Jump to content
Cici

Cici: coming off escitalopram/Lexapro

Recommended Posts

Cici

Hi, 

I'm not really new to these forums as I have already found so much support and reassurance from¬†reading¬†¬†people's experience and advice in coming off lepraxo¬†in the past. It¬†helped me to come down from 30 mg to 10 mg. Thank you for all the support on these amazing forums. ūü§óI'm sorry I didn't feel I could come on board and share or support others as I was going¬†through a hellish time with withdrawal. I¬†¬†was prescribed 30 mg¬†seven¬†years ago for OCD and managed to taper¬†down to 10mg where¬†I have stayed for about a year and a half. I've been in contact with the doctors¬†at my ¬†medical practice to talk about my difficulties withdrawing from lepraxo (in my experience,¬†worse than benzos) ¬†and my need for going down in teeny increments from now on, thus requiring a liquid formulation, but it falls on deaf ears. It seem it's too expensive for them¬†¬†to prescribe a liquid. So I'm left with 10 mg tablets and have tried making my own liquid the past 2 days, reducing it by 10 percent , to 9mg. I didn't expect to feel any withdrawal effects but I was amazed that on the second day I have been having moderate strength¬†migraines and fluey hot flashes and other typical symptoms I'm all too¬†familiar with. BIG SIGH Im feeling a bit scared now.ūüė¨ Anyway I thought I'd complete my withdrawal journey in the company of fellow survivors (or soon to be!!)¬†

Share this post


Link to post
Gridley

Welcome to SA, Cici.

 

85% of an antidepressant's potency is in the last 10mg, so it's especially important to taper slowly once you get to 10mg mark.  Plus Lexapro is the strongest antidepressant on the market, so it's not surprising and nothing to be concerned about that you had this reaction.

 

10% is too much of a drop for you at this point.  You could hold where you are at 9mg and wait to stabilize or go back up to 10 and wait to stabilize.  Once you've stabilized from your most recent drop, I suggest you drop by a smaller percentage such as 5%.  You could even drop by less see how it goes.  There's no rush.  Don't be scared.  It will straighten itself out.

 

This link is specifically about tapering Lexapro and includes instructions for making Lexapro liquid.

 

ips 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 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.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Hanna72

Hi @Cici 

Well done coming down to 10 mg

On 4/18/2020 at 10:10 AM, Cici said:

Anyway I thought I'd complete my withdrawal journey in the company of fellow survivors (or soon to be!!) 

That’s a great mindset, you are in good company here

Best wishes to you on your journey ūüôŹ

Share this post


Link to post
PatriciaVP

I am currently tapering Lexapro (escitalopram) and have been using liquid for the past 3 years. I've had no problem getting it covered by my insurance. The cost of a medication should not figure in to your doctor's ability to prescribe it. The only question is if your insurance will cover it or not. If your doctor is claiming the insurance won't cover it, you might want to go directly to them to verify that. I know people on Medicaid who get it covered.

Share this post


Link to post
Cici

Thanks so much for your advice and encouragement Gridley. The main initial withdrawal effects did subside pretty quickly the day after I wrote the post phew! I think I didn't shake up my homemade mixture enough so that most of the pill stayed on the bottom and I syringed out mostly water. Im being a lot more thorough now! So I've decided to stabilise at 9mg for the month at least and maybe do 5 per cent taper like you suggested, no rush after all...

Thanks for the links too. I'm going to try the magnesium and get back on some fish oil supplements. There's a brand called MorEPA which I tried in the past and seems to be one of the best if anyones interested in a good brand of fish oil. 

 

Thanks Hana72 ūü§ó¬†and well done you for getting off so much¬†which I see you've done. Good luck on the rest of your healing journey.¬†Love your Tolstoy quote. Coming off these drugs is building our capacity for patience that's for sure!

 

Thanks Patriciavp, 

11 hours ago, PatriciaVP said:

 

I wish I had insurance but most people in UK  (except very well heeled people ) depend on the NHS which is  normally brilliant except on this issue . The docs follow national prescribing guidelines to be as cost effective as possible and although I haven't been told flat out I can't have it because of the price, the doctors keep sidelining my request by suggesting I just cut up 5 mg tablets. It's all very frustrating. Suppose they're coming from a mindset that doesn't consider withdrawal do be a very serious or important clinical issue. And maybe they're looking at my history of anxiety and thinking I'm just being overanxious about it. I don't want to keep bothering them during the pandemic either as everyone here is leaving the NHS well alone at the moment so it can concentrate on the virus. 

I'm making my own mixture from water which I have lots of doubts about because the tablets are not very water soluble and as soon as I stop stirring it it sinks to the bottomūüė¨¬†but am desperate to get off this stuff.¬†

 

 

I was wondering if anyone is (or has experience of) making their own liquid from Lundbeck Cipralex tablets? 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Cici
Posted (edited)

Titled:  making a liquid from cipralex escitalopram tablets

 

I wondered if anyone has had any success with tapering by making a liquid solution from Lundbeck Cipralex escitalopram/Lepraxo tablets ?

 

I know there have been people who have done it with other makes of escitalopram but I wondered with this make specifically?

 

It doesn't seem very soluble in water and sinks to the bottom in a very noticeable layer,  pretty much as soon as stirring/shaking  is stopped. 

 

Have been doing it since the 16th (8 days) but having some doubts that its possible with this brand of lepraxo. 

 

Many thanks, 

Cici

Edited by manymoretodays
merged 2nd introduction topic to first

Share this post


Link to post
Cici

Thanks Gridley. 

I read it all the way through this time and it was very helpful.

Will keep going with the same method I think, maybe using salt solution to help it dissolve better. 

Many thanks 

 

Share this post


Link to post
PatriciaVP
On 4/23/2020 at 5:56 AM, Cici said:

Thanks so much for your advice and encouragement Gridley. The main initial withdrawal effects did subside pretty quickly the day after I wrote the post phew! I think I didn't shake up my homemade mixture enough so that most of the pill stayed on the bottom and I syringed out mostly water. Im being a lot more thorough now! So I've decided to stabilise at 9mg for the month at least and maybe do 5 per cent taper like you suggested, no rush after all...

Thanks for the links too. I'm going to try the magnesium and get back on some fish oil supplements. There's a brand called MorEPA which I tried in the past and seems to be one of the best if anyones interested in a good brand of fish oil. 

 

Thanks Hana72 ūü§ó¬†and well done you for getting off so much¬†which I see you've done. Good luck on the rest of your healing journey.¬†Love your Tolstoy quote. Coming off these drugs is building our capacity for patience that's for sure!

 

Thanks Patriciavp, 

I wish I had insurance but most people in UK  (except very well heeled people ) depend on the NHS which is  normally brilliant except on this issue . The docs follow national prescribing guidelines to be as cost effective as possible and although I haven't been told flat out I can't have it because of the price, the doctors keep sidelining my request by suggesting I just cut up 5 mg tablets. It's all very frustrating. Suppose they're coming from a mindset that doesn't consider withdrawal do be a very serious or important clinical issue. And maybe they're looking at my history of anxiety and thinking I'm just being overanxious about it. I don't want to keep bothering them during the pandemic either as everyone here is leaving the NHS well alone at the moment so it can concentrate on the virus. 

I'm making my own mixture from water which I have lots of doubts about because the tablets are not very water soluble and as soon as I stop stirring it it sinks to the bottomūüė¨¬†but am desperate to get off this stuff.¬†

 

 

I was wondering if anyone is (or has experience of) making their own liquid from Lundbeck Cipralex tablets? 

 

 

I'm sorry you're running into so much trouble.  I understand you not wanting to deal with the health care system in such a trying time. Even during the best of times it's difficult to get doctors to understand our concerns because they are so different from what their colleagues and professional associations are telling them. Then you add in a crisis that is overwhelming everyone. Our voices end up completely drowned out.

Best of luck with making your own liquid. It can feel like an overwhelming process, but you'll get the hang of it.

 

Peace, love and healing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Caroline16

Hi Cici! I am tapering off Lexapro from 10 mg. I use a 10-ml syringe with a tip that my pharmacist gave me. Every evening, I fill it with exactly 10 ml of water and I drop my 10 mg pill in it. I leave it 30 minutes then I shake the mixture well. Then, I press out the amount of ml needed according to the dose I am at. I plan to continue like this until reaching 0mg! Good luck!

image.jpeg.efb39e20487e5854b95ba2ad353199d5.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Cici

Thanks so much for your replies Patricia and Caroline xx

 

Yes Patricia, it sure is the case that our voices are being drowned out even more than before if that was even possible! I wish I could stumble upon a doc who had actually experienced withdrawal, Im sure there must be some around somewhere...

I've just looked at your signature, you've done so well with your tapering down from 40 mg Lepraxpo, I hope you're not struggling too much towards the lower end. I found 30 down to 20 manageable and 20 -10 doable with a year of holding and healing added in but getting down from 10 is a different experience all together it seems. Sending love and healing your way x

 

Wow Caroline, ¬†Im so intrigued about the 'tip' set up, haven't heard of that before and sounds waay¬†¬†more accurate than what I'm up to!! I'm sorry I'm being a bit thick hereūü§™¬†but do you put the tablet in the tip? I'm definitely going to check this out, thank you so much for telling me about it. You take care and good luck with the rest of your taper Caroline¬†x

Share this post


Link to post
Caroline16

Hi Cici! English is not my first language, my explanations may have been unclear. I'll send you a PM with more details! Have a great day! 

Share this post


Link to post
Cigale

Hello @Cici and @Caroline16 - I hope you don't mind me jumping in here but I am kind of in the same boat, or at least hanging off the side ūüôā! I am currently trying to stabilize on Lexapro 5mg, and then want to taper off. I am in France where the liquid Lexapro (Seroplex) is strong 20mg/ml, and have been trying to figure out how I can do my own liquid. So, @Caroline16, I am very interested in your approach. Would you be willing to share details with me also? You could send in French or English or both.¬†

 

I am wishing you both all the best on your journey off ADs!

Share this post


Link to post
Cici

Thanks so much Caroline, have PMed you back. Your english is perfect!! x

 

Hi Cigale, of course not , hop on board!! Yes I know the feeling of hanging onto the side of the boat on this journey, its got its own momentum this withdrawal journey and its frightening to feel we don't have any control over it really, and not knowing what is going to come up from day to day is scary. We can only control our response and yoga and meditation  is helping me so much with that. I hope for you too.  Caroline sent me really clear detailed instructions. Is it ok Caroline if I PM Cigale them ?

 

I've been dissolving 10 mg Lundbeck Cipralex in 40 ml water. It is only "sparsely soluble" which means there is always a sediment in the solution but apparently thats ok as long as you shake it immediately before use.

I then take a syringe (mine happens to be 20 ml) and take out and discard the excess. For example, at the moment I am on 8.25 mg lepraxo so I take out 7 ml ( 1mg= 4 ml) from the 40 ml solution and throw it away. This leaves me with 33 ml solution  (= 8.25 mg) which I drink. 

Sorry if this isn't clear (withdrawal addled brainūü§Į), ¬†Caroline does it a much better way I think which we'll get to you.¬†

 

Take care Cigale and wishing you health and healing on your journey x

Share this post


Link to post
Cigale

Thank you @Cici for your support! I really, really appreciate it. Yes this is absolutely the hardest challenge I have ever faced. I love that you are working through this with yoga and meditation. Though I have been doing yoga for years, I recently added meditation to the mix and it definitely helps. I even treated myself to a meditation bench, which definitely helps me focus a bit more. 

 

And thank you for your instructions. Caroline so very kindly sent me her details instructions. I love this approach and it gives me hope that I can work through the tapering phase...once I get there. Still have to find a bit more stability in daily life. But trying to take it one day at a time.

 

I hope you both take care and continue your count down safely and without love and compassion for yourselves! Sending you both the biggest hugs possible. Merci!

Share this post


Link to post
Cici

Pas de probleme Cigale, wishing you all the best and sending loads of love and compassion your way. xx

 

There are lots of buddhist meditation teachers who do guided meditations online that I've found so helpful.  Sometimes I listen to Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum village (Limoges) guided meditations online and sometimes they are very multilingual with lots of french (obviously being in France!) Without doing a bit every day I think Id definitely end up outside of the boat drowning in the water like before, its the hardest journey and so lonely but Im glad you've found this group of fellow travellers on the journey. 

 

You take care taking it one day at a time (often I shorten it to one moment at a time) xxx

Share this post


Link to post
Cigale
8 hours ago, Cici said:

Sometimes I listen to Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum village (Limoges) guided meditations

 

Thank you Cici for sharing this medication resource. I am going to try one of the meditations tonight. I have been listening to a variety of meditations, some from Jon Kabat-Zinn and also Christophe André. Every little bit helps on this hard and lonely journey.

 

And yes, you are so right. For me right now, it is really one moment at a time.

 

Bisous!

Share this post


Link to post
Cigale

Hello @Cici - Happy June  1. I just thought I would stop by and see how you are doing. Sending you courage and support.

Share this post


Link to post
Cici

Happy first official day of summer to you too Cigale! x How are you feeling? I hope you're doing ok (as well as can be in withdrawal)  and still hanging onto the side of the boat! I am just about , sometimes by my finger nails, Im so sensitive to the teeniest cut in the dose and too nervous after last time to go ahead with another cut right now. I get really bad cognitive problems with memory loss and brain fog, thats been my particular flavour of withdrawal recently! Do you get bad cognitive problems too?Also, insomnia grrrrrrr! Ive started magnesium and (fingers and toes crossed) it'll help with sleep. 

 

 

Have you been able to try out the syringe system yet? Its hard making all the calculations sometimes with a "foggy "head but I think it's a good way to do really teeny reductions. 

 

Sending you tons of peace and healing your way. Remember you're really not alone. Bisous Xx

Share this post


Link to post
Cigale

Hello @Cici! I have everything crossed for you that the magnesium helps with your sleep. Unfortunately, my system is so sensitive it seems I can’t tolerate any supplements, even magnesium. I have also had some cognitive issues, trouble focusing, but mostly constant anxiety which triggers depression and insomnia. I am experiencing a wave now that has me feeling rather hopeless and forever broken. But I know my system is still trying to stabilize on Lexapro. Until that happens, I will have to wait on the syringe taper approach. 

 

Hugs and peace to you! I am so thankful to have you and this community! Bisous!

Share this post


Link to post
Cici

Hi Cigale, hoping so much your wave is now beginning to stabilise a bit? My heart really goes out to you as I know what that "forever broken " feeling feels like . Even  though it totally feels like that Cigale,  IT WILL PASS eventually as during those "waves" it is the brain going through restructuring and repair and it will resolve and heal with time. Somebody in this community posted a wonderful description of what is going on in our brains with "waves and windows" by comparing it to a building construction site, Im going to try to find it for you. Its very reassuring. Hold on Cigale, Im sorry the waters are so choppy for you right now. I promise you this is part of the process of healing from these drugs and you'll come out the other side with time and healing. 

There were a few years after coming off quite a few different psychiatric drugs including going from 30mg to 10mg lepraxo  that I felt totally broken and that my brain would never heal but with time things improved so much, the body and mind are so resilient and if you give it the nourishing conditions it will reach towards the light.

 

Sending love and peace your way, 

Bisous xxx

Share this post


Link to post
Cigale

Thank you @Cici for your kind support. My wave let up a little on Sunday, but then came crashing down hard yesterday and today is pretty awful. If you have the time, I would love to read that building construction analogy for the waves and windows. Hugs to you, Cigale

Share this post


Link to post
Cici

Hi everyone, 

A while back I read an amazing  analogy for what is going on in our brains as they heal which gives us the "waves and windows" experience. It was a great image of a building where the steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times ? It was so helpful to me but I can't seem to find it again. 

Can anyone point me to where it is?  Id be so grateful for that and to share it with a fellow member.

 

Cici x

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
Posted (edited)

I've merged your topic about thyroid and withdrawal with the existing topic.  You can find it here:

 

thyroid-symptoms-hypothyroid-hashimotos

 

There are many existing topics on SA.  Please do either a site search or use a search engine and add survivingantidepressants.org to the search term before creating a new topic.  Thank you.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added a bit more

Share this post


Link to post
Cici

Thanks so much ¬†Chessiecatūü§óxx

 

Hi Cigale, this explanation on Alostrata 's post above was written with benzodiazepine withdrawal in mind but it works the same for the neurotransmitter dysregulation caused by antidepressant withdrawal. The principle is totally the same. It has the building analogy. There are so many good analogies in the big 'waves and window' topic in the symptoms forum.¬†Our brains have so much restructuring to do that's for sure! I think it would be so much easier if we didn't have the ¬†doubts about what the symptoms mean, that we could hold on to the view of them being a sign of healing,¬†not damage. And also not fall into the trap of thinking they're ¬†a sign of 'relapse' and needing to be on the drugs! I think these doubts are the worst thing¬†in a way about withdrawal. Take care Cigale¬†ūü§ó, sending a big air hug to you too xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Cici

Thanks so much Chessiecat , will get stuck into this! xx

Share this post


Link to post
Cici

Thanks again ChessieCat, great links and loads of useful advice here. Many thanks xx

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Timberline

Hi @Cici. I just began my (4th) lexapro 10mg withdrawal attempt. This is the first time I'm trying a slow taper. In the past I've weaned off in 2-3 weeks. I usually don't feel withdrawal symptoms until 3mos after the last dose and it took me a few attempts to realize, wait a second... maybe there's a different way! I purchased a jeweler scale and am doing a 10% cut. My "plan" (willing to adjust this plan at any moment) is a 10% cut every 2 weeks until I hit 5mg and from there, assuming all is stable, do 10% monthly cuts. The lower your dose, the slower you should go...or so I've read! I'm 1 week in already. And celebrating this tiny success!

 

We can do this! Looking forward to sharing this journey with you! xoxo

Share this post


Link to post
Cigale
6 hours ago, Cici said:

that we could hold on to the view of them being a sign of healing, not damage

 

Thank you @Cici and ChessieCat for sharing this and the building analogy for waves and windows. I have added it to my growing list of non-drug tools I am using to heal. I am forever thankful for this community.

Share this post


Link to post
Cici

Great to meet you Timberland! Im so sorry to hear about your difficult withdrawal journey so far ūüíúbut you're giving yourself the best chance ever now with the really slow tapering strategy of 10 per cent. We're all right behind you , in fact there's a whole little boat¬†of us tapering down from 10 mg lepraxo , welcome on board!¬†

 

I was wondering timberland if leaving two weeks between reductions was long enough? Im not sure my nervous system could cope with that anymore, Im leaving it at least a month so some healing can take place between the cuts. Im worried that it might be taking it a little too speedily for your poor nervous system after all its been through? I think I read somewhere on this community that leaving at least a  month between reductions is a bit more gentle on our frazzled nervous systems? 

 

Hugs and peace to you, glad you could join me on this journey of healing, take care Cici xx

Share this post


Link to post
Cici

Thanks Cigale, me too... Im so grateful for this community . If it wasn't for this place and all the wise support and experience I don't know where I'd be. Probably stuck on this poison for ever. This is a nightmarish journey but hopefully we'll come out of it having learned a lot of things and having gained a ton of resilience and inside strength. xx

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
On 6/10/2020 at 3:46 AM, Cigale said:

I have added it to my growing list of non-drug tools I am using to heal.

 

A really good one to learn and use when needed is AAF.  Acknowledge Accept Float.  I'm not sure if it is included in any of the information that you've already been given.  I think Claire Weekes talks about it.  I know she talks about second fear, or fear of the fear.

 

You might also check out the Best of SA topic.  best-of-sa-favourite-advice-and-insights

 

 

On 4/9/2020 at 10:31 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Artistic1

About Claire Weekes' approach.....Her book is called "Hope and Help For Your Nerves." It was first published in 1969, so some of the material is a bit outdated, but her approach and philosophy about handling anxiety and depression is spot on. This book was one of the first ones I read when I was first hit with GAD. I still refer to it now and then for tips about "floating" through the worst symptoms. It's not very long, and is a pretty easy read.

Share this post


Link to post
Cigale
14 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

A really good one to learn and use when needed is AAF.  Acknowledge Accept Float.  I'm not sure if it is included in any of the information that you've already been given.  I think Claire Weekes talks about it.  I know she talks about second fear, or fear of the fear.

 

Thank you @ChessieCat for the additional resources. I will take all I can get to work through this. I have read about AAF here and keep coming back to it, especially since I am really struggling with second fear. I have been trying to push myself to do more - look for work, socialize - but I sometimes succumb to the overblown neuro-anxiety these activities trigger. I know I have to just keep taking this one moment, one breath at a time. I appreciate your guidance.

Share this post


Link to post

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy