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pinkflamingo: Lexapro and buspirone / Buspar journey


pinkflamingo

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Hi All,

 

I was on put on medication at a very young age, in my mid teens and the doctor immediately put me on medication in high school. I have been on different types of medication throughout the years: venlafaxine, fluoxetine, lexapro, and buspar. I was misdiagnosed and had a maladaptive thinking pattern that caused me to be a dramatic teen and my parents thought I was depressed. I don’t blame them- they did the best they could upon what they knew.

 

I’ve been doing DBT for over the last year and believe it has helped. I mainly have ruminating thoughts at times and negative thinking patterns which causes anxiety at times. I don’t get panic attacks and I’m not clinically depressed.

 

During the middle of 2021, I started tapering off my 20 mg lexapro and did a 10% taper over the course of the months. I had nausea, brain zaps, GI issues, vertigo the first few weeks. This subsided within 1.5- 2 months. 
Recently I have been weaning off the buspar. Doing 1 month long drops. Was taking 15 mg x2 day. Currently doing 15/10. A month later will do 10/10 etc.

 

I have a high heart rate in the mornings and intrusive thoughts. I’m using the techniques from therapy but it’s so much more challenging to apply in this state. I’m having more mood related symptoms with the buspar than I did getting off the ssri. 

insight into anyones experience is appreciated 

 

taking fish oil, magnesium, ashwagnadha, CBD

30 mg lexapro and 30 mg buspar (15 mg AM, 15 mg PM)

Tapered 10% off lexapro while

keeping buspar constant and was off on

January 9

First month experienced brain zaps, nausea, irritability. All symptoms resolved within 3 months. Just felt I would cry easily at happy or sad things. Would get a few hours of sleep each night. 

April 21 starting to taper buspar 

Per doctor’s plan was going to drop 5 mg each month until completely off (15 mg, 10 mg), (10 mg, 10 mg). 
 

May 9- got a viral infection and had been stable on the 15/10 but getting a lot of nervousness, insomnia, anxiety. Had no sleep on May 8 or May 10.

 

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to pinkflamingo: Lexapro and buspirone / Buspar journey
  • Moderator

Welcome aboard pinkflamingo,

 

It's not clear to me if you have completed your Lexapro taper.

In addition to what you might have filled in on registration, you'll need to do a signature next, which will help clarify for us.

See:  How to Summarize Your Drug History in Your Signature


 

On 4/29/2022 at 5:38 AM, pinkflamingo said:

Recently I have been weaning off the buspar. Doing 1 month long drops. Was taking 15 mg x2 day. Currently doing 15/10. A month later will do 10/10 etc.

 

Likely you'll do better if you take the 10% evenly off each dose.  Interesting that it works out the same as taking 10% off the total.

It sounds like you have some familiarity of tapering by 10% of each previous dose.   And here is more about that.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

By doing even reductions you should be able to keep the drug level more stable in your system as you go down.

 

Tips for tapering off buspirone(Buspar)

* and bingo......you can make a solution out of Buspar too, it's water soluble.  So that should be a helpful way to go.

 

Here's the link for Lexapro too:

Tips for tapering off escitalopram(Lexapro)

 

On 4/29/2022 at 5:38 AM, pinkflamingo said:

I have a high heart rate in the mornings and intrusive thoughts. I’m using the techniques from therapy but it’s so much more challenging to apply in this state. I’m having more mood related symptoms with the buspar than I did getting off the ssri. 

 

Okay, so you are off the Lexapro!  ^ 

 

When did the symptoms begin? 

And are you familiar with WD(withdrawal) symptoms?  They can run the gamut.  

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom list

 

I can't wait to see your signature, as I wonder how long you've been off the Lexapro.

And you may want to reorganize or alter a bit your present Buspar taper if the symptoms are brand new since your most recent drop.

 

And a few more basics, as I don't know how much you've been reading around the site:

 

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

 

 
That's great that you've benefited from DBT.  I think it would be great if all humans did it.  And yes, sometimes in WD it can be even harder to use some of the non-drug coping, but with practice it sure can help.
 
On 4/29/2022 at 5:38 AM, pinkflamingo said:

taking fish oil, magnesium, ashwagnadha, CBD

 
That's good to see you taking the fish oil and magnesium.
We generally don't endorse any other supplements here, as so often members are sensitized with overreactive nervous systems.  How long have you been using the ashwagnadha and CBD?
 
I just wanted to get you started today.  Your next post will also come up for approval as a new member.  And this is your Introduction page, where you can ask any questions around your specifics, keep a record of your journey off drugs, as well as communicate with other members and staff.
 
Glad you joined us.
 
Love, peace, healing, and growth,
moderator manymoretodays(mmt)

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
spelling, and oops added in supplement information

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now, and.... 2023 April- I will try again soon for another good break.

 

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing

 

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Hi @pinkflamingo

Welcome to SA.

How are you doing?

A.

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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I’ve been off of the lexapro since January 9. Overall, tolerated the symptoms ok and was able to get decent sleep until recently. I tapered 5 mg off of the buspar (15 mg AM, 10 mg PM) originally (15/15). For a little over 2 weeks I’d been doing fine. All of a sudden now I’m having terrible insomnia, tightness in the chest, increased anxiety, elevated HR, pins and needles in the hands and feet, and nausea. I’m really not sure what to do at this point. This was my first taper on this medication and it feels so much harder than the lexapro. I gave myself 4.5 months between getting off of my ssri and the buspar taper. I have my appointment with my psychiatrist this Thursday but I don’t know how I’m going to continue to function this way and go to work and meet family responsibilities. I feel hopeless because I thought I was doing so well. 

30 mg lexapro and 30 mg buspar (15 mg AM, 15 mg PM)

Tapered 10% off lexapro while

keeping buspar constant and was off on

January 9

First month experienced brain zaps, nausea, irritability. All symptoms resolved within 3 months. Just felt I would cry easily at happy or sad things. Would get a few hours of sleep each night. 

April 21 starting to taper buspar 

Per doctor’s plan was going to drop 5 mg each month until completely off (15 mg, 10 mg), (10 mg, 10 mg). 
 

May 9- got a viral infection and had been stable on the 15/10 but getting a lot of nervousness, insomnia, anxiety. Had no sleep on May 8 or May 10.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

As requested previously, please create your drug signature following these instructions.  This will allow your drug history to be seen at a glance which means we don't have to read back through your posts to gather the information.  Thank you.

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature

 

3 minutes ago, pinkflamingo said:

I tapered 5 mg off of the buspar (15 mg AM, 10 mg PM) originally (15/15).

 

You have made too large a reduction and are experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  You have gone from taking 30mg daily to 25mg daily.  That is a 16.6667% decrease.  SA's recommended taper rate is no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.

 

From Post #1 of this topic Tips for tapering off buspirone (Buspar)

 

On 10/30/2012 at 5:49 AM, Altostrata said:

 

Reduce by 10% per month to start


The 10% rule holds for buspirone, just like other psychiatric drugs: Reduce by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. (The amount of the reduction gets progressively smaller.)

 

 

 

7 minutes ago, pinkflamingo said:

This was my first taper on this medication and it feels so much harder than the lexapro.

 

Because you made too large a reduction.

 

8 minutes ago, pinkflamingo said:

For a little over 2 weeks I’d been doing fine.

 

You don't say how long exactly you have been on the lower dose, so I'm going to assume that it has only been about 3 weeks on the lower dose.  You might consider making an updose to the amount that you would have been taking if you had made a 10% reduction.  That is:  30mg x 0.9 = 27mg daily (total dose).

 

Because buspirone has such a short half life you might find that your withdrawal symptoms improve fairly quickly.

 

Please create your drug signature as requested and let us know if you do decide to updose and also let us know how you feel afterwards.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

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

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

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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I don’t have my doctors appointment until tomorrow. As of now at home I only have a 7.5 mg pill from a while ago or just my 15 mg pills with 5 mg increments. I won’t be able to get the precise 13.5 mg for each dose today. Should I just go back to 15/15 and stabilize before trying to taper again?

30 mg lexapro and 30 mg buspar (15 mg AM, 15 mg PM)

Tapered 10% off lexapro while

keeping buspar constant and was off on

January 9

First month experienced brain zaps, nausea, irritability. All symptoms resolved within 3 months. Just felt I would cry easily at happy or sad things. Would get a few hours of sleep each night. 

April 21 starting to taper buspar 

Per doctor’s plan was going to drop 5 mg each month until completely off (15 mg, 10 mg), (10 mg, 10 mg). 
 

May 9- got a viral infection and had been stable on the 15/10 but getting a lot of nervousness, insomnia, anxiety. Had no sleep on May 8 or May 10.

 

 

 

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Just feel very discouraged because I was hoping to be off these meds this year. I want to be able to have a baby and feel like these meds are causing such a hindrance for me to achieve that.  

30 mg lexapro and 30 mg buspar (15 mg AM, 15 mg PM)

Tapered 10% off lexapro while

keeping buspar constant and was off on

January 9

First month experienced brain zaps, nausea, irritability. All symptoms resolved within 3 months. Just felt I would cry easily at happy or sad things. Would get a few hours of sleep each night. 

April 21 starting to taper buspar 

Per doctor’s plan was going to drop 5 mg each month until completely off (15 mg, 10 mg), (10 mg, 10 mg). 
 

May 9- got a viral infection and had been stable on the 15/10 but getting a lot of nervousness, insomnia, anxiety. Had no sleep on May 8 or May 10.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You have been at the lower dose for several weeks and during that time your brain will have been making adaptations to the lower dose.  It is better to increase by a small amount than to risk taking too much.  If you cannot get the dose that I suggested, are you able to get a smaller dose?  It would be better to take less than the dose that I suggested than to take too much.  Did you read the Tips for Tapering about how to get your dose?

 

Please read Post #1 of this topic much of which related to updosing, especially taking too high a dose.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

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

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

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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I have my appointment with my doctor tomorrow. She told me to increase back to 15. She doesn’t think it’s withdrawal because I also have covid right now. I honestly don’t know what it is- it could be a combination of both. I have my appointment with her tomorrow and was going to ask her to write me prescription of 5 and 10 mg tomorrow so I can start breaking those doses with a pill cutter.  
 

I don’t know which symptoms are covid and what are not- I’m on 1.5 hrs of sleep and my heart rate has steadily been over 100 the last few days. Don’t know if this warrants going to the ER.

30 mg lexapro and 30 mg buspar (15 mg AM, 15 mg PM)

Tapered 10% off lexapro while

keeping buspar constant and was off on

January 9

First month experienced brain zaps, nausea, irritability. All symptoms resolved within 3 months. Just felt I would cry easily at happy or sad things. Would get a few hours of sleep each night. 

April 21 starting to taper buspar 

Per doctor’s plan was going to drop 5 mg each month until completely off (15 mg, 10 mg), (10 mg, 10 mg). 
 

May 9- got a viral infection and had been stable on the 15/10 but getting a lot of nervousness, insomnia, anxiety. Had no sleep on May 8 or May 10.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
16 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

 

You have been at the lower dose for several weeks and during that time your brain will have been making adaptations to the lower dose.  It is better to increase by a small amount than to risk taking too much.

 

 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

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

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

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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