Jump to content

Lukesapro: new to tapering and looking for guidance


Lukesapro

Recommended Posts

Hello there, friends.

 

I Have been on Lexapro 20mg and 150mg Buproprion XL since 2011. I have always developed brain zaps and dizziness even when I’m just a few hours passed my regular dosage time - though I am symptom free when I am at my normal dose and taking them at the proper time. I don’t suffer from much side effects that I am aware of, perhaps some weight gain. in general, the meds had been a literal life-saver in the early years of taking them, But I have always wanted to try going off to see how much I do or do not need these drugs long term, and because physical dependency on them feels disconcerting. 
 

This month I tried a taper for the first time. Half doses daily for a week and then half doses every other day for a week, and then fully off for a few days now - this was the recommended taper from my physician. Symptoms following the drop off were intense brain zaps, dizziness, sudden bursts of weeping, feeling like a truck hit me, feeling like my lower back or kidneys had taken a beating, intense eye weakness and eye strain, anxiety, insomnia, and disassociation. Symptoms got so bad that after a few days of being fully off, I went back to a half dose of both, which has almost immediately helped the symptoms subside (some). I am currently at half doses daily for both meds and seeking advice on whether I should go up to the full daily dose before trying a proper taper or if I should see if I can stabilize on the half doses for both. I don’t want to create a situation where I wait too long and going back up to full dose will no longer work, but being able to begin a proper taper at 10mg of Escitalopram and 75mg of Bupropion would be nice. I want to take the least painful path forward - the withdrawal symptoms were not something I want to ever feel again if I can avoid them. So if going back up to full dose is the wiser choice, even if it means double the length of my taper, I’d rather that than to try to stay lower and risk something I don’t fully understand. 

Edited by Gridley

Lexapro 20mg since 2011

Welbutrin XL 150mg since 2011

have been on them consistently until September 9th of 2020 to treat anxiety and depression. 

 

Began a tapering on September 10. Dropping to 10mg of Lexapro and 75mg of Welbutrin XL. Stayed at this level for one week then tapered down to alternating day doses at this dose level for one week, and then dropped down to zero for both meds for half a week before deciding to return to a daily dose of 10mg of Lexapro and 75mg of Welbutrin XL beginning on September 23, 2020. 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Lukesapro.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Your system is sensitized from the alternate day dosing (which we strongly counsel against as it causes the amount of the drug in your system to go up and down, battering the nervous system) plus the 50% drop in dose (we recommend 10%).  Because of this destabilization, reinstating to full dose might overwhelm your system.   I would hold where you are at your present half dose.  You will need to hold there until your system stabilizes, which could take several months.  Then you can begin a slow 10% taper.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

When the time comes to taper, we recommend tapering only one drug at a time.  Otherwise, if problems arise, you won't know the cause.  We recommend tapering the more activating drug first, leaving the sedating or neutral drug in place for later tapering.  Lexapro is definitely an activating drug.  Wellbutrin is also often activating.  Can you tell what effect the Wellbutrin is having on you?  When the time comes to taper, we can help you decide which drug to taper first and provide you with specific instructions on how taper it.

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

Here is some information on the withdrawal you experienced and the healing process.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

These explain the healing process really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Brain Remodelling 

 

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 complete your drug signature, 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.  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.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 6-week Ativan-Valium crossover.

 

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.

Link to post

Thanks for the info. An additional question:

 

I was told by my physician to go up to the full dose on the Welbutrin, since it is not a pill that should be divided (as it messes with the time released coating). His suggestion was to go back up to full dose on the Welbutrin and stay at half dose with the Lexapro and stabilize there. 
 

thoughts? 
 

As far as which drug effects me and how, I don’t fully know because they have always been linked in my system, but I have a strong feeling that the negative withdrawal symptoms are more to do with the Lexapro. I’ve missed a few days of Lexapro over the years because of running out, and have found the withdrawl symptoms seemed to be resolved when returning to dosage on that specific drug. 

Lexapro 20mg since 2011

Welbutrin XL 150mg since 2011

have been on them consistently until September 9th of 2020 to treat anxiety and depression. 

 

Began a tapering on September 10. Dropping to 10mg of Lexapro and 75mg of Welbutrin XL. Stayed at this level for one week then tapered down to alternating day doses at this dose level for one week, and then dropped down to zero for both meds for half a week before deciding to return to a daily dose of 10mg of Lexapro and 75mg of Welbutrin XL beginning on September 23, 2020. 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
15 minutes ago, Lukesapro said:

thoughts? 

 

I'm concerned about doubling your dose for the reasons I set out in my first post.  You've been on 75mg IR for over two weeks now and your system has gotten accustomed to this dose.  IR is supposed to be taken three times daily.  You could switch to 75mg IR, cut the pill into thirds and take 25mg three times daily.

 

Going back up to 150XR might be fine. But I do have concerns.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 6-week Ativan-Valium crossover.

 

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.

Link to post
15 minutes ago, Gridley said:

 

I'm concerned about doubling your dose for the reasons I set out in my first post.  You've been on 75mg IR for over two weeks now and your system has gotten accustomed to this dose.  IR is supposed to be taken three times daily.  You could switch to 75mg IR, cut the pill into thirds and take 25mg three times daily.

 

Going back up to 150XR might be fine. But I do have concerns.

 

 

 

 

Sorry what is IR? Is the suggestion to switch to a different form of Welbutrin to reach the dose? The Welbutrin pills I have now are 24 hour extended release pills and are not very good at splitting in half and I think splitting them beyond that would make them crumble...

Lexapro 20mg since 2011

Welbutrin XL 150mg since 2011

have been on them consistently until September 9th of 2020 to treat anxiety and depression. 

 

Began a tapering on September 10. Dropping to 10mg of Lexapro and 75mg of Welbutrin XL. Stayed at this level for one week then tapered down to alternating day doses at this dose level for one week, and then dropped down to zero for both meds for half a week before deciding to return to a daily dose of 10mg of Lexapro and 75mg of Welbutrin XL beginning on September 23, 2020. 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
7 minutes ago, Lukesapro said:

Sorry what is IR?

Sorry, IR is immediate release.  When you split the 150mg XR in half it loses its time-release quality and turns extended release into immediate release.

 

8 minutes ago, Lukesapro said:

The Welbutrin pills I have now are not very good at splitting in half and I think splitting them beyond that would make them crumble...

 

I was suggesting you switch from 150mg XR to 75mg IR immediate release pills, then cutting them into thirds to take 3 X a day as recommended.  That would keep your dose at the same total of 75mg as you're been taking since you started tapering.

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.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 6-week Ativan-Valium crossover.

 

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.

Link to post

Gridley, 

 

As far as switching to Welbutrin IR, what if I have a practitioner that won’t prescribe me them because they think it is fine to just go back on the full 150mg XL since that is what I already have - they’re not usually in the habit of letting you get more pills from the pharmacy before you’re due... 

Lexapro 20mg since 2011

Welbutrin XL 150mg since 2011

have been on them consistently until September 9th of 2020 to treat anxiety and depression. 

 

Began a tapering on September 10. Dropping to 10mg of Lexapro and 75mg of Welbutrin XL. Stayed at this level for one week then tapered down to alternating day doses at this dose level for one week, and then dropped down to zero for both meds for half a week before deciding to return to a daily dose of 10mg of Lexapro and 75mg of Welbutrin XL beginning on September 23, 2020. 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
41 minutes ago, Lukesapro said:

Gridley, 

 

As far as switching to Welbutrin IR, what if I have a practitioner that won’t prescribe me them because they think it is fine to just go back on the full 150mg XL since that is what I already have - they’re not usually in the habit of letting you get more pills from the pharmacy before you’re due... 

I know you can't force your doctor to do anything.  But it's your body.  You could tell him you really aren't comfortable going back up to 150mg after being on 75mg, that you're concerned it's going to be too much, that your system is sensitized from withdrawal.  Be aware that doctors (who receive all their information from big pharma) don't even believe in withdrawal.  This is the same doctor who instructed you to cut by 50% and to alternate doses, two ideas that are just about guaranteed to throw you into the withdrawal that you experienced and that you now have to recover from.  

 

Any M.D. can prescribe Wellbutrin.  Do you have another doctor who might be more cooperative?

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.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 6-week Ativan-Valium crossover.

 

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.

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Lukesapro: new to tapering and looking for guidance

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy