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I began tapering escitalopram six weeks ago (December 2017). I did so in conjunction with advice from my physician, a naturopath. I was at 20 mg. I began by reducing to 15 mg twice a week and 20 mg the remainder of the week. The sequence, then, was reduction to 15 mg three times weekly, reduction to 15 mg every other day. Then 15 mg daily. I then moved from 15 mg to 10 mg twice a week, then 10 mg every other day, then 10 mg daily. I have been at 10 mg. for about two weeks. I am now experiencing withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include a sharp headache along the medial line between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The intensity of the headache fluctuates, but, even at minimum, I am aware it is there. I also experience slight periodic nausea, never to point of vomiting, some irritability and a certain edginess or low level anxiety. In addition, I am noticing in increase in hypervigilance and self-critical thinking. All symptoms have been tolerable, if uncomfortable.

 

My history with antidepressants is a long one. I started in 1982 when prescribed lithium carbonate for depression. Later, in the late 1980s, I moved to prozac. In the early 2000s I began taking Lexapro. I am choosing to taper and end medication as the stressors exasperating previous depressive episodes have been resolved for some time. I wish to be medication free in order to evaluate my psychological and emotional state in that condition. 

 

Secondarily, as I live in a state the has legalized THC and CBD. I am interested in using these for symptom relief and would like to hear from others who have tried these for self-medication. My physician is aware and supports this as a potential for symptom relief. 

 

Thank you. 

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  • Began Prozac 1986 and Escitalopram @20 mg in 2001.
  • Began tapering Escitalopram December 19, 2017.
  • Dropped to 10 mg January 22, 2018
  • Returned to 15 mg February 1, 2018 due to symptoms. 
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  • Administrator

Welcome, SeattleKee.

 

We advocate a much more gradual, smooth tapering method, never skipping any doses. If I were you, I'd try a slight updose to 12.5mg escilatopram and see if that is enough to stop the withdrawal symptoms. You can get liquid escilatopram to take that additional 2.5mg, or you can make your own liquid.

 

Please see

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

 

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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Interesting experience. I reduced to 10 mg of escitalopram and began to have symptoms. As a childhood polio survivor my tendency is to "push through" any discomfort. That is a good thing in some incidences, but not this one. I will be upping dosage to 12.5 mg and see if the symptoms ease. I've requested my physician prescribe a liquid version of escitalopram to supplement my 10 mg. tabs. In the event this does not happen, I read the forum on creating my own liquid from pills and purified water and will go that route. I'll check back in a day or two after an increase in dosage to address any reduction in symptoms. I appreciate your support.

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  • Began Prozac 1986 and Escitalopram @20 mg in 2001.
  • Began tapering Escitalopram December 19, 2017.
  • Dropped to 10 mg January 22, 2018
  • Returned to 15 mg February 1, 2018 due to symptoms. 
Link to post
  • Moderator

Hello, SeattleKee,

 

Could you expand a bit on your drug signature to include your starting dose, when you started Escitalopram, and your tapering dosages that you described previously?  This signature will appear with each of your posts for easy reference.    Here are the instructions: 
  • 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. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

Please do not skip or alternate dosages.

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.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 6-week Ativan-Valium crossover.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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Here is my current status as of February 12, 2018. I tapered down to 10 mg on January 22, 2018  (from 20 mg, Mid-December 2017) and began experiencing symptoms including headache, irritability, fatigue. At Altostrata's suggestion I increased dosage to address withdrawal symptoms. On February 4, 2018 I returned to 15 mg. Subsequently, I asked my physician to prescribe a liquid suspension of escitalopram. It is being filled now. As I have stabilized at 15 mg since February 4, 2018 without withdrawal symptoms, I will begin decreasing my intake in two mg. amounts. The next step will be 13 mg. daily of escitalopram beginning February 16, 2018. Any suggestions?

CoffeeSmall.png

  • Began Prozac 1986 and Escitalopram @20 mg in 2001.
  • Began tapering Escitalopram December 19, 2017.
  • Dropped to 10 mg January 22, 2018
  • Returned to 15 mg February 1, 2018 due to symptoms. 
Link to post

Hi SeattleKee. Did you follow the links provided by Altostrata and Gridley? Very important to do that.  Stabilization may take a bit longer. Read the information suggested, educate yourself and familiarize yourself with this forum.  Our nervous systems protest when we make upset things by tapering too fast. Give yourself time to recooperate then perhaps restart your taper. You may want to try a more modest percent, perhaps 5 percent of most recent dose when you're ready. 

 

75 mcg levothyroxine 

10 mcg liothyronine

25 mg hydrochlorothiazide 

Nearly 30 years of benzos, antidepressants, antipsychotics, et. al. 

 

Drug free September 9, 2019

 

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Hi Marsha,

 

I appreciate the post. Yes, I learned a lesson, reduce incremental in small amounts - the posts  suggest 10 percent drops and I’m inclined to do less, like the five percent you are suggesting. No hurry. I have stabilized quite nicely at 15 mg/daily. I plan to hold for a week or two then drop 1 or 2 mg to 13 or 14 mg/daily. Thanks for the reply. 

CoffeeSmall.png

  • Began Prozac 1986 and Escitalopram @20 mg in 2001.
  • Began tapering Escitalopram December 19, 2017.
  • Dropped to 10 mg January 22, 2018
  • Returned to 15 mg February 1, 2018 due to symptoms. 
Link to post
  • Moderator

Please keep in mind that dropping at a 10% rate from 15mg would be 13.5.  A 5% drop from 15mg would be 14.25.  I would suggest the smaller drop (5%) since you are doing well and stabilized.  Also, SA recommends a 4-week hold between drops.  Holding for just a week or two could risk your stabilization.  Your system needs to get accustomed to the lower dose.  As you said, no hurry.  Slow and easy does it.

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.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 6-week Ativan-Valium crossover.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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I can do that - i.e. hold for a month at present level of 15 mg then dropping 5% to 14.25. Sounds like a solid plan. I’ll mark my calendar accordingly. Thank you. 

 

CoffeeSmall.png

  • Began Prozac 1986 and Escitalopram @20 mg in 2001.
  • Began tapering Escitalopram December 19, 2017.
  • Dropped to 10 mg January 22, 2018
  • Returned to 15 mg February 1, 2018 due to symptoms. 
Link to post

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