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Booboocakes tapering off Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin 450xl


Booboocakes

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Booboocakes

Hello.

 

I am very happy to find this site.  I'm turning 37 in a week.

 

I feel lost in a Forrest as surely many of you here have.  I have been on Lexapro for about 10 years.  I was on Zoloft for a few years but mainly just Lexapro and Wellbutrin.

 

Lately, things have been getting weird.  I have experienced minor bouts of depression starting early in the year.  It was a kind of depression I have never felt before- a dark, physical, heavy feeling that sounds a lot like "clinical depression."  Before I started the meds in my mid 20s I never felt that, despite a ton of anxiety and moodiness most of my life.  This feels like a whole 'nother level.

 

Lately, around 12pm to 4pm, the brain has been feeling weird.  Just... weird.  The same kind of feeling that I used to get when I first went on the drugs- that bizarre feeling at the base of the skull in the back, towards the spine, and linked with the stomache it feels like.

 

Fast-forward.  I've done the research, freaked myself out sufficiently, and here I am.  Today is the first day of my taper.  I am tapering at the recommended 10% per month, so this will take me about nine months.  I'm pretty scared that I have done irreversible damage to my brain, but I have hope after reading some of the stories on here.  I have had the "talk" with my girlfriend about what she is going to expect when I start to withdrawal.  

 

I just hope that the stories I hear about tardive dysphoria being irreversible are not true.  I look forward to working with some of you and sharing our experiences together.  Thanks!

 

Jonathan

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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Booboocakes

Sorry for posting twice- unsure of what happened.

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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Meimeiquest

Hi,

 

Just wanted to say welcome. What exactly are you taking, when did you start it, and what are you tapering? If you are thinking of tapering two drugs at the same time you may be in for more than you bargained for! On this site, 10% means 10% of the last dose, so it is not a 10 month process. A moderator will be along with some links of info for you. Good luck on your taper, however you work it out!

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • Administrator

Hi Booboocakes

 

When you get a chance please add your drug history so that when you post we can see where you've been and tailor our suggestions to your situation.  Here are the instructions: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Fill us in on what you are currently taking and we can hopefully help you avoid the pitfalls.

 

Have you changed anything in your routine recently that might be causing the bizarre feeling in the base of the skull?  Have you added any supplements or changed your diet?  We do find that we can become hypersensitive when we have been on and off of several different ADs.

 

Welcome

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & 1 mg Xanax & 200 mg Gabapentin
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;
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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  • 2 weeks later...
Booboocakes

Thanks very much.  I'm not sure why I didn't see these responses earlier.  I updated my signature.

 

I am now 11 days titrating on the Lexapro.  I titrated down from 20mg to 17.5.  I think I have begun to feel some of the effects.  Saturday I felt quite down, more so than usual.  Yesterday I bounced back.

 

I am going to wait to titrate off the Wellbutrin until I am done with the Lexapro.

 

I am not sure where all the bizarre symptoms have come from over the past six months.  There is some question whether they may be symptoms of the Lyme disease I contracted three years ago.  I have had numerous tests run.

 

I have no idea what to expect in the coming months.  I hope it goes smoothly.  I have started a tapering calendar where I mark the days/dosage, as well as a numerical mood number at the end of the day.  I also mark when I run, to start seeing a corrolation.

 

I am really happy to find this site.  

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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Booboocakes

I also wanted to say that the reason I have begun this taper is that I have experienced a few depressed days/weeks over the past year that were nothing like before I went on the ADs in my mid 20s. They were much darker, much more physical... reminded me of the "clinical depression" that I had heard of but never had (I went on ADs for anxiety).  I can't help but think the SSRIs had something to do with this, a deregulation of my serotonin, I don't know.  But something isn't right.  It just feels like my brain doesn't know how to adapt anymore.

 

I mean, there were significant stressors which came before the depressions, but it felt like I fell of a 'cliff' in the brain, after which it was much more difficult to bounce back.

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

BB, you might want to read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.  I think from what you've said here, you might find it both reassuring and enlightening.

 

There's a lot of evidence that antidepressants actually cause long-term chronic problems with depression. That's talked about in the book.

 

As long as you taper slowly and cautiously you should be fine. Please don't rush it. If you feel symptomatic, there is absolutely no virtue or advantage in "toughing it out" and pushing past your symptoms. Not only will you just end up making things take longer in the end, you'll do so at a considerable cost in suffering and instability.

 

Consider your symptoms a message from your brain that it needs more time to heal, that your taper has gotten ahead of your brain's ability to rebuild itself. Take your time. You only get one nervous system.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Booboocakes

Thanks! I am tapering 2.5 mg per month at first, if it is too fast ill slow it down. Would take 8 months.

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Please read these topics:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/?hl=Lexapro

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

Tapering at 2.5 mg. per month is asking for trouble, in my opinion.  You may not feel the ill effects at higher doses, but once you get past 5 mg. or so you will likely be in a world of hurt.  Please take the advice of the many who've gone before you:  taper at 10% or less of the current dose, hold until stable, listen to your body always.

 

Welcome to the forum.  You'll find lots of solid information and friendly support here.

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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  • 1 month later...
Booboocakes

Hi I've been tapering from 20mg Lexapro for almost 3 months (started on June 6th).  I am currently on 15mg (went down 2.5 mg/month).  I also went from 450 Wellbutrin XL to 300 XL a few weeks ago.

 

A few days ago I started feel antsy and yesterday felt a little down.  Today I feel anxious and down, not depressed YET, but these are some of the precursors.  I have often have these feelings during the week, while on the full dose, but it is the fact that they lasted more than one day, and this morning I noticed I did not want to get out of bed.

I have also been switching therapists, well talking about it mostly, and feel ready to make a switch.  I am wondering writing this, whether switching now is not the best idea, but I think that my current therapist is not "doing it" for me anymore.  

 

Thanks for any insight, I'm feeling a bit tired and lethargic.

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi BBC,

 

Welcome! You've been tapering rather large amounts. We recommend no greater than 10% decrements. If I were you, I'd hold everything until I felt really stable, then taper much smaller amounts with good long holds.

 

You've come to a great place for friendly support!

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  • Administrator

Merged topics. Only one Intro topic to a member, please add your updates here.

 

As you go lower in dosage, those 2.5mg decreases are a bigger and bigger percentage drop. We recommend 10% decreases on the last dosage -- the decreases get continually smaller. This is a more gradual taper.

 

You might want to hold for a bit on tapering, given the big change in Wellbutrin as well. Let your system adjust.

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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  • 3 months later...

Just started feeling very depressed.  Trouble getting out of bed the past week.  Feeling the big black at the door.  Decided to go back up to 15 mg Lexapro from 13mg.  Feel a bit of a failure but I know I have to let go of that stuff if I'm going to do this successfully.  Can't believe it's been 6 months and I only made it ti 15 mg so far (from 20), but hey it takes what it takes I guess.

 

**** just kinda hit the fan, with the SAD stuff starting as well as a lot of stress at internship and school, and outside.  Thanks for letting me vent.  I doubt I'm the only person who has had to go back up.

 

Question: when do you decide if it's just a 'dip' or if it's time to ratchet back up?  What are the warning signs for you?  Mine are the feeling in the morning that I don't want to get out of bed, and a heavy, lead blanket like feeling that seems to start in the back of my mind.   Thing is, I never had these type of feelings before going on ADs over ten years ago...

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

I doubt I'm the only person who has had to go back up.

 

 

You definitely aren't!

 

 

 

when do you decide if it's just a 'dip' or if it's time to ratchet back up?

 

This is a difficult problem that I think we all deal with differently.  Many of us like to "hold" (temporarily stop the taper) when the going gets rough rather than going back up, but if the hold doesn't bring relief than people often go back up a peg.  

 

There's some discussion of the difficulties surrounding holding/reinstating in this thread:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2364-the-slowness-of-slow-tapers/

 

Our moderator Rhi has some excellent advice for tapering here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4954-rhis-start-small-listen-to-your-body-taper-plan/

 

I have not started my taper yet so I'm afraid I can't give much personal advice.  I think that if you're not able to a function that's a sign that you're probably going too quickly.  As to whether that means holding where you are or reinstating a bit, I suppose that's up to you.

 

I'm so sorry that you're struggling.  You've been on meds for a long time, it's fitting that your road off may be a long one.  Please go easy on yourself, and keep us up to speed.  And, of course, vent all you need!

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I know how scary and discouraging these bad waves can be, and I'm sorry you're going through one. I do think that you will find considerable improvement if you can just make yourself hang in there and not change anything for at least a month, maybe a couple of months.

 

We all want off these meds fast. Unfortunately the changes they make in our brains when we take them long term (more than a few months) are long-lasting and slow to reverse, and no matter how good our intentions, it just takes time to grow a new brain. You can't taper safely any faster than your brain can heal.

 

Most people find that after years on meds it takes a proportionately long time (a year to multiple years) to get off them.

 

The good news is that as your dosages decrease, if you're not going faster than your brain can keep up with the healing, you will find yourself feeling better at the lower doses, which makes it easier to be patient about getting all the way off. I find it helpful to focus on intermediate goals rather than on 100% off as my goal.

 

Anyway, as far as the suffering you're experiencing right now, it's probably due to a too-fast taper that got ahead of your brain's ability to remodel and heal itself. (well, brain and endocrine system.) If you just hold at your 15 mg now for a good long while, you should stabilize. It won't happen overnight. You won't feel better immediately, nor as soon as you would like.

 

It will take a couple of weeks, probably, before you notice that you're having periods of feeling better. It will be roller coaster--you will have ups and downs as you stabilize.

 

Eventually you will find that you're feeling pretty good most of the time with only rare dips. At that point you can consider making another small cut; at 15 mg the max cut i would consider would be 10%, which is 1.5 mg.

 

Good luck to you. Hang in there. This is a learning process and patience and acceptance are absolutely key.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Wow. Thank you both so much for this.

 

Anyone have experience with EMDR?  I have been trying it because I have noticed that the early depressive symptoms feel very similar to PTSD (I have been studying this as well in my program).  i.e flushed reaction, stomach upset, flashbacks.

 

I think it is due to being criticized at work lately.  Bringing up PTSD from being very harshly criticized (and beaten) when I was a child for receiving a bad mark in school.  Anyways, just some thoughts.

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Feeling depressed so I'm ratcheting up to 15mg from 13mg on Lexapro.  Anyone ever take a whole 20mg pill extra to try to "boost" the system back into gear?  I had a psychiatrist once who told me to do this when I first started it.  Anyone have experience with this?  Don't want to wait two weeks to feel better :(

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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  • Administrator

It might be too much of a shock to your system. Treat it gently, it may be sensitized by withdrawal.

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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I was started on a high dose of an AD just to get the blood levels up, but since you're already on it might be too much

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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Thanks. I think it helped. Three days now on 15 from 13mg Lexapro. Anyways I feel a huge difference from Sunday. The great thing about following your advice and doing this so slowly is that now my body reacts much more to a small increase (than if I had rapidly titrated.) unexpected benefit. Thank you all.

 

As an aside, I'm still wondering if it also has to do w the 5 mg pill being brand (the 3mg I was taking is generic liquid). I swear the brand of this stuff seems to work better

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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I feel like I gave up.  I went back all the way yesterday to 20mg.  I had tried everything.  I started feeling better last weekend after boosting to 15mg, and then boosting the Wellbutrin, but the depression came back on Friday and has lasted until today.  I just can't afford it right now I am at a very intense internship at a hospital, and I feel like it is causing me to screw up (memory problems, etc).

 

I feel like a total failure.  It took me six months to get to 13 mg and off the wellbutrin, but I guess I didn't choose the right time as I started this internship for my master's program in September.  I guess I could hold on the 15mg (even though I have taken 2 days of 20mg), but I just don't want to feel the pain anymore of not wanting to get out of bed.  It has also been affecting my marriage and everything else.  I guess you guys were right that I went too fast.  I know I could take the risk and stay at 15mg but another week of this just feels like hell.

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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What do you guys think would happen if I changed my mind and decided to stay at the 15mg?  After taking 2 days of 20mg? I've been on 15 for 4 months now.  

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Booboocakes Are you feeling better at 20? Too many changes will destabilise you further. You

have gone a bit too fast for your system, I know it doesn't seem fast to you when it's been months 

but you obviously need to go very slowly. Are you still tapering wellbutrin too? I thought I read that

you were finished with it but your sig says you are still taking it. (Sorry, my brain is mush, lol.) 

 

I am struggling to say what might be best, my gut instinct is to say stick at the 20 for a good while,

months rather than weeks, hold all tapering until you've stabilised, then start again with very tiny cuts,

 one med at a time. It will take a long time but you will be free of them eventually without feeling too

bad. You've gone too fast and had a few changes in a short time that won't help. It is so hard this tapering,

I've had my own share of setbacks by being impatient! 

 

One of the others with more experience will be along and may advise differently, whatever you decide to do

I really hope you can feel better soon, it is so hard to have to work at a demanding job while withdrawing! 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

BTW you are NOT a failure! Someone else might have been able to taper the same way and been fine,

everyone is different. That doesn't make you a failure in any way, many of us found the hard way that

we need to go very slowly. Don't beat yourself up! 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

What do you guys think would happen if I changed my mind and decided to stay at the 15mg?  After taking 2 days of 20mg? I've been on 15 for 4 months now.  

 

I think the more changes you make, the longer and harder your withdrawal will be.  I say that after nearly two years on this forum and more than a year of being a moderator and admin. Please keep in mind that it takes at least four days to tell if a change in dosage, up or down, makes you feel better and for many people it takes even longer than that. If you've only been taking the 20 mg. of Lexapro for two or three days there's no telling how it's going to affect you yet. If 20 mg. isn't making you feel worse it's probably best to stay at that dose for several months and stabilize before attempting to taper again.  And this time, please take it a lot more slowly and carefully.

 

One of the mistaken ideas I've read from so many people on this forum is that they think getting off their antidepressant as fast as possible means they will feel better faster.  Not so!  What Rh said about the drugs making changes to the brain is correct and what that means is that your brain will heal at the speed of which it is capable regardless of how quickly you reduce your dosage.  What happens when you reduce the drug too quickly is equivalent to yanking a crutch away from someone with a broken leg before complete healing has taken place--BOOM! Down he goes!  Needless to say, this isn't a good idea with either a broken leg or a hobbled central nervous system.  The CNS has already been deeply insulted by the antidepressant; changing doses or stopping the drug too fast can only add to the damage.

 

PLEASE quit tinkering with your dose.  I've seen too many people prolong their withdrawal and even get worse by doing so.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Being one who is on the combination of Lexapro and Wellbutrin XL a few things popped into my head as I read your posts. Don't know if it will shed any light on anything for you but here goes:

 

1) I was switched automatically to the generic brand lex when it came out and took it without thinking much about it. Didn't take long…. a week or so and I felt really, really strange. I was more touchy, agitated & more apt to snap at people and I was absolutely EXHAUSTED at the end of the day. I remember my drive home seriously felt like it was 200 miles and would take me FOREVER when in reality it was a 15 minute drive. I switched back…. and was back to "normal"l almost immediately.

 

2) When I dropped from 300 to 150 mg of Wellbutrin XL I also felt a huge increase in lethargy. It took a month for my energy level to come back up or maybe for me to stabilize.

 

 

I admire your making the tough decisions. I've had to up dose, and hold for much longer time periods than I would like too. Felt like a failure etc….. In your case ( and when I have gone through similar times during tapering) I would suggest focusing on the fact that now you know that you CAN taper and feel better.

 

That is HUGE. So when you and your brain-organ are ready to give it another shot… you ( BOTH!! ha!)  will be that much ahead of the game. 

 

Hang in,

 

RU :)

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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Thanks so much everyone. I feel a lot better already I can tell, and hey it's only 5 mg more. i definitely wish I could stick it out without imcreasing, but the logic just isn't adding up. I've been at this point before with depression and I know it would just get worse. Sure the next few months at this internship could be miserable and I could say I did it while going through withdrawal but who the hell is that going to impress... Thanks for all of your insight. I also know what you mean about the generic lexapro, it sucks. It's a rough place to be so in the dark under the guise of medical science, but hey what can u do.

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

BBC….. when you decide to try again you may want to consider making your own liquid out of the brand Lexapro tablets instead of using the generic liquid. There is more information here.

 

RU

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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How long does it take to feel the relief with a 2mg boost? I definitely still feel symptoms after one week but I've been on the full 20 for 3 days.

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

Link to post

Mainly I am feeling some guilt (a symptom of the depression also I am sure) at going up all the way from 15 to 20, without waiting longer to see if the 15mg would work.  I waited one week and still felt pretty depressed, and was not really willing to sit in this since I'm at a pretty intense internship where the stakes for my future career are high.  I feel like it was the wisest decision, but I still feel tremendous guilt, thinking I spent those 5 months getting to 13mg. I think the mistake I made though was going down on Wellbutrin at the same time.  Was too much.  I also went all the way back up on the Wellbutrin on Saturday.  I already feel a lot better, but I can just see my brain being flooded with all of this poison again and it feels horrible to know that all that work I did to grow new serotonin is scrapped.

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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  • Administrator

You don't need to feel guilty, when it's time for you to taper, you'll do it successfully.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone.  I'm about 12 days back on my full dose.  I feel much better overall, but yesterday and today are the first days I feel down again.  Like a real scary kind of down.  I'm a bit worried that reinstatement won't work, or that I somehow "ruined" the drug by tapering down.  I was down to almost half of both the Wellbutrin (300 from 450) and Lexapro (13 from 20mg) over a period of 6 months.  Crashed really hard a few weeks ago.  Work has been a horrible stressor as I have a terrible supervisor who does whatever she can to make me feel awful about my job.  Luckily the internship ends in May, so I can do it (I have to in order to graduate).  That's one reason I went back up, I knew I needed to do it in order to graduate.

 

I've read that reinstatement can 'fail' after being in withdrawal, but I'm hoping since it's only 12 days later that my brain isn't back to 'normal' yet.  Any experiences with something similar?  Thanks as always.

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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  • Administrator

It may take a while for you to stabilize. In the meantime, you may get waves like these.

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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  • 9 months later...

Hi I was on here about 7 months ago. I got down to 15 mg after about 3 months and got really depressed so I went all the way back.

 

2 weeks ago I started a much slower taper: 1mg per month. I know I will do smaller increments as I go down, but now there is something else.

 

My cat is about to die from cancer, I am about to start a new job, I have just stopped therapy (therapist was falling asleep). Now I've been feeling some depression coming back and I can't tell if it's the 1 mg decrease or just 'normal' reaction to what's going on.

 

I know this has to be my decision but I am speculating whether this is not a good time to be doing this with everything else going on. A part of me says "if you feel like this after just 1 mg you are making a mistake."

 

I have wanted to get off of this stuff for so long and I have never been able to. I'm afraid if I give in now I'll never try again, because there always seems to be some reason that it's the 'wrong time.' I don't know if anyone else has a similar experience, but there are very few places to talk about this as you may know. Thanks for listening.

 

I am going to try to get an appt with an MD but I am cynical as they've always suggested very rapid tapers and then just shrugged it off as a depression relapse when it came back,

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome back Booboocakes, I joined your new post with your original thread, which has details of your situation and progress so far.

 

What dose of lexapro are you on now and where are you with the Wellbutrin? Please would you update your signature.

 

I'm sorry you are about to lose your cat, caring for sick pets and losing them can be devastating. You are dealing with 2 stressful situations and a significant change, so I'm not surprised that you are feeling some emotional fallout, I would think the depression is most likely coming from these life changes rather than making a 1mg cut, although that may be a factor.  The reason we suggest tapering slowly, via the 10% method is because it reduces risk of withdrawal symptoms and keeps the nervous system stable so that you can still function in life while coming off medication.

 

Tips for tapering off lexapro

 

You could choose to hold where you are until your life settles down again, or keep going.  For some people, there is never going to be a 'perfect' time to start a taper, but by keeping it slow and safe, life with its ups and downs can continue along with the tapering.

 

Your doctor may suggest a rapid taper, but its your body and your decision.  Many people arrive here after following the advice of well meaning, but ill informed doctors.  Often, having a doctor willing to cooperate and write the prescriptions is the best we can get.

 

See:  What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms

 

Please stay in touch and let us know what you decide.

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Thanks a lot! One thing I noticed today is that I have been trying to cut down on caffeine at the same time and I think that has been a mistake. I rely heavily on green tea throughout the day for energy, so I was feeling extra down doing that. Anyways I had my cup of tea again and I feel so much better.

 

I'm currently on 19mg out of 20.

Lexapro 20mg for 12 years

Wellbutrin XL 450 for past 8 years

2012-2013 Tapered to 13mg Lexapro and 300 Wellbutrin over 4 months (since June)

       November 17, back to 15mg Lexapro and 450 Wellbutrin

       November 25, back to 20mg Lexapro 

2014 August Tapered to 19mg from 20mg

3 weeks later anhedonia, depression

Reinstated to 20mg.

 

 

 

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