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SilentSophia: Trying to stop Lexapro (again)


SilentSophia

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I have being using Lexapro 10 mg since 2009. Have stop it four times for 2-5 months and then restarted since the anxiety starts. I went from 10 mg to 5 mg for two weeks and then I took my last pill on 27th Jul. I know I did it way too fast. I don't have problems with immediate withdraw symptons, they are very mild for me. The challenges will start 1-3 months later when the anxiety starts. I just wish that this time I would have enough motivation and willpower to live with it, especially not to feed it by reading about scary news and about illnesses, that I would exercise, take my natural supplements, meditate and so on. This time I'm prepared better than ever. And I'm here for peer support. At the moment I'm feeling great. Let's see what happens in few weeks or months.

Started Lexapro 10 mg in 2009 for anxiety and strong fears of illnesses. I have stop the medication four times for different reasons for 2-5 months. During all those breaks there have been big changes in my life that have triggered the anxiety again, probably i can also thank the post withdrawn symptons. I did the "cold turkey". I know it's not recommended. Took my last 5 mg pill on 27th June 2017. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to SilentSophia: trying to stop Lexapro (again)
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Sophia, welcome to SA.  You have already tried to quit lexapro and had to go back on it, this time will sadkly be the same. You know about the horrendous withdrawal symptoms that you can avoid by tapering slowly. We see many, many people here who believe they can get through it but end up in a terrible state.

 

 It is common for withdrawal to start later, it is called PAWS, Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome.  No one, EVER wants to go back on a drug when they are feeling great but it really is the best course of action after so long on lexapro. You could reinstate 5mg and see how you get on with it. Take that for a few weeks then start to taper slowly. We recommend tapering no more than 10% of the CURRENT dose with at least weeks between cuts, and holding a dose if there are any withdrawal symptoms. Sadly doctors do not know anything about withdrawal and recommend tapers that are far too fast, then tell patients that they will need the drugs for life, which is not true. They can be tapered successfully and safely when taken slowly. 

 

 

I am not trying to scare you but this is the reality, all the scary stuff you read online is probably people who have come off drugs cold turkey or tapered too fast and not realised that reinstatement and a slow taper can make things much better and lead to getting off them completely without the trauma of withdrawal. Reinstating the original drug is the only way to stop withdrawal, but if left too long can fail and leave people suffering for a long time. I am sure this is not what you want to hear and of course this is your decision but we see this so many times and would hate to see you suffering when it can be avoided. 

 

Here is a link on reinstatement. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

What is withdrawal syndrome 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

For years your brain has been functioning and working along with the drug, when that drug is taken away the brain struggles to work efficiently and tries to regain homeostasis. The drug CREATED a chemical imbalance that now has to be corrected. This can take a long, long time. Tapering slowly allows the brain to adjust in between cuts, sneaking it away so it isn't noticed. 

 

Tapering lexapro. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

 

We ask all our members to fill in their signature with their drug and tapering history. Just the basic info as you have in your post will be fine, along with any other drugs or supplements, this makes it easier for us when it appears at the bottom of each post, you can find instructions here.. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12364-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Edited by mammaP

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Hi mammaP,

 

thank you for your reply and all this valuable information. The reason why I stop Lexapro so fast is that my original plan was actually to switch to Wellbutrin. I don't know if it helps me but I would like to try. I have a meeting with my shrink in two weeks and I wanted to have couple weeks break between the medicines.

 

But then I started to think why wouldn't I try (again) if this time I could live without any medication. I will ask my shrink to give me Wellbutrin description and I will start it if PAWS go too hard for too long. I guess I should give Wellbutrin at least two months change to see if it helps. If not, then I just go back to Lexapro, stabilize the mood and then try this super slow tampering when I feel strong enough.

 

The reason why I would like to stop Lexapro is that I don't like the idea of eating it the rest of my life especially because it makes it impossible to lose weight and makes my libido quite low. Otherwise it has been very good and helpful for me.

 

I already edited my profile info. I guess it was not the correct place...I will keep investigating. ?

Started Lexapro 10 mg in 2009 for anxiety and strong fears of illnesses. I have stop the medication four times for different reasons for 2-5 months. During all those breaks there have been big changes in my life that have triggered the anxiety again, probably i can also thank the post withdrawn symptons. I did the "cold turkey". I know it's not recommended. Took my last 5 mg pill on 27th June 2017. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It is not a good idea to change drugs, wellbutrin has it's own catalogue of side effects. You will not have to take any drug for life if you taper properly from lexapro. People can find that the side effects lessen as the dose lowers.  The 'chemical imbalance' that has led to millions of people being told they need anti depressants for life has now been exposed to be a myth that was started by the drug companies to sell their drugs. When someone stops the drug, aither cold turkey or tapering too fast, it is withdrawal that makes them have to reinstate, not the 'mental illness' that has relapsed.  What makes you want to switch to wellbutrin specifically? 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Sophia: make sure to read through this forum especially the tapering section and why it's important to taper by no more than 10 per cent

200 Zoloft; 10 mg Zyprexa; 4 mg valium as of May 2021;  Valium taper: July 16: 3.5 valium; July 30: 3 mg (paused valium taper); Aug. 23: 2.5 mg
Zyprexa: July 26: 8.75 mg; Aug. 9: 7.5 mg; Aug. 30: 7.1 mg

-------
Dec 1, 2016. 10 mg zyprexa for 1.5 month. Started taper mid-Jan. 2017. Cut 1.25 mg every 2 weeks; smaller cuts 2.5 mg down. Stopped at .6 mg. May 7, 2017: zyprexa free. 
Zoloft: Dec1, 2016, 200 mg. Started taper: Jun12, 2017: 197.5 mg; Jun19,:195 mg; July 2:185mg; July 9,:180 mg; July16,: 175; July 23: 170; July 30: 165; Aug6: 160; Aug13: 155; Aug. 20: 150; Aug.27: 146 mg; Sept3: 145 mg; Sept10:143 mg; Sept17:140 mg....Nov5: 122 mg...Dec3:112.5 mg; Jan14, 2018: 95 mg...Jan28: 90 mg; Feb21:80 mg; Mar11: 75 mg; May2:70 mg; May15: 68 mg; May28: 65 mg; Jun9: 62 mg;Jun25: 60 mg:July22: 55 mg; Aug25: 45 mg. Aug28: 50 mg...Oct 28: 38 mg; Dec.4: 30 mg; Jan8,2019: 25mg; Feb6: 23.5 mg; Apr1:17.5mg; May1:1 mg; May 5: 18;  May 18:15mg; June 16:12.5mg; Sept 10:11 mg; Sept.16:10 mg; Oct. 1: 9mg; Nov. 27: 8mg; Dec.5: 7mg; Jan.1,2020, 6 mg; Feb1: 5 mg; May 1: 2.5 mg; Jn 1: 2 mg; Jy 1: 1.5 mg

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  • 1 month later...

Hello! It's been nearly two months meds free and I'm still doing pretty fine. Mild physical symptons faded away in 2-4 weeks after taking the last pill. However during last couple of weeks I have started to notice stupid obsessive behavior and thoughts. I have been able to stop following news media which is good for me. However I have being googling some scary staff even if I know I should not.

 

Everything is still pretty much under control today but I can feel that I'm in a very sensitive mode and any time I might face some incident that triggers a huge anxiety. This has always happened to me 2-4 months after stopping the meds. I have found out that there is a support group in my home town for people trying to get rid of SSRIs. I haven't had a chance to go there but at least I know it's there if need it.

 

I'm a little bit scared how becoming months will be but trying to take it day by day and enjoying every day that I can do without meds and still not having too much anxiety.

 

Postive thing is that I get full much faster and don't feel like eating so much or often. I don't think I have lost any weight yet but I don't want to use energy for loosing weight because I need energy trying not to get too crazy.

 

Hugs and good luck!

Started Lexapro 10 mg in 2009 for anxiety and strong fears of illnesses. I have stop the medication four times for different reasons for 2-5 months. During all those breaks there have been big changes in my life that have triggered the anxiety again, probably i can also thank the post withdrawn symptons. I did the "cold turkey". I know it's not recommended. Took my last 5 mg pill on 27th June 2017. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm still worried about you and sadly as the time goes by the symptoms get worse, reinstatement takes longer to work or it might not work at all.

 

Unfirtunately this is not a matter of willpower or a healthy life style. It's just that our brain grew around this substance like a trellis of a plant. We need to carefully remove it to allow our brain the chance to slowly regrow itself.

 

I was in the same mindset like you know and I know well nothing we say will make you change your mind. You have to find it out and learn your way and at your speed.

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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  • ChessieCat changed the title to SilentSophia: Trying to stop Lexapro (again)
  • Moderator Emeritus

I agree with bubble and suggest you re-read mammaP's first post to you.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh boy. For my disapointment you are so right. Things are just getting worse. I could still try to handle but I also need to be able to work and take care of my kids. So I will reinstate to 5 mg tomorrow. Or should it be my original does 10 mg? Anyway I will start reinstalling with 5 mg. And then in a month or two if I feel better I start tapering as adviced, 10% in every 4-6 weeks. I'm quite confident reinstating is as succesful as before (Anyway this is the fifth time restarting them!!).

Started Lexapro 10 mg in 2009 for anxiety and strong fears of illnesses. I have stop the medication four times for different reasons for 2-5 months. During all those breaks there have been big changes in my life that have triggered the anxiety again, probably i can also thank the post withdrawn symptons. I did the "cold turkey". I know it's not recommended. Took my last 5 mg pill on 27th June 2017. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

How long have you been off the drug?

 

Since it's been a few months I wouldn't advise more than 1 mg. 

On 19/09/2017 at 10:18 AM, ChessieCat said:

I suggest you re-read mammaP's first post to you.

 

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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2 months. I already took 5 mg. I think it's ok.

Started Lexapro 10 mg in 2009 for anxiety and strong fears of illnesses. I have stop the medication four times for different reasons for 2-5 months. During all those breaks there have been big changes in my life that have triggered the anxiety again, probably i can also thank the post withdrawn symptons. I did the "cold turkey". I know it's not recommended. Took my last 5 mg pill on 27th June 2017. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
2 hours ago, SilentSophia said:

I already took 5 mg

 

These drugs are strong and 5mg is most probably too much for you.  You have been off the drug 3 months and your brain will have already made some adjustments since you stopped taking 5mg.

 

I strongly suggest that from your next dose you take only 1mg.  It is okay to do this at the very early stage but it is important that you do this straight away.  It takes about 4 days for the dose change to get to a steady state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  The lower the dose you can stabilise on the less you will have to taper.

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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  • 2 months later...

Hello,

 

it's been 1,5 months since I went to my "emergency dose" 15 mg. I felt I needed it and it has helped me as before. I'm feeling good now and went back to my original dose 10 mg. I know it's bigger jump than recommended but I have done it before many times without problems.

 

I'm planning to stay on 10 mg many months now and I have started a cognitive therapy with a new therapist to learn to handle my fears and anxiety. I hope she can help me better than my previous therapist. I haven't have any therapy for few years...just eating Lexapro.

 

I have been thinking about tapering. Based on my experience my body doesn't react much to dose reductions but 6-8 weeks later comes the anxiety and fears. That's why I have been thinking that I would always wait 8-12 weeks to see how I'm doing mentally before I do the next drop. It will probably take at least 2-3 years but it's ok. At least I will be trying to get off or to cope with lower doses instead of just eating these the rest of my life.

Started Lexapro 10 mg in 2009 for anxiety and strong fears of illnesses. I have stop the medication four times for different reasons for 2-5 months. During all those breaks there have been big changes in my life that have triggered the anxiety again, probably i can also thank the post withdrawn symptons. I did the "cold turkey". I know it's not recommended. Took my last 5 mg pill on 27th June 2017. 

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  • Moderator

SilentSophia,

 

That sounds like a good plan.  Remember that the lower you go, the smaller the drop should be.  Don't worry about the 2-3 years it will take.  It's taken me a year to go from 20mg to 10 Lexapro.  Better to go slow than to drop too fast, destabilize, have to updose, etc. -- all ending up delaying you more than a slow taper would've done.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper 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  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Jan. 6, 2023: 2.5mg

Taper is 86% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, 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.

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