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carlos099: escitalopram withdrawal long term


carlos099

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Hello everybody, 

I am new and I want to tell my little story about escitalopram (cipralex)and to share some thoughts. I have been using it for about 1,5 years back in 2013/2014 and I am now "clean" from that moment on. So, about 3, 3 years. I want to share some withdrawal symptoms I had and how I treated them ( still treating some of them) and I would love to have some feedback on it.

Let's start from the first signals I got once I stopped ( I stopped really gradually and I haven't experience nothing strange at first, I mean in the first months I would say):

 

1)In about 5 months I gained 10 kg ( 22lbs) without changing any eating or sport habits. I haven't lost them up untill I did some food intolerance tests and I discovered many of them. I stopped eating gluten for a while ( 1,5 years) and  I Iost them in the first 3 months of diet. Now ,paradoxically, I'm struggling with the opposite problem, I cannot put weight on anymore, I believe I eat 5 times the calories a normal person eat but nothing change. I am an ex- professional football player and I believe that my body now has problem to put muscles on, I would say I need about 4/5 kg of muscles to be back to normal but there is no way to achieve that. So first consideration for me, beyond the weight gain problem that is well knows, I have the impression that this drug makes it harder to put muscles on again. 

 

2) I have some kind of permanent chronic telogen effluvium, I lost tons of hairs since I stopped that drug, but I'm not going bald. Just hairs everywhere, sometime more, sometime less. I am not able to deal with this problem and I won't go into other drugs at all. Usually hair loss occurs during medication, but for me it started right after the discontinuation... any other with same problem?

 

3)I have almost all the time a constant feeling of not being comfortable with my body, I mean it is difficult to explain... after that diet it improved a lot, but I still have some "signals"  that my body sends  to warn me that something isn't going in the right direction.... I find a lot of relief with mindfulness and sports, but still I am feeling strange physically speaking...my skin is drier and other stuff... Just to be clear, I like myself, I still like my body and I do fully accept it as it is, but there is something wrong, I know it better than anyone, it is not responding in the best way.

 

4) Libido stuff : a light loss of libido, and missing or weak mornig erection...During sex everything is kind of normal, I believe in a scale from 0 - to 10 I would say I feel 8,5 normal down there, but still something is going wrong. I am supplementing with ashwuaganda and I am doing 1 day water fast per week since couple of months, I feel great after it in terms of body sensations, but I am not sure it is helping with libido...

 

5) Alchool makes me feel a bit weird too... It is a strange effect, like I am poisoned( not drunk !!) after a glass of wine or a beer. I mean, it's not a big deal I am basically not touching alchool anymore, but I used to love wine and alchool in general, with moderation, and now there is this problem. 

 

6) I feel I have lost a lot of motivation in life in general, to better say I need to motivate my self 300% times more than before ssri to do stuff... I am dealing with this problem again with mediatation, sport and with a second job... The sensation is that I am ok whilel I am doing stuff, but when I stop or I rest I do not feel great, I do not enjoy rest anymore as it used to be. 

 

To conclude, I would like to say that for me the first year after SSRI has been a nightmare for me.... a proper body shock, I am not sure how I managed not to take them again.... but slowly everything is going in the right direction, I still need to figure out some small problems and deal with them, but I would NEVER take them again for any reasons. I think I want to consider the fasting method more seriously, I would like to do it for 3 or 4 days in a raw in the near future, I read that many people recovering for post-SSRI syndrome found it very usefull. In these years I have taken a lot of supplements too... like curcumin, inositol, various herbs, cbd oil... a lot believe me... but I am quitting them all... I will leave the body free 

 

Maybe the post was a bit too long and boring, sorry for that... I appreciate any comments and suggestion. 

 

Cipralex starts : Mid- May 2013 10mg

Cipralex dose increased: July 2013 20mg

First attempt to quit : December 2013 ( very fast tapering, all happened in 1 month)

I started again cipralex: January 2014 10 mg

Cipralex dose increased: March 2014 20mg

Cipralex discontinuation: Between June and Agust 2014 I discontinued cipralex (about 3 or 3,5 months tapering)

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  • Moderator

Hello, Carlos, and Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.org (SA).  I am tapering Escitalopram and I congratulate you on getting off this drug.

 

We ask all members to create a drug which will appear below every post you make.  This makes it easy for everyone to see your history at a glance.  Please follow these directions to create a signature in the preferred format.  Please also remember to update whenever you make a change so it remains current.  Thank you.

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, 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.

Please let us know your dosages, rate of tapering, when you went to zero mg, and your dosage before you went to zero.

 

SA recommends a taper of no more than 10% per month with a four-week hold between drops.  If you went faster than this, this might account for any withdrawal symptoms you might be having.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Here is a link to many of the symptoms that often accompany withdrawal.  They differ from person to person.

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

The next three links deal with navigating with withdrawal process.

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

Stabilising - What Does That Mean?
Withdrawal Normal Description


These two links are also helpful in understanding what's happening to you.

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery
What is Happening in Your Brain

 

I too am having great difficulty gaining weight and have lost several kilos since tapering escitalopram.

 

Libido reduction is a common withdrawal symptom.  

 

If you Google "SurvivingAntidepressant.org hair loss" you will find several posts deal with SSRI's and hair loss.

 

As far as supplements go, SA recommends only two: magnesium and omega fish oil.

Edited by Gridley

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 to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Aug. 5, 2022: 4.3mg

Taper is 77% 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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  • ChessieCat changed the title to carlos099: escitalopram withdrawal long term

Hi Carlos,

Have you ever had your hormones tested?  AD's can affect HPA axis function and throw off our hormonal regulation.  I've had many of your symptoms and found that I was chronically low in Testosterone for a lot of years.  Not saying this is the case, but something to consider if you haven't.  It's been a saving grace to have my Testosterone back to a normal level.  

All the best,

Rob.

April 26th - 36.5>32.8mg Z.

Feb 4th - 40.5>36.5mg Zoloft.

Jan 5th - 45>40.5mg Zoloft.

Dec 6th - 50>45mg Zoloft.

Nov 1st - 53>50.0mg Zoloft. Sep 22/17 - 50.0>53.0mg Zoloft. Sep 18/17 - 59.0>50.0mg Zoloft.

Aug 7/17 - 65.6>59.0mg  July 18/17 - 72.9>65.6mg. June 18/17 - 81>72.9mg 

May 28/17 - 90>81mg.  May 8/17:  Started my taper. 100>90mg

1995 to May 8/17:  100mg Zoloft/day.  Working well but suspecting some signs of Tolerance this past year.

4/5/17:  Started Testosterone Replacement Therapy via T pellet insertion.  Diagnosed with Secondary Hypogonadism.

Supplements:  1000mg fish oil, 10,000iu Vit D3 with K2, 400mg Magnesium.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you Rob for your comment. Apart form testosterone, would you suggest a check for other hormones? Which ones?

 

Cipralex starts : Mid- May 2013 10mg

Cipralex dose increased: July 2013 20mg

First attempt to quit : December 2013 ( very fast tapering, all happened in 1 month)

I started again cipralex: January 2014 10 mg

Cipralex dose increased: March 2014 20mg

Cipralex discontinuation: Between June and Agust 2014 I discontinued cipralex (about 3 or 3,5 months tapering)

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  • Administrator

On the other hand, taking any kind of steroid can knock your nervous system off balance even more, so caution is warranted.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 2 years later...

Hi there, 

 

I was following these forum couple of years ago and I am back just now. I have couple of questions. My last dose of escitalopram was in 2014, I tapered gradually but not as slowly as I should because actually I did not know the methods I find out in here later...

 

I feel like recovered, let's say 80%, some days even 100% but I was wondering about two things... 

 

I have been casually taking for just 15 days Inositol and I find out it is used for pssd, My libido actually increased back to 100% with it (it was ok,but not 100%), is it better I do stop with it?  I read contrasting opinions about...Does anyone knows how is tolerated on medium long term at low dosage? withdrawal? Is really re-sensitizing serotonin receptors as mentioned in some studies? 

 

I can say the only "big" problem I have left with escitalopram is hair loss, kind of disturbing, does anyone have effectively manage it? it's just ridiculous the amount I lost since I quit it.  

 

I am actually suspecting sexual stuff and hair have a lot in common since the post finasteride syndrome looks like the pssd, they probably share biochemical pattern of action, anyone know anything about ?

 

 

Many thanks, hugs.

 

 

 

Cipralex starts : Mid- May 2013 10mg

Cipralex dose increased: July 2013 20mg

First attempt to quit : December 2013 ( very fast tapering, all happened in 1 month)

I started again cipralex: January 2014 10 mg

Cipralex dose increased: March 2014 20mg

Cipralex discontinuation: Between June and Agust 2014 I discontinued cipralex (about 3 or 3,5 months tapering)

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57 minutes ago, carlos099 said:

Hi there, 

 

I was following these forum couple of years ago and I am back just now. I have couple of questions. My last dose of escitalopram was in 2014, I tapered gradually but not as slowly as I should because actually I did not know the methods I find out in here later...

 

I feel like recovered, let's say 80%, some days even 100% but I was wondering about two things... 

 

I have been casually taking for just 15 days Inositol and I find out it is used for pssd, My libido actually increased back to 100% with it (it was ok,but not 100%), is it better I do stop with it?  I read contrasting opinions about...Does anyone knows how is tolerated on medium long term at low dosage? withdrawal? Is really re-sensitizing serotonin receptors as mentioned in some studies? 

 

I can say the only "big" problem I have left with escitalopram is hair loss, kind of disturbing, does anyone have effectively manage it? it's just ridiculous the amount I lost since I quit it.  

 

I am actually suspecting sexual stuff and hair have a lot in common since the post finasteride syndrome looks like the pssd, they probably share biochemical pattern of action, anyone know anything about ?

 

 

Many thanks, hugs.

 

 

 

Hi Carlos099,

 

I know little about Inositol but what I would say is if you feel 80%+ recovered, I would feel nervous about trying something which you don't know the long-term effect of.  Like yourself, I have read a couple of things that suggest in some people Inositol can help PSSD.  But I think I have also read of people who have taken it, got some temporary improvement from it, but then the improvement disappears and it no longer helps.  There are probably other people on here who can give you a more informed opinion than myself, but personally if I was 80% recovered, I would not take it.  I would also add that if you are 80% recovered, you are highly likely to fully recover fairly soon I would think. 

 

So when you came off the escitalopram in 2014 you then had PSSD?  How long did it take for you to start to improve, and how long until you felt about 80% recovered from PSSD?

 

All the best to you.

1Day

 

 

Escitalopram for anxiety (dates below are approximate).

 

Oct 09 - Apr 10, 20mg (tapered off over about 6 weeks). 

Jun 10 - Feb 11, 20mg (tapered off over about 6 weeks). 

Jun 11 - Aug 12, 20mg (started to taper off but failed). 

Oct 12 - Dec 13, 20mg.  Dec 13 - Apr 14, 10mg.  Apr 14 - Nov 14, 5mg. 

Nov 14 - Jan 16, 20mg.  Jan 16 - Aug 16, 10mg.  Aug 16 - Dec 16, 10mg every other day.  Dec 16 - Jan 17 5mg every third day.  Jan 17 - took last tablet.

 

 

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13 hours ago, 1Day said:

Hi Carlos099,

 

I know little about Inositol but what I would say is if you feel 80%+ recovered, I would feel nervous about trying something which you don't know the long-term effect of.  Like yourself, I have read a couple of things that suggest in some people Inositol can help PSSD.  But I think I have also read of people who have taken it, got some temporary improvement from it, but then the improvement disappears and it no longer helps.  There are probably other people on here who can give you a more informed opinion than myself, but personally if I was 80% recovered, I would not take it.  I would also add that if you are 80% recovered, you are highly likely to fully recover fairly soon I would think. 

 

So when you came off the escitalopram in 2014 you then had PSSD?  How long did it take for you to start to improve, and how long until you felt about 80% recovered from PSSD?

 

All the best to you.

1Day

 

 

Thanks for your reply, I would say I had a mild/ medium  PSSD I didn't even understand it was due to withdrawal at first. I would say after about 2 and half year started to improve now, is back to acceptable. I have also noticed that some days of abstention work well to boost it, but I think that's normal anyway... As I mentioned in other comments I believe that fasting and light diet without carbs have helped a bit with it.

Cipralex starts : Mid- May 2013 10mg

Cipralex dose increased: July 2013 20mg

First attempt to quit : December 2013 ( very fast tapering, all happened in 1 month)

I started again cipralex: January 2014 10 mg

Cipralex dose increased: March 2014 20mg

Cipralex discontinuation: Between June and Agust 2014 I discontinued cipralex (about 3 or 3,5 months tapering)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Carlos and welcome back.

 

So that we have a complete history of your drugs please update your drug signature.  Thank you.

 

This link will take you to your drug signature.  Remember to click SAVE when finished.  Account Settings – Edit a signature

 

Edited by ChessieCat

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

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

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • 1 year later...
On 5/21/2020 at 9:33 PM, 1Day said:

Hi Carlos099,

 

I know little about Inositol but what I would say is if you feel 80%+ recovered, I would feel nervous about trying something which you don't know the long-term effect of.  Like yourself, I have read a couple of things that suggest in some people Inositol can help PSSD.  But I think I have also read of people who have taken it, got some temporary improvement from it, but then the improvement disappears and it no longer helps.  There are probably other people on here who can give you a more informed opinion than myself, but personally if I was 80% recovered, I would not take it.  I would also add that if you are 80% recovered, you are highly likely to fully recover fairly soon I would think. 

 

So when you came off the escitalopram in 2014 you then had PSSD?  How long did it take for you to start to improve, and how long until you felt about 80% recovered from PSSD?

 

All the best to you.

1Day

 

 

 

 

I have seen improvement after taking paxil for 4 years, my libido was below zero, multiple drugging with A/P also

 

after tapering slowly over 4 years libido  increased naturally

 

I think taking supplements for PSSD is not wise idea because these are short term solutions to  PSSD

 

Stay safe

Miko

2011 protracted withdrawal symptoms from Effexor, managed to come off
2013-2015  risperidone consta 50 mg, started tapering from March 2015 to 1,66mg/day and from 02/2015 started seroxat 10mg/day

01/17 Seroxat 2,0mg,olanzapine 5mg,risperidone consta 25mg/every 15days

05/17 Seroxat 1mg,olanzapine 5mg,risp.consta 25mg/every 15days

06/17 Seroxat 2drops,olanzapine 5mg,liquid risperidone2mg

07/17 Seroxat 1 drop,olanzapine 5mg,Risperidone 0mg, 10/17 Seroxat 0mg,olanzapine,5mg,Risperidone 0mg, 12/17 Seroxat 1/2 drop, olanzapine 5mg,  04/18 Olanzapine 1,25mg, 04/18 xanax 0,5mg

24/06/2019 doc said to take 10mg olanzapine for 13days and down to 5mg
 been taking 10mg for 14 days, 5mg for 8 days  and  tapered to  3/4quart. 5mg  for 14 days, 1/2 for 14 days,

01/08/19 2,5mg

08/2021 5mg olanzapine

Supplements Omega 3, Turmeric, Bacopa monneri, Mucuna Pruriens

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