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Sebbe: trying to quit Lexapro


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I have been on SSRIs for 25 years.

Cipramil, Seroxat, Zoloft, Prosac, some MAO, and some I forgot.

The last year I have been on Lexapro 20 mg.

I Quit cold turkey 3 or 4 times for 10 to 20 years ago. It seemed to go at first but after 2-3-4-5 month I got a terrible anxiety

and the doctors but me back on the medication or another one.

I was given a Benzo (Oxazepam) for every upstart to coop with anxiety and one doctor put me on it every day for a half year.

The last years I have taken one Oxazepam about every week. My latest Oxazepam was in September last year.

1 October I started taper Lexapro. Down to 15 mg for 6 weeks. Then 12.5 mg for 1 week. Then 10 mg for 7 week. Then 7,5 mg for 1 week.

Then 5 mg for 10 weeks. Then 2,5 mg for 2 weeks.

Together I tapered for 25 weeks. I am sorry now that I dident stayed on 10 mg and 5 mg much longer.

Since tapering the last pill it´s now 11 and a half week.


Despite the taper it´s now going bad. Lots of symtoms during the taper but I managed. 

And the first weeks after, I managed but now its going worse.

The anxiety is worsening.

I have now a breakout of Prostatisis which always make me very nervous.


I hav not drinking coffee since last autum. I dont drink alkohol.


Should I hold on or start me back on 2,5 or 5 mg?


I don´t have a doctor right now so it would take some time to get.

And I am afraid of startinganxiety and need of Benzo and so on. The hole cirkus.


Sorry for my Swenglish.




lexapro 20 mg, 15 mg 1 oct 2018, 12,5 mg one week, 10 mg mid nov, 7,5 mg late dec, 5 mg 1 jan 2019, 2,5 mg mid mars 2019, 0 late mars.

Oxazepam last two years not so often, none from sept 2018

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  • Moderator

Hello, Sebbe, and welcome to SA.  I'm sorry you're feeling so bad.


You tapered much faster than what we recommend, which is 10% of current dose every four weeks.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Here is some information on the withdrwal symptoms, such as anxiety, you are now experiencing.


When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
These explain it really well:



   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  Rhiannon said: 
When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.
At this time, reinstatement of a very small dose of the original drug is the only known way to help alleviate withdrawal syndrome.  The only other alternative is to try and wait out the symptoms and manage as best you can until your central nervous system returns to homeostasis.  Unfortunately no one can give you an exact timeline as to when you will start feeling better and while some do recover relatively easily, for others it can take many months or longer.  
Reinstatement isn't a guarantee of diminished symptoms for everyone but it's the best tactic available.  At 11 1/2 weeks, you're almost out of the time period where reinstatement predictably works, up to 3 months after last dose.  It is best to reinstate as soon as possible after withdrawal symptoms occur, so if there's any way you can see your doctor quickly, that would be helpful.
 We usually suggest a much smaller reinstatement dose than your last dose. In the time since you began tapering, your brain has become somewhat accustomed to having less and hen none of the drug, and the 2.5mg or 5mg you mentioned would very likely be too much for your sensitized brain.  If you choose to reinstate, I recommend reinstating 1mg of Lexapro  Then, once you've stabilized on that dosage, which can take several months,  you can begin a 10% per month taper down to zero.  Please read:
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms. -- at least the first page of the topic
This link explains how to obtain the small dose of Lexapro you will need if you choose to reinstate.
 It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.
Regarding benzos, they only work for 2 - 4 weeks and then we stay on them to stave off withdrawal. Dependency for benzos starts in as little as 2 weeks. 
We recommend using non-drug coping skills to deal with anxiety.  Dr. Claire Weekes did pioneering work in coping with anxiety.


Here are some relaxation exercises for calming the nervous system:  Relaxation exercises, guided meditations, calming videos, sleep hypnosis
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium (magnesium glycinate is a good form) and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 




Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
Please add a signature.  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 
  • Any drugs and supplements prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.
Please continue to use this thread to document your taper and to ask questions. I'm glad you found your way here.  






Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


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

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

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg   

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


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

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

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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If you choose to reinstate, I recommend reinstating 1mg of Lexapro  Then, once you've stabilized on that dosage, which can take several months,  you can begin a 10% per month taper down to zero. "


I don´t think I can find a doctor with so small pills.

Have can you get stable on such small number.

I was thinking of starting on 2,5 and then go up to 5 mg and stay there for a long time.

Maybe with the help of some oxazepam.

I don´t know what to do.

lexapro 20 mg, 15 mg 1 oct 2018, 12,5 mg one week, 10 mg mid nov, 7,5 mg late dec, 5 mg 1 jan 2019, 2,5 mg mid mars 2019, 0 late mars.

Oxazepam last two years not so often, none from sept 2018

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is it any advantige or problem to change from Lexapro

to Celexa?

If I now started a little dos after 11 week off of Lexapro.

Could I take Celexa instead?

lexapro 20 mg, 15 mg 1 oct 2018, 12,5 mg one week, 10 mg mid nov, 7,5 mg late dec, 5 mg 1 jan 2019, 2,5 mg mid mars 2019, 0 late mars.

Oxazepam last two years not so often, none from sept 2018

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Welcome to the Group!

2 years Drug History Prior to Tapering:

Between 2011 & 2018 I had approximately 58 dose changes between the 4 main medications I took as well as 14 new medications add & taken away.

Prozac (Fluoxetine):(Aug 2016-Dec 2016: 60MG),(June 2017-Nov 2017: 60MG),(Dec 2017: 80MG),(June 2017-Sept 2 2018: 60MG),(Sept 3 2018-Sept 5 2018: 40MG),(Sept 6 2018-Sept 8 2018: 20MG),(Sept 9 2018: 0MG).

Cymbalta:(Jan 2017-May 2017: 60MG).

Cyclobenzaprine: (Aug 2016: 30MG,(Feb 2017: 30MG).

Diazepam (Valium):(Aug 2016-Sept 15 2016: 30MG),(Sept 16 2016-Oct 2017: 15MG),(Nov 2017-Aug 19 2018: 6MG),(Aug 20 2018: 0MG).

Gabapentin:(Aug 2016-Aug 3 2018: 2400MG),(Aug 4 2018-March 26 2019: 2000MG),(March 27 2019-March 30 2019: 1600MG),(May 1 2019: 2000MG)

Hydrocodone:(Aug 2016-Oct 2016: 10-325/4daily),(Nov 2016-Feb 2017: 10-325/3daily),(March 2017-April 2017: 5-325/4daily),(May 2017-April 2018: 10-325/3daily),(June 2018-Aug 25 2018: 10-325/5daily),(Aug 26 2018-Sept 2 2018: 4.5daily),(Sept 3 2018-Sept 10 2018: 10-325/4daily),(Sept 11 2018-Sept 18 2018: 10-325/3daily),(Sept 19 2018-May 1 2019: 10-325/3.5 daily).

Oxycodone: May 2018: 10-325MG/4daily). 

Please see my Intro for full drug history.

         **Forgive Yourself For Not Knowing What You Didn't Know Before You Knew It!  -Maya Angelou/

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Sebbe Trying to quit Lexapro
  • Administrator

Welcome, Sebbe.


Both Lexapro and Celexa come in liquid form so you can take 1mg with an oral syringe.


Yes, you can take Celexa instead of Lexapro. That might be a good idea, Celexa is milder. If you can't find the liquid, you can make your own with water and a tablet. See Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Sebbe: trying to quit Lexapro

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