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Mandesmom

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Hello, glad to find this site.  My daughter, Amanda, is 16 and has been on Lexapro 20 mg for anxiety and panic attacks.  She has been taking Lexapro for almost two years now.  I had no idea that when the dr. prescribed this RX, how bad it was.  While I think it has helped her while treating with her therapist and anxiety issues, the anticipated withdrawals and drug interactions are terrible.  Frankly, I am scared to death to start down this road.  

 

Amanda also suffers from Migraines and there have been several occasions when she was administered drugs like Reglan, Phenergen, and Compazine, that gave her severe reaction like Extrapyramidal symptoms, and seratonin syndrome.  This is another reason why we want to wean her off of the Lexapro, because of its many adverse reactions to tons of other meds.

 

We have an appointment with the neurologist regarding her migraines and we are planning on discussing the discontinuation of Lexapro.  It was suggested by another dr. that we consider putting Amanda on oral contraception to help with the fluxuating hormones that may be causing the migraines.  If we decide to try the birth control pills, we will wait at least 4 months before starting the tapeirng program.  That way we can see if any new symptoms arise from the new meds.

 

I see on this forum and have also read elsewhere on the internet the recommended 10% tapering, with fluxuating adjustments now and again.  My daughter is a small fragile teenager, 5'1" and 100 lbs.  Even if it takes longer (1 1/2 to 2 years) I was wondering if a 5% tapering program would result in fewer and less severe withdrawal symptoms.

 

Any thoughts on this?

Mandesmom

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the site, Mandesmom.

 

Sorry you have to be here, but very glad you found the resource. Your daughter is very fortunate to have a loving advocate such as yourself.

 

A moderator should be along in some time to give you a bit of direction. I just wanted to wish you well and welcome you.

 

Hang in there, and my very best to both you and your daughter.

 

Dave

1996 - .5mg Ativan as needed, 7.5mg Remeron daily2008 - .5mg Xanax, Ativan discontinued, Remeron continued2012 - .5mg Xanax, .25mg Ativan 3x daily, Remeron continued2/2012 - Jumped from Remeron, continued .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily4/2012 - Began rapid taper of .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily6/2012 - Jumped from Xanax and Ativan, voluntary hospitalization followed7/2012 - 2nd voluntary hospitalization, reinstated Remeron, bumped to 30mg, also given risperidone.8/2012 - discontinued risperidone, tried gabapentin, dicontinued gabapentin, Remeron 30mg continued10/2012 to current - tapered Remeron 10% every 4 to 6 weeks (sometimes more time) using liquid compound12/2014 - 2mg Remeron 1/16/2015 - 1.9mg Remeron 8/1/2015 -1.6mg Remeron - 03/1/2016 - 1.5mg Remeron - 1/2/2017 1.3mg - 5/7/2017 1.2mg - 5/13/2017 - syringe size change - 6/8/2017 - 1.1mg - 7/10/2017 - 1mg - 9/1/2017 - 0.9mg - 10/22/2017 - 0.8mg - 11/22/2017 - 0.7mg - 2/2/2018 - 0.6mg - 3/13/2018 - new compound pharmacy - 5/20/2018 - 0.5mg - 8/31/2018 - 0.4mg - 11/16/2018 - 0.3mg - 12/24/2018 - 0.2mg - 4/1/2019 - 0.1mg - 5/1/2019 - .05mg - 0mg achieved 2019-06-15. 🤞

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mandesmom

 

Welcome to SA. I'm soooooooo glad to see you researching before starting a withdraw program. We do recommend 10 percent of the previous dose as a guide. A 5 percent taper is even slower and therefore allows the brain the adjust, hopefully without going into WD. The goal is to go as slow as your body needs to avoid or minimise withdrawal. We don't know how slow that is without some trial and error but we err on the side of caution.

 

10 percent is much slower than the vast majority of Drs would recommend but withdrawal is not well documented or researched and there is a very powerful industry that is heavily infested in getting people on drugs and keeping them there.

 

The only time we recommend someone going faster is when they are having a significant adverse reaction to the drug and getting off is safer than tapering.

 

Has Amanda tried to reduce dose before or had withdrawal symptoms from missed doses? This would give you sine sense if how her system might respond to a reduction of dose.

 

I presume you have been reading the different threads. Keep posting any questions here

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Thanks Dave and Dalsaan for the welcome.  Amanda does get dizzy when she misses a dose of her meds.  Sometimes she gets these weird sudden twitches even if she has not missed.

Mandesmom

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mandesmom  , welcome. 

 

I was taking Lexapro 40mg for a long time , and got that dizzy , whooshing feeling if I forgot it and was a few hours late taking it.   It always settled quickly.

Definitely an early warning sign of withdrawal reaction.    I think it's because Lexapro has a short half-life or something , I'm not so into the technical aspects of meds.

If you go to Tapering section , there's a thread called "Tips for tapering off Lexapro".

 

You're in good company here.   I wish you all the best for this journey.

 

Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator

Hi neighbor to the north, welcome to the both of you.  Like dalsaan said it is wonderful that you are researching this before starting to taper, it really puts you in the drivers seat.  The two symptoms you mentioned are pretty typical of being on and trying to get off of these drugs.  The dizziness should keep itself under control if she is diligent about taking her dose a the same time every day.  The twitching is one of those "fun" things we all get to put up with.  It isn't harmful but is really disconcerting, it comes and goes with a mind of its own so she won't have it all the time.  I get it in my left foot and it can be really funny to watch, however, my poor dog learned the hard way not to lay too close.  Take your time and read everything we have.  Try to avoid the horror stories, they often have special circumstances that don't get mentioned and tend to make people needlessly upset.  Positive attitude and good family support are two big keys and you two seem to have both.  Be sure to ask a lot of questions.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Mandesmom.

 

Lexapro comes in a liquid form for tapering, see Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

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

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

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