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amshizzle: Lexapro withdrawal - need advice/support


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I had access to university doctors while enrolled in school and with a few months before I graduated, I decided to visit the psychiatrist. I’ve struggled with anxiety since I was 12 and was now experiencing worsening depression. May 31st I was placed on 50 mg of Zoloft. After about 2/2.5weeks my anxiety was worse due to the caffeine boost the medicine gave me. I was switched to Lexapro mid/end of June. I started at 10 mg and was quickly upped to 20 mg with only three days transition (3 days 15, then 20). I think the Psychiatrist rushed me on my medicine because I only had a few months until graduation and I would no longer be able to see her.


While At a concert on August 4th, I passed out and my whole body felt like it was on fire. The medics at the venue assumed that I had heatstroke and sent me home. Unfortunately, two days later, I was in the hospital for the same brings in sensations despite not being outside. After testing, phone calls to poison control, they assumed it was my Lexapro. Two days later I was in the hospital again and all my major organs were functioning properly. The doctor suggested I stay off the medicine. When the psychiatrist was consulted with, she only told me to push through it and did not offer support, a new medicine, or help with withdrawal.

I unfortunately went cold turkey.


Lexapro withdrawal has been absolutely brutal. I am currently on week five. I really came to this forum for support, positive words, and speak with others who survived this withdrawal and are functioning better. The last two weeks have been much better for me but today I woke up feeling like I did when this whole venture started.


I’ve had almost all the side effects associated with Lexapro but the worst have been anxiety 10 times beyond what I’ve ever experience, strangulation feeling around my throat, pressure in my head and face, and numbness in my lips. I even went to the doctor thinking I had a UTI/bladder/kidney infection, turns out the symptoms of these infections are also a side effect of Lexapro.


I’m Five weeks in and I’m feeling really, really defeated! I really thought that after a month I would be stronger. I know I am better than where I was but I am nowhere back to normal. I am fortunate enough to not be working right now but I finished my degree and I need to find a job.


I was only on SSRIs for 9 weeks, Lexapro for only 6.5 weeks. I know it has a long half life but still.....


How long Did it take you to recover from SSRI withdrawal? Any thing that you did that made the symptoms better? 


I’m so sorry for this long post!! I guess I just needed to unload some!


Edited by ChessieCat
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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Lexapro withdrawal brutal
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Welcome, Am.


It's too bad your doctors kept you on SSRIs despite your adverse reactions. Some people simply do not get along with the drugs.


It seems you were sensitive to 50mg Zoloft, that was too strong for you. MIlligram for milligram, Lexapro is several times stronger than Zoloft, so that was a poor choice of drug, too, especially in escalating the dosage.


The half-life of the drug is not that important. While you were taking it, your nervous system accommodated somewhat to it, that's where the withdrawal symptoms come from.

If I were you, I'd assume my nervous system is in a hypersensitive state. Reinstating a tiny amount of SSRI, such as 0.5mg Zoloft might reduce the withdrawal symptoms. Do you have any Zoloft or Lexapro left?


Other than that, you need to shield your nervous system from various kinds of stimulation or stress. Are you light-sensitive? How's your sleep?


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

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