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HopeToHeal: six days of Lexapro, six months to recover?


HopeToHeal

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I have been lurking here since June.

 

I had been having a really hard time with anxiety building as the pandemic escalated. My anxiety wasn’t all from the pandemic itself, I have had anxiety and depression for years and it was exacerbated when I had my babies. With my third and fourth, in 2014 and 2017, I took sertraline. It gave me about a week of heightened anxiety and a few blips here and there, but it did help overall with my depression. I was on 25mg for most of the time I took it - about 18 months with one baby and about six months with another. But invariably got anxiety flare ups, especially when I would try to go up to 50mg. I never had a problem going off of it. The last time I took sertraline consistently was probably 2018. 

 

Starting in mid-May 2020, my anxiety and depression, but moreso my anxiety, was just becoming worse and worse and I felt like I couldn’t function as a person, parent, etc. I talked to a telehealth doctor who prescribed me buspirone, 7.5mg twice a day. My anxiety got worse and I was trembling and felt almost drunk. Sort of unsteady when I walked, little twitches in my toes, really shaky. I stopped within a couple weeks. I felt really scared. I have had health anxiety since I was a teenager and was so worried about my brain.

 

Talked to telehealth again a couple weeks later and went on 5mg escitalopram in the second week of June. I had an immediate adverse reaction. Sickest I have EVER felt and I had four awful pregnancies so I know sick. I was basically bedbound. I read everywhere that it could make me feel worse before it made me feel better, and that had been my experience with sertraline, but this was so much worse. I was nauseated, shaking inside (I felt like I was vibrating), had a bad tremor in my thumb (which I also had with the buspar), a tingle in my lip and chin and my ear felt twitchy. I would get waves of panic and hot flashes. Diarrhea, zero appetite. I finally had to quit. I called telehealth back and they advised me to stop immediately. And I did. I took 5mg of escitalopram for six days total.

 

My constant nausea eased and the diarrhea stopped. For about a month after, my legs felt like they were buzzing inside. My torso felt like it was shaking inside. I had waves of panic and night sweats. Insomnia. My calves would twitch. It was terrifying. My chin felt tingly for at least a month. The most alarming problem was that I would feel shaky and sweaty and sick to my stomach if I stood up for more than a couple minutes. If I moved around it wasn’t as bad, but I would get really sweaty either way. It started to ease up and I got some real windows starting around 4-6 weeks. But when my twitchiness and anxiety were at their worst, I was afraid to sit down or be still because I knew I would focus too much on my physical sensations.
 

It has now been almost five months and it is not dominating my life anymore, but I get waves which seem to correlate largely with increased stress as well as my menstrual cycle. My remaining symptoms are very faint muscle twitches in my legs, mildly shaky hands, and a tingle in the corner of my mouth that seems to be related to a very mild ear twitch that I experience only in certain positions. I have severe health anxiety and likely OCD and sensory processing issues, so I tend to feel and fixate on these sensations. I believe I have come a very long way since June, but I still worry that I actually have some other issue that caused everything I went through and all those symptoms will come back someday. From reading here, it does sound like I experienced an adverse reaction and my nervous system became hypersensitized, so I am “hopeful” it really was “just” that. I always read people’s posts on here who have adverse reactions because it helps me realize that my experience was real.

2014 & 2017 - 25mg sertraline for postpartum depression

Late May ‘20 - Early June ‘20: 7.5mg buspirone 2x/day (adverse reaction)

Mid-June ‘20 (six days total): 5mg escitalopram (adverse reaction)

 

currently taking: vitamin D, magnesium, omega 3, occasional melatonin.

 

no alcohol, no caffeine.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to HopeToHeal: six days of Lexapro, six months to recover?
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi HopeToHeal,

And welcome aboard.  Glad you've decided to join us after lurking.  B)

 

Thank you for getting your signature done.  And that does sound like a fairly immediate, and adverse reaction, to escitalopram.

And then on top of that, WD(withdrawal), and after only 6 days.

It happens.  I'm so sorry that you've had to go through this.

You might relate to this:  But I only took it for a Week

 

There might also have been something to do with your having been on and off, another SSRI a few times.  There's a phenomena called Kindling, that sometimes makes it more difficult to WD(withdraw) from a type of medication, when you have been on and off it a few previous times.

 

I finding this, here, on site about: Limbic Kindling- Hardwiring the brain for hypersensitivity

And that gives some idea about WD(withdrawal) and sometimes the hypersensitivies we then tend to have.

 

I was more referring to this type of Kindling:   Kindling- Benzodiazepine Information Coalition

Different receptors and things, but this may have played a role in your present WD.

 

And oh, sounds like you are seeing improvements too, which is great by the way.  And sometimes, just time is the ultimate healer.

And then perhaps avoidence of any further medication/drug treatment, as much as possible in the future, at least from the psychotropic classes of drugs.

 

You mention your "anxiety, health anxiety, and I think OCD".  Sometimes, most times, we can find non-drug coping skills to help with some of those symptoms.

We've got a pretty extensive section on Symptoms and Self Care

That will link you there, and you'll also see that forum, 4th down, from the Home Page.

 

More about withdrawal syndrome:   What is withdrawal syndrome?

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist

 

It sounds like you are already familiar with:  The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

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).   It's generally best to start with just one or the other, start low, go slow, and see how your body does with it.

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

 

This is your introduction/journal page where you have now introduced yourself to the community, you can ask questions here, give updates, and just keep a record of your journey.  You can go ahead and communicate with others here too, or add to their introductions with support and encouragement.
 
And we are happy to point you toward some non-drug coping for symptoms now, and for previous symptoms.  Just ask.  You can also find specific topics too, by using your main browser, then typing in survivingantidepressants.org and the topic of interest.
 
Welcome aboard.  Glad you joined us.  And yes, you are not alone here......many who have had similar adverse reactions.
Best.
Love, peace, healing, and growth,
moderator manymoretodays(mmt)
Edited by manymoretodays
whoosh, added more

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

SA strongly encourages members to learn and use:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

and

 

Acceptance

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

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 

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

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

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Thank you so much for all your help. Reading this forum has been a tremendous support for me.

2014 & 2017 - 25mg sertraline for postpartum depression

Late May ‘20 - Early June ‘20: 7.5mg buspirone 2x/day (adverse reaction)

Mid-June ‘20 (six days total): 5mg escitalopram (adverse reaction)

 

currently taking: vitamin D, magnesium, omega 3, occasional melatonin.

 

no alcohol, no caffeine.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You are very welcome.

 

There are many topics on this site.  To find them use a search engine and add site:survivingantidepressants.org to the search term.

 

You might find this useful.  There are computer and printable symptoms lists as well as a printable blank one.  They have been created from the symptoms list which was linked above.  They include the symptoms key as well.

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

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

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 

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

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

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