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Gorilla470: Escitalopram withdrawal symptoms


gorilla470

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I started tapering off escitalopram about 2 weeks ago. My dr gave me almost no guidance. He suggested just taking my meds every other day but I'd had withdrawal symptoms before after missing just a day so I decided to cut my pills in half instead. I stopped taking them about 6 days later. I've been having really unpleasant dizziness. It is making it hard to function. I thought it would just last a few days based on some things I read but now I understand that it can last for weeks. I'm really struggling.

February 2019 - January 2021 Escitalopram 

I only tapered for a week on my doctor's advice.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome @gorilla470,

 


I'm sorry to hear you didn't get a lot of guidance. I think it was wise of you to not skip doses. Unfortunately withdrawal symptoms can last a lot longer than a few weeks. For some people several months, and for others even longer. That is why it's so important to minimise the risk if we can by slower tapering. 

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

 

Would you mind writing a signature? We ask that all new members do this, so we can get a better overview of drug history. Here's how to do that:

 

How to write a signature

 


Reinstatement usually works best within 3 months after your last dose. For some it works and for some it doesn't. If you want to reinstate we recommend a much smaller dose than your last one. This is because higher doses can cause us to become even more unstable. I would read the link below before making any changes. The purpose of reinstatement is to minimise the symptoms rather than eliminate them, although that is of course ideal. I figure it's good to go in with reasonable expectations.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Some choose to reinstate citalopram instead of escitalopram, because it's not as strong.
If the reinstatement works, it will be easier to lessen the risk of it happening again by tapering more slowly next time. So that you have it as a reference for later, I will put a link about tapering escitalopram:

 

Tips for tapering off escitalopram (Lexapro)

 

 

If you would instead like to wait it out, it's a good idea to learn ways of coping. Here is a topic where others discuss it dizziness, there might be something useful in there:

 

Dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, rocking or swaying sensations

 

 

Please feel free to ask any questions, especially if you're unsure on how to proceed. Are you experiencing any other symptoms apart from the dizziness?

 

 

 

Edited by Sunnyday

2011-2015: Escitalopram (Cipralex) 20 mg, Voxra 300 mg (quit Voxra in late 2015, no issues)

2016: Started tapering Escitalopram 5 mg at a time, every fourth week

July 24th, 2016: Escitalopram 5 mg

April 2nd, 2017: Quit last dosage (WD worsened a lot)

Ca 6 last months of 2017: Taking Diazepam 15-25 mg irregularly, less than once a month

Ca Dec 2017: Out of Diazepam, i.e free from all prescribed drugs

Now: Still drug free

Supplements: Irregular intake of Omega-3, magnesium, vitamin D.

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  • Mentor
On 1/19/2021 at 12:54 PM, gorilla470 said:

I started tapering off escitalopram about 2 weeks ago. My dr gave me almost no guidance. He suggested just taking my meds every other day but I'd had withdrawal symptoms before after missing just a day so I decided to cut my pills in half instead. I stopped taking them about 6 days later. I've been having really unpleasant dizziness. It is making it hard to function. I thought it would just last a few days based on some things I read but now I understand that it can last for weeks. I'm really struggling.

 

Hello,

Please specify how long you have been using escitalopram and what dosage?

 

You will need to start taking escitalopram again as soon as possible at a low dose. If you have 10mg tablets, cut them in half and then cut the half in half again (resulting in 2.5mg pills) and take that daily for now. It can last months or years if you don`t do this right away

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

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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Thanks for the information folks. I am, like so many others here, so sad that I only found this group AFTER I stopped taking my medication. 

 

I took it for just under 2 years. On your advice I will start taking a little bit. I really don't want to experience this feeling for another day never mind months.

February 2019 - January 2021 Escitalopram 

I only tapered for a week on my doctor's advice.

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  • Moderator

gorilla470,

What was your last dose of escitalopram?

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

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.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

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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  • Mentor

gorilla470,

do you have 10mg tablets?

 

you should get 5mg tablets if you can and cut those in half and start taking those daily. 2.5mg per day

 

if you are able to get liquid form escitalopram and reinstate at 0.5mg per day that would be better - you can updose later if needed.

^this option would be better but you might not be able to do it. if you cant do this, do the first option I mentioned.

 

moderators please correct me if wrong!

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

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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I was on 10mg for almost 2 years. Then my doctor told me to taper for a week by taking a pill every other day. My friend who takes ciprolex advised me to cut my pills in half instead which I did.

So, that last dose I took was a 5mg pill 8 or 9 days ago. I am talking to my doctor today and I'll see what he says but I don't trust him anymore. I have an appointment with a potential new doctor next week.

 

I also started taking omega 3s this week.

 

So glad to hear you're stabilizing! That's fantastic.

February 2019 - January 2021 Escitalopram 

I only tapered for a week on my doctor's advice.

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  • Mentor

Please reinstate today. DO NOT wait another day. If you don't reinstate unfortunately you will be in HELL in a few weeks.

Do you still have any escitalopram? If so, what dosage?

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

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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Yesyes123 I really, really appreciate your guidance and support. 

 

I'm just wondering if the mods or anyone else has an opinion on this. Is Yesyes123's experience pretty universal or is it possible that I will feel better soon without reinstating?

February 2019 - January 2021 Escitalopram 

I only tapered for a week on my doctor's advice.

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  • Mentor

I am being a little over the top, sorry for that.

 

We should indeed wait for the mods to arrive and follow their guidance.

I'm only worried for you because I was in the exact same situation and for the first month or so after quitting escitalopram, the symptons were very mild.

 

It was only after one month that I arrived in absolute hell. And I don't want you to go through that.

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

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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  • Mentor

From a moderator:

 

 

"Reinstatement of a small amount of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal. Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work. Once you have stabilized on a low dose of the drug, then a slower, safer taper can be started. Here is some information about reinstatement to help you decide if its something you would like to try:  About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms"

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

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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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, gorilla470 said:

was on 10mg for almost 2 years. Then my doctor told me to taper for a week by taking a pill every other day. My friend who takes ciprolex advised me to cut my pills in half instead which I did.

So, that last dose I took was a 5mg pill 8 or 9 days ago. I am talking to my doctor today and I'll see what he says but I don't trust him anymore. I have an appointment with a potential new doctor next week.

 

I also started taking omega 3s this week.

 

Thanks gorilla470,

How long were you on the 5 mg dose?

How did you feel?

 

The topic on reinstatement, is above, in the welcoming post from Sunnyday.  Take a look at that, especially the first post there.

And I think that a 5 mg dose is reasonable, to reinstate with, as you have only been off it for a little over a week.

 

And please keep us updated.

Try and stay with the reinstatement for the next week.  And use non-drug coping practices, the best you can for symptoms now.

Best to take your dose at the same time each day, every day.

It may not immediately restore you to before WD status, but should help with the symptoms that you now have.

 

Yes, I too, had a too abrupt taper from Lexapro, after switching directly to liquid form, without a careful cross over.  And then decreased my dose at the same time.  I had horrible WD, went voluntarily to the hospital, and wound up on 2 other drugs.  Then I came here, slowly tapered, and the rest is history.  Doing very well now after 30 years, and some 30 medications.

 

Anyway......let us know what your doctor says.  Try to partner with them, if they'll allow that.  And then you may be able to educate them as well.  Many are unaware of proper practices for tapering and even of WD.

 

You'll be able to taper slowly, from the 5 mg dose, at a later date.  Often 3-6 months of stability is good, prior to resuming a taper.

 

I think it's a good option for you now, gorilla70.  Often it helps, reinstatement, when done as soon as possible.  Again, a good read through of the reinstatement topic should help your further understanding.

 

Try to report daily, in the following way......time on the left, and then on the right, note drug(s) by name and dose, as well as any supplements by name and dose, activities, including sleep, meals, etc.

 

And best, L, P, H, and G,

moderator manymoretodays(mmt)

 

 

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

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.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

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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  • Mentor

hey @gorilla470,

How are you now?

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

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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Hi, I am still feeling better. Moments of dizziness throughout the day but NOTHING like what I was feeling last week. Bit mood (don't like) and a bit weepy (which I don't mind).

 

how are you?

February 2019 - January 2021 Escitalopram 

I only tapered for a week on my doctor's advice.

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  • Mentor

@gorilla470 welcome to SA ! Glad you made it here! Like many of us we came here after incorrectly tapering.
 

My dr also told me a year or so ago to alternate days to taper which was bad. But after reinstating from that alternating deal for a few weeks it took me a month or so to stabilize.  At this time drs just don’t know or aren’t willing to accept withdrawals. So go easy when you discuss this with your dr. Be willing to accept if you bring it up that he may dismiss your statements about withdrawal. I too have had dizziness among other symptoms with too fast withdrawal. And yes in my case and experience I totally agree with above reinstate and stabilize first. It usually takes me about 2 months to feel better and between 3 and 6 months to stabilize depending on how long I was off schedule.

 

there are information and guidelines on here about talking to drs and reinstatement 
 

Take it slow with nervous system so not to be in hell. Slow, steady, stable. Acknowledge that these are withdrawals- accept that they will be there and with armed knowledge this is what you have to do - and float try and let the feelings and thoughts just float on by. Read and learn all you can about these meds and listen to your body! The mods here will help guide you and we all will support you along the way!
Just reinstate slow steady stabilize! When you feel better you can then start researching and planning taper for after you stabilize. 

Hang in there ! 

2000-2013 Paxil - 1 year fast taper

2013-2018 drug merry go round with dr. 
zoloft, cymbalta, lamictal, Prozac.

 Nov. 2018 lexapro 15 mgs, Dec. 2019 to Mar. 2020 10mg. Jul 2020 to October 2020 8.5 ml.
Oct 2020 reinstated to 9 ml.
Apr 2021 to Jul  7ml. Oct 2021 to Jan 2022 5.9ml, Mar 5 2022 5.8 ml, Mar 12 5.7ml, Mar 20 5.6ml, Mar 27 5.5ml, April 23 5.4ml, April 30 5.3ml, May 7 5.2ml,  Jul 9, 5.4ml, 

Klonopin as needed, present Celebrex 200 - 400 mg daily as needed, 1000 to 2000 mg  turmeric Qunol daily as needed, Trader Joe’s omega 3, Prilosec very rarely if desperate 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Mentor

Hey @gorilla470 how are you doing?

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

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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