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Martha

I have been taking lexapro 10 mg for about 5 yrs.  i will be discussing a 5% and 10% taper with my doc.   Do you have a taper schedule I can show her?

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, Martha.

 

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.  A 5% reduction is also fine.  This link describes the 10% taper and is also applicable to a 5% taper.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

We don't have a tapering schedule per se.  The excerpt below shows the first three dose reductions from 10mg using a 10% taper rate: 

                                                                                               ---------
If you have been tapering, you calculate the 10% on your last dosage. The amount of the decrease keeps getting smaller for the duration of your taper.

- If you started at 10mg, the first reduction would be 10% of 10mg, or 1mg, for a reduced dose of 9mg.

- Your second reduction would be 10% of 9mg, or .9mg, for a reduced dose of 8.1mg.

- Your third reduction would be 10% of 8.1mg, or .81mg, for a reduced dose of 7.29mg.

And so on.

This ensures that your nervous system is eased down a gentle 10% slope at every step of the process. It's important that drops become smaller, not larger, as you go. Once you find the rate at which you can comfortably taper, you don't want to jolt your nervous system with a larger drop than it can handle.

Mathematics whizzes may recognize that the 10% reduction formula is a geometric progression (asymptote) approaching but never equaling zero. At a very small dosage, likely less than 1mg, when reductions no longer cause any withdrawal symptoms, you may want to simply stop.
                                                                                                  -----------

 

You might want to print out those sections of the link you think would be helpful in your discussion with your doctor.  You should be aware that the vast majority of doctors taper their patients far too fast and don't believe in the existence of prolonged and severe withdrawal.

 

The U.K. is quite a bit ahead of us in the U.S., and the psychiatric association there recently changed its guidelines to admit for the first time the danger of severe, prolonged withdrawal.

UK's NICE health guidelines now caution about severe and ...

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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Rhiannon

You might also bring her some information about why we use the "exponential decay" of taking 10% of the previous dose not the original dose. Discussion here:

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(19)30032-X/fulltext

 

And in this section from this forum, lots of links, some of them don't work but the graphs showing how SERT occupancy is a curve not a straight line are good if you can print one out:

 

And this article goes into that and also discusses slow tapering:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/05/health/depression-withdrawal-drugs.html

 


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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