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AnnietheNanny: Tapering 20mg Lexapro & 15mg Buspar


AnnietheNanny

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AnnietheNanny

I have been on Anti-Depressants for 10 years (age 15-25).  I currently take 20mg Lexapro & 15mg Buspar daily.  In the past, I succeeded in tapering from 30mg to 20mg Lexapro, but failed at tapering from 15mg to 10mg of Buspar.  Most of my depression and anxiety stemmed from school and now that I have graduated college and lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle, I feel that it is safe to taper again.  I am currently researching the best way to taper off these 2 medications and searching for a local doctor to assist me with this (in Charleston, SC).  It seems that tapering off Lexapro is well researched and documented, I am more concerned about the Buspar as I had an emotional breakdown last time I tried to taper it.  So, my question is which to taper first?  As I had a bad time trying to taper off of Buspar should I taper it first or last?  And what would be a safe, gentle taper schedule for Buspar to avoid another relapse?

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome AnnietheNanny,

You've come to the best place for the information and support you need. But first, could I ask you to complete your signature. Doing this helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts. Here are instructions for how to do it:

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

Unless you are having adverse effects from a medication, we usually recommend tapering the most activating drug first, in your case, this would be Lexapro. I will give you some links to read, which I think are relevant to your situation:

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Tips for tapering off busipirone (Buspar)

 

What to expect from my doctor

 

When you have read through those, come back here to your thread and ask any questions you may have. Please feel free to write whenever you want, you will find a lot of friendly help and support here.

 

Petunia.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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AnnietheNanny

Thank you Petunia!  I am currently looking for a doctor to prescribe the medication and monitor me through the taper.  My current psychiatrist is in my hometown and wants me to find someone locally to help me taper.  I am reaching out to some psychiatrists, internalists, and osteopathic physicians.  Hopefully someone will take me on as a new patient so that I can begin my taper in March.  I have created my own taper schedule based on an approx 10% taper of Lexapro and then Buspar, which will take at least 14 months.  Has anyone had trouble maintaining the 10% decrease when you get down to the lower doses? Not sure how to even split pills to such an exact amount... Here is the taper schedule I've created:

Start Feb-17 15mg Bus 20mg Lex taper 10% Lex then Bus

1st taper Mar-17 15mg Bus, 17.5mg Lex, 15mg + half 5mg (2.5)

2nd taper Apr-17 15mg Bus, 15mg Lex, 15mg pill

3rd taper May-17 15mg Bus, 12.5mg Lex, 10mg + half 5mg (2.5)

4th taper Jun-17 15mg Bus, 10mg Lex, 10mg pill

5th taper Jul-17 15mg Bus, 7.5mg Lex, 5mg + half 5mg (2.5)

6th taper Aug-17 15mg Bus, 5mg Lex, 5mg pill

7th taper Sep-17 15mg Bus, 2.5mg Lex, half 5mg (2.5)

8th taper Oct-17 15mg Bus, 0mg Lex, no more lex!

9th taper Nov-17 13.75mg Bus   2/3(10) + 1/4(3.75)

10th taper Dec-17 10mg Bus   2/3(10)

11th taper Jan-18 7.5mg Bus   1/2(7.5)

12th taper Feb-18 5mg Bus   1/3(5)

13th taper Mar-18 3.75mg Bus   1/4(3.75)

14th taper Apr-18 0mg Bus   done!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Annie,

 

The tapering tips links I posted for you contain information about how to taper down to increasingly lower doses. Lexapro is a very strong drug and as you get lower in dose, you may find you have to slow your taper even slower than 10% per month. Its good to have a basic plan in mind, but when you actually start your taper, its best to listen to your own body and symptoms to be guided when to make your next cut.

 

This link has more detailed information about various methods for tapering at low doses: Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Annie and welcome to SA from me too.

 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by about a 4 week hold to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.

 

The schedule that you have created will have you decreasing Lexpro by more than 10% of the previous dose and the percentage decrease will increase the lower you go.  Some members here find that the lower they get they have to reduce less than the 10% reduction.  These are your planned reductions show the % each reduction:

 

20mg               

17.5mg            12.5%

15mg               14.3%

12.5mg            16.7%

10mg               20%

7.5mg              25%

5mg                 50%

2.5mg              50%

 

Here are the links to a couple of tapering calculatorsOnline spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

 

It's also a good idea to read this Before you begin tapering what you need to know before your start tapering.

 

These have helped me to understand SA's recommendations and have also helped me to stay patient, throw out the calendar and listen to my body:

 

Brain Remodelling
 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

You might also find this will help you to understand the importance of tapering by the recommended %:

 

Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

As Petunia has already requested please Create Your Signature.  Please include details for the last 12-18 months of  all drugs, dates, doses and discontinuations & reinstatements.  If you can't remember dates, please write it as "early March" or "mid-August".  Please provide a summary of any drugs prior to that which can just be listed with start and stop years. Please include all prescription, non-prescription drugs and supplements you are currently taking. Phone Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature. Please also remember to update it with date and dose whenever make a change so that it remains current. Thank you.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

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