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yeehaw: tapering Lexapro after 3 weeks


yeehaw

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I started 5mg lexapro 3 weeks ago and decided it wasn't for me because my anxiety wasn't too bad to begin with, and it was stopping me from reaching orgasm. My PCP prescribed me 150mg Wellbutrin to see if that worked instead, and I couldn't take more than 3 days of that as it caused extreme anxiety and borderline mania. I immediately stopped both the day after that (exactly 3 weeks on lexapro), as my PCP told me it should be fine. The next two days, I experienced terrible withdrawal symptoms and spent all day online doing research before seeing that I'll need to taper off of this medication and finding this forum. My PCP has been hard to get ahold of with scheduling, so I reinstated and began a slow taper (from 5mg to 4.3mg creating my own liquid) and flew home to be with my family. I have set up appointments with a new psychiatrist/prescriber (via Cerebral) and am hoping to have more guidance on a tapering plan. I am looking for advice and help with getting off this stuff after being on it for such a short period of time but still suffering increased anxiety, low mood, frequent crying, nausea, low appetite, tingling sensations at the base of my neck / feet / and arms, diarrhea, headaches, overheating, feeling of a racing heart rate, lightheadedness, and changes in blood pressure. I'm also having trouble sleeping, but I had pretty rough insomnia before going on lexapro. I started lexapro for some mild anxiety and depression/compassion fatigue and after experiencing 2 bad panic attacks at the beginning of October during a bug infestation in my apartment. I have never been on an SSRI or much other medication besides blood pressure meds so I'm feeling really lost.

June 2020-present 25mg hydrochlorothiazide, 20meq potassium (AM daily) 
Nov 2020-present Hippo7 Vegan Complete (AM daily; 20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3) 

Oct 26 2021 5mg lexapro

Nov 13 2021 150mg wellbutrin XL >> Nov 15 2021 CT lexapro + wellbutrin XL (3 doses)

Nov 17 2021 4mg lexapro (reinstated for taper) >> Nov 24 2021 3.6mg lexapro >> Dec 14 2021 3.1mg lexapro >> Dec 29 2021 2.8mg lexapro (holding)

Nov 20 - 27 2021 500mg cephalexin (2x for 7 days) for UTI // Dec 5-Dec 12 bactrim (trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole); (2x for 7 days) for UTI

Nov 24 2021-present 25mg banophen/benadryl (PM as needed for muscle cramps/spasms/involuntary movements), 300mg magnesium glycinate (PM daily), 2mg melatonin (PM daily)
Dec 12-present 25mcg vitamin D (AM daily for diagnosed deficiency), 1000mg pumpkin seed oil (PM daily for urinary health)

Dec 18-present Switched to better Pre/Probiotic (AM daily; 100 Billion CFU, Digestive Enzymes, Fruits/Veggies)

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  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.

 

Thank you for giving us your drug history.  Did you reinstate back to your full dose of 5 mg of Lexapro?  Can you please add this info to your signature?  Thank you.  

 

There is a major drug interaction between Lexapro and Wellbutrin.  Drugs.com says this (in green): 

 

Interactions between your drugs

Major

buPROPion  escitalopram

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), Lexapro (escitalopram)

Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with escitalopram. Combining these medications may increase the risk of seizures, which may occur rarely with either medication. In addition, buPROPion can increase the blood levels of escitalopram, which may increase other side effects. You may be more likely to experience seizures with these medications if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol during treatment. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs.

 

It takes a month for your nervous system to become dependent on the Lexapro. I'm willing to bet that rather than withdrawal from the drugs, you've been experiencing the result of the bad drug interaction, and/or an adverse effect.  This started 3 days after you added the Wellbutrin to your drug regimen, so it stands to reason it was probably caused by the combination of the Lexapro and Wellbutrin together.   Both Lexapro and Wellbutrin tend to be activating drugs, and Wellbutrin increases the effects of the Lexapro.  The nervous system activation can cause the anxiety and mania, as well as other symptoms. Here is what our site says about Buproprion/Wellbutrin: 

 

"Bupropion tends to be energizing and often causes anxiety, agitation, nervousness, loss of appetite, and insomnia as side effects". 

 

This link tells you more about Wellbutrin.  

 

About Tapering Wellbutrin

 

13 hours ago, yeehaw said:

I couldn't take more than 3 days of that as it caused extreme anxiety and borderline mania. I immediately stopped both the day after that (exactly 3 weeks on lexapro), as my PCP told me it should be fine. The next two days, I experienced terrible withdrawal symptoms a

what were these withdrawal symptoms? 

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.   If you stay on the Lexapro much longer, your brain will become dependent on it, and then you will need to do a slow and gradual taper off of it.  

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

Here is a link with checklists of common WD symptoms: 

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen Withdrawal Symptom Checklists

 

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

Here is some information about reinstatement.  How do you feel after you reinstated?  Is it helping any?  

 

About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Please keep us posted, and let us know how you are doing. 

Edited by getofflex

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***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, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, Tylenol 1000 mg, Benadryl 50 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

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

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

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Thank you for this info! 
 

I reinstated lexapro at 4mg because I wasn't sure if I should go all the way back up, and also in attempt to start lower in case I need to taper. I just got liquid 5mg lexapro after visiting the ER (My PCP has been hard to get ahold of/I'm likely switching because of how poorly he informed me of all this, and I can't see my new psychiatrist until Thursday morning), and they told me to just start taking the 5mg again until I'm feeling better but I'm apprehensive about that. I also have a UTI so that may be causing some of the symptoms I'm having, and I was prescribed a 7 day run of 500mg cephalexin.

 

For clarification, these are the symptoms I experienced for the two days I completely stopped taking both Wellbutrin and Lexapro:

dizziness/lightheadedness, headaches, tingling in the back of my head arms and feet, feeling really anxious and depressed, crying A LOT throughout the day, diarrhea for 2 days, loss of appetite and nausea, overheating easily, feeling weak and foggy, and return of insomnia I had before starting lexapro. 

 

I had to fly home to my family for support because I've never dealt with this much happening all at once, and especially not the drastic mood swings. I just don't know if I should try cutting down lexapro again because I felt really awful those two days without it. Since reinstating slightly lower at 4mg, I haven't had the "brain zaps," diarrhea has stopped, nausea has gone down a lot; but the other symptoms come and go throughout the day, biggest being loss of appetite, increased anxiety (definitely more than I experienced before starting lexapro or during my 3 weeks taking it consistently), fogginess, and CRYING. 

 

I don't want to mess up and take too much for longer and have a longer/harder time coming off of it, but should I try cutting down to 2.5mg now that I have the liquid if I'm not feeling 100% right now? 

June 2020-present 25mg hydrochlorothiazide, 20meq potassium (AM daily) 
Nov 2020-present Hippo7 Vegan Complete (AM daily; 20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3) 

Oct 26 2021 5mg lexapro

Nov 13 2021 150mg wellbutrin XL >> Nov 15 2021 CT lexapro + wellbutrin XL (3 doses)

Nov 17 2021 4mg lexapro (reinstated for taper) >> Nov 24 2021 3.6mg lexapro >> Dec 14 2021 3.1mg lexapro >> Dec 29 2021 2.8mg lexapro (holding)

Nov 20 - 27 2021 500mg cephalexin (2x for 7 days) for UTI // Dec 5-Dec 12 bactrim (trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole); (2x for 7 days) for UTI

Nov 24 2021-present 25mg banophen/benadryl (PM as needed for muscle cramps/spasms/involuntary movements), 300mg magnesium glycinate (PM daily), 2mg melatonin (PM daily)
Dec 12-present 25mcg vitamin D (AM daily for diagnosed deficiency), 1000mg pumpkin seed oil (PM daily for urinary health)

Dec 18-present Switched to better Pre/Probiotic (AM daily; 100 Billion CFU, Digestive Enzymes, Fruits/Veggies)

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  • Moderator

It's a good thing you reinstated at a lower dose than the 5 mg.  The liquid will make it easier to taper.  

 

Adverse Reaction - I Only Took it for a Week

 

Drug Interactions

 

What we need to do is try and figure out whether you are truly in withdrawal, or whether you system is still recovering from the adverse reaction/drug interaction.  

 

I will confer with the other mods, and one of us will get back to you on the best course of action. 

Edited by getofflex

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***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, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, Tylenol 1000 mg, Benadryl 50 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

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

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

Link to comment

Thank you, looking forward to hearing your opinion/advice. As I'm thinking more about it I'm thinking the issue was likely the wellbutrin interaction, since besides some fatigue and lightheadedness the first few days on lexapro, I felt fine for the 3 uninterrupted weeks of taking it. I'm not bedridden right now but it's been very unpleasant and hard to do all that I was doing before re: work, hobbies & exercise. It wasn't until the wellbutrin + stopping CT that I've had all these side effects. I'm approaching 1 month on lexapro so if I'm able to cut/taper a bit quicker that would be ideal, but I'm also dealing with these symptoms, plus now a UTI which I didn't have any symptoms for until yesterday evening (those being: abdominal pain, upper/middle back pain, mild chills, frequent urination). One thing I am growing more concerned about is my loss of appetite, as I haven't had a full/solid meal in almost a week. 

 

I've also updated my signature with ALL my medications (sorry I misread the info regarding that) with the supplements I've been taking for additional nutrients as a vegan, and some bloating issues I was having (the probiotic + pantoprazole); and my high blood pressure medication. My BP has been higher recently as well though not sure if AD/WD related or UTI related. It was really good before all of this started happening. 

June 2020-present 25mg hydrochlorothiazide, 20meq potassium (AM daily) 
Nov 2020-present Hippo7 Vegan Complete (AM daily; 20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3) 

Oct 26 2021 5mg lexapro

Nov 13 2021 150mg wellbutrin XL >> Nov 15 2021 CT lexapro + wellbutrin XL (3 doses)

Nov 17 2021 4mg lexapro (reinstated for taper) >> Nov 24 2021 3.6mg lexapro >> Dec 14 2021 3.1mg lexapro >> Dec 29 2021 2.8mg lexapro (holding)

Nov 20 - 27 2021 500mg cephalexin (2x for 7 days) for UTI // Dec 5-Dec 12 bactrim (trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole); (2x for 7 days) for UTI

Nov 24 2021-present 25mg banophen/benadryl (PM as needed for muscle cramps/spasms/involuntary movements), 300mg magnesium glycinate (PM daily), 2mg melatonin (PM daily)
Dec 12-present 25mcg vitamin D (AM daily for diagnosed deficiency), 1000mg pumpkin seed oil (PM daily for urinary health)

Dec 18-present Switched to better Pre/Probiotic (AM daily; 100 Billion CFU, Digestive Enzymes, Fruits/Veggies)

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just updating to say that it's my 6th day on 4mg and i'm feeling much better! i saw a new pcp who understands that i need to taper, but suggested two methods that seem much to fast based on what people say here + other groups i've been in for the past week. she wants me to go to 2mg for two weeks, then alternate every other day for 2 weeks which seems much too fast / not recommended. i told her that i want to meet with my new psychiatrist as well before agreeing to that which she said was a good idea. i'll be meeting with him on thursday morning so i'll probably stay at 4mg until then. 

 

the only symptoms i've had today were a headache, some moments of dizziness when i stand up, and that pressure feeling in my chest when i woke up this morning. felt much more like myself today and was able to eat a full meal and exercise; and haven't felt down at all. yesterday i was feeling pretty good too, just had a stronger headache and low mood when i woke up (and briefly cried in therapy). i'm wondering if it'd be too fast for me to do another small taper from 4mg to 3.5 in the next few days or if i should wait longer? today marks week 4 exactly since i've started lexapro. 

June 2020-present 25mg hydrochlorothiazide, 20meq potassium (AM daily) 
Nov 2020-present Hippo7 Vegan Complete (AM daily; 20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3) 

Oct 26 2021 5mg lexapro

Nov 13 2021 150mg wellbutrin XL >> Nov 15 2021 CT lexapro + wellbutrin XL (3 doses)

Nov 17 2021 4mg lexapro (reinstated for taper) >> Nov 24 2021 3.6mg lexapro >> Dec 14 2021 3.1mg lexapro >> Dec 29 2021 2.8mg lexapro (holding)

Nov 20 - 27 2021 500mg cephalexin (2x for 7 days) for UTI // Dec 5-Dec 12 bactrim (trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole); (2x for 7 days) for UTI

Nov 24 2021-present 25mg banophen/benadryl (PM as needed for muscle cramps/spasms/involuntary movements), 300mg magnesium glycinate (PM daily), 2mg melatonin (PM daily)
Dec 12-present 25mcg vitamin D (AM daily for diagnosed deficiency), 1000mg pumpkin seed oil (PM daily for urinary health)

Dec 18-present Switched to better Pre/Probiotic (AM daily; 100 Billion CFU, Digestive Enzymes, Fruits/Veggies)

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ah spoke too soon... currently in the ER because i started having jerky uncontrollable movements in my legs and feet in the middle of night. could this be serotonin syndrome even if i'm tapering and taking lower doses than i started? all my other symptoms have pretty much lifted but this is new & scary/concerning.

June 2020-present 25mg hydrochlorothiazide, 20meq potassium (AM daily) 
Nov 2020-present Hippo7 Vegan Complete (AM daily; 20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3) 

Oct 26 2021 5mg lexapro

Nov 13 2021 150mg wellbutrin XL >> Nov 15 2021 CT lexapro + wellbutrin XL (3 doses)

Nov 17 2021 4mg lexapro (reinstated for taper) >> Nov 24 2021 3.6mg lexapro >> Dec 14 2021 3.1mg lexapro >> Dec 29 2021 2.8mg lexapro (holding)

Nov 20 - 27 2021 500mg cephalexin (2x for 7 days) for UTI // Dec 5-Dec 12 bactrim (trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole); (2x for 7 days) for UTI

Nov 24 2021-present 25mg banophen/benadryl (PM as needed for muscle cramps/spasms/involuntary movements), 300mg magnesium glycinate (PM daily), 2mg melatonin (PM daily)
Dec 12-present 25mcg vitamin D (AM daily for diagnosed deficiency), 1000mg pumpkin seed oil (PM daily for urinary health)

Dec 18-present Switched to better Pre/Probiotic (AM daily; 100 Billion CFU, Digestive Enzymes, Fruits/Veggies)

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  • Administrator

Hello, @yeehaw. What were these leg movements? Were they painful? When did they start? How long did they last?

 

Did you ever have this before? Were you dehydrated yesterday?

 

What drugs are you taking now, at what times o'clock and dosages? 

 

It sounds to me like you stopped antidepressant withdrawal symptoms with reinstatement of 4mg escitalopram. You might be able to get by with less, which would be less to taper off.

 

21 hours ago, yeehaw said:

she wants me to go to 2mg for two weeks, then alternate every other day for 2 weeks

 

This is an uninformed tapering method that we've seen causes very bad withdrawal symptoms.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi @Altostrata! The movements aren't painful. I'm not sure if this makes sense, but my toes curl on their own, ankles twist, and legs jolt or shake suddenly, then it stops. It's like a big twitch that happens at random. If I'm laying down/flat, my entire leg or foot will move/jolt on their own. It happens regardless of if I'm doing anything or just sitting/laying down, in any position. They last for a few seconds, but when it was bad at the ER it'd happen in continuous clusters (like my toes would curl and uncurl then stop, then my ankle would turn upwards). I'm starting to notice other small movements/twitches on other parts of my body but nothing else like my legs kicking out of nowhere so far; also aware that these other movements may just be from stress and anxiety now. I've never had anything remotely like this in my life. I'm a violinist so I'm extra concerned about this because I need my hands! I don't think I'm dehydrated because I've always drank tons of water, and for the past week I've been maybe overdoing it with the amount of water / electrolytes I've been drinking. TMI but my urine is essentially clear lol

 

 

Right now I'm taking:

 

Morning (between 10-11am)

- 25mg hydrochlorothiazide

- 20meq potassium

- culturelle daily probiotic

- hippo7 vegan complete supplement (20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3)

- 500mg cephalexin for a UTI that is clearing up

 

6pm:

- second 500mg cephalexin

- 4mg lexapro (liquid version)

- the past 2 days I tried tension headache pills which are 500mg acetaminophen + 65mg caffeine), going to stop taking this now

 

Evening (between 8:30-10pm)

- 0.5mg melatonin

- have been taking epsom salt baths (1/4 cup)

 

I'll be adding the benadryl in with the evening routine as needed if the movements continue; as that's what the ER doctors prescribed for me and the movements have suppressed for now. I'm aware that the tapering plan my doctor gave me is much too fast + that I definitely shouldn't alternate doses. If I stay on I'll definitely want to go slower than that, I just wasn't sure if the involuntary leg movements was a reason to consider a quicker taper or to stop completely in case it's something serious.

June 2020-present 25mg hydrochlorothiazide, 20meq potassium (AM daily) 
Nov 2020-present Hippo7 Vegan Complete (AM daily; 20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3) 

Oct 26 2021 5mg lexapro

Nov 13 2021 150mg wellbutrin XL >> Nov 15 2021 CT lexapro + wellbutrin XL (3 doses)

Nov 17 2021 4mg lexapro (reinstated for taper) >> Nov 24 2021 3.6mg lexapro >> Dec 14 2021 3.1mg lexapro >> Dec 29 2021 2.8mg lexapro (holding)

Nov 20 - 27 2021 500mg cephalexin (2x for 7 days) for UTI // Dec 5-Dec 12 bactrim (trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole); (2x for 7 days) for UTI

Nov 24 2021-present 25mg banophen/benadryl (PM as needed for muscle cramps/spasms/involuntary movements), 300mg magnesium glycinate (PM daily), 2mg melatonin (PM daily)
Dec 12-present 25mcg vitamin D (AM daily for diagnosed deficiency), 1000mg pumpkin seed oil (PM daily for urinary health)

Dec 18-present Switched to better Pre/Probiotic (AM daily; 100 Billion CFU, Digestive Enzymes, Fruits/Veggies)

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  • Administrator

Do these twitches occur at any particular times of day? Please be sure to take your drugs on a very regular schedule.

 

Also, use this Drug Interactions Checker anytime you're considering adding any drug, even over-the-counter. Your system may be sensitized now and react oddly to ordinary drugs.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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Thanks @Altostrata and ChessieCat! The muscle spasms/cramps and movements seem to be resolving with the 25mg banophen (benadryl) + time. It seems to be the worst in the middle of the night (I usually have to get up once or twice to use the bathroom since I'm still getting over a UTI). I noticed it a little early this morning before I got out of bed (around 7-8am) but the rest of the day has been completely fine.

 

Besides the past 3 days of these spasms/twisting muscles, I haven't really had any other symptoms since reinstating at 4mg, so I went down to 3.6mg; planning to hold for another week or so then down to 3mg if everything's ok. I hope it's not too fast since I haven't been on it very long/began tapering before being on it for a month.

June 2020-present 25mg hydrochlorothiazide, 20meq potassium (AM daily) 
Nov 2020-present Hippo7 Vegan Complete (AM daily; 20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3) 

Oct 26 2021 5mg lexapro

Nov 13 2021 150mg wellbutrin XL >> Nov 15 2021 CT lexapro + wellbutrin XL (3 doses)

Nov 17 2021 4mg lexapro (reinstated for taper) >> Nov 24 2021 3.6mg lexapro >> Dec 14 2021 3.1mg lexapro >> Dec 29 2021 2.8mg lexapro (holding)

Nov 20 - 27 2021 500mg cephalexin (2x for 7 days) for UTI // Dec 5-Dec 12 bactrim (trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole); (2x for 7 days) for UTI

Nov 24 2021-present 25mg banophen/benadryl (PM as needed for muscle cramps/spasms/involuntary movements), 300mg magnesium glycinate (PM daily), 2mg melatonin (PM daily)
Dec 12-present 25mcg vitamin D (AM daily for diagnosed deficiency), 1000mg pumpkin seed oil (PM daily for urinary health)

Dec 18-present Switched to better Pre/Probiotic (AM daily; 100 Billion CFU, Digestive Enzymes, Fruits/Veggies)

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  • Administrator

Do you feel better or worse on 3.6mg escitalopram? Did the twitches go away before or after the reduction?

 

Please do not reduce further. You will need to stabilize for months before tapering again.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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The twitching has mostly stopped after the reduction. Oh, wow! I didn't realize I'd have to hold for that long. Besides this twitching and an occasional headache, I've felt fine on both the 4mg and 3.6mg. Today was my 3rd day on 3.6 and I was thinking of holding for 1-2 weeks. I'll start going slower now; I was just thinking maybe since I began tapering after 3 weeks on it that I wouldn't have to hold more than 2 weeks if I was feeling mostly ok! Thanks so much for your advice!!

June 2020-present 25mg hydrochlorothiazide, 20meq potassium (AM daily) 
Nov 2020-present Hippo7 Vegan Complete (AM daily; 20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3) 

Oct 26 2021 5mg lexapro

Nov 13 2021 150mg wellbutrin XL >> Nov 15 2021 CT lexapro + wellbutrin XL (3 doses)

Nov 17 2021 4mg lexapro (reinstated for taper) >> Nov 24 2021 3.6mg lexapro >> Dec 14 2021 3.1mg lexapro >> Dec 29 2021 2.8mg lexapro (holding)

Nov 20 - 27 2021 500mg cephalexin (2x for 7 days) for UTI // Dec 5-Dec 12 bactrim (trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole); (2x for 7 days) for UTI

Nov 24 2021-present 25mg banophen/benadryl (PM as needed for muscle cramps/spasms/involuntary movements), 300mg magnesium glycinate (PM daily), 2mg melatonin (PM daily)
Dec 12-present 25mcg vitamin D (AM daily for diagnosed deficiency), 1000mg pumpkin seed oil (PM daily for urinary health)

Dec 18-present Switched to better Pre/Probiotic (AM daily; 100 Billion CFU, Digestive Enzymes, Fruits/Veggies)

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  • Administrator

Please let us know how you're doing.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Mini update:

 

I've been doing really well on 3.6mg! I haven't had any other symptoms besides the muscle cramps/twitches, and an occasional headache (which may or may not be due to withdrawal, I've been playing with my dog and running around a lot since being home lol...). I've noticed the twitches on other parts of my body, but they're not painful, or as strong as the ones I got in my feet and legs that caused them to move involuntarily for those 3-ish days (just like tiny movements under the skin that don't interfere with anything). I feel pretty much fine and am not feeling foggy, anxious or sad like I was at the beginning of my accidental CT/tapering. A little TMI but I've also noticed that I've gotten my libido back and have been able to reach orgasm, after not being able to at all while on 5mg originally.

 

In the evenings I have been making much more of an effort to relax and wind down; drinking tea(s), putting my electronics on night mode, taking 100mg of magnesium glycinate, stretching, using a lavender diffuser + white noise machine, taking warm baths, listening to music; all things that I genuinely think have had a really positive effect :) 

 

Still planning to hold at 3.6 to be sure before tapering further(!)

June 2020-present 25mg hydrochlorothiazide, 20meq potassium (AM daily) 
Nov 2020-present Hippo7 Vegan Complete (AM daily; 20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3) 

Oct 26 2021 5mg lexapro

Nov 13 2021 150mg wellbutrin XL >> Nov 15 2021 CT lexapro + wellbutrin XL (3 doses)

Nov 17 2021 4mg lexapro (reinstated for taper) >> Nov 24 2021 3.6mg lexapro >> Dec 14 2021 3.1mg lexapro >> Dec 29 2021 2.8mg lexapro (holding)

Nov 20 - 27 2021 500mg cephalexin (2x for 7 days) for UTI // Dec 5-Dec 12 bactrim (trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole); (2x for 7 days) for UTI

Nov 24 2021-present 25mg banophen/benadryl (PM as needed for muscle cramps/spasms/involuntary movements), 300mg magnesium glycinate (PM daily), 2mg melatonin (PM daily)
Dec 12-present 25mcg vitamin D (AM daily for diagnosed deficiency), 1000mg pumpkin seed oil (PM daily for urinary health)

Dec 18-present Switched to better Pre/Probiotic (AM daily; 100 Billion CFU, Digestive Enzymes, Fruits/Veggies)

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to yeehaw: tapering Lexapro after 3 weeks
  • Moderator

I'm glad you are doing so well on the 3.6 mg of Lexapro!  Hopefully the headaches and minor twitches will resolve.  It's good you are not having any other symptoms.  You are doing a lot of very good non drug coping techniques.  Keep up the good work!  

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***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, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, Tylenol 1000 mg, Benadryl 50 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

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

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

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On 12/2/2021 at 2:18 PM, getofflex said:

I'm glad you are doing so well on the 3.6 mg of Lexapro!  Hopefully the headaches and minor twitches will resolve.  It's good you are not having any other symptoms.  You are doing a lot of very good non drug coping techniques.  Keep up the good work!

Thank you!! I'm looking forward to keeping these things in my life even once I'm done tapering :~)

 

Another mini update:

I was feeling really really great last week while still at home with my family. On friday afternoon, I flew back to my apartment where I live alone and was a little anxious that day because it was scary for me when I had all the withdrawal side effects hit me at once when I was here by myself before Thanksgiving. I feel better equipped to handle them now but the thought is still enough to make me a little anxious!

 

The past couple of days I've noticed some symptoms creeping back in from a couple of weeks ago though much much milder:

- mild "waterlogged"/fuzzy head feeling [noticed mostly in the mornings]

- feeling a little weak/lightheaded [noticed mostly when I get up and walk around my apartment, usually subsides after a couple minutes]

- frequent urination [all day]

- lower abdominal + upper back/side pain all in my right side [all day]

 

The last two symptoms I believe are more associated with the UTI I had. When I finished the 7-day antibiotic I was on (Nov 20-27), I was feeling better, but now those two symptoms have returned. I went to urgent care this morning and they told me I had a slightly high urine white blood cell count so they put me on Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) for 7 days and I'm awaiting the results from the culture tests. I also possibly could've been dehydrated the day I flew(?)

 

I am now looking for a new PCP so that I can have labs done again (had 2 done at the ER in the past 2.5 weeks that looked ~fine) but will specifically ask about my Iron Folate, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Sodium levels. I was reading about hyponatremia earlier and was thinking that may be part of my issue since I am constantly drinking water, am on hydrochlrothiazide (diuretic pill), and now having this added urination due to the (possible) UTI(??) Hoping that these lingering symptoms have more to do with UTI/deficiency issues and not the return of how I felt a couple weeks ago! I was thinking about doing a small 5% cut this week since I'd been feeling so great, but I'm going to continue holding at 3.6mg.

June 2020-present 25mg hydrochlorothiazide, 20meq potassium (AM daily) 
Nov 2020-present Hippo7 Vegan Complete (AM daily; 20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3) 

Oct 26 2021 5mg lexapro

Nov 13 2021 150mg wellbutrin XL >> Nov 15 2021 CT lexapro + wellbutrin XL (3 doses)

Nov 17 2021 4mg lexapro (reinstated for taper) >> Nov 24 2021 3.6mg lexapro >> Dec 14 2021 3.1mg lexapro >> Dec 29 2021 2.8mg lexapro (holding)

Nov 20 - 27 2021 500mg cephalexin (2x for 7 days) for UTI // Dec 5-Dec 12 bactrim (trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole); (2x for 7 days) for UTI

Nov 24 2021-present 25mg banophen/benadryl (PM as needed for muscle cramps/spasms/involuntary movements), 300mg magnesium glycinate (PM daily), 2mg melatonin (PM daily)
Dec 12-present 25mcg vitamin D (AM daily for diagnosed deficiency), 1000mg pumpkin seed oil (PM daily for urinary health)

Dec 18-present Switched to better Pre/Probiotic (AM daily; 100 Billion CFU, Digestive Enzymes, Fruits/Veggies)

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  • Moderator
14 hours ago, yeehaw said:

I was thinking about doing a small 5% cut this week since I'd been feeling so great, but I'm going to continue holding at 3.6mg.

Yes, holding sounds like a good idea at this time, since you are dealing with other health issues.  By the way, altostrata suggested you hold on the 3.6 mg for a while (months).  She knows what she is talking about - she has helped thousands of people get off psych meds:

 

On 11/26/2021 at 7:05 PM, Altostrata said:

Please do not reduce further. You will need to stabilize for months before tapering again.

 

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***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, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, Tylenol 1000 mg, Benadryl 50 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

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

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

Link to comment

Yes, I'm going to continue holding at 3.6 for some time @getofflex @Altostrata, thank you so much.

 

I'm not feeling lightheaded or waterlogged anymore, but my neck has started bothering me yesterday. It feels like the muscles are weak which causes it to shake in certain positions sometimes. 

 

I have in general been feeling down and have cried a bit yesterday and today because of the fear of physical symptoms returning while living alone.

 

Do you have any words on how to really know when you've stabilized given the windows and waves? I read the post about stability, but I'm not sure I 100% have an idea of what I should consider stable if new side effects pop up or previous ones return after a window. Does it make more sense to decrease the dosage during a long-lasting window?

June 2020-present 25mg hydrochlorothiazide, 20meq potassium (AM daily) 
Nov 2020-present Hippo7 Vegan Complete (AM daily; 20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3) 

Oct 26 2021 5mg lexapro

Nov 13 2021 150mg wellbutrin XL >> Nov 15 2021 CT lexapro + wellbutrin XL (3 doses)

Nov 17 2021 4mg lexapro (reinstated for taper) >> Nov 24 2021 3.6mg lexapro >> Dec 14 2021 3.1mg lexapro >> Dec 29 2021 2.8mg lexapro (holding)

Nov 20 - 27 2021 500mg cephalexin (2x for 7 days) for UTI // Dec 5-Dec 12 bactrim (trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole); (2x for 7 days) for UTI

Nov 24 2021-present 25mg banophen/benadryl (PM as needed for muscle cramps/spasms/involuntary movements), 300mg magnesium glycinate (PM daily), 2mg melatonin (PM daily)
Dec 12-present 25mcg vitamin D (AM daily for diagnosed deficiency), 1000mg pumpkin seed oil (PM daily for urinary health)

Dec 18-present Switched to better Pre/Probiotic (AM daily; 100 Billion CFU, Digestive Enzymes, Fruits/Veggies)

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  • Moderator

Like the post on stability says, it's when you just feel about the same level of "blah" each day.  No major ups and downs.  Listen to what your gut instinct tells you.  If you hold at 3.6 for several months, and are feeling about the same each day, it would probably be safe to reduce your dose.  

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***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, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, Tylenol 1000 mg, Benadryl 50 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

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

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

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  • 1 month later...

Updating here! I'm now at 2.8mg, doing very well. After my UTI cleared up, I've had no major issues and the symptoms I'd mentioned in the previous post stopped right after my last dose of the antibiotic. I have had a constant 0-2 daily symptoms at a mild level for the past ~month. Those have been:

 

- Mild/small muscle twitching (again, nothing like the severity it was at the onset of this symptom back in November, just small/very quick non-painful twitches here n there)

- Some mild lower back + abdominal pain, all on the right side. Would rate around a 4 on the pain scale, doesn't bother me too much but am keeping an eye on it

- **Trouble sleeping >> this is the most recent! For the past couple of days I've been waking around 4am and having trouble getting back to sleep, and having to use the bathroom. prior to starting lexapro I had pretty bad insomnia (trouble falling asleep) so I'm at least relieved that I don't have much trouble falling asleep, but the waking up throughout the night is new for me. I've been staying up for a few hours then going back to sleep for 1-2 more, then getting up for the day [so something like sleep 11pm-2am, bathroom, sleep 2-4:30am, wake/bathroom, sleep 6:30-9am]. I've been experimenting with liquid intake in the evening, and lowering my vitamin D intake to see if that helps at all.

 

So overall, feeling good! :~) Hoping to continue having minor issues. Holding for at least 3 weeks here.

June 2020-present 25mg hydrochlorothiazide, 20meq potassium (AM daily) 
Nov 2020-present Hippo7 Vegan Complete (AM daily; 20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3) 

Oct 26 2021 5mg lexapro

Nov 13 2021 150mg wellbutrin XL >> Nov 15 2021 CT lexapro + wellbutrin XL (3 doses)

Nov 17 2021 4mg lexapro (reinstated for taper) >> Nov 24 2021 3.6mg lexapro >> Dec 14 2021 3.1mg lexapro >> Dec 29 2021 2.8mg lexapro (holding)

Nov 20 - 27 2021 500mg cephalexin (2x for 7 days) for UTI // Dec 5-Dec 12 bactrim (trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole); (2x for 7 days) for UTI

Nov 24 2021-present 25mg banophen/benadryl (PM as needed for muscle cramps/spasms/involuntary movements), 300mg magnesium glycinate (PM daily), 2mg melatonin (PM daily)
Dec 12-present 25mcg vitamin D (AM daily for diagnosed deficiency), 1000mg pumpkin seed oil (PM daily for urinary health)

Dec 18-present Switched to better Pre/Probiotic (AM daily; 100 Billion CFU, Digestive Enzymes, Fruits/Veggies)

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  • Administrator

Good to hear you've got a handle on this. Since you felt better with your family, can you spend more time with them as you go through this process?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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@Altostrata I'd really like to, but I've just gotten back to my apartment a few days ago [which is a 7-8 hour drive since I'm not getting on any flights right now with the Covid surge]! I moved out in October and it's a lot in rent so I'm trying to stay here as much as I can. I do plan on visiting more often though, though have to work around my family's schedule since they're the ones who drive me back and forth. I'll be back for just over a week about a month from now, which I'm definitely looking forward to but also hoping to work on being able to combat anxiety/stressors better [not totally without help but better on my own!] 

June 2020-present 25mg hydrochlorothiazide, 20meq potassium (AM daily) 
Nov 2020-present Hippo7 Vegan Complete (AM daily; 20mcg vitamin D, 24mcg vitamin B12, 200mg calcium, 18mg iron, 150mcg iodine, 11mg zinc, 10mg sodium, 250mg omega-3) 

Oct 26 2021 5mg lexapro

Nov 13 2021 150mg wellbutrin XL >> Nov 15 2021 CT lexapro + wellbutrin XL (3 doses)

Nov 17 2021 4mg lexapro (reinstated for taper) >> Nov 24 2021 3.6mg lexapro >> Dec 14 2021 3.1mg lexapro >> Dec 29 2021 2.8mg lexapro (holding)

Nov 20 - 27 2021 500mg cephalexin (2x for 7 days) for UTI // Dec 5-Dec 12 bactrim (trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole); (2x for 7 days) for UTI

Nov 24 2021-present 25mg banophen/benadryl (PM as needed for muscle cramps/spasms/involuntary movements), 300mg magnesium glycinate (PM daily), 2mg melatonin (PM daily)
Dec 12-present 25mcg vitamin D (AM daily for diagnosed deficiency), 1000mg pumpkin seed oil (PM daily for urinary health)

Dec 18-present Switched to better Pre/Probiotic (AM daily; 100 Billion CFU, Digestive Enzymes, Fruits/Veggies)

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