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laurajeanS: Lexapro tapering begins


laurajeanS

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Hi. I am 55 and have been on Lexapro 10 mg for anxiety and on Serequel 25 mcg for sleep - for 4-5 years. Would like to start by getting off Lexapro first. Tried once last year cold-turkey and it was not great. I plan to taper by cutting 10 mg dose by half for a week or so then by half again? From research, I will start taking Omega 3 fish oil, Vitamin B complex with choline bitartrate and 5-htp today along with adding Essentia alkaline water with lemon. Will continue with the Serequel for sleep. I understand that these things can help ease symtoms. How long will the process take? Any thoughts? Thanks!

Edited by Karma
Added member name to introduction
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  • Administrator

Hi Laurajeans

 

Welcome to the site. I applaud you for having a plan to taper, but we recommend a slower taper so that you can avoid undesirable side effects as you taper down. We recommend no more than a 10% reduction from your previous dose. Here is specific information for tapering off of Lexapro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/ and here is information on tapering in general: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum/%29.

 

We do find that omega 3 fish oils are helpful while tapering, but some find that B vitamins can be stimulating. Since you haven't started your taper yet, you could get started on the supplements and see how they effect you. We find that when our members have already started to taper off their meds that they have to be very careful with supplements because they don't always act the same way they would in someone who has not been affected by antidepressants. Here is a topic on supplements and herbs: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/606-important-topics-about-tests-supplements-herbs-treatments/

 

When you get a moment please put your drug history in your signature like so: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/.

 

You will find lots of support here. Other other mods will be along shortly to provide additional support and suggestions.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Welcome, laurajeanS.

 

I second what Karma said. And since you've had an unsuccessful exit from Lexapro, you may be even further sensitized to dosage changes. I strongly suggest a more gradual taper. Lexapro comes in a liquid, which makes this easier.

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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Hello. Thank you. I go to MD on May 29th and can ask for a prescription for liquid form. What dose? I am very interested in hearing some good - or at least "not-so-bad" experiences. Attitude, strong desire and self-care must help some, right? I have just heard so many stories that the withdrawl is long (up to 1 year?) and very painful to the point of people losing or quiting jobs, being hospitalized, etc. I cannot afford those things. Please advise. Thank you!

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Please read the links Karma supplied, particularly tips for tapering off of Lexapro http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

 

A good attitude can help but it's tapering that will help you minimize withdrawal symptoms. Yes, people do get off and get on with their lives. You can do this. It's good you're starting with information before possibly tapering too quickly and getting withdrawal symptoms started.

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

Please back up and plan to taper off Lexapro a lot more slowly. I did something very similar to what you're proposing and ended up terribly sick and very nearly disabled for months. It's been 17 months since I took the last dose of Lexapro, and I'm still not quite back to normal. You might want to read through my Intro post by clicking on the link in my signature. There are a number of forum members who've gone through prolonged withdrawal syndrome from Lexapro and any of us can tell you that it isn't something you can just tough your way through.

 

DO NOT TAKE 5HTP while you're still on Lexapro. (5HTP and Trytophan) The combination can lead to a very serious condition called Serotonin Syndrome. High quality fish oil and magnesium can be helpful in withdrawal, but otherwise most supplements are either worthless or downright aggravating to the central nervous system. B-12 has helped some people; others have found it overstimulating.

 

Welcome to the forum. I'm glad you found us before you started tapering.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Thank you! What type and dose of Omega fish oil and Magnesium is recommended? Or has worked for you? I will hold off then and start with those supplements then get a prescription for liquid from MD then start the tapering. I am reading the links. Can you recommend some people here who had a relatively decent experience getting off Lexapro? Thanks.

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Hi laurajean...

 

Hello and welcome.....

 

I did a two year taper from Lexapro. It was difficult. There were things I learned from my experience with it that I hope can aid you.

 

Yes liquid is the way to go.

 

It doesn't have to be 10% reduction. I remember the PsychNurse telling me to do it in much smaller increments to have less symptoms. You can drop a 1/2 mg. at each drop.

 

Having to updose to counter symptoms is 'just the way it is'. It's not failure or peddling backwards.

 

The longer you take between drops in dose, the more better days you will have.

 

I spent a fortune on supplements. For me, Magnesium/Calcium Citrate worked on anxiety. That was it.

 

One year I stayed at 15mgs. to get thru some events both personal and holidays.

 

I was always in a rush.....impatient.....I needed more time.

 

Hope this helps

 

Nikki

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you! What type and dose of Omega fish oil and Magnesium is recommended? Or has worked for you? I will hold off then and start with those supplements then get a prescription for liquid from MD then start the tapering. I am reading the links. Can you recommend some people here who had a relatively decent experience getting off Lexapro? Thanks.

 

Here are our topics on fish oil and magnesium:

 

King of Supplements, Omega -3 Fatty Acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker

 

Personally, I take NOW brand Ultra Omega-3, 3 capsules a day, each containing 500 mg. EPA and 250 mg. DHA. Alto uses Trader Joe's brand (red label) which is identical or nearly so to the NOW brand. You won't feel any immediate results from the fish oil, but I believe it helps to stabilize the nervous system quite a bit in the long run.

 

Magnesium is a little more tricky. Too much can give a person diarrhea. At first I was only able to take one 133 mg. capsule of magnesium citrate a day, but now I can take three capsules to meet the recommended daily dose of 400 mg.

 

As Nikki said, it isn't necessary to always drop 10% at a time. 10% is a starting point. If you do well on a 10% drop for a month, it may be worth trying 10% for three weeks the next time. If you don't do well on 10%, updosing by a fraction of that amount may be in order. Or maybe holding at a certain dose for more than a month will help. It's very much an individual thing and listening to your body is very important.

 

I'm so very relieved that you're willing to listen to reason with regard to tapering and not just jump off in a matter of weeks. Your doctor may suggest going faster, but please don't listen. I followed my doctor's advice to the letter and went through hell. The problem is that doctors get most of their information from the drug companies, and the drug companies cover up the downside of antidepressants - and other drugs, for that matter. It is only very recently that the dangers of antidepressants are coming to light and that's mostly because of a few renegade doctors such as David Healy and Peter Breggins, and investigative reporter Robert Whitaker. If you like to read, you might find books by any one of them quite interesting.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Thank you all! Definitely putting the breaks on though did cut the pills as small as possible. Will continue to review all of your comments and links and sooo appreciate all of you sharing your experience. I am so sorry to learn how difficult this is for so many. Wish this would have been known before starting on such a brutal drug. I will get back and post after reviewing everything. :)

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