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fleurdelice: Lexapro and Abilify withdrawal - excessive sweating


fleurdelice

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Hi everyone, I'm a 31 year old woman currently tapering off both Lexapro and Abilify and I'm dealing with some pretty unpleasant withdrawal symptoms so far. I can handle the mental fog and increased anxiety but the physical side effects of withdrawal- specifically heat intolerance and uncontrollable craniofacial sweating are really impacting my quality of life. I can't even do my hair and get dressed- let alone do my makeup- without my face and neck become drenched in sweat. I have also been experiencing insomnia and night sweats as well. It doesn't help that it's currently quite hot and humid where I live, but I have never experienced this before even when I was on my originally prescribed doses. Has anyone else experienced excessive sweating during withdrawal?

 

A bit more background: I was prescribed Lexapro 4½ years ago for anxiety and Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and was at one point taking 40 mg/day. I'm in a much better place than I was then and began slowly tapering off Lexapro roughly six months ago. I'm now down to 5mg/day as of a week and a half ago, and my ultimate goal is to discontinue this medication completely. I was also prescribed Abilify (5mg/day) as an adjunct about three years ago. I'm now completely off Abilify as of two weeks ago.

 

After doing some research, I purchased the following supplements last night to help me cope with current and future withdrawal symptoms:

  • Schisandra: I read that this berry can reduce excessive sweating and alleviate symptoms of menopause (which I may as well be going through with the constant hot flashes and night sweats) but couldn't find any anecdotes of people using it for SSRI side effects or withdrawal. I plan to take this in the evening before bed.

  • Melatonin: I plan to take this before bed to help combat withdrawal-induced insomnia.

  • Magnesium Oxide: I read that this is good for adrenal health and anxiety reduction. I plan to take this in the morning.

  • Fish Oil: I'm terrified of the dreaded "brain zaps" and I read that this can help prevent/reduce them. Omega-3s are also great for brain health and I'm hoping it will help me recover from withdrawal quicker.

  • L-Tyrosine: I'm hoping this will help my dopamine levels recover after years on Abilify, as well as combat withdrawal-related fatigue. I plan to take this in the morning.

  • Vitamin B Complex: I'm hoping this will help boost my energy. I'm also likely deficient in B12 after years as a vegetarian (yes, I know the fish oil listed above is not vegetarian but I'll take whatever helps at this point). I plan to take this in the morning.

  • 5-HTP: I used to take this back in college to help my serotonin levels recover after a night on MDMA, and I'm hoping it will do the same after years on Lexapro. I'm aware of the dangers of serotonin syndrome and don't plan to add this to my regimen until I'm completely off of Lexapro.

Thoughts on this regimen? Anything else I should add? I recently lost my health insurance coverage and am relying on my own research and the expertise of others, so any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

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  • Moderator

Hello, fleurdelice, and welcome to SA.

 

To start, could you please do a drug signature?  This drug history is very helpful to the moderators.  Here's how:  

Please include the dates of your taper and the rate at which you tapered.
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements because our nervous systems in withdrawal are so sensitized.  Two on your list we do recommend are omega fish oil and magnesium.
Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
While it is often a first response to stress to take a B-Complex, in withdrawal it can be overstimulating.
 
It's best to start Melatonin at a very low dosage, such as .25mg, and gradually increase if needed to the lowest effective dose.
 
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.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.  
 
 
 
Since you just finished your Abilify taper and are also suffering these withdrawal symptoms, I would consider holding where you are on the Lexapro for at least a couple of months to let your system stabilize.  At the low doses, such as 5mg, it is especially important to taper slowly.
 
To help you understand the symptoms you are experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal.  
 
 
Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.  Sweats is one of the withdrawal symptoms listed.
 

 

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. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 

This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.  I hope you’ll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.
 
 
 
 
 

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.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8 and shift to Imipramine taper

Taper is 74% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, 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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Hi Fleurdilice

 

I continue to experience excessive sweating during withdrawal.  It started when I first got off of my second drug Remeron.  The sweat poured off of me at night for a week.  

 

Now I continued to have excessive sweating, mainly at night though sometimes during the day it seems to have started back as I got to

 lower doses of my last med to taper.  I keep framing it as my body trying to heal and regulate itself. 

 

I get how uncomfortable it is.  I'm older than you and post menopausal but I posted a similar question about hot flashes and sweating to men on this site and got some responses that men were experiencing it to.  

 Sept 2013-Apr 2014:  After death of my mom put on as series of meds. Zoloft 6 days, Lexapro1 day, Nortriptyline 10 days, Liquid Prozac 1 week, Cymbalta 1 week.

Got off Clonzapam: 1/2014-9/2014. After given Lamictal, stopped Clonzapam at .125mgs

Completed Remeron taper: 41.25 -0.025mgs  1/2015-4 2017. 

Completed Lamictal Taper: 200mgs-0.05 mgs 7/ 2015-11/2018. 

Clonazapam  December 2018. 0.625 Had paradoxical reaction to Lamictal wd, broke my heart to take a benzo but wasn't sleeping and not thinking straight. 28 March, 2019  4% taper Total: .625mgai   26 May, 2019  4% taper Total: .575 mgai,   24 June, 2019 2.5 % taper  10 Clonzapam tablets weigh1.999 mgpw  Average  200 mgpw.  0.0073mgai 9AM, 0.0073mgai 3PM, .415mgai, Total: 561mgai,  10 July, 2019 (Compounded pills) .0073mgai 9AM,.0073mgai 3PM, .415mgai,

Total .561mgai   26 August, 2019 (Back to regular pills due to bad reaction) .0078mgai 9AM, .01075mgai 3PM, .360mgai PM, Total: .545mgai   26 Sept. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM, .1mgai 3PM, 0.350mgai PM: Total: .5275mgai   31 Oct, 2019 .0750mgai 9AM, .0925mgai 3PM, 0.340mgai 930PM, Total: .5075mgai,   30 Nov. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM, .0825mgai 3PM, .3325mgai 9:30PM, Total:.490mgai   31 Dec. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM,  .080mgai 3PM, .3225mgai 9:30PM,  Total: .4775mgai   31 Jan. 2020 .0725mgai 9AM, .0750mgai 3pm, .315mgai 9:30PM, Total: .4625mgai    29 Feb. 2020  .0675mgai 9AM, .0675 3PM, .305 mgai 9PM Total: .440mgai 31 March 2020 .065mgai 9AM,  .065mgai 3PM, .2925mgai 10PM, Total: 4225mgai  30 April 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625mgai 3PM, .2775mgai 10PM  Total: .4025mgai 31 May 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625 mgai 3PM, .2526 mgai 10PM, Total: .3775mgai  30 June 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625mgai 3PM  .2175 mgai 10PM Total .3425mgai.   31 July 2020 .0575 mgai 9AM .0550 mgai 3PM .180mgai 10PM Total .2925mgai  31 August 2020 .0475mgai 9AM, 0.045mgai 3PM, .01475mgai 10PM Total: .2375mgai  30 September 2020 0.0375mgai 9AM 0.035mgai 3PM 0.110mgai 10PM  Total: .1825mgai 31 October 2020 .0325mgai 9AM .0350mgai 3PM  .0725mgai 9PM

Total: .14mgai  30 Nov. 2020 .03mgai 9AM  .0276mgai 3PM 0.450mgai 9PM Total: .1025mgai 31 Dec. 2020 .02mgai 9AM .02mgai 3PM .02mgai 9PM Total: .06mgai  5 February, 2021 .0150mgai Stepped off of Clonzapam, Benzo Free

 

Additional Support:  Armour Thyroid 75mgs,  Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Magnesium Glycinate

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to fleurdelice: Lexapro and Abilify withdrawal - excessive sweating

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