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rainbowsmilingrock: Stuck on Cipralex


rainbowsmilingrock

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hi all.. Last spring I went on cipralex to cope with ptsd from an abusive, traumatic relationship with my children's father.. I found it made me feel somewhat apathetic so my doctor put me on Wellbutrin with it .. come Oct I felt terrible so I stopped both cold turkey.. I went through hell, terrible GI symptoms that put me in the hospital a few times, terrible suicidal thoughts and panic disorder.. I felt somewhat better starting this February but by June I decided to go back on cipralex due to lingering brain fog and social phobia. I realized my mistake too late after being on 20 MG for a month.. tried a rapid taper, dropping down 2.5 MG every 4 days and when I hit 5 MG got severe withdrawal symptoms again. In fear, I increased back to 17.5 MG. Shortly after that I began a slightly slower taper, decreasing by 5 MG once a week. . once again I reached 5 MG and severe withdrawal hit. I am now back up to 15 MG and hoping to feel better soon.. I will be holding at 15 MG until I feel stable and good enough and then I will begin an extremely slow taper. I have two small kids and homeschool and I can't afford to feel this bad.

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome rainbowsmilingrock,

I'm sorry to hear about what you've been going through, I'm glad you found us.

 

You have been tapering 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. Please read through this which will explain why:

  

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)
Aka Cipralex

 

What symptoms are you having? When did you go back up to 15mg?

 

It would be great if you would put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature. Doing this helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts. Here are instructions for how to do it:

 

http://survivinganti...your-signature/

 

You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want.

 

Petunia.

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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Thank you. I'm on my phone so I will have to edit my signature tomorrow. I just went back up to 15 MG out of desperation today. I can't be dealing with the withdrawal right now at all. the symptoms I've been having have been ringing in the ears, nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, insomnia, depression and anxiety. I am hoping that the 15 MG is enough to stop this. I will probably not try to taper again for at least 2 months. I really don't want to be on cipralex anymore but I am so afraid of experiencing what I went through last year again. I didn't ever go back to normal after that.. I feel like I am in a dream state now and I have been having some memory loss the last month or so while tapering.

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You might actually be able to stabilize on less that 15mg, we usually recommend the last dose you felt stable on, but that's not clear from what you have written so far.

 

How long were you taking 5mg for before you went back up to 15mg (today) Did you get down to zero this time?  If we have a better time frame of when you made these changes, we can suggest a good dose for you to try and stabilize on.  When you reinstate, or updose, the idea is to try the lowest possible dose.

 

I'm thinking that 10mg might be enough, with a long hold until all your symptoms settle down. Once you have stabilized then a slower, safer taper can be started, using the 10% method.

 

see:  About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

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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I felt so awful last night that I ended up taking another 5 mg. I know it's not recommended, but I am just going to go back to 20 mg and stay there until I feel good enough to try a really slow taper. My brain feels like it has taken a beating. I just want to feel ok again.

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry your experiencing these symptoms. You've found a good place to be through this process. I haven't the experience to give practical advice. All I can do is encourage and say...you will be fine...hang in there.

Lexapro four times in the last ten years. Each time 6 month use. Two week taper.

Lexapro 20mg August 2014 until Feb 28 2015. Two week taper

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I had 20 MG yesterday and 20 MG today and I already feel a bit better. I am going to stay at this dose for 2 months and then I will get a scale and taper by 10 percent every 6 weeks. It will take a really long time but hopefully I will feel better doing it that way.

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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The 5mg point and below has always been a huge sticking point for me, causing a huge increase of symptoms and reduced functioning. I empathise.

 

Stick around and taper slowly. You have lots of support here.

 

Be gentle with yourself.

 

Tilly x

1999 - 2004 Paroxetine 20mg  -> 2004 - 2007 Citalopram 20mg -> 2007 -  short term Trazedone use (insomnia) -> 2007 - 2009 Fluoxetine 20mg  ->

2009 - Jan 2012 Citalopram 20mg  (Spring / Summer 2012 protracted withdrawal & related agoraphobia) -> 2012 - September Restarted Citalopram - unbearable start up effects. Discontinued in under 1 week -> Oct 12 -   October 2014 Escitalopram - 10mg prescribed. Started on 5mg and worked up to 10mg in 2.5mg increments  -> Oct 2014  - 5mg; 30/03/15 2.5mg; 15/04/15 3.5mg; 20/05/15 2.9mg;  19/09/15 2.8mg; 30/10/15 2.7mg; 13/11/15 2.6mg. Holding until March.

Diet:  mostly pescatarianl & lots of veg. Weekly offal for b vitamins.  Turmeric, nigella seeds, avocados, apple cider vinegar, coconut products daily. Lots of fluids: water, lemon juice, coconut water, herbal & green tea (decaffeinated).

Supplements: vitamin C 4000mg, Omega 3 fish oil - high DPA & EHA, vitamin E 400iu, vitamin D3 5000mg (Winter only - from sun in Spring / Summer), probiotics.

Current Symptoms: chronic fatigue, erratic sleep, extreme photophobia, eye floaters, noise sensitivity, tinnitus, cognitive & speech difficulties, dizziness, irregular gait, poor co ordination, severe facial and upper body muscle tension, head and neck pressure.

Coping Strategies: good nutrition, cooking, gardening & growing my own food, cycling, dancing, yoga, photography, sewing & creative pursuits, self massage, pampering, meditation, journalling, nature, cuddling cats & humans, laughter & humour, gratitude, self care, aromatherapy, audio books, word games & believing in myself, my potential and my future.

 

"Everything I need is within me" - Shakti Gawain

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Thank you Tilly.

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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*moved from symptoms forum and added title

When will symptoms stop after reinstating a higher dose?

I wish I'd tapered slowly now. I am having such awful eye and head pain and pressure.. feeling really off in my head.. and tomorrow will be day 3 back at 20 mg cipralex... I know the med started "working" for me in 7-10 days.. is that how long it will take to feel ok again? I have a big play date with my children tomorrow and I am so disappointed that I am feeling so badly right before it. I am going to have to fake feeling fine for a few hours and hope that it goes ok.

Edited by Petunia
added note and title

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Rainbow,

I moved the above topic you started in the symptoms section to your own introduction topic, please use this thread to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, that's what intro/update topics are for.

 

After reinstatement, (or updosing) the amount of time needed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms (stabilizing) varies according to the individual. Relief can be felt immediately, after some weeks, or after some months.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

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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Ok. Sorry. I'm wondering if anyone here ever decided to just stay on the meds longer after trying to taper and having a bad experience?

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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I didn't, but only because I hadn't found this forum. I was off Lexapro five months before most of my symptoms hit. I did have some initial symptoms that cleared up and perhaps, now looking back...I had some occasional problems but not the constant persistent unit notable stuff until five month out.

 

Had I understood a slow taper...that would have been a far gentler route.

Lexapro four times in the last ten years. Each time 6 month use. Two week taper.

Lexapro 20mg August 2014 until Feb 28 2015. Two week taper

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Having a lot of anxiety today. Still at 20 mg. Planning to stay here until Mid-October..

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm looking at your signature Rainbow, would you clarify a couple of things?

 

When you reinstated in June 2015, did you go back on your full dose of 20mg right away?

 

When you did your fast taper at the end of July, what dose did you get down to before increasing back up to 17.5

 

There's a possibility you will be stabilized by mid-october, but its best to be guided by your nervous system, with all the stopping and starting and changing doses over the last 3 months, it may take a little longer and if you start tapering again before you are fully stabilized, you risk increasing symptoms.

 

  • After reinstatement, the amount of time needed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms (stabilizing) varies according to the individual. Relief can be felt immediately, after some weeks, or after some months.
  • Once you feel withdrawal symptoms are reduced after reinstatement, give your nervous system time to stabilize before attempting dosage reduction. Think in terms of months, not days.
  • Be patient after you reinstate. Reinstatement may not immediately eliminate all withdrawal symptoms. You may still experience waves of symptoms, which usually lessen as time goes on.

I'm still a little concerned that you may be on too high a dose. Please keep notes on paper of your daily symptom pattern so we can find out if symptoms are increasing, decreasing or staying the same. If symptoms continue to get worse, you may need to lower the dose, please stay in touch and let us know how you are.

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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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone,

I went back up to 20 mg cipralex back at the beginning of September. I stayed there for about a month before reducing by 10%. Unfortunately even before I reduced I was having severe depression from the meds, and the more time passed the worse I felt. Last week I completely stopped the cipralex after a few days of feeling really dark. I am having a lot of physical withdrawal but mentally I feel so much better without it. Physically I am shaky, my head hurts, and I'm having stomach issues some of the time.. Every now and then I have anxiety but it goes away after a while. I feel positive about stopping it fully. I know the withdrawal slowly down eventually anyway, and having physical symptoms is easier for me than the mental ones I was having on meds. I am not taking any supplements at all right now other than the occassional theanine.

 

In a month or so I will get back on my vitamins and stuff.. Right now I am just trying to focus on eating healthy and resting and taking care of myself.

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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Hi Rainbow

 

I too am trying to get off Cipralex. I was on 10 mgs and have been slowly tapering for the last 2 years or so. I have at times had to increase due to side effects but as I have taken so long I have been luckier than a lot of others on here as my symptoms haven't been so bad UNTIL NOW. Over the last 3/12 i have fluctuated between around 2-2.5 mgs. My main problems were terrible muscle pain and stiffness, vivid dreams and feeling so irritable. Right now my biggest problem is GI related with bloating. All I can say to you is that it doesn't matter how slowly it takes the main thing is you get off with the least amount of symptoms. I often worry that it is taking too long but as I say compared with the misery some have endured I have got off lightly. When you have a family that you are responsible for you have to try to reduce the impact. I know often advice is given to rest and take periods of quiet but with children it's not possible so all the more reason to go slowly.

Wishing you lots of luck, you will get there.

 

PN x

1995-1998 various SSRIs then withdrawal

2000 Sertraline

2003 Sertraline then changed to Prozac to attempt withdrawal.

2004 failed at withdrawal so Citalopram.

2010 attempted slow withdrawal over 12 months but failed- sever episode depression 2012

2012 3 days of Mirtazepine with bad reaction so started escitalopram 20mgs

2013 started very very slow taper with a number of slight reinstatements

Currently on between 0.5 and 1mg escitalopram drops at day.

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Thanks.

I wish I could have reduced slowly but the medication itself was making me really depressed and apathetic and I think that's way worse for my kids than having me feel a little dizzy with a migraine. I'm actually surprised at how mild the withdrawal feels compared to last year. I am still functional and my mood feels better than it did on the medication. I'm just hoping I feel a bit less dizzy in a few weeks. Advil helps a lot with the migraines.

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just an update now. It's been nearly a month since I stopped 20 mg Cipralex cold turkey. I am now taking 400 mg l-theanine every 2-3 hours, 10 mg memantine a day and 12.5 mg tianeptine 3 times a day. Also magnesium glycinate, probiotics, and melatonin before bed. This combination is helping me through the withdrawal so much. Most of the awful physical symptoms are gone, and emotionally I'm coping much better than last year. I'd say right now about every other day I wake up in the morning with a pit of anxiety in my stomach. I've been keeping my l-theanine in my night table so that when this happens I can quickly take 400 mg, which tends to stop the anxiety about 90%, sometimes even 100%. As long as I take these things on time every day, things go okay. I tried not taking the theanine last week and had terrible, crippling rebound anxiety, so I know it's helping a ton.

 

I will probably continue on all of these things for 4-6 months before I taper off the tianeptine and memantine.

 

I am having some brain zaps, motivation issues, and occasional insomnia. I've had a couple emotional days where I am constantly fighting negative self-talk. All in all, I feel way better going off of cipralex than I did last year when I stopped cold turkey and DIDN'T take anything for the withdrawal. I am still able to function, and even go out to buy groceries without panic. So, I'd say this time it's going a lot better than last time.

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Close to a month and a half after CT cipralex... I have had some other symptoms start up.. irritability.. sometimes I get brain zaps that feel more like the left front part of my brain is being ripped. Sometimes I feel like I am on the verge of having a seizure or something, completely disoriented. I have no idea why these symptoms started so late.. I get really anxious really easily. I had been doing pretty good, joined a church, joined a local group.. had the first meeting last week and I was in a full blown panic attack the entire time. Social anxiety is back with a vengeance. Get overwhelmed really easily. Trying to take it easy.. eating really healthy, getting 7-8 hours minimum of sleep every night, drinking lots of water... My brain doesn`t feel like it is my own right now. I am hopeful that by Jan or Feb I will feel way better. It can be hard when a bad day hits though. I change my daily dosage of l-theanine depending on how I feel.. I have tried kava recently but think the pills were expired because they did nothing. Now I am taking 20 mg memantine a day for the last 4 days.. hoping that increasing it helps somewhat, because the irritability was hard. I have been more calm but also my brain really doesn`t feel right the last little while..

 

Please, let my next update in a few weeks be more positive than this. I hope that the holidays are enjoyable and good health returns soon..

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Rainbow,

 

Sorry to hear things have gotten worse for you over time.  Especially hard for you when you have children and are trying to meet all their needs - not much energy left for yourself some days.

 

It's very normal for w/d symptoms not to show up for a few months, especially after CT.  And 20mg was a lot to CT from.  Reinstating a small amount sometimes helps people to relieve their symptoms.  You could read the thread which discusses the pros and cons:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/  You wouldn't need to go right back up to 20mg so if you are interested in trying, a mod could advise a low dosage.

 

It sounds like you are doing some really good self-care stuff.  You could also think about taking fish-oil and magnesium, which can both help relieve symptoms.  I know anxiety can be really hard to manage.  If you can help your CNS to stabilise, the anxiety should slowly start to mellow out. 

 

Let us know what you think about reinstating.

 

And hugs from one mama to another,

KarenB

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • 1 month later...

I wanted to come here to update. In 2 weeks I will have been off cipralex for 4 months. I had a hard time through December with the holidays and into Jan. For a while I was doing really good, even exercising daily. I have seasonal affective disorder so as usual this time of year, I'm fighting every day to keep the depression away.

 

Anxiety is a lot lower but seems to get triggered by nothing at all sometimes. I was having bad insomnia so a couple weeks back I started taking theanine and melatonin before bed. Now I'm sleeping a lot better, minimum of 8 hours a night.

 

I've been eating a vegan diet, taking a multivitamin, b complex, flax oil, vitamin d, calcium/magnesium/zinc, niacin, coq10 and bacopa daily. I am starting lecithin next week.

 

Now that I've been off meds for a while and doing somewhat better, I will be going back on low doses of tianeptine and memantine to see if they help smooth everything out. I hope that one day I won't need to take anything but basic vitamins, but imagine that will be further down the line. .

 

Despite some struggles the last two months, I'm succeeding in homeschooling and have my kids in 4 evening activities per week.. despite the cold we are making it there fine. Have been doing well with my kids too. So, my hope is that I will be able to check back in here 6 months from now with an even better update when I've been off meds for 10 months.

 

Hope everyone else is doing OK too.

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Good to read that update - thanks for popping in to post it.  Nice work keeping up the homeschooling - I'm doing that too with my girls, and it's no small thing.

 

Keep up the self-care too :) - though it sounds like you are.

 

Hugs,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • 4 weeks later...

An update:

Tomorrow I am going off all supplements and "nootropics" I have been taking since I went off cirpalex in October. Something I'm taking is making me slowly feel worse and worse, I am starting to struggle with depersonalization and brain fog constantly. Tomorrow I will stop them all for two or three weeks, and then I will slowly add my vitamins back in one at a time, and then try some supplements one at a time, giving each 2-3 weeks to feel their effectiveness. I do not feel normal at all. I think it's from the tianeptine and memantine, but I cannot be sure, so I will just stop them all and reassess how I feel after a couple weeks.

 

The supplements have been helping a lot with the insomnia and anxiety, but it is not worth is as now I feel like my brain is broken or something, and I hate this feeling. Wish me luck, please! I will update in a week or two with how this goes. I think from here on out, I will avoid nootropics completely, and stick to a bare minimum with supplements, and allow my brain at least five years off of all meds to heal. I have never gone that long without taking a psychiatric med since I was 13 years old. My brain needs to heal.

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi rainbow , that's a very sensible plan if you think it's one of the supplements causing the problems.

 

The changes you're experiencing may all be due to stopping the cipralex 4 months ago.   It's not

unusual for new symptoms to continue developing over the first 12 months.

You might consider adding magnesium and fish oil back in first , as these are essential for recovery.

 

Wishing you luck from down under!

Best wishes ,  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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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone ever reinstated a very low dose five months after going cold turkey? I have no desire to be the apathetic mess I was at 20 mg but I'm considering going on 2.5 mg and seeing if my symptoms improve..is it worth it? I'm depressed every day lately and I can't stand it.

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Some people have done this successfully; for others it hasn't worked.  We only recommend it here if the overall plan is to then taper off once stabilised.  Is this what you were planning? 

 

There is a chance it will relieve your symptoms to some degree, but no guarantees.

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Rainbow ,  please read the thread on reinstating over again  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

The reason we recommend starting with a tiny dose is in case you have an adverse reaction.  This is experienced as sudden

onset or worsening of symptoms , and does happen for some people.   If you have 1mg on board , the reaction will pass quicker and be less intense than if you have 2.5mg.    You need to stay on each dose for 4 days till it reaches a steady state in your blood stream.  If there are no problems , you can always increase.

 

How are you planning to measure 2.5mg?  It's important to be precise , so your best bet is to make your own liquid.  If you dissolve a 20mg tablet in 20mls of water , you can draw up precision doses with a syringe.

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

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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  • 2 years later...

Hi everyone,

 

I used to post here but I never succeeding in getting off meds and after two years going on and off antidepressants i was diagnosed bipolar and forcibly medicated for a further two years .. I finally got off cipralex again in March and off bipolar meds in August. I went to a naturopath in September and she prescribed supplements to me for pmdd which she feels is the problem. I didn't take them until this month, when I was finally feeling like I was getting better. This is the longest I have ever been off cipralex (9 months now). I started taking dong quai for hormones this month at my NDs request and after a week on it I have fully restarted all of.my withdrawal symptoms. I just wanted to warn everyone that even if you feel alright, trusting supplements might be a mistake! I am back to having constant anxiety, nausea, pain... Also emotional spirals which I had finally had under control!

My Medication History:

 

May 2014 - October 2014: On Cipralex, up to the maximum dose, developed severe apathy and suicidal ideation. Cold turkey in October 2014.

Nov 2014-Feb 2015: Severe withdrawal. GI symptoms leading to ER trips, ultrasounds, blood work, etc.

Feb 2015-June 2015: Long term side effects from the withdrawal include social phobia, anehedonia, insomnia, brain fog.

June 2015 - October 2015: Back on Cipralex in the hopes that it would remove the lingering side effects. Developed the same troubling side effects as the first time, went cold turkey in October 2015 due to severe suicidal ideation.

October 2015 - February 2016: Took a variety of supplements hoping to combat the withdrawal, developed severe brain fog and depersonalization.

Feb 2016: Stopping ALL supplements for the time being, and making a commitment to stay med free for the next five years to allow my brain to heal!

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  • Moderator Emeritus
8 hours ago, rainbowsmilingrock said:

I went to a naturopath in September and she prescribed supplements to me for pmdd which she feels is the problem. I didn't take them until this month, when I was finally feeling like I was getting better. This is the longest I have ever been off cipralex (9 months now). I started taking dong quai for hormones this month at my NDs request and after a week on it I have fully restarted all of.my withdrawal symptoms. I just wanted to warn everyone that even if you feel alright, trusting supplements might be a mistake! I am back to having constant anxiety, nausea, pain... Also emotional spirals which I had finally had under control!

 

Please post this information in the following topics.  Thank you.

 

how-good-are-naturopaths-and-other-alternative-practitioners

 

important-topics-about-tests-supplements-treatments-diet

 

pms-and-menstrual-cycle-issues-during-withdrawal

 

thyroid-symptoms-hypothyroid-hashimotos

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

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

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

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

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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