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ToesInTheSand: Constellation of Symptoms


ToesInTheSand

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ToesInTheSand

Hi everyone.

 

I'm here hoping to get some feedback about the various symptoms I've been having since coming off of Lexapro.

 

First, I believe my taper was too fast after having been on the drug for about 7 years. I am very sensitive to medications and often need a smaller dose than what would be effective for the average person. Before I was even finished the taper off of Lexapro, I started experiencing dizziness or vertigo. It was the type of dizziness where I felt like I was weak, lightheaded, or about to pass out. It was more of a field of vision thing, with my eyes moving on their own, the world tilting, that sort of thing.

 

This went on for several weeks and I treated it with over the counter meclizine twice a day. It seems to have resolved, as I haven't had the dizziness for the past couple days. Previously, it was all day every day. Hopefully, that symptom is done with.

 

I have gastrointestinal issues to begin with, but I feel they have been made worse since stopping the Lexapro. My issues with acid seem worse and more frequent. I was recently diagnosed with IBS-C, but that has been going on for a long time. I am frequently nauseated.

 

I seem much more sensitive to stress (I was already under a lot of stress before going off the Lexapro). This has been compounded by the fact that I have felt unwell the majority of the time since May. I've now developed breathing issues. My nose will feel like it's swollen inside and I can't get enough air. I also have sensations in my chest that make me feel like I can't breathe in enough. Breathing in through my mouth seems to lessen the feeling of heaviness.

 

This is very distressing and anxiety-provoking. I've never had the "chest" type of panic - it has always been the gastro type for me, meaning when I was anxious or having a panic attack, it would go right to my gut. I didn't get the cardiac symptoms some other panic sufferers get. Therefore, I don't believe these symptoms to be anxiety-related, though they do cause me a great deal of anxiety. I do have allergies for which I am being treated. But this has never been part of my sypmtom set for allergies, either.

 

Has anyone else has these experiences? I am seeing a GI doc next week and an ENT tomorrow. I'm at my wit's end with these symptoms and constantly feeling badly. It's making it hard to function.

Edited by scallywag
added tags; Petu's previous edit -- added paragraphs for readability

<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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Toes,

I moved your post here from the symptoms and self care section, you will get a better response here. You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want.

 

Thank you for filling in your signature with details of you history and taper. 

 

It sounds like you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  I agree that your taper was too fast.  We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising.

 

Stopping from 2.5mg after alternating days for a week has probably destabilized your nervous system.  I used a similar method of coming off Lexapro in 2010.  I tapered down from 5mg to 1.25mg over the course of about 2 months, then I alternated days of 1.25mg by skipping doses for 1 day, then 2 days etc.  I will spare you the details of what happened next, but I'm still in protracted withdrawal over 3 years later.  By the time I found this site and information about how to safely taper, it was too late for me to reinstate and do it properly.

 

For a brief introduction to withdrawal please see: Intro to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

 

You are within a time frame where reinstating a small amount of Lexapro may reduce your withdrawal symptoms.  Then you could begin a proper, slow taper.

 

Reinstatement of a small amount of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of withdrawal symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work.  Here is some information about reinstatement to help you decide if its something you would like to try:

 

http://survivinganti...rawal-symptoms/

 

Are you taking any medication for stomach acid?  If so, you may want to read:

 

That acid reflux pill may be causing your health problems

 

Many people have found allergies and sinus problems get worse as part of withdrawal.  Are you taking any antihistamines?

 

I'm sorry for throwing so much information at you, but hopefully we can help to get you back on a safe tapering schedule and have you feeling better.  Please stay in touch and let us know what you decide.

 

Feel free to write whenever you want, you will find a lot of friendly help and support here.

 

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 Toes

how long was you on zoloft for ?,I was on it and it gave me bad GI issues with acid reflux and ive got a cast iron stomach.When i came off it the bad tummy lasted for about 3 weeks but then settled down

hth

2012 put on Citalopram and diazepam for 3 months for "depression" after filling in a 3 minute form at the doctors, had a massive reaction with panic attacks and extreme anxiety,never suffered panic attacks or anxiety before citalopram.Told to quit cold turkey which led to two hospital admissions during 2012/2013

December for 6 months Seroquel dosage adjusted up and down 50mg ,150mg ,100mg, caused severe tinnitus ,told to quit cold turkey

2013 January for 12 months Lorazapam given to me like sweets,told to quit cold turkey

2013 May Zoloft for 6 months ,told to quit cold turkey, reinstated 50mg tapered 2nd time over a month (to fast but I survived)messed up my sleep

Zyprexa April 2103 5mg until august 2014 ,dropped by doctor down to 2.5mg for one month went well but sleep was very poor for 3 weeks

End of 2015 I had to reinstate back up to 5mg due to constant insomnia that wouldnt go away Started a slow taper and found an understanding doctor who listened to me while I reduced
May 2016 drug free, sleeping and doing well in life again, it can be done http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12078-finally-off-zyprexa/

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ToesInTheSand

Petu - thank you for all the information and for moving my post to where it would get more tradfic. I've started to read through the links you provided.

I am on an H2 blocker for acid (cimetidine). I'm also on other antihistamines (about a pharmacy's worth!) for my allergies plus allergy shots. I am supposed to see the ENT tonight.

I decided today, after having to leave work due to feeling so horrible, to restart the Lexapro. I was stable on 7.5mg, so took 3.75mg when I got home today. I didn't want to go straight to 7.5 or even 5mg and risk having a bad reaction due to jumping right back on. Can't say if it is helping since I threw just about every med I had at my symptoms today. My stomach is still in knots to where I am having a hard time eating my sandwich. I'm scared and just want to feel better. What I find odd is that, while I never had sexual side effects while on the Lexapro, the withdrawal has basically taken that part of me away.

 

Andy - I was on Zoloft a total of 20 days, including the taper on.

<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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NervousKitten

I'm very sorry that you are experiencing a different type of anxiety than you had previously. In the first few weeks of my taper/withdrawal I would get terrible acid and nausea and would often wake up feeling that way. It has since subsided, but the acid seems to still be a problem for me in the mornings.

 

The chest anxiety is really disconcerting! Most of my anxiety is that type and I know exactly how uncomfortable it feels. I do a lot of meditation and self hypnosis when it starts up. Epsom salt foot baths seem to help me as well.

 

Please keep us updated on your progress. Glad you found this site.

1999 Prozac with occasional Xanax 

2002 Effexor Xr with occasional Valium

2010 Off Effexor (slow taper)

2010 Prozac rx to help with Effexor withdrawal. Activating, so stopped.

2011 Zoloft rx

2013 Zoloft stops working after a few increases, decide to stop taking it

2013 October last Zoloft dose after a 6-9 month taper

2014 January, April, May, June ER inducing anxiety attacks

2014 June Ativan prescribed as needed. Last taken Nov 2014, but still have pills just in case

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm glad to hear that you have reinstated Toes.  For most drugs, it takes about 4 days for the change to fully register in your system. Unless you have an IMMEDIATE bad reaction, wait at least 4-7 days to see how the change affects you.

 

The important thing is to take the same dose at the same time every day.  Keep things stable and routine so that your nervous system can start to settle down.  Don't expect to feel better straight away, it may take several weeks.  Give it a minimum of 4 weeks before you begin tapering (unless you have a bad reaction).  We suggest keeping notes on paper of your medications, time taken and symptoms, this way you can track your progress.  When you have felt well and stable for several weeks, then you can start a slow, safe taper.  Here is the link to safely tapering off Lexapro:

 

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

 

Withdrawal can make some people sensitive to other medications and paradoxical effects can occur, so its important to keep good notes. Its better not to take other drugs to suppress symptoms as this can often make withdrawal worse in the long run.  Give the reinstatement chance to work.  Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful non-drug ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

It may take a while for you to properly taper and get off Lexapro, and when you do, I'm sure that a lot of your other health issues will improve, including the sexual effects. 

 

From my own experience, I started to develop a lot of new health issues after being on antidepressants for a while.  My immunity reduced and I caught everything that was going around.  I developed an ongoing cough, that wouldn't go away.  I was diagnosed with asthma and regularly got bronchitis.  I had GI issues and was put on a PPI for GERD. The occasional IBS that I used to get became much worse. I had no idea any of this was related to the antidepressants.  Since getting off them, these health issues have vanished.

 

Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.

 

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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ToesInTheSand

Thank you for the encouragement! Stalling on getting out of bed today. Woke up anxious, though I've since settled myself down. Don't want to get up and face the stomach issues and force myself to eat. I am desperate for the Lexapro to kick in and take these symptoms away. Odd thing is, I found my anxiety easier to manage off the med! I just feel like my body is a mess and I just want to put life on pause so I can heal. Also scared that the Lexapro will make me feel worse this time around and then I'll really be out of options. I wish I could go live on a beach somewhere until this goes away.

<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

Welcome, Toes.

 

You may be taking too many drugs! Some can be interacting. Please put ALL the drugs you take in the Drug Interactions Checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html and post the results in this topic.

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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ToesInTheSand

Hi Alto. Thank you for checking in. The only interactions that came up were cimetidine & lexapro, which is an increase in the blood levels of Lexapro (which I knew about) and Lexapro & Xyzal (for allergies), which is increase in drowziness. I haven't experienced drowziness. I also was taking the Lexapro in the morning and the cimetidine before bed.

 

I took my second dose of Lexapro today and a couple hours later started feeling pretty decent. I wonder if it is starting to work on the withdrawal. I have a call in to my pdoc, but no response yet. I do have a headache but thats likely from my ponytail since the ache is right where it was. Not much appetite back yet, not actively disinterested in food. Keeping my fingers crossed that I am on the road to consistently feeling better. I will keep everyone posted.

<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

Well, that's encouraging.

 

Please do not be surprised if your pdoc knows nothing about withdrawal syndrome or reinstatement.

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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ToesInTheSand

I know - she tapered me too quickly in the first place. I think it is completely ridiculous and unacceptable that the doctors don't know how to deal with these meds and their effects. People end up either being left to figure things out on their own or are used as a guinea pig by docs who don't know how to get them off the meds.

<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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ToesInTheSand

I wasn't sure where to post this, so feel to move this if necessary. I need to find a new psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse because mine is insisting I'm not experiencing withdrawal but the return of my original symptoms. I won't get into the details here about why that is a problem, but I need some guidance on what questions to ask a potential provider so that I know I will be dealing someone who is knowlegdeable (and believes in) withdrawal and who can help me stop the Lexapro safely and effectively with minimal trauma to me. I need to make sure the doctor will listen to me and recognize that I am the one experiencing the symptoms and that I know my body and of what I speak.

<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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Well, I would say, good luck with that :). Your best bet is the provider list in the tapering section. I would say the biggest thing is a doctor who will tell you his/he assessment and recommendation, but who will be comfortable with you doing what you believe is best. GiaK calls it using the dr. as a highly valued consultant...but you are still the CEO. Now, I tell doctors my saga, and I end with "so now, I manage my own psych meds, but I will seriously consider everything you say, and I promise to tell you the truth about what I am doing with my meds." And I do that. Dealing with doctors is a wonderful learning opportunity in how to diplomatically stand your ground (I haven't always succeeded in being diplomatic) and in releasing all need for approval by someone in authority. Good luck!

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • Administrator

I couldn't agree more.

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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ToesInTheSand

Spoke to doc this morning. She invalidated and dismissed what I'm going through by insisting it was not withdrawal but the return of my original symptoms. She claimed that due to the length of time I've been off the Lexapro (24 days), the amount I was on (7.5mg, though on our first meeting she asserted that I must be very sensitive to medication due to the low doses of this and other meds I was taking), and the length of the taper (3.5 weeks, including every other day at the end), that it could not be withdrawal. She also alluded to trying other medication, which I flatly refused. She mentioned but would not elaborate on "other options" without me coming in for an appointment to discuss them. She wouldn 't help me over the phone. Her office is not local to me. The symptoms I was experiencing and had been experiencing since I was tapering were not my normal symtpoms and seemed to make precious conditions worse. I feel completely ineffective in getting people to listen to me and take me seriously, as if I (gasp!) know what i'm talking about. I feel alone in dealing with this and figuring out how to live with these symptoms. I am feeling worse today than I felt yesterday. I am very stressed and concerned about having to go back to work on Monday while still feeling (unpredictably) bad. I did speak to my therapist who is going to help me find a new pdoc. But as far as the minute-to-minute physical and mental symptoms, I feel on my own and without direction. Not sure if I can continue to take the Lexapro if I'm going to feel like this, but then do I taper from 3.75mg pills or do I stop or what? Will I go through the withdrawal all over again? I know no one has the answers, but these are the scary thoughts running through my head. I'm scared I won't be able to go to work. I have no protection - no paid time off, no sick days, nothing. I don't go in, I don't get paid.

<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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello ToesIn...

 

I'm another Lexapro victim here so I understand the way you are feeling. the reason we are all here is because our doctors were just like your: dismissive of how we were feeling and claiming it was a return of the ïllness"which they wanted to treat with more drugs.Unfortunately, that's much more of a rule than an exception when it comes to pdocs. After  following their advice for years with the result of getting worse and worse and taking higher doses of meds, I have now decided to take things into my own hands with the help of the knowledge and support here and I'm doing much better than before. Strange as it may sound I don't care. I've been hurt too much by the ignorance of well meaning doctors.

 

It seems you reinstated only 2 days ago so I;m reminding you of what Petu wrote to you yesterday.

I'm glad to hear that you have reinstated Toes.  For most drugs, it takes about 4 days for the change to fully register in your system. Unless you have an IMMEDIATE bad reaction, wait at least 4-7 days to see how the change affects you.

 

The important thing is to take the same dose at the same time every day.  Keep things stable and routine so that your nervous system can start to settle down.  Don't expect to feel better straight away, it may take several weeks.  Give it a minimum of 4 weeks before you begin tapering (unless you have a bad reaction).  

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

 

Withdrawal can make some people sensitive to other medications and paradoxical effects can occur, so its important to keep good notes. Its better not to take other drugs to suppress symptoms as this can often make withdrawal worse in the long run.  Give the reinstatement chance to work.  Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful non-drug ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

I totally understand your fear and I'm very sorry that you can take some time off work until you stabilise. I just hope your job is not stressful and that it allows you to cut yourself some slack. That's how I survived at work while waiting to stabilise after reinstating Lexapro.

 

reinstatement doesn't make things go away. There are no quick fixes. The way I knew it was working for me was because I felt relief from the severity of my symptoms. But there were still there for a few months because I waited long to reinstate and there was yet another drug involved. The recovery happened in windows and wave pattern: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/

 

This is very hard and frightening but try to calm down. It will get better. there are two days of the weekend and you will feel better by Monday and then take one day at a time till you get better. As Petu wrote, desperate attempts to do something, just anything to make this go away quickly just make things worse. So although it is very hard whenever in fear I would come here and read from the topics Petu suggested and that would calm me down.

 

Have your symptoms changed in any way since the reinstatement? In any case, it's too early to tell so please give it more time and try not to think about Monday. Also come here whenever you need support.

 

take care,

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. 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

I wasn't sure where to post this, so feel to move this if necessary. I need to find a new psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse because mine is insisting I'm not experiencing withdrawal but the return of my original symptoms. I won't get into the details here about why that is a problem, but I need some guidance on what questions to ask a potential provider so that I know I will be dealing someone who is knowlegdeable (and believes in) withdrawal and who can help me stop the Lexapro safely and effectively with minimal trauma to me. I need to make sure the doctor will listen to me and recognize that I am the one experiencing the symptoms and that I know my body and of what I speak.

 

I have merged your new thread with your original one because we have one thread per member policy here. I'm sure you will still get responses to your questions here but it will be very much like Meimei wrote. And me. Doctors just don't know and we hd to take things into our own hands after being badly hurt by their ignorance...

 

Here is the link on the doctor we have here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

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. 

Link to post
ToesInTheSand

Thanks, Bubble. I know it has only been a few days. I'm still worried, though, because I feel crappy today when I felt decent yesterday. The unpredictability makes it so hard, physically and emotionally. It's like I have no control over my own body and I hate that. It's extremely distressing. I'm hoping I can deal with the symptoms until they (hopefully) straighten out without losing my job.

<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.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

If you felt decent yesterday that is actually a great sign! It proves the reinstatement is working.

 

Lexapro is a powerful AD and 7 years is quite a long time. I also had no problems getting from 10 to 5 mgs but reducing at lower doses creates much more problems. 

 

I'm only saying this so that you could understand how after such taper from this drug it will take some time to feel stable again. And this pattern of recovery is just as you are describing: very unpredictable and random. Have you read about windows and waves?

 

I only focused on tiny, tiny signs of improvement initially and I was just ignoring the awful symptoms telling myself they will pass over time. And they did.

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. 

Link to post
ToesInTheSand

Thanks, bubble, for moving my post. I'm not up on all the rules here yet. Yeah, I was pretty relieved (and surprised) yesterday when I started feelng better, but then having a backslide today took away that relief. I'm sure that how I'm feeling has been exascerbated by the conversation with the pdoc this morning, when I was barely out of bed. If I didn't feel like it would give me a massive headache, I'd go for a run to burn some of this off. Maybe tomorrow.

 

Meimeiquest - you're exactly right about learing how to "[release] all need for approval by someone in authority". I absolutley need to work on that. And this process is helping, slowly. One of my biggest anxiety triggers and causes is my inability to express my feelings and feeling as though I'm not allowed to have feelings or needs because that will inconvenience or anger someone else.

<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.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

We must learn not to react to symptoms. One day or even one moment we will feel great and the next hit by the worst of the symptoms. That's why being aware that this is all just a normal part of recovery is so very important. It helps us to deal with the symptoms and not react to them which only makes things worse.

 

When we are in acute withdrawal, physical activity which would relax us before can be overstimulating so don't surprise if runs have that effect on you now. That's why we go for very gentle exercise until we stabilise.

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. 

Link to post

Thanks, bubble, for moving my post. I'm not up on all the rules here yet. Yeah, I was pretty relieved (and surprised) yesterday when I started feelng better, but then having a backslide today took away that relief. I'm sure that how I'm feeling has been exascerbated by the conversation with the pdoc this morning, when I was barely out of bed. If I didn't feel like it would give me a massive headache, I'd go for a run to burn some of this off. Maybe tomorrow.

 

Meimeiquest - you're exactly right about learing how to "[release] all need for approval by someone in authority". I absolutley need to work on that. And this process is helping, slowly. One of my biggest anxiety triggers and causes is my inability to express my feelings and feeling as though I'm not allowed to have feelings or needs because that will inconvenience or anger someone else.

I have learned that an effective pdoc appointment is leaving with the scripts I need. Anything else is frosting. Docs talk "big" but they ultimately don't want to be responsible for a patient going off meds, especially cold turkey, when they believe they are sick. So in the end they will usually cooperate.

 

Bubble has perfected the art of "slacking at work" when she's in hard withdrawal. If you'd like to tell more about your job, she might have some ideas. I have stopped 3 drugs with difficulty, in the midst of 2 other withdrawals. It stinks, it is scary, but I have only missed 4 days in over two years. One to see a doctor because I needed a different dose of medication, one because I had been up all night, and two days when my daughter was mercifully ill...I was too "manicy" to work but didn't know it that morning. But I have skated really, really close to the edge. The goal is for you to stabilize with this reinstatement and then have a smoother ride after that. You have hopefully already seen the worst.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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ToesInTheSand

Heh. I, too, can do the "slacking at work" thing, though it makes me nervous and guilty. I am stuck at a desk all day (which I hate and which makes me more anxious, not to mention stiff) going over documents and typing. Very unhappy at work and looking for something else that actually pays me enough to live. Just getting through the day, knowing I'm trapped there, is extremely hard sometimes when I'm not feeling well and, therefore, anxious. My therapist came through with two possible pdoc recommendations, so I'll give them a call tomorrow. Feeling better than I was earlier, though am guessing I'm more "attuned" to things right now, as bubble mentioned re: running/exercise. My pattern so far with the withdrawal and now the reinstatement seems to be very windows and waves with the space of one day. It's kind of exhausting. Wishing right now that I had a more compassionate animal buddy than a cat (though he's fuzzy and I do love him).

<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.

Link to post
ToesInTheSand

Feeling really bad today. Can't eat, stomach feels really bad. Really scared about work on Monday. Definitely can't go in like this. Don't know how to handle the unpredictability of these symptoms and work. Don't know what to tell my boss because at this point I won't know if I can go in until the morning. Scared about GI appt on Wednesday - will I feel well enough to go (after having to wait a month for an appointment), will I be forced to endure invasive tests that will make me feel worse, will there be something serious wrong with me, will they tell me there's nothing they can do and I'll have to live with this... Very scared. I need to feel better and be rid of this problem so I can move on in my life.

<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.

Link to post

Hi Toes -

 

I am not one of the moderators but i am also tapering off Lexapro after reinstating.  In my case i was off for several months and even though my system was totally messed up i was able to reinstate. Mine has been an up and down journey, but i just wanted to reach out and say that the MAJOR thing i learned here is to go slow and even. I bounced around with dosage and various treatments for some time before finding this site and when i did find it i was desperate to feel better and thought i had to 'get off the Lexapro'. What i finally realized after the moderators so patiently repeated over and over and over to me was that i had to stay at one dose for a while in order for my nervous system to stabilize. They kept repeating 'hold' at one dose!  so that is what i have been doing now for the past 9 o 10 months and the results have been good.

 

All that to say, you will get good advice and support here. I researched the web and spoke to a bunch of doctors and finally found this forum. it has saved my life. i have learned to walk thru the symptoms, pace myself at work and in life, and now i get to experience some amazing windows. Like Alto said in a post i read recently, we have to become Zen Monks as we go through this!  it's true. i have learned to be so patient with myself when i am not feeling well. and i have also gained amazing gratitude.

I wish you a safe taper!

 

all the best and welcome ~

 

Pokeshaw in Brooklyn

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

Link to post
ToesInTheSand

Hi Pokeshaw. Thank you for the support. I am staying at the 3.75mg unless something happens. Not sure if what I'm experiencing right now is med related or another underlying condition with my stomach. It is very hard to be patient when I have been dealing with whatever digestive issue I have for half of my life. The withdrawal situation is exascerbating this.

 

One of my Biggest. Fears. Evar. is starving on the street because I don't have and can't make any money. So the thought of possibly losing my job or not being able to work is terrifying. I actually had that happen when I was younger and it was a year and a half before I could work even a very part time job. I have extremely limited savings and have to pay student loans, etc. I need to be able to feed myself. I feel completely without protection from my fears being realized. No paid time from work, no prospects for working from home, nothing. Obviously this issue is causing me a great deal of stress on top of what I am already dealing with.

 

I can't tell what effects are from the Lexapro, whether they are from withdrawal or reinstatement, what is from whatever is wrong with my stomach, what is from stress and anxiety... I don't know how to effectively help myself. I'm sitting here today, having barely eaten anything, scared of having a low blood sugar attack (I have hypoglycemia) because I can't eat and feeling even worse. I feel completely at the mercy of my body.

<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.

Link to post
  • Administrator

Toes, you need to fire that pdoc. Do not attempt to work with a doctor who makes you feel small.

 

Any doctor can prescribe Lexapro. Do you like your PCP?

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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ToesInTheSand

Alto - yes, I'm done with her and already have a couple leads for new pdocs. I do have a PCP and was getting the Lexapro from her. I think I'm going to see if I can go see her on Monday just to tell her what's going on and maybe get some sort of note for work or something. I don't expect her to be able to deal with the withdrawal or whatever is going on now, though.

<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.

Link to post

I think GI issues can be the whole cause of psych problems for some people...maybe even me, and I don't even have symptoms. It may be more important that you have a really up-to-date gastroenterologist than pdoc. You could ask him/her if they have ever heard of the concept of the gut being the second brain. That would tell you a lot.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

Link to post
ToesInTheSand

Yeah I know all this fiddling with seratonin has got to be fouling things up in my gut brain. I have always had a sensitive stomach and stress and anxiety just make a beeline for the area. I will be bringing up the withdrawal/reinstatement and their effects with the GI doc. Hopefully she can offer some insight. I have read that IBS and anxiety are correlated, often co-morbid in people.

 

I have been wondering if there exists anything, be it food or drink or supplement, that actually soothes either the nerves/nervous system or the stomach/gut. I know aloe vera is reputed to do the latter, but I don't want to spend all day on the toilet! I just have this intuition that I need a soothing agent to help with my stomach.

 

It helps when I read about others' experiences, especially as they relate to my own unpredictable symptoms. I'm trying to remind myself that how I'm feeling is temporary and that does help a lot of the time.

<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.

Link to post
ToesInTheSand

Dont know what to do. Stomach is really bad. So acidy i couldnt lie down and was up most of the night. Im just getting worse since restarting the lexapro. I feel horrible and now exhausted. Should i go to 2.5 mg from the 3.75 mg im taking now? I cant live like this

<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,

 

I am so sorry you are suffering like this. i understand about the stomach and acid situation.  i had it very bad back when i tapered too fast. it did resolve slowly over time. before i found this site i was in very bad shape since i had stayed off the lex too long. i had alot of inflammation in my stomach as well as bad reflux. i used DGL (de-glycerinated licorice) which helped some with the reflux. I used the capsules from Pure Encapsulations. I couldnt tolerate the acid blocking medications or any supplements.

 

someone with more experience will be along to advise you, but i suggest that you also add to your profile any other medications or supplements you are taking since this will help them to guide you.

 

sending supportive thoughts ~

 

Poke

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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ToesInTheSand

Took 2.5mg today. Stomach feels horrible. Very sunken in, hollow, empty feeling.

<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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Toes, this is the most difficult time in a reinstatement: you've reinstated, but you haven't stabilized yet, so you do have moments of feeling better, but they're interspersed with still feeling as bad as you did before. It's hard to trust and believe that maybe just staying the course really will work. It doesn't help that we can't absolutely promise that it will.

 

However, we've been doing this for quite a while, with hundreds of people, and in situations like yours, almost always, if you just stay the course, pick a dose and stick with it, don't keep changing things around, you will give your nervous system (both the one in your brain and the one in your gut) a chance to settle down, stabilize, find homeostasis.  This takes time!!!

 

Right now, tweaking your dose is going to do you more harm than good. The problem isn't the dose, the problem is that your nervous system is in chemical chaos and hasn't had time yet to recover from the way you quit the meds too fast.

 

I'm going to post something else here next, something I wrote a while back, which may give you some context to understand what's going on. 

 

I also highly recommend that as soon as you can, you get a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, which will help you understand why your pdoc was such a *&%# and why so many lies are perpetuated about these drugs even though so often they do more harm than good.

 

And I recommend that when you can, you do some reading about the "enteric nervous system" aka "gut brain" aka "second brain." You may want to get at least some basic info about that before you go to see your GI specialist. These drugs that mess with neurotransmitters don't affect just the brain between our ears, they affect all nervous system transmission, including in our gut.

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 

 

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

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ToesInTheSand

Thanks Rhi. I just got angry this morning at how I'm feeling. I thought about not taking the med at all. At this point, I am feeling worse every day, with shorter "windows". I am scared something serious is wrong with my stomach. I can barely eat. I will do my best to stick with the 3.75mg. When i'm feeling up to it I will also check out the topics you mentioned. No idea when I'll be able to go back to work, or if I will have a job to go back to. I just need to be functional again. Thank you for your support!

<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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  • Moderator Emeritus

This might help you understand:

 

 A lot of people, including healthcare practitioners; in fact, I guess, most people-- are operating from entirely the wrong paradigm, or way of thinking, about these meds. They're thinking of them like aspirin--as something that has an effect when it's in your system, and then when it gets out of your system the effect goes away.

 

That's not what happens with medications that alter neurotransmitter function, we are learning.

What happens when you change the chemistry of the brain is, the brain adjusts its chemistry and structure to try to return to homeostasis, or biochemical and functional balance. It tries to restabilize the chemistry. 

For example: SSRI antidepressants work as "serotonin reuptake inhibitors." That is, they cause serotonin to remain in the space between neurons, rather than being taken back up into the cells to be re-used, like it would be in a normal healthy nondrugged brain.

So the brain, which wants to re-establish normal signaling and function, adapts to the higher level of serotonin between neurons (in the "synapse", the space between neurons where signals get passed along). It does this by removing serotonin receptors, so that the signal is reduced and changed to something closer to normal. It also decreases the amount of serotonin it produces overall. 

To do that, genes have to be turned on and off; new proteins have to be made; whole cascades of chemical reactions have to be changed, which means turning on and off OTHER genes; cells are destroyed, new cells are made; in other words, a complex physiologic remodeling takes place. This takes place over time. The brain does not grow and change rapidly. 

This is a vast oversimplification of the amount of adaptation that takes place in the brain when we change its normal chemistry, but that's the principle.

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay.

When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse.

SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. 

It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. 

I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long. 

With multiple drugs and a history of drug changes and cold turkeys, all of this becomes even more complicated. And if a person is started on these kinds of drugs at an early age before the brain has ever completely established normal mature functioning--well, it can't be good. (All of which is why I recommend an extremely slow taper particularly to anyone with a multiple drug history, a history of many years on meds, a history of past cold turkeys or frequent med changes, and a history of being put on drugs at a young age.)

This isn't intended to scare people, but hopefully to give you some idea of what's happening, and to help you respect and understand the process so you can work with it; ALSO, because you are likely to encounter many, many people who still believe these drugs work kind of like aspirin, or a glass of wine, and all you need to do is stop and get it out of your system. 

Now you can explain to them that no, getting it out of your system is not the issue; the issue is, you need to regrow or at least remodel your brain. This is a long, slow, very poorly understood process, and it needs to be respected. 

 

**************************

 

Maybe this will help. What you need now is to give your brains (both the one between your ears and the one in your gut) stability and calm consistency, so that your nervous system can gently and gradually heal itself and remodel itself to deal with the trauma and damage caused by first, adapting to the meds (lots of changing and remodeling, like a plant gradually shaping itself around a trellis) and then having them yanked out (like yanking a trellis out of a plant--it's not a pretty sight).

 

So you are going to feel bad for a while, yes. There is not anything you can do immediately that will take that away, that we know of. In our Symptoms and Self Care section there are lots of ideas for helping to deal with the symptoms. Since you are having lots of GI symptoms you may want to consider some of the dietary suggestions. I personally find that a low-starch, no sugar diet is the best thing for controlling reflux and IBS type symptoms. You'll also need to stay away from alcohol and caffeine.

 

We have lots of ideas and information. As I said, this is the time that's hardest, just dealing with the pain and suffering and panic, and trying not to do anything in panic that will just make things worse for yourself

 

So it's a good time to read the supportive materials, absorb and learn, and just walk through it one minute, one hour, one day at a time. 

 

It can get better, and if you give yourself a chance to heal, it will.

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 

 

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

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