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.

Hi, @justin2000, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You may notice I merged your discussion with an existing discussion titled, "Lexapro withdrawal." I did this so your message would be received by members like @pankaj @positivelife @mrmaid11 and others discussing your very topic. Hoping they, like @gailb, might provide input on your withdrawal and also the tiredness, headaches and feelings of depression you are experiencing.

I'd concur with gailb and suggest your pharmacist could be very helpful to talk with in this process, and I'd be interested in any challenges you may have had with this medication?

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@freefromdrug1

Thank you so much for responding. Every time I try the process of weening I end up back on lexapro bc my doctor thinks I NEED this drug. I don’t think they recognize that it could possibly be withdrawal. I am seeing a new doctor this week and pray that she will be open to the possibility that this could be withdrawal. I don’t want to be on these drugs anymore bc of how I feel on them. If I truly need them then I’ll deal with it but I owe it to myself and my family to see if I need to be medicated. I am so scared to take xanax bc not sure if there is a withdrawal from that as well. Also, I know you can build up a resistance to it. The panic attacks/anxiety is so bad that I cannot go to work some days. I feel like the doctors answer is always you need this drug. There has to be another answer and another way to treat people coming of antidepressants.

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@freefromdrug1 : were you able to successfully withdraw?

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I can thankfully say I’m now off Lexapro! It took me 2 weeks of weaning off. I suffered badly. I was put on Cymbalta and as I also take Remeron it caused me to have Seratonin Syndrome. Please make sure your doctors know ALL meds you are taking as that was very serious and could’ve been fatal. My doctor knew of my meds but didn’t think I would have that reaction. The withdrawals are very tough, you feel like you’re not going to survive but you will. If you live alone don’t go through it by yourself. Have someone stay with you. Things get bad quickly. Above all else hang in there and stay in touch through this site. It was my saving grace.

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How are you doing! We’re you successful. I will be doing the same thing in 1 month

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@ejhoneybee

I am an 18 yr old female that recently went off the antidepressant Lexapro. I have been on various antidepressants since I was fifteen. I never had a problem with my sex drive until now. Literally a week after I stopped taking the Lexapro, I just had no physical interest in my boyfriend. I just want to know if this is because I went off the medication, even though I never had problems from the meds before? I can’t think of any other reason why my libido is so low. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

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Look up Kelly brogan. She’s a homeopathic md with lots of great info. Good luck! I’ll be weening same drug in 1 month.

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@kdo0827

I can thankfully say I’m now off Lexapro! It took me 2 weeks of weaning off. I suffered badly. I was put on Cymbalta and as I also take Remeron it caused me to have Seratonin Syndrome. Please make sure your doctors know ALL meds you are taking as that was very serious and could’ve been fatal. My doctor knew of my meds but didn’t think I would have that reaction. The withdrawals are very tough, you feel like you’re not going to survive but you will. If you live alone don’t go through it by yourself. Have someone stay with you. Things get bad quickly. Above all else hang in there and stay in touch through this site. It was my saving grace.

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Were you weaning off the Lexapro to move to a different drug? Does seem odd to do both Cymbalta (which is essentially Effexor without the need to titrate up) and Remeron – but I've always thought that Remeron might be the right solution for me – but my psychiatrist (it's a new relationship) says that it isn't that popular…because people have a tendency to gain weight – and after 60lbs of gain on Paxil – I am not interested in gaining weight…hard enough just to keep 30lb of the gain off.

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I was weaning off of Lexapro to start on Cymbalta. I’m still currently taking Remeron as well. I have gained about 20 pounds and I’m not happy with it! I’m planning on asking my psychiatrist about going off of it because I already struggle with my weight. I’m constantly hungry! I do like how I feel with the Remeron but I can’t keep gaining. Are you feeling better?

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@kdo0827

I was weaning off of Lexapro to start on Cymbalta. I’m still currently taking Remeron as well. I have gained about 20 pounds and I’m not happy with it! I’m planning on asking my psychiatrist about going off of it because I already struggle with my weight. I’m constantly hungry! I do like how I feel with the Remeron but I can’t keep gaining. Are you feeling better?

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It sounds like you have a good plan. My psychiatrist and therapist are thinking wellbutrin or trazodone for me – but my therapist has a strong belief that my real problem is ADD – we've tried Adderall and Ritalin…but haven't found the right dosage…or maybe not the right stimulant. In the end, I may simply need a short acting stimulant for when I can't focus and ideally be done with the antidepressants under the theory that my anxious depression is really the result of unmanaged ADD. But thanks for the insight on Remeron.

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@kdo0827 and @youngsally

I've read your posts here in reference to Lexapro and weaning off it. Kdo0827, before you go on Effexor (cymbalta), I recommend that you read through the Effexor / Venlafaxine withdrawal thread. Those who have taken this drug have a lot to say about how bad it was for them. Everyone is different and therefore we all react to drugs differently, but you should at least read what others say about this particular antidepressant.

Second, have you asked your physicians to do a DNA test to see how you will react to different antidepressants? If not, I highly recommend that you do this before starting a new antidepressant. That will save you a great deal of time and misery by identifying drugs that will work for you. I take Citalopram myself, and it has worked better than I had hoped for. I thinking about changing to Lexapro, so would you be willing to share why you are weaning off it? It was recommended for me, but I need to learn as much as possible from those who have used it. I too will be getting a DNA test to see what antidepressants will work best for me. I look forward to hearing from you both.

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@gailb

@kdo0827 and @youngsally

I've read your posts here in reference to Lexapro and weaning off it. Kdo0827, before you go on Effexor (cymbalta), I recommend that you read through the Effexor / Venlafaxine withdrawal thread. Those who have taken this drug have a lot to say about how bad it was for them. Everyone is different and therefore we all react to drugs differently, but you should at least read what others say about this particular antidepressant.

Second, have you asked your physicians to do a DNA test to see how you will react to different antidepressants? If not, I highly recommend that you do this before starting a new antidepressant. That will save you a great deal of time and misery by identifying drugs that will work for you. I take Citalopram myself, and it has worked better than I had hoped for. I thinking about changing to Lexapro, so would you be willing to share why you are weaning off it? It was recommended for me, but I need to learn as much as possible from those who have used it. I too will be getting a DNA test to see what antidepressants will work best for me. I look forward to hearing from you both.

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Absolutely agree. The SNRI's are tricky – they worked for me (until recently)…but they have a devilish reputation upon withdrawal. I'm three weeks into my Effexor tapering (down to 37.5mg from 150mg) and will be moving to zero this week. But as you say, everyone reacts differently….For me, the norepinephrine (the N in SNRI) seems to be the key…..

When Cymbalta came on the market, it's main "advantage" was that one generally didn't need to titrate on to the drug – which is/was considered one of the disadvantages of Effexor. Cymbalta also sought/received some other approved indications – in part, I recall, because Effexor had such a dominant share of the market that Cymbalta's no-titrate up advantage was not that big an advantage.

My psychiatrist (new relationship) uses genetic testing – although I have such a long history with antidepressants and the same therapist – that at this point it's probably not something we are going to do. Right now the task is finishing the Effexor taper…then we'll look at whether I will benefit from a different medication (my primary diagnosis has moved from anxious depression/dysthymia to ADD). The DNA tests are not consistently covered by insurance – so that may be a financial deterrent to some people.

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@gailb

@kdo0827 and @youngsally

I've read your posts here in reference to Lexapro and weaning off it. Kdo0827, before you go on Effexor (cymbalta), I recommend that you read through the Effexor / Venlafaxine withdrawal thread. Those who have taken this drug have a lot to say about how bad it was for them. Everyone is different and therefore we all react to drugs differently, but you should at least read what others say about this particular antidepressant.

Second, have you asked your physicians to do a DNA test to see how you will react to different antidepressants? If not, I highly recommend that you do this before starting a new antidepressant. That will save you a great deal of time and misery by identifying drugs that will work for you. I take Citalopram myself, and it has worked better than I had hoped for. I thinking about changing to Lexapro, so would you be willing to share why you are weaning off it? It was recommended for me, but I need to learn as much as possible from those who have used it. I too will be getting a DNA test to see what antidepressants will work best for me. I look forward to hearing from you both.

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@gailb I like the way you think.

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@youngsally

Absolutely agree. The SNRI's are tricky – they worked for me (until recently)…but they have a devilish reputation upon withdrawal. I'm three weeks into my Effexor tapering (down to 37.5mg from 150mg) and will be moving to zero this week. But as you say, everyone reacts differently….For me, the norepinephrine (the N in SNRI) seems to be the key…..

When Cymbalta came on the market, it's main "advantage" was that one generally didn't need to titrate on to the drug – which is/was considered one of the disadvantages of Effexor. Cymbalta also sought/received some other approved indications – in part, I recall, because Effexor had such a dominant share of the market that Cymbalta's no-titrate up advantage was not that big an advantage.

My psychiatrist (new relationship) uses genetic testing – although I have such a long history with antidepressants and the same therapist – that at this point it's probably not something we are going to do. Right now the task is finishing the Effexor taper…then we'll look at whether I will benefit from a different medication (my primary diagnosis has moved from anxious depression/dysthymia to ADD). The DNA tests are not consistently covered by insurance – so that may be a financial deterrent to some people.

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@youngsally

Thanks for responding. I do know that Medicare covers the DNA testing for drug reactions, so anyone on it should be fine. Sorry to read that you have a long history of "drug testing" as that means you've been aware of your health issues for a long time. I really only became aware that I had needed an antidepressant for years AFTER I started Citalopram about 6 years ago. I had a messed up childhood, PTSD, and anxiety/panic attacks since I was in my 20s and probably before that. After I started Citalopram my life was so improved I could hardly believe it. I stopped having panic attacks. I can now fly anywhere I want, zipline, ride in boats, cross bridges, and drive/ride mountain roads free from fears that had prevented those activities in the past for me. And my mood certainly improved. I know my brain chemistry was not in balance previously. I hope you have a nice Labor Day.

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@parus

@gailb I like the way you think.

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@parus

Thanks Parus. How are you doing these days? I'm having some recurring back pain so I decided to start yoga again. So happy I did that because I already feel more alive! I had forgotten about how great I feel when I do it.

I recently stopped taking Glipizide 2.5 mg. which was supposed to help my blood sugar. I also take insulin. I noticed that in the last 4 or 5 months I have gained 10 pounds and I couldn't figure out why. Then I read the prescription info and it mentioned weight gain. I stopped taking it that moment. I paid too much in $$, pain and work to lose weight with an RnY gastric bypass to gain it back because of a pill!

I also stopped taking the 10 mg of Valsartin, which probably wasn't doing me any good anyway. It was for blood pressure, but my pressure has actually been too low for nearly a year. I read on NPR that certain manufacturers of the drug (for high pressure), use a process that results in a cancer causing NDMA chemical and the FDA has blocked prescriptions from those manufacturers until more research. The other day I read that the FDA has expanded its research into all manufacturers of Valsartin. I stopped mine om that day. I feel fine, and my blood pressure has remained low.

Many years ago I had decided never to "take a pill for the side effects of another pill." Now, I've decided to not take pills that cause other problems if I can help it. My only remaining pills are Citalopram and Omeprozole (for occasional gastric inflammation). I know you too have stopped many medications.

I also wanted to let you know you have inspired me to go to an oil painting class/group, and watercolors are next. I love your work so much! I'm thinking these will help me be more interested in life (and more interesting too), and I will hopefully make some new friends. I have been lonely here, even with my husband as he reads most of the time. I need to have women friends to talk with I think. I decided that for me, loneliness is a choice I can change. I recognize that this isn't a choice for everyone, but it is for me. I need to be more active.

Have a good Labor Day Parus.

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@gailb

@kdo0827 and @youngsally

I've read your posts here in reference to Lexapro and weaning off it. Kdo0827, before you go on Effexor (cymbalta), I recommend that you read through the Effexor / Venlafaxine withdrawal thread. Those who have taken this drug have a lot to say about how bad it was for them. Everyone is different and therefore we all react to drugs differently, but you should at least read what others say about this particular antidepressant.

Second, have you asked your physicians to do a DNA test to see how you will react to different antidepressants? If not, I highly recommend that you do this before starting a new antidepressant. That will save you a great deal of time and misery by identifying drugs that will work for you. I take Citalopram myself, and it has worked better than I had hoped for. I thinking about changing to Lexapro, so would you be willing to share why you are weaning off it? It was recommended for me, but I need to learn as much as possible from those who have used it. I too will be getting a DNA test to see what antidepressants will work best for me. I look forward to hearing from you both.

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Thanks for your concern. I’m already taking Cymbalta and I’m really liking how I feel. I took it 2 years ago and didn’t like it. Most likely due to the other meds I was on. I have indeed had the DNA testing and will get my results next week. My psychiatrist has been out of town or I would’ve had the results sooner. My reason for going off Lexapro was due to how over medicated it made me with other medications. It also didn’t help my depression.

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@mommabird74

Look up Kelly brogan. She’s a homeopathic md with lots of great info. Good luck! I’ll be weening same drug in 1 month.

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Welcome to Connect, @mommabird74,

Could you share a bit more about yourself? How long have you been on Lexapro? Do you have more insights to share with the community about taking the homeopathic approach while weaning off this medication?

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