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CFSBoomer: Trying to get off Lexapro


CFSBoomer

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I'm new here, I'm glad to find this site. 60 year old Male, I've been in SSRIs for 17 years, Paxil for the first 14 years. It all began when I got CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when I was 42. Paxil really helped to get me functional again for many years, but now I am over the CFS but stuck on the SSRIs.

 

Despite being an old man I would still like to have my libido back, which is diminished by the 2.5mg Lexipro I take. But also I'm interested in doing a different kind of healing using psychedelics and plant medicines which are counter indicated in combination with SSRI. Serious brain damage can occur if I combine them.

 

Therefore I must get off the SSRIs, and I intend to take seven months to taper off this 2.5 using liquid as I have read about here in the thread about tapering off Lexapro.

 

 

Despite this apparently small dose of SSRI I still have a completely miserable time when I've try to get off it or even skip a day of my medication. I have the bleakest, worst kind of suicidal thoughts when I try to get off the stuff, every time I try. I'm hoping the slow taper method using the 10% formula over seven months will be my ticket to success.

 

I really appreciate this forum!

14 years on Paxil 5mg (prescribed as an antidote for CFS symptoms (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)

It worked great for bringing me back to life, and I got over the CFS.

Never could quit Paxil.

Tried it in 30 days, too abrupt, unsupervised.

Had One Bad Year on nothing at all,  (figured I needed to tough it out)

couldn't stand it any longer after a year.

Got back on Lexapro this time, 2.5mg 

That's worked for the last 3 years,

Would like to be free of it,

so am planning a taper. 

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Welcome, you've found the best forum on the web, IMHO.

 

You may want to try only a 5% decrease at first, especially, since you already know that you're sensitive to missing a dose.

 

It's best to start low until you find what your system can handle most comfortably.

 

Please add your med history, following instruction in the link below. This will be helpful to anyone reading your posts.

 

Thank you for joining us and I wish you the very best in tapering!

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

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  • Administrator

Welcome, CFSBoomer.

 

Lexapro comes in a liquid for easier tapering. See this topic on tapering Lexapro.

 

Tips For Tapering Off Lexapro

 

I agree with Tezza, you may wish to start with very small decreases, you've been on SSRIs for so long.

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

Hi Boomer, old man.......... no way, you are in your prime!  This is the best place to get support for 

tapering SSRIs.  I would suggest throwing away the calender and listen to your body as you taper.

Timings are different for everyone, some can taper faster while others need to take more time

between drops.  I hope your taper  goes well for you  :)

**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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I'm 67 and at the tail end of withdrawal from a too-fast taper off Lexapro that ended December 14, 2011.  I was on 10 mg. and "tapered" according to my doctor's instructions.  Wish I had known about this forum before I started!

 

You're very smart to taper off gradually and slowly.  I think you should also know that withdrawal symptoms come not so much from the immediate action of the drugs but from the changes they make in our brains.  Yes, they actually cause a temporary (but a looooonnnnnnng temporary) restructuring of the central nervous system and the brain attempting to right itself is what causes withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, you might want to reconsider using psychedelics and plant medicines. Your CNS will remain sensitive to any substance that affects it for a very long time.  You may also find that once you're off the Lexapro, you may not need anything else.

 

Welcome, CFSBoomer. I'm glad you found us.

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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I'm 36 and today found the time to confront myself with the fact that I have been on various AD since 2000 and Xanax since 1999. 13 years!

 

I desperately wanted to function to finish my studies, to keep my first job, to keep my second job... I finished studies, never lost a job, bought a flat on mortgage... but at what cost.

 

Will I ever have a child? 

 

I'm sorry CFS that I'm whining in your thread...

 

what I've learnt on this forum is the slower you go, the better. So don't set yourself any time limits. You are lucky to have found this forum instead of followed the doctor's advice as some of us :(

Current: Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Thank you so much for the responses! I'm so delighted, It makes me feel much less alone, finding this forum. It's been so frustrating dealing with doctors who don't care, don't have empathy for their clients, nor have they experienced these drugs themselves. They don't know enough!

 

For instance: it wasn't until I found this forum that I learned Lexapro is, in fact, more powerful per milligram then other antidepressants. So when I told my new psychopharmacologist that I was on 2.5 mg of Lexapro he acted like that was very little.

He said I was lucky to be on such a small amount. He said; "I wish all my patients could be on such a small amount of medication"

"Don't rock the boat" he said. "you've got a good thing going why don't you just maintain things as they are? "

 

Why? Because I can't reach sexual climax, that's why, Because I can't feel MDMA, that's why. Because I'm dulled out and numb.

 

& Bubble, I hope you have a child, if you want one, but you can have a great life anyway.

 

Thanks everybody! I will keep reading and learning here.

14 years on Paxil 5mg (prescribed as an antidote for CFS symptoms (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)

It worked great for bringing me back to life, and I got over the CFS.

Never could quit Paxil.

Tried it in 30 days, too abrupt, unsupervised.

Had One Bad Year on nothing at all,  (figured I needed to tough it out)

couldn't stand it any longer after a year.

Got back on Lexapro this time, 2.5mg 

That's worked for the last 3 years,

Would like to be free of it,

so am planning a taper. 

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  • Administrator

Oh, please don't take MDMA while your system is sensitized by withdrawal. It's a powerful serotonergic and can make you much worse.

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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Oh, please don't take MDMA while your system is sensitized by withdrawal. It's a powerful serotonergic and can make you much worse.

 

Thanks, I wont.  It's a distant idea. A distant dream, born of all the reading I've done recently about those studies with Iraq war veterans. 

14 years on Paxil 5mg (prescribed as an antidote for CFS symptoms (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)

It worked great for bringing me back to life, and I got over the CFS.

Never could quit Paxil.

Tried it in 30 days, too abrupt, unsupervised.

Had One Bad Year on nothing at all,  (figured I needed to tough it out)

couldn't stand it any longer after a year.

Got back on Lexapro this time, 2.5mg 

That's worked for the last 3 years,

Would like to be free of it,

so am planning a taper. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I hesitate to mention this because it would be adding another drug, but for some of us who experience "sexual dysfunction" , specifically meaning not being able to reach orgasm, wellbutrin at 150 mg CAN help.... It does enable me to reach orgasm when I couldn't before while on Lexapro  alone & was added for that reason. 

 

Just an FYI.

 

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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We must note: Common side effects of Wellbutrin are anxiety and insomnia.

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 had experience with Wellbutrin before, I should have put that in my profile. I was on it for about 4 years, and I I dropped it when I dropped the Paxil, Somehow I never noticed the effects of Wellbutrin, or couldn't distinguish them from the Paxil. I have heard this before about Wellbutrin and libido. For now I'll focus on dropping all meds, but thanks for mentioning it. Wellbutrin seemed much more benign that the SSRIs. 

 

thank you all again, for being here. 

14 years on Paxil 5mg (prescribed as an antidote for CFS symptoms (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)

It worked great for bringing me back to life, and I got over the CFS.

Never could quit Paxil.

Tried it in 30 days, too abrupt, unsupervised.

Had One Bad Year on nothing at all,  (figured I needed to tough it out)

couldn't stand it any longer after a year.

Got back on Lexapro this time, 2.5mg 

That's worked for the last 3 years,

Would like to be free of it,

so am planning a taper. 

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