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Wacklex: Lexapro sufferer and hello!


Wacklex

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Hi guys, 

 

Long time visitor to the site, but just registered to get some answers if possible. 
 

I’ll start with my history on Lexapro. I was convinced back in 2010 I was dying from a brain tumor and got very anxious and scared of what I was feeling. I remember getting the fight or flight  sensations and it terrified me and I didn’t know what was happening. Doctor prescribed 5mg lexapro and then that went to 10mg.
 

After about 1 - 2 years on it I wanted to get off it so the doctor recommend half the tablet and taper over the course of 4weeks. Followed his instructions and did that. Maybe 6-8 weeks the withdraw set in, brain zaps feeling of doom etc etc. Doc put me on the tablets again 10mg. So I stayed on them for about 5 more years and I think at 1 point went up to 20mg for about 4 months in 2011. Mainly I’ve been on 10mg. So fast forward to 2019. My anxiety was still here and doctor wanted me on 15mg of lexapro. So I did that, April 2019 started 15mg of Lex, and then in August I decided to taper but slowly.

 
By November 24th I was on 5.5mg of Lexapro. I tried to see if I would stabilise one this dose but come January 2020 I didn’t and began to increase to 6.6, then next week 7.7 and then I stuck on 8mg from January 25th till February 15.  I started to feel more anxiety and not only that depression came and I never suffered with depression so it was strange, nothing interests me or it’s just blah feeling. I am now 9 days on lexapro 10mg again and feeing like I failed. 
 

I must mention that when I went back up to 8mg from 5.5mg dosage I’m not sure if coincidence but my legs are feeling very heavy. I still have the depression symptoms too and I’m wondering if I am still in some type of withdrawal. 
 

Any advice regarding my recent increase? Should I stay on the 10mg ? I really want to get off these meds and will follow the 10% taper from this website but I just ask when would be the time to taper? I feel like the meds are now making me depressed and loss of interest in activities and my job too. 
 

thanks for reading if you got through all that lol

 

-Jack

Edited by manymoretodays
added name to title(lowercase)

On Lexapro 10 years 5-10-15mg

Tried to taper after 1st year as I resolved my initial anxiety. Per Doctor instructions, had to reinstate.

2019 tried to go slower started in April at 15mg, by November I was down to 5.6mg.

February 2020 - 10mg 

Link to post
  • manymoretodays changed the title to Wacklex: Lexapro sufferer and hello!
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Wacklex.  I'm sorry you're experiencing these difficult symptoms.  You have not failed.  All of us here have made many, many mistakes.  

 

Yes, you are in withdrawal.  Your taper from 15mg in August to 5.5mg in late November was over twice as fast as the 10% of current dose every four weeks rate that we recommend.  

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

The withdrawal symptoms were likely exacerbated by the rapid increases in your dosage from 5.5mg to 8mg.  Your system is still trying to adjust to the rapid decrease and then the rapid increase.  You will stabilize and heal, but it's going to take some time.  The symptoms you describe--depression, anxiety, lack of interest, blah feeling--are very typical withdrawal symptoms.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

When we take psychiatric medications, 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.  

 

It isn't the drug that is causing your symptoms; it is withdrawal.  You've made many changes in dosage since last August, and what your brain needs now is stability.  I would make no further changes in dosage and would hold where you are at 10mg for several months to allow your system to stabilize.  Once you've stabilized, we can talk about beginning a 10% taper.  Again, you haven't failed.  There's no getting around the fact that this is a difficult process, and it doesn't help that the medical profession is clueless about tapering and withdrawal.  But you will make it.  Just have patience and h0ld where you are and let the brain do its work of healing.

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

How is your sleep?

 

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 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

Hi Wacklex,

Welcome.

I too have a lexapro history but I came off too fast following Drs orders and left it too late to reinstate.

There is a wealth of information and support on this site. When I first joined I go overwhelmed with all the info and panicked, which meant I didn’t manage to process the early influx of information very well. 

Try to read through stuff thoroughly and slowly. Re read if need be because as you know cognition can be compromised. 

You’ll get through this but take it slowly in the early days, there’s lots to process. 

Take care K

 

Lexapro Fast Track/ Cold Turkey

Last dose end Dec 2018 

Tapered 1/2 a daily dose a week (20mg) for  14 weeks, last dose was a 20 mg pill!!  

 3.5 times slower than Psychiatrist recommended, I felt proud of myself!! Little did I know!!!!Got too scared to reinstate because I’d left it too long.

On ADs for 20 years (Prozac approx 10 years/ Pristiq approx 3 years/ Citalipram approx 2 years/. Lexapro a approx  5 years/. Last two years 40mgs Lexapro day.

 

Link to post

Thanks so much for your reply Gridley.

 

I’m slightly relieved that this is withdrawal. I’ll stick on the 10mg until I stabilise. I wish I found this site sooner, but I’m feeling optimistic once I’m levelled out to do the 10% taper.

 

I have taken a 480mg of fish oil with omega 3 but I feel no difference. Do you think I should keep taking these? I only started taking them a week ago. Is 480mg too much? 
 

My sleep isn’t too bad, I’m getting 6-7 hours but just at the wrong time, (sleeping late and waking late) 
 

thanks again for taking the time to reply :)

- Jack

On Lexapro 10 years 5-10-15mg

Tried to taper after 1st year as I resolved my initial anxiety. Per Doctor instructions, had to reinstate.

2019 tried to go slower started in April at 15mg, by November I was down to 5.6mg.

February 2020 - 10mg 

Link to post
15 minutes ago, Katy398 said:

Hi Wacklex,

Welcome.

I too have a lexapro history but I came off too fast following Drs orders and left it too late to reinstate.

There is a wealth of information and support on this site. When I first joined I go overwhelmed with all the info and panicked, which meant I didn’t manage to process the early influx of information very well. 

Try to read through stuff thoroughly and slowly. Re read if need be because as you know cognition can be compromised. 

You’ll get through this but take it slowly in the early days, there’s lots to process. 

Take care K

Thanks Katy! 
 

yeah so much information I’m reading it all carefully, thanks so much :)

On Lexapro 10 years 5-10-15mg

Tried to taper after 1st year as I resolved my initial anxiety. Per Doctor instructions, had to reinstate.

2019 tried to go slower started in April at 15mg, by November I was down to 5.6mg.

February 2020 - 10mg 

Link to post
  • Moderator
3 minutes ago, Wacklex said:

have taken a 480mg of fish oil with omega 3 but I feel no difference. Do you think I should keep taking these? I only started taking them a week ago. Is 480mg too much? 
 

No, it's not too much.  If you haven't noticed a negative reaction to it, I would keep taking it.

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 guys,

 

I’m now 18 days on 10mg up from 8mg in January. I haven’t seen much improvement at all. The worse is the anxiety and depression. I never had depression before, I’ve had low mood Before but never heavily depressed.

 

I am not sure what to do atm, should I remain on the 10mg for a while longer or decrease or increase? I’m with my doctor Wednesday and I know from our chats in the past that he wants me to go to 20mg the “therapeutic level”. Since my increase from the initial 5.6mg taper I’ve been having heavy leg pain, they constantly feel exhausted. 
 

Any tips or help would be appreciated :)

 

- J

On Lexapro 10 years 5-10-15mg

Tried to taper after 1st year as I resolved my initial anxiety. Per Doctor instructions, had to reinstate.

2019 tried to go slower started in April at 15mg, by November I was down to 5.6mg.

February 2020 - 10mg 

Link to post

Titled:  Increase or decrease lexapro

 

Hi guys,

 

just looking for some answer or experience. I tapered from 15mg to 5.6mg from August to November. I then increased in January to 8mg and 3 weeks ago I’m back on 10mg. 
 

I still feel the same and feel the depression is getting worse. Should I increase or decrease the medication, I know my doctor will want to increase me. I’m having more anxiety depression but also my legs they have been jelly since January ( increase). I feel like my body is saying get off this stuff ASAP, but I know I can’t just cold turkey the meds. 
 

I am lost and feeling defeated. Any help will do. 
 

thank you 

Edited by manymoretodays
merged to introduction from S and SC

On Lexapro 10 years 5-10-15mg

Tried to taper after 1st year as I resolved my initial anxiety. Per Doctor instructions, had to reinstate.

2019 tried to go slower started in April at 15mg, by November I was down to 5.6mg.

February 2020 - 10mg 

Link to post
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi Wacklex, @Wacklex

And welcome aboard.

I just moved your post around your case, back here to your main introduction.  This is the best place to put questions, around your case.  You can always add an @ and then someone's name, so that you are sure they see your question.

 

If you just changed your dose, again, 3 weeks ago.  I would, stay put a bit longer.  Often while tapering, and when in WD, members will experience what actually CAN feel worse, than what they started the medication for in the first place.

neuroemotions

Waves and windows pattern of stabilization

 

On 2/29/2020 at 9:25 AM, Gridley said:

When we take psychiatric medications, 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.  

 

It isn't the drug that is causing your symptoms; it is withdrawal.  You've made many changes in dosage since last August, and what your brain needs now is stability.  I would make no further changes in dosage and would hold where you are at 10mg for several months to allow your system to stabilize.  Once you've stabilized, we can talk about beginning a 10% taper.  Again, you haven't failed.  There's no getting around the fact that this is a difficult process, and it doesn't help that the medical profession is clueless about tapering and withdrawal.  But you will make it.  Just have patience and h0ld where you are and let the brain do its work of healing.

 

If I were you, I would wait at least another 3 weeks before tapering again.

We often talk about waiting for some WD stability too, before tapering again:

More about that here:

How have you been measuring your non-standard doses?

Tips for tapering Lexapro(escitalopram)

some good stuff for you to look at ^, that will be helpful going forward

When you do feel ready to taper again, to find out what your new dose, with a 10% reduction will be:

10mg X .90= 9 mg, which will be a 10% drop from the 10 mg dose.

 

You can study some of the other links that Gridley gave you too, while you are HOLDING.

Look at how Gridley has been tapering his Lexapro.  I also came off Lexapro, way too fast though, and I didn't have a lot of information then, and that was a disaster for me.  I would up in hospital and then on 2 other meds.  Finally off them all.  But......don't do what I did.  Do like Gridley does!  B)

 

There is no race to the finish line here, Wacklex.......I know most of us, get real anxious about just getting off our drug, after we first get here.  Often, going too fast, is not good though.

And then, do your best to begin to practice some non-drug coping now.  There is a whole indexed list, in the first post of my last link, where you might find some really helpful new things and ways to deal with the downs and fears that you report experiencing now.

Scroll down to some of the psychotherapeutic helps.  And look for some of the Claire Weekes stuff especially, around the anxiety/fears.

 

Okay, all for now.  Hope that helps.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
Added @, italic and bolding, elab

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post

Hey Wacklex !

You have come to the right place for withdrawing lexapro!  I want to encourage you to hang in there and be as patient. Withdrawals like anxiety will make you impatient and hypersensitive. Ssri dose adjustments up or down can cause the same type symptoms. Like you I have tried to stop these and failed going to fast. I have learned that most of the time after it takes me about 3-6 months to stabilize. Everyone is different. Just try to let your system calm down and stabilize. It will stabilize! The moderators here are very good at this and will guide you through!

it will pass !

09/2000 paxil 20mgs, 06/2006 stopped Paxil crashed, 10/2006 progressed back up to Paxil 20mgs, 2012 -2013 Paxil 12 month taper crashed, 09/2013 Zoloft 50 - 100, 2015-2016 Zoloft taper crash, 2016 cymbalta, 01/2017   lamictal , 05/2017 Prozac 20 mgs, 06/2017 Prozac 40mgs, 02/2018 Prozac 20 mgs, 05/2018 Prozac 30 mgs, 11/2018 lexapro 10 mgs, 01/2019 lexapro 15 mgs, 12/07/2019 lexapro 13.75 mgs ,01/04/2020 lexapro 12.5 mgs, 02/08/2020 lexapro 11.25 mgs, 03/07/2020 lexapro 10 mgs, 07/25/2020 7.5mg pill&2.5ml liquid, 08/04/2020 5mg pill&5ml liquid, 08/17/2020 2.5mg pill 7.5 ml liquid, 08/24/2020 10 ml liquid lexapro, 09/05/2020 9 ml liquid lexapro, 10/05/2020 8.5 ml liquid lexapro,10/12/2020 9 ml lexapro,

Link to post
10 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

Hi Wacklex, @Wacklex

And welcome aboard.

I just moved your post around your case, back here to your main introduction.  This is the best place to put questions, around your case.  You can always add an @ and then someone's name, so that you are sure they see your question.

 

If you just changed your dose, again, 3 weeks ago.  I would, stay put a bit longer.  Often while tapering, and when in WD, members will experience what actually CAN feel worse, than what they started the medication for in the first place.

neuroemotions

Waves and windows pattern of stabilization

 

 

If I were you, I would wait at least another 3 weeks before tapering again.

We often talk about waiting for some WD stability too, before tapering again:

More about that here:

How have you been measuring your non-standard doses?

Tips for tapering Lexapro(escitalopram)

some good stuff for you to look at ^, that will be helpful going forward

When you do feel ready to taper again, to find out what your new dose, with a 10% reduction will be:

10mg X .90= 9 mg, which will be a 10% drop from the 10 mg dose.

 

You can study some of the other links that Gridley gave you too, while you are HOLDING.

Look at how Gridley has been tapering his Lexapro.  I also came off Lexapro, way too fast though, and I didn't have a lot of information then, and that was a disaster for me.  I would up in hospital and then on 2 other meds.  Finally off them all.  But......don't do what I did.  Do like Gridley does!  B)

 

There is no race to the finish line here, Wacklex.......I know most of us, get real anxious about just getting off our drug, after we first get here.  Often, going too fast, is not good though.

And then, do your best to begin to practice some non-drug coping now.  There is a whole indexed list, in the first post of my last link, where you might find some really helpful new things and ways to deal with the downs and fears that you report experiencing now.

Scroll down to some of the psychotherapeutic helps.  And look for some of the Claire Weekes stuff especially, around the anxiety/fears.

 

Okay, all for now.  Hope that helps.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

Thanks so much for your reply. 
 

When I tapered originally I was shaving bits off the pills and then measuring them so I was always getting the same measurement. 
 

I’m just now struggling and not even getting any windows of relief it’s constant waves. I was looking to taper again but I’ll hang on for another few weeks and see if this helps. I really hope it does, I’m still doing therapy and mindfulness and affirmations everything under the sun. I'm desperate and mate have to add some other medication to help me.

 

thanks

On Lexapro 10 years 5-10-15mg

Tried to taper after 1st year as I resolved my initial anxiety. Per Doctor instructions, had to reinstate.

2019 tried to go slower started in April at 15mg, by November I was down to 5.6mg.

February 2020 - 10mg 

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