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AlexKidd: Lexapro nightmare, need advice.


AlexKidd

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Hello there. I'm going through a horrendous time trying to come off Lexapro and would like some advice, and this is my story - sorry if its a bit long. In April 2013 I took some recreational drugs and had a severe panic attack the following day. I was abroad so this made things even scarier. Thought I was dying, rang an ambulance and went to hospital. Ended up staying the night. In my heightened state of panic that night I convinced myself I was dying of cancer. Had several more panic attacks the following few days. Struggled with crippling anxiety and panic attacks for 2 months afterwards. Counsellor convinced me to try Lexapro, worst mistake I've ever made in my life! I've had numerous physical side effects from this drug such as gastrointestinal problems, headaches, muscle and joint pain which can be severe at times, difficulty chewing, grinding teeth, jaw pain, chest pain, palpitations, twitches, etc. The list goes on. I've tried several times to taper off this nasty drug, but I feel I was set back in my attempt to do so by poor medical advice about tapering. If I had followed the 10% rule from the start I feel I would be well on my way to ridding myself of this drug by now. The physical side effects are so bad I end up panicking and trying to cut the dose probably too soon by my own admission. I really just want to get off these drugs and hope I may be able to make the switch to Prozac to enable me to then taper off that. I just sometimes feel there's no way out of this horrible predicament I've found myself in and feel stuck between a rock & a hard place. I'd just like some advice and words of encouragement, as I'm really struggling to handle the enormous stress of this whole situation. Thanks.

Edited by scallywag
tags

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Alex and welcome to SA.

 

I'm also one of the Lexapro victims, seems there are quite a few of us around. I'm glad you found us because in my humble opinion this is the best place to be in the situation as ours.

 

I can see that you've already done quite a lot of reading and informing yourself about the kind of taper we advise here and the 10 % rule.

 

I also recently concluded that, had I known it before, I'd been drug free a long time ago. But we are where we are. What will help us to help you more is if you provide us with details of your drug history by putting it in your signature as described here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Judging by what you wrote so far you are in a good situation because you have been on one drug only and compared to many of us here for quite a short time. What we would need to know is the dose you were on, in the beginning and how you changed it, that is attempted to taper it. We believe sticking with the devil you know is better than trying your luck with a new one so I wouldn't advise the switch to Prozac although it's possible it might work.

 

Here is the information on how to taper Lexapro but it would be good that we get a picture of your current situation to see what would be the best next step: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

 

I believe you will find lots of friendly support here.

 

best,

bubble

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello, alexkidd-

 

Another Lexapro victim here. You can read my story in the links below.

 

I fully agree with bubble about sticking with Lexapro for your taper. As bad as it is, it isn't one of the worst drugs to taper from and it has the added plus of being available in liquid form, which will make tapering at lower doses a bit easier than having to mix your own solution.

 

Just give us a better idea of your history and current situation and we'll go from there.

 

Welcome to the forum.

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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Hello Alex and welcome to SA.

 

I'm also one of the Lexapro victims, seems there are quite a few of us around. I'm glad you found us because in my humble opinion this is the best place to be in the situation as ours.

 

I can see that you've already done quite a lot of reading and informing yourself about the kind of taper we advise here and the 10 % rule.

 

I also recently concluded that, had I known it before, I'd been drug free a long time ago. But we are where we are. What will help us to help you more is if you provide us with details of your drug history by putting it in your signature as described here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Judging by what you wrote so far you are in a good situation because you have been on one drug only and compared to many of us here for quite a short time. What we would need to know is the dose you were on, in the beginning and how you changed it, that is attempted to taper it. We believe sticking with the devil you know is better than trying your luck with a new one so I wouldn't advise the switch to Prozac although it's possible it might work.

 

Here is the information on how to taper Lexapro but it would be good that we get a picture of your current situation to see what would be the best next step: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

 

I believe you will find lots of friendly support here.

 

best,

bubble

Thanks for your reply bubble, I've just updated my signature with my dosage and tapering history. It is quite erratic in parts but the side effects get so bad sometimes that I just feel I need to try and taper to get off this drug.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

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Hello, alexkidd-

 

Another Lexapro victim here. You can read my story in the links below.

 

I fully agree with bubble about sticking with Lexapro for your taper. As bad as it is, it isn't one of the worst drugs to taper from and it has the added plus of being available in liquid form, which will make tapering at lower doses a bit easier than having to mix your own solution.

 

Just give us a better idea of your history and current situation and we'll go from there.

 

Welcome to the forum.

Hi Jemima, thanks for your reply. I live in Ireland and unfortunately you cannot get the liquid form of Lexapro here. I've been trying to taper using a jewelry scale with gelatin capsules/shaving bits off the pills. The last couple of tapers I've had a bad reaction so my nervous system is not in a good place at the moment. That is why I'm quite sceptical about switching to Prozac. When I went from 10 mg to 20 mg Lexapro my anxiety skyrocketed for several weeks, so I think if I introduce a new drug it probably won't agree with me too well as I seem to be quite med sensitive. I visited my doc today and he wants me to switch to Prozac by taking 20mg Prozac with my 20 mg Lexapro for the first week, then drop the Lexapro to 15mg for one week with 20mg Prozac, and the third week 10mg Lexapro with 20mg Prozac, and then just the 20mg Prozac. From what I've read Lexapro is a very potent SSRI so I'd doubt 20mg Prozac would be enough even if didn't have a bad reaction to the Prozac.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You might want to read this:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/

about making your own liquid for tapering. (It's really not that difficult.)

 

Also, do read the link you were given above, on tapering Lexapro, it's full of good information.

 

And here's our topic on the Prozac "bridge" method:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1463-the-prozac-switch-or-bridging-with-prozac/

 

Welcome to the forum. You can find lots of good information and support here.

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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  • Administrator

Welcome, alexkidd.

 

The link bubble gave you about tapering Lexapro contains instructions for making your own liquid. That will make tapering a lot easier.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks for your help guys, I really appreciate it! I think I will just stick with the Lexapro and try to taper off that. I'm thinking if I try the Prozac switch and it doesn't work it could set me back an awful lot and make things even harder. The side effects I'm getting from the Lexapro are making life a misery at the moment, I'm getting really bad muscle and joint pain. I'm just so worried what this drug is doing to my heart when I'm getting such bad pains everywhere, it just can't be good! I'm just a bit concerned about how I'll react to making my own liquid. I had a bad reaction when I crushed the pills, maybe this was because it was going into my system faster therefore leaving faster causing bad withdrawal symptoms. I seem to be quite sensitive to quicker absorption, so any advice on how exactly to go about this? Thanks, I just really wanna get this taper right cause I don't know if I can handle anymore setbacks.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

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  • Administrator

Please read http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

 

You could get your prescription filled with 10mg and 5mg tablets and take part in tablets and part in liquid.

 

The liquid form may get into your system faster (divided doses might help this) but it does not leave your system faster.

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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Ok, thanks for your help. Gonna tell the doctor I don't wanna do the switch and wanna try and taper the Lexapro. Starting to feel a bit better today thank God, this is such a horrible drug. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy!

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Be prepared that your doctor might not be "compliant". I am where I am now because of following my doctor's guidance. I only started feeling better after I took charge of things by combining my own experience of being on the drug and coming off with a great collection of knowledge here.

 

Most doctors I guess, given their thinking, would find tapering by making your own liquid ridiculous. My GP was surprisingly very impressed but if she wasn't I would just do the things my way. It's strange not to follow your doctor's advice especially since psychiatrists make a big deal about their "patience"being cooperative as a sign that they are aware of their "illness". But after you continuously end up in a very bad place following your doctor's advice you don't have much choice than follow the advice of your brain. 

 

From what I see in your signature, your doctor has already establish a very bad track record for tapering as you have unfortunately experienced so many times.

 

It's good that you plan to stabilise now. That's the best thing you can do after all those changes that were badgering your brain. It might take a while so don't rush it. I believe it is possible to come off of any drug, you just have to find your own pace. We recommend 10 % which would be 18 mg as your first cut although you could try even less to test the waters. But you have time till then. Maybe even a few months since you've been destabiliisng your CNS for 9 months now. 

 

Maybe I missed something, but why are you taking liquid already if I understand it correctly? I'm relying on your signature which says you'll hold which I'd do in your situation especially since holding has already brought you a relief.

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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Thanks for your reply Bubble, I've had a rough few days so please excuse the late reply. I'm not taking liquid now, nor have I ever done. I've been back on the 20 mg tablets for just over a week now, having been taking 15 mg + 5 mg tablets daily for 4 weeks previously - I wasn't stabilizing on that so switched back to 20 mg tablets. I can't see myself staying on this dose for a few months more, it is making my life a complete misery. The side effects are terrible, really bad muscle and joint pain and I've been getting quite a lot of nerve pain too in my hands, legs, etc. I work in a bar and at the end of my night shifts my joints and muscles ache terribly. Its even kept me awake a few nights with the pain. Also I'm getting a lot of chest pain, that is the most worrisome one. Every fiber of my being is telling me to reduce the dose but I know I can't or it'll just make things worse. I think I will stay on it for another 5 weeks maybe and try to reduce the dose by 5% then, I don't want to risk a 10% drop. I already got the prescription for Prozac, and told the doctor I would be switching. So, I don't think he will be too happy when I tell him my plans. He's the one that got me into this mess in the 1st place, bumping me up to 20 mg after only 4 weeks on 10 mg. I think a lot of doctors don't realize just how strong this drug is, and how difficult it can be to come off. This has been the most stressful time of my life, and this horrible drug has caused me far more problems than the anxiety it was prescribed for initially.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
areyouthere

Hi AlexKidd. I'm sorry that you are going through all of this. I too am currently tapering from lexapro 20 mg. I think that the key to all of this tapering business is to start out very, very slowly. Unfortunately because of poor advise from your doctor that did not happen for you.

 

Were you ever stable at 20 mg? 

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

20 mg. is a high dose of Lexapro, which is roughly two to three times stronger than most other SSRI antidepressants.  I think doctors get impatient to see improvement, not realizing that these drugs can take three weeks or more to take effect, and raise the dose.  It's an ignorant approach at best.

 

I don't think the bodily pains you're having are necessarily a sign of heart problems. I had them too, but once you're off the Lex and can do some regular exercising, even something as mild as taking a walk several times a week, the aches and pains should diminish. I think a lot of that comes from feeling so lousy and not moving around much. I still have some aches, but I'm pushing 69 and this seems to be an unfortunate consequence of aging.  The more exercise I get, the better I feel, though.

 

I see you're still taking some Wellbutrin. That's a very stimulating drug, and if I were you, I'd get off of that first, and hold on the Xanax until last.  By the way, what is "liz./tabs"?  I can't figure that one out.

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...

Were you ever stable at 20 mg?

 

RU

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

Link to post

Sorry it's taken me so long to respond, I've had a pretty rough 6 weeks or so. Yes, I was stable before on 20 mg. I was getting exercise regularly and felt ok until I tried tapering. I just haven't got the energy to exercise these days, I feel exhausted.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

Link to post

I see you're still taking some Wellbutrin. That's a very stimulating drug, and if I were you, I'd get off of that first, and hold on the Xanax until last. By the way, what is "liz./tabs"? I can't figure that one out.

Sorry for the very late response. I'm not taking any Wellbutrin or Xanax. I tried to taper by half a mg about 4 weeks ago and it didn't work out well at all. The physical side effects are so bad now, they are almost unbearable. I've been back on 20mg for 22 days now, I've been taking Klonopin 0.5 mg on and off for the past 5 or 6 weeks to help me calm myself. Haven't taken any in a week now, I've felt terrible since stopping the Klonopin. I'm not in a great place ATM. I feel really desperate, don't know what to do. I've got a prescription for Prozac so I'm thinking of trying a switch to that in the next week or two. I can't handle the side effects of Lexapro anymore, so I'm going to risk the switch.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

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  • Administrator

What are your physical side effects? Do they follow any daily pattern? (Keep notes to track this.)

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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There are far too many to even try to think about. I'll give it a go. Really bad muscle and joint pain. I work in a busy bar and after a busy night my feet and knees get really sore. Get a lot of muscle pain in my back around the shoulder blade area. Aches and sharp pains of all sorts, including my shins, elbows, arms, hands etc. I think these may be nerve related. They seem to reach a peak about 9 or 10 hours after I take my dose. I'm getting pains in my spine as well, terrible pains in my head too. Lots of muscle twitching in various parts of my body. Before these used to settle down about 3 weeks after reinstating Lexapro from a failed taper. But the last few times I've been back on the Lexapro for over 3 weeks and they haven't settled down. I'm wondering maybe if I've reached poop out? My muscles seem to shake when I'm yawning or stretching too for the past couple of months, something that I never experienced before. Also this medication is giving me the most foul gas I've ever had in my life, and loads of it. All these symptoms are making life a misery at the moment, I'm really stressed out by the whole thing and find myself struggling to get through the day.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

Link to post

And yes, a lot of the various symptoms appear at roughly the same time each day. The one that worries me the most is the chest pain, I tend to get that around the same times each day. When I make a dose reduction the chest pain seems to diminish or disappear, convincing me the Lexapro is causing the chest pains - not my anxiety.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

Link to post

Also my gums bleed at times, mostly when I'm brushing my teeth but sometimes they just bleed during the day/evening. I had bloods done a couple of months back and the doc said everything was ok, I was worried about my platelet count being low. But I had the test done in the morning before I took the Lexapro. I went to my doc yesterday and explained my predicament. He suggested just giving up the Lexapro cold turkey. From my past experiences I told him I couldn't do that, it would be horrific and could even be dangerous. He said that wasn't true, I don't think he knows a lot about these dangerous poisons he's prescribing! I can't go on living like this and have a prescription for 20 mg Prozac. I'm considering taking the risk of switching. His plan isn't filling me with confidence though. He wants me to take 20 mg Prozac with my 20 mg Lexapro for 2 weeks. 3rd week 20 mg Prozac with 15 mg Lexapro. 4th week 20 mg Prozac with 10 mg Lexapro. 5th week 20 mg Prozac with 5 mg Lexapro and then just the 20 mg Prozac on its own. I'm thinking I would need 40 mg Prozac though because Lexapro is far stronger. Any ideas for a better plan? I was thinking of taking the 20 mg Prozac with 20 mg Lexapro for a week, then drop the Lexapro and take 40 mg Prozac.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi AlexKidd,
 
I think you need to read back through your thread.  I just did and it seems clear that its the drugs causing your problems, the increase in dose, the irregular tapering, the changes, too fast drops, addition of other drugs.  In your very first post you wrote:
 
"If I had followed the 10% rule from the start I feel I would be well on my way to ridding myself of this drug by now."
 
I'm concerned that if you go ahead with switching to Prozac now, you will make your situation even worse.  I can hear that you are desperate to get some relief.  But what we often find is that people make things worse by continually making changes, disrupting the nervous system more and more.
 
Please read through this information about keeping it simple:
 
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6632-the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/
 
 

 I've been back on 20mg for 22 days now, I've been taking Klonopin 0.5 mg on and off for the past 5 or 6 weeks to help me calm myself. Haven't taken any in a week now, I've felt terrible since stopping the Klonopin. I'm not in a great place ATM. I feel really desperate, don't know what to do. I've got a prescription for Prozac so I'm thinking of trying a switch to that in the next week or two. I can't handle the side effects of Lexapro anymore, so I'm going to risk the switch.

 
Your irregular use of Klonopin over the last 5-6 weeks has probably been making your situation worse .  In a destabilized nervous system, irregular use of a benzo can cause interdose withdrawal.  If you have been taking it more than once or twice a week, you have probably developed a dependency and are now experiencing withdrawal symptoms from that also.
 
I doubt that all you have going on is Lexapro side effects.
 
Your situation has become complicated and I hope someone else with benzo experience will jump in with advise because I think you need to reinstate the Klonopin and start taking it on a regular schedule.  If I were in your situation I would stay on the 20mg of Lexapro and wait to stabilize again, and then begin a very slow, taper from it, probably starting with 5%.
 
 

But after you continuously end up in a very bad place following your doctor's advice you don't have much choice than follow the advice of your brain. 

 
From what I see in your signature, your doctor has already establish a very bad track record for tapering as you have unfortunately experienced so many times.

 
....yes, I agree that your doctor doesn't know what he/she is doing, this is your complex, finely balanced, very important brain and nervous system that is being experimented on.
 
Please carefully read back through your entire thread.
 
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

 

 

 

Link to post

Thanks for your advice Petu. I think you may be right about the Klonopin causing withdrawal effects, its been over a week since I stopped taking it and I still feel like crap. I get spells of brain fog, get really confused and feel like my head is melted. I'm getting burning sensations on my face and eyes too at times. I don't want to get stuck on benzos too though, maybe if I just ride it out I'll start to feel better eventually. Plus I haven't got any Klonopin left. I got them prescribed for my switch to Prozac to help with the changeover. I don't think the doc would be too keen to prescribe anymore for me. I told him I would be switching to Prozac, but I'm definitely having second thoughts about that now. As you say, I think it could make things a lot worse.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Alex,

 

I can't see the information on how much Klonopin you were taking and for how long in your signature. There is a subsection on tapering benzos here; http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/29-members-only-benzo-tapering-discussion/

 

Petu was very right in noticing that lexapro might not be the only culprit in this story. I had the same problem initially: totally disregarded Xanax and focused on my difficulties coming of medication on Lexapro...

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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Hi Alex,

 

I can't see the information on how much Klonopin you were taking and for how long in your signature.

Thanks for your reply Bubble, I got a prescription for 21 0.5mg tablets about 5 or 6 weeks ago. I took all of them in the space of about a month, sometimes going a full week of taking one a day. I went through the same amount of Klonopin a few months ago too, a different prescription. I feel terrible tonight, so I think I'm definitely getting withdrawals from it. I've phoned a doctor I stumbled across on the recommended doctors on this website, he's going to text me back tomorrow and hopefully I'll be able to see him in a couple of weeks time. I'm sick of dealing with my current doc who got me into this mess in the first place, and he has no clue about these drugs and the horrible withdrawals they can cause. Time to speak to someone who knows what they are doing with these drugs. 

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

Link to post
  • 5 months later...

Just an update on my situation now. I continued to take 20 mg Lexapro until the 8th December. I had been seeing a girl for about 6 weeks and she broke up with me on the 7th. I was so stressed out from the pains I was getting from the Lexapro, plus that on top of it. I decided it was time to start tapering. I had a 20 mg/ml bottle of Lexapro liquid so I decided to reduce by 1 mg as my first cut. It went pretty well for the first few weeks. Got some withdrawals, but nothing I couldn't handle. After 32 days on that dose, I decided I would taper by another 1 mg. So I've been taking 18 mg for the past 3 weeks. The withdrawal has been a bit tougher this taper though, the physical symptoms aren't bad, I've suffered worse. I'm just having a very tough time emotionally, its been 2 months but I just can't stop thinking about my ex girlfriend and its really getting me down. I'm sure if I wasn't in withdrawal it would be a lot easier to get over her. I told her I was on Lexapro about 2 weeks into the relationship, and she said she had been on it before too. She said she would help me get off it, and I'm sure she really did mean it at the time. I just said something that must've freaked her out in bed one morning, and she ended the relationship after that. I hadn't been in a proper relationship in my adult life before that, so maybe I got a bit carried away cause things were going so well. I'm just having a really tough time dealing with my emotions at the moment. Any advice?

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

Link to post
  • Administrator

Alex, you might forgive yourself for any errors you might have made in your relationship. You mightn't have done anything.

 

It could be your partner had other concerns and expectations she didn't talk to you about, and came to a sudden decision. It's unfortunate she didn't explain her decision to you.

 

We've all gone through this. Learn what you can from it. What I found was my greatest disappointment in these situations defines what it is I want most from a relationship. This is something you can point your intentions towards.

 

You might start a topic in the Relationships forum to discuss your sadness.

 

Good to hear you're managing your taper.

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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Hi AlexKidd, I just read your entire thread. I'm so sorry for what you suffered, but glad I found your here. What you described about your symptoms is almost ful set I have for 1.5 yrs since the first hit from tapering. I can confirm all your physical symptoms are from lexapro as they are so particular and lex is the only drug I take. I have the same feeling that they are more side effects rather WD as I did have typical WD symptoms like fatigue, hear problems, panic attack, anxiety etc but what I have been dealing with majority time is the pain related. I understand your temptation to getting down as the debilitating pain ( all types and every inch of my body) seems more like a drug reaction/ side effects than WD. I don't have regular update on my introduction as I feel I don't what to think of the situation any more but I do have a few milestone update. Currently I'm on micro taper of 0.05% holding 1-2 weeks.it takes care of classical WD pretty well, but my pain stayed so loyally 24/7 all the time. I also thought about switching to Prozac assuming the pain is lex specific but decided to stay with it for the sake of less change.

I hope you can focus on your health more as its a much bigger issuer than anything else including relationship. I'm single too and with realization of my med problems, I decided yrs ago it won't work for any new relationship even for the most understanding ppl. Im sorry you had this extra strees at this critical time point, but if allow me to be honest, problem can come sooner or later with the giving med condition. Its different though for those who have been together for years with a family. You sound young, healthy relationship can be built on solid foundation once you are well. Often times, additional stress from even a normal relationship can be negative to the healing process.

I dont mean it's not painful to deal with the loss, but want you to be more focused and strong and take care of yourself first.

I would be happy for us to exchange experience if you feel the same. I don't find many on the forum who have similar symptoms to what I have.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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Thanks for your replies, sorry I'm so late replying. I've had a rough week or so. I had a few bad days of withdrawal symptoms, think I should've waited another week or two to do the last taper and it probably caught up with me. I've been feeling really bad the past week or so, the physical pains seem to abate slightly for a couple of weeks after tapering, but return pretty badly again. I just wish I could taper by a larger amount so I could get more of this poison out of my system. The breakup has had a profound effect on me. When she told me she would help me get off the Lexapro I got my hopes up that maybe we could have a future together. I feel abandoned and I've always struggled with low self esteem and been plagued by self doubt, I sometimes find myself thinking how I will go on without her. I know that sounds really crazy, but its just the way I feel sometimes. I've got lots of family around me and everything, but I just feel so alone. Especially since I've been on this horrible drug. That's what makes it so hard to take, I thought I had found someone to help me through this and I feel so alone again now.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Alex,

I felt sad reading about how your girlfriend left you after saying she would help you.  I also experienced withdrawal combined with being dumped, it happened to me about 4 years ago, after a 4 year relationship.  I think withdrawal always makes these kinds of things more difficult.  For me I'm now glad the relationship is over, I can see it wasn't a good one, if someone will abandon you when you are going through a bad time, it says a lot about who they really are.

 

Another member, Belisimo was also left by her boyfriend during withdrawal, and just like you, she had been promised help.  She went on to get better and improve her life, here is a link to her post where she writes about it:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5510-bellisimo-this-is-my-story-i-have-been-to-hell-and-back/?p=72786

 

You will get through this and find another relationship, a better one with someone who really cares about you.  A good relationship is one where people stick with each other through the good times and the bad ones.

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

 

 

 

Link to post

Thanks for your reply Petunia. I'm sorry you had to go through that, it must've been very difficult having been with the person for four years. I was only with my girlfriend for 6 weeks, but its still hard to take. I don't really blame her though, the thing I said to her in bed would've scared most people off having only been together a few weeks. She was asking me about a relationship I had been in previously and I told her I was really hurt by that person. Then I said "I've always been really lonely, I just wanted to find a nice girl. I think you're a really nice girl." I was kicking myself later on that day when I realised what I said, it sounded so bad. It must've sounded to her like I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

Wow, Belisimo's story makes my ordeal seem like a walk in the park in comparison. She's such a strong person, that was really inspirational. I think my main problem is I'm a very negative thinker, I always see the negatives before the positives. That's something I need to work on, things aren't great now but they could sure be a hell of a lot worse.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Alex, if someone ends a relationship because you have shared some honest feelings and given them a complement, it doesn't mean you did something wrong, I get the feeling that there was probably something else behind her decision.  I was imagining you had asked her to marry you or told her about some some weird..... well, never mind.

 

I'm glad you found Belisimo's story inspiring.  Don't worry, I'm sure you will find someone nice and have a good relationship, when the time is right.

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

 

 

 

Link to post

It was definitely that, because things were going great before I said that to her. Looking back in hindsight the writing was on the wall after that, I became little more than a nuisance to her in the final week or two. I was probably guilty of being a bit too honest with her, not realising the effect those words could have. I haven't a lot of experience in relationships, so I just opened up too soon to her. There's plenty to be learned from it anyway, as difficult as it has been.

 

So I'm 5 weeks into my taper from 19 mg to 18 mg. I'm going to wait another few weeks until I feel stable enough to try another cut. I've found this taper more difficult. I've had worse withdrawal symptoms than the last one. Burning sensations on my face, eyelids, eyeballs, etc. Zaps/shock like sensations in my arms/legs from time to time. I've had a shake in my hands too, but its not as bad now as it was in the past week or two. Does getting a shake in your hands mean you've cut too much? I def don't wanna go back up in my dose anyway, I'm determined to stay on this for another few weeks and try another taper when I feel ready.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

Link to post
  • 3 weeks later...

So I'm going to try another taper in a week or two. I'm currently taking a 15 mg tablet plus 3 mg in liquid every day. I can only get the 20 mg/ml liquid though, so I'm going to try to dilute it with water to get more accurate doses as I want to reduce by 5% increments from here on. I know 5% of 18 mg is .90 mg, but I'm just wondering how I'd go about getting that dose by diluting the liquid?I've never been very good with figures! By the way, I'll still be taking a 15 mg tablet every day. Also, it says on the bottle that the liquid must be used within 8 weeks of opening it. Is this definitely true? Or could you still use it after that without it deteriorating?

Many thanks, Alex.

July 2013: Started 10 mg Lexapro.

Aug 2013: Doctor put me up to 20 mg Lexapro.

Oct 2013: Tried to taper, doctor told me to take 10 mg per day. Horrible reaction. Reinstated.

Nov 2013: Tried 15mg per day, ok for first week or two but had terrible withdrawal symptoms then. Tried to ride it out for 6 or 7 weeks but couldn't handle it.

Jan 2014: Back to 20 mg for 6 weeks.

Feb 2014: Tried tapering by crushing tablets and putting in gelatin capsules. 18 mg. Very bad reaction once more.

Mar 2014: Tried tapering by shaving 1 mg off 20 mg pill. Fine until about 10 days in, got bad depression. Psychiatrist told me to take 15mg one day and 20 the next. Did that for only few days, horrible reaction. Went back to 20 mg for 4 weeks.

April & May 2014: Tried tapering by taking one 15mg pill and shaving 1.5 mg off 5 mg pill. Lasted only 4 days, very bad reaction. Went back to 20mg pills for a week but ran out so took 15 mg & 5 mg pills for the next 4 weeks.

June 2014: Got prescription for 20 mg Lexapro and have been taking that for 4 days now, gonna try and stabilize for a few weeks and try switch to Prozac.

Link to post

 Hi Alex,

 

just seen your lexapro thread and decided to chime in. I have looked very quickly at the messages here and looks like you got a lot of useful replies of how to get off the thing. As one of the ex-lexapro users (see my signature), i would like to warn you about something which i had learned from my own (bad) experience with tapering lexapro:  even though you taper slow in the beginning , you have to go EVEN SLOWER at the end of the taper. A small amount of lex in your system can have a huge effect. It lookes like you react to even small changes at high doses. I would think that you may be a quick metaboliser of this drug (there is a liver enzyme which eliminates lex from our bodies, and while the dosages are calculated for the average person, there are people out there who eliminate the drug slower (me) or very very quickly (you)). In case you are a quick metaboliser, you must go even slower than the 10% rule. Otherwise your body can't keep up with the change. And even slower at smaller doses. It is possible to test whether you are one of the rapid metabolisers, but this test has to be sent to the US and costs around 600 euro, so  unless you can afford it, it is actually better to assume you are a quick metaboliser and taper EXTREMELY SLOWLY. In case i have repeated somebody's else advice, sorry for doing so, i just have a busy day with a small child and can read here only when he sleeps.

Lexapro for 6 years.

Stopped September 2013.

details:

10 mg - jan 2007- sep 2009. 2 month taper = CT aug.-sep.2009. HUGE crush nov. 2009.

5 mg dec 2009. 10 mg 2010

My first real taper from 10 mh to 3 mg - all 2011. november 2011 - crush. back to 10 mg till may 2012.

My second taper taper from 10 to 0 mg jun 2012 - sep 2013.

nov 2013 - crush. I think my crush is because i have jumped from 1 mg lex to 0 in sep 2013.

Lex is a very powerful drug. NEVER jump from 1 mg to 0. TAPER IT IN TENTHS OF MG, PLEASE.

I had 10 months of SEVERE withdrawal. moderate to mild now. better ! Not taking any drugs now.

 

 

Link to post

I have seen you are doing the 5% taper. That's good to start with but when you get to say 12 mg please go even slower (yes it means diluting a lot that liquid...)!

Lexapro for 6 years.

Stopped September 2013.

details:

10 mg - jan 2007- sep 2009. 2 month taper = CT aug.-sep.2009. HUGE crush nov. 2009.

5 mg dec 2009. 10 mg 2010

My first real taper from 10 mh to 3 mg - all 2011. november 2011 - crush. back to 10 mg till may 2012.

My second taper taper from 10 to 0 mg jun 2012 - sep 2013.

nov 2013 - crush. I think my crush is because i have jumped from 1 mg lex to 0 in sep 2013.

Lex is a very powerful drug. NEVER jump from 1 mg to 0. TAPER IT IN TENTHS OF MG, PLEASE.

I had 10 months of SEVERE withdrawal. moderate to mild now. better ! Not taking any drugs now.

 

 

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