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thetoad: Lexapro - 20 Months - Experiencing issues now during taper


thetoad

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Well, as someone who abused prescription and street drugs for over 15 years, I do tend to trust drug users over MDs. Thats why I am here.

but

I'm having trouble believing cold turkey will actually make withdrawal worse or last longer.

 

This post is probably going to not be very cohesive. I am having a lot of trouble concentrating.

 

Anyway, my psychiatrist said that basically I had mild anxiety and depression mostly induced by polydrug abuse. I used, tapered, and relapsed on alprazolam (Xanax) for years. Went cold turkey after a 10 day libriu taper. So much easier than tapering for a long time, in my opinion. It has been 20 months since then.

 

Therefore I am not sold on the antidepressant taper.

 

I cut lexapro in half a few months ago to 10mg. I noticed no change. I made an appointment with a psychiatrist because my GP is an idiot. I trust her even less than most doctors. I went down to 5 mg a week ago and have started to experience a lot of negative symptoms in the past few days. Mainly just irritability, fatigue, and dissociation.

 

Honestly the info on this forum is the only thing thats really lowered my self-efficacy. Could you give me your general thoughts? Thank you

 

20mg Lexapro for 20 months

10mg for 2 months

5mg for a week

2.5 mg for 3 days - Now experiencing withdrawal

 

I also take 300mg of gabapentin at night.

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  • manymoretodays changed the title to thetoad: Lexapro - 20 Months - Experiencing issues now during taper
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Welcome to SA, the toad.

 

Something like 85% of the drug's effectiveness happens in the first 10 mg.  So while you may have "gotten away with" cutting from 20mg to 10mg, now with your latest cut to 5mg you've begun experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

This link explains why this is happening   Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

This link explains better than I could our general thoughts on why we recommend tapering rather than cold turkey:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Here is an analogy.

 

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  Rhiannon said: 
When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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.

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Thank you

 

I think I had a bit of defense mechanism going on in my OP - I was pissed and pretty much freaking out. Your admonition that the info can be triggering was correct. I think I came off a little bit... just not like I would have preferred. Apologies. I tend to blame other people for my mistakes when I am very very frightened.

 

Anyway i reinstated and I am mostly fine. Yesterday when I took it felt some interesting, but mild serotonin excess symptoms. Unpleasant.

 

Psychiatrist argued with me over w/d. He is super nice though. Will work with me. 

 

I see the D-R curve. I dunno if i will give that to my doctor or just lie to him / let him think I irrationally want to taper even more slowly.

 

I appreciate you information on liquid measurement and use of digital scales. However, being an ex-junkie I already know how to do that. I will probably have to pay for liquid as doing all that would be a relapse on behavior type of deal. Not healthy. If I do end up doing that, though, do you have good information on escitalopram solubility? I don't think it is soluble in water according to my sources. I cannot consume ethanol for personal reasons. Perhaps a glycol?

 

I should also note I was on 25mg lamictal. Cold turkeyed that. Not really an antidepressant though. 2 weeks.

 

Ive been taking Omega 3, Vitamins, agmatine, gaba (yes i know it probably doesnt cross the BBB in a pharmacologically significant amount). What about 5-HTP? Lithium orotate? I bought some of each. I don't want to do myself harm, though, so no 5-HTP yet. maybe when i get lower?

 

Here is some additional information which might allow you to get to know me better and how I am coping:

Recoving drug addict - Benzos, opioids, stimulants

Meditate >30 minutes per day

Exercise >= 30 minutes per day

33 years old

Senior in College - Undergrad

I also work in healthcare

 

20mg Lexapro for 20 months

10mg for 2 months

5mg for a week

2.5 mg for 3 days - Now experiencing withdrawal

 

I also take 300mg of gabapentin at night.

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  • Moderator

 

9 hours ago, thetoad said:

Apologies.


Not a problem.

 

9 hours ago, thetoad said:

i reinstated

 

At what dose?

 

9 hours ago, thetoad said:

I don't think it is soluble in water according to my sources

 

According to the following link, it is soluble in water.

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

9 hours ago, thetoad said:

What about 5-HTP? Lithium orotate?

 

5HTP shouldn't be taken with anti-depressants because it increases the activity of these drugs.  Regarding the lithium, I'd stay away.  You can Google SurvivingAntidepressants.org lithium orotate for several threads on the topic.

 

9 hours ago, thetoad said:

Vitamins

 

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), which you're already taking.  Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

We don't recommend multi-vitamins, since if there's a problem you won't know which ingredient is causing it.

 

We're happy to help you with your Lexapro taper.

 

 

 

 

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.

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Quote

At what dose?

 2.5 MG

I was a bit irritable for a couple days. It is a bit better. Nothing like before. 5 MG after just one day off and 2.5 for 3 days prior gave symptoms of excess serotonin..

On 4/22/2020 at 10:27 AM, Gridley said:

it is soluble in water.

Yeah. My source was not very good then! I wish i still had a copy of the Merck index...

 

On 4/22/2020 at 10:27 AM, Gridley said:

Nice

 

On 4/22/2020 at 10:27 AM, Gridley said:

Google

<politics >I do not use google because I value my privacy. Some people do not have the same concerns. I recommend duckduckgo.com. </politics>

 

On 4/22/2020 at 10:27 AM, Gridley said:

 Regarding the lithium,

Thanks. Probably will stay away at least until I am off this garbage SSRI. I think most of the cognitive benefits of Li in the case of someone who isnt bipolar are minimal, anyway.

 

On 4/22/2020 at 10:27 AM, Gridley said:

I actually havent been taking Mg but will start. I used it for a long time. Relaxing indeed.

 

On 4/22/2020 at 10:27 AM, Gridley said:

We're happy to help you with your Lexapro taper.

 

Nice.

 

I've been reading some of the threads. In my experience with other drug tapers, I think for me at least really long tapers just prolong the misery. I have tapered buprenorphine, alprazolam, clonazepam, and diazepam in the past. HOWEVER, It really makes a difference that I love(d) abusing these medications.

 

With SSRIs, I do not fear withdrawal like many may. I really don't want to yell at anyone though. I already yelled at my room mates during this last month of my fast taper.

 

That said, I probably would take some convincing to not go faster than you advise. I tend to think that my brain upregulates, overall, more quickly if it gets a little shock. Dunno.

 

Edit: Another point: I know it is going to take years to normalize and I am just trying to get it all over with. I'm still not back completely from my polydrug addiction and it has been years.

20mg Lexapro for 20 months

10mg for 2 months

5mg for a week

2.5 mg for 3 days - Now experiencing withdrawal

 

I also take 300mg of gabapentin at night.

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