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Stamper: I think I blew it


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Hi. Am new to this site, found it bc I am struggling with tapering. I went too fast, have had symptoms a number of times and each time increased my dosage a bit.  This last time it did not relieve the symptoms. Am I screwed?  

I have been in escitalopram for 5+ years. Started tapering in March 25.  Went down to 20 right away, then 10 within a week or so.  Then started skipping days. Brain zaps, diarrhea, nausea, mouth pain, headaches.  Each time I got the zaps I would take a 10 mg. (In other words, not skip a day). I had not yet found this site.  Yesterday I had a headache that would not stop, some brain zaps. Took a 10 mg, am still nauseated, headache, dizzy-ish the next day. Found this site, horrified by what I have read ... took another 10 mg and am hoping like hell I have not done any long term damage. 

advice?  What can I do ?  




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Welcome to SA, Stamper.


You have not blown it.  We all make mistakes.  You are suffering from withdrawal from tapering too fast and skipping doses.  The damage is not permanent but it will take some time for you to stabilize.  The symptoms you describe are typical withdrawal symptoms.  They will fade in time.


What is withdrawal syndrome.


Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.


What your brain needs now is stability and no further changes.  I recommend that you take 10mg every day at the same time of day.  You will need to stay on this for several months, at least six months,  until you stabilize.  Never skip doses.  This is very upsetting to your system, it  changes the amount of the drug in your blood and it makes withdrawal worse.


When the time comes for you to taper--and this will not be for several months--we recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  Again, this is for the future, not now.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


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.



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 to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium  

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, 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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