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nologic1986

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Hi all,

 

I recently completed a taper of Valium over the Feb - Sept 2019 time period via a daily liquid microtaper (sooo glad to be done with this!), but from my siggy, you can see I am also currently on Lexapro and Mirtazapine (both of which I have been on now for around a year). I would like to taper off of both of these (not the same time, but lexapro first, mirtazapine second) over the coming months and am just looking for more information from those who have successfully walked this path before me. If anyone is tapering a benzo, I am an open book regarding my experience and what has helped me (fish oil and kefir are the two supplements that helped me the most, by a mile). I am wondering if there is a way I can taper my antidepressants in a similar manner - very very slowly, gradually, and consistently, but also a pace that is based on symptoms / experience as opposed to a pre-set path. Thankfully, none of these are controlled substances, and I have a doctor that is very supportive of working with me, so I am all ears to this community and look forward to joining and learning in advance of my remaining tapers.

 

Thanks,

Jim

Successfully tapered off of Valium (Feb - Sept 2019 after 4 months of daily usage) using daily liquid micro taper with minimal symptoms after a failed cold turkey attempt (I took my time with the last 2mg of Valium)

 

33 years old with minimal psych med history that only began Oct 2018

Recently learned I am C677T heterozygous (MTHFR)

 

Current meds: Lexapro (5mg daily) and Mirtazapine (7.5mg daily)

Lexapro Oct 2018 - present

Mirtazapine December 2018 - present

 

Looking to start Lexapro taper late 2019 - early 2020 after giving my CNS some time to heal / stabilize

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, nologic1986.  Congratulations on completing your Valium taper!  I've got an Ativan taper coming up fairly soon as soon as I finish my Lexapro taper.

 

First off, I'd suggest you wait for a couple of months before beginning your Lexapro taper to let your system have a rest and to let everything settle.

 

I'm not aware of a thread on doing a symptom-based taper, but I will give you information on the three tapers we recommend.  They are symptom-based insofar as we recommend you hold or reduce the drop when symptoms become too much.

 

The first is the standard taper of 10% of current dose every four weeks.

 

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

The Brassmonkey Slide is a way of making micro-taper reductions weekly, as opposed to a larger reduction once a month.  The advantage of this taper is that you don't get hit with the 10% drop all at once.  Instead, it's spread out into four 2 1/2% weekly drops, followed by a two-week hold.  I used this method to taper Lexapro from 20mg to my current 1.5mg, and it has worked well.
 
A micro-taper is the gentlest way to come off these drugs. 

 

 
The following link is specifically about tapering Lexapro.
 
 
You mentioned your signature in your post, but it didn't show up.  The signature can't be done from a phone.  Here's the link:
 
 
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're 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.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Aug. 5, 2022: 4.3mg

Taper is 77% 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.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

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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43 minutes ago, Gridley said:

Welcome to SA, nologic1986.  Congratulations on completing your Valium taper!  I've got an Ativan taper coming up fairly soon as soon as I finish my Lexapro taper.

 

First off, I'd suggest you wait for a couple of months before beginning your Lexapro taper to let your system have a rest and to let everything settle.

 

I'm not aware of a thread on doing a symptom-based taper, but I will give you information on the three tapers we recommend.  They are symptom-based insofar as we recommend you hold or reduce the drop when symptoms become too much.

 

The first is the standard taper of 10% of current dose every four weeks.

 

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

The Brassmonkey Slide is a way of making micro-taper reductions weekly, as opposed to a larger reduction once a month.  The advantage of this taper is that you don't get hit with the 10% drop all at once.  Instead, it's spread out into four 2 1/2% weekly drops, followed by a two-week hold.  I used this method to taper Lexapro from 20mg to my current 1.5mg, and it has worked well.
 
A micro-taper is the gentlest way to come off these drugs. 

 

 
The following link is specifically about tapering Lexapro.
 
 
You mentioned your signature in your post, but it didn't show up.  The signature can't be done from a phone.  Here's the link:
 
 
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.
 
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you! I will indeed look to do a micro-taper...I do have a question though..I seem to have trouble coming off of my current version (tablet form, made by Cipla) and switching over to the liquid version. For those who were sensitive to other generic substitutes, is there a recommended way to make a homemade liquid version using your tablets? I feel like this may unfortunately be the best approach for me given my sensitivity to switching to the liquid generic version. And thanks for the recommendation to hold for a few months - I think I will indeed do this and just wait until the holidays are over with before I tackle this taper.

 

Jim

Successfully tapered off of Valium (Feb - Sept 2019 after 4 months of daily usage) using daily liquid micro taper with minimal symptoms after a failed cold turkey attempt (I took my time with the last 2mg of Valium)

 

33 years old with minimal psych med history that only began Oct 2018

Recently learned I am C677T heterozygous (MTHFR)

 

Current meds: Lexapro (5mg daily) and Mirtazapine (7.5mg daily)

Lexapro Oct 2018 - present

Mirtazapine December 2018 - present

 

Looking to start Lexapro taper late 2019 - early 2020 after giving my CNS some time to heal / stabilize

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  • Moderator
20 hours ago, nologic1986 said:

is there a recommended way to make a homemade liquid version using your tablets?

 

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

There are also instructions in this link:

 

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

When making a crossover from tablet to liquid, we recommend a gradual switch.  Even though you'll be using the same brand, the body absorbs liquid differently from tablets, thus the need to make the switch gradually.

 

3/4 tablet, 1/4 liquid for 3 to 7 days

1/2 tablet, 1/2 liquid for 3 to 7 days

1/4 tablet, 3/4 liquid for 3 to 7 days

all liquid thereafter 

 

Gridley

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.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Aug. 5, 2022: 4.3mg

Taper is 77% 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.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

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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Hello Nologic

 

Welcome to SA! They are an indispensable for navigating WD. You will find top notch advice here and friends. I am glad you have a supportive physician. That is 1/2 the battle isn't it. :)

 

Congrats on getting off the valium! I imagine you must feel great. After finishing with cymbalta (and resting my CNS for a TBD period) I can look forward to tapering clonazepam.

 

Welcome.

 

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Hi NoLogic!

Yes, you’ve come to a good place to learn how to taper off these meds.    I too am taking Lexapro and Mirtazapine.  I’ve been tapering slowly and doing pretty well.    Just take your time and monitor how you are feeling.    If you start getting symptomatic your body is telling you to slow down.   
 

You’ll get there, although it will take time.   I’m here to help!

2010:  Escitalopram (Lexapro) 10 mg.   Mirtazapine (Remeron) 15 mg. 

2011:    Tapered Mirtazapine: 5 month successful taper.  Then tapered Lexapro:  4 month successful taper

May 2011 to August 2017:   No medications, full recovery

September 6, 2017:  started Mirtazapine (Remeron) 15 mg  - due to severe sudden insomnia (I believe caused by statin use)

November 16, 2017:   started Escitalopram (Lexapro) 10 mg

January 1, 2018 to October 30. 2020 -- 34 month taper off of Mirtazapine 15 mg to 0.00 mg

June 16, 2018:  Started slow taper of 10 mg Escitalopram (Lexapro)

Current (mgai):    0.23 mg  Escitalopram

Supplements:  Fish Oil, Curcumin, bio active B vitamins, zinc, magnesium glycinate, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, saffron, citrus bergamot, ashwagandha

 

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:34

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20 minutes ago, PH1 said:

Hi NoLogic!

Yes, you’ve come to a good place to learn how to taper off these meds.    I too am taking Lexapro and Mirtazapine.  I’ve been tapering slowly and doing pretty well.    Just take your time and monitor how you are feeling.    If you start getting symptomatic your body is telling you to slow down.   
 

You’ll get there, although it will take time.   I’m here to help!

Thank you! I definitely plan to go slowly - for me it’s all about maximizing quality of life and the time it takes to taper off is a distant second. Could you please tell me how you are tapering? Are you dry cutting weighing or are you doing a liquid taper?

Successfully tapered off of Valium (Feb - Sept 2019 after 4 months of daily usage) using daily liquid micro taper with minimal symptoms after a failed cold turkey attempt (I took my time with the last 2mg of Valium)

 

33 years old with minimal psych med history that only began Oct 2018

Recently learned I am C677T heterozygous (MTHFR)

 

Current meds: Lexapro (5mg daily) and Mirtazapine (7.5mg daily)

Lexapro Oct 2018 - present

Mirtazapine December 2018 - present

 

Looking to start Lexapro taper late 2019 - early 2020 after giving my CNS some time to heal / stabilize

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On 10/22/2019 at 5:59 PM, nologic1986 said:

Thank you! I definitely plan to go slowly - for me it’s all about maximizing quality of life and the time it takes to taper off is a distant second. Could you please tell me how you are tapering? Are you dry cutting weighing or are you doing a liquid taper?

I’m with you....I want to maximize my life  and minimize the suffering coming off the meds.   If that means taking a few years, so be it.    I have been dry cutting and weighing (with a .001g scale) this whole time.    The recommendation here is to taper one drug at a time, which is wise.   I have been tapering very slowly both of my meds, however.   My goal is to get off the mirtazapine first then tackle the last of the Lexapro second.   Lord willing I’ll be off mirt a year or so from now and Lexapro in 2021.

2010:  Escitalopram (Lexapro) 10 mg.   Mirtazapine (Remeron) 15 mg. 

2011:    Tapered Mirtazapine: 5 month successful taper.  Then tapered Lexapro:  4 month successful taper

May 2011 to August 2017:   No medications, full recovery

September 6, 2017:  started Mirtazapine (Remeron) 15 mg  - due to severe sudden insomnia (I believe caused by statin use)

November 16, 2017:   started Escitalopram (Lexapro) 10 mg

January 1, 2018 to October 30. 2020 -- 34 month taper off of Mirtazapine 15 mg to 0.00 mg

June 16, 2018:  Started slow taper of 10 mg Escitalopram (Lexapro)

Current (mgai):    0.23 mg  Escitalopram

Supplements:  Fish Oil, Curcumin, bio active B vitamins, zinc, magnesium glycinate, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, saffron, citrus bergamot, ashwagandha

 

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:34

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11 minutes ago, PH1 said:

I’m with you....I want to maximize my life  and minimize the suffering coming off the meds.   If that means taking a few years, so be it.    I have been dry cutting and weighing (with a .001g scale) this whole time.    The recommendation here is to taper one drug at a time, which is wise.   I have been tapering very slowly both of my meds, however.   My goal is to get off the mirtazapine first then tackle the last of the Lexapro second.   Lord willing I’ll be off mirt a year or so from now and Lexapro in 2021.

 

I will be looking to do the same - dry cutting and weighing and going incredibly slow. How has your taper been so far? Love the quote in your siggy by the way - so true / wise, and the biggest obstacle about this whole taper business is worrying about what is to come....

Successfully tapered off of Valium (Feb - Sept 2019 after 4 months of daily usage) using daily liquid micro taper with minimal symptoms after a failed cold turkey attempt (I took my time with the last 2mg of Valium)

 

33 years old with minimal psych med history that only began Oct 2018

Recently learned I am C677T heterozygous (MTHFR)

 

Current meds: Lexapro (5mg daily) and Mirtazapine (7.5mg daily)

Lexapro Oct 2018 - present

Mirtazapine December 2018 - present

 

Looking to start Lexapro taper late 2019 - early 2020 after giving my CNS some time to heal / stabilize

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Overall my taper has been pretty manageable.   When I hit bigger bumps in the road it’s from tapering a bit too fast.  I then hold for a month and things settle down and I feel reasonably well, then taper again a bit more slowly.   As I’ve gotten to the lower doses I’ve had to slow down even more.  Right now I plan to drop 0.1 mg of the mirt every 30 days until I’m done.  If I get stronger symptoms I’ll slow down even more.    With the dry cutting method the smallest increment drop I can do is 0.1 mg.

 

I tend to think too much about the future so that verse has really helped remind me to take things one day at a time....but it’s still not easy to do!

2010:  Escitalopram (Lexapro) 10 mg.   Mirtazapine (Remeron) 15 mg. 

2011:    Tapered Mirtazapine: 5 month successful taper.  Then tapered Lexapro:  4 month successful taper

May 2011 to August 2017:   No medications, full recovery

September 6, 2017:  started Mirtazapine (Remeron) 15 mg  - due to severe sudden insomnia (I believe caused by statin use)

November 16, 2017:   started Escitalopram (Lexapro) 10 mg

January 1, 2018 to October 30. 2020 -- 34 month taper off of Mirtazapine 15 mg to 0.00 mg

June 16, 2018:  Started slow taper of 10 mg Escitalopram (Lexapro)

Current (mgai):    0.23 mg  Escitalopram

Supplements:  Fish Oil, Curcumin, bio active B vitamins, zinc, magnesium glycinate, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, saffron, citrus bergamot, ashwagandha

 

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:34

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