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stulex: Lexapro withdrawal


stulex

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Hello, 

I have been lurking around this site for months now and want to thank everybody here . It really is a supportive community and as helped me through my tough times and continues to do so. I have tried to think about what to write in this post may times as it seems there is so many things/experiences/ incites that I would want to share during my road off Lexapro.  

 

I was prescribed Lexapro 10mg about 10 or 11 years ago after getting depressed at University. Looking back at it now it was loneliness, shyness and social anxiety that where causing my issues.  One day after spending most of my final year in bed, not attending lectures I realized I needed help. Went back home and saw doctor. 

 

Fast forward 10 years my drug pooped out ( a horrible experience) so a started on what was a very fast taper. I had no idea at that point what I was doing and just started by skipping doses and doing huge cuts. Around mid August 2018 I started by a reducing on alternative days. I don't remember the exact dosing but it went something like taking 10 for 6 days, 7.5 one day, then 10 for 5 days, 7.5 for 2 days per week. Then when at 7.5 start again with 7.5 and 5 mg. I realize now that this is completely the wrong way of doing things.

 

This process has cased havoc for me at although I have been lucky enough to keep my job from working online from home, I have been crying, raging, depressed and have had some of the worst anxiety in my life . The first few months of withdrawal were hell, with everything from fatigue, crying, nerve pain, bring skin, pins and needles all over body and eyes as well  becoming more Isolated socially, insomnia etc. I somehow just toughed it out. It was the hardest thing I have done in my life I have not been in so much emotional   and physical pain. ( However after a traffic accident this I was involved in 2 years ago I did have some pain scale to use. Ie comparing withdrawal pains to the pain of my accident which was.

 

So now I'm here at about 9.5 months off my last dose and things do seem to be better in some respects and still very difficult. Physically my symptoms come and go although I do still get very fatigued,  have some burning in the feet and legs and pins and needles now and again. My biggest hurdle at the moment in the nano emotions ( which I learnt about  using this site), regrets and anxieties about the past and the future.   

My actual life its self has changed as well as I decided to move back home to live with my parents in the UK. I am a 32 year old male and have spent the last 8 years living in Thailand. So there are a few things there that would be difficult for most to handle. Yes living back at home is harder than expected, I dont have huge amounts of friends here anymore and just being back here is strange to me . There is a lot more to this than oh withdrawal oh lets go home, it might seem that way and to some extent it was but there were other factors involved. I still work online which I good and I think its good that I can still work through this, however i'm very aware of the fact that at some point soon I will need to move forward.

Sorry if that's a ramble but thats it.  One last thing that I have noticed is my body has changed and healed a lot which always gives me hope. I have become more masculine, muscular and just appear more like my actual age rather than the a immature boy.  

 

I just wanted to share my story and join this community.

Much love... 

  

2007 - Started 10mg lexapro after depressive episode. Have remained consistently at this dose bar some cold turkey attempts in which I reinstated to 10mg after a few weeks. I don't have specific details of these attempts but I tried twice I believe over the years.    

Aug 2017 -  Lexapro pooped out so started taper of dose skipping method. Reduced 10mg to 7.5, 5mg, 2.5, 0. Alternate days at the lower dose until was at the lower dose for the 7 days, then repeated. 

1st December 2017 - Last dose of Lex

Mid Dec started on 400mg 5HTP .. Own doing based on internet research

Jan 2018 - Started to reduce 5HTP ( Cannot remember method/strategy really)

April 2018 off 5HTP

Currently taking omega 3

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to stulex: Lexapro withdrawal
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi stulex and welcome aboard,

 

And thank you for completing a signature. 

I'll just include a few links for you  for now, and get you started.

This will be your introduction page, and now acts as an introduction to the community.   It's also a good place to update and keep a record of your journey, and to ask questions specific to your situation. 

 

I see that you note that some things(symptoms seem better) and others worse. 
Dr Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist

Why taper by 10% of my dosage*

 

When did you first notice W/D(withdrawal) symptoms? 

 

No doubt that your nervous system is struggling a bit now to get back some more stability.   It can take some time.  Dose skipping and alternating dosages often plays a bit of havoc on a sensitive nervous system as well.

 

I don't know how much that you have already read here, so I will include a few more areas, that should help your growing understanding of what is going on now.


What is withdrawal syndrome

One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

Brain remodeling

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug. 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.  

 

17 hours ago, stulex said:

My biggest hurdle at the moment in the nano emotions

 

I'm guessing that you might be referring to neuroemotions here ^  B)

 

I think that many here can relate.  We have a lot of topics in our symptoms and self care section that deal with non-drug coping.  I'll include a few more links to topics there.
Dealing with emotional spirals

non-drug techniques to deal with emotional symptoms

the first post ^ has a whole indexed list and links to more

The Dr. Claire Weekes Method of recovering from a sensitized nervous system

 

That's great that you have already tried some omega 3's, as well as tapered off the 5HTP.

Omega 3, fatty acids( fish oil)

The other basic supplement that you might consider is Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

What kind of symptoms, or relief did you get from the 5HTP?  Did it help at all?  How did you taper off of it.....if you can remember.

It's certainly not uncommon to have sensitivities to other substances while in W/D. 

Here's our 5- HTP topic

There are several pages to this ^ topic and we don't recommend 5-HTP.  You could certainly add your experiences to that topic, if you'd like someday.

 

To find topics here, you can do a search on your own as well using your main browser.  Just type in survivingantidepressants.org followed by the topic of interest.

 

Welcome again.  You don't have to read all those links right now either.  It sounds like you may have read quite a bit already.  Good to have them referenced for you in one place.  Please feel free to share your experiences and insights here as well.

Please let us know if you have any questions, and feel free to visit and support other members, as you might feel comfortable doing so. 

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

 

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

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!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

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

 

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  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi again stulex,

And congratulations as well.........on being off the Lexapro now for 9.5 months!

I'm a survivor of that one too.

 

L, P, H, G,

mmt

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

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!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

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

 

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Hi manymoretodays,

Thank you for a warm welcome here and the information that you have provided me with. I will check all that out soon enough and will check back in. In answer to your questions my symptoms started about 3 weeks into tapering. Initially it started with flu type symptoms then continued to progress into everything else I have mentioned. I stupidly or naively continued my fast tapering. 

Regarding the 5htp I think it did help me out in some ways allowing me to function and relieve some of the brain zaps and body jolts but do think it started to increase anxiety levels and cause pins and needles and burning sensations. I think I tapered at a rate of 50mg a week over a month, but don't remember the details to much as it was such a hard time. It might have just been masking lexapro withdrawal a bit at the time I was struggling with anger outbursts and I figured it could be a way to at least remain civil with friends etc.

 

Anyways as I'm on my phone now which I know is not recommended I will leave it as that and come back later..

 

Thanks again and congratulations to you too I will be sure to read your story .. lexapro is a beast.. 

Something that I have just now come to realise

2007 - Started 10mg lexapro after depressive episode. Have remained consistently at this dose bar some cold turkey attempts in which I reinstated to 10mg after a few weeks. I don't have specific details of these attempts but I tried twice I believe over the years.    

Aug 2017 -  Lexapro pooped out so started taper of dose skipping method. Reduced 10mg to 7.5, 5mg, 2.5, 0. Alternate days at the lower dose until was at the lower dose for the 7 days, then repeated. 

1st December 2017 - Last dose of Lex

Mid Dec started on 400mg 5HTP .. Own doing based on internet research

Jan 2018 - Started to reduce 5HTP ( Cannot remember method/strategy really)

April 2018 off 5HTP

Currently taking omega 3

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

So  I figured I would update not entirely sure what I want from this post but I'm in a bit of a wave at the moment after a kinda quiet week or so. I have come down with a cold that is taking a while to shift so don't know is this is adding to my symptoms but today especially anger/rage, tingles, leg pain and burning are back and one thing that I did not mention before is burning mouth and throat which comes and goes. 

 

I'm struggling a bit with being at home again living with my parents ( I had moved back after living abroad for years ) its hard living with others again after so long bit also not having the friends that I once had around as they have mostly moved on. Working from home is good in terms of having waves and bad days as I can be easy on myself but also the thing that is worrying me the most is how the future is going to look because I feel stuck. Thanks to this website which I'm truly grateful for I understand that its just withdrawal and I will get through it, it will just take time. I guess I should look back at month 2-3 where my only hope was trying to make it through the day, now its not that bad but life does seem a bit stagnant at the moment.  Maybe my hopes of building a new life needs energy I don't feel I have at the moment.

 

I'm looking at maybe some massage, Reiki and potentially acupuncture just for general relaxation and help the neverous system. Im also possibly thinking of some counseling or therapy just so I can openly talk to someone ( but I do wander if they will understand. Ie not expecting them to understand or know about withdrawal but just for the emotional support). My parents have been great and I have discussed various aspects of my withdrawal with them but some privacy could be nice too.


I'm normally an active guy at at the gym alot ( withdrawal  symptom dependent) but have not been for a while so maybe I can kick this cold and get at least some exercise.

One last bit is I realize  that im coming up to 10 months now which could be a big wave???

 

All the best 

 

 

2007 - Started 10mg lexapro after depressive episode. Have remained consistently at this dose bar some cold turkey attempts in which I reinstated to 10mg after a few weeks. I don't have specific details of these attempts but I tried twice I believe over the years.    

Aug 2017 -  Lexapro pooped out so started taper of dose skipping method. Reduced 10mg to 7.5, 5mg, 2.5, 0. Alternate days at the lower dose until was at the lower dose for the 7 days, then repeated. 

1st December 2017 - Last dose of Lex

Mid Dec started on 400mg 5HTP .. Own doing based on internet research

Jan 2018 - Started to reduce 5HTP ( Cannot remember method/strategy really)

April 2018 off 5HTP

Currently taking omega 3

Link to post

So today I'm waving a hard wave is the only thing I can say. I had really  bad anxiety which has esculated into panic with all the burning, tingling and agitation associated with it. I was really hoping that I would be passed these symptoms by now as I have not had anything this serve for months now. Seems a lot worse than my last post a week ago I think. I guess just try and get through it. Must be the 10 month wave or at least that is how I'm trying to rationalise it. No sure what else I can do really....

2007 - Started 10mg lexapro after depressive episode. Have remained consistently at this dose bar some cold turkey attempts in which I reinstated to 10mg after a few weeks. I don't have specific details of these attempts but I tried twice I believe over the years.    

Aug 2017 -  Lexapro pooped out so started taper of dose skipping method. Reduced 10mg to 7.5, 5mg, 2.5, 0. Alternate days at the lower dose until was at the lower dose for the 7 days, then repeated. 

1st December 2017 - Last dose of Lex

Mid Dec started on 400mg 5HTP .. Own doing based on internet research

Jan 2018 - Started to reduce 5HTP ( Cannot remember method/strategy really)

April 2018 off 5HTP

Currently taking omega 3

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

 

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

 

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

Current from 9 Jan 2021:  Pristiq 0.405 mg

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

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

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

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Hi Stulex,

 

Welcome to SA.  

 

I was compelled to say hello as we have similar lexapro experience.  I started in 2008 for panic attacks and it also stopped working for me.  I did try other medications in between without much relief.  

 

I think you are doing great.  I would continue to remind yourself that what you are experiencing is temporary and this is not how life will be.  It feels like you are stuck and symptomatic, but it is not permanent and things will get better.  I also struggle with fatigue BADLY and I do recall feeling stuck and lethargic in the beginning and pretty scared too, I am in my early 30s and this is life?  It was so hard to accept.  But with time some symptoms lift, some return, and even new ones can appear, it is all not linear whatsoever.  Best thing you can do is eat healthy, make sure you sleep enough, the fact that you are working is great, it is a good distraction from WD and symptoms.  Time is a big one in this whole process and so is acceptance.  Continue to do the best you can and move forward.  

 

Best,

B

04/10 Luvox 25 mg PM, Nortriptyline 1 mg PM

03/08/19: Buspar 2.5 mg AM, 5 mg PM

01/01/19: Xanax 0.125 AM 5 times a week. Occasionally, 0.125 twice a day AM & noon

12/18 Armour Thyroid 60 mg (for hypothyroidism) 

 

Supplements: B Complex, B12 (adeno), multi-vitamin, D, Adrenal Cortex, iron

  • Lexapro 20 mg 2007 - 2013 with various attempts to stop
  • 2013 found a new Dr and started trying other meds: Prozac, Notryptoline, Effexor, Buspar, Gabapentin, Paxil, Nardil
  • Lexapro 15 mg 2015 - 04/2016
  • Vibryiid 10 - 15mg 05/16-06/16 
  • NO MEDS 07/16 - 10/31/16
  • Reinstated 10/31/16 at 2.5 mg lexapro, increased to 5 mg   
  • 1/13/17 switched to Luvox 50 mg before bed
  • 1/20/17 Luvox 37.5 mg PM
  • 12/18 Luvox 10 mg PM, Nortriptyline 2 mg (started Nortriptyline 06/17 at 10 mg)
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  • Moderator Emeritus
16 minutes ago, Blondiee1915 said:

But with time some symptoms lift, some return, and even new ones can appear, it is all not linear whatsoever. 

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

You might find these helpful:

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)
 

 

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

 

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

Current from 9 Jan 2021:  Pristiq 0.405 mg

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

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

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

Link to post

Blondiee, thank you for the kind words of encouragement and yes Im trying to work on acceptance but I think what you have said here is really something it is all not "linear whatsoever".  Maybe in my mind I was making improvements and this wave caught me off guard and quickly I wanted to call it the 10 month wave. 

Time and perception of time especially with waves is what i'm finding tricky. Sometimes I'm fully aware that this is not going to be a short ride and understand it and then at other times im just wanting to get this over and done with so I can move on. While 10 months seems along time at times on the whole scale of things I guess its really not. Less than a 10th of the time I was on Lexapro. Also it occurred to me that others here have been dealing with this kind of stuff for a lot longer than me so I wouldn't want to moan about it.  

Being early thirties sometimes I feel eager to get out there and start living again as I have started waking up to the fact that lexapro has dulled  the last decade of my life. Dont get me wrong it has not been all bad at all,  but various things and situations/actions might have been different without the drugs or at least the long term use, but I degrees and  its beautiful hindsight.  

Chessie, thank you for the links for withdrawal and Anxiety. I will be sure to check them out. 

Today im feeling a little better and not so anxious but last night was quite extreme and sleepless with brain/body  zaps, shivers nausea and burning sensations. I did however this morning I did manage to get up and go to the gym so that is progress and feel a bit better for it. 

All the best...

2007 - Started 10mg lexapro after depressive episode. Have remained consistently at this dose bar some cold turkey attempts in which I reinstated to 10mg after a few weeks. I don't have specific details of these attempts but I tried twice I believe over the years.    

Aug 2017 -  Lexapro pooped out so started taper of dose skipping method. Reduced 10mg to 7.5, 5mg, 2.5, 0. Alternate days at the lower dose until was at the lower dose for the 7 days, then repeated. 

1st December 2017 - Last dose of Lex

Mid Dec started on 400mg 5HTP .. Own doing based on internet research

Jan 2018 - Started to reduce 5HTP ( Cannot remember method/strategy really)

April 2018 off 5HTP

Currently taking omega 3

Link to post
  • 10 months later...

Hello All

 

I know that I have not exactly been an active member of this community but it has helped me out tremendously over the past couple of years so thank you to you all for sharing your support and stories. I have taken a lot from what I have read and it has given me the strength to carry on with what I'm now realizing was a was a stupid fast taper from my 10mg lexapro. There are a few things that Im still struggling with which I thought I would share.

 

I would say at the moment my major symptoms are a burning mouth which has been consistent since before I started tapering but it might be getting worse or maybe im just in a wave. Head  fog I have noticed comes and goes. I have noticed this in the mornings a tired feeling with a cloudy head almost like I could nod off. Its not sleepiness as  such as im sleeping well about 8+ hours per night which has been normal for me. I still also get burning sensations down my legs  at times. At the moment im feeling it more so than normal so it might be a wave a guess for the last few days.

 

The biggest challenge that I'm facing at the moment and I guess the reason for coming back here to vent is the feeling that im still stuck and I know the the reason why but its hard to explain to others who don't understand withdrawal is like. I'm in a transition phase of my life anyways as I have just moved back home to the UK from Thailand after 8 years doing various jobs mainly working online from home  and I started a 9-5 office job. My main though process here was that if I was in a normal working routine and social contact it would help distract me from my withdrawals and I could try to build up a new normal western life. While the job its self seems to be going alright, I dont seem to be enjoying anything at the moment and things that I used to enjoy ( keen interest  in music and the dance music scene, gym and exercise and socializing) just seem like a major effort. 

Its like im 33 years old, living at home with my parents and Im not doing anything constructive with my life. I moved back to a small village near a very average town and work in another small town about an hour away. Most things seem boring to me at the moment and I dont feel I have much energy needed to 'go out there'.

 

My parents have been understanding of what im going through but especially my mum always just looks for solutions when I discuss withdraw symptoms, rather then trying to understand where im coming from emotionally. Ie have just tried x or why dont you try y almost all of them being diet related. She is also trying to turn everything into a positive which as bad as it sounds is difficult for me. She quite regally says things like "oh that's great that must have made you feel good". I truly know she has the best intentions at hart but it almost feels like forced positivity which is going against the emptiness I'm feeling at the moment.

 

I'm just missing my enthusiasm that I once had for everything, I know my situation work/living is not permanent but I just feel drained/ stuck, even when not feeling in a wave of phyisical symptoms  im in a lull. I have no idea how to find the energy that I need to change my situation.

     

I know half of the is situational and half of it is withdrawal (18 months off after 10 years)  related but I just wanted to get it off my chest so to speak. I'm feeling lonely and angry and frustrated at myself. I'm getting anger outbursts too which have greatly reduced in frequency but I still have bouts ofscreaming and shouting.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I know its a bit wishy woshy

  

 

   

2007 - Started 10mg lexapro after depressive episode. Have remained consistently at this dose bar some cold turkey attempts in which I reinstated to 10mg after a few weeks. I don't have specific details of these attempts but I tried twice I believe over the years.    

Aug 2017 -  Lexapro pooped out so started taper of dose skipping method. Reduced 10mg to 7.5, 5mg, 2.5, 0. Alternate days at the lower dose until was at the lower dose for the 7 days, then repeated. 

1st December 2017 - Last dose of Lex

Mid Dec started on 400mg 5HTP .. Own doing based on internet research

Jan 2018 - Started to reduce 5HTP ( Cannot remember method/strategy really)

April 2018 off 5HTP

Currently taking omega 3

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
57 minutes ago, stulex said:

I'm in a transition phase of my life anyways as I have just moved back home to the UK from Thailand after 8 years doing various jobs mainly working online from home  and I started a 9-5 office job.

 

Moving, changing jobs etc are stressors.  You've also, I assume, moved back in with parents (that can be a huge stress), as well as changed from working at home to regular hours in an office, as well as commuting, as well as lost your social group.

 

When broken down, you have experienced/are experiencing many stressors (some quite big) in a short period of time.  Any one of these can make withdrawal symptoms worse.

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

 

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

Current from 9 Jan 2021:  Pristiq 0.405 mg

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

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

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

Link to post

Thanks for that ChessieCat. I had not really considered that as such. Well I knew that some of these changes would be difficult but I was thinking more about the positives of the move back ( most likely some kind of escapism) and how it would be helpful to me and my recovery but maybe I have underestimated the additional stresses. 

2007 - Started 10mg lexapro after depressive episode. Have remained consistently at this dose bar some cold turkey attempts in which I reinstated to 10mg after a few weeks. I don't have specific details of these attempts but I tried twice I believe over the years.    

Aug 2017 -  Lexapro pooped out so started taper of dose skipping method. Reduced 10mg to 7.5, 5mg, 2.5, 0. Alternate days at the lower dose until was at the lower dose for the 7 days, then repeated. 

1st December 2017 - Last dose of Lex

Mid Dec started on 400mg 5HTP .. Own doing based on internet research

Jan 2018 - Started to reduce 5HTP ( Cannot remember method/strategy really)

April 2018 off 5HTP

Currently taking omega 3

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