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Fruitbat3: Lexapro taper

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I’m 27 and have been taking Lexpro for 8 years, mostly for anxiety. I started at 10 mg but quickly went up to 20, and have been here for a while. I’ve tried a couple times to taper off with the usual advice of going down to 15 mg, but neither time worked. My previous psychiatrist even went so far as to say, “You have an anxiety disorder, maybe you should come to terms with the fact you’ll be on medication for a very long time.” I don’t go to her anymore! I also have a prescription for 0.5 mg Ativan, but I don't use it very often—maybe once every 6 weeks. 


Now, I’m trying essentially the 10% regimen. I’m starting by cutting my 20mg pill into quarters and doing two days 20mg/one day 15mg. I would like to switch to the liquid, though, to make small dose changes easier. So far, I’ve had some fatigue and nausea. I’m still working my way through reading the site, but am feeling really thankful that I found this community here! 

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Welcome to SA, fruitbat3.


We don't recommend alternating doses, because it causes the amount of the medication in your bloodstream to go up and down, battering your nervous system and making withdrawal worse.  This would account for your fatigue and nausea.  Taking a consistent dose every day is extremely important.


As you've probably read we recommend tapering no faster than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


This link is specifically about tapering Lexapro, including instructions of how to get the nonstandard doses you'll need for your 10% taper.  The methods described are making your own liquid, having a liquid compounded or weighing tablets using a digital scale.  You mentioned a preference for liquid, which is fine.


Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)


I suggest going back up to 20mg every day to stabilize your system.  I would not continue to alternate doses.  Then, when you've stabilized on 20mg (no more fatigue and nausea) and when you've got your liquid ready, taper down 10% of 20mg, which is 2mg, making your new dose 18mg.  Hold there for four weeks.  


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 (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.


Please be careful with the Ativan, which is extremely addictive.  Dependence can result within 2 to 4 weeks of regular use and also with intermittent use.


This is your Introduction topic, 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.  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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Thanks, this is very helpful!

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