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LaurelM: escitalopram withdrawal week 2


LaurelM

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Hi. I am sheepish to share, because I am starting a process which makes me vulnerable. I have been on SSRI's since the age of 12. fluoxetine (prozac)from 12-19, and escitalopram (lexapro) from 19-current. I am in week 2 of my tapering process and decided I need a support group.  I started at 20mg of lexapro and am down to 15 . I took my last 20mg dose at 6am october 14. I am trying to consume any and ALL articles, videos, stories, words of encouragement ; and tips and tricks on tapering/ withdrawal coping. I am finding immense solace in distracting myself with other peoples stories and success . I have been documenting my process as so to have record of it and to swap stories with fellow patients. Please take a moment to share any tips or tricks on sleeping during withdrawal , as I am having great trouble with this especially.  I have attached my week 1 update and hope you can link me with any of your vlogs, blogs or stories so I don't have to feel as alone in this as i currently do. Thank you so much for

your time.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFVKDNUg4Mo&t=954s

 

 

2006-2008 fluoxetine 20mg

2008-2009 fluoxetine 30mg

2010- fluoxetine 40mg

2011 fluoxetine 30mg

2011-2014 fluoxetine 20mg

2014-2020= escitalopram 20mg

2020 october 15 taper down to 15mg

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to REAL NAME? escitalopram withdrawal week 2
  • Moderator
ChessieCat

Hi and welcome to SA,

 

Please create your drug signature following these instructions; please include ALL drugs and supplements:

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature
Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

Please note that the staff do not have time to view your videos and will require you to communicate with them in writing.  You are welcome to post the links to them, but please post only a LINK, not the preview, because it takes up a lot of space in the posts and is very distracting.  As soon as you paste the video at the bottom of the reply box click on display as link.  OR  you can type some text, eg vlog, highlight it and then click on the link icon to the left of the quotes, top of the reply box, and paste the link and the text will become a link.

 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.

 

Here are some helpful links:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Tips for tapering off escitalopram (Lexapro)

 

tips-to-help-sleep-so-many-of-us-have-that-awful-withdrawal-insomnia

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

My tapering program                                      My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

 

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

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

You are welcome to post the links to them, but please post only a LINK, not the preview, because it takes up a lot of space in the posts and is very distracting.  As soon as you paste the video at the bottom of the reply box click on display as link.  OR  you can type some text, eg vlog, highlight it and then click on the link icon to the left of the quotes, top of the reply box, and paste the link and the text will become a link.

 

Instead of posting links in your topic you could add a link to your channel in your drug signature.

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

My tapering program                                      My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

 

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Link to post
  • Moderator
ChessieCat

2014-2020= escitalopram 20mg

 

Please add the starting dose and the date and dose of your recent reduction.

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

My tapering program                                      My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

 

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Link to post
  • Moderator
ChessieCat

Thank you for amending your signature:

 

2014-2020= escitalopram 20mg

2020 october 15 taper down to 15mg

 

This is a 25% reduction and might be too much.  Are you experiencing any withdrawal symptoms.  If they are unbearable a small increase much help.  If they are bearable then you could hold on 15mg for several months until you reach what we call withdrawal normal:  WDnormal

 

Once you think you might be ready to recommence tapering you could try a small test reduction (2.5% ?) instead of 10%.  Once you know that it is okay, then you can reduce by more after about 2 or 3 weeks.

 

Please read Post #1 of this topic.  Much of the information is relevant to updosing too. 

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Please DO NOT go back to 20mg, because it might be too much.  Your brain will already have made some adaptations during the last two weeks.  It is better to increase by a small amount and increase more if needed than to risk taking too much.  You could try increasing by 1mg to start (total 16mg) and see if that helps.  It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full effect in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  You stay on the higher dose for at least 1 week and then reassess.  Please note that the idea of updosing isn't to get rid of withdrawal symptoms completely but to help bring them to a tolerable level.

 

Please see this topic which helps to explain that at the higher doses there are generally less changes happening in the brain.  Once the doses get lower then more changes occur:  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

My tapering program                                      My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

 

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Link to post

i had mild symptoms for the first 7 days, mostly nightmares and gastrointestinal, but i have no symptoms today. I read about how strong lexapro is and how there may not be much change until 10 or less milograms . I dont want to get ahead of myself and lower it even further yet because I want to see how I feel in every situation for a while before I even think of lowering the dosage. So far so good at 15, which i'm extremely surprised about, but the lower the dose, im sure i will start to see some negative effects.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
Extracted response from quote

2006-2008 fluoxetine 20mg

2008-2009 fluoxetine 30mg

2010- fluoxetine 40mg

2011 fluoxetine 30mg

2011-2014 fluoxetine 20mg

2014-2020= escitalopram 20mg

2020 october 15 taper down to 15mg

Link to post
  • Moderator
ChessieCat
23 hours ago, LaurelM said:

i had mild symptoms for the first 7 days, mostly nightmares and gastrointestinal

 

I would not class these as "mild" symptoms.  You are fortunate that they have eased.  However, you have mentioned that you are having sleep issues.  If this occurred after reducing by 25% then that also is not a mild symptom.

 

Please be aware that it is better to reduce slower so as not to bring on withdrawal symptoms than to go faster, experience withdrawal symptoms (more than minimal) and have to hold until you stabilise, and sometimes members don't return to how stable they were before the bad withdrawal symptoms.

 

We have members here at SA who have taken longer to get off their drug because they tried to go too fast.  If they had tapered steady at the suggested rate they would have got of sooner than they did/are doing.

 

As I said, if you decide not to updose then staying on 15mg for a few months (ie at least 2, possibly 3) is strongly suggested.  It is better to hold for longer than to risk reducing too soon.

 

It's very important to listen to your body/symptoms and taper according to how you feel, not by standard/available dose and/or calendar.

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

My tapering program                                      My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

 

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Link to post

Im not sure how to directly reply to your comment, but you may very well have saved my life by giving me the tapering info that you did . I am ABSOLUTELY not lowering my dose at the 2 week mark like my doctor told me to. knowing what I know now  , i realize how destructive and life threatening that is. I went through cold turkey withdrawal at the age of 19 from prozac (when they switched me to lexapro) and the world was spinning for days and eventually i had a seizure and they put me on lorazepam and eventually clonazepam for a few years. I will do anything to not have this happen again. i live in canada so i dont think i have access to the liquid version so im using a nail file when i do clear 1-3 months without any symptoms because i dont have any other way of doing it :(.  Im not willing to risk long term effects by going too fast

2006-2008 fluoxetine 20mg

2008-2009 fluoxetine 30mg

2010- fluoxetine 40mg

2011 fluoxetine 30mg

2011-2014 fluoxetine 20mg

2014-2020= escitalopram 20mg

2020 october 15 taper down to 15mg

Link to post
  • Moderator
ChessieCat
22 hours ago, LaurelM said:

I went through cold turkey withdrawal at the age of 19 from prozac (when they switched me to lexapro) and the world was spinning for days and eventually i had a seizure and they put me on lorazepam and eventually clonazepam for a few years.

 

Please add this drug information (explanations note needed) to your drug signature so we have a comprehensive history that we can see at a glance.  Thank you.

 

22 hours ago, LaurelMcintosh said:

i live in canada so i dont think i have access to the liquid version so im using a nail file

 

It's important to get your dose as consistent as possible.

 

Please see Post #1 of this topic which explains how to get the dose you need.  I suggest you ask about the availability of the liquid.

 

Tips for tapering off escitalopram (Lexapro)

 

Please see these topics:

 

did-i-go-wrong-with-my-nailfile-shaving-or-filing-a-tablet

 

using-a-digital-scale-to-measure-doses

 

how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules

 

getting-custom-dosages-at-compounding-pharmacies-us-uk-canada-and-elsewhere

 

You might find this topic helpful.  In Post #1 there is a link to a print out about AD withdrawal and also information about AD withdrawal in the DSM.

 

how-to-talk-to-a-doctor-about-tapering-and-withdrawal-what-to-expect

 

There are only 2 supplements which SA recommends.  Try one at a time and only a small dose to start to see how they affect you.

 

Magnesium

Omega-3 Fish Oil

 

the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable

 

More helpful topics:

 

helping-family-understand

 

withdrawal-dialogues-encouragement

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery


What is Happening in Your Brain

 

canada-members-please-check-in-here

 

There are many existing topics on SA.  To find them it is better to use an internet search engine and add site:survivingantidepressants.org to the search string.

 

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

My tapering program                                      My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

 

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to LaurelMcintosh: escitalopram withdrawal week 2

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