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Path2normal: Did the Lexapro withdrawal do this to me? Help me please!


Path2normal

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I have been through 8 months of hell and I need to get back to normal! Please help!

I started taking Lexapro in 2010 for anxiety after they put me, post Thyroid surgery on hormones, which were way too much. I developed a lone Afib and tons of palpitations (PVCs and PACs). I got off the Hormon meds and on Lexapro, 10mg.

 

Everything was PERFECT, I felt great, never had palpitations again, never anxiety, nothing. Then, in July of 2016 I decided to taper Lexapro off...and I was very afraid that the palpitations would return.

I went from 10mg to 10 every other day for a month, then 10mg every other day to 5mg every day, then 5 mg every other day, then 2,5 every day, then 2.5 every other day. All was still fine, I felt great, the process took 4 months or so.

Then, middle of September I went from 2.5 to 0 and BOOM...I suddenly, within a week became super tired, extremely exhausted.

Then... October 1st my face started swelling under my left eye, on November 7 I developed ear pain in the left ear and on October 14 I had a light concussion (did not pass out)

On November 10 my left side of my face paralyzed (Bell's Palsy or Ramsey Hunt, both was diagnosed) and I was prescribed Prednescome.

That when my palpitations came back.

My facial paralysis disappeared but I was still very very tired and had many palpitations.

 

So I REINSTATED Lexapro 10mg on January 7th.

 

Nothing has changed. I'm still super tired, have no energy, my palpitations are in the 1000's a day, I have light headaches in the back every day and I have the attention span of a monkey.

 

The problem is that several things happened at the same time: Getting off of Lexapro, coming back from a World trip where I got stung by insects, having stress, and getting a concussion. But I all really started AFTER I got off Lexapro (well, maybe except an insect sting, I was tested for Lyme). All thyroid tests are fine, and I never had an issue with anything hypo since the thyroid was removed in 2008.

 

I have had all kinds of tests, MRI of the brain, ekg's and echo for the palpitations and so on. Nothing. But I'm not anxious or depressed either.

It looks to me like my current state is caused by not using Lexapro anymore. But would I still feel bad, although I have been back on Lexapro for 4 months now? My doc recommended doubling up to 20mg of Lexapro but I'm extremely hesitant to do so.

Or maybe all this is caused by my light concussion and I hit the vagus nerve.

Please please let me know if I did anything wrong regarding the Lexapro. Thank you!!!

 

Steve

2010 10mg Lexapro

2016 April 10mg - 10mg every other day

2016 May, 5mg every day to 5mg every other day

2016 June, July, August. Same pattern to 2,5mg every other day

2016 September 2,5 every other day to Zero. BOOM. Extremely tired.

2016 October 1st Face under left eyes starts swelling; October 14th concussion. Headaches

2016 November 7th left ear pain started (lasted until December 10). Headaches, Neckpain, no palps

2016 December 10 Bells Palsy (left paralysis of face) was prescribed steroids ( Prednescome), palps back

2017 January 7th Reinstated Lexapro 10mg. Did not make me feel better, no change in palps

2017 April Death of parent, lot's of stress, overall increase of exhaustion

2017 May 2g Taurine, 1g L'arginine, 10g Turmeric . Still many palps, tiredness a little bit better. Still on 10mg, Doc wants to up to 20 mg Lexapro.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi path2normal and welcome to SA,

 

So that we can see your drug history at a glance 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.

 

Also, you mentioned various things that happened.  Would you be able to post (not in the drug signature) a time line with some dates? This will give the mods a better view of the occurrences and what happened when.

 

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

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

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

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

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

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Thanks CC, will get on it!

2010 10mg Lexapro

2016 April 10mg - 10mg every other day

2016 May, 5mg every day to 5mg every other day

2016 June, July, August. Same pattern to 2,5mg every other day

2016 September 2,5 every other day to Zero. BOOM. Extremely tired.

2016 October 1st Face under left eyes starts swelling; October 14th concussion. Headaches

2016 November 7th left ear pain started (lasted until December 10). Headaches, Neckpain, no palps

2016 December 10 Bells Palsy (left paralysis of face) was prescribed steroids ( Prednescome), palps back

2017 January 7th Reinstated Lexapro 10mg. Did not make me feel better, no change in palps

2017 April Death of parent, lot's of stress, overall increase of exhaustion

2017 May 2g Taurine, 1g L'arginine, 10g Turmeric . Still many palps, tiredness a little bit better. Still on 10mg, Doc wants to up to 20 mg Lexapro.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Anyone any idea?

2010 10mg Lexapro

2016 April 10mg - 10mg every other day

2016 May, 5mg every day to 5mg every other day

2016 June, July, August. Same pattern to 2,5mg every other day

2016 September 2,5 every other day to Zero. BOOM. Extremely tired.

2016 October 1st Face under left eyes starts swelling; October 14th concussion. Headaches

2016 November 7th left ear pain started (lasted until December 10). Headaches, Neckpain, no palps

2016 December 10 Bells Palsy (left paralysis of face) was prescribed steroids ( Prednescome), palps back

2017 January 7th Reinstated Lexapro 10mg. Did not make me feel better, no change in palps

2017 April Death of parent, lot's of stress, overall increase of exhaustion

2017 May 2g Taurine, 1g L'arginine, 10g Turmeric . Still many palps, tiredness a little bit better. Still on 10mg, Doc wants to up to 20 mg Lexapro.

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  • Mentor
On 5/18/2017 at 9:38 PM, Path2normal said:

I have been through 8 months of hell and I need to get back to normal! Please help!

I started taking Lexapro in 2010 for anxiety after they put me, post Thyroid surgery on hormones, which were way too much. I developed a lone Afib and tons of palpitations (PVCs and PACs). I got off the Hormon meds and on Lexapro, 10mg.

 

Everything was PERFECT, I felt great, never had palpitations again, never anxiety, nothing. Then, in July of 2016 I decided to taper Lexapro off...and I was very afraid that the palpitations would return.

I went from 10mg to 10 every other day for a month, then 10mg every other day to 5mg every day, then 5 mg every other day, then 2,5 every day, then 2.5 every other day. All was still fine, I felt great, the process took 4 months or so.

Then, middle of September I went from 2.5 to 0 and BOOM...I suddenly, within a week became super tired, extremely exhausted.

Then... October 1st my face started swelling under my left eye, on November 7 I developed ear pain in the left ear and on October 14 I had a light concussion (did not pass out)

On November 10 my left side of my face paralyzed (Bell's Palsy or Ramsey Hunt, both was diagnosed) and I was prescribed Prednescome.

That when my palpitations came back.

My facial paralysis disappeared but I was still very very tired and had many palpitations.

 

So I REINSTATED Lexapro 10mg on January 7th.

 

Nothing has changed. I'm still super tired, have no energy, my palpitations are in the 1000's a day, I have light headaches in the back every day and I have the attention span of a monkey.

 

The problem is that several things happened at the same time: Getting off of Lexapro, coming back from a World trip where I got stung by insects, having stress, and getting a concussion. But I all really started AFTER I got off Lexapro (well, maybe except an insect sting, I was tested for Lyme). All thyroid tests are fine, and I never had an issue with anything hypo since the thyroid was removed in 2008.

 

I have had all kinds of tests, MRI of the brain, ekg's and echo for the palpitations and so on. Nothing. But I'm not anxious or depressed either.

It looks to me like my current state is caused by not using Lexapro anymore. But would I still feel bad, although I have been back on Lexapro for 4 months now? My doc recommended doubling up to 20mg of Lexapro but I'm extremely hesitant to do so.

Or maybe all this is caused by my light concussion and I hit the vagus nerve.

Please please let me know if I did anything wrong regarding the Lexapro. Thank you!!!

 

Steve

 

 

Hi Steve, I hope you've had time to look around and read the various threads about reinstating and stablizing etc

 

Your previous taper was, unfortunately, too fast and also taking the dose every other day is really hard on your brain, so although you've reinstated, it can make quite awhile to stablize

 

It is really NOT a good idea to increase the lexapro, this may only make you feel worse, as it's yet another dose change, and our brains do NOT like the up and down in doses, it likes things to stay stable/the same.

 

I have personal experience with this, if you look at my signature, you can see I made many mistakes trying to get off this drug, and it took a long time to feel better after re instating back in Oct.

As you can see, I reinstated at a much smaller dose, and that has gone well for me.  I attempted to use a higher dose, and felt MUCH worse, so this is why I agree, upping your dose is likely the wrong thing to do!


I hope you are starting to feel better. don't worry, you will heal from this, it just make take a bit longer than you thought it would. And definitely longer than most drs think It takes, if they acknowledge that withdrawal is a problem at all :/

 

 

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • Aug  2022❤️ loving life  ❤️ 
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Thanks to much for the answer. Do you think I should taper down to 5mg instead taking the 10mg, or will since chance confuse the system again? 

Thanks

2010 10mg Lexapro

2016 April 10mg - 10mg every other day

2016 May, 5mg every day to 5mg every other day

2016 June, July, August. Same pattern to 2,5mg every other day

2016 September 2,5 every other day to Zero. BOOM. Extremely tired.

2016 October 1st Face under left eyes starts swelling; October 14th concussion. Headaches

2016 November 7th left ear pain started (lasted until December 10). Headaches, Neckpain, no palps

2016 December 10 Bells Palsy (left paralysis of face) was prescribed steroids ( Prednescome), palps back

2017 January 7th Reinstated Lexapro 10mg. Did not make me feel better, no change in palps

2017 April Death of parent, lot's of stress, overall increase of exhaustion

2017 May 2g Taurine, 1g L'arginine, 10g Turmeric . Still many palps, tiredness a little bit better. Still on 10mg, Doc wants to up to 20 mg Lexapro.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I wouldn't try anything else except a very gentle cut (10 % at most but preferably 5 % to 9.5 mg.

 

If your symptoms get worse after the cut this will be a sign that you have to hold and that you will continue to improve with holding.

 

Very likely 10 mg was too much to reinstate but after all this time the brain would find it more traumatic to go down quickly and especially abruptly than to stay where you are. I have very positive experience with long holds, even up to 9 months.

 

If this cut brings you a relief it will be an indication that you can proceed with slow and careful taper. I believe that the worst is behind you and that you will continue to get better provided you don't subject your brain to more shocks through sudden changes of drugs.

 

Your doctor's advice is very typical. They just believe that more is better which is not the case here...

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 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. 

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