Jump to content
Melzap

Melzap: constant brain zaps after tapering off lexapro

Recommended Posts

Melzap

Hi

 

I was on lexapro 10 mg for 6 years.  I tapered off starting Feb 2017 following my doctors advice.  I took 5 mg for 2 weeks then 5 mg every other day for 1 week then stopped completely.  3 days after my last dose the brain zaps started.  Now after 8 weeks I have a continuous feeling like a sparkler is firing off in my brain, all day long.  Sometimes it is more intense than other times, but it never goes away.  It feels like a shower of sparks is swirling around in my brain, it is so hard to describe.  It is not in my ears, but in my brain.

 I went back to my doctor to see if I should go back on and taper off more slowly.  He said no, to just try to ignore it like you would ignore a back ache.  I tried ignoring it for 2 weeks then returned to him, he referred me to a neurologist.  Today I saw the neurologist who looked at me with wide eyes and said he never heard of this.  He said he will order a test of brain waves but doubts it will show anything.  His suggestion is to go back on the 10 mg to see if it goes away.

 

My question is:  is 8 weeks too long to be off it to reintroduce the drug and then taper off slower?  I have read that reinstating the drug will get rid of symptoms IF YOU DO IT IMMEDIATELY.  I am afraid that after 8 weeks, it could make it worse.

 

I just want to be off the drug.  I never had these sensations before using this drug.  I don't know what is causing them and if they are benign.  I tell my self they are not hurting my brain, that it is just my brain "coming back on line" but as they persist it is harder and harder to believe this.

 

I really do not want to go back on, but if it is the only way to make them go away I will and then taper more slowly.

 

Then I wonder if this counts as "time served" and if I go back on and taper more slowly, I will just have to serve this time again.

 

Also, is it just the addicted part of me telling me to go back on, like how I used to lie to myself when quitting smoking?  (By the way quitting smoking cigarettes after smoking for 10 years was infinitely easier than what I am going through with this.)

 

I appreciate any wisdom, any body live through months of zaps?  do they ever go away?  are they harmful?

 

Thank you so much


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Hi Melzap and welcome to SA,

 

Your doctor's suggested method of tapering is much faster than SA.  SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose with about a 4 week hold to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  You have tapered very quickly and the brain zaps you are experiencing are a withdrawal symptoms.

 

Reinstating is the only know way of reducing the withdrawal symptoms.  Please read the link below about reinstating.  If you decide to do this let us know and we can suggest a dose - please do not go back on the last dose you were on as your brain will have already made some adaptation in the time since being off.

 

 

Please create a drug signature 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.

 

Here are some links to check out:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist


Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommendations:

 

Brain Remodelling


 

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask any questions you have and you can also journal your progress.  If you click "Follow" top right you will be notified when someone responds.


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

Hi ChessieCat and Thank you.

 

I created my signature and I read all the links and watched the video.

 

I wish I had done this 8 weeks ago.  I wish my doctor knew all of this.....

 

It looks like I should reinstate, although I am worried that it will make it worse because of the amount of time I have been off.  

I am also terrified of having these feelings in my brain for an extended period of time if I do not reinstate.

 

I have to make a leap of faith.


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Thank you for completing your signature.

 

It is understandable that you don't want to reinstate.  Other members have felt the same way.  Some decided not to and regretted the decision.  Unfortunately nobody knows what would happen if you reinstate or don't reinstate.  So yes, it is a leap of faith.  However, the longer you leave reinstatement there is less chance of it being successful.

 

Because you were taking 5mg alternate days (so = 2.5mg/day) you could try as little as 0.5mg or 1mg DAILY.  If it were me I would probably try 0.5mg.  Please Keep Notes on Paper daily.  Doing this helps to see if reinstatement is working.

 

The idea of reinstatement isn't to get rid of withdrawal symptoms completely but to bring them to a manageable level.  Please see the following:

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Withdrawal Normal Description

 

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

 

Please let us know how you go.


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

Thank you.

I read all the links.

I am excited to talk to my doctor and get the liquid lexapro and begin this process.  No doctor available until Monday which means I have to wait 2 more days.

 

I will keep notes and let you know how it is going.

 

Thank you.

 

And does anyone know if these electrical sensations in the brain are damaging?


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

If you have tablets, you can make your own liquid (from Post #1 Tips for Tapering Lexapro):

 

Do-it-yourself liquid
People report that they can make their own liquid from Lexapro tablets and water.

It is soluble in water, see http://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB01175 -- stability (shelf-life of dilution) is unknown.

See How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

You could either continue taking your own liquid or get a prescription for liquid.

 

Once you stabilise it would be better to wait about 3 months before you consider tapering.

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

Here is SA's topic:  brain-zaps

 

I have had brain zaps in the past and I don't think they have caused any permanent problems.


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

Share this post


Link to post
peng

All wise words from ChessieCat, I would say, based on my own experience.

 

The brain zaps are like nothing else most of us have ever experienced in life.  I just put them down to some form of tiny electrical impulses in the brain.

I have had them, commonly when getting up from bed in the middle of the night, or standing up.  Something that happens when blood drains downwards from your brain, under the influence of gravity, I concluded.

When on withdrawal at an optimum level, they are rare or do not occur, I have found. 

 

Here's hoping they become something less for you to worry about, Melzap, which will all help! 


Born 1945. 

1999 - First Effexor/Venlafaxine

2016 Withdrawal research. Effexor.  13Jul - 212.5mg;  6Aug - 200.0mg;  24Aug - 187.5mg;  13Sep - 175.0mg;  3Oct - 162.5mg;  26Oct - 150mg 

2017  9Jan - 150.00mg;  23Mar - 137.50mg;  24Apr - 125.00mg;  31May - 112.50mg holding;  3Sep - 100.00mg;  20Sep - 93.75mg;  20Oct - 87.5mg;  12Nov - 81.25mg;  13 Dec - 75.00mg

2018  18Jan - 69.1mg; 16Feb - 62.5mg; 16March - 57.5mg (-8%); 22Apr - 56.3mg(-2%); CRASHED - Updose 29May - 62.5mg; Updose - 1Jul - 75.0mg. Updose - 2Aug - 87.5mg. Updose - 27Aug - 100.0mg. Updose - 11Oct 112.5mg. Updose - 6Nov 125.00mg

2019 Updoses 19 Jan - 150.0mg. 1April - 162.5mg. 24 April - Feeling better - doing tasks, getting outside.  7 May - usual depression questionnaire gives "probably no depression" result.

Supps/Vits  Omega 3;  Chelated Magnesium;  Prebiotics/Probiotics, Vit D3. 

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

Hi. I am feeling defeated. Since my last post been back to my primary care doctor (the one who prescribed lexapro). He didn't think I should reinstate and wanted to refer me to psychiatric nurse practitioner. Took weeks to see her. She said my symptoms are unheard of from lexapro. Looked at me like I had 3 heads. She would not prescribe liquid lexapro for slower taper. She said if I think it hurt my brain why would I reintroduce it. She would my hear what I was saying about letting my brain adjust slower. She advised me to go to another neurologist and not to mention the constant zaps to him. Why? She believes it's not related to the lexapro.

No one will take me seriously.

More weeks to get to see the new neurologist.

So now it's been over 12 weeks of constant brain shivering zapping like a sparkler is in my brain.

Saw the new neurologist yesterday who ordered an MRI. He actually listened to me. He said not to reinstate as at this point it may not help and may make it worse.

He said I may have this forever I just have to try to ignore it and eventually I won't feel it anymore.

I am so frustrated and scared. Scared to not reinstate and scared to reinstate.

So ANGRY that I didn't know to taper at 10% from the beginning.

So Angry with myself for not insisting my primary care doctor prescribe the liquid 4 weeks ago when he referred me to the psychiatric nurse practitioner from hell.

Has anyone had these zaps constantly for 12+ weeks and had them go away?

Is it truly too late to reinstate?

Every doctor said my 3 week taper was more than adequate. The nurse said she has people stop at 10 mg all the time and they are fine. She said 10 mg is a minimum dose. Are they all insane? How can they legally prescribe this without the education of how to stop it?

They all say you don't crave it. Well I am craving it and wanting to reinstate but terrified to at the same time.

Sorry for the rambling rant


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Gridley

I am so sorry you have had such horrible experiences.  My heart goes out to you.  

 

I understand why you are angry.  Try not to be angry with yourself.  It is hard to go up against the medical establishment and its (entirely unjustified) certainties.


Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Current from Oct. 21, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

Melzap,

 

The zaps will go away. I can't tell you how long they'll hang around only that they will become less frequent and/or less intense over time until they resolve completely.

 

Three months is the outside edge of the window when reinstatement is most predictable. Note: reinstatement is always unpredictable. There are some people that have a strong negative reaction to reinstatement within weeks and other people have had symptoms diminish noticeably after reinstating more than 9 months out from last dose. It truly is a "roll of the dice."

 

You may find it helpful to read these topics about managing the relationship with medical professionals:

How do you talk to your doctor about tapering and withdrawal.

What to expect from your doctor about withdrawal symptoms.

 

Some people have been successful in getting medication RE-prescribed at a suitable dose. Then they SLOWLY and ATTENTIVELY taper the drug on their own while the medical advisor thinks they are taking the full dose.

 

Many, many thousands of people have tapered off opiate and benzodiazepine drugs using DIY liquid tapers. Many, many people have used and are making their own liquids from capsules and tablets to taper from psycho-neuro-active medications.

 

Do you think you could get the psych NP to prescribe Lexapro at a low dose (5 mg?) for you? If you actually said something about Lexapro "hurting your brain," to her, you may have to retract that in some way. I'm not suggesting that you have to stop believing it, just that you might find medical people more receptive if you don't say it.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

Hi Gridley and Scalllywag and thank you both so much.  It feels so good to have your support and understanding.

 

Scallywag,

I may be able to get the NP to prescribe, I will try.  I thought I was asking her if a too quick taper could cause harm/damage, not telling her that I thought it did.  I feel like she just wasn't listening to my questions, and instead telling me it's basically impossible to have the symptoms I am experiencing and that my taper was more than adequately slow.  Maybe with the help of the links you have provided, either she or my primary care doctor will prescribe the liquid form.

 

I am willing to take the chance to reinstate because this constant buzzing zaps is really wearing on me.  And it causes anxiety as to not knowing if it is harming my brain in some way.

 

I am wondering if anyone else has these zaps constantly, never stopping.  That is what is concerning me is that it is a continual buzzing/showering of sparks in the middle/ back of my brain, never intermittent.  Sometimes more intense than other times.  Some days when I first wake up they are gone for about 20 minutes, and then they commence, and are there all day.  Sleep is the only time I escape from them.

 

I am trying to just ignore them until they go away.  If there was some steady improvement, it would be easier.  

 

Thank you again for your support and help.


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
KarenB

JanCarol (another mod) showed me this recently, from teh Royal College of Psychiatrists: 

 

Rates and severity of withdrawal (2014). 

High                                        Medium                                  Low

Venlafaxine     82%                 Sertraline         62%                 Fluoxetine       44%

Escitalopram   75%                 Citalopram      60%                 Mirtazapine     21%

Paroxetine       69%    

Duloxetine      69%

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/treatmentswellbeing/antidepressants/comingoffantidepressants.aspx

 

So, I guess your doctor either has a very poor memory about her previous clients, or she's been mis-diagnosing their withdrawal as lord-knows-what. 


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.

Share this post


Link to post
bubble

I personally wouldn't use my energy on trying to educate psychiatrists on withdrawal (too much). Where I live it can only cause me trouble and I don't have much energy to spare although awareness raising is key. But now is not good time for me. I have to focus on surviving this. One of the reasons doctors claim there is no withdrawal syndrome is the fact they ascribe it all to relapse: the 'illness' is back and with more force.

 

I would just play along and say what it takes for me to get the drug. Something like: I was doing well on Lexapro and since I come off I can't cope. So I want to start taking it again at the minimum dose. Let them decide what a minimum dose is. I don't think you will find a doctor who will say 0.5. For Lexapro that will most likely be 5 mg. You can ask for luquid or make your own liquid from pills.

 

I reinstated after 40 days and it saved me. 10 years on a drug is a long time and brain zaps probably won't be the only thing happening.

 

0.5 mg is a small dose and you can stop taking it if it turns out you have become too sensitive. But I would take the risk.


Current: Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

Share this post


Link to post
peng

JanCarol (another mod) showed me this recently, from teh Royal College of Psychiatrists: 

 

Rates and severity of withdrawal (2014). 

High                                        Medium                                  Low

Venlafaxine     82%                 Sertraline         62%                 Fluoxetine       44%

Escitalopram   75%                 Citalopram      60%                 Mirtazapine     21%

Paroxetine       69%    

Duloxetine      69%

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/treatmentswellbeing/antidepressants/comingoffantidepressants.aspx

 

 

 

Interesting table and link, KarenB.

 

I see this UK College is funded by charity.

 

Holy cow!

 

There is an election in the UK this week.

Many of our politicians, after hearing distressing stories unearthed by whistleblowers, particularly about the inadequate treatment for sufferers, including the young, keep promising the moon, yet, this organisation designed to improve psychiatry, is a charity.  Clearly, once again, "the haves", who can go private at great expense, run most of the show.


Born 1945. 

1999 - First Effexor/Venlafaxine

2016 Withdrawal research. Effexor.  13Jul - 212.5mg;  6Aug - 200.0mg;  24Aug - 187.5mg;  13Sep - 175.0mg;  3Oct - 162.5mg;  26Oct - 150mg 

2017  9Jan - 150.00mg;  23Mar - 137.50mg;  24Apr - 125.00mg;  31May - 112.50mg holding;  3Sep - 100.00mg;  20Sep - 93.75mg;  20Oct - 87.5mg;  12Nov - 81.25mg;  13 Dec - 75.00mg

2018  18Jan - 69.1mg; 16Feb - 62.5mg; 16March - 57.5mg (-8%); 22Apr - 56.3mg(-2%); CRASHED - Updose 29May - 62.5mg; Updose - 1Jul - 75.0mg. Updose - 2Aug - 87.5mg. Updose - 27Aug - 100.0mg. Updose - 11Oct 112.5mg. Updose - 6Nov 125.00mg

2019 Updoses 19 Jan - 150.0mg. 1April - 162.5mg. 24 April - Feeling better - doing tasks, getting outside.  7 May - usual depression questionnaire gives "probably no depression" result.

Supps/Vits  Omega 3;  Chelated Magnesium;  Prebiotics/Probiotics, Vit D3. 

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

Hi everyone and thank you for responding 

 

i had had been out of town, my father in law had an emergency and was in ICU for 5 days 

 

as I type this my brain is zapping so intensely and continually that I want to scream and explode. I feel like my brain is going to explode 

 

i have not been able to get back to any doctor as yet with being away or at work 

 

i am going to call my doctor in the morning. 

Karen B thank you for the table. 

Bubbles thank you for your advice. That sounds like what I will need to do. 

It has been 104 days since my last dose I am scared I may be hypersensitive to the medication 

i just can't stand another day of constant buzzing zaps 

i am thinking if I can get the liquid I will start with an even smaller dose like  0.1 mg. 

Because it may take a few days to feel the effect I don't want to overdo it and end up with serotonin syndrome or some other malady

i am afraid because this medication made me get these constant zaps to begin with 

i mean I never had this until I stopped it. What did it do to my brain?

will I ever be able to be completely off of it? 

This is infuriating and I just want to be a good mother to my son

 

do these zaps cause cancer or ms?

 

 

 

 

 

 


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
KarenB

Good to hear you will start low. 

 

Here's an explanation of what's happening in your brain, written by Rhi (one of our moderators).

 

how-psychiatric-drugs-remodel-your-brain

A lot of people, including healthcare practitioners; in fact, I guess, most people-- are operating from entirely the wrong paradigm, or way of thinking, about these meds. They're thinking of them like aspirin--as something that has an effect when it's in your system, and then when it gets out of your system the effect goes away.

 

That's not what happens with medications that alter neurotransmitter function, we are learning. What happens when you change the chemistry of the brain is, the brain adjusts its chemistry and structure to try to return to homeostasis, or biochemical and functional balance. It tries to restabilize the chemistry. For example: SSRI antidepressants work as "serotonin reuptake inhibitors." That is, they cause serotonin to remain in the space between neurons, rather than being taken back up into the cells to be re-used, like it would be in a normal healthy nondrugged brain. So the brain, which wants to re-establish normal signaling and function, adapts to the higher level of serotonin between neurons (in the "synapse", the space between neurons where signals get passed along).

 

It does this by removing serotonin receptors, so that the signal is reduced and changed to something closer to normal. It also decreases the amount of serotonin it produces overall. To do that, genes have to be turned on and off; new proteins have to be made; whole cascades of chemical reactions have to be changed, which means turning on and off OTHER genes; cells are destroyed, new cells are made; in other words, a complex physiologic remodeling takes place. This takes place over time. The brain does not grow and change rapidly. This is a vast oversimplification of the amount of adaptation that takes place in the brain when we change its normal chemistry, but that's the principle.

 

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

With multiple drugs and a history of drug changes and cold turkeys, all of this becomes even more complicated. And if a person is started on these kinds of drugs at an early age before the brain has ever completely established normal mature functioning--well, it can't be good. (All of which is why I recommend an extremely slow taper particularly to anyone with a multiple drug history, a history of many years on meds, a history of past cold turkeys or frequent med changes, and a history of being put on drugs at a young age.)

 

This isn't intended to scare people, but hopefully to give you some idea of what's happening, and to help you respect and understand the process so you can work with it; ALSO, because you are likely to encounter many, many people who still believe these drugs work kind of like aspirin, or a glass of wine, and all you need to do is stop and get it out of your system. Now you can explain to them that no, getting it out of your system is not the issue; the issue is, you need to regrow or at least remodel your brain. This is a long, slow, very poorly understood process, and it needs to be respected.


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.

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

Thank you Karen B

 

This really helps me to understand.  This helps so so much.

 

Thank you again.


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

OK so now it has been almost 7 months off the lexapro and the electrical shiverings have not stopped.  I do not know if they are even getting better or less frequent, sometimes they are more intense.

I kept holding on thinking this has to end, my brain has to adjust.  Still it continues.

 

Finally, the neurologist just prescribed the liquid 5mg for me.  I don't know at what level to reinstate, so am holding off until I get your advice.  If I felt like this was getting better, I would just wait, but it doesn't seem better after 7 months.  

 

Thank you so much for your time and help.

 

 


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

hello?  anybody out there?

 


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

Hi DrugfreeProf

 

Thank you for your reply.  Duanesburg is about 20 min outside (westish) of Albany.

I will read your daughter's posts.  I want to believe this will resolve itself.  My hope fades as the electric like shiverings don't cease.  Like a rain stick is in my head, or a sparkler.  Not knowing the long term effects of this is bothersome.  Thank you for your time and help.  

 


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

So I reached the end of my rope.  Things seemed to be going well except for the brain zaps.. I started a new position at work, and became totally 

 overwhelmed.  Couldn't sleep, racing thoughts  Started thinking maybe I do need this medicine for anxiety, or at least I should reinstate and try to taper off properly.  So I went to the cabinet got the lexapro, took 1 mg for 3 days in a row.  Started to see a psychiatrist, she did genetic testing and said lexapro is not right for me because of a short promoter allele, not 100% sure what that means.  So I stopped .  Had the same odd sensation of being drunk and slurring my words although others said I wasn't.  Then started feeling dizzy, and weak, as if my movements are jerky, although others say that they are not.  Have slight pressure in left ear, so thought might be ear causing imbalance, and just a coincidence that it occurred a few days after taking 1 mg for 3 days.  Dizziness became so severe I fell in the street, and fell at work.  Doctors did tests for inner ear, no results as yet.  Fell into the worst depression I ever had.  Feeling like I am dying, feeling like others would be better off if I were dead.  Feeling like this is all my fault because I did not reinstate at an earlier date.  Feeling like I did permanent neurological damage because of not tapering off appropriately, feeling like these zaps have somehow given me brain cancer or ms.  Feeling so weirdly off balance and dizzy and nauseated.  Feeling like you all gave up on me too because I didn't follow your advice.   Psychiatrist said to go to neurologist to see if he can do MRI with contrast.  Went to neurologist, broke down crying, feeling hopeless.  Don't know if this is from the drug withdrawal or if there is something wrong with me where I really need drugs.  Neurologist gave me liquid lexapro again, said I needed to take it.  Yesterday I took 4 mg, out of desperation.  Psychiatrist says to wait until monday and she wants me to start a different antidepressant either welbutrin or pristiq.  Scared to not take the lexapro also scared to take a new drug and **** up my brain even worse.  Feel like I have to take something because I am mentally killing myself.  

Feel like I was doing quite well aside from the zaps and the constant underlying worrying about the zaps, was exercising regularly, eating healthy, then after the episode of insomnia and excessive worrying about work feeling defeated, hopeless, like a failure.

Don't know if I should continue on the lexapro and stabilize on it see if the zaps go away, or what if it is the cause of the dizziness and weakness?  

Need to be present for my son.  Need help.


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

so now I realize I was in denial.  denying that this is a real issue, and believing all the doctors when they told me this can't be happening to me and that it will just go away if I wait long enough.  now i also see that i need a lot of therapy.  i can't just take a pill, i have to do the work, painful, yet liberating work of deep healing, soul searching so I can get better.  I put my brain through hell, trying to be the superhero who could just stop the meds, and in spite of the agony, listening to others telling me this wasn;t real, never heard of this from lexapro.  So now I will reinstate,  at 4 mg, yes i know that is very high.  been on it 3 days and feeling better, still have the zaps but not as worried about them.  knowing the work that is cut out in front of me and super excited for real healing, and knowing this will be a much longer journey, and that I will have to take it very slow.  will stabilize on this amount for as long as it takes before trying to decrease the dose at all.  the crying has stopped, i can see more clearly what you have all been helping me to see.  thank you for your time and all your support.

 


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

It's me again.  Back in this same situation. I was back on and off the esciitalopram since December 2017.  Now I have been off the escitalopram since April 15, 2020.  It has been 4 months and 9 days.  I tapered down to 3 mg and I couldn't stand the way I felt, so on April 15 I just stopped.  

I went through many horrible feelings, the zaps when moving eyes side to side, I have the constant tinnitus and electrical showers in my head.  I went through periods of feeling like I was slurring my words, as if I was drunk. Some days I feel like someone unplugged me and I have zero life force, my body is heavy like lead.  Then the extreme dizziness and nausea started.

If i just move my head slightly out of vertical, I feel like i just did 10 flips or just got off a spinning ride.

I think I am getting better because some of the symptoms went away, but then new symptoms take their place.  

Does anyone else have this intense dizziness?  Especially when moving your head forward or backward?  

I need some hope that this will get better.

 

 

 


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Please update your drug signature so we can see the changes you have made since you were here in 2017.

 

Thank you.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

You might find that a very tiny reinstatement might help to give you some relief from the withdrawal symptoms.  Once we have your updated drug signature we can suggest a dose for you to try.

 

Please read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Please post letting us know that you have updated your drug signature so that I get notification of it.  Thanks.


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

It's me again.  Back in this same situation. I was back on and off the esciitalopram since December 2017.  Now I have been off the escitalopram since April 15, 2020.  It has been 4 months and 9 days.  I tapered down to 3 mg and I couldn't stand the way I felt, so on April 15 I just stopped.  

I went through many horrible feelings, the zaps when moving eyes side to side, I have the constant tinnitus and electrical showers in my head.  I went through periods of feeling like I was slurring my words, as if I was drunk. Some days I feel like someone unplugged me and I have zero life force, my body is heavy like lead.  Then the extreme dizziness and nausea started.

If i just move my head slightly out of vertical, I feel like i just did 10 flips or just got off a spinning ride.

I think I am getting better because some of the symptoms went away, but then new symptoms take their place.  

Does anyone else have this intense dizziness?  Especially when moving your head forward or backward?  

I need some hope that this will get better.

 

I just updated my signature

 


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Nsr99
5 minutes ago, Melzap said:

It's me again.  Back in this same situation. I was back on and off the esciitalopram since December 2017.  Now I have been off the escitalopram since April 15, 2020.  It has been 4 months and 9 days.  I tapered down to 3 mg and I couldn't stand the way I felt, so on April 15 I just stopped.  

I went through many horrible feelings, the zaps when moving eyes side to side, I have the constant tinnitus and electrical showers in my head.  I went through periods of feeling like I was slurring my words, as if I was drunk. Some days I feel like someone unplugged me and I have zero life force, my body is heavy like lead.  Then the extreme dizziness and nausea started.

If i just move my head slightly out of vertical, I feel like i just did 10 flips or just got off a spinning ride.

I think I am getting better because some of the symptoms went away, but then new symptoms take their place.  

Does anyone else have this intense dizziness?  Especially when moving your head forward or backward?  

I need some hope that this will get better.

 

I just updated my signature

 

 

Hi Melzap

 

Your situation is similar to mine. I have taken escitalopram for 6 years. I have suffered all those symptoms you mentioned. I did nothing but wait until they subside. They indeed did subside.

 

I am now enjoying my life. So, rest assured that all these terrible feelings you are experiencing will go away. just give your brain some time to readjust and recover. Unfortunately, timing for the brain is different than ours. 

 

Brain recovery is so slow, and we want things to happen fast. We can not control speed of recovery. It is all natural. So, let go, submit, and accept, and ignore fear and anxiety.

 

You will be fine. Read the success stories in this site, and it will give you a boost, believe me.

 

Take care.


2010-2016 Cipralex 25mg (escitaloram) 6 years. Developed some side effects, which triggered my desire to stop AD drugs.

October 31, 2015: Started tapering

March 29, 2016: Stopped Cipralex. For 6 months, things were OK, tolerable.

Sep 25, 2016: Started having very severe withdrawal symptoms. I took cipralex for one day only, then decided to move on without AD drugs.

Sep 2017: Slight improvements

June 2019: Much better, but not yet 100%.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
Posted (edited)

You jumped off at a much higher dose than SA suggests.  AND escitalopram is a strong drug:

 

On 5/27/2011 at 12:16 PM, Altostrata said:

If you are taking 5mg, it's not tiny, it's equivalent to 10-20mg Paxil or Celexa.

 

You might find that a very tiny dose of escitalopram helps with the withdrawal symptoms.  And when I say very tiny I mean 0.25mg or even less 0.1mg if you are worried about going back on the drug.  It is better to start with a small amount than to risk taking too much.  It takes about 4 days for a dose to get to full level in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.

 

The idea of reinstating isn't to get rid of withdrawal symptoms completely but to bring them to a bearable level.

 

Please read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

 

From this topic:  Tips for tapering off escitalopram (Lexapro)

 

This is how to get your dose by making your own liquid.  Se large, bolded text.

  

On 5/27/2011 at 12:16 PM, Altostrata said:

 

Do-it-yourself liquid
People report that they can make their own liquid from Lexapro tablets and water.

It is sparingly soluble in water, see http://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB01175 -- stability (shelf-life of dilution) is unknown.

 

 Escitalopram oxalate occurs as a fine, white to slightly-yellow powder and is freely soluble in methanol and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), soluble in isotonic saline solution, sparingly soluble in water and ethanol, slightly soluble in ethyl acetate, and insoluble in heptane. According to RxList,com.

 

Your best bet would be to use a homemade isotonic saline solution (9% salt in water) which is made by dissolving 9 grams of table salt in 100mL of water. This mixture will last for a month or so in the refrigerator if you haven't added the drug to it.  Once the drug is added it will keep for about a week.


See How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

thank you Nsr99 and ChessieCat

 

 

I am scared to reinstate but also desperate to feel better.  I don't feel like I can make a good decision right now.  I need to sleep and see how I feel in the morning.  Everyday I am praying for a miracle and I will wake up feeling a little better.

I feel so much worse than I ever did before I started the medication.  I feel stuck and I don't know what to do.  No matter what I do it seems like the wrong decision.  Maybe I will feel better in the morning maybe good enough to make a decision


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

It can be very hard to make a decision especially when you feel so awful.

 

Leave it until tomorrow, then have a read through the reinstatement Post #1 and jot down some notes.  Have a coffee or tea and a break and then go back and read it again and jot down more notes.  Try to list pros and cons.  At least that way you can make an informed decision.

 

I've had to make the decision about whether to updose a few times during my taper.  The question I asked myself before increasing was:  if I continue to feel like I do at this time can I put up with it for however long it lasts.  If the answer was yes I can put up with it, then I didn't updose.  If the answer was no, then I did a tiny increase.


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Hi Melzap,

 

How are you?

 

What did you decide about reinstatement?


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

Hi ChessieCat

 

I did not reinstate as yet.  I am thinking of trying to at .1 mg.  I have a small amount of liquid lexapro left, and I can ask for a prescription for more as I need it.  I am thinking of measuring out 1 ml in a graduated cylinder that i have.  It will not be 100% accurate, but it's the best thing I have.  Then I will use the eye dropper to find out how many drops are in the 1ml.  Then I will take 1/10 of how ever many drops.  When working with such small amounts I am concerned about getting the same amount each time because some sticks to the side of the cylinder, but if I count out the drops that might work.

the worst symptom is the dizziness, just slight movements of my head causes a rush of dizziness. i feel so anxious continually.  I feel shaky and any little noise makes me jump.  I have been doing breathing exercises and listening to mindfulness audios, with out much relief.  i have intrusive thoughts of doom and that i won't get better, i am trying to stay positive.  

the last time i tried to stop, i remember after about 4 months of being off the medication i took 1mg for 2 days and then the doctor told me to stop.  just after that tiny amount the same slurring of my words came back, along with confusion and dizziness.  currently i am past those symptoms, and i am afraid if i go back on then i will have to go through that and other symptoms that have dissipated again.

i feel like i should just be able to decide to get better and to stop these negative thought patterns.  I am trying to retrain my brain and feel hope and that complete healing is a possibility.  I don't know if this anxiety is the result of my thoughts or if it is more related to the physiology of withdrawal and then when i feel it, the thoughts come back with it.

 


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
8 hours ago, Melzap said:

I am thinking of trying to at .1 mg.  I have a small amount of liquid lexapro left, and I can ask for a prescription for more as I need it.  I am thinking of measuring out 1 ml in a graduated cylinder that i have.  It will not be 100% accurate, but it's the best thing I have.  Then I will use the eye dropper to find out how many drops are in the 1ml.  Then I will take 1/10 of how ever many drops.  When working with such small amounts I am concerned about getting the same amount each time because some sticks to the side of the cylinder

 

You can buy 1mL syringes.  Vets will have them.  That would be a much more accurate way of measuring.

 

Don't forget to check the strength of your Lexapro prescription liquid.  On the bottle it will say 1mL / "x" mg.  Some are 1mL/1mg some are stronger, eg 1mL/5mg.

 

If the ingredients on the bottle/box state that it contains water then you can dilute your prescription liquid.  You might be able to keep it refrigerated for 4 doses.

 

If you do everything the same each time, even the area of the bench or table where you measure (surfaces aren't always level), then you should be able to get a reasonably consistent dose.  If you measure it by extracting with a syringe, do that each time.

 

When diluting a prescription liquid, you need to work on the final total.  So if you are adding 1mL of prescription liquid you deduct that from the total to calculate how much water to use.  For example if you were wanting a total of 10mL solution (prescription liquid plus water) you would measure 9mL of water.  1mL + 9mL = 10mL.  If your prescription liquid is a 1mL/1mg ratio, each mL of solution would contain 0.1mg dose of Lexapro.  Calculation:  1mg divided by 10.

 

If you need any further help please let us know what you need help with.


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

ok thank you

I will get a 1ml syringe and do the dilutiion, that sounds like it will be very accurate.  It is 1mg/ml,  i have to find out if it contains water.  

thank you very much

it is sunday here so i probably have to wait for tomorrow to get the syringe


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

You are very welcome.  I'm glad that it will help you get the dose you need.

 

13 minutes ago, Melzap said:

i have to find out if it contains water.  

 

I've just managed to find the ingredients from a reputable site https://www.drugs.com/pro/escitalopram-oral-solution.html:

 

Quote

 

Escitalopram Oxalate Oral Solution contains escitalopram oxalate equivalent to 1 mg/mL escitalopram base. It also contains the following inactive ingredients: sorbitol, purified water, citric acid, sodium citrate, glycerin, propylene glycol, methylparaben, propylparaben, and peppermint flavor.

 

 

If you are only going to be taking a tiny dose you might want to change the amounts you use.

 

You could halve the amounts I stated in the previous post:

 

13 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

you would measure 9mL of water.  1mL + 9mL = 10mL

 

So 0.5mL + 4.5mL = 5mL

 

Each mL of solution would still contain 0.1mg dose of Lexapro, but you will not be wasting as much of you prescription liquid.

 

Please double check my calculations before you make your dilution.

 

 


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

Share this post


Link to post
Melzap

thank you so much for finding the information for me

 

I found the oral dosing syringes on the computer and ordered to be mailed 2nd day mail so i should have them by Tuesday, in case I can't get one from a vet sooner.

 

i really appreciate your help

 


6/27/2013 start lexapro 10 mg daily, 2/20/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro daily, 3/3/2017 change to 5 mg lexapro every other day, 3/10/17 last dose of lexapro, 12/3/17 back on 4 mg lexapro , 2017-2018  10 mg for a few months and then back to 5 mg.  stayed on 5 mg for about 6 months. spring 2019 tapered over 2 months to 2.5 mg then stopped in June 2019, September 2019 back on 5 mg through march 2020, march- april 2020 tapered to 3 mg, april 15 2020 last dose

9/1/2020 reinstate .25 mg, 9/5 change to .15 mg, 9/6 .2 mg,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

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