taper by 10% per month. From time to time, I get frustrated and/or antsy with the slowness. In 2004/5 I did a linear taper, reducing the same # of mg/week.  The benefit of that awful experience is that I don't want to put myself through it again. If you don't have a similar experience, you may want to read other members' experiences tapering Lexapro. You can get a list of their intro/update topics by clicking on the Lexapro or escitalopram tags just below the title of your topic.

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

Thanks for giving me the tip about clicking on the tags. 

 

Today is day 5 on 9 mg. I woke up feeling very easily aggravated. I've been at work for 2 hours and I feel like I'm not in the mood for anyone being petty. LOL. Wonder if I woke up on the wrong side or if its the decrease. Grrrrr. 

10 mg of Lexapro since March 2016

 

Started to Taper 1/20/2017 7.5mg 

 

Tapering at 9 mg starting 1/22/17

 

Kept at 9mg until 1/30

 

1/30 7.5 mg 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

It *could* be withdrawal. It could also just be one of those days that we all, even people who've never taken medication of ANY kind, have when our tolerance or patience runs low. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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

Been on 9mg for 8 days. Noticed no significant changes. Had a wonderful weekend, swam with manatees. Decided to start 7.5 mg today 1/30. After reading through *many* posts on this site, the trend seems that the slow tapering matters most the lower you go. So, I will stay at 7.5 mg for a while and start 10% dosing from there. I've been on Lexapro for 10 months. I don't want to wait an entire year to wean. 6-7 months yes..but a year seems a bit much. I'm not pressuring myself. If it doesn't work out for me this way, then I will adjust accordingly.

10 mg of Lexapro since March 2016

 

Started to Taper 1/20/2017 7.5mg 

 

Tapering at 9 mg starting 1/22/17

 

Kept at 9mg until 1/30

 

1/30 7.5 mg 

Link to comment

 Had a wonderful weekend, swam with manatees.

 

Wow 

what an amazing thing to do. 

What a privilege. 

I can only dream of such an experience.

And i might add what a wonderful distraction from withdrawal

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
  • Moderator Emeritus

Free2be: I hope that you'll adjust to the idea of tapering and allow your body to tell you how long it needs. Letting the combination of human impatience and a calendar drive the pace of your taper can be very detrimental when tapering.

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

Definitely more irritable last night. I laid down to read a book called "The four agreements". I think it triggered some anxiety because it talked about not living your truth due to the rules and laws of life society, family, expectations have tricked you into believing. Around midnight, I put on "yoga nidra" which is a sleep meditation (i never have trouble falling asleep especially when I listen to yoga nidra). My heart rate was 108, I was freezing, I had ruminating thoughts. I got up took 25mg of bendadryl and finally drifted asleep. So, I don't know if it was the Lexapro or if it was the book, but I certainly felt triggered. Oh well, Today is a new day. 

10 mg of Lexapro since March 2016

 

Started to Taper 1/20/2017 7.5mg 

 

Tapering at 9 mg starting 1/22/17

 

Kept at 9mg until 1/30

 

1/30 7.5 mg 

Link to comment

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