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Hope73: Tapering off Lexapro - doubting if I'm on my right way or have to take it my whole lifetime


Hope73

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Hello anyone here,

 

first of all please excuse my english and thanks for letting me ask here for some mental support!

I'm a 40 year old woman from Germany, where is unfortunatedly nearly no professionally qualified and/or medical help and knowledge about tapering of and really getting off antidepressants - anyway I can't even find it.

My medical history and my problem now:

Cause of a "anxiety disorder" in the past I got several antidepressants (although they didn't even help me with my problem - and unfortunately whether I not my docs really know or tell me about the crass impact to my body), ca. about 1994 to ca. spring of 2005. I think the last one in this period was Trevilor. Accompanying to the death of my friend in 1997 I got Tavor - but tapered it out completely at about 2000 - and then up to today Tranxilium Tabs (now a half a day) and Beloc zoc 95 mg retard (1 a day).
In spring 2005 I got a new job with a much of psychic stress and til end of 2005 I slim at about 20 kilogramm (my normal weight was just about 70, now about 78), couldn't sleep, couldn't eat normally etc.pp. and became totally exhausted and anxious - so that I got a rehabilitation in a clinic from end of January 2006 to March. Clinic was a personal horror for me and when I was another week in the job in end of March/beginnning of April I finally quit the job.
(Was really a bad one, but today I think my desolate feeling at that time was strenghtened by a withdrawal from Trevilor - but that's not my problem today.) 
The following time a had much stress with finding a new job perspective, recover myself from the clinic and so on. Worse luck in this emotional hard time my neurologist persuaded me to get a new "very very good, helping and totally harmless" (ha, ha, ha :-P ) antidepressant - its in German called Cipralex (my dosage: 10 mg) , USA called Lexapro as I knew now.
Since 2008 I've a new job. And since three years I try to get off the 'Teufelszeug' Lexapro - three failed attempts, two with horrible withdrawing symptoms and one with the liquid dosage form, but horrible burning oral mucosa though I'd diluted it with more than a litre of water at least.
So last year I started another way to taper it off - I let make me in the pharmacy (for really much money, but whatever) capsules with 9 and 8 Milligramms and so on...
Now being on 8 mg since middle of September last year (after going slowly down to 9 before) since October I'm not really feeling well (for example headache, sleep problems, muscle pain, exhaustion). More often I consider if it could be possible that this is some kind of withdrawal syndromes from the just 2 mg and my only choice could be to go to 9 or 10 again and never in my life get rid of the Lexapro.
Perhaps its possible that I feel so bad cause of other reasons, but it seems a bit strange to me.
Does it's worth it to face it just another days or weeks on 8 mg and hoping it becomes better???
(If not, I've no more 9mg - capsules - could I try to get every four or five days a 10mg tablet - or would this be to 'crass'? - Or another possibility, should I let make me 8,5 mg capsules? Worth it?)
 
So what do you experts mean?
 
(I've a psychological coach as well.)
 
Greetings and thanks for just reading it... German doctors say, 'oh, it's all no problem, just get off it in three weeks or months, if you're very slowly' - arghhh :-P ,
'Elli' from Germany  

Recent medical and withdrawal history:

Unfortunatedly started with Cipralex = Lexapro 10 mg in summer of 2006

cause of "anxiety disorder"

(after being about an year without antidepressant),

Accompanying for a longer time: Tranxilium Tabs, now: a half a day + Beloc zoc 95 mg, now: 1 a day,

In 2012/13 three failed attempts to get Lexapro off

(Horrible withdrawal symptoms and intolerance of the liquid form)

Since Summer 2013 started a new attempt with capsules (from pharmacy) with 9, 8 mg etc.;

Since October 2013 on 8 mg, but feeling not very well -

in the moment considering if I've to get back to 9 or 10 mg and take it my lifetime

 

40 years woman, qualified social education worker

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Elli and welcome to Surviving antidepressants. 

 

Thank you for including your history in your signature, that is very helpful but I am unsure if 

you are still taking the tranxillium and beloc zoc? 

 How long did you stay at 9mg? 

 

It is very good that you had your capsules made by the pharmacy and that makes us very happy to see!

Did you feel any better or worse after dropping to 9mg? 

 

Can you also tell us when you attempted to taper and failed. It is possible that your body didn't have time to adjust 

between tapers. 

 

Don't worry, we will help you to get off lexapro, you will not have to take it for the rest of your life! 

**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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  • Administrator

Welcome, Elli.

 

You had the right idea having your doses made up in smaller and smaller amounts. At some point, you might have tapered too fast.

 

Here is some information about tapering escilatopram http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

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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Hey Mamma and Altostrata,

first thanks very, very much for your welcome and first motivating words - that's really a lot for me in the moment, thanks!!!

 

Could you please give me an urgent advice?

As quickly as possible I have to put me on a state that I can do my job physically better than these days - I'm now at the grade where I rather have to get a sick note but actually I don't want and I think from the psychic aspect it's not really the right thing for me (cause feeling me still more down then - and contentual I can do my work, but physically there are the problems).

So my ask for advice:

Should I take a bit more Lexapro as fast as I could become new capsules - and how much? 8,5 mg or what's your advice? or either 9 mg (I saw that I've two 9mg capsules left here at home) - and then (8,5 or which dose ever) every day or just every fourth, third or second one???

Or should I just be strong-strong-strong and wait till it becomes better on 8 mg? (Or do you think it could become worse while waiting on 8 mg??) -

I can't even estimate it exactly if it could be a very little bit more worse at the middle and end of december or not, I'm not exactly sure with that , unfortunately.

 

My current most problems are especially intense headaches - without brainzaps as I know them from the completely failed attempts in the last years, but really that much headache that I'm feeling unsure going in the car alone at my employment and staying there enough time; intense muscle pains (it seems as if there's a severe muscle tension which doesn't allow me to slack off the muscles) and following out of this two coming suggestions from exhaustion, anxiety, uncertainty and emotional vulnerability...sometimes desperation.

 

So, whats the best doing now to your opinion?

 

-------

 

Mamma, I'm still taking the Tranxilium and the Beloc zoc, daily doses now as I wrote.

 

Unfortunately I didn't wrote down exactly when I try to taper in the last years and even I didn't note exactly when I go down last year... it's really embarrassing :-( but I thought the less I take care of that the less will it become difficult. Now I knew better, believe.

 

So I can't just orientate to some notes and memories to tell you the history of failed attempts and tapering since last year, I'm really sorry:

 

- the first failed attempt was in the beginning of 2012, I think 2rd or 3rd January I started with taking every third day one tablet of which I scrape a little bit away with a knife so that it becomes something near 8 mg, after a couple of days I take that every second day (even in change with 10 mg the other days), after about 14 days it started that I felt worse and worse, till about 20th January much more worse (horrible brainzaps with awful noise in my head as if there are airplanes in my head between my ears, sickness, tremor, crass anxiety, piercing neuralgia and pains in fingers, hands, knees, feet etc.. couldn't eat normally, loss some kilos in just one or two weeks - then at the end of January/beginning Februar I went back to 10 mg and within a few days everything gets better and in a few weeks seems as normal (except the bad experience that made me desperate and anxious)

- the second failed attempt was in summer 2012, I think at about Juni/Juli; I tried it with the liquid dosage form, but had horrible burning oral mucosa though I'd diluted it with more than a litre of water at least. So that was absolutely intolerable for me and i quit it after a week with another desperation in me.

- the third failed one was as the first one, just tried a bit more slowly... but I can't say when it was, think about end of 2012, but quitted it within a few weeks, cause I notice thats no good to scrape with a knife...

 

-The recent tapering I think I started at about April/May 2013. First take every fourth day a 9mg capsule for a while, then going down with the days... in my notices I find that on August 20th I got the last 10 mg tablet (after 4 days of 9mg), then taking 9 mg just one or two weeks, and already mixed with the 8 mg ones, so that in the middel/end of September I already was at 8 mg all days.

Afterwards that must be too quickly going on 8 mg... - but how can I 'correct' it now??? -

 

And your other question, yeah, in August, especially September and the little first half of October I felt much more better - as emancipated from most of my anxiety and with something like a clear head... but in middle of October (moreover with a common cold) my feelings and physical condition gets down and become 'downer' til the end of the year.... in that time I had although much bone(?) pains.

 

Thats for now, I hope so much that you could help me a little bit on this cruel way...

greetings, sincerely

'Elli' 

Recent medical and withdrawal history:

Unfortunatedly started with Cipralex = Lexapro 10 mg in summer of 2006

cause of "anxiety disorder"

(after being about an year without antidepressant),

Accompanying for a longer time: Tranxilium Tabs, now: a half a day + Beloc zoc 95 mg, now: 1 a day,

In 2012/13 three failed attempts to get Lexapro off

(Horrible withdrawal symptoms and intolerance of the liquid form)

Since Summer 2013 started a new attempt with capsules (from pharmacy) with 9, 8 mg etc.;

Since October 2013 on 8 mg, but feeling not very well -

in the moment considering if I've to get back to 9 or 10 mg and take it my lifetime

 

40 years woman, qualified social education worker

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edit: last year I went twice a week about an hour or one and a half for sports (endurance and light strength training) - in beginning of December I paused cause of the heavy muscle pains and exhaustion, last week I've gone there twice again.. (got a little bit better with the pains now, seems so), but after the training the muscles pains were that heavy again whole week and weekend that I think, in the moment that's not really good for me. Or I've to do it still more lighter there.

Recent medical and withdrawal history:

Unfortunatedly started with Cipralex = Lexapro 10 mg in summer of 2006

cause of "anxiety disorder"

(after being about an year without antidepressant),

Accompanying for a longer time: Tranxilium Tabs, now: a half a day + Beloc zoc 95 mg, now: 1 a day,

In 2012/13 three failed attempts to get Lexapro off

(Horrible withdrawal symptoms and intolerance of the liquid form)

Since Summer 2013 started a new attempt with capsules (from pharmacy) with 9, 8 mg etc.;

Since October 2013 on 8 mg, but feeling not very well -

in the moment considering if I've to get back to 9 or 10 mg and take it my lifetime

 

40 years woman, qualified social education worker

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edit to Altostrata: Thanks for the link, I'd read that thread before, some good advice.

BUT my problem will be that my body can't tolerate the liquid form, no, no, no :-( so I'm not sure if I really have a chance with getting rid off the Lexapro one day.

But now my problems in my first thread from today below.

 

Hope you're feeling better,

sincerely 'Elli'

Recent medical and withdrawal history:

Unfortunatedly started with Cipralex = Lexapro 10 mg in summer of 2006

cause of "anxiety disorder"

(after being about an year without antidepressant),

Accompanying for a longer time: Tranxilium Tabs, now: a half a day + Beloc zoc 95 mg, now: 1 a day,

In 2012/13 three failed attempts to get Lexapro off

(Horrible withdrawal symptoms and intolerance of the liquid form)

Since Summer 2013 started a new attempt with capsules (from pharmacy) with 9, 8 mg etc.;

Since October 2013 on 8 mg, but feeling not very well -

in the moment considering if I've to get back to 9 or 10 mg and take it my lifetime

 

40 years woman, qualified social education worker

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you for the information Elli.  I think I would go back to the 9mg every day because that is where you felt better.

If that makes you feel better after a few days, stay at 9mg for a few months to allow your brain to settle down.

You have changed many times and it is not good to take different doses every few days. It confuses the brain.

 

It may take about 4 days for the 9mg to work.  

 

You are very sensitive to changes because of the failed tapers and will be better doing a micro taper  of 5%

reductions when you are ready to start again. 

 

Let us know if the 9mg helps you. If it makes you feel worse come back and tell us. 

 

I hope it makes you feel better.

**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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Thank you very, very much!

While you wrote yesterday I fortunately went to pharmacy and today's morning I got new 9 mg capsules there. (And yesterday I took one of my old 9 mg capsules.)

 

Acute I'm just a bit afraid to take now all at once 9 mg eyery day - isn't this too far???

Or is there an (physical) explanation of why while going up with the dose 1mg-pace could be ok for me, but/while going down 1 mg pace doesn't work and is that horrible?

 

Or have I calculate that the next days will become horrible as well?

 

Sincerely, 'Elli'

Recent medical and withdrawal history:

Unfortunatedly started with Cipralex = Lexapro 10 mg in summer of 2006

cause of "anxiety disorder"

(after being about an year without antidepressant),

Accompanying for a longer time: Tranxilium Tabs, now: a half a day + Beloc zoc 95 mg, now: 1 a day,

In 2012/13 three failed attempts to get Lexapro off

(Horrible withdrawal symptoms and intolerance of the liquid form)

Since Summer 2013 started a new attempt with capsules (from pharmacy) with 9, 8 mg etc.;

Since October 2013 on 8 mg, but feeling not very well -

in the moment considering if I've to get back to 9 or 10 mg and take it my lifetime

 

40 years woman, qualified social education worker

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  • Administrator

Hope, increasing the dose often will reduce withdrawal symptoms.

 

When decreasing, we recommend reducing by 10% or less per month, based on the last dose. From 9mg, this would be

 

- 9mg

- 8.1mg

- 7.3mg

- 6.6mg

 

etc.

 

In your case, it might be wiser to decrease by 5% at a time, since it seems you're sensitive to reductions.

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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  • 1 year later...

Stopping by to send you healing, Elli.

 

I too am tapering from Lexapro. Not feeling well enough to type much right now, but I will follow your progress, offer what support I can and wish you health.

 

Tilly x

1999 - 2004 Paroxetine 20mg  -> 2004 - 2007 Citalopram 20mg -> 2007 -  short term Trazedone use (insomnia) -> 2007 - 2009 Fluoxetine 20mg  ->

2009 - Jan 2012 Citalopram 20mg  (Spring / Summer 2012 protracted withdrawal & related agoraphobia) -> 2012 - September Restarted Citalopram - unbearable start up effects. Discontinued in under 1 week -> Oct 12 -   October 2014 Escitalopram - 10mg prescribed. Started on 5mg and worked up to 10mg in 2.5mg increments  -> Oct 2014  - 5mg; 30/03/15 2.5mg; 15/04/15 3.5mg; 20/05/15 2.9mg;  19/09/15 2.8mg; 30/10/15 2.7mg; 13/11/15 2.6mg. Holding until March.

Diet:  mostly pescatarianl & lots of veg. Weekly offal for b vitamins.  Turmeric, nigella seeds, avocados, apple cider vinegar, coconut products daily. Lots of fluids: water, lemon juice, coconut water, herbal & green tea (decaffeinated).

Supplements: vitamin C 4000mg, Omega 3 fish oil - high DPA & EHA, vitamin E 400iu, vitamin D3 5000mg (Winter only - from sun in Spring / Summer), probiotics.

Current Symptoms: chronic fatigue, erratic sleep, extreme photophobia, eye floaters, noise sensitivity, tinnitus, cognitive & speech difficulties, dizziness, irregular gait, poor co ordination, severe facial and upper body muscle tension, head and neck pressure.

Coping Strategies: good nutrition, cooking, gardening & growing my own food, cycling, dancing, yoga, photography, sewing & creative pursuits, self massage, pampering, meditation, journalling, nature, cuddling cats & humans, laughter & humour, gratitude, self care, aromatherapy, audio books, word games & believing in myself, my potential and my future.

 

"Everything I need is within me" - Shakti Gawain

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  • Administrator

Elli, how are you feeling taking 9mg Lexapro?

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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