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RedTara tapering off Lexapro


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Hello Friends,


I have been tapering off of lexapro (generic now) for almost a year.  I started at 10 mg and have been going down 1 mg at a time.

I'm now down to 5 mg.  I took a pause during the worst of the winter per my internists suggestion which I think was good.  I

decided to go from 5mg to 2.5 mg and am hoping that I don't start having lots of weird side effects.  I have been moody, tired

some not to much in the way of brain zaps.  I'm on day 6 of the taper and 


Has anyone heard of GeneSight Psychotropic Genetic testing?  My Nurse Practitioner did the test on me and it showed that Lexapro was already a test that  was considered a 'use with caution' drug for me.  there are three categories:


Use as directed for those psych meds your body is ok with

USe iwth Caution

Use with increased caution and with more frequent monitoring.


she said I should just stop cold turkey but I don't want to do that, given these test results she didn't think my body was even processing the drug.  ??


Also, I am taking some 5 htp and she said as a result of that the brain architecture  isn't even changing when I taper.  I'm not so sure about

that.  Anyone have any info on that?


thanks all .

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 Welcome RedTara,


I don't want you to wait too long for a feedback so decided to reply while we are waiting for someone more knowledgeable to come.


Your initial tapering plan was very sensible. The idea to go from 5 to 2.5 mg is 50 % cut and as such sounds scary since Lexapro is very potent AD and we recommend 10 % decrease to avoid withdrawal which you are probably experiencing right now judging by the symptoms you describe. And those usually get worse as over time...


I think you would do good to reinstate to the previous dose, wait some time to stabilise and then resume a slow and safe taper to prevent withdrawal.


(Anyone suggesting quitting Lexapro CT is dangerously misinformed despite calling themselves a medical practitioner. All of us here had to learn this the hard way so I'm happy you came here).


Here are the links you might find useful.















good luck!



Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Red Tara, welcome to SA. Several members have had that kind of testing. Doctors seem to think 

that it tells them which anti depressant they can prescribe safely. Sadly none of them are very safe! 


Bubble is right that going from 5 mg to 2.5 is too much at once but I can understand why it seemed

the best amount, maybe it was easier to get the dose accurate?  You would be better to go up to 4.5 

mgs, that could ease the withdrawal symptoms you are having. Stay there for a few weeks before

making another cut to settle down again.  


Most doctors know nothing about the drugs they are prescribing and even less about withdrawal! 

You've done well to tapering so far and in my experience it would pay to slow down for the last few

mgs, leaving more time between cuts.  It is common for people to think that the last bit can be rushed

because it is such a small amount but I found out the hard way that it really is better to slow it down

at the end. 

**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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Hi RT....


I tapered Lexapro a few years back.  Taking is slow is the way out.  You can even take smaller cuts if you want to make side effects easier on yourself.  It is so good that you were on on 10mgs.  I was on 20mgs.



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 and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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  • 6 years later...

I want to reduce my dose of Lexapro from 20 mg to 10


Hi friends,


I have consulted here years ago and thought it might be valuable to do so again.  I've been taking Lexapro / generic over the years, my

baseline dose has been 10 mg.  Then after reading here I slowly reduce my dose to about 2 mg and then later due to some stresses

went back up to 10 and have been there and pretty stable.  I'm 76.  This fall and winter I had a very bad psycho social stressor and it was suggested

that I take something for anxiety.  My Nurse Practitioner suggested just raising my Lexapro dose from 10 to 20 mg.  I did this and it has helped. 

Now the Psychosocial Stressor is being resolved and I want to get off the extra 10 mg of lexapro.  I might decide to go off completely. 


Also  in addition to the stressor mentioned, the pandemic has happened so that has created extra stressors.  


I reduced my dose from 20 mg to 17 mg a few days ago and have't been sure how to proceed then remembered this website.  I would love some input.

I have also gained 10 lbs since on them and during the pandemic.  If this is from the lexapro dose, will I lose the weight as I taper off?


Thanks for your advice.  I really appreciate it.




PS:  does anyone know if lexapro has a negative affect on brain functioning?



Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi RedTara and welcome back.


I'm glad you remembered about SA.


SA recommends reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Your reduction from 20mg to 17mg is a 15% decrease.


Q:  How are you feeling?


If you are starting to feel withdrawal symptoms you might want to updose and take 18mg.  It would be better to do this straight away than to wait.  It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full level in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.


This document shows possible withdrawal symptoms:


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist


This topic explains how to get the dose you need:


Tips for tapering off escitalopram (Lexapro)



MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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HI Chessie Cat,


Thank you very much for your quick response.  I'm going to review the things you sent me and also see about getting some compounded  lexapro at the lower doses.

I have been at this lower dose for a week now.  Its actually about 17.50  if my math is right.  1 10 mg pill and 3/4 of a second 10 mg pill.  So would the next dose be

16?  or?  


I read another article here by surviving daily who said he/ she had gained weight on lexapro and also was sleeping 10-11 hrs.  more recently I have been sleeping 10 hrs a night and dont want to sleep that long, research seems to indicate its not good for us.  I thought it might be due to some melatonin I was taking and valarian root due to earlier sleep disturbance.  I've been tapering down off those but stlll sleeping 10 hrs a night.  hard to get up.  I wonder if this has something to do with the extra

10 mg of lexapro?  also the 10 lbs I have gained?  I keep a food diary and its really not that different.  Friends and Colleagues say we can gain weight from increased cortisol which I definitely have had during the pandemic but I wonder if it could be from the higher lexapro dose?  


thanks very much for your help.    Tara



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Because you have made an approximately 12.5% decrease it would be a good idea to hold on 17.5mg for at least 5 weeks in total.


A 10% reduction of your current dose is 17.5mg x 0.9 = 15.75mg so 16mg would be okay.


I'm not sure about the sleep issues or the weight gain.  Getting too much sleep is better than not getting enough. 


Please see these topics:








And if you happen to have sleep difficulties in the future:




MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Hi Red Tara!


How great that you remembered this website!


Your previous post was more than 6 years ago!


Very wise of you to think about tapering.


Wish you all the best and let us know how it goes!







Sep- 2016 - Okt 2017 citalopram some months 15 mg some months 20 mg

Nov 2017- Apr 2018 citalopram 25 mg

Apr 2018 -  Jun 2018 citalopram 3 month TAPER too fast  from 25mg to 16.5 mg (0.1 mg per day decrease, felt horrible and crashed)

Jun 2018 - Aug13th 2018 citalopram trying to stabilize at 16.5 mg for 5 wks

- August 14th 2018 - April 29th 2019  citalopram 18 mg (1.5 mg updose).


2019 apr 27 : START taper citalopram @ 18 mg: 29Jun 16.4 mg / 19aug 15.4 mg / 25aug 15.2 mg / 30sep 14.0 mg / 4dec 13.1 mg

2020  03Jan 12.75 mg / 28Jan 12.29 mg / 18Feb 11.83 mg, 25Feb 11.68 mg hold.. / 7May 11.33 mg hold...., 4Aug 10.98 mg / 5Dec 10.0 mg 4 month hold...

2021 30mar 9.8 mg / 06apr 9.5 mg /  13apr 9.4 mg / 14may 8,5 mg / 04jun 8,0 mg / 11jun 7.75 mg, 02jul 7.35 mg /  09jul 7.2 mg hold 3 weeks during holiday /31jul 7 mg/ 8aug 6.8 mg / 15aug 6.63mg / 22aug 6.5mg / 1sep 6.3 mg / 8sep 6.15 mg / 15sep 6.0 mg / 22sep 5.9 mg / 29sep 5.8 mg / 04 oct 5.65 mg / 10oct 5.55 mg / 17oct 5.45 mg / 24oct 5.35mg / 30oct 5.25 mg hold 3 wks / 22nov 5.15 mg / 01dec 5.1mg / 12dec 5.0mg / 20dec 4.85mg / 30dec 4.70mg

2022   08jan 4.5 mg / 16jan 4.4 mg / 23jan 4.3 mg / 27jan 4.2 mg / 18feb 4.1 mg / 25feb 4.0 mg / 04mar 3.9 mg / 11mar 3.75 mg / 18Mar 3.65 mg / 09apr 3.55 mg / 16apr 3.45 mg / 23apr 3.35 mg / 01may 3.25 mg / 8may 3.15 mg / 17may 3.10 mg / 28 may 3.0 mg / 7jun 2.94 mg / 18 Jun 2.88 mg / 27 jun 2.84 mg / 05 jul 2.80 mg / 16 jul 2.75 mg / 23 jul 2.70 mg / 01aug 2.65 mg / 09aug 2.60 mg hold 5wks / 18sep 2.55 mg / 25sep 2.5 mg /02oct 2.45 mg / 10oct 2.40 mg / 19oct 2.35 mg / 27oct 2.30 mg / 05nov 2.27 mg / 14nov 2.25 mg / 22nov 2.20 mg / 29nov 2.10mg / 09dec 2.05 mg / 15dec 2.0 mg 

2023  hold 2.0 mg for 5 months / 05may 1.95 mg / 14may 1.90 mg / 24may 1.87 mg / 02jun 1.85 mg / 17jun 1.82 mg / 27jun 1.79 mg / 07jul 1.75 mg / 31jul 1.72 mg / 12aug 1.69mg / 27aug 1.67 mg / 04sep 1.65 mg / 09sep 1.63 mg / 22sep 1.61 mg / 27sep 1.60 mg / 12oct 1.58 mg / 18oct 1.56 mg / 31oct 1.54 mg / 06nov 1.52 mg / 18nov 1.50 mg / 04dec 1.48 mg

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