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frigidjones: severe PPD led me to be medicated back in Dec 2018. I am now tapering.


frigidjones

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frigidjones

After my 3rd child I developed debilitating PPD with OCD and panic disorder. It was so bad I thought I had a brain tumor in my head causing these problems. I was not myself. I was put on zoloft. I stayed on that for a year and a bit and had wellbutrin added on about 8 months into treatment, because I felt dead inside. It helped for a few months and then I felt dead inside again. I tried effexor it made things worse and then switched to lexapro. I felt good for a couple months and then dead again. I cold turkeyed the wellbutrin at this point. I didnt notice any withdrawal other than a good laugh here and there which was a relief. A month later I decided to taper off lexapro. I was at 15 and went to 10 mg for 2 weeks. Now I am alternating 10 and 5 for 10 days. I am doing ok so far. I planned to do each step down for 2 weeks, but I see you guys do 4 weeks. I may step down to 5 soon and do 5 for 4 weeks instead of 2. Or should I alternate another couple weeks. 

 

I am ready to be done. I am ready to have feelings again. I already have some back. I dont want to hurt myself tapering though. I want to see what my baseline is, I want to know if that mess I was in with the PPD is finally gone. It literally felt like my last baby broke my brain. 

Dec 2018 DX'd with Severe PPD/OCD/Panic disorder with some paranoid and orthorexic features. 

Went on Zoloft 75 mg for 4 months then 125 mg for 5. 

Added Wellbutrin 9 months later for flat affect. It helped a little then stopped working

Cross tapered in Nov 2020 to effexor from zoloft for flat affect. Got worse. 

Direct switch to lexapro 10 mg in Dec 2020. Then went to 15 mg. Flat again. Decided to stop wellbutrin to see if that helped. No withdrawal. Still flat. 

In March 2021 decided in was time to wean.

Currently alternating 10 and 5 mg. Not bad in withdrawals yet.

Next step down is to 5 mg. 

 

Also have crohns and hypothyroid. Take Stelara and 0.88 mg synthroid for that. 

 

Supplements. Multi, Vitamin D, fish oil, CBD, Theanine, and magnesium. 

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  • frigidjones changed the title to Frigidjones. Severe PPD led me to be medicated back in Dec 2018. I am now tapering.
  • ChessieCat changed the title to frigidjones: severe PPD led me to be medicated back in Dec 2018. I am now tapering.
  • Moderator
Gridley

Welcome to SA, frigidjones.

 

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.

 

You are tapering too fast and reducing your dose too much with each taper.  We recommend tapering  by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug. Lexapro is the strongest SSRI on the market, and it is especially important to taper slowly at the lower doses, i.e., 10mg and below.  Something like 85% of the drug's effectiveness happens in the first 10 mg, so making even a small change can have a big effect symptom-wise.  Going down from 10mg to 5mg is far too much.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

We also strongly counsel against skipping doses. Skipping doses is equivalent to reducing your dose by 50%.  It causes the amount of the medication in your bloodstream to go up and down, battering your nervous system, and makes withdrawal worse.  

 

Skipping Days vs Every Day Dosing Graph

 

The following link is specifically about tapering Lexapro, including how to get the non-standard doses you'll need for a 10% taper.


Tips for tapering off escitalopram (Lexapro)

 

If prescription liquid Lexapro is available, that would be the easiest method for your taper.  If not, the link details other methods to get your doses.

 

Withdrawal symptoms can be delayed.  I would wait at least a month before continuing your taper to let your brain catch up to the changes in dose you've made.

 

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. 

 

 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. Get supplements that are single ingredient (not mixed with other types of supplements).

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can complete your drug signature, questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

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

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of March 22: 14.4mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, 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.

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frigidjones

So right now I am doing ok, and currently alternating 10 mg and 5 mg and have been for 10 days now. Should I just keep doing it this way for now, and then when I go down to 5 mg, do just 5 mg. My next step down was going to be 5 mg for 2 weeks but now I am going to do 5 mg at 4 weeks. If I hadnt done it for 10 days already I would just do what would have come after 10 mg. but I have been so now what?

 

Dec 2018 DX'd with Severe PPD/OCD/Panic disorder with some paranoid and orthorexic features. 

Went on Zoloft 75 mg for 4 months then 125 mg for 5. 

Added Wellbutrin 9 months later for flat affect. It helped a little then stopped working

Cross tapered in Nov 2020 to effexor from zoloft for flat affect. Got worse. 

Direct switch to lexapro 10 mg in Dec 2020. Then went to 15 mg. Flat again. Decided to stop wellbutrin to see if that helped. No withdrawal. Still flat. 

In March 2021 decided in was time to wean.

Currently alternating 10 and 5 mg. Not bad in withdrawals yet.

Next step down is to 5 mg. 

 

Also have crohns and hypothyroid. Take Stelara and 0.88 mg synthroid for that. 

 

Supplements. Multi, Vitamin D, fish oil, CBD, Theanine, and magnesium. 

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  • Moderator
getofflex
Posted (edited)

I would not suggest that you alternate doses between 10 mg and 5 mg.  You may feel fine for now, but these things have a way of catching up with you.  Sometimes it can take several weeks to feel the effects of varying or changing our dose.  I would take 7.5 mg per day, which is the average between 10 and 5.  

 

Stability

 

Lexapro is an especially powerful drug.  I believe it is at least twice as strong as other SSRI antidepressants, which can affect your system even more, and cause worse withdrawal symptoms.  I've experienced this myself.  The more we stop and start different psych meds, and change doses, the more likely that our nervous systems will become sensitized and we can be headed for a painful crash.  If that happens, it could take months or years to recover from.  

 

Also, if it were me, I would wait until I felt stable before I decided to lower the dose again.  It may take 4 weeks, or it may take longer.  Our nervous system is very complex, and these things take time. 

 

Please read these links to understand why it's important to keep your dose the same from day to day between tapers.  

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome

 

 

Edited by getofflex

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

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  • Moderator
getofflex
Posted (edited)

Here is a suggestion for you.  Get the liquid Lexapro.  It is much easier to dose precisely, and make the small reductions.  I believe that the Lexapro in Canada is the same as that in the USA, so  1 ml of the liquid contains 1 mg of Lexapro.  Please verify this with your pharmacist.  Use a syringe to administer the liquid.  We suggest doing a crossover.  That is because the liquid gets in your bloodstream faster than the tablets.  

 

1:  take 5 mg of a tablet, and 2.5 ml liquid each day.  Do this for 2 weeks, and see how it goes.  If you feel OK, then: 

2: Take 2.5 mg of a tablet, and 5 ml liquid each day.  Do this for 2 weeks, and see how it goes.  If you feel OK, then 

3: Take 7.5 ml of the liquid daily.  Do this for a week.  If you feel OK, then go ahead and taper by 10%.  That would be 6.8 ml (6.75 rounded up) 

 

I would not suggest dropping down to 5mg, because that is a 33% cut, and we suggest a 10% taper.  Please read the link above that Gridley posted "Why taper by 10%".  

 

 

 

Edited by getofflex

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

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Welcome to SA @frigidjones
slow, steady, and stable! Listen to you body! These withdrawals will catch up with you and come out when you think you are in the clear, most of us here have been there done that! I too am on lexapro and using the liquid. The liquid will allow you to be in control of coming off this drug. It will allow you to change slowly which will help keep you stable . Hang in there !

09/2000 paxil 20mgs, 06/2006 stopped Paxil crashed, 10/2006 progressed back up to Paxil 20mgs, 2012 -2013 Paxil 12 month taper crashed, 09/2013 Zoloft 50 - 100, 2015-2016 Zoloft taper crash, 2016 cymbalta, 01/2017   lamictal , 05/2017 Prozac 20 mgs, 06/2017 Prozac 40mgs, 02/2018 Prozac 20 mgs, 05/2018 Prozac 30 mgs, 11/2018 lexapro 10 mgs, 01/2019 lexapro 15 mgs, 12/07/2019 lexapro 13.75 mgs ,01/04/2020 lexapro 12.5 mgs, 02/08/2020 lexapro 11.25 mgs, 03/07/2020 lexapro 10 mgs, 07/25/2020 7.5mg pill&2.5ml liquid, 08/04/2020 5mg pill&5ml liquid, 08/17/2020 2.5mg pill 7.5 ml liquid, 08/24/2020 10 ml liquid lexapro, 09/05/2020 9 ml liquid lexapro, 10/05/2020 8.5 ml liquid lexapro,10/12/2020 9 ml lexapro,

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