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Sandi1988

Sandi1988: Lexapro / escitalopram withdrawal symptoms

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Sandi1988

Hi new to the group I’m Day 6 off Lexapro after weaning off for 6 weeks from 20mg 15mg 10mg and then 5mg. I’m having bad side effects brain zaps constantly. Anxiety and heart palpitations and so emotional and teary. I’ve started taking omega supplements and b12 and completely cut caffeine and alcohol out. I know I’m early in but would really love any tips or encouragement on how to get through. 🙏

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Sassenach

Welcome to SA, Sandy.  I'm sorry you're having such a terrible time.


 

To start, please add a drug signature, including drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Please include the dosage of Lexapro  and the date you stopped.  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 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.

  • Max twelve lines

What you are experiencing are withdrawal symptoms from your too fast taper.  Withdrawal symptoms arise because your body got used to the drug being present and now has to work very hard to accommodate its absence.  


 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.

 

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:


 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery


 

  On 8/30/2011 at 8:28 PM, Rhiannon said:
   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.

 

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms. -- at least the first page of the topic

 

If you decide reinstatement is something you want to consider, we can suggest a reinstatement dose after you've completed your drug signature.  Please do not reinstate without first hearing our recommendation.  If you do decide to reinstate, you would wait to stabilize on the drug, which can take several months, and then begin a slow 10% every four weeks taper of the dose you reinstated.  

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

We strongly recommend the use of  non-drug methods to cope with withdrawal syndrome.  Some of these can be found in the Symptoms and Self-Care forum of this site.

 

Symptoms and self-care

 

Please also read through this link to see what it contains that might be of help to you.

 

 Non-drug techniques to cope

 

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 and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system.  Magnesium glycinate is a good form of magnesium.


 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 


 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 


 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

This is your Introductiontopic, where you can ask questions, monitor your progress and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 


 


Escitalopram 10mgs from mid 2007 ( can't remember exact date) to 11th Dec 2018

Fentanyl patches ( don't remember dose ) from Nov 2014 to 11 Dec 2018

Quit both cold turkey Dec 2018

Reinstated 3rd March 2019 2.5 mgs.

Updosed  8March to 5mgs and holding

25/11/19 Started taper 4.5mgs and holding

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

If you are going through Hell, keep going. NCIS series 15, David MaCallum:rolleyes:

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Sassenach

Hi Sandi

Your taper looks like a doctor prescribed schedule.

Doctors and psychiatrists know no nothing about A/D withdrawal.

The only known way to mitigate W/D symptoms after cold turkey or too fast taper is to reinstate a partial dose.

I know it is a difficult decision when you want off the med but if you continue without,t the symptoms will almost certainly get worse.

You have been off the med for about a week so reinstatement should work, the longer you wait the less likely it will be effective.

Don't regard it as failing because you can get on with your life once stabilised and you will be tapering from a smaller dose.

If you choose reinstate on your own please do not go back to a full dose as that could have serious repercussions.

If you look at my drug signature above you will see I cold turkeyed Lexapro/Escitalopram and waited 2 months to reinstate.

I am lucky, it worked but the delay means stabilisation will take longer.

We are here to help and have several members in Oz.

Good luck

 

Sassenach. 


Escitalopram 10mgs from mid 2007 ( can't remember exact date) to 11th Dec 2018

Fentanyl patches ( don't remember dose ) from Nov 2014 to 11 Dec 2018

Quit both cold turkey Dec 2018

Reinstated 3rd March 2019 2.5 mgs.

Updosed  8March to 5mgs and holding

25/11/19 Started taper 4.5mgs and holding

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

If you are going through Hell, keep going. NCIS series 15, David MaCallum:rolleyes:

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Sandi1988

Thank you so much for your reply. I can’t even imagine going back on it. I would rather keep moving forward and trying my best to cope with these withdrawals. I have started taking fish oil and magnesium and also b12. I didn’t realise any of this and i really wish I would have researched before coming off. It’s so amazing how doctors have no idea and such a shame. Thanks so much again 

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ChessieCat

Hi Sandi and welcome from me too.

 

Q:  When did you start taking Lexapro?

 

Please check out the information in this link:  are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

 

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

It is understandable that members don't want to take the drug again.  However, it has nothing to do with how strong, disciplined or determined we are.  It is all to do with the fact that the drug has changed our brain and when we take the drug away too quickly we can get withdrawal symptoms.  Because you have only been off the drug for 7 days I think reinstatement is your best option.

 

The idea of reinstating isn't to get rid of withdrawal symptoms completely but to bring them to a bearable level.  It is better to start with a small dose than to risk taking too much.  If after a week or two the symptoms are still unbearable you could increase by another small amount.

 

My own experience might help you to understand how these drugs can affect us.

 

I was taking 100mg Pristiq and because it is only available in 50mg and 100mg doses I started taking 50mg.  Over a 2 week period my brain fog got worse and worse and even walking took my full concentration.  It was at this time that I researched and found SA.  They suggested that I increase my dose but I wanted to find out more about what they were suggesting and of course the brain fog made it difficult to take in the information I was reading.  However, a couple of days after joining SA I was unable to type.  I have been a professional typist for 40+ years so I knew something was wrong.  I decided to take extra Pristiq and after only about 4 hours I was able to type again and the brain fog was lifting.  I had a benchmark so I had proof that it was the lack of drug that caused the brain fog and inability to type.  The difference was like night and day.  I also knew that there was no way that this was wishful thinking etc.


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

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Sassenach

Hi Sandy

 

How are you doing?

 

Sassenach


Escitalopram 10mgs from mid 2007 ( can't remember exact date) to 11th Dec 2018

Fentanyl patches ( don't remember dose ) from Nov 2014 to 11 Dec 2018

Quit both cold turkey Dec 2018

Reinstated 3rd March 2019 2.5 mgs.

Updosed  8March to 5mgs and holding

25/11/19 Started taper 4.5mgs and holding

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

If you are going through Hell, keep going. NCIS series 15, David MaCallum:rolleyes:

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