Jump to content

BigPapa: cold turkey Lexapro - insomnia


BigPapa

Recommended Posts

Last year I made the mistake of going cold turkey on Lexapro at 10mg. I was fine for 2 months until the insomnia started. It came suddenly and without warning with a series of electrical shocks on the side of my skull. Six months later I lost my appetite and don't feel hungry or tired. I don't know how long this will last. It lead me to being hospitalized on the psych ward and worse.I met with a woman who told me that eventually I will get my sleep back and my appetite but it will take another 4 to 6 months along with a computer program called Dynamic Neural Retraining system, vitamins, acupuncture, and CBD oil. I'm willing to try anything at this point as long I can get my sleep back. I went for a sleep study and it came back normal, but the problem was I was awake even though the brain waves showed I was asleep. How is this possible? I don't know. But I know I was awake. The same thing happens on the sleep cycle app. It shows 4 hours of sleep even though my eyes are still open. I know this because I don't wake up. I'm awake the whole time. How long this will continue? I don't know. But it's painful and excruciating.

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to BigPapa: cold turkey Lexapro - insomnia
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi BigPapa, welcome to SA!  Sorry to hear you're having a bad time with Lexapro withdrawal.  People do recover over time, but it isn't possible to predict a time frame, it's very individual.  Your problem of sleeping while feeling awake is something many people have experience during withdrawal.  It is known as pseudo-insomnia, paradoxical insomnia or sleep state misperception.  Recent research has shown there are subtle differences in brain wave patterns from normal sleep.


I have not heard of Dynamic Neural Retraining before, but it sounds interesting.

 

Here are some topics you may find helpful: non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

tips to help sleep

 

It would be helpful if you could create a signature with your med history, including all drugs, doses and dates (starting and stopping).  You can edit your signature under your Account Settings.  See this topic for more info: Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

Are you currently taking any meds?

 

 

 

 

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

Link to comment

Yes. I'm back on Lexapro for a third time and take Mirtazapine and Trazadone for sleep. 50mg of Trazadone and 10 mg of Lexapro. I've ordered CBD oil for the insomnia. I don't know if it will help or not. I'm hoping something will begin to change. I also am doing the other stuff, and possibly acupuncture in the future. I don't think it's pseudo-insomnia. I know my eyes do close when I'm dreaming but not during normal REM sleep, which is disturbing. I don't feel tired at all which is also very disturbing, and don't know if that's part of the withdrawal or not. It's not emotional. I don't feel fatigue and my body feels weightless along with my eyelids which are light as feather.The doctors dismiss me as delusional so it's pointless to even bring it up.

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, BigPapa.

 

What times of day are you taking your drugs, at what dosages? How long have you been on each?

 

Taking mirtazpine, trazodone, and Lexapro together can cause serious problems. Please put ALL your drugs in the Drug Interactions Checker https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php
and copy and paste the results in this topic.

 

There's such a thing as trying too hard to get sleep. Pile on the drugs and they do the opposite of what they're supposed to do (paradoxical reaction), plus there are the side effects.

 

Don't worry about getting the docs to believe you, few have a clue.

 

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.

Link to comment
3 hours ago, BigPapa said:

 I don't feel tired at all which is also very disturbing, and don't know if that's part of the withdrawal or not. It's not emotional. I don't feel fatigue...

BP,

 

My insomnia started Dec 2016.  It’s been 17 months now.  I never feel tired or sleepy  either.  My body is always wired and awake.  I find it to be very disturbing as well.  I’ve read it can take up to 2 years + for your sleep to come back.  I hope it’s sooner for you.  

 

TTHO

Mid 2014 - June 2016 (~ 2.5 yrs): sertraline 75mg. Under advice of my Pysch NP, weaned off in 1 month

Sept 2017 - Feb 2017 (6 months): Latuda (dose 20mg up to 80mg). Under advice of Psych NP, weaned off in 6 weeks (Jan - mid Feb). Tirtated down 20mg every 2 weeks.

Nov 2017 - Feb 2017 (3 months): lamictal 100mg. Abruptly taken off. This was the "wean": 100mg, 50mg, then off

Feb 2017: sertraline 150mg for 1 week to bring me out of a severe suicidal depression. Abruptly stopped due to serotonin syndrome. Tried to reinstate 50mg a week later, but the serotonin syndrome symptoms came back. Not possible to reinstate sertraline.

March 2017: remeron 7.5mg. Took one dose that knocked me out for two days. Refused to take it again

February 2017 - March 2017: Ativan 1mg. Took 5 pills total spread out over the course of 3 weeks. No longer taking it.

6/16/18 - 6/26: celexa 1.25mg

6/27/18 - 6/29: celexa 2.5mg, 6/29 had burning and agitation within 30min of dose

6/30/18 - present: celexa 1.25mg

Link to comment

Thanks for the heads up. I take 10mg of Lexapro in the morning and 50 mg of Trazodone at night along with 30 mg of Mirtazapine. I've been Lexapro for over 15 years and the Trazadone for 6 months and Mirtazapine for 3 months. I haven't had any side effects of any kind. The only thing that has happened to me was withdrawal when I went off the Lexapro for 2 months. I made the mistake of going cold turkey without thinking it through. I'm still waiting to turn the corner and get some sleep back

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment

Stay positive TryingtoHoldOn. Have you tried any of these DVD's like retrainingthebrain.com? It might help. I just ordered it today. I hope it's not 2 years either. I can't last that long...…. Every day feels like an eternity, and it's been like that ever since day 1 of the first night of insomnia.

 

 

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment
On ‎6‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 7:29 PM, BigPapa said:

Last year I made the mistake of going cold turkey on Lexapro at 10mg after 15 years. I was fine for 2 months until the insomnia started. It came suddenly and without warning with a series of electrical shocks on the side of my skull. Six months later I lost my appetite and don't feel hungry or tired. I don't know how long this will last. It lead me to being hospitalized on the psych ward and worse.I met with a woman who told me that eventually I will get my sleep back and my appetite but it will take another 4 to 6 months along with a computer program called Dynamic Neural Retraining system, vitamins, acupuncture, and CBD oil. I'm willing to try anything at this point as long I can get my sleep back. I went for a sleep study and it came back normal, but the problem was I was awake even though the brain waves showed I was asleep. How is this possible? I don't know. But I know I was awake. The same thing happens on the sleep cycle app. It shows 4 hours of sleep even though my eyes are still open. I know this because I don't wake up. I'm awake the whole time. How long this will continue? I don't know. But it's painful and excruciating.

I'm also taking 50mg of Trazadone since January of '18 and 30mg of Mirtazapine since March of '18

 

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment
19 hours ago, BigPapa said:

Stay positive TryingtoHoldOn. Have you tried any of these DVD's like retrainingthebrain.com? It might help. I just ordered it today. I hope it's not 2 years either. I can't last that long...…. Every day feels like an eternity, and it's been like that ever since day 1 of the first night of insomnia.

 

 

BP,

 

Insomnia is a bear, but try not to fear it.  At times I feel a lot of distress over this symptom, especially not ever feeling tired, but most times i’m able to accept it.  If this is your only WD symptom consider yourself very lucky.  Sleep will come back an hour here or there and you learn to live with it.  I would gladly live with the insomnia for the rest of my life if all my other withdrawal symptoms would go.

Your sleep will get better in time.

Mid 2014 - June 2016 (~ 2.5 yrs): sertraline 75mg. Under advice of my Pysch NP, weaned off in 1 month

Sept 2017 - Feb 2017 (6 months): Latuda (dose 20mg up to 80mg). Under advice of Psych NP, weaned off in 6 weeks (Jan - mid Feb). Tirtated down 20mg every 2 weeks.

Nov 2017 - Feb 2017 (3 months): lamictal 100mg. Abruptly taken off. This was the "wean": 100mg, 50mg, then off

Feb 2017: sertraline 150mg for 1 week to bring me out of a severe suicidal depression. Abruptly stopped due to serotonin syndrome. Tried to reinstate 50mg a week later, but the serotonin syndrome symptoms came back. Not possible to reinstate sertraline.

March 2017: remeron 7.5mg. Took one dose that knocked me out for two days. Refused to take it again

February 2017 - March 2017: Ativan 1mg. Took 5 pills total spread out over the course of 3 weeks. No longer taking it.

6/16/18 - 6/26: celexa 1.25mg

6/27/18 - 6/29: celexa 2.5mg, 6/29 had burning and agitation within 30min of dose

6/30/18 - present: celexa 1.25mg

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

I've been dealing with insomnia for the past year ever since I went off my meds for 3 months. I was on 10mg of Lexapro and even going back on it didn't help at all. I'm supposed to see a CBT for further help. Does anybody else out there have any suggestions about insomnia or where they have gone for help? I'm on Mirtazapine 15mg and Trazadone 50mg but they offer no real help. I know the owner of this site went to see a neuro-psychiatrist for her insomnia and she was successfully treated. Perhaps somebody on here would have a suggestion for one.

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

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

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

Thanks

 

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment

I have a question that I already asked before. It's about the insomnia from SSRI withdrawal. I wanted to know what specifically can be done. This is a question for the moderator. None of the medications help and I've only gotten worse ever since it started. Is there a neuro-psychiatrist in the NYC area that specializes in SSRI withdrawal symptoms? To make a long story I short I was on 10mg of Lexapro for 15 years until last summer when I made the mistake of quitting without tapering off. I went back on the Lexapro several times since then, but it never improved and things got worse. I've tried everything from cranial therapy to videos offer motivational support. But it hasn't made a difference. In addition to losing all sense of feeling tired, I then lost my appetite in the process. So I just ask what can be done immediately and what measures should be taken to at least give myself some room to breathe.

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
On 6/2/2018 at 7:49 PM, Songbird said:

It would be helpful if you could create a signature with your med history, including all drugs, doses and dates (starting and stopping).  You can edit your signature under your Account Settings.  See this topic for more info: Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

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

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

I have a question for the moderator. Last summer I made the mistake of going cold turkey on my Lexapro at 10mg. About 2 months later I lost all sensation of feeling tired and wanting to sleep. 6 months later I lost all sensation of hunger. Is that something that is possible from SSRI withdrawal? I've had raging insomnia ever since then that no medication can treat even though all tests on sleep have come back normal. It's almost as if I'm sleeping while still awake. I was even hospitalized on the psych ward for suicidal ideation as a result of the insomnia.  Is that a sign of CNS damage, and if so, is there anything that can be done?

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

There are many and a wide variety withdrawal symptoms, and they can change throughout a taper:  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

There are many existing topics on the site.  You can use the site search or use a search engine and add survivingantidepressants.org to your search term.  For example:  survivingantidepressants.org hunger

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

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

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

I wanted to ask if anybody out there has experienced severe withdrawal symptoms of raging insomnia without feeling tired and total loss of appetite. I was on 10mg of Lexapro for 15 years and made the mistake of going cold turkey. After that my life has pretty much been destroyed. Last night I slept for maybe a total of 2 hours. I have horrible insomnia but I'm constantly wired and awake. It's almost as if I'm robotic and not human anymore. My physiological symptoms have not eased. I'm taking Lexapro at the same dose along with Mirtazapine 15mg and Trazadone at 50mg. They offer very little help. Is there any chance that the central nervous system finally heals? It's been so long since I felt tired and relaxed. I don't even remember anymore. On top of that I have awful suicidal ideation which I can barely control most of the time. Even walking around to do exercise doesn't seem to help because my body doesn't respond to activity. It just keep going without any feeling of fatigue after walking miles.

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment

This wasn't a slow taper. This was cold turkey. I just wanted to know if the symptoms ever ease with time.

 

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment

Sorry to hear you are going through this but glad you found us. When did you stop taking the Lexapro? When did you restart it? When did you start taking the other drugs? 

200 Zoloft; 10 mg Zyprexa; 4 mg valium as of May 2021;  Valium taper: July 16: 3.5 valium; July 30: 3 mg (paused valium taper); Aug. 23: 2.5 mg
Zyprexa: July 26: 8.75 mg; Aug. 9: 7.5 mg; Aug. 30: 7.1 mg

-------
Dec 1, 2016. 10 mg zyprexa for 1.5 month. Started taper mid-Jan. 2017. Cut 1.25 mg every 2 weeks; smaller cuts 2.5 mg down. Stopped at .6 mg. May 7, 2017: zyprexa free. 
Zoloft: Dec1, 2016, 200 mg. Started taper: Jun12, 2017: 197.5 mg; Jun19,:195 mg; July 2:185mg; July 9,:180 mg; July16,: 175; July 23: 170; July 30: 165; Aug6: 160; Aug13: 155; Aug. 20: 150; Aug.27: 146 mg; Sept3: 145 mg; Sept10:143 mg; Sept17:140 mg....Nov5: 122 mg...Dec3:112.5 mg; Jan14, 2018: 95 mg...Jan28: 90 mg; Feb21:80 mg; Mar11: 75 mg; May2:70 mg; May15: 68 mg; May28: 65 mg; Jun9: 62 mg;Jun25: 60 mg:July22: 55 mg; Aug25: 45 mg. Aug28: 50 mg...Oct 28: 38 mg; Dec.4: 30 mg; Jan8,2019: 25mg; Feb6: 23.5 mg; Apr1:17.5mg; May1:1 mg; May 5: 18;  May 18:15mg; June 16:12.5mg; Sept 10:11 mg; Sept.16:10 mg; Oct. 1: 9mg; Nov. 27: 8mg; Dec.5: 7mg; Jan.1,2020, 6 mg; Feb1: 5 mg; May 1: 2.5 mg; Jn 1: 2 mg; Jy 1: 1.5 mg

Link to comment

It says on my signature. I started in 2002, briefly quit in May 2017, then restarted in July 2017.

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I merged the new Intro topic you created with your original Intro topic. Each member has only 1 Intro topic where they can ask questions about their own situation and journal their progress. Please do not create any more Intro topics. Thank you.

 

Insomnia and appetite changes are both very common withdrawal symptoms.

 

There are many existing topics on the site.  You can use the site search or use a search engine and add survivingantidepressants.org to your search term.

 

Searching using google with the word wired I found this topic:  complete-inability-to-fall-asleep

 

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

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

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

Today I went for my first brain mapping session where they use intense therapy to try to cure my insomnia and increase my appetite. It went very well. I had a double session. We started off with an EEG and then moved on to the brain mapping which consists of music with electrodes hooked up to my head. I hope something turns around. They found a high level of toxicity in my brain from the lack of sleep. In order to flush it out, I need to sleep, but there's the rub. I can't sleep.  I basically went though an entire year without sleep and it's only now that I'm starting to get it back. All of this resulted from the protracted withdrawal. Hopefully these people can help me.

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Bigpapa, I merged your new topic into your original intro topic.  We like to keep all your information in one place, so please post your updates as replies to this topic.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

Link to comment

I've had two rounds of treatment for insomnia. Yesterday was successful but the effects of the therapy quickly wore off. I desperately tried to go to sleep last night but my eyelids were as light as feathers, just like it has been for the entire year. I eventually feel asleep but woke up about an hour or two later.  How long will it take for my central nervous system to heal from last summer? I don't know. I never knew that going cold turkey on Lexapro would cause this level of damage to my central nervous system. It's one year later. I survived an entire year without sleep. Now, I'm just barely sleeping. I just can't take it anymore! I just want to feel tired again and get some sleep, but I can't. I'm wide awake in bed, wired at all times, and unable to close my eyes. When I close my eyes, nothing happens. I wish there was something that could be done for me. There's no way I can live like this for the rest of my life. Impossible! One year has been eternity for me. Soon I'll get the results back from the EEG and brain imaging. Maybe something can be done. I feel absolutely hopeless.

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment
  • 11 months later...

I've been on Lexapro for the past 20 years. About 2 years ago, I went into withdrawal after making the mistake of going cold turkey on my medication. That caused severe depression along with uncontrollable insomnia. I've now reached the point where the insomnia is under control and I take 15m of Mirtazapine to sleep at night. My current dosage of Lexapro is 10m. I want to ask your advice on tapering off. My goal is eventually to get down to about 5m and quit within the next year or two. I'm currently at 10m and I want to get down to about 5m this summer. Do you have any advice on tapering off?  My psychiatrist is supervising me. I want to avoid the hell of going through withdrawal again.

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment

HI. I wanted to some advice on tapering. I went into severe withdrawal 2 years ago after going cold turkey on Lexapro. I've been on it for 20 years at 10m. I went back on it after the withdrawal started but it had no effect and I had severe insomnia for about 2 years along with psychotic symptoms. I'm currently on 10m of Lexapro along with 15m of Mirtazapine for sleep. I wanted some advice on tapering off. I want to get down to 5m by the end of starting this summer, hopefully by August. I'm 6ft 5 and weigh 220 pounds and have been on Lexapro for about 20 years with the exception of the 2 months I went cold turkey in 2017, the summer. It causes psychosis, and severe insomnia as I said before. Do you have any advice on tapering off?

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

This is your Introduction topic, which is the place to ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.  Each member has only 1 Introduction topic.  Please continue to add to this topic.

 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  Many members find that the lower their dose gets the slower they need to go.

 

It is better to go slowly and keep withdrawal symptoms to a minimum than to go too fast.  We have some members here who have tried to go too fast, have had to updose and hold until they stabilise and it has ended up taking longer for them to get off the drug than if they had followed the 10% / 4 week hold guideline.

 

SA also recommends only tapering one drug at a time.  Depending on how the drugs you are taking affect each other, you might consider tapering one drug for a while, hold for a while, then taper the other drug for a while then go back and taper the first drug etc.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

When to end the taper and jump to zero?

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?
If you're not having an adverse reaction from the other medications, taper the most activating drug first. This is usually an antidepressant or stimulant (ADHD drug).

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Tips for tapering off Remeron (mirtazapine)

 

 

Please update our drug signature:  Account Settings – Edit a signature

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

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

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Here's some additional information which might help you to understand why tapering slowly is needed:

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description


When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

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

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

Yes, but how do you reduce by 10%? The pills come in 20, 10, and 5 mg. The least I can reduce it by is 1/4 if I cut the 10mg pill in 1/4. I don't have access to the 5mg pill until my psychiatrist prescribes that.

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment
On 6/9/2019 at 11:12 PM, BigPapa said:

HI. I wanted to some advice on tapering. I went into severe withdrawal 2 years ago after going cold turkey on Lexapro. I've been on it for 20 years at 10m. I went back on it after the withdrawal started but it had no effect and I had severe insomnia for about 2 years along with psychotic symptoms. I'm currently on 10m of Lexapro along with 15m of Mirtazapine for sleep. I wanted some advice on tapering off. I want to get down to 5m by the end of starting this summer, hopefully by August. I'm 6ft 5 and weigh 220 pounds and have been on Lexapro for about 20 years with the exception of the 2 months I went cold turkey in 2017, the summer. It causes psychosis, and severe insomnia as I said before. Do you have any advice on tapering off?

 

For me mirtazapine worked well for sleep at 3-7.5mg. Just my recommendation as you might be different but try tapering to a low dose as see if you get the same sleep effect. It has a very strong antihistamine effect even at low doses..maybe that would help you reduce that med first. But i would think that you might have to taper mirtazapine also as it affects noradrenaline being an snri.. 

 

For lexapro maybe go at a slow tapering rate of 10% of your current dose 2-4 weeks then id look at going very slow when you get below 10mg and especially below 5mg to zero..would take you years but if youve been on it 20yrs a few years to get off or to at least get dosage down might be worth it.

 

Not sure if this is medical advice and if the mods will delete but all the best.

Lexapro

10mg 11/2018 -  4 weeks

20mg 12/2018 - 4 weeks

20mg - 0mg - 01/2019 - 02/2019  - taper 6 weeks - WD symptoms

10mg - 03/2019 - 6 week reinstate

03-04/2019 taper 10,7.5,5,2.5,0mg as instructed by dr.

0mg - 04-06/2019 - WD symptoms again.

accute symptom cleared follow by protracted symptoms still ongoing

Link to comment
  • Administrator

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.

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

Hi, I'm currently tapering off Lexapro/Escitalopram. I've been on it for about 20 years. I attempted to go cold turkey back in 2017 when I was on 10mg.  I was put back on it after a horrific withdrawal which disrupted all sleep. I'm currently sleeping but with difficulty. Since 2019, I've been tapering from 10mg to 5mg to 2.5mg to now 1.25mg every couple of months and haven't gotten that many side effects. I'd like to know the best way to taper off completely now that I'm at 1.25mg. I've been taking it every other day for the past week. Any suggestions might be helpful. I don't know what the rules are right now so I apologize in advance if I'm violating some kind of rule. The only other medication I'm currently taking is Mirtazapine, which is now 7.5 mg right before sleep. Again, I apologize about any rule violations of any kind.

Lee M.

January, 2002 Lexapro 10mg

May, 2017 Discontinued Lexapro

July, 2017 Started Lexapro again

August 2017 Added 5mg 0f Clonopyn and 15mg Xaiprexa

December 2017 Dropped Clonopyn

January 2017 Trazadone 50 mg

March 2017 Added 30mg of Remron

March 2017 Briefly added Xanax but was discontinued in May.

May 2017 Briefly added Belsomra 5mg but was discontinued.

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome back.  I can see you have added and dropped some psych meds in the past several years.  This alone can sensitize your nervous system, and thus make it harder to taper off psych meds in the present.  The cold turkey you did several years ago could also still be affecting you.  But no worries, you can still taper off.  If it were me, I would do it especially slowly and cautiously.  Lexapro does come in a liquid in the USA.  That is what I'm using.  You might want to do a crossover.  I'll confer with the other mods and get their opinions.  

 

First, can you please update your drug signature to include your drug history since May of 2017?  Thank you.

 

Drug History

 

Another thing we strongly suggest is to not skip doses by taking it every other day.  Check this link: 

 

Never Skip Doses to Taper

 

We in this forum suggest to taper by 10% of your current dose no more than every 4 weeks, or possibly even more slowly.  This explains more: 

 

Why Taper by 10% of dosage

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.  

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

Also, as we are tapering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. 

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

When we recover, there are times of feeling OK mixed in with times of feeling bad.  This is called windows and waves.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Here is information about WD insomnia: 

 

Withdrawal Insomnia

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 3 that many of us find helpful are magnesium, omega-3, and melatonin. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 

Magnesium

Omega 3 Fish Oil

Melatonin

 

 

I've given you quite a bit of information here.  Please read through it, and mull it over, and we will take it from there. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and take heart.  We in this forum have been through this, and we understand first hand the pain and discomfort you are going through.  Please know that the brain is amazing in it's healing abilities.  It takes time, but healing can and will happen. 

 

 

Edited by getofflex

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to comment
  • Mentor

@BigPapa

Hope you are well.

How old were you when you started Lexapro? Also did you taper only Lexapro so far? How was the taper so far? Thanks

 

Peace and healing

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

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
  • Moderator

@BigPapaOne of our more experienced mods gave me these instructions for doing a crossover from Lexapro tablets to the liquid.  

 

We suggest you do not make a dose reduction at the same time.

 

A cross over is gentler on the system because of the different form of the drug.  Liquid is absorbed more quickly.  

 

Each combo, 3-7 days, holding longer if needed.  See how you feel after each change.  

 

A.  3/4 tablet + 1/4 liquid

B.  1/2 tablet  + 1/2 liquid

C.  1/4 tablet + 3/4 liquid 

 

After this, just the liquid.  

Edited by getofflex

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy