how to wean off lexapro 10 mg

Posted by littlecroissant @littlecroissant, Nov 1, 2018

Hi I’m a 30 year old female. I have been on antidepressants since I was 16 and I’ve been on lexapro for about 4 years now. Prior to that I was taking Prozac. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m fed up with the side effects of lexapro – feeling numb like a zombie and emotionally detached most days, also gained weight and sleep cycle is affected. I want to wean off it so I’m thinking of cutting down to 3/4 first for maybe the first one or two months and cutting down a quarter gradually until I’m not taking anymore. One of my main motivations for getting off this drug is because I no longer feel like I need it but I’m scared of going cold turkey because when I tried it previously the affects were so bad I had to take lexapro again. Another thing is I want to get pregnant and start a family soon and I do not wish to take the risk of harming the foetus… I’m going to wean off in a week while I resource myself with supplements like b 6, b12 and folic acid along with omega 3s fatty acids. I am also thinking of taking theanine later on. Please do advise on what’s the best way to go about this…

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@shannoleary

I came across your post when looking for guidance on my son being weaned off his escitalopram (Lexapro). We've been weaning him off even slower than his CRNP felt necessary to avoid withdrawal symptoms and it's just been rough. He's more anxious and depressed than ever and easily agitated. He just feels hopeless and broken. Did you succeed at getting off the medication and do you have any suggestions on what helped you through it? I wish there was something that could be taken to help buffer the process but not cause it's own side effects or addiction.

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I successfully weaned off Lexapro 10 mg after being on it for more than ten years. I followed the advice on the website "surviving antidepressants" — which is to ONLY lower the dose by 10% every two to three weeks. I lowered dosage every three weeks. It did take a year, but I had no side effects. (I am depressed ON Lexapro, so I see no reason to take it — I used mindfulness, exercise, meditation to help with depression.) I would suggest taking a course in mindfulness or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. I went through a trauma four years ago and was put back on Lexapro — I am now in my second week of doing the 10% dosage reduction. Lexapro is available as a liquid so it makes reductions of 10% easy. Right now I am taking 4 ml liquid and 5 mg pill (half the 10mg pill). When I got down to 5 mg I did not stick to the 10% reduction, but did a more convenient titration since I was traveling.

I can provide my titration schedule if that would help.

Best!

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@deegee75

I successfully weaned off Lexapro 10 mg after being on it for more than ten years. I followed the advice on the website "surviving antidepressants" — which is to ONLY lower the dose by 10% every two to three weeks. I lowered dosage every three weeks. It did take a year, but I had no side effects. (I am depressed ON Lexapro, so I see no reason to take it — I used mindfulness, exercise, meditation to help with depression.) I would suggest taking a course in mindfulness or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. I went through a trauma four years ago and was put back on Lexapro — I am now in my second week of doing the 10% dosage reduction. Lexapro is available as a liquid so it makes reductions of 10% easy. Right now I am taking 4 ml liquid and 5 mg pill (half the 10mg pill). When I got down to 5 mg I did not stick to the 10% reduction, but did a more convenient titration since I was traveling.

I can provide my titration schedule if that would help.

Best!

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I suggest you discuss the issue with your pharmacist. I have previously mentioned that I have a close relationship with mine, and get more information from her than I do my doctors with regards to my medications

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@frances007

I suggest you discuss the issue with your pharmacist. I have previously mentioned that I have a close relationship with mine, and get more information from her than I do my doctors with regards to my medications

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Thank you for your concern, but No need to discuss with my pharmacist- past experience has convinced me they don’t know anything about weaning off medications. As I mentioned, I have done this (weaned off Lexapro) before quite successfully.

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@deegee75

I successfully weaned off Lexapro 10 mg after being on it for more than ten years. I followed the advice on the website "surviving antidepressants" — which is to ONLY lower the dose by 10% every two to three weeks. I lowered dosage every three weeks. It did take a year, but I had no side effects. (I am depressed ON Lexapro, so I see no reason to take it — I used mindfulness, exercise, meditation to help with depression.) I would suggest taking a course in mindfulness or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. I went through a trauma four years ago and was put back on Lexapro — I am now in my second week of doing the 10% dosage reduction. Lexapro is available as a liquid so it makes reductions of 10% easy. Right now I am taking 4 ml liquid and 5 mg pill (half the 10mg pill). When I got down to 5 mg I did not stick to the 10% reduction, but did a more convenient titration since I was traveling.

I can provide my titration schedule if that would help.

Best!

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I want to add that there are two supplements that one can take to help with anxiety that are not addictive or contraindicated when taking Lexapro — l-theanine and ashwaganda.

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I’ve been on lexapro for over 17 years now and I know how you feel about wanting to get off. I’ve tried myself but then some of those old feelings come back and I go back on. That tells me I still need to take it. I can’t speak to going through pregnancy since I adopted but going through all the changes in life having a child and postpartum, you may need help of antidepressant even more. Do your research about taking lexapro during pregnancy and make your decision. Eating right, exercise and taking time for yourself is important. Make sure you have therapist or a support system that you can talk to, especially during and after having your baby to monitor your thoughts and feelings.

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@deegee75

Thank you for your concern, but No need to discuss with my pharmacist- past experience has convinced me they don’t know anything about weaning off medications. As I mentioned, I have done this (weaned off Lexapro) before quite successfully.

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I’ve never had any luck with pharmacists either. Unfortunately we’re all pretty much on our own when it comes to tapering physch meds. My doctor is only slightly helpful. Barely.

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@sears

I’ve never had any luck with pharmacists either. Unfortunately we’re all pretty much on our own when it comes to tapering physch meds. My doctor is only slightly helpful. Barely.

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I never asked my doctor how to taper — but I told her that when I tried to go from 10 mg to 7.5 mg. (this is the type of taper I see and hear about), I became "jittery" after three weeks; then I let her know that I wanted to try the 10% taper that I read about on the website "Surviving Antidepressants" – to do that I needed her to prescribe liquid lexapro. She was fully willing to try it my way and prescribe what was needed.

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@deegee75

I want to add that there are two supplements that one can take to help with anxiety that are not addictive or contraindicated when taking Lexapro — l-theanine and ashwaganda.

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@deegee75 I took ashwaganda as a booster for the immune system, as it saying it on the package. Not much for anxiety. It is made from a plant with the same name and it grows in India.

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@feliciaus

@deegee75 I took ashwaganda as a booster for the immune system, as it saying it on the package. Not much for anxiety. It is made from a plant with the same name and it grows in India.

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From webMD: "Ashwagandha contains chemicals that might help calm the brain, reduce swelling, lower blood pressure, and alter the immune system. Since ashwagandha is traditionally used as an adaptogen, it is used for many conditions related to stress. Adaptogens are believed to help the body resist physical and mental stress."

It makes me sleepy so I only take at night now.

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@feliciaus

@deegee75 I took ashwaganda as a booster for the immune system, as it saying it on the package. Not much for anxiety. It is made from a plant with the same name and it grows in India.

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Another source with linked articles: this site won't let me post links. The below is from an article in Medical News Today about the health benefits of ashwagandha.

Stress and anxiety
Ashwagandha may have a calming effect on anxiety symptoms when compared with the drug lorazepam, a sedative and anxiety medication.

A 2000 study suggested that the herb had a comparable anxiety-reducing effect with lorazepam, suggesting that ashwagandha might be as effective for reducing anxiety. However, the researchers conducted this study in mice, not humans.

In a 2019 studyTrusted Source in humans, researchers found that taking a daily dose of 240 milligrams (mg) of ashwagandha significantly reduced people’s stress levels when compared with a placebo. This included reduced levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.

In another 2019 studyTrusted Source in humans, taking 250 mg or 600 mg of ashwagandha per day resulted in lower self-reported stress levels, as well as lower cortisol levels.

Although this research is promising, scientists need to collect much more data before recommending the herb to treat anxiety.

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