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Hello and some help please


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Hi there,


I'm currently experiencing bad withdrawal symptoms from Cipralex. I've been on it for about 3 years. Prior to taking it this time I was on it for about 4 years, with a one year break in between. Now that I realize how bad withdrawal symptoms are I'm wondering if I was experiencing them last time I came off which made me have to go back on it again.


Anyway, I went from 20 mg to 10 mg a few months back and actually did ok. A few bad days but then it passed. I recently went from 10 to 5 mg and have been having really bad withdrawal. I think it only started a few weeks after I began tapering. I have been very confused because I thought I had passed the time for withdrawal to hit, but nope, apparently not.


I stupidly have been taking 10 mg every other day. I wasn't aware you were not supposed to skip days.


I just read this, which is not exactly reassuring:




i.e. "However, after cold turkey, skipping is perhaps the most risky way to come off psychiatric drugs. Both can result in terrible, severe withdrawal symptoms that might not fully be reversed by reinstatement of the drug."


A little concerning to say the least. I really do not want to go back up on this drug, but if it's recommended here I will. My plan for now is to start on 5 mg every day immediately instead of 10 mg every other day. Do that and just wait it out and hope it passes.


My symptoms are definitely coming in waves. I have felt totally fine for a bit, and then feel horrendous. Heavy depression in my abdomen, ruminating and obsessing about this I had forgotten about long ago. Currently very hot in my chest. No head zaps really but I have felt light headed here and there. Just feel like sleeping until this passes.


Not sure what else to say... just not very pleasant at all.


I tapered 20 mg to 10 mg about 4 months ago maybe. I started 10 mg to 5 mg about 6 or 7 weeks ago. Withdrawal symptoms did not get anywhere near this bad until maybe a week or so ago.


I am feeling panicky at the moment but just trying to let it pass.


Thank you I really appreciate any help.


Edit: upon re-thinking it I think I'm just gonna go back up to 10 mg daily for several months. Re-try this again using the 10% method after the winter passes. I'd rather just feel normal again than try to ride this out. If this seems like too rapid of a jump back up someone please let me know.

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


On 11/26/2022 at 1:27 AM, mkm19 said:

My plan for now is to start on 5 mg every day immediately instead of 10 mg every other day. Do that and just wait it out and hope it passes.


On 11/26/2022 at 1:27 AM, mkm19 said:

Edit: upon re-thinking it I think I'm just gonna go back up to 10 mg daily for several months.


Please be extremely careful about updosing.  Updosing too high can also cause big problems.  How long ago was it that you were taking 10 mg every day?  Please give us specific dates, instead of saying 6 or 7 weeks ago, for these various changes in your dosing.  Going back up to 10 mg may be too high, depending on how long ago you went from 10 mg to 5 mg.  If you went down to 5 mg 6 or 7 weeks ago, I would not suggest you jump back up to 10 mg.  This may be too much for your system to handle at this point, since your brain has probably already make some adjustments to the lower dose.  I would suggest an updose to about 7.5 mg Cipralex.  Then, stay on this dose for a good long time (unless you feel significantly worse on the 7.5 mg, in which case drop back to 5 mg daily).  I would suggest a nice long hold period of about 6 or 9, maybe even 12 months, to give your brain a rest from the fast tapering, and big drops that you have been doing.  Then, resume a very slow and cautious 10% taper as described later in this post.  


Can you please give us specific information in your signature about your drug history for all drugs and supplements you are on and have been on, especially for the past 18-24 months?  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your drugs in a concise vertical list (no symptoms), only specific dates, include the day (as best you can say for example early March if you don't recall the day), drug names, and dosages of each medication decrease or increase.


Please read the link below for instructions.  This will allow us to give you the best guidance.  


How to List Your Drug History in Your Signature


Here is some important information about how these drugs actually work.  This explains why we get symptoms from going off of these medications, and why it's so important to taper slowly and carefully, and be very cautious about changing our doses


How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain



This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 


Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs


Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization



Tapering is best done extremely slowly, and we generally taper by 10% of the current dose no more than once every 4 weeks, so that the reduction becomes exponentially smaller.


 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  


Tips for Tapering Lexapro


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


Stability is really important when we are tapering off psych meds.  Please read the link about stability:


Keep It Simple, Slow, and Stable



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. 


Omega 3 Fish Oil


This link talks about the risks and advantages of reinstating, and updosing is a variation of reinstating.  Please read this.  


About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms


I've given you quite a bit of information here.  Please read through it, and mull it over, and we will take it from there. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and take heart.  We in this forum have been through this, and we understand first hand the pain and discomfort you are going through.  Please know that the brain is amazing in it's healing abilities.  It takes time, but healing can and will happen. 

Please do not private message me or tag me.


***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 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: 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!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

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

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

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


Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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