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Scout - Wondering whats going on?


Scout

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I had a withdrawal from Lexapro 5 years ago in March. I started taking lexapro for anxiety. I started slowly with a 10 MG pill cut into 1/4's. I was actually only taking 2.5 MG. I took it for a total of 2 weeks. I noticed that I was starting to get anxious/agitated on it. I cut the 2.5 mg in half and started that at the end of the first week. By the end of the second week I could tell it wasn't going to work. I was feeling differently than I ever had. I was very upset/crying, feeling like I wasn't worthy of much. It is clear now that I was already having a problem. The doctor told me to quit so I did. Two weeks at such a low dose shouldn't pose a problem. Well, it did. I had a full blown withdrawal. I didn't realize that was happening until I was already in it. The nurse kept telling me it was normal to feel some of the things I was experiencing coming off of it. I trusted that. It continued on for several months. I would go through what seemed like phases of dizziness, headaches, hot/cold flashes, some burning feeling on the skin, head crawling a bit, agitation, and sleeplessness. Over the first 12 weeks it would cycle between the bad symptoms and normal feeling days, although I wasn't feeling completely myself. After the first 12 weeks things seemed to settle down a bit, however I wasn't 100% myself. I was less sensitive and feeling about things. I still felt medicated to some degree. My recovery continued on into the next 8 months. I was normal only maybe a little better than before. I was able to live w/o any fear or anxiety to speak of. It felt weird because feeling was so much a part of who I am. I was actually better around 3-4 months on. I still had a few bouts with the dizziness and headache and lethargy, but the time in between went from days to weeks and then finally many months in between bad days. Eventually, I forgot what I had lived through and actually saw it as a blessing. I learned a lot about myself in that time. It will be 5 years in March. For the past 4 1/2 years I have been living a happy fullfilled existence with no apparant problems from that time.

 

Fast forward to January 6, 2012. I have been running a lot of extra miles trying to train for a 1/2 marathon. I've picked up coffee drinking the last 14 mo. Not a lot, just 1 cup a day. I've noticed that in the process of training that I sweat more than I used to. I'm sure that indicates a me tabolism change. Outside of that I am the same 44 yr.old girl I was on January 1, 2012. No problems to speak of. I have great kids and a great husband of 24 yrs. Life is relatively easy. Well on January 6th the bottom fell out. I woke up a bit anxious feeling. Something I haven't felt in more than 4 yrs. I went for a run to see if that would help with anxious feeling. Within an hour of getting home I felt like my brain was shooting in a hundred directions. I was almost uncontrollably smiling and I commented to my hubby that I haven't felt this in a while. Then it went into agitation/angst. It bounced around that day between the two. I knew something had happened, but what? I slept fine that night. The next 2 days were followed by a bad headache. Then the unthinkable. I started having all of the same symptoms I had in my painful withdrawal. All the same things only they feel stronger this time. I also have to add severe stomache distress this time. I didn't have it 5 years ago. I am 6 weeks into what feels just like the original withdrawal. Is this possible? It is definitely physical. Bad chills, headache, tingly, agitation. I'm wondering how this happened. Was I medicated for 5 years and the last of it finally dumped? or Was it in my fat stores and the change of metabolism dumped it? How is it still hanging around and what can I do to get better? Can I detox it completely out with infrared sauna program? Sorry for the long post.

Paxil - 2 weeks - 1998

Prozac - 2 weeks - 1998

I couldn't tolerate either one very well and changed to Zoloft

 

Zoloft - 1 month - 1998

Did well but quit shortly after. I didn't need it

 

Had no problems coming off of any of these.

 

Prescribed Lexapro for Anxiety in 3/2007. Took 2.5 MG for 2 weeks.

Couldn't tolerate it and had to stop. No tapering - just quit.

Withdrawal for several months. Back to normal after 10 months.

Medicine free since 2007.

 

Recently have started having symptoms again of withdrawal after 4 1/2 yrs. I feel I had a dump into my bloodstream.

Many questions. Is that possible?

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  • Administrator

Hello, Scout, welcome to our community.

 

It sounds like it took you about a year to recover from the Lexapro adverse reaction and withdrawal?

 

Some people are hypersensitive to SSRIs from the first. It doesn't take much exposure for a serious adverse reaction and subsequent withdrawal syndrome -- even if they'd been taking only a small amount for a few days.

 

renee has a good point, it could be a medical issue that's triggered the autonomic instability of withdrawal syndrome again. I would get a full medical checkup including endocrine.

 

Your symptoms aren't caused by "toxicity" from the drug remaining in your body, but perhaps a residual hypersensitivity from your Lexapro experience.

 

It might be a good idea to cut back on caffeine. When your nervous system is acting up like this, you don't need anything that's stimulating.

 

Have you tried supplementing with omega-3 fish oil, maybe magnesium? These are common deficiencies that leave the nervous system vulnerable. It's also possible your vitamin B12 level has become depleted -- absorption decreases with age, and it takes a while before the liver runs out of the B12 it has stored.

 

There may be something about your intense training regimen that's caused some kind of nutrient depletion as well.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I am curious are you currently taking any prescription medications or supplements? Even natural supplements can cause side effects. Just because something is natural does not mean it is non-toxic.

 

I agree with Alto, cut back on the caffeine. I am 48 and when I hit my early 40's I could no longer tolerate coffee, it caused extreme akathisia. The only caffeine I imbibe is one cup of green tea upon waking. Anymore and I am a nervous wreck, and any later in the day it will cause insomnia.

 

As we age we can become hypersensitive to substances as our livers become less efficient.

 

Also, a full medical work up would be a good idea including tests for hormones, thyroid etc.

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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Thank you for responding to me. I'm sorry to just now be replying. I have been out of town.

 

Whatever - I am not currently taking any medications. I have a completely virgin bloodstream for 5 years now. I do take 1 Fish oil a day since I started feeling this way again. I have taken some atibiotics over the last five years with no side effects. I can also tolerate advil or tylenol if needed. I was also able to drink caffeine and alcohol over the last 4 years with no problem. This has just appeared out of nowhere. It is quite upsetting.

 

Renee - I guess it could be a hormonal thing. I was ovulating when it started falling apart again. I am 44 and it's probably time to start having some cyclical changes, but I haven't had any problems with my cycle for the past 4 years. Just occaisonal tiredness prior to starting my cycle.

 

Altostrata - Yes I did have a recovery for the last 4 years. I would say after 4 months it started getting better each day. The first four months were a living hell of headaches, dizziness, anxiety/agitation, insomnia, some burning of the skin, feeling like I didn't exist, hot and cold flashes, some extreme exhauston. It would go through waves. At first it was constant. After 12 weeks it started going longer periods of time in between waves. And when waves would come the symptoms weren't as severe after 12 weeks. It eventually got to the point that the only thing I had was sometimes feeling like I wasn't existing, but there was no other pain or fearful feelings or headaches. It was like my anxiety had been permanently shutdown. Eventually, around a year I was better. I felt like I was back mostly to my old self. I wasn't as emotional as I had been before. I Was actually a stronger person than I had been before.

 

This little setback has rocked my world. These symptoms almost feel worse than first time around. I have a slight burning sensation on the left side of my face and ear. I also have insomnia pretty bad. Bad sensory stuff to cold and hot. My stomache hurts a lot. In some ways it's as if I have woken up though. I feel like maybe those neurotransmitters have opened up more than they had because I am feeling as if it's easier to smile and cry. I am much more emotional than I have been in the last 4 years. I know that we say it can't be that lexapro was still in my system, but could my transmitters have started functioning more? Maybe misfired. Can that happen? Also, I was wondering if I could supplement with anything. Can I take xanax to help me sleep. Is there anything that I could take to help with symptoms while I get through this. Do you think that my body will do the same thing as before. Start healing after 12 weeks? I feel alone because I can't seem to find others that recovered and then setback again.

 

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

Paxil - 2 weeks - 1998

Prozac - 2 weeks - 1998

I couldn't tolerate either one very well and changed to Zoloft

 

Zoloft - 1 month - 1998

Did well but quit shortly after. I didn't need it

 

Had no problems coming off of any of these.

 

Prescribed Lexapro for Anxiety in 3/2007. Took 2.5 MG for 2 weeks.

Couldn't tolerate it and had to stop. No tapering - just quit.

Withdrawal for several months. Back to normal after 10 months.

Medicine free since 2007.

 

Recently have started having symptoms again of withdrawal after 4 1/2 yrs. I feel I had a dump into my bloodstream.

Many questions. Is that possible?

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Thanks for that information about your recovery.

 

Your situation doesn't have anything to do with Lexapro still anywhere in your body, or anything going on with neurotransmitters or receptors.

 

The withdrawal experience left your nervous system hypersensitive to stressors. It must have been a confluence of things that brought on another bout of dysautonomia.

 

You can count on your nervous system gradually going back to normal again after a while, but treat it gently.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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