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Caroline16: my introduction


Caroline16

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Hi everyone! 

 

I am so happy I discovered your forum last week! I am a stay-at-home mother of three children from 5 to 10, and happily married.

 

I have been on Escitalopram 10 mg for one year, since February 24, 2019. A doctor prescribed it to me because I had been in an acute anxiety condition for many days and it was still increasing. I was diagnosed a burn out too. It was hell for me, I wasn't able to do anything, panicking with difficult breathing. I had been doing everything for my family for 10 years, never taking a break, without fun hobby or social life: a perfect recipy for the break down that happened.

 

Now, thanks to my psychotherapy, all the rest I took and the new way I live (I work less, I involve everyone at home and I have hobbies and friends now), I feel better. I still feel tired and in the process of totally healing from my burn out, but I am on the good way.

 

I plan to tapper off from escitalopram because, in spite I tolerate it well, I'm beginning to have more very small involontary movements and I don't like that. Moreover, the doctor who prescribed it to me told me to take it only for a year, which I agree with. I think I will now be able to control my remaining anxiety with my psychotherapy -- if escitalopram ever helped in my healing process, which I'll never know.

 

So I thought I could tapper off within 6 months. My pharmacist told me to do that within 1 month, but I knew better because I wanted to avoid the withdrawal horror stories I read on Internet. What a surprise when I discovered your forum telling I should go even more slower than that! I am so, so scared of the discontinuation symptoms that, believe me, I will go slow and do the -10% every month, should it take 4 years to be escitalopram free.

 

Now my only worry is that I cannot purchase the liquid form in Canada, it is not available in my country... So I will read your advice about how I can make my own oral solution or how to make powder with my pills and prepare smaller doses myself. I should start next week and I'll let you know how it goes.

 

Thank you for being there! Your work here is a real blessing, and I will share it with the many antidepressant-users I know.

  • Escitalopram 10 mg since February 24, 2019 -- Begin tapering using Brassmonkey slide on March 8, 2020: 9,75 mg. June 1st: 7,8 mg. August 16: 6,2 mg. December 20, 2020: 4,7mg.
  • Melatonine 2,5 mg
  • Magnesium, Omega-3
  • Zopiclone 1,875 mg 3-4 times a month (when needed)
  • Psychodynamic/MBCT Psychotherapy since January 2019
  • 30-minute walk daily
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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Caroline16.  I'm very glad you came here before starting your Lexapro taper. We'll be happy to help you.

 I'm nearing the end of my taper off 20mg Lexapro.  I estimate it will have taken a little less than 4 years to taper the 20mg.  My symptoms have been tolerable and I am functional.  Since your original dose of 10mg is much less than mine, your taper would take somewhat less time than mine.  You are very wise in your intention to go slow.

 

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

An alternate taper the we also recommend has 4 weekly smaller tapers for by a hold.  It's slightly slower than the 10% method but is gentler.  I used this method for my Lexapro taper.

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

 

This link is specifically about tapering Lexapro, including how to make your own liquid and how to weigh using powder to get the doses you'll need for your taper.

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

I tapered using powder and the scale.  Many members use the AWS Gemini-20 scale available on Amazon.  Others prefer to make their own liquid.  It's all explained or linked to in the preceding link.

 

The GEMINI-20 Scale

 

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 (glycinate 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.

 

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.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

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

Taper is 74% 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 May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% 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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Thank you so much for your message Gridley! I am interested in the Brassmonkey method: I'll read about it and may change my plan according to it. Also, I found the scale Gemini on Internet and I will buy it to help my reducing my doses. I feel in good hands here. :)

  • Escitalopram 10 mg since February 24, 2019 -- Begin tapering using Brassmonkey slide on March 8, 2020: 9,75 mg. June 1st: 7,8 mg. August 16: 6,2 mg. December 20, 2020: 4,7mg.
  • Melatonine 2,5 mg
  • Magnesium, Omega-3
  • Zopiclone 1,875 mg 3-4 times a month (when needed)
  • Psychodynamic/MBCT Psychotherapy since January 2019
  • 30-minute walk daily
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  • Moderator
37 minutes ago, Caroline16 said:

I feel in good hands here.

Sound goods, Caroline.  You will do great.

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.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

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

Taper is 74% 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 May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% 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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Hi Gridley, I have read on one post that you make powder from your Lexapro pills using spoons only. You crush them on a plate? It worked well? You didn't feel the need to buy a grinder?

  • Escitalopram 10 mg since February 24, 2019 -- Begin tapering using Brassmonkey slide on March 8, 2020: 9,75 mg. June 1st: 7,8 mg. August 16: 6,2 mg. December 20, 2020: 4,7mg.
  • Melatonine 2,5 mg
  • Magnesium, Omega-3
  • Zopiclone 1,875 mg 3-4 times a month (when needed)
  • Psychodynamic/MBCT Psychotherapy since January 2019
  • 30-minute walk daily
Link to comment
  • Moderator
3 minutes ago, Caroline16 said:

You crush them on a plate? It worked well? You didn't feel the need to buy a grinder?

The spoons work fine for me.  I just put the tablet between the two spoons and grind into a powder, then use the little tongs that come with the scale to lift the powder onto the scale. I use LabExact Grade WW weighing paper (from Amazon), bent or folded in half, to pour the weighed powder into the gelatin capsule.  I use size 00 capsules, which are large and easy to pour into.

 

 I've heard very good things about the grinder but, living in Ecuador, I have difficulty getting products.

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.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

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

Taper is 74% 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 May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% 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.

Link to comment

Great! Thank you for the information Gridley! I'll get the special paper too.

  • Escitalopram 10 mg since February 24, 2019 -- Begin tapering using Brassmonkey slide on March 8, 2020: 9,75 mg. June 1st: 7,8 mg. August 16: 6,2 mg. December 20, 2020: 4,7mg.
  • Melatonine 2,5 mg
  • Magnesium, Omega-3
  • Zopiclone 1,875 mg 3-4 times a month (when needed)
  • Psychodynamic/MBCT Psychotherapy since January 2019
  • 30-minute walk daily
Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

Hi everyone!

 

Just a little post to say that tapering off with Brassmonkey's schedule is very effective for me. I feel no special symptoms at all. Everything goes smoothly. Yeah!

 

My only concern is my weight. I gained 30 lbs using Lexapro, and I am so eager to lose it! But it is like it won't come off as long as I will take Lexapro. I never succeed to lose weight for good when I try... Did somebody have a similar experience? 

 

Thank you everybody and take care!

  • Escitalopram 10 mg since February 24, 2019 -- Begin tapering using Brassmonkey slide on March 8, 2020: 9,75 mg. June 1st: 7,8 mg. August 16: 6,2 mg. December 20, 2020: 4,7mg.
  • Melatonine 2,5 mg
  • Magnesium, Omega-3
  • Zopiclone 1,875 mg 3-4 times a month (when needed)
  • Psychodynamic/MBCT Psychotherapy since January 2019
  • 30-minute walk daily
Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

Hello @Caroline16! Just stopping by to see how you are doing on this first day of June. Thank you again for sending your tips for tapering. I am still a ways off, but holding on to your instructions. Bisous!

2008-2016 - Lexapro 10 mg, tapered to 2.5 mg over one year then CT without issues
Feb 2 - July 24, 2019 - restarted Lexapro 5 mg for insomnia

July 25 - Nov 19, 2019 - Lexapro 10 mg, resulted in increased anxiety and depression
Nov 20 - Dec 11, 2019 - 3-week FT from Lexapro 10 mg to 7.5 mg to 5 mg to 0
Dec 12, 2019 - Feb 4, 2020 - drug-free and feeling good until horrible WD hit
Feb 5 - Feb 16, 2020 - Paxil 10 mg, adverse reaction
Feb 18, 2020 - reinstated Lexapro 5 mg

Nov 22 - Dec 12, 2020 - transition from pill to homemade liquid

Dec 13, 2020 - 4.7 mg; Jan 3, 2021 - 4.5 mg; Jan 24 - 4.3 mg; Feb 14 - 4.2 mg; March 7 - 4.1 mg

 

daily meditation 10-40 minutes, yoga 30 minutes; CBT & ACT therapy

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Bonjour @Cigale! Thank you for kind message! I am doing fine these days. Actually, 10 days ago, I tried something new: since my tapering off was going so well, I went from 8,1 to 7,5. It was not that bad, but I started feeling dizzy from time to time even after 10 days. So yesterday I went up to 7,8 and I will stay there for a week or two before decreasing again according to Brassmonkey method. Really, there's no way to go faster for me, I know it now! :)

 

Another problem was probably that with the 7,5 mg dose, I was then using 3/4 of a pill instead of my syringe technique. Yet by cutting my pills, it is not always the exact same amount of medication, and my body didn't seem to like it. I will stick to the dilution now.

 

Have a good day and take care!

  • Escitalopram 10 mg since February 24, 2019 -- Begin tapering using Brassmonkey slide on March 8, 2020: 9,75 mg. June 1st: 7,8 mg. August 16: 6,2 mg. December 20, 2020: 4,7mg.
  • Melatonine 2,5 mg
  • Magnesium, Omega-3
  • Zopiclone 1,875 mg 3-4 times a month (when needed)
  • Psychodynamic/MBCT Psychotherapy since January 2019
  • 30-minute walk daily
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Hello @Cici and @Caroline16 - I want to share this advice that Gridley shared about switching from pill to liquid escitalopram (lexapro):

 

When you make the switch we recommend a a gradual crossover:

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

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

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

all liquid thereafter

2008-2016 - Lexapro 10 mg, tapered to 2.5 mg over one year then CT without issues
Feb 2 - July 24, 2019 - restarted Lexapro 5 mg for insomnia

July 25 - Nov 19, 2019 - Lexapro 10 mg, resulted in increased anxiety and depression
Nov 20 - Dec 11, 2019 - 3-week FT from Lexapro 10 mg to 7.5 mg to 5 mg to 0
Dec 12, 2019 - Feb 4, 2020 - drug-free and feeling good until horrible WD hit
Feb 5 - Feb 16, 2020 - Paxil 10 mg, adverse reaction
Feb 18, 2020 - reinstated Lexapro 5 mg

Nov 22 - Dec 12, 2020 - transition from pill to homemade liquid

Dec 13, 2020 - 4.7 mg; Jan 3, 2021 - 4.5 mg; Jan 24 - 4.3 mg; Feb 14 - 4.2 mg; March 7 - 4.1 mg

 

daily meditation 10-40 minutes, yoga 30 minutes; CBT & ACT therapy

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50 minutes ago, Caroline16 said:

I will stick to the dilution now.

 

From what @Gridley advised, I believe we have to be careful about going from pill to liquid since our bodies process these two substances differently. I hope you are feeling better after going back to the liquid. Take care!

2008-2016 - Lexapro 10 mg, tapered to 2.5 mg over one year then CT without issues
Feb 2 - July 24, 2019 - restarted Lexapro 5 mg for insomnia

July 25 - Nov 19, 2019 - Lexapro 10 mg, resulted in increased anxiety and depression
Nov 20 - Dec 11, 2019 - 3-week FT from Lexapro 10 mg to 7.5 mg to 5 mg to 0
Dec 12, 2019 - Feb 4, 2020 - drug-free and feeling good until horrible WD hit
Feb 5 - Feb 16, 2020 - Paxil 10 mg, adverse reaction
Feb 18, 2020 - reinstated Lexapro 5 mg

Nov 22 - Dec 12, 2020 - transition from pill to homemade liquid

Dec 13, 2020 - 4.7 mg; Jan 3, 2021 - 4.5 mg; Jan 24 - 4.3 mg; Feb 14 - 4.2 mg; March 7 - 4.1 mg

 

daily meditation 10-40 minutes, yoga 30 minutes; CBT & ACT therapy

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Hi @Cigale! Yes, I feel better this morning! And yes, you are right, it is better not to switch from a form to another. I forgot this, thank you for reminiding it to me. :)

  • Escitalopram 10 mg since February 24, 2019 -- Begin tapering using Brassmonkey slide on March 8, 2020: 9,75 mg. June 1st: 7,8 mg. August 16: 6,2 mg. December 20, 2020: 4,7mg.
  • Melatonine 2,5 mg
  • Magnesium, Omega-3
  • Zopiclone 1,875 mg 3-4 times a month (when needed)
  • Psychodynamic/MBCT Psychotherapy since January 2019
  • 30-minute walk daily
Link to comment

Thanks Cigale, yes I remember how different and weird it felt making the switch from pill to liquid, I think it gets absorbed into the blood stream way quicker and something else seems to be going on but am not a scientist so Im not sure xx

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Caroline16: my introduction
  • 3 weeks later...

Hello @Caroline16! Just thought I would drop by and see how you are doing. I sure hope you continue to taper with ease. You are my inspiration!

2008-2016 - Lexapro 10 mg, tapered to 2.5 mg over one year then CT without issues
Feb 2 - July 24, 2019 - restarted Lexapro 5 mg for insomnia

July 25 - Nov 19, 2019 - Lexapro 10 mg, resulted in increased anxiety and depression
Nov 20 - Dec 11, 2019 - 3-week FT from Lexapro 10 mg to 7.5 mg to 5 mg to 0
Dec 12, 2019 - Feb 4, 2020 - drug-free and feeling good until horrible WD hit
Feb 5 - Feb 16, 2020 - Paxil 10 mg, adverse reaction
Feb 18, 2020 - reinstated Lexapro 5 mg

Nov 22 - Dec 12, 2020 - transition from pill to homemade liquid

Dec 13, 2020 - 4.7 mg; Jan 3, 2021 - 4.5 mg; Jan 24 - 4.3 mg; Feb 14 - 4.2 mg; March 7 - 4.1 mg

 

daily meditation 10-40 minutes, yoga 30 minutes; CBT & ACT therapy

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Hi @Cigale! Thank you for your little message. Yes, I am still doing fine and feeling no symptoms at all. I am now at a 7,4mg dose and I plan to stick to the dilution until 0mg! I am pleased to be your inspiration, what an honor! I think everything works well thanks to the fact that I didn't go cold turkey and followed Surviving Antidepressants's advices since the beginning. It really pays to be slow and patient. Courage to you! xx

 

  • Escitalopram 10 mg since February 24, 2019 -- Begin tapering using Brassmonkey slide on March 8, 2020: 9,75 mg. June 1st: 7,8 mg. August 16: 6,2 mg. December 20, 2020: 4,7mg.
  • Melatonine 2,5 mg
  • Magnesium, Omega-3
  • Zopiclone 1,875 mg 3-4 times a month (when needed)
  • Psychodynamic/MBCT Psychotherapy since January 2019
  • 30-minute walk daily
Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone! I just stop by to tell you that I am still doing perfectly well with the Brassmonkey's schedule and my syringe technique to dilute my pills.

 

I really recommand everybody to taper off according to what is suggested on this site: do not push your luck by going faster!

  • Escitalopram 10 mg since February 24, 2019 -- Begin tapering using Brassmonkey slide on March 8, 2020: 9,75 mg. June 1st: 7,8 mg. August 16: 6,2 mg. December 20, 2020: 4,7mg.
  • Melatonine 2,5 mg
  • Magnesium, Omega-3
  • Zopiclone 1,875 mg 3-4 times a month (when needed)
  • Psychodynamic/MBCT Psychotherapy since January 2019
  • 30-minute walk daily
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  • Moderator Emeritus

That's good news.  Thank you for letting us know.

 

Yes, slow and steady is the best way.  However, there may be times when you become impatient to be done with it all.  I've been there a few times.  When it happens I post about it and other members have encouraged me and have helped me to regain my patience.

 * * * * * *   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO   * * * * * *

Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

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

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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Hi @ChessieCat! Yes, you are right, I may be tempted one day to go faster! It is good to know that members here will help me to stick to my schedule, then! Thank you! 

 

For the moment, I am so happy to know that I am on a safe way out the drugs! :)

  • Escitalopram 10 mg since February 24, 2019 -- Begin tapering using Brassmonkey slide on March 8, 2020: 9,75 mg. June 1st: 7,8 mg. August 16: 6,2 mg. December 20, 2020: 4,7mg.
  • Melatonine 2,5 mg
  • Magnesium, Omega-3
  • Zopiclone 1,875 mg 3-4 times a month (when needed)
  • Psychodynamic/MBCT Psychotherapy since January 2019
  • 30-minute walk daily
Link to comment
  • 4 months later...

Bonjour everybody! 

 

I am here today to give you some news. :)

 

My tappering off is still going fine. I reached 5mg (Escitalopram) on October 25th and remained at that dose until December 6th to stabilize everything. Since then, what I do is to cut in half my 10mg pill, I dilute my then 5mg pill in 10ml of water in my syringe and expel what needed to reach my daily dose. (I know a cut pill is not as precise as starting from a whole pill, but it seems to work fine for me.)

 

I am now at 4,7mg which represents 9,4 ml of my homemade dilution. I have to make calculations to figure that out. :)

 

I plan to find 20 ml syringes soon to be able to reduce more precisely my doses when I will need to decrease of less than 2 ml at a time to abide by the Brassmonkey schedule.

 

I feel a very very slight return of my anxiety lately, maybe is it because I am too tired, having fun with my family? Lack of sleep is one on my few triggers... Or maybe is it my tappering off that is not precise enough? I'll try to find out.

 

I wish health to everybody on this forum. It is precious to be together here. All the best for 2021.

  • Escitalopram 10 mg since February 24, 2019 -- Begin tapering using Brassmonkey slide on March 8, 2020: 9,75 mg. June 1st: 7,8 mg. August 16: 6,2 mg. December 20, 2020: 4,7mg.
  • Melatonine 2,5 mg
  • Magnesium, Omega-3
  • Zopiclone 1,875 mg 3-4 times a month (when needed)
  • Psychodynamic/MBCT Psychotherapy since January 2019
  • 30-minute walk daily
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