Depression/Mental Health Expert Forum
How To Withdraw From Lexapro
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support pertaining to mental health issues such as: Anger, Dementia, Depression, Family Problems, Memory Problems, Personality Disorders, Phobias, Schizophrenia, Transitions and Work Problems.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

How To Withdraw From Lexapro

Hi,

I have been taking 10mg of Lexapro for a year and a half and recently decided to taper off due to fatigue and weight gain. I have mentioned cutting back to my doctor, but she seems adamant that I stay on the meds indefinitely. I do not agree with this because I am concerned about the long term effects, which are largely unknown. I am going to discontinue treatment with her due to changes in my insurance policy, so I decided to try to cut back on my own. (I am in the process of looking for another physician.)

I have been taking 7.5mgs for two weeks and after initially experiencing crying spells, malaise, anger, and nausea, it seems those symptoms have tapered off. Now I am having terrible headaches. Is this typical after two weeks of being at the same dosage level?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Ilene
Related Discussions
242532_tn?1269553979
Its hard to tell whether the symptoms are withdrawal,or are coming from the underlying anxiety that moved you to take the medication in the first place.  How is your life going in general.  If its going well, and no major decisions or problems, then the headache are probably withdrawal.  It may seem paradoxical, but actually lowering the dose more may help the headahces.  The other symptoms are typical withdrawal.  When you get a new doctor, start tapering off so you end up 3 weeks from now stopping after taking the lowest dose every three day for a week before stopping.
46 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
When cutting back, you need to ad another anti-depressant to your program.  With coming off Paxil, I had to add Prozac 10mg and increase to 20mg.  With the assistance of a psychiatrist, he  weened me off Paxil while stabilizing me on Prozac and then within two weeks I was of the Prozac also.

Make an appointment with someone who knows the meds.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I tried to quit lexapro cold turkey and at first I felt okay except for some bizzare withdraw symptoms. After about a week though I became very emotional and wanting to cry over every little thing so I started taking it again.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Help!  I stupidly stopped taking 20MG of Lexapro cold turkey. A week later starting experiencing SEVERE lightheadedness, dizziness and generalized odd feeling.  Depression is ok, and all else is ok.  That lasted a few days, went away and just came back an entire week later.  I know it was dumb to stop cold turkey but I had been on prozac several times in my life and always stopped cold turley with no problems.  Any advice or similar experices?  Thanks much
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am currently taking lexapro 20mg. i stopped taking it for about a month to see if i didnt need it anymore.  the day after i stopped taking it i also felt lightheaded, dizzy/lost.  sometimes it was bad sometimes it was alright but definately not pleasant.  it probably lasted for a week or so then was gone. that was taht. anxiety is fine.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I've been taking Lexapro for at least 2 years now.  In the past I had been frequently non-compliant with my meds, stopping and starting at whim.  Then I became more serious (and desperate).  But old habits die hard and I regularly adjust my Lexapro.  I was prescribed 20mg a day but sometimes up it to 30mg daily (usually before my period).
I notice an increase in physical effects of anxiety (chest discomfort, lightheadedness etc) when I don't have at least 20mg and I notice problems if I'm even late taking my meds.
But nothing more serious than that.  And when I'm going from 30 back to 20 there's a bit of discomfort.

~rianna
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had been taking 10mg for about 8 months and decided to quit cold turkey due to weight gain. I experienced the light-headedness, dizziness and odd feeling after 6 days. I have been trying to take 5mg only when the withdrawel gets really bad. I can feel the tension in my jaw and neck and then the dizziness starts. It has been 17 days now and the biggest problem is the nausea. I will get an overwhelming urge to throw up, usually in the morning. Anybody experience that? Or know how long it lasts?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I've been taking Lexapro for about 1.5 years...helped with my anxiety about death and feeling like I was having heart attacks, etc., but the weight gain and a few other side effects were getting old...I gained 40-45lbs...that's nuts!!  I lost most of my drive aside from work...no energy or desire to get things done around the house.

Need to get back on track so after a weekend of being sick (cold and cough) I had forgotten to take my Lexapro...I was now taking 5mgs a day (1/4 of a 20mg) and decided to just stay off of it...I had just come down a few weeks ago from 10mgs a day, my normal dose in hopes to get off the med.

Well I think it was about 4-5 days and I started feeling odd...light headed, dizzy and feeling the "electrical shocks" in my head that I have heard others state...also a little nausious and trouble concentrating...sort of surreal but kind of different.  Not so bad that I couldn't handle it, but it wasn't enjoyable...tonight I took 5mgs in attempt to curb these withdrawel effects.  

Not certain what I am going to do from here...but likely will try 5mgs. every few days...maybe one tomorrow to get it kicked in.  Hate to self diagnose, but I think it is questionable what my family doctor really knows about coming off this med.

I was taking Paxal (hated the side effects) then tried Zoloft, hated the side effects, but loved the infrequent euporic feelings it gave me about life...I could just stop in the hallway and think, I am so happy and glad to be alive.  Mind you, I have never had any issues with hating life or feeling miserable aside from the anxiety issues revolving around death and feeling like I was having a heart attack...any chest pain or twitch would drive me into a spiral of mild to medium panic...enough to take me to the ER room on three different occasions.  Didn't want this controlling my life so I talked to my doctor about my options with meds.

Now, let me tell you, before actually going on them, I did some Internet research and heard the horror stories of people taking the meds and having serious issues getting off (I don't want this as a lifetime med and feel like I have my anxiety issues under control now).  For the most part I think it was worth taking the meds, as it helped me quite a bit, but like I said, it's time to try life on it's own and lose my weight and get my drive back so I can get some things done around the house again.  I basically have this attitude of who gives a **** and I used to be pretty anal about organization, etc.  My young son and threw rocks at the side of my new car and I really didn't mind...wasn't happy, but in reality it didn't bother me enough to raise my voice at all...hey, he's just a kid was my thought and it's just a car (wish I could stay that way but care enough to get other things done in life).  My wife says I am far less angry about the small things that used to upset me so easily...she hopes I don't go back to that and I think for the most part I can maintain some clarity and perspective on what really matters in life.

I was also prescribed Xanax for emergencies (0.5mg)...I never abused it maybe on tablet a month...if that.  I guess what I hated about it was it made me tired...if I took it at night it would put me right to sleep but I felt wiped out the next morning and had trouble getting up.  Later it felt like it didn't help as much and I didn't want to double my dose...I have heard that Xanax can be quite addictive...I know it worked and relaxed me, but I never felt the need to take unless I felt some kind of anxiety coming on and needed to stop it.

Well, I hate to ramble, but I wanted to shed some light as I know reading these forums really helped me and I wanted to contribute where I could.  I hope to gain back my ability to concentrate better...lose the weight, get back my motivation and become med free.  Not at all happy with the withdrawel effects, but I think I can work out some way to ween off the med...felt like taking the Lexapro tonight set me back from getting off of it, but maybe this is the best way.  

Hope to hear more of the successes of getting off and how you did it...and to what degree the withdrawel effects hit you and finally left you alone.  Best of luck to everyone out there...sometimes I think it would have been best to take the meds and do some psychotherapy...I guess some phychotherapy is still an option, but hate to go to someone that doesn't know what they're doing.  Take care all!!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
It's good to hear something positive. I have been off lexapro for 5 weeks today. I think 4 weeks was the turning point to when the dizziness and heaviness of my head was not something i focused on during every waking hour. I had tapered my 10mg down to 5mg for about 2 weeks and cut those in half and took the 2.5mg every third day until week four. I don't know if this is the best way to do step down but it worked well for me. I still get bouts of dizziness but i feel like the drug has left my system finally. On a different note, i have started to notice the difference between the happy euphoria i felt when i was on lexapro and what my normal state truly is. I don't ever want to go back to needing a chemical to feel what i guess is happiness, although i am thankful that i was able to see life in a new light, even for just a few months.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been taking Lexparo for about 2 months now. I use to smoke Marijuana alot, then it just made my anxiety worse, so I quit for about 8 months. Now I have started back and need to know if the marijuana will interact with Lexapro? Will it cause anything to happen?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I was on 10mg for six months. I tapered off slow and didn't suffer any side effects. No insomnia at all. I broke the pills in quarters & halves. My taper schedule: 1st week = 7.5mg, 2nd week = 5mg, 3rd week = 2.5mg, 4th week = 2.5 every other day and then off. Im also taking 50mg of Trazodone which is probably easing the taper side effects. Most of the stressors that drove me to Lexapro are now gone, so I doubt I'll have a relapse in the future.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Life after Lexapro!
I was on Lexapro for over 2 years and I gained 40 pounds. I went off in May by tappering off. I really didn't have many withdrawl (withdrawal) issues, but now I am remembering one of he main reasons I went on in the first place. I have bouts of anger and I am extremely irritable. I am wondering if this is from going off the meds or are these really my true emotions.
Has anyone else had issues with major changes in thier emotions after being off meds for a while?
When I was on the meds I felt numb, but now I can't tell what mood I will be in one day to the next.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am so glad I found this board...I was on paxil for 12 years and then went to lexapro 20 mgs......I have done the taper thing/etc. and let me tell you..I am on an emotional roller coaster ride......this is going on week 13....I am a complete basket case......well that is..it comes and goes...one minute I'm fine and the next minute I'm crying......I can't take it anymore....I know I am experiencing withdrawal...psychological...which are worse than the withdrawal from the drug in itself...but I need to know how long does this last...will I ever get my life back????I am so frustrated not knowing what to expect on a day to day basis....my anxiety is way out of control one day....I'm emotional the next.....I have done everything possible...I've walked an hour a day, watching sugars, eating healthy.....etc.  I can't take it anymore....Dr.s only want to prescribe meds.they don't want you to come off of them....however my psychologist wants me off everything...but ....how can he work with someone who according to my dr. has serotonin withdrawal??? It's terrible.....to think 13 weeks.....I know time will heal all, but **** this is so difficult...probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life......I look forward to more people posting about there experiences/etc. since long term withdrawal is so hard to find on the internet....I know it can be done....and I want to be living proof of that...but right now I'm so confused.....thanks again...bigbaz
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I've been on Lexapro for 2 years and 7 months.  i started at 10mgs.  6 months ago, i got depressed again and on the advice of my therapist, backed up by my doctor, i increased to 20mgs.  i just don't want to keep increasing or switching around medications.  i'm also nursing my 16 month old.  about a month ago i experienced vertigo, for no apparent reason.  i checked side effects of lexapro and decided that must be it, even though i hadn't changed the dosage anywhere near the time of the vertigo.  well i've been down to 15mgs, with ony a headache for a week and a half.  then, 3 nights ago i started feeling the vertigo again.  i spent yesterday in bed all day because every time i moved i either fell down or threw up.  my step-mom (who is a psychiatrist) swears that the vertigo can't be related to the lexapro since it just appeared this week and i've been down 5mgs for over a week already.  she says it's probably a drop in my blood pressure and to have that checked...either way, isn't that also related to weaning off of lexapro???  any ideas on how to curb this vertigo would be appreciated....and if anyone knows if it can creep up after a week and a half, let me know!  thanks.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My thoughts and hopes are with everyone going through the Lex. roller-coaster!   I suffered severe withdrawal when I tried to quit too fast after taking Lex. for a year.  After a year and a half on Lex. I am now weaning off slowly on a month by month plan - from 10mg - now on 5mg for a month and then plan to cut down to 2.5 mg. for a month - and then rotate 2.5 mg and no dose every other day.   It is difficult to cut the pills into smaller sizes , but I have found that actually biting them with your teeth can cut them....also an 'Exacto' knife helps.   As far as weight gain, I am sick of it too, as I am used to being naturally thin.   I have noticed though that exercise does seem to help.  Yoga is good for relaxing too.  I would also suggest getting professional help in regard to learning life/coping skills.  In the darkest times, I try to remember that painful moments may seem to last forever, but they do give way to better ones.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Well.... so far I did a quick taper off of lexapro. In the hope to be med free cause I want to see if I really need it or not. But now im having the stupid run of the mill withdraw effects. Dizzyness.. that one is a little fun untill you get motion sick from it.. then i get a sureal like state of mind.. kinda like tunel vision or a lucide dream in exstream detail, and finaly im getting the lack of enery. Thing i've noticed since i've take this med are.. Masive weight gain i was like 120 now im 145, diarrhea wich goes away, and  my sex drive has changed.. lets just say I dont release as easy anymore... and I think thats about it. My advice if your planing to quit taking this pill is to slowly tapper off... i mean real slow.. it takes week even moths for it to completly leave your system. also realize that you will most likey have some with draw no matter how slow you taper off. The idea is the slower you taper off the less with draw syomtoms. I hope this has helped anyone out there with as scatered brain as mine ^_^.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone,

I have been on Lexapro for under a year.  I've been using it to treat Panic attacks that developed last summer.  I started with 5mg and worked my way up to 10mgs with the help of my doctor.  I am attempting to ween myself on the Lexapro because I want to be able to work on my anxiety/panic attacks without the medication getting in the way of my therapy.  I have also gained some weight with this medication as it seems to have made me rather fatigued and sluggish.  (all I want to do is sleep.)  I am also experiencing issues with constipation and I don't have to tell you how unpleasant that can be.  I am not interested in trying other meds because I tried several different kinds (wellbutrin, effexor, paxil) and experienced bad side effects with each one.  Frankly, I want to be med free.  Especially since there are unknown long-term side effects.

Anyway, to ween off I have been 10mg one day and 5mg the next day.  I am experiencing some of the same withdrawl (withdrawal) sypmtoms as many of you have.  I have had moments of dizziness and vertigo.  It usually happens out of nowhere, but it increased quite a bit when I have tried to work out or exercise.  I do notice my anxiety is a little worse since I've been on the meds, but I do not entirely mind this.  I want to be able to feel uncomfortable enough so that when I do meditation or breathing exercises it will have an impact.

I've chatted with many others about this topic and it seems that many of them feel twice as bad going off the medication as they did before they started the medication.  This is certainly not easy and I wish everyone good luck on their progress.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
In crisis.  Attempted to go from 5 mg on Sunday to nothing.  The first few days were what I expected. Dizziness, crying, nausea, unable to sleep.  My doctor assured me that it may last a few weeks but would get better every day.  Then Friday night things collapsed.  I became severely agitated, screaming, violent.  Took sleeping pills to make it through the night and woke up the same.  Spent all day yesterday violently agitated.  Called my doctor who precribed me xanax, which did nothing.  I'm still feeling violent and suicidal.  My doctor suggested I try the prozac thing, but I am losing faith.  I went down on dosage from 20 to 10 to 5 with no problems, and no one seems to be able to explain to me why a change from 5 to zero has me ready to hurt myself.  I am really tired of this entire industry and don't think I can take it anymore.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been on Lexapro now for 2 years, but have been on various SSRI's for the last 10 years.  Never really been off.  Last year, I went back to school full-time. My short-term memory was noticebly changed.  I also noticed problems "coming up with the right word", when in conversation.  My vocabulary is not what it used to be either.  I got really scared. So, I tried to go off Lexapro using the taper-down method described on many blogs related to this same subject.  I decreased to 75% for 2 months, 50% for 3 months, 25% for 3 months.  The "zaps" were driving me nuts!!  I was really having anger & irritability issues, along with lots of crying.  Finally, I had a little "break-down" one weekend and I knew I had to go back to 100% (10mg. per day).  After an 8 month "taper-down", I still couldn't get off. Looking back 10 years ago, I went on an SSRI, because I was midly depressed and OCD runs in my family (though I had no strong signs). But now, it seems like I will never be able to go off SSRI's and my dream of obtaining my Master's is slowly fading.  I hope the makers of these drugs are working on a resolution to this issue.   What if the side effects are permanent?  They keep saying they are not....but do they really know?   I've been seeing a neurologist for 2 months now.  He's working on my problem.  They have tested my blood for everything he could think of testing.  They did an MRI, and 2 long days of cognitive testing.   I'm waiting on the results....  I'll keep you posted.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Don't lose hope, I got my Masters Degree while going through all this, and felt the same way you did.  I also have been on SSRIs for 10 years.  Started when I was 16 and it was only supposed to be for a few months to get me through a rough time.  I have never been able to get off, not even with tapering or switching meds.  I am finally trying the Lexapro to Prozac method that someone describes earlier in this thread.  I just pray to God that this will do it.  Anyway, have faith...you are not alone!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been on clitoplam (lexapro) for almost 3 yrs. I have tried to quit cold turkey and after a few days I get the brain tremers that are so intense I cannot get out of bed how can i get off this so that i can have a baby with out complications....
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello everyone,

I just joined this list after reading your various comments regarding the pros and cons of discontinuing Lexapro.  I have discussed this with both my psychiatrist and my therapist (a psychologist).  The M.D. thinks it a bad idea to discontinue.  The psychologist thinks it might be good -- he says clients who have gone off it feel more "authentic."  Lately I have been having problems with confusion and forgetfulness.  This is complicated by alcohol (yes, I know this isn't a good idea), but seems to come and go randomly as well.  Currently I take 10mg.  I also take Lamictal as a mood stabilizer, since I'm bipolar (although I've only had one manic episode precipitated by a tricyclic).  I've heard that Lamictal also has antidepressive properties, so was wondering if I could manage on that alone.

thanks for your help.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
So how are you with the Lexapro withdrawals now?  I've been having insane insomnia and everything else you were going through in November 2005 (your post date) for the past 6 weeks after only being on 20mgs for maybe 3-4 months.  The Lexapro wasn't really helping my anxiety either way so, I just slowly cut myself off of it.   Now, I'm manic in that, like a light switch, I have to clean or talk or do something starting around 10pm when I should be getting ready to go to bed.  I usually make to bed around 4-5am and drag into work at 11am when I normally would be in around 7-8am. Klonopin has worked fine for 15 years calming my anxiety (2mgs a day)....but, I decided I would try Lexapro and damn do I regret it now! I've even decided to go to a pshycologist since I have NEVER felt so out of control ONLY after taking, or lack thereof, Lexapro.  How much longer do I have to go??? Or maybe a better question would be..... after how many weeks did you finally feel normal??
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I took Lexapro for only a month and a half.  I was only on 10 mg. a day.  Since starting Lexapro, I have been miserable.  I've gained 15 pounds in a month and a half.  I've had no desire for sex, constant headaches, dizziness, tired, etc.  So, I decided this wasn't worth it and it was making my depression worse to feel that way every day.  I started tapering off it and figured it wouldn't be too hard since I'd only taken it for a little over a month.  I was fine for a couple of days, but then all of a sudden I started feeling 20 times worse than I had been.  I felt like I had the flu 24-7.  I was dizzy, nauseous, hot flashes, headaches, so tired, unmotivated, mood swings, crying spells, etc.  I felt like a crazy person.  
I had to go back on 5 mg. of Lexapro per day.  I am still feeling serious side effects every time I try to cut back.  It is insane.  I think it will take me a long while to get completely off.  My doctor says I should just switch to a different AD, but after my experience with Lexapro, I don't think I want any of these drugs in my body unless I am seriously psychotic, then maybe the side effects of AD with SSRI's would be worth it.  I've done a lot of reading up on the other AD, and they sound just as bad if not worse, especially people's experiences trying to get off the drugs.
For those of you who might be interested in switching AD, My doctor mentioned that he has had patients switch from Lexapro to Welbutrin without bad side effects and that the Welbutrin helped up their metabolisms and they lost the weight that they gained from taking Lexapro.  (this is what he reccomended to me, but I didn't want to chance it)  
Anyways, I just want to be done with this drug.  I don't think everybody has such bad side effects, but I was one of those people that had just about every bad side effect.
I hope if there is anybody out there who is just starting this, and having bad side effects, get off it now, while you still can.  After about a month, your body is pretty much reliant on it and you will probably have a hard time getting off it.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been on lexapro 20 for 3 years now. I want to get off of it because I have gained 25 lbs and it keeps climbing. I have cut down to 10 in the last 4 days, in my nth time trying to do this. This time I really want to make it work. Usually I get the brain zaps, which reall scared me. Nausea won't be that bad. I just dont' want to be controlled by anything, any pill, ...

I was origionally put on them because I was on hepc treatment. Interferon/ribotal for a year. Nasty stuff. They say it alters your brain chemisty, of which it did to me, after a few months. My doctor didnt' tell me it would happen, I was just a total wreck of a person. The lexapro worked within 2-3 weeks.
But I have been off treatment for 2 years...and am wondering of the treatment had done permanent brain chemisty changes.  I think knowing what is going on will really help me with withdrawls.
Any information or comments will really help. Thank you - koko
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I'm a nurse who started anti-depressants after the birth of my first child related to anxiety(generalized anxiety disorder) and mild depression. I had tried several meds but lately just quite Lexapro and Wellbutrin, which I've been on for about 4 years, mostly by accident. I have to mail order monthly meds or my insurance won't pay for them. I've been waiting for them to come. I've been off my meds for 1-2 weeks and have had some withdrawals such as the dizziness, headache, nausea and unable to sleep. But I've gained about 30-40 lbs since starting the meds (it would be great if it was related to the meds, but I'm not sure), felt exhausted and didn't have a sex drive AT ALL..... Even though I have the withdraws I feel more energetic and had multiple orgasms for the first time in my life. This is making myself and my husband VERY HAPPY! He said the other day I was acting more like I used to (LIKE WHEN WE WERE DATING)before taking the meds. I'm hoping the withdraws don't get worse or last for very long...I'm also hoping my anxiety/depression doesn't get worse. By reading the above comments, it sounds like my withdraws aren't as severe as most. Best wishes to all of you.....
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been taking Lexapro 10 mg since Sept. 4, 2005.  I apparently had a long stomach illness that led to depression and anxiety.  Just when I thought I couldnt get any worse, I started taking Lexapro.  For about 6 weeks I thought I was "going crazy" so they say. All my senses were intensified, many days I felt as though i wanted to cry but couldnt, until one day I had about a good solid hour of really shedding tears.  Now it is January and I have felt great since Thanksgiving.  I want off the meds because I am not a big pill popper to begin with.  I decided to stay on the meds until June then, slowly ween off of them.  The only thing that makes me nervous is experiencing any withdrawal symptoms that are anything similar to what I experienced getting on the meds.  It was the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with in my life.  I can't imagine how such a low dose had such an intense reaction on me.  I had complete loss of appetite, lost 15 lbs., in two months, couldnt take showers for very long, couldnt bring myself to do normal things, like washing the dishes or even getting outside.  When my phone rang it made me sick to my stomach.  Truthfully, I know I was in pretty bad shape before the lexapro, and although the lexapro messed with my psychi while getting adjusted to it, I am glad I fought through and held on, because now I am great.  I have also seen a homeopathic herbal doctor and have been taking specific vitamins for anything I was deficient in and I have never felt better in my life. Anyway, like I mentioned before I am just nervous about withdrawal symptoms.  I feel confident that as long as I stay active continue with my vitamins and supplements and expect that certain feelings will pop up but only temporarily, I should be just fine.  This was my first and only major depression attack. Sometimes it felt more like anxiety.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hey..thanks for the post...the withdrawal from the lexapro was the most horrible thing that I've ever gone through...after going 16 weeks without anything...I basically had a nervous breakdown....my serotonin levels were depleted and all I did was shake and cry hysterically......I finally went into my psychologists office on a crisis call and within 20 minutes he knew what was going on and he contacted my primary care physician and a prescription for prozac was called in...this was the Monday right after Thanksgiving.....I was prescribed 20 mgs. of prozac..anyway, I got so bad, that I couldn't sleep, had no appetite, major depression, nervousness like never before..panic attacks and these are to only name a few of the worse symptoms....well, to make a long story short, I am doing a lot better today....I still have the fear of what my next  withdrawal will be like, but I need to take each day as it comes.....I have decreased my dosage of prozac from 20 mgs down to 10 mgs. and right now I am on my 2nd day of 5 mgs...I was told that I probably need to be on it for at least 6 months, before I even try to come off of it again.....I hope the 5 mgs. will work and I won't have any trouble with it....if not, I'll go back up on the 10 mgs. and go from there....I have occasional headaches on the prozac and my sleep still isn't the best, but at least I'm able to get about 5 hours a night....it's really frustrating, because I want to know if I can live without being on an anti depressant...I don't know any different....16 years is a long time and all that time, I was shoving those pills down my mouth and my OCD was never really under control...I've finally found a Dr. who understands me and has taught me so many ways to deal with obsessive thoughts...I haven't had any in almost 2 months and I went to my appointment yesterday and when I first started the therapy, I was a (2) on a scale from 0-10 with a 0 being a mess....yesterday, I was an (8)....my doctor couldn't believe the change in me........but then again, I've worked really hard at learning the strategies to overcome my obsessions and continue each day to refocus my energy in other areas.....I will keep you posted and I look forward to your reply as well...I would love to know how you are doing.....Thanks for your interest...and sorry it has taken me awhile to respond..I usually don't come on this board to often..but I will check in to see how you are doing...Thanks again..bigbaz
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I'm doing a little bit better w/ some of the symptoms....I don't have "brain palpitations" (those lightning bolts that travel up your back to your brain) and I not as confused as I used to be.  I was REALLY out of it.  But I still can't sleep and miss usually a day of work every week.  I drink WAY to much now in order to knock myself out.  I know this is bad but I'm honest w/ the psych and he understands and doesn't scorn me like most regular Drs. would. I am seeing a psycologist who wants me to see a psychiatrist again and the cycle begins.  I guess that now I'm simply more depressed than I've ever been.  I guess a lot of it is from not being able to mentally keep myself together since this all began.  I can't handle being like this (missing work, no interst in playing my guitar, not doing my normal fun things, etc) so the depression just gets worse and worse. I'm very rarely depressed at all, but now I really am.  I can be manic and cry one minute and be ok 30 mins later.  Right now I feel like Lexapro has changed my brain chemistry forever.  The psychologist agrees that I may be manic II now.  I know it sounds too easy or fake to just blame everything on Lexapro, but to be perfectly fine for 27 years and then all of a sudden a manic depressive insomniac is just too much of a coincidence.  I'm in a place where I don't want to ever take another anti-depressant again since 1)The 6 or so I've tried never work or give me very bad side effects 2)I simply don't to be on them.  But, at the same time, I can't keep on like this.  I'm just going to see what the psychiatrist says in a week or so.  Thanks for the reply.  Glad you are doing better at least.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hey ..thanks for the reply...I've been checking in to see if you have left any comments....well, it sounds like you are going through it....I can really feel for you....I know how frustrating it can be, to not know what the heck is going on with you....I am slowly building myself up again....When I wasn't able to sleep, I took tylenol pm and had a glass of hot cocoa...that really helped me out...I refused to take any more prescriptions.....especially when my dr. wanted me to take seroquel....LOL..NOT going to happen, so I went for the over the counter meds...and it really helped..so give it a try....I still have depression, but it comes and goes...and my OCD comes and goes as well....I really get frustrated, just wanting to know how much more I need to take...is it me? or is it something new??? I guess I will never have the answers...until I am able to experience life again...after all, I was on medication for so many years....I was walking everyday, and that helped some...the last week, I have been having terrible mood swings/combined with some minor depression...I hate the depression so much....it comes and goes.....I am on only 5 mgs of prozac and I'm not sure if it is helping...I might have to go back up on the 10mgs.....since I felt somewhat better on that....it is so frustrating....I just want to get back to normal...whatever that is....it seems like when I'm not feeling up...or when I'm depressed, my mood changes drastically..everything bothers me......Oh well, time will tell what happens next...I hope you find some relief in your symptoms....and just remember....the Dr.s need to understand what you want.....luckily I have found a therapist who understands me and what I want..however I've been through it this week...and it really scares you.....however, keep in mind, that all people have bad days...and just because you're on medication or not, doesn't mean you won't have a bad day every now and then....Hang in there...it will get easier.....that's what I keep telling myself......as always, bigbaz
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hey ..thanks for the reply...I've been checking in to see if you have left any comments....well, it sounds like you are going through it....I can really feel for you....I know how frustrating it can be, to not know what the heck is going on with you....I am slowly building myself up again....When I wasn't able to sleep, I took tylenol pm and had a glass of hot cocoa...that really helped me out...I refused to take any more prescriptions.....especially when my dr. wanted me to take seroquel....LOL..NOT going to happen, so I went for the over the counter meds...and it really helped..so give it a try....I still have depression, but it comes and goes...and my OCD comes and goes as well....I really get frustrated, just wanting to know how much more I need to take...is it me? or is it something new??? I guess I will never have the answers...until I am able to experience life again...after all, I was on medication for so many years....I was walking everyday, and that helped some...the last week, I have been having terrible mood swings/combined with some minor depression...I hate the depression so much....it comes and goes.....I am on only 5 mgs of prozac and I'm not sure if it is helping...I might have to go back up on the 10mgs.....since I felt somewhat better on that....it is so frustrating....I just want to get back to normal...whatever that is....it seems like when I'm not feeling up...or when I'm depressed, my mood changes drastically..everything bothers me......Oh well, time will tell what happens next...I hope you find some relief in your symptoms....and just remember....the Dr.s need to understand what you want.....luckily I have found a therapist who understands me and what I want..however I've been through it this week...and it really scares you.....however, keep in mind, that all people have bad days...and just because you're on medication or not, doesn't mean you won't have a bad day every now and then....Hang in there...it will get easier.....that's what I keep telling myself......as always, bigbaz
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
This is a great resource...  I had been on 10 mg of Lexapro for 6 weeks and had to quit cold turkey.  I'm a software developer and it became quit difficult to concentrate enough to do my job while I was on Lexapro.  After being off Lexapro for a few days my ability to concetrate returned.  The downside is that I and now very lite headed and extremely dizzy.  Hopefully, these symptoms will subside in a few days.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I am happy to find this board. I appreciate reading everyone's comments and sharing their experience with lexapro and related meds. I was on 20mg paxil for minor depression and anxiety for 8 years before I stopped taking it cold turkey (bad move). It took one week before withdrawal kicked in. I literally went through pure hell for one week. It was the worse thing I have ever gone through.  I think I had an out of body experience during the withdrawal? I am not sure but I saw myself at one point sitting on my couch. I was drinking HEAVILY during withdrawal. I would cry when I saw a squirrel cross the street! Electrical zaps were so bad.... I called my dr. and I was given xanax to help. It was just as addicting as the paxil. Similar withdrawal after I stopped taking. I started on the lexapro (10mg) after one month of being paxil free. I felt like I had to get back on something as the paxil withdrawal symptoms seemed to persist, although not as near as bad as the first week. I do not like the sexual side effects of lexapro, and it is hard to concentrate. I just gotta quit! I have to do it for me, and for the people in my life. I want to be my old self again. I look forward to reading more posts on this subject. picco
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
For information and moral support during SSRI withdrawal, you might consider checking out these sites:

www.paxilprogress.org

http://www.ssri-uksupport.com/
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Ok I am an 18 year old boy and I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was  around 5 or 6. Over the next decade I have hopped higher and higher on the pills food chain. I am now taking one every morning 54 mg of concerta and 10 mg of lexapro. I am sick and tired of being on these stupid meds but I am not sure I have the confidence to try without them. I have had my fair shair of ups and down when I wouldn't take them. There have been times where I have thrown up in the morning and it become hards to take them. I am a pot user however I am trying to quit now. (I took a break for about 4 months before i turned 18) I want to take charge of my own lif now and I don't want to rely on othes to help me. Apparently I am depressed (I was unaware) and I was told I needed lexparo I have been using it for about a year and I have steadily been gaining some weight. I was at first 186 lbs when I started to take my meeds again (I stopped for a year) 5 months later I had dropped down to 150 lbs. and now another year afterwards I have risen to around 160-170 lbs. I am trying to get more in shape now and tune up myself but I need ways to practice focusing and self control any suggestions?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been on Lexapro for about 4 years.I had previously been on Paxil while pregnant, my son was born with tremors and breathing problems. he couldnt even cry for his first 3 days of life. My DR. blames the Paxil. So now im on Lexapro. I havent heard anyone talk about more than 20 mgs at a time. im starting to worry because I am on 20 mgs 2x's a day for a total of 40 mgs per day! and 300mgs of Welbutrin and 100 of Strattera(for adult attention disorder)is anyone else on that much? and if so how were the withdrawals?!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
bigbaz,

I have been on antidepressants for 10 years and have been on Lexapro for the last 4 years.  I tried to get off of the meds in the past due to various negative side effects, but the horrible withdrawals and the need to keep my job forced me back on them.  I am single and only have myself to depend on.  In the past, I tapered off with my doctor's assistance and that did not lessen the intensity of the withdrawals at all. In fact, I ended up in the hospital for a week. Recently, due to the overwhelming fatique(feeling like a zombie), the inability to focus and make good decisions at work, I decided to quit my meds without tapering off.  From numberous postings I have read and my own experience, tapering doesn't seem to help. I am in no way telling anyone here not to taper.  Do what you and your doctor agree on.  Anyway...I've been off of meds now for 1 month and 11 days and still going through withdrawals..good one day, bad the next.  Good 3 days and so on.  Of course this is after going through 2 weeks of nausia, throwing up...dizzy spells,migraines, profuse sweating etc.  I am now officially on family medical leave hoping I will return to normal before losing my job.  I have never felt so trapped before in my life.  If I'm not over these withdrawals in another month or so I'm afraid I will be forced to get back on them in order to keep my job.  This is not fair! It takes a long time to stablize after getting off these STRONG drugs. And where are the programs that help support us? People that need help for getting off of illegal drugs get more help then we do.  I know someone who had 6 months of residential treatment to get off of crack and he is doing terrific now.  Where do we get the positive reinforcement and help we need to get off antidepressants?  I have no spouse or boyfriend to lean on and this is the most difficult situation I have ever had to deal with.  These drug companies are disabling us due to their need to get rich and our doctors aren't giving us the info. we need to make good decisions.  When I recently asked my psychiatrist what I could do to help with the withdrawals..she said she could get me more meds.  After telling her no..I asked for any other suggestions and she just said "time".  I just hope time is on my side before I end up homeless.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi and thanks so much for your comment....I know exactly what you are going through and my heart goes out to you....I am not myself anymore...I worry about everything...obsess till there is no tomorrow and basically don't know what else to do..except take the ******medicine or should I call it poison....I have been trying in the worst way to come off of this stuff...it started back in August and by November I basically had a nervous breakdown with my serotonin levels being completed depleted...and then the prozac.....I've had highs and lows..ups and downs....depression..obsessions...and yet I keep taking it....I went down to 5 mgs..hoping that my body would be able to adjust to the low dose.....but after about 3 weeks...I started obsessing.....I have OCD anyway....and I have learned how to deal with a lot of my obsessions, but they became to overwhelming and I had to up my dosage...to 10mgs..I know that it is still a low dosage, but the point is....I don't want to be on this medication anymore.....I always had obsessions, and that is why I was put on medication in the first place...almost 16 years ago.....I finally got fed up with everything...the weight gain...the depression....the medications topping out and Dr.s always wanting to increase the dosage....I don't know what else to do....I don't know if the low dosage of prozac had anything to do with the obsessions...or if my body was trying to find a balance.....or if the obsessions were just part of my original problem...I am so confused......I do know that we are only dealt with what we can handle at one time....but this anti depressant withdrawal...addiction is the worst.....I just wish I knew if I needed medication or not....I want it to end and I want to once again be in control....I look forward to your reply...and please keep in touch...bigbaz
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Bigbaz...I'm sorry you are having so much confusion as to what to do. I feel the exact way.  I got on meds for anxiety/panic attacks back when I was going through a divorce.  The panic attacks began when I started working after 13 years of staying home with our children. I had minimal skills and no self confidence when I started working and had panic attacks daily.  It was so embarrassing.  I had to work neverless to take care of my children and pay a mortgage, etc.  The meds didn't even help with the panic attacks.  I had one therapist that was just sure I had ADD and wanted me on ritalin.  He referred me to a psychiatrist who said ritalin will only make the anxiety worse, but still gave me a prescription for it.  I took it for 2 or 3 days and almost had a nervous breakdown and had to get off.  I was ready to take anything at that moment if I thought it would help.  I was desperate.  After about a year on that job..I got a better job that was less stressful and the panic attacks went away.  By that time...I had more confidence in my abilities.  I should have gotten off the meds then and I didn't know any better and doctors never even suggested it.  I tried getting off about 2 years later and withdrawals were so terrible...I was afraid I would lose my job and got back on.  I tried several times and same thing.  This is the longest I've been off and I don't know how I'm going to feel from hour to hour and I know for a fact..this is NOT how I felt before getting on meds.  This is NOT a return of original symptoms.  I am so scared that I may be permanently damaged from taking these meds so long.  Right now I would welcome a panic attack over what I'm feeling now.  I understand about wanting to be back in control...I'm doing everything possible to nourish my body back to health.  I'm taking magnesium(powder), calcium, fish oil, drinking lots of water, staying away from caffeine and trying to eat healthy meals. I take very hot baths to help relax me so I can sleep at night along with an occasional benadryl and hot tea if needed.  I will not watch anything on tv that can make me emotional. And honestly...I don't know if any of this is helping, but it gives me something else to focus on and feel like I'm in some way contributing to the healing process.  Bigbaz...Sorry to ramble on so much.  It's just I haven't had anyone to talk to that understands all this stuff.  I hope you feel a little bit better each and every day, my thoughts are with you....tamyb
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi..It is so nice to have such a quick response to my post...I have been doing the same things as you.....I went from paxil to lexapro and I was off of the lexapro for almost 17 weeks and then weham...I lost all control of my emotions/everything...I don't know how I managed to function, but I did.....I went to my psychologist on a crisis call and was sobbing hysterically..and couldn't get myself back together..that was in November of this passed year.....I was put on 20 mgs. of prozac as I was severely depleted of serotonin....I guess my body quit producing it on it's own and stopped working, since it was getting serotonin from the medication.....well..In July my lexapro topped out on me and I started crying and was an emotional mess...my Dr. then put me on seroquel to help me out..It working immediately, but made me extremely tired...It has been a long year for me....I am not on 10 mgs. of prozac and I have good and bad days....I am very irritable and not as emotional as before, but everything bothers me...I know this isn't right, but I don't know what else to do....I remember growing up as a child and having these fears of being a drug addict/committing suicide/etc. and I just thought they were part of growing up..little did I know at the time that I was obsessing....several years went on and I finally was diagnosed as having OCD after I graduated from college and started living on my own...I was 22 years old and was put on paxil....to help with my obsessive thoughts....anyway..I continued taking it for almost 15 years and gained a ton of weight and became depressed/etc. I then went on the lexapro for 1 year. 10 mgs. and then when that stopped working my Dr. upped the dosage to 20mgs. that's when everything went out of whack...crying spells...irritability...not in control.....I am not going to therapy with a great psychologist to help me control my obsessions/etc.  I don't want to be on medication..but I know I have to rebuild myself and then go from there...I am the type of person who wants everything done right now..but I need to be patient.....I don't know if my feelings right now are due to the medication trying to find a balance in my system or if I'm causing my body to go into shock from adjusting the meds/up and down.....maybe I'm just obsessing about the medication....but I do know that my life prior to meds wasn't this bad...I'm a nervous wreck all the time and I have to decompress several times a day just to make it through....I have learned so much about my body and ways to eliminate stress/anxiety that I feel I no longer need to take the medication....I know it will be a long road for me....I want to get there...but have this fear that I will not be able to come off of medication....I think everyday that my brain has been destroyed because of so many years of ssri usage.....It is nice to have someone to talk to..since my wife doesn't understand anything and really doesn't want to learn about what I'm going through....in itself this is the worst situation to be in...for I fear that we are growing apart from one another.....but then I don't know if the medication is doing this to me or not....I'm in a very difficult situation as you can see....I want to be happy again...and I want my life back......Thanks for reading this long post and I look forward to reading more from you as you begin your quest to be drug free...thanks for your support...bigbaz
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi..It is so nice to have such a quick response to my post...I have been doing the same things as you.....I went from paxil to lexapro and I was off of the lexapro for almost 17 weeks and then weham...I lost all control of my emotions/everything...I don't know how I managed to function, but I did.....I went to my psychologist on a crisis call and was sobbing hysterically..and couldn't get myself back together..that was in November of this passed year.....I was put on 20 mgs. of prozac as I was severely depleted of serotonin....I guess my body quit producing it on it's own and stopped working, since it was getting serotonin from the medication.....well..In July my lexapro topped out on me and I started crying and was an emotional mess...my Dr. then put me on seroquel to help me out..It working immediately, but made me extremely tired...It has been a long year for me....I am now on 10 mgs. of prozac as I increased my dosage from 5mgs. as I started to obsess uncontrollably...and I have good and bad days....I am very irritable and not as emotional as before, but everything bothers me...I know this isn't right, but I don't know what else to do....I remember growing up as a child and having these fears of being a drug addict/committing suicide/etc. and I just thought they were part of growing up..little did I know at the time that I was obsessing....several years went on and I finally was diagnosed as having OCD after I graduated from college and started living on my own...I was 22 years old and was put on paxil....to help with my obsessive thoughts....anyway..I continued taking it for almost 15 years and gained a ton of weight and became depressed/etc. I then went on the lexapro for 1 year. 10 mgs. and then when that stopped working my Dr. upped the dosage to 20mgs. that's when everything went out of whack...crying spells...irritability...not in control.....I am not going to therapy with a great psychologist to help me control my obsessions/etc.  I don't want to be on medication..but I know I have to rebuild myself and then go from there...I am the type of person who wants everything done right now..but I need to be patient.....I don't know if my feelings right now are due to the medication trying to find a balance in my system or if I'm causing my body to go into shock from adjusting the meds/up and down.....maybe I'm just obsessing about the medication....but I do know that my life prior to meds wasn't this bad...I'm a nervous wreck all the time and I have to decompress several times a day just to make it through....I have learned so much about my body and ways to eliminate stress/anxiety that I feel I no longer need to take the medication....I know it will be a long road for me....I want to get there...but have this fear that I will not be able to come off of medication....I think everyday that my brain has been destroyed because of so many years of ssri usage.....It is nice to have someone to talk to..since my wife doesn't understand anything and really doesn't want to learn about what I'm going through....in itself this is the worst situation to be in...for I fear that we are growing apart from one another.....but then I don't know if the medication is doing this to me or not....I'm in a very difficult situation as you can see....I want to be happy again...and I want my life back......Thanks for reading this long post and I look forward to reading more from you as you begin your quest to be drug free...thanks for your support...bigbaz
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I just recently (about 2 wks ago) stopped lexapro cold turkey. Didn't know about weaning yourself. Went to the Dr. a few days ago b/c of the dizziness, was just feeling blah all week long. Now I am really irritable, (went off on my family last nite for no reason) feel just tired, don't want to do anything, feel misrable, having dizzy spells that just come on all the sudden and last for about 2 sec. if I turn my eyes either left or right the dizziness hits me. I almost called the dr. this morning to get back on lexapro, was kept on hold too long and hung up. I cry at the drop of a hat. Have I been off the SSRI too long to try to go back and wean myself off? I want answers to questions that the dr. says doesn't exist. How long does the withdraw symptoms last?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been on Lexapro for about 6 months to help with fits of anger and anxiety. I once tried to quit cold turky and could hardly walk from the dizzy spells. I had no idea that Lexapro caused weight gain, that would explain the 15 lbs. I can't seem to lose.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
http://www.theroadback.org/aaapretaper.htm
it outlines a program that is supposed to help with the withdrawal symtoms (symptoms)
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been on Lexapro for about 2 months, first 10 then 20 mg. I was on 20 for about 3 weeks, cut back down to 10 to ween,wasn't taking everyday maybe every other, or every 2nd day,  then cut in quarters,  took for two days then quite. This was about a 10 days ago, I have been blind sided by the withdraw symptoms, I thought I had a severe sinus infection. My head hurts so bad, I cannot stay awake, no energy to do anything, cannot take care of my children. Just want to sleep, How long will this last. Today was my worst day, crying constantly, irritable, exhausted, uninterested in anything, Not wanting to see anyone, not wanting any social interaction from friends. I just feel so sick and tired,

When will this end. I can't believe doctors don't tell you about this. I even told him I didn't want to go on anything that would be hard to get off of. He said getting off of 10 mg would be no problem.

I was put on this medication as part of a diet plan, along with Metforim, and Adipex 37.5, along with several amino acids.

The only thing I hear about is weight gain. My neighbor is on Lexapro and loves it, she has lost weight, no more migrane (migraine) headaches. I guess everyone is different.

Any way to releive symptoms of withdrawel and again HOW LONG DOES THIS LAST?
Blank
This Forum's Experts
351246_tn?1379685732
Dr. Kokil MathurBlank
Consultant
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
How to Silence Your Inner Critic an...
Apr 16 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank