Depression/Mental Health Expert Forum
Stopped taking lexapro 1 week ago-I feel really sick-help!
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

Stopped taking lexapro 1 week ago-I feel really sick-help!

Hi-
I Was put on lexapro approx 4 months ago, by a psychiatrist, for deppression. I also started psychotherapy at that time. My side effects were sexual side effects and headaches at times.  I was able to handle those okay. Then, I had a severe sinus infection approx 1 1/2 months ago.  Started questioning my use of this drug- the benefits vs. the side effects.  Then about 3 weeks ago, this whooshing in my ears started. It sounds like a bunch of crickets are in my ears, constantly.  I told the psychiatrist this and  that I wanted to start weaning myself off of this medication.  He said okay and told me to decrease my dose from 10mg to 5mg. He instructed me to call him in 5 days.  I did- told him the whooshing was still present, but that otherwise I seemed okay.  He said to stop the lexapro all together.  I questioned that since I heard you are supposed to wean off slowly. He said that since  I was on a low dose(10mg)that that wasn't necessary. I have been off the lexapro completely for almost 2 weeks.  The whooshing sound in my ears has not subsided,in fact I believe its worse now.  I also have disturbed sleep,and have felt real sick with flu like sypmtoms for the past couple of days.  My question is this.  How long will this last?  Does anyone have any suggestions of what I can do to help feel better while this medicine is clearing from my system. I would appreciate any help in this matter, especially from people whom have been through this before.    Thank you
Related Discussions
242532_tn?1269553979
It doesn't sound like a side effect at all...it sounds like the aftermath of your sinus infection and should probably see an ent specialist.
30 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have the same problem. I've been trying to stop Lexapro for a while now, everytime I've been off it for about 2 weeks I get wooshing in my ears nausia headaches and fatigue.I get wooshing sound in my ears when I move even just my eyes sometimes. If I start Lexapro even 5mg its gone almost immediatly. My Doctor told me it's something I've always had, and the Lexapro helps it. But I know that's not true. I've never had this problem before. I'm going to try and wait it out again, but I don't know if I can do it.
Meanwhile I think doctors need to take a more serious look at this and stop blowing it off as some other problem.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Not to gang up on the doc, but I have to agree.  If I hear the word "asymptomatic" one more time, someone may lose a limb.  Just one read through the archives on this website tells me I am not "asymptomatic".  Maybe there is some sort of "sinus" link, but I have the same problem with a feeling/sound of water/liquid in my ear and when I turn or **** my head, it feels like my brain keeps moving when my head and eyes have stopped - only way I can describe it.  This seems to have started as I began my slow withdrawal from Lexapro - which I am happy to do as my sex life is improving dramatically.  I can only hope it will be even better when I don't have to pause for these freakish dizzy/blurry/deaf/nausea spells and get past this little bout of twitchy tearfulness I am having the last few days.  (Uh - how long do we think that will be now that I have stopped entirely??)
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I meant "atypical" not "asymptomatic" .... if I was "asymptomatic" I would be happy and everyone could keep their limbs :-)
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Ditto, I had the same withdrawal after only two days on paxil and as a person with a histoy of severe sinusitis I can attest that this had nothing to do with infection or at least any type of infection I've ever had. I remember thinking what would I do if this were to remain a permanent withdrawal. It's hard to describe and unbearable to live with. Like someone stirred your brains with a stick. It took about a long time for me to feel normal physically again.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi-
I just wanted to check in .  I took the suggestion of the MD and went to a ENT. I had a thorough examination.  She said that my ears looked fine.  The audiologist did a hearing exam and I was found to have significant hearing loss (high frequency)in both ears.  I will have an MRI on Wednesday.  After seeing me again and the films from the MRI, she will send me to a neurologist.  If the MRI is ok and the neurologist finds nothing, I am going to assume that the Lexapro caused this.  How can I not, considering that I did not have this whooshing sound (tinnitis)or the hearing loss, before I went on the medicine.















































Blank
Avatar_n_tn
This is normal. The crazy feeling you have is refered to as the brain zaps. If you do a search on the web you will find that lots of people experience the same problem when getting off of SSRIs.

Just feel lucky you are taking lexapro and not paxil. With lexapro you have the withdrawal symptoms for a much shorter time.

Also, most doctors have no clue as to what the side effects are to paxil. My doctor put me on it without telling me of the potential problems.

Half the time doctors don't have a clue what they are giving their patients.

NGG

Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi-Thanks for the comment.  I have been on the web alot researching this.  No one ever mentions approx. how long this will take to stop.  Also the doctors do not acknowledge this (or any for that matter) as a side effect.  The ENT called me today and said that the MRI showed that I had inflammed sinuses.  She put me on a antibiotic for 2 weeks and allegra-D.  I never had a sinus infection until I went on the lexapro. I think there is a connection with all of this.  Sinusitis is listed as one of the possible side effects of lexapro.  All that I want is for these crickets to stop churping in my ears.  Oh-I also started taking the vitamin supplement lipoflavinoid.  The ENT Dr. gave me some samples, says it might help with the tinnitis, but she says she doesnt have much faith that it works.  I'm trying anything at this point. I Also looked this up on the web-people say that it minimizes the tinnitis.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Does everyone agree that we are paying to HIGH a price to feel normal. Why can't we wean off of this junk? What is this "medicine" doing to our brains? I think that these AD's are far more powerful than our doctors would like for us to believe.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I just picked up some Xanax. I have had good success using this to fight the withdrawal symptoms of Paxil. I'm almost completely finished taking pazil. I'm down to 5mg every other day.

The Challenge is this is when the syptoms (symptoms) get the worst.

Anyway. I'm currently zoning out on Xanax at the office.

All withdrawal should be gone within a month of taking your last does (paxil). Lexapro seems to be about a week.

Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Be careful with the xanax-It is known to be habit forming.  Anyway, I hope that getting off the paxil goes well for you.  I am feeling better. I Switched from Allegra-D to plain allegra, the decongestant was causing me to feel jiterry and I was up all night the first day that I took it.  I still hear crickets in my ears.  The only thing that drowns them out is when I take my dog fo a walk in the woods.  The crickets outside are louder than the crickets inside.  That's so nice!  Take care,
                                                 Robin
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks to all who have wrote in.  I thought I was going totally nuts.  I've been on Lexapro for a year and a half.  I was put on it after getting out of Rehab for Drug and Alcohol abuse.  I'm in my first week without it, after weaning down for two weeks.  Man, feels like a bad trip.  My eyes are like on a wheel, and my head, I guess I can only describe it as static.  I dont know it sucks, and I cant wait for it to go away.  Depth perception is all messed up, more at night than in the day.  Anyone else getting that?  Thanks for your comments.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Now, I am thinking that maybe I should see if I have a sinus or ear infection, too As I wean off of Zoloft.  That water feeling in my ears started maybe a week or so ago...luckily it is not everyday, but I have also had pain in neck and a nurse mentioned that maybe I have an ear infection....this stuff hAs more side effects on the way out than on the way in...I cant wait to feel normal again..
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I  am getting the "brain zaps" after stopping Zoloft, any idea what they are and how long they last
Cmn
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I was also on Lexapro for about a year with the 10mg dose and gained weight and felt like it wasn't working so my Dr. put me on 15o mg of Wellbutrin and I got so sick. I took it for 2 and a half weeks and the dizziness just got worse.  I quit taking it and now I am worse 4 days off.  How long until I will quit feeling worse?  The crickets and dizziness are really bad.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi-well I want to tell you that I still have the cricket sounds in my ears.  I had a CAT scan of my sinus's today, this was ordered by the ENT Dr. for a follow-up after my antibiotics for my "sinus infection".  I went to the neurologist one week ago.  He said everything checked out fine neurologically.  He said that stress is causing this and wanted to put me on an antideppressant(trazadone).  When I was considering it, I checked out the possible side effects.  Check this out, a common side effect listed was "sudden loss of conscousness" (sorry for the spelling).Also,ringing in the ears!  Needless to say,I am not taking it. Nor do I feel that this is caused by stress. I did find out something helpfull. In my research to find out a cause for this tinnitis, I jotted down all the possible causes.  Went back to my notes and found hypothyroidism as a possible cause.  I asked my Primary Dr.last week to do some blood tests.  Guess what? I have hypothyroidism.  He put me on synthroid.  I have been taking it for four days now.  I hope that thats the reason for the crickets in my ears.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been on Lexapro (10mg.) for about a little over a year now. Before that I was on Celexa.  I tried stopping Lexapro a few months back. My Dr. told me to take one tablet every other day for two weeks.  I did that and got very sick feeling all the symptoms that you all have. I went back on it only to stop again a week ago...I have dizziness to the extreme,  I feel very disorientated and extremely tired. I feel like I am getting the onset of a cold. I also gained 15 lbs. I know that these symptoms will ease up eventually, but when the heck is eventually?  The past two months I have had on and off sinus problems, although those might have ooccured because of the barometric pressure dropping and the hurricanes hitting us.  
  My daughter also was on Lexapro (10 mg.) a few years ago but she was only on it for a few months and could not stand feeling lethargic and so she weaned off it every other day for the two weeks and she really never complained about the symtoms (symptoms) of withdrawal.  I must ask her.  Although she does feel much better off of it.  I wonder these drug companies  really know what the heck they are giving us.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have just stopped taking lexapro-but my psychiatrist only wants me to "wean" myself by reducing my doses. I want to quit taking all of my meds now. I am tired of gaining weight and having sexual side effects. I feel like I am starving myself and still gaining weight and sex is not a word in my vocabulary anymore(to my husband's frustration). I have already experienced sinus infection symptoms while being on the meds and now they seem worse. I have also experienced m ore bladder infections. I wish I had found this website prior to starting the meds!!!!! I am going to stop taking wellbutrin and lexapro as of today. I will update you on my progress, but wonder if anyone has suggestions about other side effects I may experience.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I've posted several rants now re: Lexapro withdrawal symptoms.  I've pretty much been getting the dizziness and brain zaps that other people have described.  I can't help but feel that this was not worth having been on the drug.  They helped a little with anxiety, but I don't think it did much with the low moods I got in.  I hate how the mental health professionals seem so eager to get people on these drugs when there are other alternatives.  Unless someone is suicidal, I think exercise and other methods are safer, and should be tried first.  I don't know how long these withdrawal effects are going to last (I've only been off the Lexapro for a few days now), but if it's anywhere near the 8 weeks that it could last (according to a site I read), there will be many more rants from me about this drug.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been on Lexapro for about 14 months.  I recently started noticing I was sweating a lot more than usual.  I've gained 25 pounds and have felt like the past year has been a daze.  I forget things a lot.  I'm an educated woman and I feel really concerned about my memory problems.  About 1 month ago I started finding sites on the internet describing the same things I was going through while on Lexapro.  I realized it was the Lexapro that had created all these health problems.  25 pounds is alot for someone who was trying to lose weight before I started Lexapro.  Anyway, I tried to go off Lexapro by myself with terrible results. I then called my obgyn to tell me how to successfully get off this stuff.  He said to take a pill every other day for 2 weeks.  I did that and now I'm a week without the drug at all.  I am pretty miserable still.  Maybe a little better, but my head feels like it's not all working together like it did.  I turn my head and it's like my eyes have to catch up.  I went to the gym and tried to do some of the machines and had a crying spell because my head hurt so bad.  Honestly, while on Lexapro I didn't cry the whole time I was on it and in the last week I've cried 4 times.  It actually felt good to have my real feelings come out and to just freakin cry!  If what you need is to not care for a while this is the drug for you. I personally will never go on another ssri again.  I've basically been a zombie for over a year and am looking forward to my occational really good days.  For me anti-depressants just aren't the answer and actually I feel like a guinea pig.  I had no idea I would become an addict going through withdrawls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Beware if you are considering this route for your problems.  I was better off before!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I took Lexapro for 4 months for very mild depression. After the intial week of a few side effects, everything seemed to go well on the medication...except now, I am 35 pounds heavier and that disturbs me more than mild depression.

I stopped taking the Lexapro four days ago, cold turkey. Now I'm reading that's a bad idea, but I refuse to put another one of those pills in my body. I am hoping to start trying to get pregnant next month and the last thing I want in my body is medication.

Unfortunately, starting today really, I've been experiencing some very weird sensations. My brain feels fuzzy I feel funky.

There has to be a better way. Next time, I'll just go shopping!!!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have taken Lexapro for over a year and Wellbutrin for 4 or more years.  I really have not had any side effects except for the lethargic feeling.  Three weeks ago my Dr. and I decided I wanted to get off of Lexapro.  He halved my dose for a week and then told me not to take the Lexapro again.  He made no mention of the many side effects I have had since getting off of the Lexapro.  Like many of you, I have had the zapping in the head, nausea, dizziness and flu like symptoms.  I have been off of the medicine totally for almost two weeks.  It almost seems that the side effects listed of Lexapro when taking the drug are the ones I'm having now.  Right now, the back of my scalp is numb.  Called the Dr. two days ago and he said I can have these symptoms for almost two weeks more.  I really wish he would have told me this would happen when I got off of the Lexapro.

I do feel better in the mornings when I get up.  I am totally awake and ready for the day.  I haven't felt like this in many years.  I am just hoping these symptoms leave my head soon!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Just wanted to update my last entry.  It has been about 6 weeks since I began withdrawling from Lexapro and I can now say I'm over the terrible head feeling.  I really felt better after about 5 weeks, but rarely feel the shocks and dizziness anymore.  I have been very agitated.  Guess what I'm not a zombie anymore. I'm praying for strenth to get through this initial  period without Lexapro.  I told myself I wasn't going to let things bother me like while I was on Lexapro, but they do again.  I have to figure out how to deal with them another way.  Still trying to lose that 25 pounds.  Finally had to start Weight Watchers to get myself back in control.  I weigh in next Wednesday and I'll let you know if I lose. I just found on Lexapro that I couldn't stick to any kind of diet.  I craved carbs and it seemed like the Lexapro made me weak-minded.  I couldn't stay motivated one day to stick to a better eating plan.  Now I've been on weight watchers for 4 days and am still on track.  I feel in control again.  I just hope the medicine didn't screw my metabolism up too bad.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been withdrawing from Zoloft, Buspar and Klonipin (klonopin) since August and have experienced much of what every is talking about.  I am only taking .125mg of Klonipin (klonopin) at bedtime at this point.  It has been difficult to deal with the day to day stressors of life and the withdrawal.  I have had anger and agitation and crying jags.  One thing I know though is that I will get better as time goes on and I will learn how to deal with my feelings.  The meds numb.  That is it.  The issues will be there until YOU cope with them...when you come off of meds, I think some past hurts come back, too but again you must deal with these feelings and move on.  Exercise is one of the best tension relievers I know and it will help you lose the weight.  I am still having problems with my ears, strangely enough, I feel like there is water in there.  I dont know an answer for that one.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am most concerned about how long after stopping lexapro, one feels like one's old 'normal' self.  My history:

1.  Started lexapro July 04 @ 5 mgms.  Built up to 20 mgs/day over long period.

2. At first I could not eat, couldn't stay awake, didn't really 'care' about things -- but much less phobic, not less depressed.

3.  By now, I have gained about 25 + pounds in less than a year.

4. Decided to slowly withdraw about 6 or 7 weeks ago.  Have not taken any lexapro for about a month.
.Still seem to be gaining weight;  
.problems with 'gait' (balance and walking);  
.can't turn my head suddenly because, hard to describe, 'feels like' my brain or my eyes will pop out of my head
. feelings of tearfulness but not real depression
. sexual feelings have returned

I still don't feel like myself and would like to know how long this takes. I start to fear it may be permanent.

Any similar experiences with amount of time to withdraw?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Maybe you have tapered too quickly.  Did you discuss this with your doctor?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone!  I was put on Lexapro one year ago December.  I was put on it for Anxiety only caused by Hyperthyroidism.  I have got the Hyperthyroidism taken care of which means the anxiety is gone.  I am wanting to get off Lexapro.  I have been reading your comments and concerns and wonder if these "braind zaps" and dizziness, etc. is at all lifethreatening???  Stacie
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi Everyone, So glad I found this site. I too have been having what I now know are withdrawal symptoms from cutting my Lexapro dose from 10mg to 5mg. It's only been a week, but the dizziness and headaches are unbearable. I was originally put on Lexapro last June for severe panic attacks and an almost everyday occurance of migraine headaches. After about 4 weeks I realized that my panic attacks were gone and that I no longer was getting headaches. In fact, I felt great! I was much calmer, didn't overreact to situations and could finally drive in the car with my husband without my heart in my mouth! It wasn't until I went back to work in September (I teach 5th grade) that I realized that I had no real emotions. I hadn't cried in months-I don't mean the crying for no reason. Just a good old fashioned cry over a sad movie on t.v., and although I was sleeping better that I had over the past 15 years, my dreams were very disturbing. After seeing my doctor last week, he felt that I could cut back to 5mg and see how I felt. Well, I feel awful. If I must go through these withdrawal symptoms anyway, I'm tempted to just go off of it altogether because the side effects of taking antidepressants STINKS! I am convinced that these drugs are overprescribed. Anyway, I will need someone to help me get through these next few weeks of withdrawal HELL! Is anyone willing to see me through it? I could use a friend just about now. Thanks!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi, Good Luck with your taper.  It will be hard, but worth it in the long run. I started to taper in August after having been prescribed too much medication for far too long.  It has been very hard, but I know I am doing the right thing.  I am sleeping ok and I think that is the one objective measure of depression you can rely on...ie as long as you are sleeping you are ok...Some of the withdrawl (withdrawal) is hard and you feel a kind of low grade malaise as you go through it...Hang in there.  You will start to feel better after awhile.  Exercise, talk to friends and family about what is stressing you...like a class full of fifth graders (which by the way, is probably the best age to teach..lucky for you).  I am a school social worker.  The stress some days is just incredible..I keep telling myself that I am strong and competent and no matter what drama is going on around me, I am making a very determined effort not to let it inside of me....it stays outside of me (or at least that is what I am aiming for).  Like yesterday, the day started with a student having an asthma attack in my presence and there was no nurse in the building..I was scared for the girl, but I just yelled at a secretary to call 911 instead of trying to call for a back up nurse from another school nearby...some people have no common sense!  I could of let that bother me all day...I focused on the outcome...the girl made it to the ER and was ok....her attack was beyond using an inhaler or nebulizer so the nurse would have had to call 911 any way.  Instead of being angry that the secretary did not respond appropriately, I just focused on the fact that I was able to control the situation and saved a life and patted myself on the back.  It is all in the way you think about things!  Read Feeling Good by David Burns.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been reading some of the past comments and realize that the fears most of you are expressing are over feeling like the withdrawl (withdrawal) symtoms (symptoms) are going to be permanent.  I had the same worries when I was going through the withdrawl (withdrawal) and I am now 100% over all those terrible feelings.  I believe that anyone who just sticks with it will get through it.  It does take time though.  I would say I'm about 2 and 1/2 months clean and am not experiencing any lasting side effects anymore.  Now on a different subject - my weight gain.  I stated  in my last comment that I had started weight watchers and I would let everyone know if I was losing any weight.  The answer is yes.  I had lost over 5 pounds the first two weeks.  Now it's Thanksgiving time and I am not doing real good this week.  The important thing to all of you who are worried about weight gain is that you will lose it if you want to.  That has not been a permanent side effect.  I still have at least 20 pounds to go, but at least the Lexapro didn't completely shut my metabolism down like I was worried about.  The worst thing now about getting off the Lexapro is the same ole depression is sneaking back into my life.  I may really have a chemical need for anti-depressants.  I was so sure I could do just fine without them, but I'm starting to notice some long lost feelings coming back.  I am starting to feel that people don't like me again.  Nothings changed about the way they are acting, it's my perception.  I also am having a hard time dealing with the arguements that my kids are getting into.  When they argue I used to calmly referee and now I feel myself wanting to cry and just run away or else yell - which I hate!  Besides all the familiar feelings coming back, I am now bothered by the holidays coming and the family issues I still have. (parents divorse, lonely marriage, mother moving in, child having trouble in school...) All the Lexapro in the world doesn't make any of this go away and yet as far as I know we're all healthy and have much to be thankful for anyway.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Has anyone actually gotten "anxiety" type side effects from taking Lexapro?  I have been on it since August and started tapering down to find the right dose since the end of October.  I have now decided to just get off of it altogether since I have increased anxiety (which I was put on it for in the first place).  Now I am taking 5 mg every other night and I get the anxiety feelings less and less.  I have pain in my back (from the shoulder blades up) and someone told me that could be from sinuses?  I had no idea Lexapro could affect sinuses so much.  I am a person on medication daily for sinuses and allergies...has anyone had increased anxiety also and pain in the back and chest?  I have had my heart checked out and treated for a sinus infection.  Maybe there is still some infection in there?  I had the aches last night.  I guess that might be coming off of Lexapro as some of you have said. Hmmm this is a puzzle.  The Drs. all said that coming of Lexapro was one of the easiest things.  I hope it gets better :-)
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I started tapering off Lexapro 10mg about a 1 month ago went to 5mg then 2.5 and finally 4 days ago i stopped well the entire month i tapered off i was feeling sick mostly fatique and muscle aches and TMJ. Well here i am 4 days into and each day seems to get worse I was Christmas shopping in Wal-mart today and half way through it my muscles starting hurting through out my entire body and i could barley walk from the fatique i felt twitches in my arms and legs I felt Nauseas my stomach is so bloated i feel like its going to pop. I too have these brain twitches and felt them during the entire time i took lexapro MY TMJ is so bad at this time. and to top it all off i have this sinusitis now for 3 1/2 weeks since i started withdrawing along with a sore throat. I also feel like im hungry all the time like i did when i was taking the lexapro when i wake up in the morning i feel like i was run over by a Bus when i urinate i can't seem to empty my bladder and have to go again often. I also have IBS since withdrawing. I have been so tempted to take another dose of Lexapro to stop this withdrawl (withdrawal) But I decided to flush it all down the toilet and stick it out if it dosen't kill me first I pray nightly that this to will pass God willing I have to keep telling myself its the Lexapro doing this and not some horriable disease iv got but then theres moments of complete peace no pain no complaints there few and far between but they are there and i hold on to the thought that every day well be like that once again I offer you this if your taking this drug I don't care what for GET OFF IT NOW sure it does help but the withdrawl (withdrawal) is by far a greater price to pay and to all doctors i suggest to you take it for 1 just 1 month and stop cold turkey and tell me in 2 weeks that there is no withdrawls from Lexapro I quarantee you will never ever prescribe this Drug to another patient again.

GODBLESS all of how are now living the effects of this brain altering experience I was a Lexapro user for almost 1 1/2 years
I hope my brain hasn't been tweaked into quinnea pig experiment of forest Labortories aka maker of Lexapro
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
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
1684282_tn?1350782543
Blank
The Death by Heroin
Feb 03 by Julia M Aharonov, DOBlank