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

@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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@gailb

It's good you found something that works for you. My childhood was a little chaotic but I sought therapy when work became overwhelming (I had a very intense position in finance)….It only took three tries to get a drug that worked (Paxil)…but this was 20 years ago when DNA testing didn't exist…when I was unhappy with the Paxil after a couple of years, I was off antidepressants until we decided to try Effexor…and it did provide me good "support" for a long time. I only became aware of ADD as a likely diagnosis after my therapist had another patient who thought she might have it….and the therapist saw similar patterns in me as she looked more at ADD in adults….took me probably 4 years or so to finally address it (long story – not interesting)…so now we are working on that.

But I understand the "why didn't this get figured out sooner?" angle. I'll always wonder if my career would have had a different trajectory had the ADD been considered earlier…but it can be a bugger to see anxiety and depression as symptoms – not syndromes.

Such is life…and now that I know what's likely wrong with me, I can work on coping with it.

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@kdo0827

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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If it doesn't work then it is definitely time to try something else. Too bad the psychiatrist is out of town – but all psychiatrists and psychologists seem to take 3 weeks or so in August…

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@kanaazpereira

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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Yes I have lots of insight on psych meds. I’ve been on several different meds and finally settled on lexapro which I’ve been taking for 15 years. Even on the meds, I’ve felt on edge with decrease sexual drive & inability to engage in typical activities. I’ve was inpatient psych after I gave birth 3 years ago due to severe post pardom depression. I spend 3 days in a facility to get my meds straighted out. I’m also on trazadone for sleep, severe insomniac. I’m an occupational therapist and have noticed that any sensory input puts me on edge, noise, too much light, etc. it’s a side effect of the drugs. I became vegan, run 3.5 miles a day, no alcohol ( I was an alcoholic for 8 years). I felt better but in my gut knew the meds were bad for me. I sought out info and scheduled an appointment with a homeopath MD. She took labs and explained in detail my need for specific nutrients I’m lacking, removing gluten, sugar, diary & only having 1 cup of coffee daily. Also added 3 small serving grass fed beef, Wild Alaskan salmon, 1 boiled egg in am, ghee to use while cooking veggies. So I follow that diet plus supplements for 1 month then start the weening process. Please read the book A Mind of Your Own! Ladies, it’s imperative that you treat your medical condition. Depression is a symptom of medical issues, not a desease. There is no such thing as chemical imbalance in your brain, it’s a myth! Please seek out info! I’m not broken anymore, I’m fixable! Praise God!

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@kaylacookie

I am withdrawing from 30 mg Lexapro which I took for 13 years. I have a had a very easy withdrawal so far down to 10 mg over the past 2 months. I am wondering if tapering the last third of the full dose will be harder and would like to hear the experience of others who have successfully withdrawn. (For those who posted here about withdrawing quickly-I understand wanting to get the drug out of your body, but it is not healthy and I imagine, set one up to fail. The safest tapering schedule is supposed to be decreasing at the most 5 mg at a time for about 2 weeks for each level). Lexapro saved my life when I had a terrible depression and anxiety in my early 40's, probably related to perimenopause. Lexapro was the second medication I tried at that time: I first tried Effexor for a few months which I did not like and the withdrawal was a horrible experience. But, I know that Effexor is known for being difficult-one of the things I HATED about Effexor when I took it was that exactly 24 hours after taking each dose, I would develop a headache from the withdrawal effects of that single day!!!

The Lexapro worked pretty quickly for me and relieved my anxiety and depression. In the last 5 years, I felt that the Lexapro was impacting my energy and my motivation. I had also gained a lot of weight since starting the medicine and had some health indicators that I was worried about that could possibly be related to Lexapro. I tried several different antidepressants over the past few years but I either I got depressed or I had intolerable side effects (stomach). I wondered if I needed to be on anti depressants and think it makes sense to at least find out. With my psychiatrist's guidance, I was on 25 mg for 3 weeks, 20 mg for 4 weeks, then 10 mg for 4 weeks. I had no side effects. I did use CBD oil and perhaps that was helpful for the withdrawal process. A few days ago, I was going to go to 5 mg, but I just impulsively decided not to take the medicine at all for the past 3 nights. This evening, I felt dizzy and a little shaky. So, I took 5 mg, and the CBD oil. I feel better. If I get withdrawal effects, I plan to decrease my tapering even further, ie 2.5 mg at a time.

If anyone has withdrawn successfully from Lexapro and can share their experience with me-i would greatly appreciate. I particularly interested in hearing about whether the last part of the tapering process was harder than the first part and any suggestions.

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I have been on 10 msg for 2 months for anxiety. It’s helped, but the episodes of nervousness and nausea still happen once in awhile. I’m trying to decide whether to ween off now rather than wait until my body is super used to it. So many horror stories!

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I am withdrawing from 30 mg Lexapro which I took for 13 years. I have a had a very easy withdrawal so far down to 10 mg over the past 2 months. I am wondering if tapering the last third of the full dose will be harder and would like to hear the experience of others who have successfully withdrawn. (For those who posted here about withdrawing quickly-I understand wanting to get the drug out of your body, but it is not healthy and I imagine, set one up to fail. The safest tapering schedule is supposed to be decreasing at the most 5 mg at a time for about 2 weeks for each level). Lexapro saved my life when I had a terrible depression and anxiety in my early 40's, probably related to perimenopause. Lexapro was the second medication I tried at that time: I first tried Effexor for a few months which I did not like and the withdrawal was a horrible experience. But, I know that Effexor is known for being difficult-one of the things I HATED about Effexor when I took it was that exactly 24 hours after taking each dose, I would develop a headache from the withdrawal effects of that single day!!!

The Lexapro worked pretty quickly for me and relieved my anxiety and depression. In the last 5 years, I felt that the Lexapro was impacting my energy and my motivation. I had also gained a lot of weight since starting the medicine and had some health indicators that I was worried about that could possibly be related to Lexapro. I tried several different antidepressants over the past few years but I either I got depressed or I had intolerable side effects (stomach). I wondered if I needed to be on anti depressants and think it makes sense to at least find out. With my psychiatrist's guidance, I was on 25 mg for 3 weeks, 20 mg for 4 weeks, then 10 mg for 4 weeks. I had no side effects. I did use CBD oil and perhaps that was helpful for the withdrawal process. A few days ago, I was going to go to 5 mg, but I just impulsively decided not to take the medicine at all for the past 3 nights. This evening, I felt dizzy and a little shaky. So, I took 5 mg, and the CBD oil. I feel better. If I get withdrawal effects, I plan to decrease my tapering even further, ie 2.5 mg at a time.

If anyone has withdrawn successfully from Lexapro and can share their experience with me-i would greatly appreciate. I particularly interested in hearing about whether the last part of the tapering process was harder than the first part and any suggestions.

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@kaylacookie

I am withdrawing from 30 mg Lexapro which I took for 13 years. I have a had a very easy withdrawal so far down to 10 mg over the past 2 months. I am wondering if tapering the last third of the full dose will be harder and would like to hear the experience of others who have successfully withdrawn. (For those who posted here about withdrawing quickly-I understand wanting to get the drug out of your body, but it is not healthy and I imagine, set one up to fail. The safest tapering schedule is supposed to be decreasing at the most 5 mg at a time for about 2 weeks for each level). Lexapro saved my life when I had a terrible depression and anxiety in my early 40's, probably related to perimenopause. Lexapro was the second medication I tried at that time: I first tried Effexor for a few months which I did not like and the withdrawal was a horrible experience. But, I know that Effexor is known for being difficult-one of the things I HATED about Effexor when I took it was that exactly 24 hours after taking each dose, I would develop a headache from the withdrawal effects of that single day!!!

The Lexapro worked pretty quickly for me and relieved my anxiety and depression. In the last 5 years, I felt that the Lexapro was impacting my energy and my motivation. I had also gained a lot of weight since starting the medicine and had some health indicators that I was worried about that could possibly be related to Lexapro. I tried several different antidepressants over the past few years but I either I got depressed or I had intolerable side effects (stomach). I wondered if I needed to be on anti depressants and think it makes sense to at least find out. With my psychiatrist's guidance, I was on 25 mg for 3 weeks, 20 mg for 4 weeks, then 10 mg for 4 weeks. I had no side effects. I did use CBD oil and perhaps that was helpful for the withdrawal process. A few days ago, I was going to go to 5 mg, but I just impulsively decided not to take the medicine at all for the past 3 nights. This evening, I felt dizzy and a little shaky. So, I took 5 mg, and the CBD oil. I feel better. If I get withdrawal effects, I plan to decrease my tapering even further, ie 2.5 mg at a time.

If anyone has withdrawn successfully from Lexapro and can share their experience with me-i would greatly appreciate. I particularly interested in hearing about whether the last part of the tapering process was harder than the first part and any suggestions.

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@kaylacookie – I wanted to let you know I merged your post with this one, as here in this discussion many members have been talking about the same topic you mentioned, withdrawing from Lexapro.

Hoping members like @youngsally @kdo0827 @positivelife @holycow @helpmegetoffmeds and others will join in to tell you about their experiences and especially whether the last part of the taper process was harder.

Since it's been a few days since your original post, how's the taper been going, @kaylacookie?

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For all my 15 years of living I have lived with depression. I always have done good in school but I have had 2 good friends my whole life. This past year my friend and I were jumped walking home from hanging out and he has not talked to me ever since. After this I soon became hooked on nicotine as well as smoking weed through a vape pen. My addiction became so severe that I was institutionalized in May due to my refusal to attend school and eat. I have now been clean for almost 5 months but I stopped using my prescribed escitalopram about 2 weeks ago and seem to exhibit extreme depression that I have never felt before. I tried taking 2 or 3 of the pills but they do not help. I have considered breaking my sobriety but I know there must be another option as I want to reinvent myself due to transferring to a new co-ed school. If anyone has experienced anything I have and has overcome please reach out and share some advice as I am in a time of dire need of it.

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@johne2002

For all my 15 years of living I have lived with depression. I always have done good in school but I have had 2 good friends my whole life. This past year my friend and I were jumped walking home from hanging out and he has not talked to me ever since. After this I soon became hooked on nicotine as well as smoking weed through a vape pen. My addiction became so severe that I was institutionalized in May due to my refusal to attend school and eat. I have now been clean for almost 5 months but I stopped using my prescribed escitalopram about 2 weeks ago and seem to exhibit extreme depression that I have never felt before. I tried taking 2 or 3 of the pills but they do not help. I have considered breaking my sobriety but I know there must be another option as I want to reinvent myself due to transferring to a new co-ed school. If anyone has experienced anything I have and has overcome please reach out and share some advice as I am in a time of dire need of it.

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Hi, @johne2002 – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'm really sorry to hear about the experience with your friend and that he has not talked to you since. Ouch.

Good for you for getting some help with your addictions and staying clean for the last almost 5 months. Rooting for you to stay that way.

Other members have talked about stopping an antidepressant or antianxiety medication, then restarting and not feeling the same results. I'm hoping that members in this escitalopram (Lexapro) withdrawal discussion like @annedodrill44 @mommabird74 @kdo0827 may have some thoughts for you with having extreme depression now and how to proceed. I'm thinking that @parus and @gailb may also have some insights.

@johne2002 – what has your doctor said about coming off and going back on the escitalopram (Lexapro) and the depression you are experiencing?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @johne2002 – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'm really sorry to hear about the experience with your friend and that he has not talked to you since. Ouch.

Good for you for getting some help with your addictions and staying clean for the last almost 5 months. Rooting for you to stay that way.

Other members have talked about stopping an antidepressant or antianxiety medication, then restarting and not feeling the same results. I'm hoping that members in this escitalopram (Lexapro) withdrawal discussion like @annedodrill44 @mommabird74 @kdo0827 may have some thoughts for you with having extreme depression now and how to proceed. I'm thinking that @parus and @gailb may also have some insights.

@johne2002 – what has your doctor said about coming off and going back on the escitalopram (Lexapro) and the depression you are experiencing?

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Hi johne2002
I recently weaned off Lexapro. I now take Cymbalta and Remeron. I sure like that I’m feeling better and more like my old self. I am however struggling with a good amount of weight gain from the Remeron and that depresses me as I struggle with weight as it is. My psychiatrist is weaning me off the Remeron. I was supposed to see him on Tuesday but we evacuated from the hurricane. I’m afraid I won’t feel as good without the Remeron but I can’t continue to gain weight. What meds have you tried? I totally understand deep depression and will be happy to chat anytime.

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@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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Do you ever get better from withdrawaling from Lexipro? Seems like everyone who weans off just goes on something else. I cannot do that. Haven’t slept in two nights and it’s going on one week since I stopped taking it. I feel hopeless.

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@johne2002

For all my 15 years of living I have lived with depression. I always have done good in school but I have had 2 good friends my whole life. This past year my friend and I were jumped walking home from hanging out and he has not talked to me ever since. After this I soon became hooked on nicotine as well as smoking weed through a vape pen. My addiction became so severe that I was institutionalized in May due to my refusal to attend school and eat. I have now been clean for almost 5 months but I stopped using my prescribed escitalopram about 2 weeks ago and seem to exhibit extreme depression that I have never felt before. I tried taking 2 or 3 of the pills but they do not help. I have considered breaking my sobriety but I know there must be another option as I want to reinvent myself due to transferring to a new co-ed school. If anyone has experienced anything I have and has overcome please reach out and share some advice as I am in a time of dire need of it.

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John 2002, going thru this now John. Feeling really hopeless!

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Hang in there! You should be close to finishing your weaning process. How much longer?

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@farabella

Do you ever get better from withdrawaling from Lexipro? Seems like everyone who weans off just goes on something else. I cannot do that. Haven’t slept in two nights and it’s going on one week since I stopped taking it. I feel hopeless.

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You will get better! It takes time! Just hang in there!

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Sadly, I'm stopping Lexapro cold turkey @ 30 mg after being on it for four years. The last time I was out of it for a week i had a nervous breakdown. I'm very scared and can't get through to my psych. Do I call my provider? At this point I have lost most communication skills and having my car take over. Please help.

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@kaylacookie

I am withdrawing from 30 mg Lexapro which I took for 13 years. I have a had a very easy withdrawal so far down to 10 mg over the past 2 months. I am wondering if tapering the last third of the full dose will be harder and would like to hear the experience of others who have successfully withdrawn. (For those who posted here about withdrawing quickly-I understand wanting to get the drug out of your body, but it is not healthy and I imagine, set one up to fail. The safest tapering schedule is supposed to be decreasing at the most 5 mg at a time for about 2 weeks for each level). Lexapro saved my life when I had a terrible depression and anxiety in my early 40's, probably related to perimenopause. Lexapro was the second medication I tried at that time: I first tried Effexor for a few months which I did not like and the withdrawal was a horrible experience. But, I know that Effexor is known for being difficult-one of the things I HATED about Effexor when I took it was that exactly 24 hours after taking each dose, I would develop a headache from the withdrawal effects of that single day!!!

The Lexapro worked pretty quickly for me and relieved my anxiety and depression. In the last 5 years, I felt that the Lexapro was impacting my energy and my motivation. I had also gained a lot of weight since starting the medicine and had some health indicators that I was worried about that could possibly be related to Lexapro. I tried several different antidepressants over the past few years but I either I got depressed or I had intolerable side effects (stomach). I wondered if I needed to be on anti depressants and think it makes sense to at least find out. With my psychiatrist's guidance, I was on 25 mg for 3 weeks, 20 mg for 4 weeks, then 10 mg for 4 weeks. I had no side effects. I did use CBD oil and perhaps that was helpful for the withdrawal process. A few days ago, I was going to go to 5 mg, but I just impulsively decided not to take the medicine at all for the past 3 nights. This evening, I felt dizzy and a little shaky. So, I took 5 mg, and the CBD oil. I feel better. If I get withdrawal effects, I plan to decrease my tapering even further, ie 2.5 mg at a time.

If anyone has withdrawn successfully from Lexapro and can share their experience with me-i would greatly appreciate. I particularly interested in hearing about whether the last part of the tapering process was harder than the first part and any suggestions.

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It was awful! I was out on Prozac to help. I was told it was worse than heroine withdrawals.

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