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Zipocal: Lexapro - tapered off in September, now strong withdrawals


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New member here - I was curious to see if anyone has had issues with Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)?


I was on Lexapro for the second time in my life.  First time I successfully tapered off.  The usual withdrawals for the first two months.  This time around I tapered slowly for four months, and took my last dose in September.  


Recently I have been getting daily headaches.  I wake up with a little tingle in my head which slowly turns into a headache the same time everyday.  Pain, dizziness, nausea.  I had blood work and getting a CT scan later this week.  The doctor things its too long for withdrawal but it feels very familiar.  Has anyone experienced this?  If so, will this go away long term?  Ironically the preventative treatment for tension headaches / migranes is... lexapro.


Thank you in advance.

Edited by Gridley
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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Zipocal.


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.


Many members here have had or have issues with PAWS.  Google "SurvivingAntidepressants.org PAWS" to read more.


Every time you taper a drug your system becomes sensitized.  This would explain why you didn't have problems with your first taper but do with your second.  A four month taper is  fast, and withdrawal symptoms can be delayed.  The symptoms you describe are typical 

withdrawal symptoms.  Yes, you will heal, but it can take some time.  Here is some information on withdrawal and the healing process.





When we take psychiatric medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  


These explain the healing process really well.



Here is some information about headaches and withdrawal.  I had severe back of neck pain beginning months after I started tapering (now gone).


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.






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 to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium  

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, 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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  • Gridley changed the title to Zipocal: Lexapro - tapered off in September, now strong withdrawals

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