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freedomfrombondage

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Hey guys,

 

First off, thank you for existing.  I came home from work feeling pretty down after trying to normalize after my last taper from 10mg of Lexapro to 7.5mg and it was a godsend stumbling across this forum and realizing I am not alone.

 

A bit about me:

-Sober/recovered alcoholic who has been sober 2+ years (garbage disposal druggy but never touched anything that was too hard).

-Have been on Lexapro since I was 13 (27 years old now)

-Only time I have ever came off Lexapro was 4 years ago by a doctor's orders who tapered me wayyyyyy to quickly.  Got back on it a few months later.

-Have been prescribed uppers (addy, ritalin, vyvanse etc.) in the past for ADD but abused them and landed myself in rehab this last time.  Quite honestly I never needed them.  My belief is that a very small subset of the community actually does have ADHD and might need them.  I just didn't want to focus in US History in high school and a rush of dopamine makes anything more fun ;).

-My life now is great on the outside and slowly getting better on the inside.  I am sober, have a great paying career, house, car, etc., but something inside still feels like I am being "numbed" and I know its the Lexapro.  Every time I ween I feel a little more alive after my brain balances itself out.

 

My goal for coming on here is to learn from your collective wisdom and to do my best to provide support for those still struggling.  I am not a doctor, and cannot provide medical advice (obviously), but I understand from wrestling through addiction that being able to relate to another individual who can say "I understand," is sometimes the most refreshing thing in this world.

27 years old. Been sober from drugs + alcohol for over 2 years.  Was addicted to benzos/opiates/adderall.  Have been on Lexapro since 2004 (I was 13).

Lexapro dates and mg

1/1/2016 - 20 mg

1/1/2018 - 10 mg (weened randomly between the two dates)

2/21/2018 - Cut down to 7.5 mg and am feeling the effects but want to keep going.

3/25/2018 - Cut down to 6.25 mg (although it is tough to say exactly)

4/30/2018 - Cut down to 5 mg

For the four months I switched to liquid dosing and weened down by .5mg each time or so.

Quit from 1.5mg on 9/26/2018.  Been off Lexapro and all medication since

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to freedomfrombondage: Hello world! Thank you for having me here
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi FFB and welcome to SA,

 

 

7 minutes ago, freedomfrombondage said:

my last taper from 10mg of Lexapro to 7.5mg

 

This is a 25% reduction.

 

Q:  How are you feeling?

 

Q:  Are you experiencing any withdrawal symptoms?  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be delayed.  It would be a good idea to hold at that dose for at least 2-3 months to allow your brain to catch up.  It is better to hold for longer now than to try and go too quickly and risk bad withdrawal symptoms.

 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold at that dose for about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  This is because psychiatric drugs create a physiological dependence, not physical like caffeine or nicotine.

 

Patience is needed to get off these drugs.  We suggest throwing out the calendar and listening to your body and your symptoms.  If after 4 weeks you don't feel stable, feel unwell or life circumstances are a bit more stressful than usual (for example the Christmas period, winter time, or job change) it is better to stay at that dose for a bit longer until things settle down.

 

Thank you for creating your drug signature.  Please update it whenever you make a change.  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature. 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

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

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable


Keep Notes on Paper

 

Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

Tapering Calculator - Online

 

It is best to make only 1 change at a time.  It is also better not to start taking a complex vitamin because if you experience issues you will not know what exactly is causing it.  B vitamins can be stimulating especially B6.  hypersensitive-to-b-vitamin-or-b-vitamin-complex  If trying anything new, start with a small amount to see how you react and build up to the recommended amount.  The only supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try a small amount one at a time to see how you react.

 

Even with a careful and slow taper you will most likely experience times of discomfort.  It is best to learn and use Non-drug techniques to cope

 

There are many existing topics and discussions on this site.  You can use the site search function on the main page of the site at the top right, or use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in your search string.

 

Lots of information, just work your way through it one thing at a time.

 

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  We suggest that members visit each others Intro topics so that can support and encourage each other.

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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11 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Q:  How are you feeling?

 

Not great but not awful, maybe a 7.  Well enough to keep working (I'm a programmer and have an overload of projects I am working on) but I can still tell that everything is not quite right.  I've caught myself multiple times today going through the "life sucks, I have no friends, no one cares about me, etc." before stopping and reminding myself "hey dude you're coming off meds its not real."  Usually when I have the awareness to remind myself that my perception is my perception and not reality, then I am in an "alright" headspace.  

 

15 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Q:  Are you experiencing any withdrawal symptoms?  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Small ones.  Bouts with depression, fatigue, forgetfulness, feeling kinda out of of it and anxiety, but so far nothing that has derailed me.

 

I know the 10% rule is recommended, but how do you go about that when the pills are so tiny?  When I get to 5mg it will be easier, but right now I'm stuck with 10 mg pills because naturally insurance won't pay for giving me 2 5 mg pills instead.

 

Thanks for the reply :)

27 years old. Been sober from drugs + alcohol for over 2 years.  Was addicted to benzos/opiates/adderall.  Have been on Lexapro since 2004 (I was 13).

Lexapro dates and mg

1/1/2016 - 20 mg

1/1/2018 - 10 mg (weened randomly between the two dates)

2/21/2018 - Cut down to 7.5 mg and am feeling the effects but want to keep going.

3/25/2018 - Cut down to 6.25 mg (although it is tough to say exactly)

4/30/2018 - Cut down to 5 mg

For the four months I switched to liquid dosing and weened down by .5mg each time or so.

Quit from 1.5mg on 9/26/2018.  Been off Lexapro and all medication since

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
18 minutes ago, freedomfrombondage said:

how do you go about that when the pills are so tiny?

 

From Post #1 in the Tips for Tapering Lexapro:

 

Do-it-yourself liquid
People report that they can make their own liquid from Lexapro tablets and water.

It is soluble in water, see http://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB01175 -- stability (shelf-life of dilution) is unknown.

See How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

 

You might find that a very small (see below) updose might help to ease the withdrawal symptoms.

 

I will tell you of my own experience.  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.  After staying on 75 mg for 2 months I attempted a 10% reduction, dropping to 67.5 mg.  By the middle of the 3rd day I had intense and painful ear pressure and a front of brain headache.  I took some Dimetapp (over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine) to see if that would clear my ears but it made no difference.  After deciding that I could not continue to tolerate the pain and pressure I updosed by 2.5 mg to 70 mg.  This made a big difference.  Again within a few hours I felt relieve as the pressure subsided and I only had a very mild headache which lessened over the next few days.  After 3 more weeks I reduced by 2.5 mg to 67.5 mg and only suffered tolerable ear pressure for a few days.

 

I've related my experience to help you understand what effect these drugs and reduction of these drugs can have.

 

I suggest you read Post #1 of this topic.  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms  It applies to updosing as well as reinstatement.  You might find that 0.5mg is enough to reduce your withdrawal symptoms.  It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  Keep Notes on Paper   If after 1 week you have felt no improvement in your symptoms you could try increasing by another 0.5mg. It is better to start with a small amount and increase if needed than to take too much and risk destabilising your brain and CNS.

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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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To be honest, I feel okay now.  Nothing is unmanageable, I just feel a bit down in the dumps but I feel like no matter what that is always going to happen when I'm weening off something I've been on for a long time.

 

Thanks for pointing out the liquid! I will certainly give that a shot as it is next to impossible to say I am consistently taking 7.5 a day.  Some days it might be 8 and some 7 depending on how the pills break up.  They certainly make it a lot easier to go on this stuff than off of it!

 

I will read those posts you suggested.  Thank you :) 

27 years old. Been sober from drugs + alcohol for over 2 years.  Was addicted to benzos/opiates/adderall.  Have been on Lexapro since 2004 (I was 13).

Lexapro dates and mg

1/1/2016 - 20 mg

1/1/2018 - 10 mg (weened randomly between the two dates)

2/21/2018 - Cut down to 7.5 mg and am feeling the effects but want to keep going.

3/25/2018 - Cut down to 6.25 mg (although it is tough to say exactly)

4/30/2018 - Cut down to 5 mg

For the four months I switched to liquid dosing and weened down by .5mg each time or so.

Quit from 1.5mg on 9/26/2018.  Been off Lexapro and all medication since

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Getting a consistent dose is necessary, especially on the smaller doses.

 

Another topic which is worth looking at is:  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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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Just read your website. Congrats on your own personal journey and I have much admiration and respect for you taking the time out of your day to help others.

27 years old. Been sober from drugs + alcohol for over 2 years.  Was addicted to benzos/opiates/adderall.  Have been on Lexapro since 2004 (I was 13).

Lexapro dates and mg

1/1/2016 - 20 mg

1/1/2018 - 10 mg (weened randomly between the two dates)

2/21/2018 - Cut down to 7.5 mg and am feeling the effects but want to keep going.

3/25/2018 - Cut down to 6.25 mg (although it is tough to say exactly)

4/30/2018 - Cut down to 5 mg

For the four months I switched to liquid dosing and weened down by .5mg each time or so.

Quit from 1.5mg on 9/26/2018.  Been off Lexapro and all medication since

 

 

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Just wanted to stop by and say good luck on your journey! I've been on Lexapro for 8 years and am a similar age (25). I would definitely listen to the mods here and only drop by 10% at a time. I think it's better to be able to function and feel a little flat as opposed to feeling like hell when you taper too fast. I know whenever i try and speed up the taper i end up getting terrible withdrawals that set myself back.

Lexapro (10-20mg): 2010-2016

Lexapro 5mg: 2016-September 2017

Lexapro 2.5mg: September 2017-November 2017

Lexapro 1.25mg: November 2017-December 2017

Lexapro 1.25mg (every other day): December 2017-January 31 2018

Quick taper since I thought I had sfx, was actually withdrawal

Reinstated Lexapro .25mg: March 10, 2018

 

Lamictal: May 1-July 1 2016

Klonopin: July 1, 2016-August 1, 2016

Seroquel, Clonazepam, Xanax, Paxil, and others: 2010-2016

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  • Mentor
On 3/6/2018 at 5:41 PM, freedomfrombondage said:

To be honest, I feel okay now.  Nothing is unmanageable, I just feel a bit down in the dumps but I feel like no matter what that is always going to happen when I'm weening off something I've been on for a long time.

 

 

hi,  I felt ok when I did a too fast taper off lexapro, too- at FIRST. 

Unfortunately,  lexapro is one tricky beast. I was doing ok, managing, so in spite of all the excellent advice I got here, I jumped off at 2.5mgs

(drs will tell you that's a tiny dose, not even "therapeutic"- don't listen to drs, they are idiots!)

I was more or less fine for 3 mos and then I got SLAMMED and I mean slammed with over 35 withdrawal symptoms, virtually all of them SEVERE. It was the most horrible thing I've ever gone thru in my life.

Not telling you this to scare you, I would have been FINE if I'd not jumped off at 2.5mgs and If I'd not tapered so darn fast in the first place.

 

but I want you to know that when ppl here told me, that I could be facing more trouble later, I didn't listen. I didn't believe them. I thought I was different, a special case.

I was wrong, so very wrong.

 

I had to reinstate (a very tiny dose of liquid lexapro) and then do another much slower taper. I had one full year of really bad symptoms; to date, it was the worst year of my life.

It will be worth it, though, If I can use that year of hell to convince just one person, perhaps you, to NOT Do what I did!!
 

you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from going off this drug SLOWLY.

it's super strong, probably the strongest AD out there and when you get down to the lower doses of it, you actually need to go SLOWER off it.

 

read as many of the other lexapro withdrawal threads as you can, you'll see, it's the same for all of us.
I was started on lexapro in 2002 and was on varying doses, as high as 40 mgs!! I tried at least 3 times to get off it, not knowing anything about withdrawal, the drs said there was no such thing!

so I ended up going back on it, thinking I 'needed it' for my "illness".

 

No, I needed to go off it much slower to give my brain time to adjust. 

 

I have been completely off lexapro now just a few month and I am still healing, but for the most part am doing ok.

 

but If I had it  to do over, I would not have gone so fast. I believe I've got PTSD now from the WD, it was so horrendous.

again, not trying to frighten you but to warn you to go super super slow with this drug. and while it's good that you're feeling ok now, please be aware that it's VERY COMMON to have a delayed reaction to a drop in dose, that is often about 3 mos later.

 

I still need to wait a full year before I can post my success story, because even though I"m off the lexapro, and I feel pretty good, there's a chance I could still have a delayed reaction to my final cut down to zero!

 

this drug is so freakin strong. you want to be very careful ok?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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On 3/11/2018 at 1:53 PM, TroubledThoughts said:

Just wanted to stop by and say good luck on your journey! I've been on Lexapro for 8 years and am a similar age (25). I would definitely listen to the mods here and only drop by 10% at a time. I think it's better to be able to function and feel a little flat as opposed to feeling like hell when you taper too fast. I know whenever i try and speed up the taper i end up getting terrible withdrawals that set myself back.

 

Thank you for stopping by!  I agree.  The last week was hell and I am finally starting to feel a little better.  I think talking about it with close friends has helped the psychological symptoms of tapering.  Definitely not cured lol, but helped.  I find that talking openly about things often strips its power away.

27 years old. Been sober from drugs + alcohol for over 2 years.  Was addicted to benzos/opiates/adderall.  Have been on Lexapro since 2004 (I was 13).

Lexapro dates and mg

1/1/2016 - 20 mg

1/1/2018 - 10 mg (weened randomly between the two dates)

2/21/2018 - Cut down to 7.5 mg and am feeling the effects but want to keep going.

3/25/2018 - Cut down to 6.25 mg (although it is tough to say exactly)

4/30/2018 - Cut down to 5 mg

For the four months I switched to liquid dosing and weened down by .5mg each time or so.

Quit from 1.5mg on 9/26/2018.  Been off Lexapro and all medication since

 

 

Link to comment
On 3/11/2018 at 2:58 PM, Happy2Heal said:

 

 

hi,  I felt ok when I did a too fast taper off lexapro, too- at FIRST. 

Unfortunately,  lexapro is one tricky beast. I was doing ok, managing, so in spite of all the excellent advice I got here, I jumped off at 2.5mgs

(drs will tell you that's a tiny dose, not even "therapeutic"- don't listen to drs, they are idiots!)

I was more or less fine for 3 mos and then I got SLAMMED and I mean slammed with over 35 withdrawal symptoms, virtually all of them SEVERE. It was the most horrible thing I've ever gone thru in my life.

Not telling you this to scare you, I would have been FINE if I'd not jumped off at 2.5mgs and If I'd not tapered so darn fast in the first place.

 

but I want you to know that when ppl here told me, that I could be facing more trouble later, I didn't listen. I didn't believe them. I thought I was different, a special case.

I was wrong, so very wrong.

 

I had to reinstate (a very tiny dose of liquid lexapro) and then do another much slower taper. I had one full year of really bad symptoms; to date, it was the worst year of my life.

It will be worth it, though, If I can use that year of hell to convince just one person, perhaps you, to NOT Do what I did!!
 

you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from going off this drug SLOWLY.

it's super strong, probably the strongest AD out there and when you get down to the lower doses of it, you actually need to go SLOWER off it.

 

read as many of the other lexapro withdrawal threads as you can, you'll see, it's the same for all of us.
I was started on lexapro in 2002 and was on varying doses, as high as 40 mgs!! I tried at least 3 times to get off it, not knowing anything about withdrawal, the drs said there was no such thing!

so I ended up going back on it, thinking I 'needed it' for my "illness".

 

No, I needed to go off it much slower to give my brain time to adjust. 

 

I have been completely off lexapro now just a few month and I am still healing, but for the most part am doing ok.

 

but If I had it  to do over, I would not have gone so fast. I believe I've got PTSD now from the WD, it was so horrendous.

again, not trying to frighten you but to warn you to go super super slow with this drug. and while it's good that you're feeling ok now, please be aware that it's VERY COMMON to have a delayed reaction to a drop in dose, that is often about 3 mos later.

 

I still need to wait a full year before I can post my success story, because even though I"m off the lexapro, and I feel pretty good, there's a chance I could still have a delayed reaction to my final cut down to zero!

 

this drug is so freakin strong. you want to be very careful ok?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much for stopping by!  It means a lot to see that other people actually care.  Yea, I had a similar situation a couple years ago.  The Dr. was like "Yea just go from 20 to 10 for a few weeks, then 10 to 5 for a couple and then you should be good to go. Any WDs will be gone within a week."  Needless to say this was terrible advice and I fell down a dark hole for a couple months before he oddly enough prescribed Wellbutrin which helped (strangely).   Long story short, I was sober at the time, went back on drugs and started taking Lex again.

 

I have been tapering off and on for over 2 years since I got sober again.  Sometimes I'll stay at a dose if there are a lot of variables in my life that will complicate the psychological symptoms of weening.

 

It is awesome to hear that you are doing well completely off the Lex.  It is an inspiration to me and I'm sure countless others, so keep on rocking on :) !

27 years old. Been sober from drugs + alcohol for over 2 years.  Was addicted to benzos/opiates/adderall.  Have been on Lexapro since 2004 (I was 13).

Lexapro dates and mg

1/1/2016 - 20 mg

1/1/2018 - 10 mg (weened randomly between the two dates)

2/21/2018 - Cut down to 7.5 mg and am feeling the effects but want to keep going.

3/25/2018 - Cut down to 6.25 mg (although it is tough to say exactly)

4/30/2018 - Cut down to 5 mg

For the four months I switched to liquid dosing and weened down by .5mg each time or so.

Quit from 1.5mg on 9/26/2018.  Been off Lexapro and all medication since

 

 

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44 minutes ago, freedomfrombondage said:

 

Thank you for stopping by!  I agree.  The last week was hell and I am finally starting to feel a little better.  I think talking about it with close friends has helped the psychological symptoms of tapering.  Definitely not cured lol, but helped.  I find that talking openly about things often strips its power away.

I'm glad you're starting to feel a little better! 

 

That's a good point about talking openly about how we're feeling. I've never thought about it that way but I always feel better once I talk about everything out loud. I find reading other people's experiences helps me feel better in that I'm not alone as well.

 

We'll get through it eventually! I know I'm sticking to slow and steady as soon as I can stabilize and be functioning again.

Lexapro (10-20mg): 2010-2016

Lexapro 5mg: 2016-September 2017

Lexapro 2.5mg: September 2017-November 2017

Lexapro 1.25mg: November 2017-December 2017

Lexapro 1.25mg (every other day): December 2017-January 31 2018

Quick taper since I thought I had sfx, was actually withdrawal

Reinstated Lexapro .25mg: March 10, 2018

 

Lamictal: May 1-July 1 2016

Klonopin: July 1, 2016-August 1, 2016

Seroquel, Clonazepam, Xanax, Paxil, and others: 2010-2016

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  • 9 months later...

I have actually been fully off of Lexapro for over 3 months :). I weened down to 1.5mg and the went cold turkey from there.  Had some symptoms but for the most part, with a lot of meditation and patience, I came out feeling a lot happier and more alive!

 

Thank you for checking in!

27 years old. Been sober from drugs + alcohol for over 2 years.  Was addicted to benzos/opiates/adderall.  Have been on Lexapro since 2004 (I was 13).

Lexapro dates and mg

1/1/2016 - 20 mg

1/1/2018 - 10 mg (weened randomly between the two dates)

2/21/2018 - Cut down to 7.5 mg and am feeling the effects but want to keep going.

3/25/2018 - Cut down to 6.25 mg (although it is tough to say exactly)

4/30/2018 - Cut down to 5 mg

For the four months I switched to liquid dosing and weened down by .5mg each time or so.

Quit from 1.5mg on 9/26/2018.  Been off Lexapro and all medication since

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi freedomfrombondage, 

 

I’m so glad you’re doing well. Just be aware that you may get delayed withdrawals from your cold turkey off 1.5mg, but maybe not. Don’t panic if you do though, as you will end up eventually stabilising. 

 

 Would you be so kind as to update your signature. Thank you. Wishing you all the best in your continued recovery.

 

 Sending hugs🤗

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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Yea I definitely had some withdrawals, and even now days are better than others.  But even the bad days are very manageable and it almost feels good to genuinely feel sad every now and then.  Wouldn't trade it for the world though! Signature is changed :) 

27 years old. Been sober from drugs + alcohol for over 2 years.  Was addicted to benzos/opiates/adderall.  Have been on Lexapro since 2004 (I was 13).

Lexapro dates and mg

1/1/2016 - 20 mg

1/1/2018 - 10 mg (weened randomly between the two dates)

2/21/2018 - Cut down to 7.5 mg and am feeling the effects but want to keep going.

3/25/2018 - Cut down to 6.25 mg (although it is tough to say exactly)

4/30/2018 - Cut down to 5 mg

For the four months I switched to liquid dosing and weened down by .5mg each time or so.

Quit from 1.5mg on 9/26/2018.  Been off Lexapro and all medication since

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi freefrombondage, 

 

Again I want to say I’m so glad you are doing so well. I’m really glad the bad days are manageable. The abilities for our brains to heal is incredible!

 

You said you have been off your lexapro for three months, but your signature says you cut down to 7.5mg and want to keep going? You said you cold turkeyed off it. Could you please put into your signature what date you did this, and that you’re now on zero meds if that’s the case, thank you.

 

I’m so sorry you were put on the meds while you were so young. Yes, it’s great when we can feel genuine emotions. There are times in my journey I’ve been so anhedonic I couldn’t enjoy anything. I remember once when it was bad like that, and then it lifted a little I could actually enjoy seeing the amazing flowers next door. I went downstairs to do the washing and I could feel, and the flowers made me smile. I grabbed my camera and started taking photos of them. Things people take for granted!

 

I just had to laugh freedom. I went to write I’m a major photoholic 📸📸 but autocorrect changed it to pothole🤣

 

Take care, sending hugs🤗

 

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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:wacko:

 

On 3/12/2018 at 8:11 PM, freedomfrombondage said:

 

Hi, and thank YOU!.  After the 5 day drop off I thought I was having a stroke and was going to go to urgent care - since, hey 'discontinuing' shouldn't be a problem.  Then I thought I'd do some research and read everything I could on the web

and stumbled onto this SA site. I was so grateful to read something very real from wonderful moderators and folks struggling. So grateful that at 2am last night I broke down and cried in relief - and validation - horrible as I felt.

This morning at about 10:30am I took a 5mg Lexapro (escitalipram). I donS't feel better - still that awful rushing in my head like cars rushing wooshing by through rainy freeway).  Then I received a post from a moderator who said it may take awhile before I feel the effects of going back on.  So no I can be patient instead of stressed about it.   I am now also thinking it might not be a bad idea to go back up on Wellbutrin.  I didn't think it had an effect on me and going off was easy.  But that's a lot of chemical changes in the brain.

Could be dopamine would be helpful.  But how much, how to reintroduce, if I should - questions yet to be addressed

 

I want to my psychiatrist to call in a script to a compounding pharmacy so I can gradually reduce the medication by 10% a month. That's a huge difference from 50% in 5 days.

But how to I 'educate' my doctor!?  She's a young psychiatrist (very few choices on my insurance) . I like her but times have changed.
Last time I saw a psychiatrist, it included talk (45-50min) and medication monitoring (or 'here, try this' which sometimes worked and sometimes was a disaster). Now I'm in and out of her office in 10-15 minutes.  How the heck can you treat psychoactive disorder

in 10 minutes!?

 

I'm thinking that I will give her the SA URL and tell her to read it.  Delve into it, maybe sign up as a doctor to communicate with SA and read real life experiences.

 

I think I need to find  a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction.  I can have water sandwiches for lunch!

Much Gratitude!

Cynthia

 

 

 

 

 

Quote

Thanks so much for stopping by!  It means a lot to see that other people actually care.  Yea, I had a similar situation a couple years ago.  The Dr. was like "Yea just go from 20 to 10 for a few weeks, then 10 to 5 for a couple and then you should be good to go. Any WDs will be gone within a week."  Needless to say this was terrible advice and I fell down a dark hole for a couple months before he oddly enough prescribed Wellbutrin which helped (strangely).   Long story short, I was sober at the time, went back on drugs and started taking Lex again.

 

I have been tapering off and on for over 2 years since I got sober again.  Sometimes I'll stay at a dose if there are a lot of variables in my life that will complicate the psychological symptoms of weening.

 

It is awesome to hear that you are doing well completely off the Lex.  It is an inspiration to me and I'm sure countless others, so keep on rocking on :) !

 

RX  Meds:

Since 1981: Levothyroxine  75mcg, 1 tab in am 

Since 1980: Flurazepam 30mg, 1 cap at bedtime 

Since 2008: Glaucoma eye drops - at bedtime  (Lantanaprost 0.005%)

1993-Nov 2017: Zoloft (Sertraline) 100mg, raised to 150mg in 1995

 Nov 2017: Step down Zoloft, 100mg 5 days, 50mg 5 days, then stop

Nov 2017: Escitalopram (Lexapro) Step up 5mg 5 days ea, 10-15-20mg; step back to 10mg    Dec 2017-Jan 1 2019: Escitalopram 10mg                                                                                          1995 - Nov/Dec 2018: Wellbutrin XL 150mg

Nov/Dec 2018: Wellbutrin SR step down, 100mg 5 days, 50mg 5 days , stopped Dec 2018

Jan 1-Jan 5, 2019: Escitalopram stepped down from 10mg to 5mg for 5 days, Stopped Jan 6

Jan 6- present increasing debilitating withdrawal symptoms

Jan 10: Took 5mg escitalopram.

Plan of action: Step down more slowly,10%/month, using compounded liquid.

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Oh my God. I'm so sorry or what you went through.  Who'd have thought this innocuous feeling drug could cause so much harm going off.  I didn't know - my shrink certainly doesn't know.

And, yes, I will definitely follow advice.  Try to get in liquid form and go down the suggested 10% a month. Be prepared for relapse withdrawal symptoms and rather than panic - go straight to this site for support from people like you and the terrific monitors.  

I am so grateful for this SA sight.  Blessed!  Good luck to both of us!

 

Quote

[Happy2heal]

hi,  I felt ok when I did a too fast taper off lexapro, too- at FIRST. 

Unfortunately,  lexapro is one tricky beast. I was doing ok, managing, so in spite of all the excellent advice I got here, I jumped off at 2.5mgs

(drs will tell you that's a tiny dose, not even "therapeutic"- don't listen to drs, they are idiots!)

I was more or less fine for 3 mos and then I got SLAMMED and I mean slammed with over 35 withdrawal symptoms, virtually all of them SEVERE. It was the most horrible thing I've ever gone thru in my life.

Not telling you this to scare you, I would have been FINE if I'd not jumped off at 2.5mgs and If I'd not tapered so darn fast in the first place.

 

but I want you to know that when ppl here told me, that I could be facing more trouble later, I didn't listen. I didn't believe them. I thought I was different, a special case.

I was wrong, so very wrong.

 

I had to reinstate (a very tiny dose of liquid lexapro) and then do another much slower taper. I had one full year of really bad symptoms; to date, it was the worst year of my life.

It will be worth it, though, If I can use that year of hell to convince just one person, perhaps you, to NOT Do what I did!!
 

you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from going off this drug SLOWLY.

it's super strong, probably the strongest AD out there and when you get down to the lower doses of it, you actually need to go SLOWER off it.

 

read as many of the other lexapro withdrawal threads as you can, you'll see, it's the same for all of us.
I was started on lexapro in 2002 and was on varying doses, as high as 40 mgs!! I tried at least 3 times to get off it, not knowing anything about withdrawal, the drs said there was no such thing!

so I ended up going back on it, thinking I 'needed it' for my "illness".

 

No, I needed to go off it much slower to give my brain time to adjust. 

 

I have been completely off lexapro now just a few month and I am still healing, but for the most part am doing ok.

 

but If I had it  to do over, I would not have gone so fast. I believe I've got PTSD now from the WD, it was so horrendous.

again, not trying to frighten you but to warn you to go super super slow with this drug. and while it's good that you're feeling ok now, please be aware that it's VERY COMMON to have a delayed reaction to a drop in dose, that is often about 3 mos later.

 

I still need to wait a full year before I can post my success story, because even though I"m off the lexapro, and I feel pretty good, there's a chance I could still have a delayed reaction to my final cut down to zero!

 

this drug is so freakin strong. you want to be very careful ok?

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
extracted response?

RX  Meds:

Since 1981: Levothyroxine  75mcg, 1 tab in am 

Since 1980: Flurazepam 30mg, 1 cap at bedtime 

Since 2008: Glaucoma eye drops - at bedtime  (Lantanaprost 0.005%)

1993-Nov 2017: Zoloft (Sertraline) 100mg, raised to 150mg in 1995

 Nov 2017: Step down Zoloft, 100mg 5 days, 50mg 5 days, then stop

Nov 2017: Escitalopram (Lexapro) Step up 5mg 5 days ea, 10-15-20mg; step back to 10mg    Dec 2017-Jan 1 2019: Escitalopram 10mg                                                                                          1995 - Nov/Dec 2018: Wellbutrin XL 150mg

Nov/Dec 2018: Wellbutrin SR step down, 100mg 5 days, 50mg 5 days , stopped Dec 2018

Jan 1-Jan 5, 2019: Escitalopram stepped down from 10mg to 5mg for 5 days, Stopped Jan 6

Jan 6- present increasing debilitating withdrawal symptoms

Jan 10: Took 5mg escitalopram.

Plan of action: Step down more slowly,10%/month, using compounded liquid.

Link to comment
On 3/12/2018 at 8:07 PM, freedomfrombondage said:

 

Thank you for stopping by!  I agree.  The last week was hell and I am finally starting to feel a little better.  I think talking about it with close friends has helped the psychological symptoms of tapering.  Definitely not cured lol, but helped.  I find that talking openly about things often strips its power away.

It's a God send being able to communicate with folks going thru the same thing. I discovered this site at midnight last night and read till I was bleary eyed - which I already am going thru this! The guidance from people is invaluable.  I may fee like hell, but talking about it most definitely does help.  Take care

RX  Meds:

Since 1981: Levothyroxine  75mcg, 1 tab in am 

Since 1980: Flurazepam 30mg, 1 cap at bedtime 

Since 2008: Glaucoma eye drops - at bedtime  (Lantanaprost 0.005%)

1993-Nov 2017: Zoloft (Sertraline) 100mg, raised to 150mg in 1995

 Nov 2017: Step down Zoloft, 100mg 5 days, 50mg 5 days, then stop

Nov 2017: Escitalopram (Lexapro) Step up 5mg 5 days ea, 10-15-20mg; step back to 10mg    Dec 2017-Jan 1 2019: Escitalopram 10mg                                                                                          1995 - Nov/Dec 2018: Wellbutrin XL 150mg

Nov/Dec 2018: Wellbutrin SR step down, 100mg 5 days, 50mg 5 days , stopped Dec 2018

Jan 1-Jan 5, 2019: Escitalopram stepped down from 10mg to 5mg for 5 days, Stopped Jan 6

Jan 6- present increasing debilitating withdrawal symptoms

Jan 10: Took 5mg escitalopram.

Plan of action: Step down more slowly,10%/month, using compounded liquid.

Link to comment
20 hours ago, freedomfrombondage said:

I have actually been fully off of Lexapro for over 3 months :). I weened down to 1.5mg and the went cold turkey from there.  Had some symptoms but for the most part, with a lot of meditation and patience, I came out feeling a lot happier and more alive!

 

Thank you for checking in!

How long were you on Lexapro and at what dose did you start? I wa- s on Zoloft for decades, switched due to

IBSD/microcellular colitis - too much seratonin in the gut thought to be contributing factor. According to doc, Lexapro has less side effects (she checked her computer).  It's  still Seratonin and I still had diarrhea.  Was on Lexapro for about one year. Wanted me to get up to 20mg.  At 15mg I did not like how I felt and dropped back to 10. Had repeated boughts of diarrhea so had me go off - drop to 5 mg for 5 days and stop.  So Question: How did you get down to so low a dose before stopping.  Did you have compounded liquid.  Please let me know.  And Thank you!

Cynthia

Edited by Cynthia
Having trouble typing during withdrawal - corrected gibberish.

RX  Meds:

Since 1981: Levothyroxine  75mcg, 1 tab in am 

Since 1980: Flurazepam 30mg, 1 cap at bedtime 

Since 2008: Glaucoma eye drops - at bedtime  (Lantanaprost 0.005%)

1993-Nov 2017: Zoloft (Sertraline) 100mg, raised to 150mg in 1995

 Nov 2017: Step down Zoloft, 100mg 5 days, 50mg 5 days, then stop

Nov 2017: Escitalopram (Lexapro) Step up 5mg 5 days ea, 10-15-20mg; step back to 10mg    Dec 2017-Jan 1 2019: Escitalopram 10mg                                                                                          1995 - Nov/Dec 2018: Wellbutrin XL 150mg

Nov/Dec 2018: Wellbutrin SR step down, 100mg 5 days, 50mg 5 days , stopped Dec 2018

Jan 1-Jan 5, 2019: Escitalopram stepped down from 10mg to 5mg for 5 days, Stopped Jan 6

Jan 6- present increasing debilitating withdrawal symptoms

Jan 10: Took 5mg escitalopram.

Plan of action: Step down more slowly,10%/month, using compounded liquid.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, freedomfrombondage said:

Yea I definitely had some withdrawals, and even now days are better than others.  But even the bad days are very manageable and it almost feels good to genuinely feel sad every now and then.  Wouldn't trade it for the world though! Signature is changed :) 

So encouraging to read.  Thank you! Can't live in this world without sadness, sorrow, loss, etc. But yea! for the good days!!

RX  Meds:

Since 1981: Levothyroxine  75mcg, 1 tab in am 

Since 1980: Flurazepam 30mg, 1 cap at bedtime 

Since 2008: Glaucoma eye drops - at bedtime  (Lantanaprost 0.005%)

1993-Nov 2017: Zoloft (Sertraline) 100mg, raised to 150mg in 1995

 Nov 2017: Step down Zoloft, 100mg 5 days, 50mg 5 days, then stop

Nov 2017: Escitalopram (Lexapro) Step up 5mg 5 days ea, 10-15-20mg; step back to 10mg    Dec 2017-Jan 1 2019: Escitalopram 10mg                                                                                          1995 - Nov/Dec 2018: Wellbutrin XL 150mg

Nov/Dec 2018: Wellbutrin SR step down, 100mg 5 days, 50mg 5 days , stopped Dec 2018

Jan 1-Jan 5, 2019: Escitalopram stepped down from 10mg to 5mg for 5 days, Stopped Jan 6

Jan 6- present increasing debilitating withdrawal symptoms

Jan 10: Took 5mg escitalopram.

Plan of action: Step down more slowly,10%/month, using compounded liquid.

Link to comment

Hey y'all, sorry I have been on a ski trip and didn't see these.  I had been on it since I was 13 except for a two month period when I was a soph in college when a doctor told me to ween off and quit in four weeks.  That was a miserable couple months and then I went back on and have been on since until September, 2018.  I now feel that they are behind me.

 

I updated my signature! For some reason it didn't save, has it saved now?

 

I switched to the liquid.  It was sort of funny actually.  All my friends told me to go to a doctor to ween down. I was like yea I have had zero success with that but sure, I'll take y'alls advice even though everything is going fine.

 

So I go to the doctor, he has me take a 300 dollar Genomind test and tells me that because of my genetics that I would do well on an SSRI and ADHD meds.  Keep in mind, I am a recovered drug addict and adderall/cocaine was my jam.  He told me I should go back up to 20 mg and go on Adderall EVEN THOUGH I HAD NO SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION, ANXIETY,  ETC, I literally just went to him to listen to friends and family.  I asked him if that test has a proven causation between genetic dispositions or if it was simply a correlation that people who had a certain mutation also had a disproportionately higher chance of developing a relative condition then the rest of the population.  He stared at me, told me it was a correlation to which I replied so you basically talked to me for fifteen minutes and made a decision based of a correlation that I should be on a higher dosage of lex and back on a drug (a drug whose script i used to snort the whole bottle of in a night mind you lol).  He just stared blankly again and said well it was just a suggestion.  I said no thank you, I don't want more drugs.  I'll take meditation, proper diet, exercise and liquid lexapro so i can continue to ween down.  He said okay, I'll write the script and that was that lol.

 

It was more expensive but totally worth it! 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
Merged 2 posts

27 years old. Been sober from drugs + alcohol for over 2 years.  Was addicted to benzos/opiates/adderall.  Have been on Lexapro since 2004 (I was 13).

Lexapro dates and mg

1/1/2016 - 20 mg

1/1/2018 - 10 mg (weened randomly between the two dates)

2/21/2018 - Cut down to 7.5 mg and am feeling the effects but want to keep going.

3/25/2018 - Cut down to 6.25 mg (although it is tough to say exactly)

4/30/2018 - Cut down to 5 mg

For the four months I switched to liquid dosing and weened down by .5mg each time or so.

Quit from 1.5mg on 9/26/2018.  Been off Lexapro and all medication since

 

 

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