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BellaC: tapering Lexapro / escitalopram


BellaC

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Hi all,

I am a 29 years old female working full time in the mental health field in USA.

 

I started Lexapro/escitalopram 20mg back in 2010 for panic attack, moderate anxiety and mild depression when I was 21 years old. It initially helped me lift my mood and get rid of somatic symptoms.

 

I have been maintaining 20mg for 7 years without much side effects. And I still have regular emotions when situations raise.

 

In 2017, my PCP suggest lowering the dosage since my life is stable and I have more life experiences after these years.

 

By the way, lexapro is the only medication I take; I have overall good health and live a healthy lifestyle (low sugar diet, exercise, no alcohol or smoking, supportive friends & families).

 

Here is a history:

 

2010-2017: 20mg daily. Did fine for those years without much symptoms

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Family doctor recommended tapering in June 2017

Below is tapering instructed by doctor

6/2017 - 12/2017: 20mg & 10mg every other day, No WD symptoms

12/2017 - 2/2018: 10mg daily, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 

2/2018 - 7/12/2018: Restated 15mg daily, No WD symptoms

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Below is tapering by myself 

7/12/2018 - 8/8/2018: 15mg & 12.5mg every other day alternate, No WD symptoms

8/9/2018 - current: 12.5mg daily, experiencing managable WD symptoms: palpitation, brain fog/tightness, diarrhea(stopped on 8/23/18, back to normal bowel movement), dreams, mild obsessive thought. No mood disturbance. 

 

I am waiting for current symptoms to subside, and I will use a slower tapering schedule -10% after this. 

 

OTHER INFO:

Tapering method: cut pills and weigh using digital scale

Supplement: fish oil

Coping: exercise, meditation, talk to my support network, inform and update people around me of my tapering & ask them to monitor me.

Mindset: symptoms are temporary, change is happening everyday, slow and steady. 

 

I am happy to find this place where we can share recovery stories and support.

 

Life is a long journey, let's take little step everyday ;)

 

Here is a sheet I use to track symptoms using 0-10 scales.

1609739800_Doc-082418-1428-1.jpg.3ee01a300f536d32694a41229f89b87d.jpg

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post

Hi BellaC, 

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

You seem to have a great self care routine. 

I like how methodical you are with tracking symptoms. I’m sorry you are suffering, hope you heal as you taper.

 

It’s always a good idea to taper 10%, that is the safest method. Hope you check out the Tapering Forum, lots of good info there.

 

Here’s the link for tapering Lexapro:

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/?tab=comments#comment-4142

 

I am glad you found us :)

 

Take good care <3

Dec 2016: Prazosin 2.5mg x2 at noon and night, Nifidipine 30mg x1 morn, Diltiazem 200mg x1 morn. for hypertension.  Cinnerizine 24mg as needed only. Metformin and Sitagliptin for hyperglycaemia. Vitamin C.

My meds: May 4th 2017 Abilify 10mg. May 10th dropped to 2.5 mg due to side effects. Tapered during several months in 2017. Currently drug free. 2019: I am doing well now, even if not updating this thread as much unless needed, sorry. Focusing more on supporting others' threads. Also friendly warning: Please do not read this thread if not up to it as it can be a somewhat triggering/stressful read, thank you. Love, peace and Blessings to you all <3

 
Link to post
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi Bella,

 

And Welcome aboard.  And thank you for getting your signature done so promptly.  And doing such a nice job tracking your W/D journey to date.

Are you planning to come off the Lexapro?

I'm so glad your symptoms are manageable and your moods are staying level.

 

Here at Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.

The first post explains why we don't subscribe, to the every other day tapering.  
 
When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made.  The CNS likes stability. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.
 
^ More about withdrawal or discontinuation syndrome and what to expect.
 
 a little bit about updosing in the second link, which it appears you already did due to W/D symptoms, we would never have you do that every other day schedule though.......that can be very destabilizing.
That's great that you have been tracking symptoms already.  
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

This is your introduction page Your Introduction topic will be a way for you to introduce yourself to the group. It will be like a journal, so we can all follow and respond to your progress. Members may respond to your topic and give you support and encouragement.   This is also good place to ask questions specific to your tapering.

 

Take a read through the links, and please let us know if you have any questions.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

manymoretodays(mmt)

 

 
Edited by manymoretodays
took out a section

Started with psycho meds circa 1988 I think 27 or 28 total.

AD's, antpsychotics, antiseizure mood stabilizers. Lithium, lamictal ,benzos, and stimulants. Some med. for narcolepsy once(Provigil,) Gabapentin........probably more.  Ask me?......I probably was on it.  Haphazard W/D's by Dr. recommend or uneducated self.

10/2014- off Lexapro--had been on highest dose 10 mg. then 5 mg. for a couple of years, went from 5 mg. to 3 mg. liquid and then CT in hospital(voluntary).  I got out of the hospital on a combination of low dose adderal salts x1/day and trileptal 150mg. x2/day.

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!

 

3/21/2016---I did some unwise updosing of trileptal/oxcarbazepine with some stressful stuff......doubled the above dose x2 during this last wave but began liquifying again and on approximately 68mg. starting today.  11/12//2016 24 mg. oxcarbazepine  12/9/2016 off oxcarbazepine/trileptal!!!! :) optimistic  2016 December 9- completely off all medications!!!!!

Omega3's,EPA +DHA= 1800 mg/day. Magnesium complex, orally, diluted in a liter of H2O(that I can shake up.....it usually dissolves more completely as the water gets down to room temperature) and/or Epsom salt baths prn.   Vit. C, D3, and E.  B12, melatonin tapered to 1mg., and bioidentical hormones sublingually.  Trace mineral drops.  L-lysine.  L-methylfolate=400 mcg plus daily spinach. Totally ready for a good long window to hit soon and getting better strings of full days and partial days along the way.  Definite improvement overall since I first arrived on the SA survivor ship.  Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post

@manymoretodays 

Thank you for providing me with these links and assisting me with posts initially. I certainly need to learn more about tapering SSRI.

 

Are you planning to come off the Lexapro? 

Yes, completely coming off Lexapro is my goal. My reasoning is that although I have been doing well over the years with Lexapro, I did not really think much about what ssri is doing to my body. As I plan to start my own family in a few years and have baby in the future, I really do not feel comfortable to go through pregnancy with psychiatric drugs in my system. It may cause risks for fetus and the child's development in a long run. If I am in a point when i need to get off Lexapro for pregnancy, it is safer to do it now than later, for both adult and child. I am actually interested in knowing what approach women adopt regarding psychiatric drugs during their pregnancy, and their experiences...

However, I am not in a rush. Coming off is a goal rather than pressure. 

 

We would never have you do that every other day schedule though.......that can be very destabilizing

I agree with you. As patients, we are usually passively following doctor's instructions because we trust their education, training and experience. Unfortunately, it is almost a blank area in medical research when comes to psychiatric drug withdrawal, let alone some family doctors' lacking of knowledge and experience with these drugs. I recall how my family doctor explained the every other day schedule (which shows that he does not know how strong lexapro is...):"You take 2 different dosage every other day, the body will feel ups and downs in the beginning, but over the time, the line becomes almost flat..." Well, I was lucky that I did not react too much to that schedule. 

Interestingly, my friend who is on 10mg lexapro daily for the past 12 months, is also instructed by her family doctor to decrease dosage. And her doctor told her to take 10mg, skip a day, take 10mg, skip a day....so she is now taking 10mg every other day. I was shocked by how she was instructed but she reported doing fine. 

 

mmt, did you have any problem switching from pills to liquid?

 

Take care,

BellaC

 

 

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post

Hello bellac!

 

Welcome!

 

I wish you all the best.

Your schedule is awesome, I made a similar one in Excel so I  can monitory symptoms better.

 

I'll be following your story. I have little time now.

 

Let's hope you will get better soon!!

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

- 2016 - Okt 2017 citalopram some months 15 mg some months 20 mg

- Nov 2017- Apr 2018 citalopram 25 mg

- April 2018 -  June 2018 citalopram 3 month TAPER too fast  from 25mg to 16.5 mg (0.1 mg per day decrease, felt horrible and crashed)

- June 2018 - Aug13th 2018 citalopram trying to stabilize at 16.5 mg for 5 weeks, felt absolutely awful.

- August 14th 2018 - April 29th 2019  citalopram 18 mg (1.5 mg updose). Try to stabilize.-

START TAPER 29 apr 2019 @ 18 mg,    29th Jun 16.4 mg / 19th aug 15.4 mg / 25th Aug 15.2 mg / 30th sep 14.0 mg / 4th dec 13.1 mg2020 citalopram taper approx 1 % per week: 03rd Jan 12.75 mg / 28 Jan 12.29 mg / 18th Feb 11.83 mg, 25th Feb 11.68 mg hold../7th May 11.33 mg hold, 4th Aug 10.98 mg. Holding because of not feeling well.

 

 

Link to post

Hi @jozeff,

I hope your week is starting well! And thanks for the encouraging words.

I read your intro and signature, it appears to me that you are very active on this site, and you have a strong motivation to get off medication.

One thing I do want to point out is that, you have tapered very fast from May 2017 to July 2018 each time. And you updosed back to 25mg twice due to WD symptoms? Were those decisions made by yourself or doctor? If they were made by yourself, (if you don't mind) may I know the reason for that? 

Take care,

BellaC

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post

Hi Bellac,

 

Thanks for your reply.

I had a fantastic time when I started this medication. Things went really well and I thought the rest of my life would be fantastic. Everything was so good that I jumped down to 15 mg. I didn't taper so after a few weeks things were getting messy again. Doctors advise to jump as soon you  don't feel the effect they  expect you to have. I upped to 25 mg again because I thought that was my golden dose....started feeling great again..... This happened twice to me so that's why I fluctuated a lot with my dose. I did this all by myself. No doctor was involved Unfortunately things were getting worse and worse and the citalopram didn't seem to be working as good as it used to. That's when I started reading this site and I decided I wanted to come off of this stuff. I started my taper and April 2018 but went a little too fast. That's why I am trying to get stable on 18 Mg right now. I want to do the Brass Monkey taper but they advised me to wait a couple of months. 

 

I have good days and bad days with depression, anxiety and nausea. Some days are really good but not many.

 

You seem to be well informed and that's a very good thing. I hope you will have great success and you get well very soon.

 

I am pretty active on this site indeed. People Help Me enormously in my struggle. I tried to support other people too. It's also kind of therapy to me to read and write about WD and emotions.

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

 

- 2016 - Okt 2017 citalopram some months 15 mg some months 20 mg

- Nov 2017- Apr 2018 citalopram 25 mg

- April 2018 -  June 2018 citalopram 3 month TAPER too fast  from 25mg to 16.5 mg (0.1 mg per day decrease, felt horrible and crashed)

- June 2018 - Aug13th 2018 citalopram trying to stabilize at 16.5 mg for 5 weeks, felt absolutely awful.

- August 14th 2018 - April 29th 2019  citalopram 18 mg (1.5 mg updose). Try to stabilize.-

START TAPER 29 apr 2019 @ 18 mg,    29th Jun 16.4 mg / 19th aug 15.4 mg / 25th Aug 15.2 mg / 30th sep 14.0 mg / 4th dec 13.1 mg2020 citalopram taper approx 1 % per week: 03rd Jan 12.75 mg / 28 Jan 12.29 mg / 18th Feb 11.83 mg, 25th Feb 11.68 mg hold../7th May 11.33 mg hold, 4th Aug 10.98 mg. Holding because of not feeling well.

 

 

Link to post

@jozeff,

I am so sorry for your suffering. 

 

It is true that many people on psychiatric drugs tend to forget their reliance on drugs when they are in "fantastic times".

 

And the reality kicks in when they try to get off the drugs too fast. The fact is, unfortunately, our brain simply does not adjust that fast.

 

It's also important to weigh pros & cons of saying on drugs or coming off drugs. For many people with severe mental disturbances, coming off completely is simply not an affordable option. Because you do not want to lose your entire life (functionality, job, families, income...) over the idea of coming off drugs. 

 

Please be patient my friend, I caution you not to be too obsessed on this matter. As it may occupy your life considerably and trigger some unreasonable tapering attempts. Still engage in daily life and check in with us once in a while. I assure you that being slow and steady will lead to a more preferable result. 

 

Take care,

BC

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi BellaC,

 

That's so great that you are planning now and trying to learn all you can.  This may be of interest to you.  The comparison data of the doses of various SSRI's.

Hayasaka, 2015 Dose equivalencies

Just to get an idea of the potency of Lexapro/escitalopram in comparison to some of the other SSR's.

 

And then if you go on back and take a further study of the first post in Why taper by 10%

You get an idea of how the plasma concentrations are related to the serotonin receptor occupancies as well.  And how and when the CNS may be most affected by changes in these different medications.  The article there..... is a good one to share with your prescribing doctor.

It's all pretty empowering information.

 

When I switched over to liquid escitalopram I was somewhat maintaining on a 5 mg dose.  And once I dropped to 3 mg of the liquid without using any crossover approach between the tablets to the liquid.........well, it just didn't go well.  So we recommend being a bit more cautious than I was.

And you could go slower than this even........if you do decide to go with a liquid form of escitalopram.

Days 1-3  3/4 of your total daily dose in tablet form and 1/4 in liquid

Days 4-6 1/2 and 1/2

Days 7-10  1/4 and 3/4

Then on to the full dose in liquid form.

 

I also made the decision to come off Lexapro/escitalopram, and for me I was on a generic escitalopram, at a rather inopportune time.  I don't know why I somehow thought I couldn't feel worse after a suicide death of a friend, loved one.......so thought that would be a good time to "just get off my last medication" pronto!!!!!"  In retrospect.......kind of ridiculous.  Sooo......don't do what I did is my main point here.

 

I just did some googling around and on site as far as SSRI's in pregnancy.  My best thought for you would be to at the very least.........get down to a lower dosage before considering pregnancy, and to be on the safest side possible for all concerned.

 

To search here for anything at all.......I usually just plug in survivingantidepressants followed by the topic or subject in my main browser and then have a look see, if it's something I'm looking for.  And of course you can just search generally as well. 

 

I think that now the trend is to use Zoloft/sertraline in pregnancy.  I'm not a big fan of that approach, however.

I'm really hoping for a better way one of these days........than what I feel is presently the over zealous medication of America........and oh, especially the children, my gosh.  Of course we need to improve our mental health care system to offer new and different approaches to what sometimes are just normal reactions to life, or circumstance, or such.  It just pains me to hear teachers referring kids, more or less........for a diagnosis of ADD and medication........due to classrooms being overcrowded and of course they can't deal with that many young kids, who are sometimes just that.  I don't know if there truly exists an ADD child anymore.  Not after reading and being exposed to so much that is out there in the literature and just plain evidence of what can oftentimes be a harmful, and disability promoting mental illness system.

 

Have you read Anatomy of an Epidemic yet?  The author is Robert Whitaker.  There are also some video's on youtube.  That was one of my changing moments, to read that book.  And life saving in many ways.  I sure wasn't getting better...... with the biomedical system of mental illness that is still so predominant.

 

It is, keep in mind, extremely important to work on and build your own coping skills now and in the future.

I look forward to your questions, and findings, and empowerment.........as you are, like I am so frequently, in the midst of people who do need our voices.  We all are really.  Learning to tactfully share and listen first........that's what I'm working on at present on the ground(as we call it).   So many overmedicated and struggling in "their treatment".  Or being shifted all around on medications.  And ill informed prescribers.  Never mind that we were never given full disclosure, as to the nature of these drugs.  I mean I do mind......quite a bit, however........I'm thankful for my own journey to date.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

 

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
punctuation, spacing

Started with psycho meds circa 1988 I think 27 or 28 total.

AD's, antpsychotics, antiseizure mood stabilizers. Lithium, lamictal ,benzos, and stimulants. Some med. for narcolepsy once(Provigil,) Gabapentin........probably more.  Ask me?......I probably was on it.  Haphazard W/D's by Dr. recommend or uneducated self.

10/2014- off Lexapro--had been on highest dose 10 mg. then 5 mg. for a couple of years, went from 5 mg. to 3 mg. liquid and then CT in hospital(voluntary).  I got out of the hospital on a combination of low dose adderal salts x1/day and trileptal 150mg. x2/day.

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!

 

3/21/2016---I did some unwise updosing of trileptal/oxcarbazepine with some stressful stuff......doubled the above dose x2 during this last wave but began liquifying again and on approximately 68mg. starting today.  11/12//2016 24 mg. oxcarbazepine  12/9/2016 off oxcarbazepine/trileptal!!!! :) optimistic  2016 December 9- completely off all medications!!!!!

Omega3's,EPA +DHA= 1800 mg/day. Magnesium complex, orally, diluted in a liter of H2O(that I can shake up.....it usually dissolves more completely as the water gets down to room temperature) and/or Epsom salt baths prn.   Vit. C, D3, and E.  B12, melatonin tapered to 1mg., and bioidentical hormones sublingually.  Trace mineral drops.  L-lysine.  L-methylfolate=400 mcg plus daily spinach. Totally ready for a good long window to hit soon and getting better strings of full days and partial days along the way.  Definite improvement overall since I first arrived on the SA survivor ship.  Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post
On 8/27/2018 at 12:57 PM, manymoretodays said:

When I switched over to liquid escitalopram I was somewhat maintaining on a 5 mg dose.  And once I dropped to 3 mg of the liquid without using any crossover approach between the tablets to the liquid.........well, it just didn't go well.  So we recommend being a bit more cautious than I was.

And you could go slower than this even........if you do decide to go with a liquid form of escitalopram.

Days 1-3  3/4 of your total daily dose in tablet form and 1/4 in liquid

Days 4-6 1/2 and 1/2

Days 7-10  1/4 and 3/4

Then on to the full dose in liquid form.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I think it makes sense. I plan to use liquid when my dosage is lowered to a point where it's hard to weigh accurately.

 

On 8/27/2018 at 12:57 PM, manymoretodays said:

Have you read Anatomy of an Epidemic yet?  The author is Robert Whitaker.  There are also some video's on youtube.  That was one of my changing moments, to read that book.  And life saving in many ways.  I sure wasn't getting better...... with the biomedical system of mental illness that is still so predominant.

 

I have not read, but I heard of this book! I watched one video on Youtube, and I look forward to reading this book because it talks about long term effect of psychiatric drugs...which is applicable to me, LOL.

 

Thank you again for your info! Have a nice day!

BellaC

 

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post

UPDATE OF MY SYMPTOMS:

08/09/18: started dosage 12.5mg

08/09-08/16/18 (Week1): No symptoms

08/17-08/23/18 (Week2): Dizzy, headache, lethary, shoulder pain, palpitation, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, diarrhea, insomnia

08/24-08/29/18 (Week3) : All of above symptoms are subsiding. 

  • Diarrhea stopped on 08/24 after 4 days
  • Insomnia stopped on 08/26 
  • Dizzy, lethargy, headache, obsessive thoughts stopped on 08/27
  • Palpitation, shoulder pain and anxiety still exist, but are mild.
 
 
I want to hold this dosage for a while before continue tapering. 
BellaC

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • 4 weeks later...

UPDATE OF MY SYMPTOMS:

09/14/18: started dosage 11.2mg Lexapro (10% deduction from previous 12.5mg)

09/14-09/20/16/18 (Week1): Palpitation, shoulder pain, anxiety, slight insomnia, frequent dreams. All symptoms were manageable. 

09/21/18 (First day of Week 2) : All of above symptoms are subsiding, especially palpitation.

  • Palpitation, shoulder pain and anxiety still exist, but are very slight.
  • Insomnia stopped on 09/18/2018. Dreams are less vivid starting from 09/19/2018.
 
This is my 5th dosage adjustment (see my signature), the WD symptoms are not as bad comparing with my last dosage drop to 12.5mg, and this time is was featured by palpitation and very mild sleep disturbance. I will hold on this dosage for 3 more weeks and see if everything stabilize after that. 
BellaC

 

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • 1 month later...

UPDATE OF MY SYMPTOMS:

10/13/18: started dosage 10.2mg Lexapro (10% deduction from previous 11.2mg)

    10/13-10/22 (week 1 & 2): featured by pretty strong lethargy (coz this happened during my vacation, I slept almost 14 hours daily for 2 weeks); mild shoulder pain.

    10/23-11/7 (week 3 & 4): lethargy and pain subsided. Mostly sx free.

11/08/18: started dosage 9.18 mg Lexapro (10% deduction from previous 10.2mg)

    11/08-11/13 (week 1): very mild palpitation lasted for 2 days. Sx free.

 

My 6th dosage adjustment (10.2mg) gave me a huge shower of sleepiness for 2 weeks. That was something new.

7th dosage adjustment (9.18mg) is pain free so far. Will hold for 3 more weeks.

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • Moderator

Sounds like it's going well, BellaC.  Congratulations. 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

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

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to post

@GridleyHi, thank you! I saw that you also take lexapro and has tapered from 20mg to 4.5mg, what a progress! Do you take liquid form or pills? I am still using a cutter and scale at this point, wondering whether I shall switch to liquid later on.

 

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • Moderator

Bella, I use pills and a scale and plan to continue with them down to zero.  I've been doing well and don't want to rock the boat with a switch.  That's just my personal preference.  Many members do switch to liquid.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

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

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to post

@Gridley I am doing fine with pills and scale too, but I am not sure if my scale will be able to measure accurately when the dosage is low. I am currently using "American Weigh Scales GEMINI-20 Portable MilliGram Scale, 20 by 0.001 G" I bought from Amazon. What scale do you use? Thank you!

BellaC

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • Moderator

That's what I use also.  I have pretty much modeled my taper after Brassmonkey's taper (though his was of Paxil).  He jumped off at something like .05mgai (active ingredient).  The pill weight (mgpw) was more.  (Brassmonkey used the Gemini scale also).

 

The scale does have limitations at the low doses.  Here is what Brassmonkey wrote about how he dealt with these limitations:  

 

"Using a 40mgai tablet at 500mgpw makes it so that each 1mgpw gives me 0.08mgai.  This was workable until I got down to the tiny doses. I have been using the Brassmonkey Slide Method for my entire taper and wanted to keep using it as long as possible. This entails doing 4 cuts of 2.5% a week for 4 weeks and then holding an additional 2 weeks.  When I started to taper below 3mgai this was not physically possible because of the limitation of the scales only weighing in 1mgpw increments. So I switched to tapering by 1mgpw and adjusted the number of cuts per slide accordingly. In that manner I was able to keep each slide under 10%.  At first I was able to maintain 3 cuts per slide but then had to adjust to two cuts.  Recently I've had to resort to 1 cut each time and with the last cut I'm being forced to do more that 10%. I don't think this will be a problem as I only have three cuts left before I plan to jump off. The jump will be at about 2mgpw or 0.16mgai. The amount of powder is about half the size of this "o".  The symptoms from each cut have been negligible at worst so I see no problem with this."

 

and this:
 
"Working through the tiny doses at the end of a taper is one of the hardest parts of doing any taper.  The tiny amounts of powder and the inaccuracy of the scales can be very frustrating, and even these small drops can cause a spike in symptoms. It's very important to have an end point in view.  There is going to come a time when you have to make a 100% cut and jump to "0".  For practical reasons, using the materials you have available that's going to be 0.05mg.  This is 1mg or powder.  Because of the limitations of the scales you would weigh out 4mg of powder and visually divide it into quarters."
 
I'm still a couple of years away from jump-off point.  Poco a poco (little by little) as we say in Ecuador.
 
 

 

 

Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

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

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to post
  • 1 month later...

UPDATE OF MY SYMPTOMS:

12/11/2018: started dosage 8.2 mg Lexapro (about 10% deduction from previous 9.2mg)

12/11-12/17/2018 (week 1): on the first 2 days, I experienced mild palpitation, anxiety and shoulder pain. I had some vivid dreams too.These sx were gone by day 3. On day 3, I experienced a short phase of "depersonalization" while hiking. Usually, I am very connected to my mood and body when I exercises. For example, I may feel tired/energized/happy during or after that. But this time I did not feel anything, as if my body was moving itself in a dream, and I omitted opinions/emotion. The depersonalization phase last for a couple hours. Then I was connected to myself again.  This is the second time it happened; the first time was back in August 2018 when I started tapering, did not last long either.

 

As up today, I am overall doing fine with tapering. No major impairment in daily functioning. However, I do notice some memory decline.

Happy Holiday!

 

 

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

Quick thoughts on withdrawal symptoms:

 

It has been almost 5 months since I started to self taper Lexapro. And here are some observations regarding my withdrawal symptoms:

1. Each drop of dosage comes with withdrawal symptoms (more or less).

2. Symptoms manifest differently (types, intensity, duration, etc..) each time.

3. All my symptoms have a "peak", often within 2-4 days. Usually on that day, I felt the worst.

4. After the "peak", symptoms start to subside until they disappear completely.

 

For me, 4 weeks per 10% drop seem like a reasonable cycle. My withdrawal symptoms have not impacted on my functions hence I will stick to it.

I have less complicated meds history, and Lexapro is the only meds I take long term. Is anyone here have similar meds history with me? What's your experience with tapering?

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • Moderator

You've made some excellent observations.

 

It's worthwhile knowing that throughout a taper things don't always remain the same so don't be surprised if things change.

 

Many members find that the lower their dose gets the slower they need to go, by reducing less and/or holding for longer.  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

It's better to listen to your body and your symptoms and not the calendar.  It is better to hold for longer if you need to.  Added stress, external or from illness, can cause symptoms to worsen.

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs:  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 Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

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

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Link to post
  • 2 months later...

UPDATE OF MY SYMPTOMS:

      I am down to 5.67mg Lexapro starting from 02/26/2019. And this my first time trying 15% cut from previous dosage. I want to see how my body reacts to the tapering which is larger than 10%. As this percentage is not recommended, I am doing it solely for experimental purpose. And I do not recommend anyone to do this especially if you have more complicated meds history and high sensitivity towards reduction.

      Today is the 3rd day, I am experiencing some anxiety accompanied by palpitation, shoulder/chest pain and dreams last night. I will report back after a week or so.

 HIGHLIGHT:

          During the whole tapering experience for the past year, I notice a decline of mental function, especially memory, EVERY TIME I cut 10%. It is like walking down the ladders, each step comes with a slight decline. I would not say that is impairing, however, it has been very bothersome to myself. For about two months or so, I stopped fish oil because I ran out of it, then after I started to take it again, I noticed some "recovery" of mental functioning. I am not sure whether it is the fish oil which is helping, or some other factors...I will continue to take it.

 

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Bella, 

 

I hope your experimental 15% dose drop works, although I wouldn’t recommend it. Why did you want to experiment with such a big drop? I can only drop around 4% or so now. 

 

Keep us updated, I’ll be curious to see how you go. I’m glad you said you don’t recommend it to others, because it certainly is a big risk. I’ve tapered too fast in the past, before I knew about tapering, and my waves were massive. I still get waves even when I’ve tapered slowly. 

 

Be careful💚

Been on antipsychotics, benzos, antidepressants and painkillers for chronic pain. 

Have been cold turkeyed and put on and off all sorts of things.  Was suicidal n ended up in a psych ward because I had akathisia from withdrawals. I can’t remember what I was put on but when I was released was in the same predicament with severe akathisia n was suicidal again.

Back to the psych ward and I was given a number of different drugs while there. Tapered off one when I got home n have been trying to taper off Seroquel since. It’s been years, tapering slowly but still having severe withdrawals.

I’ve  tapered from 300mg of Seroquel to 7.5mg./ March 10th 2019=7.25mg / 17th of April 2019= 7mg / June 5th=6.75mg/ July 14th=6.50mg/ 28th of August=6.25mg/ 10th of Oct= 6.20mg/ 21st October 6mg/ 16th of December 5.80mg/21st of January 5.60mg/

 

I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. These are my own views based on what I’ve experienced myself.

 

 

Link to post

Hi @Carmie,

Thank you for expressing your concern! I totally agree with you that tapering too fast is a big risk, and it certainly causes instability to mind and body.

 

I think most people who adopted the fast taper approach or even coming off "cold turkey" are people who suffer from terrible side effects from taking the drugs, emotionally, physically or both.So that they are somehow cornered to make this choice. Or, they simply do not know much about the withdrawal.

 

I am lucky that I have not really suffered from side effects (not that I am aware of), I choose to be drug free for 2 reasons: 1. I do not want to depend on a substance to live a meaningful life; 2. I prepare to have baby in the future.

 

I have been doing well with 10% taper for the past 8 months, even though I experienced some withdraw symptoms each time I cut down dosage, the symptoms were mild and usually disappeared within 3 days. Based on that, 15% cut is more like a "testing water" experiment, in order to learn my own mind and body.

 

HERE IS MY UPDATE:

It has been 1 week since I cut 15%. I would say as of today, I feel 90% stable.

 

SOME DIFFERENCES comparing with 10% cut:

1. withdraw symptoms were more intense, especially in the first 3 days.

2. symptoms last a few days longer

3. I have a bit of mood related symptoms, such as feeling "down" or blue. Typically I don't have them with 10% cut

 

CONCLUSION:

My body and mind can handle 15% cut (although not recommended), they seem to be adapting pretty well given sufficient time. In my case, 7-10 days. I think this is an interesting experiment, although I DO NOT plan to continue with 15% because I am getting close to low dosage.

 

MY ADVICE:

Do not experiment with high cut if you do not have any "baseline" about your own mind and body. Always start small and go safe. Always listen to your mind and body. People also have different stress tolerance level, so keep that in mind and stay in your comfort zone.

 

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Bella, 

 

I’m glad your drops are working for you. You seem to be one of the fortunate people that can do higher drops, by the looks of it. So far anyway. 

 

Thanks also for not recommending it to others, as it can be disastrous. I’ve been on and off so many meds, I don’t even remember the names of all of them. I knew nothing about meds, withdrawals or tapering and the doctors and hospitals put me through so much agony. My system is really sensitised now. I was firstly put on meds because of chronic pain, and then it was downhill from there, pain meds, benzos, antidepressants, antipsychotics etc. I thought there was something terribly wrong with me until I realised it was withdrawals all along. 

 

Please keep us updated. I’d love to continue to see how you go. I’m really glad you’re doing so well. 

 

Take care, sending hugs🤗

 

 

Been on antipsychotics, benzos, antidepressants and painkillers for chronic pain. 

Have been cold turkeyed and put on and off all sorts of things.  Was suicidal n ended up in a psych ward because I had akathisia from withdrawals. I can’t remember what I was put on but when I was released was in the same predicament with severe akathisia n was suicidal again.

Back to the psych ward and I was given a number of different drugs while there. Tapered off one when I got home n have been trying to taper off Seroquel since. It’s been years, tapering slowly but still having severe withdrawals.

I’ve  tapered from 300mg of Seroquel to 7.5mg./ March 10th 2019=7.25mg / 17th of April 2019= 7mg / June 5th=6.75mg/ July 14th=6.50mg/ 28th of August=6.25mg/ 10th of Oct= 6.20mg/ 21st October 6mg/ 16th of December 5.80mg/21st of January 5.60mg/

 

I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. These are my own views based on what I’ve experienced myself.

 

 

Link to post
  • 1 month later...

UPDATE (This is a post to offer some emotional support):

 

I recently visited my family doctor who suggested tapering 2 years ago. I informed him of my tapering progress and my current dosage of Lexapro. When I told him that I am doing 10% -15% taper each time, he told me that my approach is unnecessarily too slow because he thinks "5mg Lexapro is very very low, do they even make 5mg?" He suggested me to taper 50%, and slowly do it every other day. Just like how he told me 2 years ago. 2 years ago, I followed his instruction initially and ended up with restatement. I took it to my own hands (with research and study) after that, and I have been tapering Lexapro steadily since then.

 

I want to share this story with everyone here, because even a medical professional who supports the idea of tapering, might NOT have the sufficient evidence-based knowledge, education or training of HOW TO DO it successfully. You might feel lucky enough to meet a doctor who introduces you to the world of tapering, but knowing that it is also possible that this doctor may not have much to offer to the actual "practice" of tapering.

 

Patients who followed doctor's suggestions and failed are easily discouraged. We put our well-being into those professionals' hands because we trust their judgement. When we failed, we doubt ourselves, not the professionals.

 

I especially want to encourage those people who failed due to professional's ignorance in this matter. DO NOT GIVE UP. And here are something you can do:

  • Find a professional with sufficient knowledge. Here is a link posted by @Altostrata https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14971-recommended-doctors-therapists-and-clinics/?tab=comments#comment-8604
  • Take it to your own hands. "Slow and steady" is better than "fast and risky", even if your doctor is against it. Because most ppl like myself, have a life to live, with tons of responsibilities, before anything else, make sure you are always a functional person.
  • Get emotional support. Talk about your decision with people you trust and check in with them regularly.
  • Set up rational expectations. You will have symptoms, your body will feel uncomfortable, your mood will swing, and symptoms will not disappear quickly but will go away eventually. Irrational expectations or being emotionally unprepared increase the likelihood of failure.
  • Trust neuroplasticity. I do believe that the brain is a consistently changing organ. With time and life experience, it heals.
  • Listen to your own body and mind. Know when to pause, when to re-evaluate, when to ask for help. Trust yourself but never do this alone.
  • Others.

I hope this post gives you some hope and encouragement. Share your stories if you have similar experience, and give others some insights. Good luck!

Bella

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • Administrator

Thanks, Bella. We're only too aware that doctors think they know more about tapering than they really do.

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 post
  • 4 weeks later...

PERSONAL TIPS TO MANAGE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS:

When I initially found this forum 1 year ago, I was looking for a group of people who I share SSRI withdrawal symptoms with. As my tapering journey progresses, I realize that I might have been one of those "lucky" people who do not suffer as much as many of you out there. While I am still contemplating the factors which contributed to my case (as some of you may say, hey, you are lucky that your body/brain is biologically less sensitive), I realize the role of biology can possibly be overstated thus makes us feel powerless. I do have my own mindset on symptoms management which in many respects is as important as a biological factor, if not more. The good news is, we have control over our mindset. I want to share a few personal perspectives here:

  • Pain is a mere illusion on how we take it. Different people handle pain differently; an 8 pain level for one person can be scored as 4 for another person. but knowing that the pain is temporary gives hope and calmness.
  • Function, function, function. The whole purpose of tapering, as I understood, is to function better to live a more meaningful life. I personally will never, never risk being a functional person now, in order to achieve a drug-free state someday in the future. This is just not my philosophy towards life. However, living as a functional person does not mean I am pain-free. Listen, we all suffer. But I choose the level of suffering within my tolerance (That's why I do not do cold turkey or fast taper)so that I still function for other life goals such as relationship, wealth, career, etc.
  • Self love. Many adults link self-worth with being drug-free. Whatever nasty life circumstances inciting them to take drugs are costing their satisfaction towards themselves. They feel impossible to live the moment happily as long as they have the drug in the system. The truth is, they simply do not love themselves anymore! But to know that self-worth has nothing to do with that, you are already a worthy person whether you take drugs or not, and it is possible to live life in a less miserable way. The key is, in order to love yourself, you need to feel responsible for starting or stopping drugs, for all upcoming symptoms, for how you feel/react to symptoms.

I hope my perspectives could be helpful to some of you out there. These are not medical advice or antidote to end your pain, but you will find yours if you believe in yourself.

 

Bella

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi BellaC,

What a great post!  Thank you.

I think that your attitude is a real asset to your tapering!

 

And ahhh, on the self love/self care........so very important.  I agree.  ❤️:wub:

Often it's a work in progress for many of us.  Working on through some of the past issues, and traumas, with non-drug coping.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays

Started with psycho meds circa 1988 I think 27 or 28 total.

AD's, antpsychotics, antiseizure mood stabilizers. Lithium, lamictal ,benzos, and stimulants. Some med. for narcolepsy once(Provigil,) Gabapentin........probably more.  Ask me?......I probably was on it.  Haphazard W/D's by Dr. recommend or uneducated self.

10/2014- off Lexapro--had been on highest dose 10 mg. then 5 mg. for a couple of years, went from 5 mg. to 3 mg. liquid and then CT in hospital(voluntary).  I got out of the hospital on a combination of low dose adderal salts x1/day and trileptal 150mg. x2/day.

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!

 

3/21/2016---I did some unwise updosing of trileptal/oxcarbazepine with some stressful stuff......doubled the above dose x2 during this last wave but began liquifying again and on approximately 68mg. starting today.  11/12//2016 24 mg. oxcarbazepine  12/9/2016 off oxcarbazepine/trileptal!!!! :) optimistic  2016 December 9- completely off all medications!!!!!

Omega3's,EPA +DHA= 1800 mg/day. Magnesium complex, orally, diluted in a liter of H2O(that I can shake up.....it usually dissolves more completely as the water gets down to room temperature) and/or Epsom salt baths prn.   Vit. C, D3, and E.  B12, melatonin tapered to 1mg., and bioidentical hormones sublingually.  Trace mineral drops.  L-lysine.  L-methylfolate=400 mcg plus daily spinach. Totally ready for a good long window to hit soon and getting better strings of full days and partial days along the way.  Definite improvement overall since I first arrived on the SA survivor ship.  Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post
  • 2 months later...

MOOD RELATED WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS:

I am down to 2.5mg on Lexapro and this is such an exciting milestone! I want to discuss withdrawal symptoms related to change in mood, giving the fact that so far, this has been rare during my course of tapering.

 

My typical withdrawal symptoms are all physical, such as racing heart, pain and disturbed sleep. And they are fairly easy to deal with. At least, I am still "me" who just needs to assert a little bit more mental power to push through. In other words, my mind is intact. Withdrawal symptoms related to change in mood are trickier and are more difficult to spot. Day in and day out, I am so used to dealing with physical discomfort only, I completely forget to check on my psychological well-being. Until I caught myself zoning out on regular tasks. I was in a state of "derealization" which has happened a few times. And it was easy for me to slip into that dark state (self doubts, negative thoughts, meaninglessness, etc.) without even noticing.

 

One effective tip for me to manage "derealization" is talking. Letting it all out helps with reality check. My families or friends give me feedback on my feelings and support me along the way. Most importantly, I know what it is and I know it will go away.

 

What's your best tip to manage difficult feelings?

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Bella,

 

Congratulations on reaching the 2.5mg milestone. From your signature, I can see you have come along way with your taper and are doing great. 

 

I am in a somewhat similar position to you, in that I’m tapering the same drug and also find that most withdrawal symptoms recently have been physical. Occasionally, I’ll have a ‘low day’ or moments of excessive worry or panic, and have to ‘catch myself’ as it were. 

 

I find that both journalling and radical acceptance work well for me. Reminding myself that this can be a hard journey and that these difficult emotions are to be expected, really helps me to find patience and ride out the storm. Often I will try to warmly invite the difficult emotions, knowing that they are just passing by. To do this, I try to relax every muscle in my body, close my eyes and feel the emotion wash over me. Journalling helps too, there is something about writing vs thinking, that allows you to really reflect and work things through. 

 

Keep up the great work! 😃

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I can only provide information and make suggestions.

Link to post

Dear @eymen23 ,

Thank you for sharing your experience. I am happy that you have found ways to cope with your symptoms.

From your writing, I have a feeling that you are an insightful and self-aware person. This can be a great asset especially for people who are going through withdrawal, since the symptoms manifest in various forms distracting us physically and mentally. Let's keep focused and carry on! :)

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • 5 months later...

UPDATE:

It has been almost 5 months since I updated my tapering journey, and I here I am, finally down to <1 mg on Lexapro! 

 

In the past year, besides stable tapering, I also achieved a lot in other aspects of my life. It is really possible to live as a functional person while tapering. I would like to encourage folks who want to get off psych drugs to 1. plan ahead (I am against cold turkey) 2. get support 3. engage with life as best as you can (school, work, family...just do it even if it's hard). 

 

As you can see from my signature, my symptoms was mostly gentle on me. But starting from 3mg, other than the persistent pain on my shoulder/back,  I had to deal with low mood which occasionally taps into negative thoughts and social withdrawal. This has been the most difficult because it drags me back to the darkest time when I had the 1st depressive episode. I keep reminding myself that this is temporary and it shall pass. I am currently holding 0.92mg and will continue to taper when I stabilize. One of my new year resolution is to continue to taper slowly, and to adopt some new relaxation method.

 

How have you been doing on your tapering? What's your new year resolution? 

 

 

 

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
Link to post
  • Moderator
2 hours ago, BellaC said:

continue to taper slowly,

That sounds great, BellaC.  Congratulations on getting so low and on your great attitude and your accomplishments in the world!

 

You're doing very well.  Just keep taking it very slow at these low doses.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

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

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • 3 months later...
BellaC

Hello All,

 

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe.🙂

 

I haven't checked in since January and thought this would be a good time to update you about my tapering journey.

 

As shown in my signature, I am down to 0.46mg Lexapro per day and doing well overall.

 

I notice that as the dosage gets lower and lower, I tend to feel sad more easily. However, I am not overly concerned as I chose to use coping skills instead of relying on medications. Some setbacks and adversity are expected; it will take some time for me to adjust to the new "normal".

 

I am also more comfortable to verbalize my internal experiences with families or friends. For example, if I feel sad about something that people usually don't feel sad about, I would describe my subjective feeling. I may say things to my families like :"After you said that, I start to worry if I'm able to live up to that expectation, and when I worry too much, my chest gets tight and my body aches, I also feel a little blue. I realize that I have a tendency to feel that way recently, it's possibly related to the lowered dose of my meds. I'm taking time to cope, and I hope you can understand." My families and friends are very understanding and supportive. 

 

Covid-19 has been a huge unexpected stressor as well. As this novel virus attacks all aspects of life from health to economy, my default "go-to" mode is anxiety or sadness; With that being said, my brain does not naturally take the "I'm so grateful" route, especially in challenging times. I learned that practicing gratitude, even just forcing myself to think about what I already have, (versus, what I don't have) is helpful. 

 

We will get through this together. Till next time, take care 💗

 

 

Lexapro 20mg: 2010-2017 (I was doing fine for those years)

PCP recommended tapering in June 2017

Tapering instructed by PCP:

  • 20mg & 10mg every other day: 6/2017-12/2017, No sx
  • 10mg: 12/2017-2/2018, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 
  • Restated 15mg: 2/2018-7/12/2018, No Sx

Self Tapering:

---------digital scale weighing method below-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2018

  • 15mg & 12.5mg every other day:7/12- 8/8, No sx
  • 12.5mg : 8/9- 8/28: palpitation, brain fog, diarrhea, dreams, obsessive thought. Subsided on 8/29.
  • 11.2mg: 9/14 -10/12: mild sx. Subsided by 9/27/2018.
  • 10.2mg: 10/13 - 11/7: lethargy, mild shoulder pain. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 9.2mg: 11/7- 12/10: no sx

2019

  • 8.4mg: 12/11/18- 1/7/19: mild sx. Subsided in 3 days.
  • 7.3mg: 1/8-1/26/: no sx
  • 6.6mg: 1/27-2/25: pain, palpitation, anxiety. Subsided in 1 wk.
  • 5.67mg(15% cut): 2/26-3/26: dreams, pain, palpitation. Subsided in 2 wks.
  • 5mg: 3/26-4/25: no sx.
  • 4.1mg: 4/26-5/19: slight palpitation, gone by 5/8.
  • 3.4mg:5/20-6/23: no sx
  • 2.8mg:6/24-7/21: palpitation, anxiety and dreams. subsided after 2 wks.
  • 2.45mg:7/22-8/18: slight palpitation, down mood, gone by 1st week; diarrhea daily. subsided after 3 wks.
  • 2.1mg:8/19-9/18: slight palpitation, dreams, constipation. gone by 3rd wk.
  • 1.69mg: 9/19-10/16: slight WD sx.
  • 1.38mg: 10/17-11/18: anxiety, depression sx. gone by 4th week.
  • 1.17mg: 11/19-12/16: 2nd week-somatic pain, anxiety, diarrhea, better by 3rd wk.

2020 (new year yay!)

  • 0.92mg: 12/17/2019-1/26/2020: holding, has been 6 wks: somatic pain, down mood, dream, some diarrhea.
  • 0.76mg: 1/27-3/1: somatic pain, palpitation in first 2 wks, diarrhea in 3rd wk, gone by 4th week.
  • 0.65mg: 3/2-3/28: I did not track sx
  • 0.55mg: 3/29-5/5: I did not track sx
  • 0.46mg:5/6-6/3: overall mood is a little low, sad and pessimistic sometimes, sensitive towards stress. stabilized after 4wks.
  •  0.38mg: 6/4-7/19: depressed mood, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.31mg:7/20-8/23:depressed mood initially, sensitive towards loud sound, improved after 1 month
  • 0.23mg: 8/24-10/4: depressed, somatic pain, less , social, easily cry, low motivation. got better after almost 2 months!

--------- Homemade liquid solution below------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • 0.15mg :10/5-11/5: pain in shoulder, depressed, gone after 1st week.
  • 0.13mg:11/6/20- now: no sx. doing well
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  • Moderator
ChessieCat

Hi Bella,

 

Thank you for continuing to update us.

 

Because you have started noticing a change in you mood it might be worth holding for 2 to 3 months.  It might be caused by the covid-19 situation, tapering a bit too quickly or a combination of both.  You've gone from 0.92mg to 0.46mg in 5 months.  I've calculated that if you had tapered by 10% over that time then you would be down to 0.54mg.

 

Many members find that as their dose gets lower they need to slow down, reducing by less and/or holding for longer.  This helps to explain why:  why-taper-sert-transporter-occupancy-studies-show-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration

 

I'm on the last leg of my taper too.  It's very exciting to be so close to the end.  Even though it seems crazy being on such a low dose (1mg, started at 100mg Pristiq) I've decided that I've put in too much effort and a lot of money to get this far that it's not worth going too fast and tripping myself up right near the end.

 

Please continue to let us know how you are.

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs:  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 Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

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

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to BellaC: tapering Lexapro / escitalopram

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