Jump to content

Wordwards: introduction


Wordwards

Recommended Posts

Hi all, I hope this finds you sane!

 

I'm tapering off of my second time with escitalopram. The first time, in 2010, I was only on about 2 months, when I decided to come off of the drug. I used a book called "Break your prescription addicition". Since I had been taking the drug for generalized anxiety (basically, work stress sent me into what used to be called a nervous breakdown), I chose to supplement with a neurotransmitter precursor, and I was off "cold turkey" with no problems at all. I was not on very long, I was younger, it was summer.

 

Last July, after being on the drug this time for nearly 2 years, the supplement trick was not so effective. So, in September I talked to my PCP who is a nurse practitioner. She was awesomely supportive, and suggested a S-L-O-W taper. So far so good. I'm at month 4, and for January I've taken 5 mg a day, most days. Some days I forget, really, and then I would have an episode of panic, or over-reaction. That would remind me to stick with the program. I am also making sure that I keep up with my meditation practice, and my yoga practice, and getting outside to walk. I am already starting to feel my mind coming back to me, but it sounds like the real test happens after the meds are done. 

 

Why did I want to stop? Easy. Breakthrough anxiety and the fact that I have gained 40 pounds in 2 years. And FATIGUE.

 

So why did I go back on lexapro the second time? My mother, who has dementia, moved out here so that I, the "single" daughter, could be her caregiver. That happened early June, 2015. In July, I lost the high-paying job that had allowed me to buy the bigger home that had room for mom. I received a good severence package, and I had the summer off to leisurely seek other employment. In the fall, I was employed at my current company, but mom was getting worse. She transitioned to assisted living, and I started having massive anxiety - AFTER all the stressors were relieved. Weird. 

 

Mom's condition has worsened again, and she now needs to be in memory care  - or at home with me.  I opted to bring her home with me, at Christmas. It has been a challenging transition, and in spite of tapering, my inner freakouts have been short-lived and minimally disruptive. I am COPING! I'm writing a lot, and enjoying my dogs. I feel more like myself, I sleep better, and feel fairly well balanced. I hope to be completely off the drug by the Vernal Equinox. 

 

I've been listening to a really good audiobook by a woman who is a psychiatrist. She has no qualms about pointing out the lack of research proving a link between low seratonin and depression. She doesn't hesitate to point out the lack of scientific rigor in drug testing. And most alarming of all, is her confession that they don't really know what mood meds actually DO do. I'm glad I found the book (not sure if I can name it here), because I am now determined to tough out any post-taper withdrawal. 

 

That's my story, for now. 

 

 

 

 

Lexapro 1st time, for generalized anxiety disorder

  • 2010 -July 10 mg
  • 2010 Sept quit cold turkey, switched to GABA for anxiety, no withdrawal

 

Lexapro take 2, again for GAD after taking on caregiving for my mom, who has dementia

  • November 2015, 20 mg
  • July 2017, 10 mg
  • July 2017, back up to 20 mg.
  • September 2017, worked with NP to develop a SLOW taper schedule.
  • November 2017, down to 10 mg
  • December 2017, started alternating 10 mg and 5 mg. 
  • Feb 2018, 7.5 mg. escitalopram,

 

Supplements: 500 mg GABA, 2000 IU D3, B complex, magnesium, fish oil, green tea (brewed, not a supplement), 750 mg L-tyrosine

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Wordwards: introduction
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Wordwords, welcome to SA.  It is good to see that a professional understands that these drugs need tapering slowly. Unfortunately, her version of slow is very different to ours.  We recommend tapering no more than 10% of the CURRENT dose with at least 4 weeks between drops in dose. Tapering so slowly allows the brain to adjust between doses, sneaking the drug away very slowly so it isn't noticed. If there are any withdrawal symptoms it means the cut was too big, and even smaller cuts are better.  In time you get to know your body and brain and understand when it is ok to make a cut. 

We strongly advise against alternate dosing, this causes instability. If you are still alternating between 10 and 5 I would suggest 7.5 every day,  until you are stable, however long that takes. Then restart a slow taper. This will help ansure that you reduce the dose carefully without too much discomfort which will be much better for you, especially when you are caring for mom. It is heartwarming that you are taking such good care of her. 

 

It is fine to mention books and videos etc, it is good to see that doctors are becoming aware that these drugs are a huge problem. 

 

I will get some links for you to look at. 

 

First, we ask all our members to fill in their signature, we need drugs, doses and dates for recent drugs, just the name of drugs and rough dates for those going back years. We don't need side effects or reasons, just the drug names, dates and doses . You can find instructions with a link to the signature box here...

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/settings/signature/

 

How to taper lexapro 

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

 

Here you will find links to all the important topics on tests , supplements etc, also links to topics on fish oil and magnesium which we recommend. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/606-important-topics-about-tests-supplements-treatments-diet/

 

 

**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

 

 

Link to comment

Thanks mammaP. I appreciate the insight about not alternating doses. It is so tempting at 5 mg to just drop off and go cold turkey. I'll continue with my taper, although with pills it is harder to get that 10% exact. I'll also update my signature with some of the supplements I take. I'm really glad that I found this forum. Thank you for being!

 

I do fish oil and magnesium, as well as a complete B vitamin. GABA and L-tyrosine are part of my support, as are high qualityJapanese green teas and other herbal teas, such as tulsi. I'll add those to my signature, because, in my experience, green tea has the magical ability to be energizing without inducing mania, and calming at the same time. So does tulsi tea. 

 

I have a healthy vegetarian diet, but there are some other bad habits I can let go. Of a liquid nature. I'm looking forward to the adventure.

Lexapro 1st time, for generalized anxiety disorder

  • 2010 -July 10 mg
  • 2010 Sept quit cold turkey, switched to GABA for anxiety, no withdrawal

 

Lexapro take 2, again for GAD after taking on caregiving for my mom, who has dementia

  • November 2015, 20 mg
  • July 2017, 10 mg
  • July 2017, back up to 20 mg.
  • September 2017, worked with NP to develop a SLOW taper schedule.
  • November 2017, down to 10 mg
  • December 2017, started alternating 10 mg and 5 mg. 
  • Feb 2018, 7.5 mg. escitalopram,

 

Supplements: 500 mg GABA, 2000 IU D3, B complex, magnesium, fish oil, green tea (brewed, not a supplement), 750 mg L-tyrosine

 

 

 

 

Link to comment

You sound like a strong person. Do you have any siblings or family to help you take care of your mother? I have a sick father who needs care but luckily my mother and siblings help out so that all the stress isn't just on one person. 

 

All the best to you. 

Link to comment

I'm in Colorado, the rest of the family is in NC. Mom came out here because of the wealth of options for seniors in Larimer County. So, family is moral support only at this point. We have a caregiver that is with mom during my work hours. Hope to add some weekend caregiving too, to give me a break for hiking trips, dog shows, and so on. Mom has sundowners pretty badly, and so evenings can be rough. I'm learning how to deal with that, but it is my biggest challenge, since *I* am tired at night, and I want to spend time writing and reading. 

 

Life. Who knew?

Lexapro 1st time, for generalized anxiety disorder

  • 2010 -July 10 mg
  • 2010 Sept quit cold turkey, switched to GABA for anxiety, no withdrawal

 

Lexapro take 2, again for GAD after taking on caregiving for my mom, who has dementia

  • November 2015, 20 mg
  • July 2017, 10 mg
  • July 2017, back up to 20 mg.
  • September 2017, worked with NP to develop a SLOW taper schedule.
  • November 2017, down to 10 mg
  • December 2017, started alternating 10 mg and 5 mg. 
  • Feb 2018, 7.5 mg. escitalopram,

 

Supplements: 500 mg GABA, 2000 IU D3, B complex, magnesium, fish oil, green tea (brewed, not a supplement), 750 mg L-tyrosine

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hello, Wordwords, and welcome from me too.

 

Please don't be tempted to go cold-turkey.  I hope you follow MammaP's excellent advice to hold at 7.5 until you stabilize, however long that takes, then continue with a 10% taper.  To reiterate, please do not alternate doses.  Your system craves stability.

 

I too am tapering Lexapro and have been using the Gemini-20 scale, available on Amazon, for my  taper from 20mg to my current 8.6.  This allows me to get exact measurements of my doses.  I highly recommend it.
Using a digital scale to measure doses

 

Best of luck with your mother.

 

 

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 Dec. 2, 2022: 2.6mg

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.

Link to comment

I've been following recommendation to stabilize at 7.5 mg before going to 5 mg escitalopram. I'm feeling very good.  Well, today I'm tired as can be, which is surprising, and a little achey-breakey. Emotionally stable though. I've had plenty of good sleep, clean eating, water. Just one of those days I guess. 

Lexapro 1st time, for generalized anxiety disorder

  • 2010 -July 10 mg
  • 2010 Sept quit cold turkey, switched to GABA for anxiety, no withdrawal

 

Lexapro take 2, again for GAD after taking on caregiving for my mom, who has dementia

  • November 2015, 20 mg
  • July 2017, 10 mg
  • July 2017, back up to 20 mg.
  • September 2017, worked with NP to develop a SLOW taper schedule.
  • November 2017, down to 10 mg
  • December 2017, started alternating 10 mg and 5 mg. 
  • Feb 2018, 7.5 mg. escitalopram,

 

Supplements: 500 mg GABA, 2000 IU D3, B complex, magnesium, fish oil, green tea (brewed, not a supplement), 750 mg L-tyrosine

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Please don't rush.  It may take a while to stabilize.  Good days and bad days are part of stabilizing.  The fact that you are having good days is very encouraging.

 

Tapering from 7.5 to 5 is far too much of a drop.  A 10% drop from 7.5 would be to taper by only .75mg.  So your next drop would be to 6.75.  That 's where the Gemini scale comes in to measure your cuts.  Or you can make a liquid.

Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques
How to use oral syringes, gelatin capsules, powdered tablets, and do-it-yourself liquid solutions
 
How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules
General instructions on making a homemade liquid suspension

 

Or you can have your drugs made by a compounding pharmacy.

 

When you get to these low doses, it is important to go slower, not faster.
 

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 Dec. 2, 2022: 2.6mg

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.

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy