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eymen23: 5 weeks on escitalopram. Should I taper off?

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eymen23

Hi all,

 

I have followed this forum for some time now and would like to share my story so far, and kindly ask for any advice. 

 

I have a history of anxiety, dating back to 2011 after a very unfortunate experience with cannabis. Magnesium citrate saved me (and I mean that) after months of intense anxiety and depersonalisation. 

 

At the time, I thanked my lucky stars that I’d found my cure, after no luck with CBT and counselling and being considered too young by my GP to try me on antidepressants (I was 20 at the time). Sadly, despite the remission of the anxiety and depersonalisation, I was never able to tolerate stress in the same way again. Even intense exercise over a period of days would leave me wired, agitated and unable to sleep.

 

After a lot of personal stresses and a demanding job, I finally cracked last October. I ended up taking 5 months leave from work, with a constant low level of anxiety which would often be focused around my breathing (as if I couldn’t quite breathe). I was prescribed sertraline but managed to push it to one side. After trialing phosphatadylserine, I actually got some minor relief from my anxiety and stress levels and headed back to work in April.

 

Sadly, I found myself off work again in September this year, having been pushed way too hard after my return to work. In an attempt to speed my recovery, I tried to do relaxation exercises 3x a day, which actually did leave me incredibly relaxed. Until a week later when I started having panic attacks out of the blue. Suddenly my sleep became broken and short, I’d wake up wired and incredibly agitated. I suspected it was due to immersing myself too quickly into the breathing exercises, having come from a history of chronic stress. After around 2.5 weeks these symptoms seemed to subside, but my family insisted I try an antidepressant as to them it was clear I kept relapsing and not improving.

 

I gave in and reluctantly started Escitalopram at 5mg on November 3rd of this year. To my surprise, I didn’t actually have any of the horror story type reactions to the drug (I was sure I’d go into psychosis or have unrelenting anxiety), but I did feel like I had butterflies in my stomach for almost 3 weeks and as if I could break into a panic without too much of a push. Although unpleasant, I was getting through the days and despite a couple of stomach upsets, I figured I could see this through for a while longer. 

 

In the last few days, I have started having different anxiety symptoms. Rather than feeling the butterflies/adrenaline in my stomach for most of the day, I’ve become hypervigilant of my body sensations such as the feel of my lips touching each other and my limbs often feel almost numb. Most of the times I can shake this off, but sometimes I break into a mini-panic for 10 seconds or so. I’ve also had disrupted sleep appear in the last few days. 

 

I saw a GP today and was told that I should continue for 2 more weeks and if the dose isn’t working still, up the dose. I’m very reluctant to go with that approach, because this anxiety subset is new to me and if 5mg is potentially causing this, I don’t see how a larger dose will avoid more harm. 

 

I’m thinking it would be wise to stick out the 5mg dose for a few more weeks to see if things stabilise a little and then if im not happy with the result, begin to slowly taper off?  Does anybody have any advice? 

 

It would be much appreciated! 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
bolded drugs mentioned for easier reading

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, eymen23.  I'm glad you found your way to us early on.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  In your case it just be the dosage, dosage and drug.  No diagnoses or symptoms are necessary.
 
 
My suggestion would be to start the taper at this point and not to increase the dose.  You can become physiologically dependent on an antidepressant in as little as 4 weeks, and since you're in that area and since you're having somewhat of an adverse reaction to the drug, now might be a good time to start tapering off before you become any further enmeshed.  
 
We recommend tapering at no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.  In your case, you multiply your current dosage by .9, getting 4.5mg, which would be your dosage for the first four weeks.  For the next four weeks of your taper, you would multiply 4.5 by .9, giving you the dosage for the next four weeks, etc.   It's possible that you might be able to taper faster, but it's best to start off slowly to avoid destabilizing your nervous system.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?
 
This link gives you specific information about tapering Lexapro (escitalopram), including how to make nonstandard doses, basically by using liquid Lexapro, making your own liquid or weighing doses.
 
 
Edited by Gridley

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eymen23

Hi Gridley,

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I’ve just amended the signature so hopefully that is now visible. 

 

I guess part of the reason I wanted to wait a little longer, was so that I can have a clear sense of what it feels like for me to be on 5mg of Escitalopram before I start chopping and changing. For example.... if I dropped to 4.5mg tomorrow and experienced a lot of anxiety in three days, was that just inevitable given my body is not tolerating the drug, or is it withdrawal?

 

Does that make sense? I think one of the biggest problems I have (and it seems many people on here), is a feeling of constant uncertainty over what is causing what in my emotional world. That is made worse by fear of deteriorating and being so ‘up and down. 

 

I think your suggestion is very sensible though. I’m going to read the resources and consider the easiest way for me to taper in the near future.

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Gridley

Please keep us updated and don't hesitate to ask questions if you have any.  This is the place for updates and questions.

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eymen23

Hi all,

 

Just a brief update. Slept well last night but experiencing more intense mini-panic attacks today and I’m also getting tearful and apathetic when not anxious. 

 

I have not changed anything at present, just taking 5mg of Escitalopram as usual. Given I seem to be destabilising as I continue taking this medication, is it still

best to do a slow taper or is there grounds to try and be a little more aggressive initially? 

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Gridley

I have brought your question to the attention of the other moderators.

 

Could you describe your symptoms a little more fully and tell me when the symptoms occur in relation to when you take the escitalopram?

Edited by Gridley

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eymen23

Hi Gridley.

 

I have consistently taken Escitalopram at 11am in the morning. I find that my symptoms tend to be worst in the morning and afternoon, but especially in the 4-5 hours after taking the drug.

 

Symptoms

 

 Limbs feel weak and numb on and off throughout the day, have had increased pins and needles since I started the drug.

 

Often feel hypervigilant, especially of body sensations such as the feel of my lips touching.

 

Acute anxiety attacks through the day, but especially worse after taking the drug and first thing on waking. Thankfully these have been relatively brief and not long lasting so far. 

 

Occasional drowsiness and apathy, along with very negative thoughts. I have generally had less motivation and positivity since beginning the drug.

 

random crying spells, including a huge one after posting this message that lasted nearly 30 minutes. 

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Gridley

Thanks, eymen.  Very helpful.  Sorry you're feeling so bad.

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Gridley
9 hours ago, eymen23 said:

Given I seem to be destabilising as I continue taking this medication, is it still

best to do a slow taper or is there grounds to try and be a little more aggressive initially? 

 

How are you doing now?  Whether to be more aggressive is a tough call.  It does appear to me that you're having an adverse reaction to the escitalopram, and in those situations it's advisable to get off as soon as you safely can.  ChessieCat, who is an experienced moderator, wrote the following when I requested some guidance:

 

"Just my personal opinion if it was me I'd reduce by 1/4 of a tablet for 3 days and repeat until off.  It's 6 of one half a dozen of the other as to how much the brain has adapted after 5 weeks.  However if she stops CT then she may get WD symptoms.  It's a tough call."

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eymen23

Hi Gridley,

 

Thank you so much for getting back to me. I’m so appreciative of your support.

 

Interestingly, I’ve actually had a fairly pleasant afternoon and evening, with very little negativity or anxiety. I have even been laughing and joking around with my family this evening. This is what confuses me, I have such a drastic change in mood even hour to hour, and I will decide one thing while feeling bad like ‘I’m going to taper’ and then an hour later I think ‘maybe I’ll just stick this out’. 

 

I don’t want to go crazy with details, but I’m due to fly to Australia on Tuesday (I live in the U.K.) for a one month vacation, and I think this is adding stress and anxiety as I don’t know whether to pull out given my current ‘ups and downs’.

 

The taper approach looks good and it makes sense, as no doubt my body has already begun a series of adaptations to the drug, but there’s also risk of worsening with the 5mg dose. One question. Do film coated tablets dissolve in water ok? I didn’t see that in the liquid guide. I suppose I could always try and find out! 

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ChessieCat
6 minutes ago, eymen23 said:

I don’t want to go crazy with details, but I’m due to fly to Australia on Tuesday (I live in the U.K.) for a one month vacation, and I think this is adding stress and anxiety as I don’t know whether to pull out given my current ‘ups and downs’.

 

Yes, this could definitely be making things worse.

 

6 minutes ago, eymen23 said:

Interestingly, I’ve actually had a fairly pleasant afternoon and evening, with very little negativity or anxiety. I have even been laughing and joking around with my family this evening. This is what confuses me, I have such a drastic change in mood ever hour to hour, and I will decide one thing while feeling bad like ‘I’m going to taper’ and then an hour later I think ‘maybe I’ll just stick this out’. 

 

Because you have felt reasonable this amount of time it would definitely seem that the anxiety has been making things worse and when you were distracted the anxiety lessened.

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

I suggest you familiarise yourself with possible withdrawal symptoms:  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

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ChessieCat

Please keep daily symptom notes on paper and please let us know how you are.

 

6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep

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eymen23
2 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

 

Yes, this could definitely be making things worse.

 

 

Because you have felt reasonable this amount of time it would definitely seem that the anxiety has been making things worse and when you were distracted the anxiety lessened.

 

 

 

The consideration of ‘should I go to Australia?’ has definitely added pressure which is not helping, but I sense there is some amount of ‘neuroanxiety’ going on, in terms of anxiety that is not provoked by external circumstances.

 

For example, whilst I was having a nice day out with Dad at the beginning of the week, I randomly felt like my arms were going numb and broke out into a mini panic while shopping for clothes for my baby brother. 

 

I will start noting my daily symptoms as you suggested above.  

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Gridley

I'm glad you had a good day.

 

You'll need to need follow up non drug coping advice about getting through any fallout. 

 

 

Things might get rough especially with traveling.  If you go back to the doctor he will probably try to put you on a different AD or tell you that it was just start up.  Please listen to this with a grain of salt the size of the moon.  

 

I know you're undecided as to whether to taper or stay the course.  You are fortunate that you don't have a complicated drug history, just the escitalopram.  Thus, whatever course to choose to take, don't go on another drug.   

 

 

  •  
Edited by Gridley

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eymen23

Thanks for those resources! There is a meditation technique I often use to cope with intense and acute moods, such as panic attacks. Perhaps I will share it one day. It really helps in not ‘fuelling the fire’ and allowing the anxiety to run its course. 

 

I’m very grateful that thus far I have not ended up on heaps of medication, and I was cautious in not upping to 10mg of Escitalopram from week 2 as a psychiatrist suggested. When we feel intense emotions like panic, rage and despair, it’s only natural to resist the feelings and look for an escape; but I am going to work hard to remember there is often no short cuts and that any drastic changes could make things much worse. 

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ChessieCat

Sounds like you have a good toolbox already.  It's important to understand that sometimes we need to use a different resource for a different symptom.  And if all else fails this one is good to know:

 

On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

 

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Altostrata

Hello, eymen.

 

You are correct in that if you have an adverse reaction at 5mg, increasing dosage would make the adverse reaction worse.

 

Keeping daily notes about your symptom pattern is essential to determine if the drug is causing your symptoms. Please post them in the format Chessie suggested, with the times of day of occurrence.

 

If traveling ordinarily makes you anxious, you may be having anticipatory anxiety over your impending trip.

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eymen23

Thanks for the response Alto! Today I have tracked my symptoms.

 

1am went to sleep

4am woke up and couldn’t sleep immediately 

5am fell back to sleep

9.30am woke up for good and felt relaxed

10.30am got out of bed and felt groggy and tired 

11am took 5mg Escitalopram and had breakfast

11-12am felt very groggy, quite moody and antisocial

12-1pm began having waves of adrenaline throughout my body for minutes at a time but no panic attacks

1-4pm felt like I was in a daze. As if I couldn’t think straight or get myself moving, interspersed with feeling emotional (tearing up) and pangs of adrenaline. Had lunch at 3pm.

5-6pm felt more positive and upbeat

6-7pm aunt came round to ask how I am. Ended up going on a negative rant about how I am doing and cried for several minutes. 

7-9pm cheered up and went for a drive after dinner at 8pm

9-10pm slightly agitated and having waves of anxiety but no panic attacks. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Altostrata

Is that your usual sleep pattern? It's not too bad.

 

It could be that 5mg escilatopram is a little too much for you. Are you cutting a tablet or using liquid for your dose?

 

Good notes! We need a couple more days of those notes to see if a slight reduction, perhaps to 4.5mg escilatopram, might be a good direction.

 

You will have to decide whether you want to initiate a drug change before or after your trip. It might be better to do it after.

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eymen23

Hi Alto. Thanks for the prompt response.

 

Since starting the drug 5 weeks ago, I have consistently taken 5mg film coated tablets, so there should be little concern of dosing. 

 

After reading all of the different threads here I feel that the sleep above is comparatively excellent, but I usually sleep a restful 7 hours per night with no interruptions. It’s only in the last week of Escitalopram use it’s become broken and fragmented on some nights.

 

I’ll definitely keep up the daily notes. I’m due to be travelling on Tuesday for a total of 36 hours so that will cause some delays, but I will make sure to log everything. I’m still in two minds about going away for a month, but assuming I do, I agree it may be best to wait till my return.

 

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eymen23

Hi all.

 

It’s been an interesting day as I decided to cancel my one month vacation to Australia tomorrow. It’s involved a lot of phone calls to family, friends, airlines and travel insurance etc. I am SO glad I decided to cancel. Although it’s my dream holiday, I’m too unstable right now and I want to focus on my health. There’s always another time for vacations. 

 

1am went to bed and felt wide awake until I finally switched off at 2am

2am till 6am slept and then woke up wide awake. I tried to relax and get a little more sleep, but I felt like it was the middle of the day I was that awake

6am till 7am tried to sleep 

7am to 8am admitted defeat and decided to just try and relax in bed. I felt very groggy and irritable but no anxiety or depressive symptoms 

8am called by GP and drove for an appointment. On the way I felt tired but determined/motivated to be decisive and cancel my trip and also be clear with my GP about my crying spells 

9.30am got home and began calling to cancel the trip. I felt tired but motivated to get this done for myself. I had feelings of grief/sadness when thinking of the beautiful places I was letting go of, but mostly felt strong 

11am had breakfast and took 5mg Escitalopram 

11.30am till 5pm continued cancelling reservations and keeping busy. Felt tired and groggy but no real anxiety or depression still. Lunch at 3pm. 

5pm till 7pm talked to family at home about cancelling and whilst upstairs alone had some minor anxiety, with hypervigilance of body sensations (arms felt heavy and painful). 

7pm till 8pm felt agitated and minor anxiety still. Dinner at 8pm. 

8pm till 9.30pm had some upwards lift in mood while talking to friends on the phone. Was laughing and joking, with only sporadic pangs of anxiety. 

9.30pm till 10pm I had a strange sensation from my head to my left arm, and afterwards I felt quite confused and dazed for a few minutes. Afterward I felt moderate anxiety as this was an unfamiliar sensation but I let go without panicking

10-11 had feelings of relief and upliftedness for making what I think was the right decision. 

 

Today has been a unique day, with a lot of phone calls and busy moments cancelling reservations. I think in the coming days with this big weight off my shoulders, we will see how much the medication is really affecting me via these notes.

 

 

 

 

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ChessieCat

It could have been the indecision about whether to cancel that was causing the latest sleep issues.  Now that you have made the decision not to go, and you feel relieved about it, which could indicate that you were stressed about it, your sleep may improve.

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eymen23

I agree ChessieCat. It has been a source of stress for a few weeks and particularly in the days leading up to the trip. Now that it’s cancelled and I can move on, I think things will be clearer.

 

Notes from today:

 

1-3am I was struggling to settle down mentally after an intense day of cancelling reservations. I felt wide awake and didn’t attempt to sleep till 2.30am

3-10.30am slept well and restfully. I woke up feeling more upbeat, albeit a little groggy from the long and deep sleep

11am I had breakfast and took 5mg escitalpram

11am-2pm I had a fairly intense headache which started shortly after waking up. No real symptoms of anxiety or depression. Just a little groggy. 

2pm-4pm I felt apathetic. This is a very new feeling to me. It’s like I feel bored but also don’t want to do anything with my time. I managed to finalise some cancellations for my trip but did so quite unenthusiastically. Lunch at 3pm

4-7pm I continued to feel quite apathetic and almost like I was in a daze. At times I started to tear up, but didn’t go into a crying spell. I also had random waves of adrenaline in my stomach and nerves. 

7-10pm I began to worry about things in my head and had negative/pessimistic thoughts which I couldn’t stop or turn off. Thoughts of how my life is going badly etc. Occasional tearfullness but no crying spell. Dinner at 8pm. 

10-11pm brighter mood and outlook, but still feeling a little dazed. Slight DP/DR for 10 minutes. 

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ChessieCat
42 minutes ago, eymen23 said:

 I felt apathetic. This is a very new feeling to me. It’s like I feel bored but also don’t want to do anything with my time.

 

I quite often feel like this.  I can be at the computer and think oh I'll go and do such and such and then when I get up to go and do it I can't don't have the energy/can't make the effort to do it.

 

emotional-numbness-on-and-off-drugs

 

anhedonia-apathy-demotivation-emotional-numbness

 

derealization-or-depersonalization-dr-and-dp    (continue reading more than the first few posts)

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eymen23
8 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

 

I quite often feel like this.  I can be at the computer and think oh I'll go and do such and such and then when I get up to go and do it I can't don't have the energy/can't make the effort to do it.

 

emotional-numbness-on-and-off-drugs

 

anhedonia-apathy-demotivation-emotional-numbness

 

derealization-or-depersonalization-dr-and-dp    (continue reading more than the first few posts)

 

Hi ChessieCat,

 

It’s quite a bothersome symptom as you will know, because you know something isn’t quite right but you lack the motivation to try and ‘snap out of it’ or improve the situation. 

 

I’ve never suffered with depressive like symptoms before trialling Escitalopram. I have had more tearful episodes and feelings of apathy in the last 10 days than I genuinely believe I’ve had in my entire life.

 

I’ve always been more of a type A personality, wanting to take charge of my life and fix my issues. 

 

Thanks for the links, seems it’s very common! I’ve had several run ins with DP/DR. I had an extremely severe 24/7 episode back in 2012 after months of severe panic attacks induced by a bad cannabis high.

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eymen23

Hi all,

 

I’ve had what I believe is a new symptom appear in the last 24 hours. 

 

12pm till 2am intense hunger. It felt like I’d not eaten for hours on end, even though I had a snack at 11pm. 

2am till 9am slept well and woke refreshed 

9-11am felt quite ‘normal’

11am breakfast and 5mg Escitalopram

11.30am-2pm intense hunger began again. No anxiety or depression. 

2pm-3pm intense hunger continued, although it would literally stop at times and restart 10 minutes later. 

3pm lunch

3pm till 4pm on the phone to a friend and got tearful twice for no real reason 

4pm till 6pm hunger continued although perhaps lesser than in the morning. Would coninue to flip between on and off. 

6-8pm started ruminating about my life and how it’s going at present. Feeling somewhat hopeless and tearing up. On and off hunger continued. 

8pm had dinner

8-9pm felt ok and hunger stopped. 

9-10pm still no hunger but randomly started crying for 30 seconds at a time. 

10-11pm hunger returned on and off. Had hypervigilance of body sensations (arm felt heavy) and DP/DR for 15 minutes

 

I’m starting to feel that the Escitalopram is not a good fit for me. It’s now been 5.5 weeks. I appreciate that is not a long time especially on 5mg, but I seem to be cycling through all kinds of symptoms since starting this, several I’ve never had before. Just to note, it has also reduced my ability to feel sexually stimulated downstairs. 

 

 

 

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eymen23

Hi all,

 

It’s been quite a difficult day, in fact probably the worst yet in terms of depressive symptoms.

 

1am went to bed and felt wide awake

2am went to sleep

8am woke up feeling tired and unrefreshed

8am-11am felt a little tired but no other noticeable symptoms 

11am breakfast and 5mg Escitalopram

11.30-4pm I decided to be productive and start filing my travel insurance claim for cancelling Australia. I tried to keep engaged and managed to work on this, but throughout felt demotivated, flat in mood, had random 30 second crying spells throughout and occasional negative self talk

4-6pm I felt frustrated and angry, even though I’d managed to be productive and find really good deals for selling back my australian dollars. A lot of rumination and negative self talk. Lunch at 3pm. 

6-7 I felt more anxiety. Adrenaline in the stomach and overall hypervigilance as if is if I’d had a strong coffee

7-9pm felt anti-social, struggled to make conversation during at dinner 8pm and wanted to avoid speaking to my Dad on the phone when he called. Occasional bouts of tearfullness 

9-10pm had a strange headache and occasional stabbing pains at the top of my head. Felt quite dazed and confused, so laid down for a while. 

10-11pm a generally agitated and negative mood. Ruminating, although with less intense negative emotions than earlier in the day 

 

I think I may also be gaining weight with the drug. It’s hard to say as my bathroom scales are broken, but some of my clothes seem tighter, even though I monitor my daily calories (my moods always seem best when I’m at calorie maintenance). 

 

It will be 6 weeks of Escitalopram 5mg this Saturday and based on my logs above, I’m starting to think I should taper. Does anybody have any opinions or thoughts? 

 

 

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Altostrata

Sleep disruption can be a side effect of SSRIs. Since you're only taking 5mg, it could be that you and escilatopram do not get along.

 

Are you able to get a prescription for liquid escilatopram? This will enable gradual tapering, see Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Another avenue might be to substitute escilatopram's gentler sibling, cilatopram (Celexa) and taper off that with a liquid.

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eymen23
22 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Sleep disruption can be a side effect of SSRIs. Since you're only taking 5mg, it could be that you and escilatopram do not get along.

 

Are you able to get a prescription for liquid escilatopram? This will enable gradual tapering, see Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Another avenue might be to substitute escilatopram's gentler sibling, cilatopram (Celexa) and taper off that with a liquid.

 

Thanks Alto.

 

The sleep disruption is a little bothersome but it’s not too impairing. My greatest concern is the tearfulness, low moods, negative self talk etc. I’ve never had such consistent symptoms of depression, even during my hardest life difficulties.

 

If I’m going to taper, I intend to do so using liquid Escitalopram. I’ve spoken to a compounding pharmacy here in the U.K. and they can make up a 1mg per 1ml solution, as I believe the only thing available via traditional pharmacies is 20mg per 1 ml solution, which is a little more fiddly. 

 

Where people have used drugs at lower doses (I appreciate 5mg is still causing plenty of adaptations) and for shorter durations, have you seen any evidence of them being able to taper more quickly? I’m happy to do whatever is likely to be safest, but I’d rather reduce the negative effects I’m getting from Escitalopram if at all possible. 

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Miracle123

Hi eymen23, 

Thanks for you to coming into my thread. 

On 12/14/2018 at 7:30 AM, eymen23 said:

 It will be 6 weeks of Escitalopram 5mg this Saturday and based on my logs above, I’m starting to think I should taper. Does anybody have any opinions or thoughts? 

If your withdrawals is too hard, you need time for your body to adjustment for that dose and keep stable soon. Then you can do your tapering.Reduce dose in 10% or less to keep track on it. If you feel withdrawals too extremed and you need to hold for a while to let your body to stabilise with new doses.

 

On 12/14/2018 at 11:24 AM, eymen23 said:

The sleep disruption is a little bothersome but it’s not too impairing. My greatest concern is the tearfulness, low moods, negative self talk etc. I’ve never had such consistent symptoms of depression, even during my hardest life difficulties.

Mostly this is SSRI withdrawals and mostly members here reports the same as me too.Acceptance , patience and time is the key of success. You can gain more information knowlegde here to prepared yourself.

All the best in your next tapering and good in your healing and recovery as well. Take care.

 

Best wishes,

Miracle

 

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eymen23

Hi Miracle,

 

Just to confirm. I’ve never withdrawn from SSRI’s. 6 weeks ago I began taking 5mg of Escitalopram for the first time.

 

Thanks for your support.

 

Eymen

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eymen23

Hi all,

 

I would really appreciate some help, as I don’t feel I’ve had a concrete answer on this yet (although I appreciate nobody knows exactly how my body will respond). 

 

The last 2/3 days have been really difficult.  I have felt very low at times, to the point I’ve completely ignored my family and gone to bed to lie down for 1-3 hours at a time. I’m still getting tearful, and I’ve also had my anxiety flare up a little at times (although thankfully no full blown panic attacks). I can’t attribute this to anything in my life right now beyond starting Escitalopram 5mg 43 days ago. I’ve never had such consistent symptoms of depression in my life pre-med. 

 

When somebody has used an SSRI for a relatively short period and is having an adverse reaction, would they be advised to taper off quickly or cold turkey? It seems a little odd to me to now taper at 10% a month and end up taking the drug for another 18-24 months. 

 

I know this probably isn’t a straight forward question and answer, but otherwise I will have to do what my GP says when I next see her. 

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Gridley

I have brought your situation to the attention of the other moderators.

 

What is your daily symptom pattern now? Do you feel better or worse in the hours after you take escilatopram? Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages. Use a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right.

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eymen23

Hi Gridley.

 

I’ll go back to taking daily notes in the format above. In the last couple of days I’ve felt so demotivated that I’ve not done it. 

 

Many thanks,

 

Eymen

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Altostrata

You didn't find this a sufficient answer?

 

On 12/13/2018 at 7:12 PM, Altostrata said:

Sleep disruption can be a side effect of SSRIs. Since you're only taking 5mg, it could be that you and escilatopram do not get along.

 

Are you able to get a prescription for liquid escilatopram? This will enable gradual tapering, see Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Another avenue might be to substitute escilatopram's gentler sibling, cilatopram (Celexa) and taper off that with a liquid.

 

Whether you want to reduce escilatopram at all is up to you. If it makes you feel worse rather than better, I would reduce it.

 

Anyone who has taken an antidepressant for more than a month is at risk for withdrawal syndrome. We recommend a gradual 10% taper per month.

 

If this seems unfair to you, you'll have to negotiate with your nervous system -- that will be the judge of whether you're going too fast.

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eymen23
1 hour ago, Altostrata said:

You didn't find this a sufficient answer?

 

 

Whether you want to reduce escilatopram at all is up to you. If it makes you feel worse rather than better, I would reduce it.

 

Anyone who has taken an antidepressant for more than a month is at risk for withdrawal syndrome. We recommend a gradual 10% taper per month.

 

If this seems unfair to you, you'll have to negotiate with your nervous system -- that will be the judge of whether you're going too fast.

 

Thanks for the honesty Alto. You’re right, I will need to reduce slowly and listen to my body. 

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