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zma1: Lexapro withdrawal on very low dose?

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I started taking generic Lexapro for anxiety about a month ago. I started with 2.5 mg and never went up to 5mg as my doctor recommended. She said 2.5 mg is a subtheraputic dose but I felt better on it, which I did, than that would be fine to stay with 2.5. I had a few typical side effects but the deal breaker is insomnia. I caught a bad cold forgot to take my Lexapro one morning, then didn't take it on purpose for almost a week so I could get sleep and heal the cold. 


I spoke with my doc about starting again, she said that would be fine, start with 2.5mg and I could again raise to 5 after a few days. Well after starting 2.5mg in two days I had my first full blown panic attack since I was 20--Im almost 50 now. I felt waves of chemicals surging all morning and I would use CBT techniques and slow breathing to keep it under control, finally took half dose of ativan, then had the panic attack. Shaking, racing heart, uncontrollable crying. I was taking CBDoil for the last two nights to try to offset the insomnia but the nurse said I may have had serotonin syndrome--CBD oil and SSRIs are not a good combo.


My doc wants me to switch to a combo of Zoloft and Buspar. 


I feel lost. I don't want to be on any of this. I don't know if I had withdrawal from stopping Lexapro or reaction to CBD oil or if I should stick with the lexapro and eventually the insomnia will wear off? But these forums scare me in to not wanting to be on any drugs at all


I need to get a handle on my anxiety. I know my psychiatrist will offer more drugs. My psychologist will offer CBT but I can't afford to keep seeing her and those techniques take practice. I did feel better on the lexapro but the insomnia made me worry about the long term effects of losing sleep. And made me feel awful and anxious about nighttime. Valerian and melatonin work to get me to sleep but Im up several times a night and often unable to go back to sleep once Im up. 


Do you all think anxiety drugs are not worth the withdrawal? Im not depressed-just major anxiety. GAD and hypochondriasis mostly. Im obviously very sensitive if a subtheraputic dose can effect me so severely so Im expecting bad withdrawal if I move forward with even a low dose of anything for 6 months to a year. Any thoughts or input would help. Thanks

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Hi zma, welcome to SA,


We ask all members to create a drug signature which provides us with a history of the member's drugs whenever they post.  The following is the preferred format which makes it easier for us and we can see it at a glance.  Please remember to update it whenever you make a change so it remains current.  Thank you.


 A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs (include CBD oil), doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.


Once we can clearly see your drug history we will be better able to offer suggestions about your own situation.


This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

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