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pokiok: My Lexapro Withdrawal


pokiok

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Hi everyone,

 

I've been in the midst of Lexapro withdrawal withdrawal since April 2014 and just need to vent as well as maybe find some camaraderie.  My long history of AD's started in 1995 with Zoloft when I was 21. I was depressed and hospitalised at that time for an eating disorder that was actually just the depression but because I don't eat when depressed, I suppose it got misconstrued. I took that for about a year, I believe 100 or 150 mg. Got off of that easily enough and basically cruised through until my parents both passed away 3 months apart in 1999-2000. I went back on Zoloft and stayed on it until about 2002 when again, I got off of it with seemingly no withdrawal.  

 

I ended up getting a virus in 2003 that left me bed bound for a couple of months during that summer and after going to every doctor I could think of, they just said I was depressed and prescribed me Zoloft once again. Being the sheep I was, I took it blindly because it had never been an issue getting off of it before. I basically stayed on that and Klonopin until I got pregnant in 2006, whereby I stopped the Klonopin but stayed the course with 50mg of Zoloft.

 

After the birth of my first lovely daughter in 2007, I started to get very ill. No one could diagnose anything so they basically said I had PPD, which I truly believe I did NOT and upped my Zoloft to 100mg. I guess it kept me ok for the time being but I decided to go off of it in 2009 with little problem, just need to spot treat anxiety with xanax from time to time. I got pregnant in fall 2009 and had such an awful first trimester that they put me back on Zoloft (I couldn't escape this med!!) My second beautiful daughter was born in June of 2010 and since then my health issues have been on a serious decline. They say its Chronic Fatigue or Fibro but I just don't know. Every test comes back ok, which is a relief but still leaves me wondering. I've developed a serious health anxiety now, and subsequently was put on Lexapro and Klonopin in 2011. I was on that cocktail to keep the anxiety at bay and it worked somewhat but the weight gain was frustrating. So that leads me to today.

 

The withdrawal wasn't horrible in the beginning, I had a few weeks of major sweating at night, dizziness, crying jags and angry outbursts but nothing unbearable. As time has gone on, I'm dealing with more and more anxiety, fatigue, crying. My health anxiety has gone through the roof and I'm dizzy, nauseas, head feels full all the time and sometimes lightheaded. My muscles seem to ache, no appetite...the list goes on. The one thing that I can do is sleep, usually so soundly that I don't even hear my daughter when she comes into bed with us. I'm due to go on a trip to celebrate my 40th birthday and I'm having such incredible fear that I don't even want to go. I fear for my health, and that I won't be able to enjoy the trip because of how I feel. I've thought about reinstating the lexapro at a low dose but that prospect scares me, as I don't have time to deal with the side effects of going back on before we leave. I guess I just need to know that this isn't abnormal, that others have endured long bouts of withdrawal, or if this is even really withdrawal and not something else. Other sites I've visited, people have said their withdrawal lasted a few weeks and then they felt better, and as I have gone off and on the AD bandwagon more times than I care to admit, with not too much trouble, I wonder if they are right and there truly is something wrong.  I had an executive physical at the Lahey Clinic last year, where everything came back fine but it's still so scary. I've got two beautiful little girls who need a strong mommy, not the shell of a person I feel like at the moment.  I don't ever feel "present", as my mind races with what ifs...it's exhausting in and of itself.

 

Anyway, sorry for the long read, if you made it to this point, thank you.

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Pokiok and welcome to SA,

 

yes, I've made it till the end of your story ;) It's actually a very familiar story that a lot of us here share and we have quite a few mothers of young children who write the exact thing you wrote. Yes, what you are going through are withdrawal symptoms and when you describe them I very clearly see the way I felt when I discontinued Lexapro.

 

What we have seen here from stories of other people and our own experience is that most of us can come off an AD without major problems for a few times. After that things get rough and our CNS just doesn't work in the same way any more. The more drugs we have been on, the more times we stopped abruptly and resumed, went up and down, the more difficult our experience will be. All these circumstances together with many others are different and individual and that's why our experiences end up different. I'm not saying this to scare you but I was off for 45 days when I was hit by the worst symptoms ever and it took me months after reinstating to start feeling alive again. I actually came off two drugs at once. A particularly bad idea.

 

What surprised me was that symptoms were getting progressively worse as the time went by and not better. Again, we are all different but a lot of people here end up in something called protracted withdrawal which can take years and Lexapro is a particularly potent AD. If you stopped taking Lexapro in April that would be around 3 months ago and it might be too late for reinstatement to work. But given my experience I would always give it a try. I didn't have any side effects but just felt an instant relief. We see people getting relief from a very tiny amount such as 1 mg, a little crumb carefully measured. If it doesn't bring relief, it's so small that you can just stop taking it in the same way you can stop taking it in case it causes adverse effects. 

 

What would help us give you more sugegstions for your particular situation would be to put your drug history in your signature: 

 

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

 

I didn't see you mention what dose of Lexapro you were on and how you stopped taking it. Are you still taking Klonopin or any other medication?

 

We do recover and there are many things that can help primarily understanding what is happening to us and seeing that it passes so don't be afraid even if what I wrote might not sound optimistic at first.

 

You will find a lot 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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Thank you for the response Bubble!  I was on 5mg of Lexapro. Basically the bare minimum. Kept me balanced I suppose. This has been a pretty rough few months, the digestive issues keep me wary of eating anything too crazy, as well as with the Lexapro out of the picture, my appetite has all but disappeared. I used to be a pretty decent nosher when taking the meds so I know they cause weight gain...since being off, I've lost 10 lbs but my clothes still fit the same, go figure!?

 

I'm hoping your story is not the norm! Sorry to hear you went through the hell you did though, it stinks :(  I wonder if I should just reintroduce a minuscule amount of Lex into my system...

 

My doctor had a pretty decent point that I hadn't thought of, when I asked why it was ok to take an AD everyday over an anti-anxiety he said that with most AD's you reach your level and stay there but with anti anxiety meds, you will continually need to increase dosage in order to achieve the same results. Made good sense actually but doesn't leave me wanting to take either to be honest.

 

xx

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi pokiok and welcome,

 

I also stopped taking Lexapro too fast and have been having symptoms ever since.  5mg isn't a low dose, Lexapro is a strong antidepressant.  I was taking 5mg when I did a too fast taper and stopped.  Some people can take these drugs and stop with no problems, but as Bubble explained, our nervous system may be resilient up to a point, but there is a limit. How did you stop taking Lexapro, did you taper at all?  We recommend reducing by 10% every month to reduce the risk of experiencing withdrawal.

 

If you fill in your signature with details of your drug and tapering history, that would be helpful, Bubble provided the link with instructions for how to do it. Please include previous and current drugs with dates and dosages.

 

What symptoms are you having now?  Is there a pattern to them?

 

There is a possibility that reinstatement may work.  Here is some information which explains it:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3079-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

Reinstating a very small amount, in your case maybe as little as half of 1mg might be enough to stop withdrawal symptoms, but there is no guarantee it would work, please read through the link.

 

Also, have a look through our symptoms and self care section for ways to help manage symptoms:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/

 

Once we understand your situation a little clearer, we will be able to offer more suggestions.

 

Petu.

 

 

 

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Just want to add that yes, we hear this kind of thing over and over: people come off a psych drug okay the first or second or even third time, and then the next time they try it they get hit really hard.

 

Usually after that point they are extra sensitive to any psych meds or changes in meds, so please be aware of that in the future and if you do take any, make sure to take extra small doses, and always to taper off slowly if you come off.

 

Alto says "our nervous systems are not made of rubber." Apparently there is a limit to how much we can screw around with the chemistry of our brains before it catches up with us.

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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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I'm back on the Lexapro, started back on 1mg at the end of July, and have worked my way up to 5mg as of yesterday. I had a severe 4 hour panic attack on the plane back from my vacation, which was so horrific it's hard to put into words. I just don't know what else to do. I figured I would work my way back up to the 5mg, stay there for a bit, and then try to taper properly. The anxiety I have is so debilitating, it's hard to function. When I was on vacation, all I did was want to lay in bed, I have no energy, I'm afraid for my health. I know I have health anxiety but the way I feel there must be something wrong. But then I read some of the things here and on beyondmeds.com and realise that maybe a lot of the issues are related to these horrible medications. I feel like a prisoner, wanting to get off but unable. Can anyone offer any words of advice? I could sure use it...

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

5 mg may be too much for you now. People seem to become sensitized to the meds after going on and off, and especially after a bad too-fast taper, CT and withdrawal. You may want to consider going with something more like 3 mg.

 

Also, how often are you taking the benzos? If you're taking them more than a couple of times a week, you could be getting interdose withdrawal.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Pokiok, I merged your new post with your original thread to keep everything in one place.

 

How are you feeling now? Sometimes the dose we quit at can be too much when we reinstate, so watch for any new

or worsening symptoms . If you do feel worse you can decrease again to a lower dose in order to stabilise.

Many of us have had to reinstate to settle the withdrawal, it isn't failure it is looking after yourself. 

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

 

 

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

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

2002  effexor. 

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

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

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

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

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I see Rhi got here while I was typing.  Great minds think alike  ^_^

**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 everyone,

 

The 5mg seems to be stabilising me (knock on wood). When I had the panic attack on the plane, I was doing 2.5mg. I don't know anything for certain anymore though. I feel pretty lost and just want to normalise so I can get myself back to a comfortable space to possibly taper properly. I feel like I've always thought that I was so sick (physically) off the meds that I just needed them to function, but I am seriously questioning whether these have caused my issues.

 

As for the benzos, I take the klonopin every night per my doc, and have not taken the Xanax yet, am trying to suffer through the anxiety during the day but it's definitely not easy.

 

I guess I just feel rather hopeless about ever getting off of these things. Is it truly possible to taper and not feel these things?!

 

Thanks for the kind words, I needed that...xx

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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It's day 3 of the 5mg and I'm not feeling any better. Anxiety is still horrible. I'm not crying constantly, so that's a plus I suppose but at times, the crying was a good release for the frustration of it all. Digestive issues still plaguing me as well, acid reflux, etc. Sorry, I don't mean to come on and complain, I just need to document, and maybe help others in the process.

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Pokiok,

 

please don't feel bad about writing how you feel here. We don't see it as complaining at all and since we've been there we might have an idea of what is going on.

 

Now when I look at your signature, I see that you also ended up on Lexapro as a result of Zoloft withdrawal as me. Except that I was on "only" 10 mgs of Lexpro. I don't know if you had a chance to look at the thread with the information on Lexapro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/ We are also confused or misled my the fact that we can all come off ADs without problems 2 or 3 maybe even for 4 times but after that things just get hard and our brain doesn't react the same any more. The more drugs we changed, the more CTs we had, the more difficult it will be. 

 

The bottom line for me was that Lexapro is a very powerful ADs, stronger than others. Klonopin and Xanax are also playing a part...It would be useful to add the information about when you started tapering off 20 mg Lexapro and how you tapered that is came down to 5 mg in May. 

 

What I wanted to say at this point is that after reinstating, we don't just bounce back to what we felt like before discontinuing the drug abruptly. The longer we were off, the longer it will take to stabilise. There are no quick fixes and any attempts to speed up the recovery actually have negative effects.

 

This recovery takes the form of windows and waves, which is another useful concept that helps us understand what is happening to us and makes it easier to deal with all the difficulties: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/

 

I will also repeat that since you were off the drug for over 2 months 5 mg might be too much for you now so it would be very good to monitor your symptoms carefully to see how your brain is reacting to it. Documenting the changes here is also very useful.

 

keep us posted.

 

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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Hi Bubble,

 

Thanks for the response. I tapered down to 5mg over the course of a year with little noticeable problems. I didn't realise how much stronger Lexapro is compared to others, would be nice for the doctors to disclose that bit of info.  I was assuming that 5mg was very low but also got confirmation of that from my doc so I figured it was no problem. Gosh, I wish I could have a do over. I take Klonopin at night but that's not really touching the anxiety I feel daily. My doc has prescribed Xanax to take as needed but I try desperately to not take anything as I don't want to become dependant on another thing. 

 

Gastro issues are another major thing, mostly acid reflux or this immense feeling of fullness, to the point where I can't get a deep breath. It's like I ate waaaaaay too much and need to unbutton my pants, lol.

 

Do you know how long I should try the 5mg before I cut back and how I would know to cut back? The anxiety hasn't improved or gotten worse since going from 2.5 to 5mg so I honestly don't even know anymore.

 

Thanks again, this site is amazing.

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

yes, 5 mg of Lexapro is a lot. I stopped at 2.5 and that was hectic. Xanax is awfully vicious so it's good to stay away from it. Are you taking any magnesium and fish oil?

 

The fact that your symptoms didn't increase on 5 mg dose is good. Since you started it, better stick with it because our CNS recovers through stability OVER TIME. The time it takes as to recover from withdrawal depends on how long and how badly our CNS struggled after the drug was to abruptly withdrawn.

 

I discontinued 2 drugs at the same time (a particularly bad idea) and it took me 4 months to be able to taper again. The symptoms were decreasing very slowly and the way I knew reinstatement was working was because I felt relief from my extreme anguish.

 

In any case I wouldn't be thinking about tapering any time soon but would rather focus on feeling better and managing anxiety without Xanax. Gentle physical activity such as swimming, yoga, walking in nature and mindfulness meditation helped me a lot together with magnesium.

 

I hope you start feeling periods of relief soon. The recovery happens through windows and waves which exchange and it's not linear. So it's important to be patient.

 

So much from me for the time being;)

 

keep us posted.

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, pokiok.

 

What is your daily symptom pattern since you've increased the Lexapro? Please keep notes on paper, including when you take the drug every day.

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 Alto,

 

The daily symptoms seem to be anxiety and fatigue. Some bouts of dizziness as well. Also feel incredibly full, like I can't get a deep breath, but that might be anxiety (I'm hoping?!) I'm going to say that today was seemingly better than yesterday, I was actually able to go out and do a bit of shopping, not much, but enough to get a birthday present. I take the Lexapro every night at 8pm, give or take a few minutes, along with the Klonopin. I've not had to supplement any extra anti anxiety meds today, which is amazing. I know I'm not over the hump so not expecting miracles but if even a sliver of the anxiety goes away, it's huge.

 

Thanks so much for your response...

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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  • Administrator

Sounds like the reinstatement might be working.

 

Please keep notes of the times of day you have any particular symptoms.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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I had a pretty decent weekend with the family, which was a welcomed change. I was able to go for a walk on the railway trail and did a whole mile and a half! (please note sarcasm, that feels pathetic) but at least I did it. It’s certainly the most consistent exercise I’ve gotten since I began the taper back in April. 
 

With that said, today has been filled with fatigue and spaciness, as well as anxiety so I’m still dealing with stuff. Not sure what to attribute things to, the medicine getting into my system and not quite being enough or being enough and it’s just the meds, does that make sense?
 

Also, I saw a psychotherapist today who actually agreed with me that these drugs are the big problem.  He seemed like he would be behind another attempt to get off of Lexapro and Klonopin but I am by no means in that space just yet. I need time to get back to normal level of whatever before I try that again.  In the interim, he thinks that trying CBT for my phobia and anxiety could be the way to go. I’m still deciding if I liked what I heard, I’m way beyond entertaining these people for the hell of it. They need to either be able to help me, and consistently, or I’m not interested.

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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Feeling exhausted and no motivation. I wonder if this is the meds working again? Has anyone else felt a lack of motivation and fatigue being ON the meds? I feel like the anxiety I felt when I was in the midst of WD kept me in bed, but not because of fatigue, more sickness/fear.

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi pokiok,

It can take a while to stabilize after reinstatement, sometimes even up to several months, but the fact that you are feeling better, with less anxiety is good, it seems to be working.  Give it a bit more time, the fatigue may decrease, its only been 10 days.

 

How often do you take xanax?  In a nervous system destabilized by withdrawal, irregular use of a benzo can cause rebound and interdose anxiety, causing further disruption.  If I were you, I would avoid using xanax.  You will stabilize faster without this added complication.

 

Petu.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Hi Petu,

 

Thanks for the response. I've not taken any Xanax since returning from my horrible flight two weeks ago. Flying out this weekend and will probably need it for that but I don't take it day to day at all.  

 

:)

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi pokiok, just checking in to see how you're doing. Bumpy but okay, it sounds like. Hang in there. As everyone has been saying (because it's true) it just takes a while to settle down and stabilize. I think a lower dose would have been good but as bubble says, at this point what your CNS really needs is stability and consistency and gentle handling, so if you're not having intense symptoms of overactivation when you take your dose, you should probably just stay right where you are and give it a couple of months.

 

As for the benzos, Klonopin is fairly long acting so some people do fine on once a day dosing. But if you find you're having bouts of anxiety around the same time every day (and you're taking the K at the same time every day but at a different time from when you're having the anxiety) you may want to split the dose in half and take the halves twelve hours apart. 

 

You're using the Xanax the way it's supposed to be used--for rescue only. Definitely one to avoid taking regularly, it's a real pain to deal with once your body adapts to it, and that happens fast.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey, just checking in on you, we haven't chatted in a while. i hope you ok

 

Hugs :wub:

Spring of 1998 place on birth control pills for irregular bleeding, high testosterone and one ovarian cyst, stayed on until April 2004, told to take hormone holiday, conceived first son 4 months later-VERY BIG SUPRISE, was told wouldn't be able to have childern or would need reproductive doctor to help. Got pregnant again 2006 with second son easily, then was on/off birthcontrol again until October 2011, concieved 3rd son in October 2011(tried many times to get pregant again when 2nd child was close to 2yrs, hormone problems started again after 2nd child, along with thyroid enlargement.

 

Spring of 2001 celexa 10 mgs-rx'd by pcp for complaints of chronic fatigue, irritability and weight gain, stayed on until June 2005, switched to Lexapro 20mgs for PPD, stayed on Lexapro 6-7 months, couldn't afford to see psyh dr. and Lexapro, saw PCP switched back to 20mgs celexa in 2007, remained on until November 2011, was c/t off due to 3rd pregnancy, baby had umbilical cord defect, seemed ok during pregnancy, except for crying jags here and there. Our miracle baby was born July 20th 2012, healthy except with reflux. One month later the anxiety,restlessness,horrible crying, insomnia and the deepest depression ever. That started the psyh drug nightmare-benzo's,antidepressants, sleeping pills, mood stablizers. Nothing help made me worse, doctors just kept changing the meds frequently. 4 mental health hospitalizations, rapid detox off benzos Jan 2013, horrible withdrawal and still suffering withdrawal symptoms NO ONE BELIEVES ME, I feel like ive been on one consistant drug withdrawal for the past 2 years

January 2014 slow titrate up of lexapro to 20 mgs-horrible side effects!!, was just rapidly taper by current pysh off to pursade me to try an MAOI-no way!!! Was told should consider ECT

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Hi Rhi and Skylar, thanks for checking in.  I was traveling, I had a doctors appt at the Ultrawellness Center in MA last week. They are functional medicine and are checking for underlying conditions which are causing me so much grief. Fatigue, anxiety, heat intolerance, dizziness, muscle weakness, etc.  I have to wait for the blood test results so I'm just biding my time, but I'm a bit nervous.  Since coming back and going on the supplements they prescribed, I've been feeling a bit more weakness and gastro issues. I'm still taking the 5mg of Lexapro so that hasn't changed, plus the .5 of Klonopin. so I'm pretty sure that's not the issue.  To be perfectly honest, it's freaking me out a bit, which doesn't help the anxiety.

 

On the plane ride up I took nothing (no xanax or klonopin) and was ok. The trip back was a bit harder, and needed to take a xanax, which I realised does absolutely nothing for the anxiety. I'm going to take my script back to the doc and say I don't want it anymore. I don't need to be taking something like that and have it not help.  

 

Does anyone else ever just look at people and see them eating horribly, drinking things you can't drink, and enjoying unhealthy things and wonder why they are able to do it but you can't? I mean, I see this one person who is incredibly overweight (and I don't care a thing about weight so nothing against her being heavy) eating candy bars and soda and is always laughing etc, and here I am barely able to eat anything that doesn't screw up my stomach and miserable in almost every way. I want to be that person that can indulge once in a while without horrible consequences and laugh in a carefree manner. I'm just venting I guess, I just want to be "normal".

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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"Gastro issues are another major thing, mostly acid reflux or this immense feeling of fullness, to the point where I can't get a deep breath. "

(Not sure how to quote properly - I'm on a mobile device).

 

This is me!! Finally, someone who is going through the same gastro and breathing awfulness!! I'm having horrible acid or reflux or something and haven't been able to eat normally in over a week. It truly is miserable.

<p>Lexapro taper from 7.5mg to 5mg for one week to 2.5mg for one to 2.5mg every other day for one week. Original dose of Lexapro was 10mg. On that for a few years,then cut back to 7.5 with no effects. In total, on Lexapro for about 7 years. Never did much to help with my panic disorder. Cross-tapered with Zoloft 12.5mg for one week, 25mg for one week. Stopped after ten days due to sexual side effects. Off Lexapro completely since end of July 2014.

Update: Aug. 20, 2014 - restarted Lexapro at 3.75mg due to intolerable withdrawal symptoms.

Update: Sept. 16, 2014 - increased Lexapro to 5mg on advice of GP.

Update: Jan. 13, 2015 - requesting Rx for Liquid Lexapro from pdoc on Friday to start taper. Horrible side effects from Lexapro since going back on. Haven't resolved so need to come off.

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Ugh, I'm so sorry Toes, I know this is truly awful! Mine seemed to abate a bit when I went back on the meds (not the answer we are looking for, is it?!) I see you've done the same, has it helped at all? It took quite a while before I saw a change with that...keep me posted please!! We can do this together!

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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Hi pokiok. No, going back on didn't help and might have increased it. I have been back on for a week and a half. I'm not feeling as horrible as last week, but still having GI issues, cortisol mornings, and anxiety. I have no way to tell what is causing my issues - the going back on the Lexapro, the Lexapro not working on the withhdrawal, an underlying GI issue....

<p>Lexapro taper from 7.5mg to 5mg for one week to 2.5mg for one to 2.5mg every other day for one week. Original dose of Lexapro was 10mg. On that for a few years,then cut back to 7.5 with no effects. In total, on Lexapro for about 7 years. Never did much to help with my panic disorder. Cross-tapered with Zoloft 12.5mg for one week, 25mg for one week. Stopped after ten days due to sexual side effects. Off Lexapro completely since end of July 2014.

Update: Aug. 20, 2014 - restarted Lexapro at 3.75mg due to intolerable withdrawal symptoms.

Update: Sept. 16, 2014 - increased Lexapro to 5mg on advice of GP.

Update: Jan. 13, 2015 - requesting Rx for Liquid Lexapro from pdoc on Friday to start taper. Horrible side effects from Lexapro since going back on. Haven't resolved so need to come off.

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Hi Toes and Pokiok

 

I am not one of the moderators but i am someone who is dealing with protracted withdrawal syndrome after a too fast taper off Lexapro. i just wanted to chime in and send some encouragement. 

 

i had extreme gastro issues as a result of the w/d. never had issues like that before stopping the medication except that the lex had started to cause constipation. 

 

i wont go into all the details but suffice it to say that after a couple of months off the lex i could not eat, my gallbladder became inflamed and had to be removed and i was down to 103 lbs. (i had no gallstones and no history of GB issues) It was as if my digestive system was working backwards. all the energy was going up instead of down. 

 

i went to some of the top gastro doctors in NYC and not one of them could figure out what happened and each of them said it had nothing to do with the lexapro withdrawal even though i repeated pointed out that it all started a couple months after stopping that medication. Never mind that i was also in a very bad state mentally - eventually i found a holistic doc who specializes in gut issues. we did various tests and found nothing amiss. after a few visits he agreed that it had to do with the medication withdrawal. I was so relieved to hear that. but that was only the beginning of my journey toward healing.

 

i tried  various supplements and a couple of protocols, spent alot of money - but in the end i could not tolerate any of them except l-glutamine which he put me on for a period to heal the inflammation in my stomach so that i could eat again.  i also used Pure Encapsulations DSL (licorice for reflux). it wasnt until i found this site and finally stopped bouncing around with dosage and supplements that things started to slowly improve. I appreciate that doc for acknowledging what i was dealing with but he had no real further treatment to offer since i am, like many who deal with this syndrome, very sensitive to most supplements etc including probiotics. so, i eat a simple, clean diet and nourish myself that way.

 

i can say that now i rarely have reflux and i have little to no inflammation and i have regained the 15 pounds i lost. that is a huge miracle. it took time though. and i will be honest, it was not easy to walk through this. But the support i got and still get here has made it an amazing journey. i will be forever grateful to the moderators here who listened to me as i bounced off the walls and did not give up on me. eventually i got the 'Hold your dose' message and for almost a year i have been carefully holding doses for 2, 3 and most recently 4 months.  I have finally begun to understand and even accept (most of the time) that it takes time, time, time for the nervous system to regain some semblance of balance. i thought i was the Teflon girl! or that i could tough it out. Not true.

 

i hope you both continue to get support here and i trust that you will begin to gain some balance. The windows that happen or will start to happen are like little gifts to keep you going.

 

all the best,

 

Pokeshaw in Bklyn

Edited by Karma
added some paragraph breaks to make the post easier to read

7 yrs Lexapro 10 mg. Mar/2011 - 1 month taper. Severe W/D. Multiple symptoms.Gallbladder and parathyroid surgery in Aug and Oct. Disability 3 months.  Dec/2011 reinstated 5mg Lex and went back to work. very bad shape.

By Aug/2012 - self tapered to 1.25 mg cutting pills. -very bad shape. Nov/2012  Dr. Hinz neuro-replete. up and down. Aug/2013 at aprox 1.0 mg Lex stopped neuro-replete ~Oct 2013 Found this site  ~ began using compounded Lexapro and have been micro tapering since then and holding as needed.

11/6/2013 -  0.6 mg

2/1/2018 - .135 mg  Now reducing 5-10% per month 

4/1/18 - .1 mg

4/17/18 - changed delivery from compounded individual caps to aliquot. went from .1 mg to .09 aliquot

7/4/2018 - .09 mg Holding due to wave of W/D symptoms

7/22/18 updosed to .1 mg aliquot

9/30/18 - reduced to .0975 aliquot

2/1/19 - updosed to .1 mg aliquot due to instability bad wave W/D

9/12/19 - back to .1 mg individual caps since could not get stable using aliquot

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  • Administrator

Thank you for that beautiful post, Pokeshaw.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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I agree with Alto--beautifully done!!

Oncologist prescribed Effexor 37.5 for hot flashes after my dx of breast cancer in December 2011. Up dosed to 75 then 150 XR before it worked. Decided to come off after my naturopath/nutritionist gave me a couple of supplements that worked on the hot flashes. Started weaning November 2013 from 150. Got down to 37.5 by mid-February 2014--WAY TOO FAST!! Found this site and am now going much slower. WD side effects are much better--still there-- but manageable. Lesson learned the hard way!!

 

Short RX for Xanax prescribed for PPD/anxiety after childbirth in 1985--about 3 months--can't remember dosage.

Effexor 150 XR March 2012dates are fuzzy)

Started taper November 2013

Mid February 2014--28 mg; 3/22/14--24 mg; 4/19/14--18.75 mg; 5/14/14--14.1 mg; 6/11/14--11.7 mg; 7/2/14--9.4 mg; 7/23/14--7.8 mg; 8/18/14--6.25 mg; 9/7/14--4.7 mg; 9/21/14--3.75 mg; 10/5/14--3.125 mg; 10/12/14 --2.56 mg; 10/19/14-2.34 mg; 10/26/14--1.56 mg; 11/2/14--1 mg; 11/9/14--.5 mg; 11/16/14--0 mg.

 

Current Rx:

 

Synthoid 100 mg daily

Cytomel 5 mg

Both due to thyroid cancer & subsequent removal of thyroid in June, 2010.

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Thank you Pokeshaw. It really is a very trying time. What stresses me most at the moment is what to do about my job. I feel so up and down physically that it is impossible for me to go to work some days and I never know how I'm going to feel until it's morning and I get out of bed and attempt to eat. I dont't know what is the Lex and what is whatever is wrong with my stomach. I have a history of (mostly undiagnosed) stomach and bowel issues. The L-glutamine - how did that make you feel? No interaction wih the Lex?

<p>Lexapro taper from 7.5mg to 5mg for one week to 2.5mg for one to 2.5mg every other day for one week. Original dose of Lexapro was 10mg. On that for a few years,then cut back to 7.5 with no effects. In total, on Lexapro for about 7 years. Never did much to help with my panic disorder. Cross-tapered with Zoloft 12.5mg for one week, 25mg for one week. Stopped after ten days due to sexual side effects. Off Lexapro completely since end of July 2014.

Update: Aug. 20, 2014 - restarted Lexapro at 3.75mg due to intolerable withdrawal symptoms.

Update: Sept. 16, 2014 - increased Lexapro to 5mg on advice of GP.

Update: Jan. 13, 2015 - requesting Rx for Liquid Lexapro from pdoc on Friday to start taper. Horrible side effects from Lexapro since going back on. Haven't resolved so need to come off.

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Thank you Pokeshaw,

 

I just recently started on a regimen of supplements based on my visit to a functional medicine doctor and I've been feeling horrible since. Sore throat, stomach issues, dizzy...one if Pure DGL as well as probiotics, magnesium and digestive enzymes.  They also put me on something called Neurolink, which has 5-htp in it, which makes me a little nervous as I thought you weren't supposed to take that AND antidepressants. I'm all around confused.  Thanks for the inspiring message though, it's good to hear from someone who's a little further in the game.

 

Toesinthesand, I hope your GI issues resolve but I know mine haven't and you and I seem to be on kind of the same timeline, except I'm at 5mg Lex...keep us posted please!

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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Just a heads up - I tried magnesium supplementation using the gentlest form (glycinate, I believe) and it still upset my stomach. That might be causing part of your issue at the moment. The probiotics might be contributing as well; I haven't had success in the past with those. They made me feel worse. I do have IBS, though, so that might make a difference. If the supplements are making you feel badly, why not stop taking them? At this point, it might just be too much for your system, you know?

<p>Lexapro taper from 7.5mg to 5mg for one week to 2.5mg for one to 2.5mg every other day for one week. Original dose of Lexapro was 10mg. On that for a few years,then cut back to 7.5 with no effects. In total, on Lexapro for about 7 years. Never did much to help with my panic disorder. Cross-tapered with Zoloft 12.5mg for one week, 25mg for one week. Stopped after ten days due to sexual side effects. Off Lexapro completely since end of July 2014.

Update: Aug. 20, 2014 - restarted Lexapro at 3.75mg due to intolerable withdrawal symptoms.

Update: Sept. 16, 2014 - increased Lexapro to 5mg on advice of GP.

Update: Jan. 13, 2015 - requesting Rx for Liquid Lexapro from pdoc on Friday to start taper. Horrible side effects from Lexapro since going back on. Haven't resolved so need to come off.

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  • Administrator

Pokiok

 

How long have you been on the new supplement regimen?  If not too long you might want to drop all of them and add one at a time back so you can see how you are responding to each one as your system gets used to each one.  Let us know how long you've been taking the supplements - you made need to taper off of the one with 5-htp.

 

Allow a little time free of the supplements, then keep a daily log as you add a supplement and monitor your symptoms.  After a week or two on one supplement you will have an idea if the new addition is working for you or causing undesirable symptoms.  If ok, you can add another supplement and monitor your experience with that.

 

I would avoid the one with 5-htp if I were you since you are dealing with the symptoms of re-instating Lexapro. 

 

I do take digestive enzymes, probiotics and magnesium, but I was taking them before I started to taper off of my SSRI.  However, even today when we make a change I advise my nurse practitioner that we can only change one thing at a time and we have to start small and work our way up.  She has been great about recommending which one to start with. 

 

Without knowing why they are recommending all of these supplements I wouldn't have any idea how to recommend you proceed.  But you might contact your functional doctor and have a discussion with them that you are not doing well on all of these supplements.  Tell them that you find you are hypersensitive due to discontinuing and re-starting SSRI's and you need them to work with you to gently ramp up. 

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg - 11/28/21 - 150 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Hi Karma,

 

I was on them for approximately a week and a half. I followed the directions and took a couple of new ones every few days so started with a digestive enzyme and probiotic. Then went on to something called DGL and HPA Adapt. Not even really sure what they do to be honest, how stupid is that?  I've since quit everything and am taking a break. My sore throat all but went away when I stopped and my head isn't as fuzzy, although it's always fuzzy to some degree. 

 

As far as knowing why they are prescribing these, I'm actually not too sure myself. Especially as all of my bloodwork won't be back for 6 weeks so...they have said I suffer from IBS, Fatigue, GERD but are looking to find the underlying reasons why with the tests. So hopefully I'll know more. I'm so tired of being tired. Exhausted and heat sensitive (not a good thing for living here!) are stopping me from doing a lot. I'm not even 100% sure my meds are working as I've been feeling considerable anxiety as of late, but that could have been from the supplements I suppose.

 

I've been trying to read Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It's an interesting read, albeit a brick!

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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Thanks Toes, I think you may be right. I stopped the Magnesium supplements, all of the supplements in fact. I think I'm simply too sensitive at the moment. It's so strange because you hear how great all these things are for other people, then you try them and it's a big NO. Frustrating! Hope you're getting on better.... :)

1995-Zoloft 100mg 

1996-Off Zoloft C/T

2000-Zoloft 100mg

2002-Off Zoloft after 50mg decrease then C/T

2006-Zoloft 50mg

2009- Off of everything except occasional Xanax as needed for anxiety

Fall 2009-Pregnant with extreme morning sickness, doc prescribed Zoloft again 50mg

Summer 2010-Zoloft and Klonopin for anxiety

Fall 2011-Quite Zoloft C/T had severe withdrawal, ended up on Lexapro

Fall 2011- Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin .5mg

May 2014-After weaning myself down to 5mg of Lexapro,I quit. I was fine for the first month 

August 4th-started back on 5mg of Lexapro, hoping to do a proper taper this time. Also on .5mg of Klonopin and .25mg of Xanax as needed.

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