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Hookgrip: Lexapro poop-out & withdrawal


Hookgrip

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Hello all, 

 

I've been reading these forums intensely for the past week as I've been in rough shape, but I found out about SA last August when my meds first pooped-out.  Anyways, I thought it was time that I posted and got more involved because it's Hell right now..

 

So a little background, I was first put on Zoloft in 2006 for social anxiety and depression, which was secondary to the social anxiety IMO. I was started on 50mg and had some slight flushing and palpitation, nothing too severe and completely bearable. Then my psych Dr kept increasing the dosage by 25mg I think about every

two weeks until I reached 150mg. I was feeling fine even at 75mg so I don't know why he did that. Anyways I had 0 side effects, sexual or otherwise, and basically got my life back.

 

I got my first girlfriend in college, went clubbing, made friends and got a part-time job. Things I thought were never going to happen in my life when I first started struggling with social anxiety when I was around 17.

 

Then about 8 months in after starting Zoloft, the Dr advised that I taper off and quit because I was doing so 

well. He had me taper from 150mg to 0 in about 6 weeks or so. After about 2 weeks off Zoloft, the zaps started. They were pretty severe every time I turned my head. Then I got hungry right after I ate so I would eat more.  Then I got emotional, to the point that I shed a tear or two while watching a Jet Li movie..I had no clue about withdrawal back then so I just stuck it out and about 3 to 4 weeks after quitting Zoloft, the emotional symptoms hit hard. Crippling depression, anxiety, impending doom, suicidal thoughts, depersonalization. I was bed bound for a few days and then started drinking.

 

So the Dr put me back on Zoloft but I was still a wreck after a week or so, and he added risperidone to no avail, switched me to Paxil and finally Lexapro 10mg and Seroquel 50mg at night which seemed to help after 3 or 4 days. 

 

Thinking back, I probably could have stuck with Zoloft after the reinstatement and stuck it out until I stabilized which would have been preferable to adding an anti-psychotic but again I had no clue about withdrawal and I guess neither did the Dr.

 

But the Lexapro and seroquel worked so I stayed on it for about a year before deciding to try quitting again in April of 2008. Went through the same withdrawal after tapering off too quickly (don't remember how fast but probably 10 weeks or less) and reinstated both Lexapro and Seroquel.

 

Decided just to stay on them for life if they keep working because I didn't have any noticeable side effects besides the Seroquel making my nose stuffy but I took it at night and it knocked me out in about an hour so I guess I didn't really care. 

 

Fast forward to August of 2017, after the birth of my first child which required some significant lifestyle changes coupled with a stressful/dirty/dangerous work environment, I got the withdrawal symptoms, even though I was on the same dosage. Not a lot of the physical symptoms but very mild zaps 2-3 times/day and just some generalized fatigue which went on for about a 8 weeks, then the sudden crippling emotional symptoms hit.

 

Went to the local Dr (I moved so it was a different Dr) and asked to try Effexor XR after doing some research. Thought I needed something stronger..lol..but was only on it for about 10 days which was hell because by then I also had hot flushes, tinnitus, light sensitivity, and panic attacks. I went back to the Dr and this time switched back to Zoloft with fingers crossed. I went back up to 150mg, but didn't notice much improvement after about 8 weeks so I decided it wasn't working and that I was just going to quit all antidepressants forever.

 

So from October 16 to December 4 2017, I went from 150 mg to 0. Shortly after starting the taper I noticed the Zaps had flared up again but I just brushed it off to the poop-out.

 

I started taking 200 mg sam-e and 250 to 500mg l-theanine in hopes of lessening the withdrawal symptoms, and I did okay with manageable anxiety and little to no depressive symptoms. That is until I decided it was time to stop the sam-e and l-theanine as well. I started skipping sam-e and l-theanine every 3 days, then 2 then every other day and so on until my last dose on the 18th of February 2018.

 

The past week or so I have hit rock bottom again with the emotional symptoms, being homebound and not able to workout which means a lot because I have not missed a single day of lifting weights in the past 3 or so years except the day my child was born.

 

I am now seriously thinking about reinstating either the Zoloft or the sam-e and l-theanine then following the 10% taper method because I will have to move again in about 4 weeks and I'm supposed to go on a month long trip with my family in April, both of which has been stressing me out for some time now. I would rather not if I can because it feels like taking steps back but as I've read multiple times in this forum sometimes it's necessary to go back a few steps to move forward. I'm just scared of the many unknown variables, but it certainly is better than the alternative especially now that I have a wonderful, loving and supportive wife and a lovely baby whom I love very much. 

 

2006 Zoloft 25,50,75,100,125,150mg

2007 Rapid taper (6weeks) off Zoloft

2007 Lexapro 10mg and Seroquel 50mg

2008 April stopped Lexapro and Seroquel

2008 May reinstated Lexapro and Seroquel

2017 Aug 5 Lexapro and Seroquel poop-out

2017 Aug 11 Started Effexor XR, stopped Aug 17

2017 Aug 22 Zoloft 50mg

2017 Aug 24 Zoloft up to100mg

2017 Sep 18 Zoloft up to 150mg

2017 Dec 4 Stopped Zoloft

2017 Dec 15 Started sam-e 200mg, L-theanine 250mg

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Hookgrip: Lexapro poop-out & withdrawal
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi hookgrip and welcome to SA,

 

Thank you for completing your drug signature.  It would be helpful if you could follow these instructions.  Please include dates and doses and include all drugs.  You mentioned Effexor in your post.  Please also include the doses of Zoloft that you were taking, instead of "up to" 150mg.  The more accurate the information we have the better we are able to assist.

 

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.

 

Q:  Were you off Zoloft completely between 2007 and 22 August 2017?

 

Because we are making suggestions which can affect your health and well being we are unable to make any suggestions until we have a clear drug history.

 

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

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Hookgrip, welcome from me too.   Congratulations on your new baby, it is amazing the difference they make to life and you wonder how you were without them.  I'm sorry that you are feeling so bad when you have some stressful situations looming. Moving house ranks high on the  stress list. You might like to try reinstating a very small amount of zoloft, just 5mg could be enough to help with the withdrawal, it could make it easier to cope. Zoloft is available in liquid, or you could make your own liquid from tablets to get the small dose. Many people are very sensitive to the drug after quitting and react to higher doses. Starting very low tests whether you will tolerate it.  Often people stabilise on that small dose, others increase very gradually if it does not help.  Side effects are dose related so should not be as severe with a low dose.  You need to log your symptoms on paper so that you can look back and see what changes were made before a new symptom, this is very important because often withdrawal and side effects can be the same symptoms, so the log would make it easier to tell whether a dose needs lowering or increasing. 

 

We don't recommend lots of vitamins or supplements, they just make very expensive urine! The only two that we recommend to everyone are magnesium and fish oil. If you decide to try them start with a small dose and increase, and start one at a time. That way you will know whic onme causes a reaction if you don't tolerate them. 

 

I will get some links for you which explain withdrawal and the reinstatement process.  There will be a few links and you might not get to read them all right away but they will be here at the top of your topic so you can access them at any time during your taper.  I am sure you will have already seen some of them while you have been looking at the site. I am glad that you joined us. 

 

What is withdrawal syndrome 

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

 

About reinstating 

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

 

How to make a liquid from tablets

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/

 

Tapering zoloft. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/

 

Fish oil 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/?view=findpost&p=100596&hl=magnesium

 

 

Magnesium

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

 

**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 ChessieCat. I went ahead added more detail to my signature.  Yes I've been off the Zoloft from 2007 until Aug 22 2017 because the Dr just switched my to Lexapro and Seroquel. Thank you mammap! After a few days staring to stabilize with just SAMe and L-theanine, which I thought helped initially I decided to do it right and took 25mg Seroquel. I don't have the liquid and didn't want to get into making smaller doses and stuff yet, especially when I still don't know which dosage will stabilize me.

 

One good thing is that maybe a couple of hours after taking the 25mg Zoloft (which I have not taken in over 12 weeks) I felt a slight but definite mood lift. Everything seemed brighter and I was having thoughts of going to the gym again. And now I'm having some brain zaps again about 4-61/10 intensity and frequency which I have not experienced in over a month. I hope it is a sign that I'm on the way to stabilization so that I can finally taper properly using the 10% per month rule. 

 

I would like to mention too and I know this will not be recommended and could be dangerous but the last 3 days were the worst and had a lot of suicidal thoughts and racing mind that jumped from one negative to another with no relief in sight. It felt like my mind was hollow but my whole body or perhaps soul was in constant pain. So I've been taking 7.5mg zopiclone that I had gotten for sleep and I got some much needed relief for about 5 hours. No panic, no suicidal thoughts, and was able to call the utility companies to give them 30 days notice. I heard that they use benzos for alcohol withdrawal, maybe there is a similar mechanism at work here. Anyways, just sharing my experience and not suggesting others try this.  

 

 

 

2006 Zoloft 25,50,75,100,125,150mg

2007 Rapid taper (6weeks) off Zoloft

2007 Lexapro 10mg and Seroquel 50mg

2008 April stopped Lexapro and Seroquel

2008 May reinstated Lexapro and Seroquel

2017 Aug 5 Lexapro and Seroquel poop-out

2017 Aug 11 Started Effexor XR, stopped Aug 17

2017 Aug 22 Zoloft 50mg

2017 Aug 24 Zoloft up to100mg

2017 Sep 18 Zoloft up to 150mg

2017 Dec 4 Stopped Zoloft

2017 Dec 15 Started sam-e 200mg, L-theanine 250mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you for clarifying your drug signature.

 

We become physiologically dependent on these drugs, not physical like caffeine or nicotine.  They change our brain.  When we reduce or stop the drug too quickly the brain tries to regain homeostasis or factory settings.  This is why we get withdrawal symptoms.

 

Telling you of my own experience might help you to understand what these drugs do:

 

I was taking 100mg Pristiq and reduced by 1/2 to 50mg.  I experienced extreme cog fog for 3 weeks.  At the end of the 3 weeks I was unable to type.  Because I have been a typist for about 40 years or so I knew that something was wrong.  I had joined SA a few days before this happened and they had suggested updosing.  When I couldn't type I took extra Pristiq and about 4 hours later the cog fog was lifting and I was able to type again.  I knew it was because of the drug.

 

The only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms is to take some of the drug which your brain is used to getting.  The sooner reinstatement is done the more chance there is of it being successful.  These drugs are strong and SA recommends starting with a small dose to see how things go.  If the symptoms remain unbearable after about 1 or 2 weeks you could updose by another small amount.  It is better to start with a low dose than to reinstate to high a dose.  Some members have reinstated too high and it has caused them to be destabilised and they have had difficulties stabilising after that.  Please read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 

 

On 02/03/2018 at 8:29 AM, mammaP said:

You might like to try reinstating a very small amount of zoloft, just 5mg could be enough to help with the withdrawal, it could make it easier to cope. Zoloft is available in liquid, or you could make your own liquid from tablets to get the small dose. Many people are very sensitive to the drug after quitting and react to higher doses. Starting very low tests whether you will tolerate it.  Often people stabilise on that small dose, others increase very gradually if it does not help.  Side effects are dose related so should not be as severe with a low dose.  You need to log your symptoms on paper so that you can look back and see what changes were made before a new symptom, this is very important because often withdrawal and side effects can be the same symptoms, so the log would make it easier to tell whether a dose needs lowering or increasing. 

 

I have copied mammaP's suggested dose above.  Please keep daily notes on paper.  Keep Notes on Paper  This is very important because it can help us to see whether reinstatement is or isn't working or if the dose needs to be increased.  It takes about 4 days for the drug to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  However, you might find that you feel some improvement within the first day.

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

You might find these helpful:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

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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Okay thank you guys for the welcome and the information. I have reinstated at 25mg because it's the lowest dose I have available right now before counting beads etc. I have been keeping a log of my symptoms since Aug 4 2017 and I will continue to do so. Once I am stabilized back on Zoloft I will ask for the liquid form and follow the 10% rule to taper. I was lost 

before SA and now I fell like all my withdrawal symptoms the doctors have been brushing it off as relapse have finally been validated. That in itself feels good knowing that I'm not the crazy one. It was always physical symptoms like zaps and hunger and then the crippling emotional symptoms which I have never successfully gotten past. So I have accepted that I will probably have to taper off for anywhere from 2 to 4 years. But it'll be worth it in the end. Thank you to all the mods and admins for the site. 

2006 Zoloft 25,50,75,100,125,150mg

2007 Rapid taper (6weeks) off Zoloft

2007 Lexapro 10mg and Seroquel 50mg

2008 April stopped Lexapro and Seroquel

2008 May reinstated Lexapro and Seroquel

2017 Aug 5 Lexapro and Seroquel poop-out

2017 Aug 11 Started Effexor XR, stopped Aug 17

2017 Aug 22 Zoloft 50mg

2017 Aug 24 Zoloft up to100mg

2017 Sep 18 Zoloft up to 150mg

2017 Dec 4 Stopped Zoloft

2017 Dec 15 Started sam-e 200mg, L-theanine 250mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Aren't you taking Zoloft tablets?  They can be made into a liquid very easily.

 

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

If you have already taken 1 dose of 25mg and you want to reduce it back to 5mg you can do it from your next dose.

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

Link to comment

Okay I will look at the section on making liquids. Thank you ChessieCat.

2006 Zoloft 25,50,75,100,125,150mg

2007 Rapid taper (6weeks) off Zoloft

2007 Lexapro 10mg and Seroquel 50mg

2008 April stopped Lexapro and Seroquel

2008 May reinstated Lexapro and Seroquel

2017 Aug 5 Lexapro and Seroquel poop-out

2017 Aug 11 Started Effexor XR, stopped Aug 17

2017 Aug 22 Zoloft 50mg

2017 Aug 24 Zoloft up to100mg

2017 Sep 18 Zoloft up to 150mg

2017 Dec 4 Stopped Zoloft

2017 Dec 15 Started sam-e 200mg, L-theanine 250mg

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  • 6 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Hookgrip, 

 

How are you doing? Did you end up doing liquid titration. I’ve been doing it for years. 

 

I hope your taoering is going well💚😤

Been on APs, benzos, ADs and opiates, all for chronic pain. Had severe Akathisia in the past that made me suicidal. Still on Seroquel. 2019:➡️ March10=7.25mg ✔️April17=7.0✔️June5=6.75✔️ July14=6.50✔️Aug28=6.25✔️Oct10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️  2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April2=5.40✔️May29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep29=4.80✔️2021➡️ Jan31=4.60 mg✔️April24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov1=4.10✔️ Nov21= 4.05✔️ Dec13= 4mg✔️  2022➡️Jan8= 3.95 Jan 31=3.90✔️March2=3.85✔️ April4=3.80✔️June16=3.75✔️July26=3.70✔️Sep2=3.65✔️THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, consult a doctor.

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