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Michelangelo: Quitting Escitalopram (Lexapro / Cipralex) and tapering Olanzapine (Zyprexa)


Michelangelo

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First of all, hello to all the wonderful people on this forum!

 

I started taking olanzapine at the end of September because of racing thoughts and inability to sleep, first 5 mg, for a few days, then 10 mg. In December went up to 15 mg.


Also later in December, started taking Escitalopram for depression, 5 mg for a few days, then 10 mg. It did not have any notable effects, so I decided to change them, but then I decided the new ones (Venlafaxine) had too many and too bad side effects, so I decided to quit instead. I quit cold turkey on January 26th. Not sure if I experience withdrawal, since they did not do much anyway. I think yes, because I feel I might be more depressed. Not even sure how I feel. Now I regret taking both meds because of side effects. I think Olanzapine is messing up my memory, concentration and ability to study.

 

What withdrawal symptoms I might experience from quitting Escitalopram, and for how long, since I took it for a month and a week? And also how much time should I wait until tapering Olanzapine? 

2020 - September - Olanzapine (Zyprexa) 5mg - October 10 mg, December 15 mg

2020 - December - Escitalopram (Lexapro) - 10 mg

2021 - 26th January - quit Escitalopram cold turkey

2021 - 7th February - started tapering Olanzapine - down to 12.5 mg

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Hi, Michelangelo.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. 

 

Yes, olanzapine does affect memory and you may also be experiencing some cognitive impairment from the antidepressant withdrawal. You can become dependent on these drugs in only a month. So your symptoms are likely a combination. 

 

But these symptoms do resolve in time. 

 

Here is some information on withdrawal to get you started: 

 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery video (4 minutes)

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

On 2/3/2021 at 5:07 AM, Michelangelo said:

And also how much time should I wait until tapering Olanzapine? 

 

This is a great post that explains the concept of "withdrawal normal," which is a baseline for when you are stable enough to reduce your drug. 

 

WD Normal

 

Here is some information on tapering olanzapine, for when you feel ready to begin your taper:

 

Tips for tapering off olanzapine (Zyprexa)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

You may find some helpful information to handle your symptoms here: 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements, as many members report their nervous systems are simply too fragile to handle them. However, magnesium and fish oil tend to be calming to the nervous system and many people report they do help. Please only add in one supplement at a time and at a small dose. For more, please see:

 

 King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Please add a signature.  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 

  • Any drugs and supplements prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

Please continue to use this thread to document your taper and to ask questions. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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 your reply! I don't know how to add the signature. Please tell me how.

Since I've written this post I figured out that I had really bad withdrawals from Escitalopram, but I think It already starts to wear of. I cut 2.5 mg out of my olanzapine on 7th of February, so that's like 16% out of 15mg. I'm planning on going to the gym to help me with sleep and the withdrawal and also to tapper faster. Do you think that if I cut another 2.5 mg (20%) in two weeks, I'm going too fast? I really want to get rid of it as fast as I can, I hate it. 

 

Also for supplements I got myself Coenzyme Q10, Magnesium, and some B complex supplements, the latter including B12, B6, Folic Acid, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Biotin and Pantothenic Acid. Do you think it's too much?

2020 - September - Olanzapine (Zyprexa) 5mg - October 10 mg, December 15 mg

2020 - December - Escitalopram (Lexapro) - 10 mg

2021 - 26th January - quit Escitalopram cold turkey

2021 - 7th February - started tapering Olanzapine - down to 12.5 mg

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34 minutes ago, Michelangelo said:

I don't know how to add the signature. Please tell me how.

 

Please see the first post in this thread:

 

Please summarize your withdrawal history in your signature

 

Here is a direct link to your signature:

 

Create Your Signature in "Account Settings"

 

35 minutes ago, Michelangelo said:

I'm planning on going to the gym to help me with sleep and the withdrawal and also to tapper faster. Do you think that if I cut another 2.5 mg (20%) in two weeks, I'm going too fast? I really want to get rid of it as fast as I can, I hate it. 

 

Some people find that intense exercise can make withdrawal symptoms worse. So please be very mindful of not overdoing it. 

 

It's possible some of your symptoms may be from the antidepressant. It only takes a month to develop a dependency, so you may need to give yourself some time to recover from that recent experience with Escitalopram.

 

I do understand wanting to get off the olanzapine, but it's not just the side effects that can cause problems, but also withdrawal from a too-rapid taper. 

 

I would not recommend going faster than 10% a month, based on the prior month's reduction. 

 

40 minutes ago, Michelangelo said:

Also for supplements I got myself Coenzyme Q10, Magnesium, and some B complex supplements, the latter including B12, B6, Folic Acid, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Biotin and Pantothenic Acid. Do you think it's too much?

 

Yes, way too much. We recommend only starting one supplement at a time and at a small dose. The B vitamins can be stimulating. You can use the search box or google "surviving antidepressants" + [name of supplement] to find information on individual supplements. 

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements, as many members report their nervous systems are simply too fragile to handle them. However, magnesium and fish oil tend to be calming to the nervous system and many people report they do help. Please only add in one supplement at a time and at a small dose. For more, please see:

 

 King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Since you went on olanzapine for racing thoughts and insomnia, please find some non-drug ways of handling these symptoms. For example, guided meditations such as this one can be great for calming the mind at night:

 

Guided Meditation Deep sleep | anxiety and insomnia relief | relaxation before bedtime video (21 minutes)

 

More ideas are here:

 

Tips to help sleep: so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

And more ideas are in the below link. You may want to look for mindfulness type of techniques, as well as information on breathing techniques and restorative yoga. All of these are great for helping you learn to self-sooth so you can go to sleep at night. 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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18 hours ago, Shep said:

We don't recommend a lot of supplements, as many members report their nervous systems are simply too fragile to handle them.

 

What do you mean by "too fragile to handle them"? What could happen?

2020 - September - Olanzapine (Zyprexa) 5mg - October 10 mg, December 15 mg

2020 - December - Escitalopram (Lexapro) - 10 mg

2021 - 26th January - quit Escitalopram cold turkey

2021 - 7th February - started tapering Olanzapine - down to 12.5 mg

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  • Administrator
2 hours ago, Michelangelo said:

 

What do you mean by "too fragile to handle them"? What could happen?

 

Many people dealing with withdrawal have nervous systems that have been injured by these drugs and by coming off them. So the nervous system tends to hyper-react to certain supplements, drugs, and even foods can be triggering. This can cause upticks in symptoms. 

 

This is what Alto wrote in the thread One Theory of Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome:

 

On 5/24/2011 at 10:59 PM, Altostrata said:

My guess is: The first phase of withdrawal, the acute phase, is the initial shock of withdrawal, with the most defined symptoms, such as brain zaps and nausea and possibly waves of unusually intense "depression" and "anxiety" -- actually, emotions generated by the neurological upset. Later, glutamatergic hyper-reactivity and autonomic instability take over. Often the autonomic instability causes wide hypersensitivity to drugs, supplements, and even foods.

 

So if you do take a supplements, only try one supplement at a time and at a low dose to see if your system is strong enough to handle it. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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