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CM1212: Lexapro Nightmare


CM1212

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Hello,

 

I started lexapro for mild social anxiety and was on it for 6 years (3 of those years I was on 60mg which I found out later was 3x the Max dose). I never had any issues on the medicine if I skipped a dose or went up or down in dosage. I abruptly stopped taking it about 2 years ago and had horrible withdrawal symptoms. I went right back on the medicine but was never able to have coffee after that and had palpitations. After that scare I wanted to get off the medicine so last year starting in January i weaned down from 10mg to 0mg in a 4 month period. I never had any issues while tapering off. Then in June (3 months after stopping) one day I randomly felt 2 sharp electric shocks in my head while reading and started to have an onslaught of symptoms after. Dizziness (feeling like a bobble head when walking), extreme fatigue, heart issues which caused me to go to ER a few times, sensitiviy to noise, visual disturbances etc. I went to many doctors and everything was normal. In September my symptoms got progressively worse to the point where I had to move back home to my parents. For the past 2.5 months I have basically been bed ridden am developing POTs type symptoms and have extreme fatigue and dizziness. I tried taking Xanax for 3 days in September, lexapro for 4 days at 1mg in nov and this past weekend I took Zoloft at 25mg for two days and I had a bad reaction to each, especially the Zoloft. I now have brain zaps and shocky like sensations whenever I move my head or eyes. I wanted to get advice to see if this sounds like it’s attributed to lexapro as every doctor has assured me it’s not and if so, if there’s any hope for healing. Thanks.

2012-2019 lexapro

2012-2013 Xanax (whilst starting lexapro and as needed)

2019 3 days of Xanax 

2020 2 days of Zoloft

 

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, CM212.  I'm sorry you feeling so bad and also sorry about the unconscionable amount of Lexapro you were prescribed.  Yes, what you are suffering from is withdrawal and yes, there is hope for healing, but it's going to take some time and, unfortunately, we can't predict how long it will take.  It will be a slow and often frustrating process, I'm sorry to say, but you will heal.

 

Doctors know nothing about withdrawal and, believing what the drug companies tell them, don't believe it exists.  The symptoms you describe are very typical withdrawal symptom stemming from your  very fast taper from 10mg to zero in four months.  We recommend tapering by no more the 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  Some have to taper more slowly.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Your system is very sensitized, which would explain your bad reaction to the Xanax and Lexapro you tried in September and the Zoloft this past weekend.  I would not suggest you try any more antidepressants.  Your system needs a rest.

 

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms for the first time three months after stopping an antidepressant is very common and something we see quite often. So that you have a better understanding of what you're experiencing, here is some information about withdrawal and healing.

 

Your symptoms are known and acknowledged as common in withdrawal from SSRI medications and other neuro-psycho-active substances. Please read:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF)

 

Here is a link on withdrawal-related POTS.

 

brot30: ME/CFS and POTS - Surviving Antidepressants

 

When we take psychiatric medications such as Lexapro, 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.  

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

We recommend using non-drug coping skill to help deal with withdrawal.  Take a look at the links in the following link and see which technique you thing may be of benefit 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 (magnesium glycerinate is a good form) and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

We recommend a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, getting mild exercise if you can.  Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugar and stress.

 

You''ll find the moderators and members here to be a sympathetic, supportive and knowledgable group, and I encourage you to read around the site and comment, if you wish, on others' threads. If you're in need of a ray of hope,  I suggest you look at the Success Soties section on this site's main page, about 3/4 down

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by 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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover and change from 3 daily doses to one 18.75mgai dose (0.311mgpw). Jan. 11, 2021 begin hold at current bedtime 18.75mgai dose.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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  • Altostrata changed the title to cm1212 Lexapro Nightmare
  • Administrator

Welcome, CM.

 

That sounds like delayed withdrawal syndrome, which is not common but we do see it here. Your nervous system was still vulnerable from going off the drug, and something set it off.

 

Before these symptoms started, did you start any new drugs, get treatment with an antibiotic, or perhaps drink alcohol?

 

What happened when you took Xanax? At what dose?

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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Hello,

 

No I didn’t do anything different when this happened. I had just come back from a week long vacation in France so was quite relaxed. I did drink alcohol but nothing more than I typically would.

 

I took 25mg I believe for 3 days in Oct. I had taken it several times before when I started the lexapro so I wanted to see if taking the Xanax helped but it didn’t make me calm like it usually does and after I stopped taking it I had a sort of mania type response which I had never experienced before.

2012-2019 lexapro

2012-2013 Xanax (whilst starting lexapro and as needed)

2019 3 days of Xanax 

2020 2 days of Zoloft

 

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  • 2 months later...

@Gridley It’s been a year since I stopped lexapro and unfortunately I don’t seem to be doing any better. I know the 2 doses of Zoloft didn’t help as things became progressively worse then but is it normal to not have any windows at this point? I just want one day where I feel somewhat normal but it’s just constant misery. My main symptoms are fuzzy and blurry vision, fuzzy/buzzing head, tinnitus, vertigo/balance issues (like I am walking in a funhouse), zappy sensations in head, general feeling of fatigue/malaise, nonstop feeling of impending doom, dp/dr, brain has trouble concentrating on moving objects, chest pain, PVCs, GI issues, etc etc.

2012-2019 lexapro

2012-2013 Xanax (whilst starting lexapro and as needed)

2019 3 days of Xanax 

2020 2 days of Zoloft

 

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  • Moderator
38 minutes ago, CM1212 said:

I don’t seem to be doing any better.

I'm sorry you're not doing well, CM.  The symptoms you describe are typical withdrawal symptoms.  There really is no ""normal" in withdrawal, but I would say it's not unusual to be a year out with no relief.  It will come in time, but unfortunately we can't predict when.

 

Protracted Withdrawal or PAWS (post-acute withdrawal ...

 

Did you ever try the magnesium or omegas I mentioned in my first post?  Many members find them calming.  If you do try them, try one at a time and at a low dose to start.

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover and change from 3 daily doses to one 18.75mgai dose (0.311mgpw). Jan. 11, 2021 begin hold at current bedtime 18.75mgai dose.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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Thanks so much for your swift response.

Yes I take omega 3s but don’t really notice a difference. I also had to go on a beta blocker bc my HR wasn’t going down but I am now only taking 1/8 of the lowest dose. 

Based on your experience Have you seen people with my symptoms this bad a year out still go on to recover?

2012-2019 lexapro

2012-2013 Xanax (whilst starting lexapro and as needed)

2019 3 days of Xanax 

2020 2 days of Zoloft

 

Link to post

@Gridley reposting the above and tagging you (not sure if I have to do this each time for you to get the notification, if not sorry to be annoying!)

 

Thanks so much for your swift response.

Yes I take omega 3s but don’t really notice a difference. I also had to go on a beta blocker bc my HR wasn’t going down but I am now only taking 1/8 of the lowest dose. 

Based on your experience Have you seen people with my symptoms this bad a year out still go on to recover?

2012-2019 lexapro

2012-2013 Xanax (whilst starting lexapro and as needed)

2019 3 days of Xanax 

2020 2 days of Zoloft

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
37 minutes ago, CM1212 said:

Based on your experience Have you seen people with my symptoms this bad a year out still go on to recover?

Absolutely, yes.

 

37 minutes ago, CM1212 said:

tagging you

 

It is helpful to tag me.  I try to keep an eye out but tagging makes sure I see your post and is not at all annoying..

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover and change from 3 daily doses to one 18.75mgai dose (0.311mgpw). Jan. 11, 2021 begin hold at current bedtime 18.75mgai dose.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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.

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, I was wondering if anyone has had the symptom where it is hard for their eyes/vision to focus on things, for instance when I scroll up and down on my phone screen my brain has a hard time processing this movement. It’s a bit hard to explain, but if someone has experienced this have you had this go away? Sorry I’ve just been having a really difficult week.

2012-2019 lexapro

2012-2013 Xanax (whilst starting lexapro and as needed)

2019 3 days of Xanax 

2020 2 days of Zoloft

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
6 minutes ago, CM1212 said:

it is hard for their eyes/vision to focus on things,

Vision problems are a common withdrawal symptom, as are cognitive difficulties in processing information.  They, like other withdrawal symptoms, fade with time.  You can Google SurvivingAntidepressants.org vision problems for several topics on this subject.

 

I'm sorry you're having a bad week, CM.  I hope you feel better soon.

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover and change from 3 daily doses to one 18.75mgai dose (0.311mgpw). Jan. 11, 2021 begin hold at current bedtime 18.75mgai dose.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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hey there, CM.

 

i also tapered off of lexapro in a similar period of time and had very similar symptoms, albeit more recently. various things will still 'flare up' for me, too.

 

re: vision issues, i have had this recently as well. anecdotally, they have abated after a couple of days of rest/taking things easy. during these flare-ups, it has been very helpful for me to mentally work through it and convince myself that it's okay (after i have been checked by professionals!) obviously that's easier said than done, especially in times like these. magnesium has also been helpful when i take it consistently.

 

take things slowly and take care of yourself, i hope that you start to feel better.

lexapro 20mg started Oct 2016 - taper began June 2019, completed Jan 2020

geodon 20mg started Oct 2016 - taper began June 2019, completed Sept 2019

trileptal 300mg started Feb 2017 - taper began Feb 2019, completed May 2019

12.5mg hydroxyzine for allergies and anxiety. 0.5mg ativan as needed.

adderall prescribed to as a child, unsure of type, dosage, and length

 

supplements: magnesium glycinate/succinate, 0.2mg melatonin

 

ASD and proudly weird. IANAD!

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to CM1212: Lexapro Nightmare

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