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Halfdozen

     I have been on Lexapro (10mg. daily) & Mirtazapine (7.5 mg. daily) since 2003.  The combination of these 2 drugs gave me some wonderful years up until 2017.  Because of the expense of the brand name Lexapro, I switched to Escitalopram.  Right away I noticed a difference in my mood & side effects.  I always had to be careful of my weight on these drugs, but I was willing to endure this trade-off for the relief I got from taking these meds.  Taking Escitalopram, caused me to begin having severe anxiety & digestive issues.  I started taking Alprazolam to curb the anxiety, but it seemed to make matters worse.  I switched back to brand name Lexapro in 2018, & did a slow taper off of Alprazolam in 2019.  I jumped from it in Dec. 2019.  I still take the Lexapro & Mirtazapine.  However, I still have lingering side effects.  They include constant burping, stomach gurgling & bloating, & trapped gas.  I’ve had a series of GI tests & all came back normal.  Blood work was ok too.  I’m wondering if Lexapro is the culprit, & considering doing a very slow taper off of it.  Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, Halfdozen.

 

Bloating, gas and stomach issues are possible side effects of both Lexapro and Mirtazapine, perhaps slightly more common with the  Mirtazapine, but it would be difficult to tell which one (or possibly both) are causing your symptoms.

 

We recommend tapering only one drug at a time and tapering the more activating (stimulating) drug first.  Most antidepressants are activating, but Mirtazapine has a sedating aspect, so we'd recommend you taper the Lexapro first. I'm currently tapering Lexapro.

 

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

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This link is specifically about tapering Lexapro, including how to get the nonstandard doses you'll need for your taper.

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

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.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Oct. 21, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% 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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Halfdozen

Thanks Gridley.  I appreciate your input.  You started Lexapro about the same time I did.  I just think it’s strange I never had this issue in the past with these  2 drugs, but maybe getting older , & adding Alprazolam into the mix made a difference.  I wish you luck with your taper, & health & happiness afterwards.    -JS

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Halfdozen

I just did a taper of Alprazolam.  I jumped in Dec of 2019.  I still have some side effects.  Mainly digestive ones - stomach, throat, & chest gurgling, excessive burping, bloating, & gas all throughout my system.  I also have anxiety, but I do get relief from that during most days.  I still take Lexapro & Mirtazapine.  I’m just wondering if these antidepressants could be the culprit or part of the issue.  Once I stabilize a bit more after my withdrawal from Alprazolam, I’m considering tapering off of these 2 drugs, one at a time under a doctor’s supervision....I’ve been on these drugs for many years, & just wondering if I’ve hit a tolerance with them.  Any input would be appreciated. 

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Altostrata

Hello, Halfdozen.

 

I moved your post here, to update your Introductions topic, which serves as a journal of your taper and withdrawal experience.

 

Yes, you could be feeling adverse effects from the drugs you're taking. Do your symptoms follow any daily pattern?  Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms throughout the day. You can post 24 hours of notes at a time in this topic, in a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom or drug and dosage) on the right.

 

This will help us figure out if your drugs are causing problems.


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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Halfdozen

I just did a taper of Alprazolam.  I jumped in Dec of 2019.  I still have some side effects.  Mainly digestive ones - stomach, throat, & chest gurgling, excessive burping, bloating, & gas all throughout my system.  I also have anxiety, but I do get relief from that during most days.  I still take Lexapro & Mirtazapine.  I’m just wondering if these antidepressants could be the culprit or part of the issue.  Once I stabilize a bit more after my withdrawal from Alprazolam, I’m considering tapering off of these 2 drugs, one at a time under a doctor’s supervision....I’ve been on these drugs for many years, & just wondering if I’ve hit a tolerance with them.  Any input would be appreciated. 

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Altostrata

Hello, please see reply in your Introductions topic.


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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Halfdozen

I have been on 7.5 mg of Mirtazapine for many years.  Recently, I felt I had reached a tolerance on it, so I upped the dose to 15mg. before bedtime.  I took this  dose for a couple of days.  Because of the coronavirus quarantine, I didn’t check in with my doctor about this.  I did this over a weekend, then  decided it wasn’t a good idea to up my dosage without checking with my doctor 1st.  I went back to taking my previous dosage, 7.5 mg.  Since I have stopped the higher dose, I have had severe stomach gurgling & burping, plus diarrhea.  It has me a bit scared.  Can anyone tell me if this is just a side effect of increasing my dose for a bit then abruptly lowering it?  I really don’t have pain.....I’m also on 10mg of Lexapro which I have also taken for many years.  I feel I have hit a tolerance on both of these drugs , & I’m debating about tapering each, 1 at a time, & very slowly....I think I did a very foolish thing, & I’m paying for it by experiencing mini withdrawal effects.  Would appreciate any response.

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Onmyway

Hi Halfdozen,

It's possible that the stomach problems are unrelated. I think it's a good idea to taper very slowly. There are multiple methods to choose from - the Brassmonkey slide, the 10 percent max every month, microtaper, follow symptom severity taper etc. Please check out the forums on tapering.  There is another principle of tapering the more activating drug first as WD tends to be agitating for many. Have you started an intro topic yet? Once you do you can get more specific advice and support.

 

Welcome and good luck

OMW


Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg ,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months (don't remember dates), trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up), occasionally did this in difficult times 

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax/day, then 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, April  14 , 2019 - citalopram 1.8 mg (liquid), May 8, 2019 - citalopram 1.6 mg (liquid),  July 27, 2019 - citalopram 1.5 mg (liquid),  August 15, 2019 - citalopram 1.35 (liquid)

 

 supplements:  melatonin 1 mg  

 

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Halfdozen

If possible, I would like some input from Gridley on this post.  I’m about the same age as you, & have been on Lexapro & Mirtazapine for many years.  In the past 2 years, I have developed a lot of digestive issues,.  Mainly, stomach gurgling (worse after I eat), constant burping, gassiness, indigestion, & acid reflux.  I’ve had numerous tests for these issues, & all have come back within normal range.   I think my antidepressants might be causing some of these issues.  Did you have any of these sxs while on Lexapro?  If so, has it helped tapering off the drug?  Are you having much trouble tapering?  ....I’m just tired of not feeling well, & I also think my meds might’ve “pooped out” on me, & are just making me sick now.  Any input would be appreciated....Sorry in advance if I’m not allowed to ask this of a moderator.

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Altostrata

Hello, Halfdozen. I merged all your topics into this one. Please put questions about your situation in this topic.

 

Please read about adverse effects of each of your drugs on drugs.com

 

This is a site for going off drugs. If you think your symptoms are from the drugs, we suggest a very gradual taper. Adverse effects of drugs should diminish as dosage gets lower, but you don't want to reduce so fast that you get withdrawal symptoms.

 

On 3/20/2020 at 9:42 AM, Altostrata said:

Hello, Halfdozen.

 

I moved your post here, to update your Introductions topic, which serves as a journal of your taper and withdrawal experience.

 

Yes, you could be feeling adverse effects from the drugs you're taking. Do your symptoms follow any daily pattern?  Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms throughout the day. You can post 24 hours of notes at a time in this topic, in a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom or drug and dosage) on the right.

 

This will help us figure out if your drugs are causing problems.

 

A month ago, I requested your daily drug schedule and symptom pattern to see if it shows adverse drug effects.

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature You may need to use a computer to do this.

 


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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Halfdozen

I thought I would be on Lexapro the rest of my life.  In the past, it was a miracle worker for me for depression & anxiety.  Then when I switched to generic escitalopram in 2017,  I got sick.  I tried to stick with it for about 8 mo & even added Alprazolam for reoccurring panic attacks, but nothing helped my condition.  I reinstated brand name Lexapro in Apr. 2019 thinking it might alleviate my symptoms.  Since then, It has never helped me as much as it did before I switched to escitalopram.  I even think now, I’ve built up a tolerance to it, & it’s making me sick.  Aside from anxiety, I have terrible digestive issues - excessive stomach gurgling & gas, constant burping, diarrhea &/ constipation, chest tightness, bloating,  & acid reflux. I feel like I’m experiencing withdrawal without dropping my dose.  I never had any of these side effects before I made the switch to generic.  I’ve also had numerous GI tests & blood work, & all have come back within normal range.  I’m at a loss as to what to do.  Either up my dose to see if that helps, or start slowly tapering off of it.  Any input would be appreciated.

 

History

1985-1995, numerous antidepressants

1995-2002, Xanax at various dosages (highest 3 mg. daily)

2003-Tapered off Xanax

2003-Aug.2017, Started Lexapro, 10mg & Mirtazapine, 7.5mg

Aug. 2017-Apt. 2018, Switched from brand name Lexapro to generic, Escitalopram, continued with 

7.5mg Mirtazapine

Jan. 2019-2019, .5mg of Alprazolam 

Apr. 2019-Dec. 2019, Tapered off of Alprazolam

Apr. 2019-Present, went back on brand name Lexapro, 10mg, continued 7.5mg Mirtazapine

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Altostrata

@Halfdozen This is your Introductions topic. Please do not start any more Introductions topics, add posts to this one.

 

Please read prior responses in this topic.


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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Halfdozen

Thanks Altostrata.  Sorry about the confusion.  Will try to do better in the future.

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Halfdozen

How much magnesium Glycinate & omega3’s should you take in a day?

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