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mdwstrx: Lexapro / escitalopram taper or not?

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mdwstrx

Hello mods

 

I'm starting to be a little concerned about my 10% taper.  It's only the second month into the BrassMonkey slide after a 4 month crash back in November.  Today is day 8 of a scheduled 14-day hold.  Haven't been feeling so well the past couple of days.  Today is the worst yet.  Should I continue to hold hoping the un-comfortableness abates?

 

 

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apace41
6 minutes ago, mdwstrx said:

Hello mods

 

I'm starting to be a little concerned about my 10% taper.  It's only the second month into the BrassMonkey slide after a 4 month crash back in November.  Today is day 8 of a scheduled 14-day hold.  Haven't been feeling so well the past couple of days.  Today is the worst yet.  Should I continue to hold hoping the un-comfortableness abates?

 

I would, mdwstrx.  If you were stable before the last cut there is good reason to believe you will return to stability in relatively short order.  If you cut into heavy symptoms you may well find yourself chasing stability all the way down and never feel right.  You may find that once you stabilize you need to back off of the 10% taper and try something smaller for a while and see how you do.  Like many of us, you are a multi-decade situation and many of us find that 10% is too much even when spread out over the BrassMonkey Slide.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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mdwstrx

Thanks Andy for the quick reply!

Could these current symptoms grow into another crash by just holding?😨

My last cut was a little rocky. (see below)  Felt uncomfortable a day before and Gridley advised to hold for 3-4 days. 

I held two days and felt much better so proceeded to cut.  Hopefully, that meets your def of stable?

 

5/1/2019 5.900 3.28%
5/8/2019 5.750 2.54%
5/15/2019 5.600 2.61%
5/24/2019 5.500 1.79%
  mo total 10.22%

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apace41
7 minutes ago, mdwstrx said:

Could these current symptoms grow into another crash by just holding?

 

I never say never with regard to tapering and withdrawal because I've seen some bizarre stuff happen, HOWEVER, it is highly unlikely that you would see a relatively small and careful cut turn into a real crash that extends for some time.  You could feel crappy for a little while but I'd be very surprised to see it be more than that so long as the problem is not compounded by trying a new supplement or something along those lines.

 

As usual, Gridley gave you good advice and if you were feeling much better then it was probably appropriate to try your next reduction at that point.  Everyone has a different definition of "stable" so I wouldn't get caught up on semantics, but suffice it to say you seem careful about and sensitive to how you are feeling so if you felt "up to" a cut don't second-guess having made it.  The fact that you are feeling "more" unstable in the face of this reduction does, however, suggest to me that you (i) reduce the taper amount, (ii) increase the hold times or (iii) both.  People tend to get caught up in the calendar approach to tapering and make mistakes pushing themselves when their bodies simply aren't ready.  You seem to be in a pretty good groove where you are pretty stable in between reductions (or have been until recently).  The goal should be to try to get back to that if we can.

 

Take is slow and you should be fine.

 

Best,

 

Andy

 

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Tom37

Hi Md,

 

Please definitely hold. Wait till your nice and stable and then after holding at that point then resume. Drops are all cumulative so they all add up until the body can’t take anymore and then it crashes. Then it’s anywhere from a few months to a few years before stabilty is reached. Time is your best friend.

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mdwstrx

Many thanks again Andy.  Gridley has given me good advice on several occasions.  Very thankful for all of you mods!  Until I get comfortable having some tapering experience behind me, I'm probably will need to have my hand held a few more times. :) Before the Nov. crash, tapering was much less eventful.

 

Slow and steady then is the course.  I'll see if I feel better by next Friday's scheduled cut and maybe check back in.  Not sure of my best course if things are better.  

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mdwstrx

Hi Tom.

I'm definitely holding course right now!  Actually, wondered if mods might suggest up-dosing.

I'm glad they didn't.  Holding is hard but going backwards is moreso.  Of course, crashing is nightmarish! 

What a fine tight rope we must walk to get to the other side. 

I'll pop over to your thread to see how you're doing. Hopefully you're feeling much better. 🙂

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Tom37

I don’t think your at the point of updosing either and I’m sure things will settle down soon.

 

Yip a tight rope alright! Even when your feeling good you never quite know how the body is going to respond to the next drop. It’s all about minimising the risk I guess.

 

Take care.

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Frogie

Hi mdwstrx:

 

I hope you are feeling better.

 

You are very smart to do what the mods suggest. I remember being very nauseous when coming off the lexapro, but it does get better. I’m 2 months off and doing well.

 

Just hold until you feel stable. I made lots of mistakes and once I started listening, it went much better.

 

I wish you tons of luck!

 

Keep us posted how you are doing.

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

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mdwstrx

Hi Frogie,

 

Your note is so appreciated!  Frankly I'm scared.  Came home from an all day family outing where I felt that terrible inner restlessness all day along with other unpleasant symptoms of being on edge.  Had to keep deep breathing since I had that anxious feeling was where you just want to say out loud, "I don't feel well" but you have to keep it inside and act like all is ok.  Also been having night wakings with mega hot flushing and just really flighty mentally.  


It's day 10 since the last cut and I'm also really concerned about akathisia returning.  I live alone so it's beyond scary when you feel less than fully self-sufficient.  I have friends and family but they of course have their own lives.  I know no one can say when this will subside but I haven't a clue as to what to expect.  I feel right now that this could be forever so I'm not the best of company right now.  Can you tell.  lol.  Surely this can't progress into months of distress; can it?  It also scares me to think I can't taper and may be stuck on this forever. 😳  I'm grateful to hear any stories about someone having these symptoms that abate rather quickly after a 10% taper. 

 

On a much more positive note, I am sooooo happy things are going well for you!!  You are another brave soul who has shown there is an exit to this awful predicament; a pioneer of sorts for us long timers.  I marvel at how you are handling all of the stress of moving.  I can appreciate it sort of since I'm contemplating downsizing now that I'm an empty nester.  

 

I will continue watching your progress and wishing you great success for your xanax taper!   Will check in with you occasionally.  Until then, stay strong and best of luck in all the moving!

 

 

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Tom37

Hey MD,

 

Sorry to hear that your symptoms haven’t eased as yet. For what it’s worth when I was tapering before crashing some symptoms would take weeks to settle down. At the time they were quite manageable and didn’t have the experience of full blown wd so didn’t have the fear that they wouldn’t go away. I’m sure they will settle down but it could be time for a good hold of a few months to really let that nervous system settle down after your RI. 

 

I think a lot of us who have gone into wd will always be more at risk of wd symptoms in future tapering as takes a long time for the cns to really settle down, even if you don’t have symptoms.

 

 

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mdwstrx

Hi Tom.  You're always so encouraging and it helps beyond words to know that someone else understands.  I know before, I cut 50% and had no real issues tapering down to 2.5 mg  with several month holds when Dr. said stop.  Doesn't look like i"m so fortunate this time.  I think I may be feeling a bit better today.  Though was cranky during my work out and left early.  Hoping it's beginning to ease some. We shall see.  Then not sure what to do.  Afraid to taper again. 

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mdwstrx

Hello Mods. 

On 5/31/2019 at 1:23 PM, apace41 said:

  If you were stable before the last cut there is good reason to believe you will return to stability in relatively short order.

Wondering what relatively short order is.  Should I start to get concerned I've crashed again?

Feeling edgy, breathless and agitated with no real let up in site.  Its been almost two weeks since last cut. I'm not housebound but very difficult to focus as I get mild waves of panic, fear, doom.  That said, it's not a window/wave situation.  Just feel continually on edge with various other symptoms.

 

The BM slide is so new to me I don't know what to expect.  Now I'm paranoid of cutting again in future once stable again. Any experienced 'sliders' out there that could give me reassurance that this will clear sooner than later?

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Leo1983

Hi

 

Sorry to hear your feeling worse.

 

I dont think you get off these drugs with none of what you desribe symptom wise? 

 

I think alot of posts no matter if tapering, fast taper, CT or watever has no issues at all. 

 

I just think its a part of the whole process and at some point the body gets its back together again.

 

I can relate to all your symptoms. 

 

I hope it settles soon and its just withdrawal acting up. 

 

Deep breath.

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Tom37

Sorry it’s still troubling you. 

 

Dont know if this applies to everyone who has crashed but when I did the symptom change was huge and fast. It wasn’t just a increase of current or previous symptoms but something much worse.

 

I sure you will be ok but you just need to give it some time to settle down. Just remember your body was able to settle after your RI so it will do so again.

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mdwstrx

Hi Alto or BrassMonkey,

Could use some advice.  I am feeling pretty crummy after completing the May 10.22% Brassmonkey slide.  Its been two weeks since the 4th drop,  Symptoms ramped up by day 4 of drop and have persisted since.   I am holding and intend to for some time.  Since I don't yet have a good feel for this slide method, I'm wondering how long this might last.  On a scale of 1-5 (5 being total crash) these are around 3.5.  It's bad enough that I'm semi-functional (not nearly as bad as some on here) but problematic all the same. Another question is why did this occur with a carefully planned and executed drop?

Thank you.

 

@Tom37 Hi Tom.  Before, when I crashed, I went for a month, it seems, feeling numb.  Then the symptoms ramped up; followed by waves and windows for months.  None of that here.  Just feeling consistently crummy - both physical and mental.  Thanks for your last point though.  You're right of course, that it will settle BUT... how long will it take this time?

Thanks for your post.  Hope you are doing better. 💜

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apace41
1 minute ago, mdwstrx said:

Could use some advice.  I am feeling pretty crummy after completing the May 10.22% Brassmonkey slide.  Its been two weeks since the 4th drop,  Symptoms ramped up by day 4 of drop and have persisted since.   I am holding and intend to for some time.  Since I don't yet have a good feel for this slide method, I'm wondering how long this might last.  On a scale of 1-5 (5 being total crash) these are around 3.5.  It's bad enough that I'm semi-functional (not nearly as bad as some on here) but problematic all the same. Another question is why did this occur with a carefully planned and executed drop?

 

The unfortunate answer, mdwstrx, is that while we would love for tapering psych meds to be a science, it is far more an art and has far more randomness to it then we would like to believe.  The number of factors that go into "how you are feeling" are astronomical and include, how you sleep, how much stress you are under, what you ate, whether you exercised, your caffeine intake, your genetics, and on and on.  As great as Alto and other mods are nobody can tell you for sure how long this will take to resolve.  My best guess, since you were pretty stable not so long ago and you didn't do anything radical, is that you should start to see some improvements in the next week to 10 days, but that is merely a guess and a hope -- there is no science behind it.  We base our recommendations and protocols based on what we've seen with a large group of other members and so there is at least a theoretical basis, but each of us is their own patient group -- an N of 1 -- and what happens for others in the group may or may not apply to you.

 

As for why this happened, the same uncertainties exist.  There are countless stories (mine included) where people did "the right thing" and still wind up feeling like crap.  Is that because some people have the meds bind more tightly to their receptors, or have more or less neuroplasticity?  Nobody can really say.  All of the factors mentioned above come into play and could affect any individual as they taper.  

 

Given all of that, based on the experience that we have seen over the years, nothing you did was "crazy" and would likely result in a crash.  Our best advice here would be to continue to hold for now and reevaluate on a regular basis.  It is not likely that a well-planned and well-executed taper will result in a long-term crash, but nobody can provide any guarantees.  Unfortunately, the withdrawal process does not come with any -- it's kind of a random walk at times.

 

Do your best to contain your anxiety and frustration over what is happening as that only serves to further destabilize the CNS.  Take it as easy as you can and hopefully this will turn around for you soon.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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mdwstrx
29 minutes ago, apace41 said:

Our best advice here would be to continue to hold for now and reevaluate on a regular basis.

 

Hi Andy.  I really do appreciate your time and input.  I read BrassMonkey's intro to see if he had long periods of symptoms but it's overwhelming to read so many pages and piece things together.  As you know, in the throws of wd, everything is magnified including frustration.  You're very thorough in your answers and I understand that it's a crap-shoot.  

 

Reading your signature Andy, wondering if you ever did stabilize? Will pop over and read your intro too.  Hoping you're doing well.

Thanks!

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apace41
58 minutes ago, mdwstrx said:

I read BrassMonkey's intro to see if he had long periods of symptoms but it's overwhelming to read so many pages and piece things together.  

 

I think his experience was that he had some ups and downs and periods where he had to hold for a bit to right the ship, but that overall he managed to stay ahead of things and have a reasonable process, with the understanding that it took like 6 years.  

 

59 minutes ago, mdwstrx said:

You're very thorough in your answers and I understand that it's a crap-shoot.

 

Thanks.  Probably too thorough as my legal training predisposes me to caveat and qualify things most of the time.  :(

 

1 hour ago, mdwstrx said:

wondering if you ever did stabilize

 

Eh.  Not so great to be honest.  I'm holding at 12.5mg (from a high of 100mg) and some days are better than others but never really "good."  I'm very functional and work full-time at a high-stress job and have a lot of other factors that contribute so it's hard to say if it is all withdrawal, but this is all spelled out more on my thread.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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mdwstrx

Checking in this morning. 🌞 

Still very uncomfortable  since last taper two weeks ago.  Both physical and mental.  Standard wd stuff.  Finding it difficult to be positive and posted advice on a friend's intro so am going to take it. :) My positives this morning are:

  • Even though things are rough and it 'seems' it won't get better, I know there is hope! With time, a careful slow taper and God's grace, things will improve. There are many success stories on this site that say so. 
  • Others have been where I am and have persevered.  I will too. 
  • Looking out my window, it's a beautiful sunny morning and even though I feel rough, I'm still functional.  For that I'm grateful.
  • I intend to make the best of it today knowing that I am presently limited but accepting of it, frustrating as it is.
  • I have others I am setting the bar for, family members and friends.  I can choose to do so with grace.  I do.
  • Many on this site need hope and several on here have risen to the occasion, providing it with courageous stories of wd and healing.  I'm so grateful to them.
  • I choose to be one of those, in time and will follow their sound advice and lead.

 

Looking forward to feeling better. 

Hope, healing and peaceful thoughts to all.

😊

 

  

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apace41
5 hours ago, mdwstrx said:

Checking in this morning. 🌞 

Still very uncomfortable  since last taper two weeks ago.  Both physical and mental.  Standard wd stuff.  Finding it difficult to be positive and posted advice on a friend's intro so am going to take it. :) My positives this morning are:

  • Even though things are rough and it 'seems' it won't get better, I know there is hope! With time, a careful slow taper and God's grace, things will improve. There are many success stories on this site that say so. 
  • Others have been where I am and have persevered.  I will too. 
  • Looking out my window, it's a beautiful sunny morning and even though I feel rough, I'm still functional.  For that I'm grateful.
  • I intend to make the best of it today knowing that I am presently limited but accepting of it, frustrating as it is.
  • I have others I am setting the bar for, family members and friends.  I can choose to do so with grace.  I do.
  • Many on this site need hope and several on here have risen to the occasion, providing it with courageous stories of wd and healing.  I'm so grateful to them.
  • I choose to be one of those, in time and will follow their sound advice and lead.

 

Looking forward to feeling better. 

Hope, healing and peaceful thoughts to all.

😊

 

 

This is a beautiful sentiment.  If you can live this way, (i) you will do very well with your taper and withdrawal and (ii) you are a superior human to me!

 

Best,

 

Andy

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mdwstrx
2 hours ago, apace41 said:

(ii) you are a superior human to me!

oh Andy.... I have to remind myself by the minute.  The nature of this drug wd is depression and anxiety.  One has to force oneself to remember things like the above when everything inside us is saying it ain't so.  It's my goal, not my reality.... yet. :) 

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mdwstrx

Another day below wd normal.  16 days since last cut.


Issues are melancholy, negativity, fear and inner restlessness, appearing after last cut and have persisted.

Yesterday they seemed less pervasive, but back again today.  

 

I plan to hold indefinitely until back to wd normal. 

Not sure what that is though because as I reached stability after Nov crash, I felt better than now. 

So, is stability withdrawal normal?

 

Or am I in wd normal now?  If so, not sure that tapering will be successful since it's not a good functional base.  

 

Holding..... :) 

 

 

 

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Frogie
On 6/2/2019 at 7:04 PM, mdwstrx said:

Hi Frogie,

 

Your note is so appreciated!  Frankly I'm scared.  Came home from an all day family outing where I felt that terrible inner restlessness all day along with other unpleasant symptoms of being on edge.  Had to keep deep breathing since I had that anxious feeling was where you just want to say out loud, "I don't feel well" but you have to keep it inside and act like all is ok.  Also been having night wakings with mega hot flushing and just really flighty mentally.  


It's day 10 since the last cut and I'm also really concerned about akathisia returning.  I live alone so it's beyond scary when you feel less than fully self-sufficient.  I have friends and family but they of course have their own lives.  I know no one can say when this will subside but I haven't a clue as to what to expect.  I feel right now that this could be forever so I'm not the best of company right now.  Can you tell.  lol.  Surely this can't progress into months of distress; can it?  It also scares me to think I can't taper and may be stuck on this forever. 😳  I'm grateful to hear any stories about someone having these symptoms that abate rather quickly after a 10% taper. 

 

On a much more positive note, I am sooooo happy things are going well for you!!  You are another brave soul who has shown there is an exit to this awful predicament; a pioneer of sorts for us long timers.  I marvel at how you are handling all of the stress of moving.  I can appreciate it sort of since I'm contemplating downsizing now that I'm an empty nester.  

 

I will continue watching your progress and wishing you great success for your xanax taper!   Will check in with you occasionally.  Until then, stay strong and best of luck in all the moving!

 

 

Hi:

 

 I’m so sorry I missed your response. It was the weekend we had the garage sale and I didn’t have internet access.

 

 I can remember being scared. Because you have to pull yourself together in front of everyone and pretend it’s ok, but knowing you feel horrible. I was there many many times. I just had to finally tell everyone what was going on and I wasn’t in my best form. They were all very gracious, because the were so proud of me getting off the medications. 

 

But, I learned the hard way. I did it “my way” and the dr’s way, and suffered. As soon as I learned to listen to the mods, it did get easier. But it was not a walk in the park by any means. I still suffered. Every time I tapered I was nauseous for a week or so. Then as it got smaller in dosage, I did start feeling better. Do what the mods suggest, which I’m sure is to hold until you are more stable. It’s not the end of the world to hold. Look how far you’ve come! You’re doing wonderful. You will get through this and recover. I can’t tell you how long this will last because everyone is different, but just remember you will get better. I know I keep telling you that. But I still tell myself that a lot. Andy is wonderful. He got me through this. And all the other mods on here are very knowledgeable. 

 

 I have been so stressed out since the end of April. We put a contract on a house, and finally closed the 7th of this month. In the meantime, we moved my fiancé’s parents to a retirement apartment, and had a huge garage sale for them. And I started my Xanax taper. This weekend my fiancé and his brother put rock down at our old place we are still living at. Then had to go shopping. Where we currently live, a Walmart is 50 miles one way. It will be so wonderful to be close to stores, restaurants and such. The stress has let up a bit, and I think my body says I’m done for a while. I just can’t get up to do anything today. 

 

Enough of me... you take care of yourself. Do what they suggest here. A long hold might be the way to feel better. But I’m not a mod. They have lots of experience and are a wealth of information.

 

Please keep me posted how you are doing. But believe me you will be ok. Even little bumps in the road will soon be history. I have bumps here and there, but I’m getting better everyday.

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

 

 

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mdwstrx

Thanks Frogie!  I really appreciate you supportive note.  It is so good to know you've been through this and are on the other side.  I see you had brutal nausea that let up as you got lower.  I'm glad that it worked out for the better toward the end.

 

My issue is such negativity and a feeling like I want to jump out of my skin.  It makes it hard to concentrate on anything else.  So I am doing like you, just letting folks know what's going on with me and that I'm also not in my best form.  I so hope I can get to a point that I can really taper without fearing the cut.  Feeling mini acute wd from a cut is intolerable.  

 

In the meantime, they continue to prescribe this stuff and...the disconnect is unlike anything I've ever seen before.  Even now, doing research online speaks to the 'minimal discomfort of withdraw syndrome'.  Unbelievable.

 

I hope you continue to report on how you're doing.  It's such a bright spot for us following behind.  It sounds like even through all of your stress, you're holding on well.  These coping tools on here are invaluable.  Best wishes on the move!

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mdwstrx

Question for Alto, Chessie, Andy or BrassMonkey

I VERY uncharacteristically think I forgot to take my escitalopram this morning.  Should I take it now?  

It's been kind of rough lately and sure don't want to rock the boat.

 

Is it worse to double or skip? Yikes!

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ChessieCat

Instead of risking doubling your dose your could take a partial dose.  Perhaps 1/4 or 1/3.  If it was me I'd be reluctant to take 1/2.

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mdwstrx

Thanks Chessie!

Appreciate you quick reply.  Can you help me consider the options more fully?

I'm pretty sure I missed it. 

 

So -

1.  Will taking a full dose in the pm (when normally taken in the am) be harmful?

 

2. If I take a full dose, and just happen to be wrong - thereby doubling it - what harm is there?

 

From your reply, it sounds as if taking more is riskier than taking less?  

 

Surprised myself as I can't ever remember missing it.  I think my brain is fried. 😫

 

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ChessieCat

If you are fairly certain that you missed it I would take 1/2 dose in the evening and then full dose again in the morning.

 

The other option is to take the full dose in the evening and then take the next dose 23 hours after.  Then the next day 1 hour earlier, etc until you have returned to the original time.

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ChessieCat
13 minutes ago, mdwstrx said:

Surprised myself as I can't ever remember missing it.

 

You aren't the first one to have this happen, which is why I created the tips reminder topic.

 

I made a mistake when I reduced from 9.5mg to 9mg.  I accidentally used 0.5mg capsules instead of 5mg capsules and it was 5 days later when I realised my mistake.  So I had done a 50% reduction instead of 10%.

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ChessieCat
16 minutes ago, mdwstrx said:

2. If I take a full dose, and just happen to be wrong - thereby doubling it - what harm is there?

 

I would prefer to take less, not more.

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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ChessieCat
4 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

If you are fairly certain that you missed it I would take 1/2 dose in the evening and then full dose again in the morning.

 

Or take 1/4 or 1/3 and then full dose next morning.

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mdwstrx

Boy, thanks for all that. :) 

18 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

 

You aren't the first one to have this happen, which is why I created the tips reminder topic.  I made a mistake when I reduced from 9.5mg to 9mg.  I accidentally used 0.5mg capsules instead of 5mg capsules and it was 5 days later when I realized my mistake.  So I had done a 50% reduction instead of 10%.

 So you did a 50% reduction for 5 days?  Ouch!  Did it turn out ok then?

 

I ended up taking full dose.  I'll take tomorrow's dose late in afternoon and just slowly back it up. 

Thanks for all your suggestions!! 

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apace41
12 minutes ago, mdwstrx said:

I ended up taking full dose.  I'll take tomorrow's dose late in afternoon and just slowly back it up.  Sound ok?

 

Chessie has given you good support here. 

 

Now that you have taken the full dose, taking it late  tomorrow afternoon is as good as you can do.  The slower you "step it back" day by day the better off you are, but I recognize it might be hard to be exact so doing it within 2 hours or so will hopefully suffice.  E.g. if you took it at 6 today taking it between 4 and 5 tomorrow then a 2 hour window before that, and so on.

 

Then we keep our fingers crossed.  Hopefully, this will be a minor foot fault.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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mdwstrx

Agree.  Thanks to both of you for your excellent support!

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