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Frank85: Need Help/Advice


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Frank85
Posted (edited)

First off, my story/background:

 

I was started on 20mg Paxil in 2001 at 16 years old for IBS by GP.  Attempted to taper off in ~2010 over many months due to my personal concerns on SSRI use long-term but failed due to terrible withdrawal (no sleep at all, brain zaps, crying fits, etc.) when reaching a low dose and was put back on Paxil at 30mg by GP which I stayed on until January 2021.

 

Around mid 2019 and through 2020 I started having some depression type feelings and maybe very minor anxiety, but it was fairly benign and not particularly often so I blew it off.  I had an Ischemic Colitis attack in December 2020 and was hospitalized for ~1 week.  At this point Anxiety and significant depression started to occur, and in January 2021 Paxil was cross-tapered to Effexor by GP, reaching a final dose of 150mg Effexor/0mg Paxil after 3 weeks.

 

Effexor did not seem to help me, anxiety actually seemed worsened and I had bad nausea among other side effects so on March 27th, 2021 was direct switched (no taper) to Lexapro 10mg by GP.  Lexapro dosage was then upped to 20mg by GP on April 24th 2021 as 10mg didn't seem to be helping much either (some improvement maybe, but barely noticeable if so).

 

On April 27th 2021 I started seeing a Mental Health NP, who added 150mg Wellbutrin XL daily, as well as Gabapentin 200mg at night.  After a week or two I started feeling improved, not myself for sure, but at least noticeably better.  My Mental Health NP now has me weaning off the Lexapro 5mg down every 5 days starting on May 18th (15mg for 5days, 10mg for 5days, 5mg for 5days, then 0mg)  I am currently down to 10mg Lexapro, so my current medications are as follows: 10mg Lexapro, 150mg Wellbutrin XL, 200mg Gabapentin (at night).

 

I'm super concerned about the fast taper of the Lexapro, even though I wasn't on it for very long I have been on some form of SSRI (obviously the Paxil predominantly) for 20+ years now nonstop.  I've brought this up to my mental health specialist multiple times, and he swears/assures me that Lexapro has a long enough half-life that no taper is necessarily needed, and the 5mg drops every 5 days is conservative and will be fine.  I've been hesitantly following through on his plan, but I already feel like my anxiety is worsening.  The hardest part is the anxiety doesn't seem to be about anything in particular, just random feelings that I can't pinpoint any cause on.

 

On top of all this, I was started on a CPAP machine about 1 week ago after being diagnosed with mild obstructive sleep apnea.  At the time I thought great, maybe this is contributing to my depression/anxiety symptoms but so far my sleep has been just as lousy (multiple awakenings overnight, difficulty getting to sleep) as it was before.  I was also found through blood testing this month to have quite low testosterone for my age, but my GP is hesitant to treat it due to concerns over causing cardiac issues or worsening the sleep apnea.

 

Aside from the mental health (which is obviously terrible at this point) I'm for the most part in good physical health.  The colitis is mostly resolved, I'm a healthy weight and in generally good shape (5ft 7.5in, ~165lbs).

 

I'm not sure what I'm looking for out of all this, I guess mostly advice and reassurance - I'm concerned that being on the Paxil so long and from a young age has done serious damage that maybe I'll never recover from.  I'm scared I'll never feel like myself again, that I won't be there for my wife and kids.  I'm scared I'll be medicated for the rest of my life, my mental health specialist doesn't seem concerned when I bring these things up, he thinks everything will be fine.  Anything anyone can offer is greatly appreciated, and I'll happily answer any questions and offer more information.  Thank you all.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gridley

2001-2010 20mg Paxil 2010 Failed Paxil Taper, upped to 30mg 2010-January 2021 30mg Paxil January 2021 Cross-taper Paxil to Effexor over 2 weeks, 20mg/37.5mg, 10mg/75mg, 0mg/150mg

March 27, 2021 Effexor Stopped, Lexapro started 10mg April 24, 2021 Lexapro upped to 20mg April 27, 2021 Wellbutrin XL 150mg and Gabapentin 200mg started

May 18, 2021 Lexapro Taper started, 5mg reduction every 5 days May 26, 2021 Lexapro Taper paused, holding at 10mg.  Gabapentin stopped. 

June 1 - June 13, 2021 Lexapro upped to 12.5mg, then 15mg, then back to 20mg before W/D effects cleared July 1, 2021 Started Deplin 15mg

All 2021: July 30: Lexapro 18mg Aug 14: Lexapro 16.2mg Sept 3: Lexapro 14.58mg Sept 17: Lexapro 13.122mg

Current Meds/Supplements 13.12mg Lexapro, 150mg Wellbutrin XL, 15mg Deplin, 1000IU D3, 500mcg Methyl-B12, 2000mg Omega-3

 

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  • Moderator
Gridley
Posted (edited)

Welcome to SA, Frank85.  Thank you for completing your drug signature.  We are a site for tapering off drugs and helping members deal with psychiatric drug withdrawal.  

 

Regarding the Paxil at an early age, it has been our experience on this site that we all heal from these drugs.  We have a number of members who were drugged at an early age and who have recovered and healed.  So that's one worry you needn't trouble yourself with.  To get to matters closer at hand:

 

3 hours ago, Frank85 said:

My Mental Health NP now has me weaning off the Lexapro 5mg down every 5 days starting on May 18th (15mg for 5days, 10mg for 5days, 5mg for 5days, then 0mg)

 

The tapering schedule your NP calls for is much faster than we recommend and puts you at risk of withdrawal symptoms the duration and severity of which are impossible to predict.  Lexapro is the most powerful  SSRI on the market (2 to 4 times more potent than other SSRI's). 

 

We recommend tapering no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  This link explains why:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

The last 10mg should be tapered especially slowly and carefully.  There is a very high rate of receptor occupancy (parts of the brain affected by the drug) at low doses, meaning that even on low doses of the drug, it is still having a major effect on the brain.  Please see this link: 

 

 
A person is subject to withdrawal symptoms from an antidepressant after one month on the drug.  The vast majority of medical personnel, including psychiatrists, GP's and NP's, know nothing about safe tapering and invariably taper their patients too fast.  They also don't believe in the existence of withdrawal.  The experience of our members has been the opposite, and that is why this site exists.  Your NPs statement that no taper is needed, and the 5mg drops every 5 days is conservative and will be fine is unfortunately typical.  You mention worsening anxiety.  Anxiety is one of the most common signs of withdrawal due to a too-fast taper.  
 
 
 
I would recommend you do not taper Lexapro any further and hold where you are at 10mg Lexapro for at least three months (perhaps more) to allow your brain to catch up and become accustomed to the rapid reduction from 20mg to 10mg.  If after this time you feel stable, you can begin a slow, safe 10% taper to zero. This link is specifically about tapering Lexapro, including how to get the non-standard doses needed for a 10% taper.  
 
 
3 hours ago, Frank85 said:

I'm scared I'll be medicated for the rest of my life, my mental health specialist doesn't seem concerned when I bring these things up, he thinks everything will be fine. 

 

Yes, they believe that drugs are the answer.  Drugs are their stock-in-trade.  My psychiatrist told me I would be on Lexapro for the rest of my life.  As you can see from my drug signature, I finished a slow taper to zero off 20mg Lexapro 7 months ago and am doing well.  In the book, Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, which comes highly recommended on this site, the author found that long term and across the board in all classes of drugs, including antidepressants, people did much better off these drugs than on.

 

 

Here's a video book trailer by the author, Robert Whitaker:

 

 
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 ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gridley

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 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Sept 13: 9mg 

Taper is 52% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% 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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Frank85

Thank you for the reply, and for all the information Gridley.  I will definitely push back harder on getting the Lexapro prescription extended, if not by the mental health NP then I believe my GP will do it if I bring it up to him.  Would you happen to have any thoughts on the Wellbutrin and Gabapentin?  I guess at this point I don't mind staying on the Wellbutrin until everything else is settled and then worrying about tapering that when it's the only thing I'm on, but the Gabapentin in particular concerns me.  Having been on it for less than a month now (really ~2weeks as it took a few days for the pharmacy to get it in and then pick it up), and at a low dose, would it be advisable to get off of it before dependency sets in?

 

My thought would be continue the Wellbutrin XL at the 150mg, hold at 10mg on Lexapro as you stated and then start the 10% taper in a few months, and stop the Gabapentin now and see how things go.  Does that make sense?

 

Thanks again for taking the time to respond, I really appreciate it!

2001-2010 20mg Paxil 2010 Failed Paxil Taper, upped to 30mg 2010-January 2021 30mg Paxil January 2021 Cross-taper Paxil to Effexor over 2 weeks, 20mg/37.5mg, 10mg/75mg, 0mg/150mg

March 27, 2021 Effexor Stopped, Lexapro started 10mg April 24, 2021 Lexapro upped to 20mg April 27, 2021 Wellbutrin XL 150mg and Gabapentin 200mg started

May 18, 2021 Lexapro Taper started, 5mg reduction every 5 days May 26, 2021 Lexapro Taper paused, holding at 10mg.  Gabapentin stopped. 

June 1 - June 13, 2021 Lexapro upped to 12.5mg, then 15mg, then back to 20mg before W/D effects cleared July 1, 2021 Started Deplin 15mg

All 2021: July 30: Lexapro 18mg Aug 14: Lexapro 16.2mg Sept 3: Lexapro 14.58mg Sept 17: Lexapro 13.122mg

Current Meds/Supplements 13.12mg Lexapro, 150mg Wellbutrin XL, 15mg Deplin, 1000IU D3, 500mcg Methyl-B12, 2000mg Omega-3

 

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  • Moderator
Gridley
10 minutes ago, Frank85 said:

My thought would be continue the Wellbutrin XL at the 150mg, hold at 10mg on Lexapro as you stated and then start the 10% taper in a few months, and stop the Gabapentin now and see how things go.  Does that make sense?

 

If you've only been on the Gabapentin for two weeks, it is very likely that you could simply stop the Gabapentin now.  Your statement quoted above seems to me to be a good plan.

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 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Sept 13: 9mg 

Taper is 52% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% 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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@Frank85 welcome to SA! Glad you found us ! You are in the right place to get off these medications. There is tons of valuable information here. Learn all you can about these drugs and your system. As gridley said hold with dose for several months before tapering. This hold can give you mental stability. Our nervous system cannot handle a lot of changes with this meds in a short period of time. This is only temporary. Slow and steady equals stable. The moderators will guide you and we will support you along the way!  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, 04/17/2021 8.78 ml, 04/24/2021 8.56 ml, 05/02/2021 8.34 ml, 05/09/2021 8.10ml, 05/29/2021 8 ml, 06/15/2021 7.80 ml, 06/21/2021 7.60ml, 06/27/2021 7.40 ml, 07/03/2021 7.20 ml, 07/24/2021 7 ml, 

2000 to present Celebrex 200 mg daily as needed

2015 to present Prilosec 20-40 mg daily as needed

Present pravastatin 10 mg

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Frank85

Woke up today feeling pretty awful, around 5am or so awoke with head "pressure" and moments of heart racing type feelings, struggled to fall back asleep at all and am not sure if I even did honestly.  When it came time to get out of bed I couldn't get myself to do it, I finally struggled to drag myself up about an hour late.  I feel exhausted, my concentration/focus is terrible, and I feel generally very foggy almost lightheaded.  I'm finding it very difficult to care, if that makes sense, just very hopeless feeling I guess.  I left a message for my MH-NP as soon as I got up, but haven't heard anything back yet.  

 

Is it possible I'm feeling W/D from the fast Lexapro taper from 20mg to 10mg?  It was less than a month I was at the 20mg when I started the MH-NP's rapid taper advice down to 10mg, so I don't know how likely it is that this would be W/D related vs. something else.  Honestly I'm now questioning if the Wellbutrin is even having any effect at all - it was only 3 days after my Lexapro was upped to 20mg that the Wellbutrin was started so now I'm thinking any "positive" (if you could call it that) that I was feeling was just from the Lexapro increase, especially since the 10mg probably isn't sufficient to match up with the 30mg of Paxil I was on for 20 years.

 

Obviously at this point I'm not going to drop my Lexapro dosage anymore anytime soon, the Wellbutrin XL I've been taking for exactly 29 days at this point (1 pill left in my initial 30 day fill so I know that for sure) so I don't know if it makes sense to just keep taking in case it's doing something?  I don't know, just feeling kinda lost today...

2001-2010 20mg Paxil 2010 Failed Paxil Taper, upped to 30mg 2010-January 2021 30mg Paxil January 2021 Cross-taper Paxil to Effexor over 2 weeks, 20mg/37.5mg, 10mg/75mg, 0mg/150mg

March 27, 2021 Effexor Stopped, Lexapro started 10mg April 24, 2021 Lexapro upped to 20mg April 27, 2021 Wellbutrin XL 150mg and Gabapentin 200mg started

May 18, 2021 Lexapro Taper started, 5mg reduction every 5 days May 26, 2021 Lexapro Taper paused, holding at 10mg.  Gabapentin stopped. 

June 1 - June 13, 2021 Lexapro upped to 12.5mg, then 15mg, then back to 20mg before W/D effects cleared July 1, 2021 Started Deplin 15mg

All 2021: July 30: Lexapro 18mg Aug 14: Lexapro 16.2mg Sept 3: Lexapro 14.58mg Sept 17: Lexapro 13.122mg

Current Meds/Supplements 13.12mg Lexapro, 150mg Wellbutrin XL, 15mg Deplin, 1000IU D3, 500mcg Methyl-B12, 2000mg Omega-3

 

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Frank85

Still nothing from MH-NP, so guessing I'm not getting a call back today...I think I need to look into a new MH professional, it's just so hard to find anyone that's not completely booked with all the pandemic related stress people are having, let alone finding one that understands withdrawal.  Ugh, I'm just so discouraged and don't know what to do.

2001-2010 20mg Paxil 2010 Failed Paxil Taper, upped to 30mg 2010-January 2021 30mg Paxil January 2021 Cross-taper Paxil to Effexor over 2 weeks, 20mg/37.5mg, 10mg/75mg, 0mg/150mg

March 27, 2021 Effexor Stopped, Lexapro started 10mg April 24, 2021 Lexapro upped to 20mg April 27, 2021 Wellbutrin XL 150mg and Gabapentin 200mg started

May 18, 2021 Lexapro Taper started, 5mg reduction every 5 days May 26, 2021 Lexapro Taper paused, holding at 10mg.  Gabapentin stopped. 

June 1 - June 13, 2021 Lexapro upped to 12.5mg, then 15mg, then back to 20mg before W/D effects cleared July 1, 2021 Started Deplin 15mg

All 2021: July 30: Lexapro 18mg Aug 14: Lexapro 16.2mg Sept 3: Lexapro 14.58mg Sept 17: Lexapro 13.122mg

Current Meds/Supplements 13.12mg Lexapro, 150mg Wellbutrin XL, 15mg Deplin, 1000IU D3, 500mcg Methyl-B12, 2000mg Omega-3

 

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@Frank85 sorry you are feeling bad , I know it’s tough try to make yourself go about normally and avoid stress where you can.

 

The answer to your questions would be best answered by gridley. Or a moderator. When you have a question you can put the @ symbol and then their name like this @Gridley

 

I would say what you are feeling is medication and dose changes in a short period of time. Convo of withdrawals and adding new medication. With Ssris like lexapro and Paxil etc. it takes time for your body to see the change in dose or med change. I have changed doses before and felt great for a week then sleep 12 hrs a day or have anxiety for a few days or weeks. It’s kinda like you make one change and then wait a month per say. No when you have to deal with more than on drug that complicates things a little. 
 

i understand the discouragement! I do understand that search for a dr to listen and knows the answer I been there done it! I stopped looking for a dr that understand withdrawals or anyone that hasn’t done it  for that matter, I  checked that off my list don’t even worry about that one anymore! I just go to dr and get my script and move on. He thinks I’m trying to get to a low dose with less side effects 🙄. You will start to notice that when you call or go to dr they will have an answer but it will be more drugs. And more is not better if you want to get off the kool aid.  It took me awhile to catch on but I did . I have much more faith in moderators here than a dr. I can assure you gridley and moderators will guide you through!  Slow and steady! 
take care! 

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, 04/17/2021 8.78 ml, 04/24/2021 8.56 ml, 05/02/2021 8.34 ml, 05/09/2021 8.10ml, 05/29/2021 8 ml, 06/15/2021 7.80 ml, 06/21/2021 7.60ml, 06/27/2021 7.40 ml, 07/03/2021 7.20 ml, 07/24/2021 7 ml, 

2000 to present Celebrex 200 mg daily as needed

2015 to present Prilosec 20-40 mg daily as needed

Present pravastatin 10 mg

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@Frank85 I just noticed you and we’re on Paxil 20 about the same time. 1 mg of lexapro equals 1.9 mgs of Paxil. You are on 10 mgs of lexapro which is equal to 19 mgs of Paxil. Just to give you an idea of the difference since you were used to Paxil.

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, 04/17/2021 8.78 ml, 04/24/2021 8.56 ml, 05/02/2021 8.34 ml, 05/09/2021 8.10ml, 05/29/2021 8 ml, 06/15/2021 7.80 ml, 06/21/2021 7.60ml, 06/27/2021 7.40 ml, 07/03/2021 7.20 ml, 07/24/2021 7 ml, 

2000 to present Celebrex 200 mg daily as needed

2015 to present Prilosec 20-40 mg daily as needed

Present pravastatin 10 mg

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  • Moderator
Gridley
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Frank85 said:

I was feeling was just from the Lexapro increase, especially since the 10mg probably isn't sufficient to match up with the 30mg of Paxil I was on for 20 years.

It's impossible to tell what's causing your symptoms, given all the drug and dose changes.

 

The important thing here isn't to determine causes, since, as you say, you're not going to drop Lexapro now (and I wouldn't up it either).  My recommendation remains the same as the plan you arrived at earlier: hold at 10mg Lexapro for several months, continue with the Wellbutrin, and stop the Gabapentin.

 

Regarding the Wellbutrin, at 29 days you're right at the borderline in terms of whether or not you're at risk of withdrawal if you stop it.      There's no way to know.  However, we recommend making only one change at a time; otherwise, you won't know what's causing what.  It may not being doing you any good, but that's not the main consideration here.  The main consideration is stability and avoiding or minimizing withdrawal.  You've made a lot of changes and I would make as few as possible at this point.  

 

It makes sense to stop the Gabapentin since you've only been on it for 2 weeks.  That's one change.    I would't make any others.  I would get stabilized on the Lexapro for several months, as I recommended earlier, then taper off it.  Then you can tackle the Wellbutrin.  Wellbutrin can generally be tapered more quickly than other antidepressants, but that a determination for the future.

 

 

 

Edited by Gridley

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 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Sept 13: 9mg 

Taper is 52% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% 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.

Link to post
Frank85

Thank you Heath and Gridley, I appreciate all the information and reassurance.  @Gridley I'm glad you mentioned you wouldn't up the Lexapro either, since that was a thought that crossed my mind if I started feeling worse, but I'll tough it out. 

 

My focus now will be getting the Lexapro script refilled since I'm on my last 20 or so pills with no refills remaining.  I wish the MH-NP had called back so I could have asked, otherwise I'll know to have to schedule an appointment with my GP and hope he'll do it, of course after he said he'd defer to MH going forward at my last appointment.  I think GP would be understanding of withdrawal concerns though and be willing to rewrite the script, hopefully.

2001-2010 20mg Paxil 2010 Failed Paxil Taper, upped to 30mg 2010-January 2021 30mg Paxil January 2021 Cross-taper Paxil to Effexor over 2 weeks, 20mg/37.5mg, 10mg/75mg, 0mg/150mg

March 27, 2021 Effexor Stopped, Lexapro started 10mg April 24, 2021 Lexapro upped to 20mg April 27, 2021 Wellbutrin XL 150mg and Gabapentin 200mg started

May 18, 2021 Lexapro Taper started, 5mg reduction every 5 days May 26, 2021 Lexapro Taper paused, holding at 10mg.  Gabapentin stopped. 

June 1 - June 13, 2021 Lexapro upped to 12.5mg, then 15mg, then back to 20mg before W/D effects cleared July 1, 2021 Started Deplin 15mg

All 2021: July 30: Lexapro 18mg Aug 14: Lexapro 16.2mg Sept 3: Lexapro 14.58mg Sept 17: Lexapro 13.122mg

Current Meds/Supplements 13.12mg Lexapro, 150mg Wellbutrin XL, 15mg Deplin, 1000IU D3, 500mcg Methyl-B12, 2000mg Omega-3

 

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  • Moderator
Gridley
14 hours ago, Frank85 said:

 

My focus now will be getting the Lexapro script refilled   I wish the MH-NP had called back so I could have asked,

I wouldn't expect much from your NP based on his actions in the past.

 

14 hours ago, Frank85 said:

I'll know to have to schedule an appointment with my GP and hope he'll do it, of course after he said he'd defer to MH going forward at my last appointment. 

You're right, the focus now is getting a refillable prescription for the Lexapro.  Given your GP's (unwarranted) deference to your NP, here are a few tips on dealing with your GP.  First, it's important that you remain calm and reasonable during your appointment.

Otherwise, he'll think you have a "mental illness" (as opposed to the reality that your problems are due to withdrawal).  As I wrote earlier, doctors don't believe in the existence of withdrawal, relying on the information the pharmaceutical companies unsurprisingly disseminate about their profitable product.  The U.K. is a bit ahead of the U.S., and Royal College of Psychiatrists, their official national psychiatric association, in 2019 updated their recommendations to admit for the first time the existence of severe antidepressant withdrawal.  You might want to print out the pertinent information from the following link for your appointment with your G.P.  Use your discretion on how much to show your G.P. and, as I said, present the information very calmly and reasonably.

 

 

And here's an article with leaders in the RCP explaining why they wrote what they did. 

 

 

You may find this thread helpful, from the Journals section:

 

 
The following regarding the 10% taper is more for your information than for sharing with your G.P. (it's an understatement to say that doctors don't tend to like being educated by their patients and they have little regard for information from the Internet, but your G.P. may be an exception).  Again, use your discretion. The 10%-per-month reduction method is recommended by
 
14 hours ago, Frank85 said:

I'm glad you mentioned you wouldn't up the Lexapro either

 

Not until you've stopped the Gabapentin (only one change at a time) and assured yourself of a reliable supply of Lexapro.  Once those are accomplished, updosing Lexapro a very small amount is a definite possibility for helping alleviate withdrawal symptoms. For your appointment with your G.P., here are some aspects to consider regarding your prescription for an updose. First, the updose would, to start, be very small, likely 1mg.  So you'd need to have enough of the drug in terms of prescriptions to accomplish this for quite a while (several months).  Second, a prescription liquid is an easy and accurate way to updose.  However, some people don't do well with the liquid and if you switch to a liquid, you'll need to cross over to it, which can take 2 to 4 weeks, and would require prescriptions for both tablets and liquid.  Another possibility is to updose with combination of a 10mg tablet and a small dosage of liquid.   Given your G.P.'s possible reluctance to prescribe Lexapro to you, asking for a liquid may be pushing it.  Again, use your discretion.  If you can't get a prescription for liquid, a small updose can done with powder from a tablet, and we can help you with that.  But first things first: stop the Gabapentin and get your Lexapro supply in whatever form you can.  

 

Also, remember that any M.D. can prescribe Lexapro.

 
 

 

 

 

 

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 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Sept 13: 9mg 

Taper is 52% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% 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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  • 1 month later...
Frank85

It's been a bit since my last post, but here's the current update:  

 

I ended up going back to the full 20mg of Lexapro even though I really didn't want to.  I first up-dosed from the 10mg I was at to 12.5mg for a few days, then 15mg, then back to the full 20mg before I felt the W/D effects were clearing enough to function.  I had a DNA test done through Genomind that showed I have a MTHFR gene mutation, which lead to me being started on Deplin 15mg and switching my B12 supplement to a Methyl-B12 version.  Honestly, I felt pretty decent (definitely not "normal" but at least functional) a few days after starting that and continuing with the other meds, but these last few days have been rough.  I've been experiencing terrible "brain fog" where I basically feel like I'm stuck in a 24/7 hangover: Slowed comprehension/thinking, spaced-out lightheaded feeling, slight headache/head pressure mostly in front of head and "inside" my head if that makes sense, trouble handling day-to-day work and home stuff that would normally be easy, forgetfulness, etc.

 

@Gridley@Heath Have either of you every had an experience like this while on Lexapro?  I really don't know if this could be medication related, or something else entirely.  I've tried microcurrent neurofeedback, and even have an appt scheduled now for a hyperbaric chamber because at this point I'll try anything to "clear" my head - it's taken me almost an hour just to write this post ugh.  If there's a chance this could be from the Lexapro (or even the Deplin, although I don't think that would possibly cause anything like this) I'd want to start a taper asap because I can't keep on like this.  I called my primary even asking for a neurologist referral, but he wants to see me in person to consult first and can't get me in until August 5th.

 

Any thoughts/advice at this point would be greatly appreciated, thank you to anyone reading this.

2001-2010 20mg Paxil 2010 Failed Paxil Taper, upped to 30mg 2010-January 2021 30mg Paxil January 2021 Cross-taper Paxil to Effexor over 2 weeks, 20mg/37.5mg, 10mg/75mg, 0mg/150mg

March 27, 2021 Effexor Stopped, Lexapro started 10mg April 24, 2021 Lexapro upped to 20mg April 27, 2021 Wellbutrin XL 150mg and Gabapentin 200mg started

May 18, 2021 Lexapro Taper started, 5mg reduction every 5 days May 26, 2021 Lexapro Taper paused, holding at 10mg.  Gabapentin stopped. 

June 1 - June 13, 2021 Lexapro upped to 12.5mg, then 15mg, then back to 20mg before W/D effects cleared July 1, 2021 Started Deplin 15mg

All 2021: July 30: Lexapro 18mg Aug 14: Lexapro 16.2mg Sept 3: Lexapro 14.58mg Sept 17: Lexapro 13.122mg

Current Meds/Supplements 13.12mg Lexapro, 150mg Wellbutrin XL, 15mg Deplin, 1000IU D3, 500mcg Methyl-B12, 2000mg Omega-3

 

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Frank85

Sorry to post again so soon, just feel like I need to get this down somewhere.  The brain fog has been so debilitating today, I'm actually scared of going home from work and having to take care of the kids alone, especially when I feel I can barely take care of myself.  I'm just so "spaced out" I feel like I can't even go through the right routine/steps - has anyone been there before and made it through?  I just want to be myself again - smart, quick-witted, confident, enjoying all of life - and I don't know that I ever will.  I'm so angry I was ever put on any of this poison, especially for such a damn benign reason when I never had mental health issues just a bad stomach.  What is even the point of all these meds and supplements if I feel so terrible, how can I even tell what causes what anymore? 

 

I was always so careful with my body growing up, or at least I thought I was.  Exercised regularly, Never smoked, barely ever drank, never even tried pot and certainly not any hard drugs.  Little did I know as a 16 year old the "medicine" my doctor gave me for "gastrointestinal spasming" as he put it was probably worse than any of the stuff my peers were doing.  Now 20 years later and I feel like my brain is shot, everything that made me "me" fried.  How do I push through this?  Do I just keep going and hope to reach some sort of stable?  Do I start to taper because, f it, how could it be any worse?  I don't know, I'm just lost.

2001-2010 20mg Paxil 2010 Failed Paxil Taper, upped to 30mg 2010-January 2021 30mg Paxil January 2021 Cross-taper Paxil to Effexor over 2 weeks, 20mg/37.5mg, 10mg/75mg, 0mg/150mg

March 27, 2021 Effexor Stopped, Lexapro started 10mg April 24, 2021 Lexapro upped to 20mg April 27, 2021 Wellbutrin XL 150mg and Gabapentin 200mg started

May 18, 2021 Lexapro Taper started, 5mg reduction every 5 days May 26, 2021 Lexapro Taper paused, holding at 10mg.  Gabapentin stopped. 

June 1 - June 13, 2021 Lexapro upped to 12.5mg, then 15mg, then back to 20mg before W/D effects cleared July 1, 2021 Started Deplin 15mg

All 2021: July 30: Lexapro 18mg Aug 14: Lexapro 16.2mg Sept 3: Lexapro 14.58mg Sept 17: Lexapro 13.122mg

Current Meds/Supplements 13.12mg Lexapro, 150mg Wellbutrin XL, 15mg Deplin, 1000IU D3, 500mcg Methyl-B12, 2000mg Omega-3

 

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Artistic1

@Frank85

Sorry you are going through so much! First, some reassurance....all the symptoms you describe are very common. I had them all, and still have some of them occasionally.

 

Mia1 and Hanna72 have posted some great information about being in the "Now," rather than trying to get out of where you are now and into a better place. Yes, we all want that better place, but sometimes there's not much you can do to get there. It has to arrive in its own time. 

 

You say, "I just want to be myself again - smart, quick-witted, confident, enjoying all of life..." That is wishing for the past, which you cannot live anymore, except in your head as an unhelpful thought. You are who you are TODAY. 

 

Then you ask, "Do I just keep going and hope to reach some sort of stable?" That is wishing for the future, which you also cannot live today. You are where you are TODAY.

Once I discovered this insight, my problems started to go away. Not quickly, because it took me years to get into the mess I was in, so I accepted it could take years to change and get out. It's been a journey, but today, I am better than I was in the past, and I don't worry about the future. This is a 180 degree turnaround for me.

 

If you can accept where you are right now...whether it's good or bad....that is the first step. Feeling crappy today? OK - you're feeling crappy. Don't wish it away. Don't wonder why you are that way or struggle to fix it. Changing your mind and thoughts about working WITH it, not against it, will create gradual change in all aspects of your life. When you say, "I'm actually scared of going home from work and having to take care of the kids alone, especially when I feel I can barely take care of myself," you are already setting yourself up with your thoughts to experience anxiety and a bad time with the kids. How do you change that thought and others like them to make your experience of NOW a better one? 

 

There are lots of resources out there that you can take advantage of to help with living "the now" TODAY, and to change your thoughts about life and how to deal with it. If you use some of these, it doesn't mean your life will be wonderful every day, but it does mean that you will be able to handle each day much better....and hopefully better than you ever did before. 

 

Here are some of the resources that helped me:

CBT therapy. I found a great therapist that I really connected with and saw regularly for more than two years. It was a life-changer, because I applied everything I learned in these sessions, and they worked. Not right away, but gradually, and now the practices are just part of my life. We used the book, "Mind Over Mood," by Greenberger and Padesky. Available on Amazon. You can actually use it yourself if you don't have a therapist to help you with it.

 

Eckhart Tolle. His book, "The Power of Now," is great. He also has lots of free videos on YouTube and a website that you can subscribe to for about $20 per month. It took me months of reading, re-reading, viewing and re-viewing the videos, but his philosophy rang true with me, and if you apply what he's saying, it can really help.

 

Dr. Amy Johnson. Her book, "Little Book of Big Change." She also has free videos on YouTube. She does a free weekly podcast. You can subscribe and get them sent to your email once a week. She is my guru!!! Her insights are sooooo helpful. She also has an online school, The Little School of Big Change.

 

Baylissa Frederick. Her book "Recovery and Renewal." This will give you so much reassurance about your symptoms and dealing with withdrawal symptoms should you have them if you decide to taper off the meds.

 

Once last comment. If you feel you're ready to start a taper, you should follow the directions on this site for the 10% taper schedule that Brass Monkey has published. It looks like the taper you attempted with Lexapro was too much, too fast. Once I started a slow taper, (I reduce by 11% every 8 weeks), I've been able to reduce my Zoloft with very few withdrawal symptoms. I feel so much better and my health and sleep patterns have really improved. I did the taper, because like you, how could I be any worse? I was miserable on the medication. I figured if I'm going to feel bad, I'd rather feel bad OFF the medication. That had to be better for my body. I just needed to work on my mind to deal with any fallout, which is where the resources above really helped.

 

I hope some of this will help you. And I wish you the best of luck. Any questions, feel free to ask.

Celexa - 20 mg May 2015 - March 2016 (Felt quite good)..... Celexa taper from May 2016 - Nov 2016.....Completely off by Nov. 2016.

Depression and Anxiety returned June 2017

July, 2017: Zoloft = 25 mg;  Aug. 2017 = 37.5 mg; Nov. 2017 = 50 mg thru Jan. 23, 2018.

Jan. 2018 - May 6, 2019 = taper Zoloft from 50 mg to 12.5 mg.  Aug. 11, 2019 - felt so bad that I reinstated at 25mg. Hold at this dose until Feb. 3, 2020

Feb. 4, 2020 = reduce dose to 21.875 mg. Hold for 10 weeks. April 14, 2020 = 18.75 mg. Hold for 10 weeks.  

June10, 2020 - start cycle of 2 weeks to taper slowly from old dose to new dose, then hold at new dose for 6 weeks.

June 23, 2020  = 16.666 mg.........August 26, 2020 = 14.75 mg ....... October 28, 2020 = 13.15 mg

2021: Jan. 1 = 11.85 mg....Feb. 26 = 10.5 mg....April 23 = 9.3 mg....June 12 = 8.33 mg.... Aug. 7 = 7.05 mg

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  • 2 weeks later...
Frank85
Posted (edited)

Sorry I didn't say it sooner, but thank you very much for all the information @Artistic1 it was definitely helpful.  Just to update/keep a record here, I did start the 10% taper method on July 30th, so I am currently at 18mg Lexapro and will assess dropping to 16.2mg after 4 weeks if all seems well enough.  Currently, I'm using a pill splitter and cutting up tablets while using a small .001g scale - not the most accurate thing in the world, but I figure it's good enough for these initial couple drops since they are larger in total mg size that it should be pretty close at least.  A 20mg pill seems to weigh around 260mg give or take with all the filler, so I've been cutting them to ~234mg and hopefully removing a close to equal amount at least of filler/active ingredient.  @Gridley, does this seem reasonable to you for the time being?  I do have an appointment in a couple days scheduled, so I'm hoping to be able to get the liquid Lexapro prescribed so I can be more accurate going forward.

 

At this point my worst system by far is still the "brain fog" but it seems no different (up to this point at least) since starting the taper.  Thanks again to anyone reading and as always appreciate any comments/advice!

 

Edited to add: I also do still plan to ask my primary about a Neurologist referral just to rule out any other cause of the brain fog, especially since it has been so persistent.  I'm hoping it's just medication effects that will pass over time, but figure it's worthwhile to dig a little deeper.

Edited by Frank85
Additonal Information

2001-2010 20mg Paxil 2010 Failed Paxil Taper, upped to 30mg 2010-January 2021 30mg Paxil January 2021 Cross-taper Paxil to Effexor over 2 weeks, 20mg/37.5mg, 10mg/75mg, 0mg/150mg

March 27, 2021 Effexor Stopped, Lexapro started 10mg April 24, 2021 Lexapro upped to 20mg April 27, 2021 Wellbutrin XL 150mg and Gabapentin 200mg started

May 18, 2021 Lexapro Taper started, 5mg reduction every 5 days May 26, 2021 Lexapro Taper paused, holding at 10mg.  Gabapentin stopped. 

June 1 - June 13, 2021 Lexapro upped to 12.5mg, then 15mg, then back to 20mg before W/D effects cleared July 1, 2021 Started Deplin 15mg

All 2021: July 30: Lexapro 18mg Aug 14: Lexapro 16.2mg Sept 3: Lexapro 14.58mg Sept 17: Lexapro 13.122mg

Current Meds/Supplements 13.12mg Lexapro, 150mg Wellbutrin XL, 15mg Deplin, 1000IU D3, 500mcg Methyl-B12, 2000mg Omega-3

 

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  • Moderator
Gridley
4 hours ago, Frank85 said:

A 20mg pill seems to weigh around 260mg give or take with all the filler, so I've been cutting them to ~234mg and hopefully removing a close to equal amount at least of filler/active ingredient. 

That seems reasonable to me.  If you're using the SmartWeigh Gemini 20 scale, it's accurate enough for tapering purposes. Just remove a bit and weigh until your dose is 234mg.  

 

If you switch to liquid, we recommend a gradual crossover from tablet to liquid so your system can get used to the liquid.  Don't taper during this crossover period (only one change at a time).  The crossover we recommend is:

 

3/4 dose tablet, 1/4 dose liquid for 3 to 7 days

1/2, 1/2 for 3 to 7 days.

1/4 dose tablet, 3/4 dose liquid for 3 to 7 days

all liquid thereafter.

 

 

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 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Sept 13: 9mg 

Taper is 52% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% 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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@Frank85 sorry for the late reply! Yes what you are experiencing is most likely side effects from updose. Same thing happened to me. 
After starting lexapro develop dry eyes, dry sinuses, dry mouth ears popping. About 4 months after starting lexapro I was on 15 mg. And brain fog, spacey, tired, hangover feeling started in April 2019. One time in July I almost passed out in the heat. I was doing allergy immunization also which made it worse. What you described is what I felt. The last dizzy feeling I felt was in April of this year. I was on 9 mg. It happens every year in the spring. So for me it has happened to me 3 spring/summer seasons so far. And last a few months. It is not constant day in and day out. There is a lot that may never be understood about this. But the fact I know is it’s related to lexapro, allergies- pollen, sinuses and heat. And the lower the dose it is getting better every year. 
and yes thought process can’t think good, very forgetful, can’t get words from brain to mouth sometimes. This is worse in morning after I take lexapro and when I taper. 

the first experience I had was not really dizziness but foggy feeling. then I had a dental implant start bleeding. Went to dr . It was bad infected. So surgery and removed implant in September 2019. Right in the front too 🙄.  Brain fog got a little better.  Hence cooler weather 👍Until next spring it hit me again. So I started compiling my information for csi investigation 😆.  So my front dental implant became infected and was removed because lexapro side effects. Dry mouth and I thought it was causing brain fog. Do the drs know this happened because of lexapro no they haven’t a clue!  And yes I wished I would have just let things calm down and research before I went to dr for that but history not looking back. 
 

I have been on these meds as long as you and also have crashed try to come off as you have. And during this time I have chased medical problems that were caused by ssris either side effects or withdrawals. I have been to drs for severe sinus infection a year after starting Paxil in 2001. And what did the drs and me do? Sinus surgery. Yep! And did it stop sinus infection? Nope! I have learned to accept it is the lexapro and to just close the book per say. 
acknowledge - the facts it is what it is.

accept - that it is what it is. 
float -  let the thoughts and feelings float on by. Kinda like listening to a radio while you work. You hear but you are not listening. 
another thing that happens when we go to drs for these health issues which may or may not be caused by lexapro it ramps up anxiety that compounds withdrawals. 
 

by no means am I saying not go get checked when you need to! I’m just saying be careful, stay calm , do your research before you make a big decision. 
 

the only way to be able to taper with minimal side effects is to get our nervous system stable. And to get from unstable to stable is same dose same time every day for long time ( 3 to 6 months) . I’ve been unstable a few times and it always takes me around 3 months to start feeling better and 6 months to be good and stable. So somehow if you could hold you dose for a good time I think  it would really help your taper plan. 
 

I tried cutting pills for a while and tried the 10% cut a month didn’t work for me. I use liquid lexapro with a syringe and do the brass monkey slide. Which is 2.5 mg cut each week and hold for 2 weeks. And even with me doing brass monkey slide I still feel withdrawals but very minimal. But we are all different so do what suits you. 
 

i need stability for job, family and kids. I know it’s tough! The liquid suits me for stressful life and it is much easier if your dr will prescribe it. I explained to my dr about dry mouth and eyes and I wanted a lower dose and only way to get there was very slow with liquid. and like gridley said do a gradual transfer to liquid if you go that route. 
try and kept calm and slow you thoughts. Make calculated decisions. Keep everything simple where you can. These are only my experiences and thoughts. Sorry so long and sorry I didn’t reply sooner. 
slow steady stable wins this race 👍.  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, 04/17/2021 8.78 ml, 04/24/2021 8.56 ml, 05/02/2021 8.34 ml, 05/09/2021 8.10ml, 05/29/2021 8 ml, 06/15/2021 7.80 ml, 06/21/2021 7.60ml, 06/27/2021 7.40 ml, 07/03/2021 7.20 ml, 07/24/2021 7 ml, 

2000 to present Celebrex 200 mg daily as needed

2015 to present Prilosec 20-40 mg daily as needed

Present pravastatin 10 mg

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  • 1 month later...

Been about a month and a half since my last post, so updating again to keep a record, plus I always welcome any feedback.  I've been continuing to taper the Lexapro, 10% cuts at different intervals depending on how I feel (the exact schedule is in my updated signature.)  Overall, it's basically waves and windows - I never quite feel like my "old self" but I at least get some periods of decent to good that at least I can live with.  The brain fog continues to be the most debilitating symptom, occasionally it's so bad I'd swear I'm developing dementia or something, but I've been working hard on having more positive thinking and shaking these negative thoughts off; telling myself "STOP" in my head when these thoughts creep in.  Insomnia has also been rough lately, seem to get to sleep fine but waking up anywhere from 1am-4am and once that happens it's basically impossible to get back to sleep for whatever reason.  I've tried soothing music, binaural beats, etc. but it seems like once I wake it just is what it is and that's the amount of sleep I'm getting for the night.  Not sure if the insomnia is a side effect of the Wellbutrin (I've seen a lot of people saying they have that issue with Wellbutrin use) or the Lexapro, but at this point I'm just hoping if it is the Wellbutrin that eventually I'll acclimate to it, as I would really much rather continue the Lexapro taper and get that done rather than having to pause that indefinitely to do anything about the Wellbutrin - I guess only time will tell.

 

It gets really tough sometimes, especially when I want to enjoy things but just can't get there at the particular time depending on my state - it's especially true when it comes to my kids and wife, I love them more than anything and even with doing my best to live in the moment sometimes it's just impossible to be able to be playful/have fun with them.  I do my best though, and that's all I can do - fake it until you make it, the last thing I want is my children worrying about their dad's mental state, and hey, sometimes in the good windows I am truly able to enjoy things with them so I'll call that progress.

 

Anyway, I think I've rambled on enough for today.  A big thanks as always to anyone reading this.

2001-2010 20mg Paxil 2010 Failed Paxil Taper, upped to 30mg 2010-January 2021 30mg Paxil January 2021 Cross-taper Paxil to Effexor over 2 weeks, 20mg/37.5mg, 10mg/75mg, 0mg/150mg

March 27, 2021 Effexor Stopped, Lexapro started 10mg April 24, 2021 Lexapro upped to 20mg April 27, 2021 Wellbutrin XL 150mg and Gabapentin 200mg started

May 18, 2021 Lexapro Taper started, 5mg reduction every 5 days May 26, 2021 Lexapro Taper paused, holding at 10mg.  Gabapentin stopped. 

June 1 - June 13, 2021 Lexapro upped to 12.5mg, then 15mg, then back to 20mg before W/D effects cleared July 1, 2021 Started Deplin 15mg

All 2021: July 30: Lexapro 18mg Aug 14: Lexapro 16.2mg Sept 3: Lexapro 14.58mg Sept 17: Lexapro 13.122mg

Current Meds/Supplements 13.12mg Lexapro, 150mg Wellbutrin XL, 15mg Deplin, 1000IU D3, 500mcg Methyl-B12, 2000mg Omega-3

 

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