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quality blonde: Lexapro to valdoxan (maybe)


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Hello fellow travellers.


I’m tapering off lexapro after 3 years or so. I experimentally came off cold turkey for a month last year (I know, I know) but it confirmed that it was causing extreme fatigue likely due to sleep apnoea and suppression of REM. I’ve also gained 18kg, which is likely due to the metabolic and sleep affects. At this point the withdrawal symptoms were extreme sweating, headache, tears and volatile mood, hence recommencing.


Now I’ve taken the time to taper down to 2.5mg over a month. I tried to drop directly off at 2.5mg, while starting valdoxan immediately but 3 days in the vertigo and headaches floored me. I gave it a week and restarted at 2.5mg. I’m still waiting for the vertigo to lift (been 2 days) and woah have I noticed some intense hunger. 

I’ll try and taper more slowly now (month by month step down to 0), and hold off the valdoxan (I stopped it a few days in wondering if it was the cause of the dizziness) until I’m well and truely clear of the lexapro.


Thanks in advance for your support!

Edited by Gridley
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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, qualityblonde.  Congratulations on getting down to 2.5mg Lexapro.  I tapered from 20mg Lexapro to 0.025mg then jumped to zero 7 months ago and am doing fine.  You can do the same.


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.


As you likely know, we recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


The following link is specifically about tapering Lexapro, including how to get the small nonstandard doses needed for a 10% taper.  If you can get prescription liquid Lexapro, that's a convenient and accurate way to taper.  Other methods of tapering, including weighing tablet powder with a digital scale and making your own liquid, are also discussed in the link.


Tips for tapering off escitalopram (Lexapro)


Others may differ, but I'm not a big fan of drug switches for tapering unless absolutely necessary.  A drug switch necessitates a crossover period and stopping your taper during that period, and there's no way to know how the new drug will agree with you, especially with a system sensitized from withdrawal.  Switching to Valdoxan will mean going into withdrawal from Lexapro, and the Valdoxan may or may not mask the withdrawal from the Lexapro.   So it's a risk.  Shep, one of our administrators, recently wrote:


"We rarely suggest crossing over drugs other than sometimes suggesting the Prozac Bridge or sometimes suggesting a benzo crossover to Valium, but still, this is rare."


Lexapro (as I'm here to tell you) is definitely do-able in terms of tapering.  I know you've had some side effects from the Lexapro, but to me the risks of switching to another antidepressant (and of a different type than Lexapro, atypical AD Valdoxan vs. SSRI Lexapro) outweigh any potential benefits.  


We recommend tapering down to the low .00's before jumping to zero.  As I said, I jumped at 0.025mg.  Even lower (such as 0.01) would also be good.  The very low doses are measurable using the prescription liquid and also with the other methods of tapering discussed in the link above.


So you can benefit from other members' experiences, here is a link on tapering Valdovan.

Marx: Tapering Valdoxan / Agomelatine - Introductions and ...

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, 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 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 June 15: 10.5mgai.  Taper is  44% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (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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  • Gridley changed the title to quality blonde: Lexapro to valdoxan (maybe)

Thanks Gridley! 

I’m definitely pro supplements and take magnesium and fish oil daily. 

The dizziness is really starting to get me down so I hope that it resolves quickly now I’ve reinstated. I’ll look into liquid dosing as well. I’ve never heard of that as an option before. 

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