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StarSketch: Escitalopram 15 mg since 2017, keep messing up tapering speeds and only getting sick at 0


StarSketch

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Been on Escitalopram 15 mg since 2017 to deal with anxiety surrounding an upcoming move. Have since settled in and didn't feel like I needed it anymore for a while. Started tapering in December 2021, went way too fast, like go down 5 mg every week or something, got WD symptoms.  Went back on and started tapering much slower. Not really a consistent speed, but felt fine over the next 4 months. Hit 0 mg from 2 weeks of 2.5 at the start of April.  Immediately got sick again and feel lost.

I see people here saying they had to deal with this for years and it scares the crap out of me. Also kindling is a thing and so the fact that I apparently keep screwing up the tapering also scares me, because my symptoms got much worse from the last time I hit 0, so if I mess up going from 2.5 again I'm boned.

2017. Escitalopram 15mg
Dec. 2021: Attempted rapid taper, crashed hard, reinstated 15
Jan. 2022-April, tapering again, went 15, 10,5,2.5 Over the course of these months
Apr. - May 2022 : hit zero mg, crashed again. Back to 2.5mg.
June 2022: Back up to 5mg due to increased stress

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to StarSketch: Escitalopram 15 mg since 2017, keep messing up tapering speeds and only getting sick at 0
  • Moderator

Hi @StarSketch

the reason why you feel the last drop the most is because these drugs are very potent at the lowest doses. At the lowest doses - 2.5mg, escitalopram occupies over 50% of the SERT receptors whereas at 10 it occupies around 85% (these are not exact numbers, I am extrapolating from citalopram - escitalopram is twice as potent as citalopram at every dose. The article below explains why. That is why we recommend exponentially lower cuts. 

Why taper? SERT transporter occupancy studies show importance of gradual change in plasma concentration - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage? - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Your best bet now is to reinstate escitalopram at 1 or 2mg since you are so soon out. Don't go all the way to 2.5 as your system has adapted since then a bit. This should relieve your symptoms at least somewhat. You can then hold for a few months until you stabilize completely and start a 10% a month taper. 

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

In the meantime, can you pls fill in your signature? This helps us help you better. 

 

 

  How to List Drug History in Signature - Introductions and updates - Surviving Antidepressants

I am also including some useful links below: 

 

Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

 

WHAT’s HAPPENING

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

What is happening in your brain? - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Success stories: Recovery from psychiatric drug withdrawal - Surviving Antidepressants

 

We find that brains in withdrawal are sensitive to many supplements and psychoactive substances (alcohol, pot, some vitamins even) 

but many members find two beneficial - Magnesium and Omega-3 to support their system and help calm them. However, not everyone benefits from them so you may want to start one at a time and see how you feel. 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Hope you feel better soon, 

OMW

 

 

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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10 hours ago, Onmyway said:

Hi @StarSketch

the reason why you feel the last drop the most is because these drugs are very potent at the lowest doses. At the lowest doses - 2.5mg, escitalopram occupies over 50% of the SERT receptors whereas at 10 it occupies around 85% (these are not exact numbers, I am extrapolating from citalopram - escitalopram is twice as potent as citalopram at every dose. The article below explains why. That is why we recommend exponentially lower cuts. 

Why taper? SERT transporter occupancy studies show importance of gradual change in plasma concentration - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage? - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Your best bet now is to reinstate escitalopram at 1 or 2mg since you are so soon out. Don't go all the way to 2.5 as your system has adapted since then a bit. This should relieve your symptoms at least somewhat. You can then hold for a few months until you stabilize completely and start a 10% a month taper. 

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

In the meantime, can you pls fill in your signature? This helps us help you better. 

 

 

  How to List Drug History in Signature - Introductions and updates - Surviving Antidepressants

I am also including some useful links below: 

 

Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

 

WHAT’s HAPPENING

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

What is happening in your brain? - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Success stories: Recovery from psychiatric drug withdrawal - Surviving Antidepressants

 

We find that brains in withdrawal are sensitive to many supplements and psychoactive substances (alcohol, pot, some vitamins even) 

but many members find two beneficial - Magnesium and Omega-3 to support their system and help calm them. However, not everyone benefits from them so you may want to start one at a time and see how you feel. 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Hope you feel better soon, 

OMW

 

 

 

Ok, signature filled. 
 

I wound up finding a leftover 10 mg pill somewhere and cut it into 5 ( my pill cutting is terrible) because my prescriber was out of office the entire weekend and I don't have an appointment until tomorrow. I dunno if that is ok to keep using, I've used 2 so far. 

2017. Escitalopram 15mg
Dec. 2021: Attempted rapid taper, crashed hard, reinstated 15
Jan. 2022-April, tapering again, went 15, 10,5,2.5 Over the course of these months
Apr. - May 2022 : hit zero mg, crashed again. Back to 2.5mg.
June 2022: Back up to 5mg due to increased stress

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  • Moderator

How are you feeling with the 2mg now? 

 

This might help in figuring out how to get the right dose of your meds. For small doses liquid is the best. 


OMW

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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Feeling better overall but really antsy and stressed because while my doctor finally got back to me she sent the prescription to express scripts and that means it's going to get shipped here...in a week. I have an appointment with her tomorrow still so hopefully she'll move it to my local pharmacy. 

2017. Escitalopram 15mg
Dec. 2021: Attempted rapid taper, crashed hard, reinstated 15
Jan. 2022-April, tapering again, went 15, 10,5,2.5 Over the course of these months
Apr. - May 2022 : hit zero mg, crashed again. Back to 2.5mg.
June 2022: Back up to 5mg due to increased stress

Link to comment
  • 2 months later...
Update: Went back up to 2.5 again for all of may, then got moved to 5mg because June was a rough month for the United States and my intrusive misanthropic thoughts got out of control as a result. Things are...better (for my brain that is) but hooray for lost progress.

2017. Escitalopram 15mg
Dec. 2021: Attempted rapid taper, crashed hard, reinstated 15
Jan. 2022-April, tapering again, went 15, 10,5,2.5 Over the course of these months
Apr. - May 2022 : hit zero mg, crashed again. Back to 2.5mg.
June 2022: Back up to 5mg due to increased stress

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Star, What's important now is so stabilize. If you're in an ok place right now, stay there for a long while and then you can start reducing slowly and surely! 

 

Jumping up and down is generally not very good so if you've found a semblance of stability, stay there.

 

Edited by Onmyway

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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