Lexapro withdrawal

Posted by freefromdrug1 @freefromdrug1, Apr 19, 2017

I am currently weening from 10 mg lexapro after 15 years of being on the drug. I was put on this drug due to post partum. Having a difficult time getting into psychiatrist due to wait list. I’ve been weening for 2months and taking .5 instead of 10 mg daily. I was doing fine until 2 weeks ago when severe anxiety hit, no appetite, flu like symptoms and very emotional. Doctor prescribed xanax to help with anxiety and I take only as needed but honestly I’m afraid to take another drug. I see an phych nurse this week and a holistic doctor as well. Taking a multi vitamin, fish oi, B12 and vitamin D as well. I’m trying to figure out if my severe anxiety is due to withdrawal or if I’m prone to anxiety attacks because I’ve never had anxiety before.

@gailb

It seems like you are trying to withdraw too quickly from the Lexapro. I called my pharmacist to help me with information about how to withdraw from 2 medications I have been taking. I recommend that you contact your pharmacist. Actually mine was far more helpful than my physician.

Also, I discovered late in life that all my years of counseling and group therapy have helped me live a more fulfilling and large life, but didn’t help my anxiety/panic attacks. I always believed that eventually I would be cured from them, but at the age of 62, I was still having them. I was living in a tiny town in rural Missouri at the time. I asked my general physician if he could give me a prescription for an antidepressant that would help with anxiety too. He prescribed Celexa, and I titrated over 6 months to the full dose of 40 mg. For the first time in my life I have been free from panic and anxiety, and have been happy with my life. I have been happy before, but always with an undercurrent of fear. I had a traumatic childhood, so I understood my constant vigilance as part of PTSD. I never thought I could be free from that undercurrent in my life. With the Celexa (I take the generic Citalopram) I am free of the fear. I am far more relaxed and can express my love and joy. I have concluded that sometimes individuals need both talk and medication therapy. Looking back now, I am sure I needed the antidepressant a long time ago.

I don’t know if this will be helpful for you, but I hope it gives you a different perspective. While I have been withdrawing from Gabapentin and Baclofen, I have been experiencing occasional feelings of anxiety and I’m certain this is the result of withdrawal. So, your anxiety may very well be from withdrawal. Google it and read qualified information about withdrawal and the side effects with Lexapro. They will also tell you generally how quickly to withdraw. You do need to be very careful not to get serotonin storms from withdrawal too quickly. Good luck. Gail B

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Thank you so much for your input. I was out on lexapro bc of postpartum. I’ve been for 15 yrs and every time I try and ween off this happens so the doc puts me back on. I love how I feel off lexapro. I’m the old me ☺️ It’s just these panick attacks that paralyze me. I finally found a good doctor to help. I had no idea withdrawal could be this hard. I am looking forward to seeing who I am off this drug. Hoping it’s just the withdrawal causing the panic attacks. If it’s more and I’m prone to these I’ll make sure to stay on a medication that works for me. I really appreciate all your kind words and hope you continue to feel well ☺️

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I am sure friend you did the correct action when you decides to go to a new doctor, as your independent decision is clear in choosing professionals to discuss with you the problem. addiction and withdrawals signs need professionals.
Thank you for taking our support for you in action!

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Hi, I’ve been taking lexapro for about 16 years. I was on only 10mg/daily. I have tried weaning myself off of it several times with no success. However, about 2 months ago I went down to 5mg/daily for a month, then 5mg every other day for a month, then totally off for about a week now. I’m irritated, not sleeping well, moody and feeling like I’m not really here. When I’ve talked to my Dr. about it, he says that I shouldn’t have these withdrawal symptoms with only being on it 10mg/day, cause it’s a very low dose. But I certainly feel horrible every time I’ve tried to get off of it. I don’t want to be on medication anymore. I certainly don’t want to go back on it, after getting this far. Has anyone had success getting off of Lexapro with out getting on another anti-depressant?

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Hello, @ramos06, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I moved your message to this existing discussion about weaning off Lexapro so that you can meet some of these members who’ve been talking about this topic. You may be interested in reading some of their previous posts in this thread.

You mentioned one of the symptoms you’ve experienced is feeling like you are not really here. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

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Thank you. I feel like I can’t concentrate, like my thoughts are just random.

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Hello ramos06!! Oh boy you are going through what so many of us do!! Life can be so overwhelming to say the least. One day everything is fine and the next is like we were stuck in a never ending blender for no reason. The dose really is so small that if you feel better on it then maybe go back to 10 just to see if it helps. This is all a big trial and error type of situation. Try to think if something happened to trigger your anxiety, like a tough visit or a diet change or homones? If you can’t seem to figure it out then wait for the next awful feeling and take the xanax. Time it and see if within 5-10 minutes if you are so much better or no change at all. Most of the time you are better but not always. This can be something to report to your next care giver.
I always think that a bunch of ways to approach the “crawling worm” times is best. See if an audio for hypnotherapy or yoga or a nice walk or calming music helps. Coping skills like always checking your reactions or approach when you get poked emotionally. Life requires many many coping skills to be called upon at any given moment.
Going off meds can be like taking that layer of protection away. I read that 30 minutes of any kind of exercise gives the brain good chemicals just like a pill does. This may be totally untrue but I took it to heart and it worked for me. It gave me some control over what seemed like a whole universe of problems!!
I am one of the very few lucky ones who (thanks to Dr. Borovansky at Mayo) found extreme intolerance to wheat barley and rye. After 4 years I still and always will have Celiac Sprue, always have to stay on my gluten zero medical diet. Now I have no panic attacks, no gut issues, (thanks to VSL#3 probiotics) very few foggy brain days and my mood and outlook is normal I gladly admit!!!
Never stop trying to find your answer but always do your best getting to that solution. We are so fortunate to have places like the Mayo that never give up. You can do this!!!

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@hopeful33250

Hello @freefromdrug1 and welcome to Mayo Connect. I’m glad that you have joined this online support network. Thank you also for your post regarding withdrawing from Lexapro. I am glad to see that you are under a doctor’s care while you are in the withdrawal process. Have you discussed these current problems with him/her as well?

Previously we have had a discussion on the topic of withdrawal from antidepressants, some of which discuss Lexapro – here is the link, http://mayocl.in/2pBYHti. Please take a look at some of their comments. From this discussion, I’d like to invite @mentor51 @frank1 @ronnie3716 and @jay_baruch who have discussed changing their Lexapro dosage.

Please feel free to continue to share with us during this process, we have a lot of individuals in our Mayo Connect community who care and are willing to share their experiences. Best wishes to you! Teresa

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i’m new here. I have a son, age 19, trying to withdrawal from 40mg day Lexapro, with doctors help. He’s been on 30mg for two weeks and huge anxiety / panic attacks coming up, overwhelming him at bedtime (when he takes his meds) – been taking Lexapro for 3 years, original diagnosis autism and OCD and agoraphobia and panic attacks. Original prescribing doctor thought he had schtizophrenia too. New doctors say no to that.

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@hopeful33250

Hello @freefromdrug1 and welcome to Mayo Connect. I’m glad that you have joined this online support network. Thank you also for your post regarding withdrawing from Lexapro. I am glad to see that you are under a doctor’s care while you are in the withdrawal process. Have you discussed these current problems with him/her as well?

Previously we have had a discussion on the topic of withdrawal from antidepressants, some of which discuss Lexapro – here is the link, http://mayocl.in/2pBYHti. Please take a look at some of their comments. From this discussion, I’d like to invite @mentor51 @frank1 @ronnie3716 and @jay_baruch who have discussed changing their Lexapro dosage.

Please feel free to continue to share with us during this process, we have a lot of individuals in our Mayo Connect community who care and are willing to share their experiences. Best wishes to you! Teresa

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Welcome, @johnlionheart

I’m sorry your son is experiencing these symptoms. Is he changing to a new medication as he goes off Lexapro? Sounds like he might need an anti-anxiety med. It also seems that you might be ready to take him to the ER. Are you keeping his doctor and psychiatrist aware of what you see? I do hope that his body will adjust to the medication change soon.

Jim

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@hopeful33250

Hello @freefromdrug1 and welcome to Mayo Connect. I’m glad that you have joined this online support network. Thank you also for your post regarding withdrawing from Lexapro. I am glad to see that you are under a doctor’s care while you are in the withdrawal process. Have you discussed these current problems with him/her as well?

Previously we have had a discussion on the topic of withdrawal from antidepressants, some of which discuss Lexapro – here is the link, http://mayocl.in/2pBYHti. Please take a look at some of their comments. From this discussion, I’d like to invite @mentor51 @frank1 @ronnie3716 and @jay_baruch who have discussed changing their Lexapro dosage.

Please feel free to continue to share with us during this process, we have a lot of individuals in our Mayo Connect community who care and are willing to share their experiences. Best wishes to you! Teresa

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what other anti-anxiety meds are there? He takes Clompramine 100mg and Olanzapine 7.5 mg now. Also has Ativan .5mg as needed and Gaba chewables over the counter as needed, but rarely uses them.

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@hopeful33250

Hello @freefromdrug1 and welcome to Mayo Connect. I’m glad that you have joined this online support network. Thank you also for your post regarding withdrawing from Lexapro. I am glad to see that you are under a doctor’s care while you are in the withdrawal process. Have you discussed these current problems with him/her as well?

Previously we have had a discussion on the topic of withdrawal from antidepressants, some of which discuss Lexapro – here is the link, http://mayocl.in/2pBYHti. Please take a look at some of their comments. From this discussion, I’d like to invite @mentor51 @frank1 @ronnie3716 and @jay_baruch who have discussed changing their Lexapro dosage.

Please feel free to continue to share with us during this process, we have a lot of individuals in our Mayo Connect community who care and are willing to share their experiences. Best wishes to you! Teresa

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@johnlionheart

I take Clonazepam (Klonopin). I’m sure there are others. Have you looked at the Mental Health group discussions? If you can find a good discussion, you may find the answers you need.

Jim

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@hopeful33250

Hello @freefromdrug1 and welcome to Mayo Connect. I’m glad that you have joined this online support network. Thank you also for your post regarding withdrawing from Lexapro. I am glad to see that you are under a doctor’s care while you are in the withdrawal process. Have you discussed these current problems with him/her as well?

Previously we have had a discussion on the topic of withdrawal from antidepressants, some of which discuss Lexapro – here is the link, http://mayocl.in/2pBYHti. Please take a look at some of their comments. From this discussion, I’d like to invite @mentor51 @frank1 @ronnie3716 and @jay_baruch who have discussed changing their Lexapro dosage.

Please feel free to continue to share with us during this process, we have a lot of individuals in our Mayo Connect community who care and are willing to share their experiences. Best wishes to you! Teresa

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Hi, @johnlionheart. I also wanted to welcome you to Mayo Clinic Connect. Some of our other members in the mental health group–@pankaj, @lighthouseceliac, @freefromdrug1, @shoregal45, @ contentandwell and @hopeful33250–may have some further insight on anti-anxiety medications and what has worked well for them. @johnlionheart , are your son’s doctors looking a putting him on another medication when he has tapered off the escitalopram (Lexapro)?

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@johnlionheart. Your son seems to suffer from severe anxiety, possibly coupled with depression. Lexapro is a very good drug with minimal side effects. If it has worked for your son in the past, it is not clear why it is being tapered. It may be useful to add a suitable dose of Mirtazapine at night to Lexapro in the morning. Mirtazapine has a strong anti-anxiety effect. Also, it might help if an anti-anxiety drug such as Clonazepam is prescribed for a short period till the anxiety and panic attacks stop. It could then be tapered. The bottom line is that Lexapro should not be tapered without a good reason, especially if it has worked in the past. Anxiety comorbid with depression can be adequately treated with skilful handling.

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@ramos06

Hi, I’ve been taking lexapro for about 16 years. I was on only 10mg/daily. I have tried weaning myself off of it several times with no success. However, about 2 months ago I went down to 5mg/daily for a month, then 5mg every other day for a month, then totally off for about a week now. I’m irritated, not sleeping well, moody and feeling like I’m not really here. When I’ve talked to my Dr. about it, he says that I shouldn’t have these withdrawal symptoms with only being on it 10mg/day, cause it’s a very low dose. But I certainly feel horrible every time I’ve tried to get off of it. I don’t want to be on medication anymore. I certainly don’t want to go back on it, after getting this far. Has anyone had success getting off of Lexapro with out getting on another anti-depressant?

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I am currently weaning off of lexapro. Dr took me from 20 to 10. I feel awful. Nauseous, irritable and my head feels heavy. I hope these symptoms don’t last long or I’ll have to up the dose again and after 9 years, I don’t want to be on it

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@ramos06

Hi, I’ve been taking lexapro for about 16 years. I was on only 10mg/daily. I have tried weaning myself off of it several times with no success. However, about 2 months ago I went down to 5mg/daily for a month, then 5mg every other day for a month, then totally off for about a week now. I’m irritated, not sleeping well, moody and feeling like I’m not really here. When I’ve talked to my Dr. about it, he says that I shouldn’t have these withdrawal symptoms with only being on it 10mg/day, cause it’s a very low dose. But I certainly feel horrible every time I’ve tried to get off of it. I don’t want to be on medication anymore. I certainly don’t want to go back on it, after getting this far. Has anyone had success getting off of Lexapro with out getting on another anti-depressant?

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@bradyswife04. You have not mentioned why your doctor is tapering Lexapro. Is it because of any adverse side effects of Lexapro or any other reason? Unless there is a very good reason, it is not advisable to taper the medication. A very large number of people suffer relapse after tapering their anti-depressants. If everything was going well for you and you were stable on 20 mg Lexapro for a long time, it would probably be advisable for you to continue it, particularly because Lexapro has almost no side effects and is one of the safest and best anti-depressants. Many doctors commit the mistake of tapering anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs soon after the patient starts feeling better. That leads to relapse in a very large percentage of cases. And after that, it becomes more difficult to restore your previous condition even if you revert to the earlier dosage of the anti-depressant. The safest course of action is that if you are stable on a particular drug or a combination of drugs, don’t tinker with it; simply continue with it indefinitely. Understandably, many patients want to get off the drugs as soon as they start feeling better. Unfortunately, a majority of them suffer a relapse of their illness. Only a small minority do not suffer a relapse. So far, it is not possible to know who will suffer a relapse and who will not. Trial and error is the only way to find that out. Therefore, if your illness is chronic and you have already suffered a relapse in the past, the safest course of action is to continue the medication on which you have been stable. Hope this is helpful. Best wishes.

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@ramos06

Hi, I’ve been taking lexapro for about 16 years. I was on only 10mg/daily. I have tried weaning myself off of it several times with no success. However, about 2 months ago I went down to 5mg/daily for a month, then 5mg every other day for a month, then totally off for about a week now. I’m irritated, not sleeping well, moody and feeling like I’m not really here. When I’ve talked to my Dr. about it, he says that I shouldn’t have these withdrawal symptoms with only being on it 10mg/day, cause it’s a very low dose. But I certainly feel horrible every time I’ve tried to get off of it. I don’t want to be on medication anymore. I certainly don’t want to go back on it, after getting this far. Has anyone had success getting off of Lexapro with out getting on another anti-depressant?

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@ramos06. I can understand your wish to get off medication but there is a danger of relapse, which you appear to be suffering. Please see my response to @bradyswife04 posted a few minutes ago. All the best.

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