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Withdrawl symptoms of Lexapro
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Withdrawl symptoms of Lexapro

I have been asked by my dr for over 2 years to start taking celexa due to chronic anxiety which I have dealt with since I was 2. I always said no but then finally agreed. I took it for 2 days and felt like the inside of my brain was rearranging, I couldn't sleep and had restless legs. I felt psychotic like I was going to jump out of my skin, so I immediately stopped. A couple of months later I was placed on Lexapro (although they are made from the same companies and are essentilly the same drug) Anyway, I took the Lexapro and felt great (except for the 15 lb weight gain) I really wanted to be a better mom to my kids.I hated that I had absolutely no patience with them and they deserve better than that! About 2 months into it I slowly started getting those side effects to a lesser degree and I also was having urinary hesitency like I had to go but couldn't. I am a female and since I don't have a prostate haha. One day I woke up and literally couldn't move all my joints hurt and I really couldn't close my fists I was that stiff. I was in excruciating pain so I called the dr and he told me to stop Lexapro and start effexor. I took the effexor and immediately had the same effects initially as the celexa (trust me I know why some people go wacko on these kinds of drugs)Well I had had it I didn't want to feel like that  anymore so I stopped. I knew better to just stop but I figured with all the side effects I was having I didn't want to try another one out. I would much rather face my nerves without the extra help from my ssri friends.
My question is this... It has been about 2 weeks since I stopped taking anything. Besides feeling like I am a complete terror to my children still I feel slightly dizzy and extremely nauseated. I actually have taken 3 pregnancy tests thinking/hoping that was the problem but to no avail. Besides concentrating on all the things that could be wromg with me as I am convinced I am slowly dying. I have narrowed it to ssri withdrawal. Could the effects of withdrawl (withdrawal) still be going stong after 2 weeks? My joints still hurt a bit too.
Thanks
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Yes, the withdrawal side effects can go on for up to a month in sensitive people.  But instead of taking medications, why don't you spend some time with a therapist?
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Perhaps you should see a therapist AND a psychiatrist for the "right" medication for you. When our son first began showing signs of ADD and depression, among other emotional symptons, he put on medications by our family physician. That was a disaster after following the doctor's recommendation to increase the medication or decrease it. We decided that since our family doctor did not specialize in this area, we thought we had better get help from a psychiatrist. Our son is doing much, much better now that he is on the right meds. for him...PLUS he sees a therapist one a week. It has been a long road where he was first diagnosed as "only" having ADD...it went on to OCD, anxiety, major depression and being bipolar. Is the doctor you see a psychiatrist?  If not, that might be a move in the right direction.

I do have a question for you...I too stopped taking Lexapro a month ago. I gained 10 pounds while on Lexapro and cannot seem to lose any of it. Have you noticed that your weight has returned to what you had weighed before taking Lexapro?  I am a small framed woman, so 10 pounds is a lot for me. I'm wondering if getting the Lexapro out of my system completely will take a while and the weight gain to go down soon.  Thanks for sharing your info.
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I started with Celexa as well, had little tremors in my hands and legs...problems sleeping and constant headaches.  Then I switched to Paxil.  Loved it except that I gained 10 pounds and wanted to sleep all of the time so I switched to Lexapro.  I gained another five pounds and I am only 5'2" and small boned so I was unhappy about that but Lexapro really helped me with my anxiety and even social phobias!

I have recently decided to taper off the drug...ever so slowly.  It has been 10 days since I have been completely off and I have many withdrawal symptoms:
1) when I turn my head I get a strange feeling in my head and eyes.
2) extremely nausiated (keep getting pregnancy tests as well thinking I could be pregnant)
3) sore muscles and joints
4) completely dissoriented, having trouble focussing (ADD)
5) panic attacks and high anxiety
6) highly emotional,crying a lot.
7) brief moments where I have feelings of hoplessness.
8) aggitated and angry
9) can't seem to lose my weight that I gained on the meds
10)PUFFY FACE, body feels swollen, brain feels swolen
11)My IBS is back...extremely swollen abdomen.

I would love to hear from other people about this.
I am very concerned about my weight gain and panic attacks.

good luck to everyone going through similar withdrawals.

LEXA
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I found out I was pregnant four days ago and immediately stopped taking my 10 mg doses of lexapro. I feel dizzy and foggy and my limbs feel tingley. Was worried that something is wrong with the pregnancy but then remembered the lexapro and am wondering if that could be from withdrawls?
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I just found this forum and am extremely happy about it.  I have not done the research I should have done 6 months ago when I started on my meds.  Just knowing I am not alone and there are other people out there with similar problems helps me a great deal.

I am also weaning myself off Lexapro.  My doctor put me on 30 mg. which I find now to be above the recommended dosage.  I have myself down to 20 and so far so good, although I feel a lot of the same symptoms as the other people that posted.  What REALLY bothers me is that in six months I put on 40 pounds!  I cannot believe myself and I hate it.  I have always been small and I feel awful about myself.  I do not eat a lot and I could not figure out what was causing it - NOW I KNOW.  That in itself is enough to make someone depressed.

I noticed that a previous poster said that they were having trouble taking off the weight.  I wonder if that is still happening?  Does anyone out there have experience with this?  I do not want the stress of a diet along with the weaning of Lexapro.

Thanks everyone.

Alice
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Hi,

For two in a half years I have been taking antidepressants. For a while I was taking Zoloft then I changed to Celexa. They were prescribed to me by my family doctor. After doing some research I have found out that I shouldn't be taking them. I had problems with stress from my job at the time and antidepressants was his solution for it.  I have seen a psychologist (before I started taking medication), and she has never recommend that I see a psychiatrist for evaluation. She didn't find anything serious enough that I needed to do that. I am trying to stop taking them and it has been very hard. When I don't take them I get very tired, emotional, light headed and I feel electrical shocks on the right side of my head and my body. I've tried to slowly lower the dosage, but that doesn't seem to stop the withdrawal affects. It's been a week since I have taken my last small dosage and I feel terrible. A friend of mine have spoken to some psychiatrist in Boston, MA, and they tell me that this doctor (who is really just a PA) that prescribe this medicine to me should be sued. I live in Texas and many family doctors here are known to prescribe antidepressants without giving the patient a referral to see a psychiatrist first. I tried calling and emailing my doctor about this problem and he won't reply to my email. When I have a question about other things that has nothing to do with mental health problems, he answers. Now that it's been a week since I haven't taken the drug, how long will the withdraw symptoms continue?

                                                           ~Sheree'~
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Thank GOD I found this place. I am experiencing SO many of the problems that I've read in the last couple of posts. The reason I decided to go off of lexapro is that I felt like it was no longer doing anything for me. I was on 20mgs. I started bruising for NO reason and my hair started falling out.

I called the Dr who put me on it who in turn told me those things had nothing to do with lexapro. Someone please tell me why I read it on the lexapro site?! *smh*

I've tried so many different things, all of them eventually stop working. Yesterday I started getting really light headed, today my whole body aches like I have the flu (No temp or other flu like symptoms), I feel like I could throw up if I turn my head or even so much as move my eyes.

I'm worried about what is going to happen with my anxitey and panic attacks. I have an appointment with a homeopathic Dr next week. I guess I can only home that she will have something that can REALLY help me and these lexapro symptoms end quickly.Good luck to everyone.
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My doctor put me on Lexapro (10 mg) in April 2003 - "a very small dose to get you through this difficult time", as he put it. I was deeply grieving over the death of a close friend and was bursting into floods of tears even at work.

To its credit, the medication really helped with the overwhelming sadness I had been experience. In fact, I discovered feelings of deep happiness and inner calm that I realized I had not actually experienced since early childhood. When I told this to the doctor, he said that I had probably been depressed without realizing it, and for much longer than anyone had realized. He advised me to continue taking Lexapro, since it had no known side-effects.

The medication certianly relaxed me considerably. I had always been a bit of an over-achiever, but I stopped doing unnecessary overtime at work, started to pamper myself a bit and really began to appreciate my leisure time. I no longer felt so horrendously upset about being single, and my generally happy and newly confident state no doubt helped me feel attractive to men, and finally to fall head over heels in love, some eight months after beginning the pills. Ten months later, I was married, and I must say it has been the most blissful year of my life. Everyone has commented on my altered state, and although I know deep down that it is due almost entirely to having met my husband, I am aware that the medication helped push me in the right direction at a time when I had been going through unbearably sad feelings.

Despite the benefits, I was aware, however, that Lexapro might be responsible for all or some of the following, NONE of which I had experienced before taking the medication, and all of which I have experienced consistently since April 2002:

- Need for at LEAST nine hours sleep a night, or I would be extremely sleepy and yawn during the day. By the end of the work day, all I can think of is going home to have a nap. I sometimes even nap for an hour at lunch.

- Concentration difficulties. I had been a real bookworm before taking the medication, but I stopped reading entirely.

- My productivity figures at work, revealed to me for the first time some 15 months after starting Lexapro, showed a significant drop. My productivity, counted in pages of edited text, had actually HALVED in a one-year period!!

- Lack of energy. This was accompanied, however, by a feeling of well-being: I took lots of luxurious bubble baths while listening to music and had no particular desire to exercise.

- Weight gain. I can no longer even zip up the dresses I wore last year!!

- Problems achieving orgasm, but since I had no reduced interest in cuddling, and since my huband and I have a very good relationship, I have not been too worried about it.

- Tendency not to keep papers and accounts in order. For the first time ever, I started to forget to pay bills, claim for money owed to me or return administrative forms on time. Most surprisingly, this did this worry me in the slightest. I attributed it to being in love and having my mind elsewhere, but who knows?

POSSIBLE LEXAPRO WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

Just over a month ago, we went on our honeymoon and I completely forgot to bring my pills with me. I was feeling so blissfully happy and relaxed, I decided I probably didn't need them any more, and didn't bother to renew my prescription when I returned home. Thoughts of the friend who died no longer saddened me so much. In fact, I mostly found myself smiling at happy memories of her.

Recently, however, I have been feeling strangely unwell, and it suddenly occurred to me that I can more or less date the problems to the time I stopped Lexapro (September 2004). I thus entered the words "stopping Lexapro" in a search engine, and was directed to your site. Reading some of the other comments, I realize I may have been going through Lexapro withdrawal.

These are the symptoms I have been experiencing:

- Severe, pounding migraines or headaches that feel as if I have something clamped round my skull.

- Increased motion sickness in cars and buses.

- Severe dizziness with strange visual disturbances. Sometimes, when I am standing still, the whole world suddenly seems to jolt up and down, or side to side, for a split second, as when an elevator lands. It is a sensation very hard to describe, but I feel as if something is passing through my brain when it happens.

- Emotional fragility and worsened PMS. I find myself bursting into floods of tears for no apparent reason. My husband always responds with reassuring hugs, but we are both a little perplexed by it, since it is totally out of character, and I can never actually explain why I am upset, no matter how much I try to analyze things.

- Tonight I had a horrendous argument over the phone with my parents and got very angry at them for not telling me that a family member had been hospitalized the previous day. I really shouted at them, and they slammed the phone down on me. Since I rarely get angry, I am wondering whether this too might be related to Lexapro withdrawal.

- Tiredness and general fatigue.

- Problems concentrating and accomplishing simple tasks on time, difficulty making important decisions, tendency to postpone household tasks I had been doing immediately.

- The strangest yet: In the last five weeks or so since stopping the medication, I have had an odd tendency to come up with the wrong word in the middle of a sentence. I told my husband he was my darling "suitcase" instead of "sweetheart", and although we laughed about it, I am aware it was not the first time I have said something strange in recent days and weeks.

- I frequently forget what I was about to say and have moments of uncustomary blankness. For a few seconds, I am unable to answer a question, or to remember what I was doing. Usually my husband and I just laugh it off, but it has been getting worse not better since stopping the medication.

- Loss of appetite, slight nausea, frequent (but unproductive) desire to urinate, and some diarrhoea, constipation and upset stomache.

- Runny nose and sneezing (which could just be a cold - we can't blame everything on Lexapro!)

- Sleeping difficulties: not falling asleep for ages, or waking up too early.

- Blurred vision. The optician is quite perplexed about it, and has issued me with no fewer than THREE sets of glasses: one for reading, one for the computer and one for long distance. I am only in my early 30s!

My question is this: Would you advise me to go back on Lexapro? We'd like to have a child in a year or so, and I don't want to become pregnant while on an anti-depressant I am not sure I need. I am also concerned about my productivity at work, which had been consistently high for the eight years preceeding use of the medication, but suffered badly while I was taking it. How often do the withdrawal symptoms usually last?

I know that if I see my doctor, he will advise me to go back on Lexapro in order not to rock the boat, as he puts it. Indeed, the dizzy spells do make me feel I am on some sort of rocking boat.

Can anyone suggest anything?




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Sarah, you just summed up EXACTLY what I am dealing with right now.  I went on Lexapro back in Sept of 2002, am now coming to terms with living life off of it.  I have been working on weening myself of of it for the last 2 weeks.  It's been horrible.  The loss of words, forgetfullness in sentence structure, sudden shocks that shoot through my body, undirected mean and angry comments towards my loved ones.  I don't know what to tell you other than just to know that you are not alone.  I have been talking with many friends that have gone off of one antidepressent or another and this seems to be par for the course.  I know how unstable and scary it makes you feel.
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I have been on Lexapro since July of this year and I decided to take myself off of it, and I am having the w/d symptoms that everyone is talking about.  I have been reading all the comments out there about this and I wonder if anyone can tell me how long the side effects of withdrawal last?  It has only been about 6 days since I stopped taking it.  Please let me know - thank you!
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I've been on 40mg and I just went off cold-turkey.  I know I should consult my physican, blah blah blah, but I know he would have just convinced me to stay on it, or go on something else.  I have been severely depressed in the past, but when I went on Lexapro (at the urging of my therapist), I didn't feel like I needed it.  

Anyway, today I felt all weird and dizzy.  Also the electric shock sensations in my brain.  I feel very angry, and perhaps this is part of the withdrawal symptoms (aggression?), but I think my doc should have told me before I went on it that it would have these types of withdrawal effects.  I was on Effexor before, and when I went off, I had severe nausea.  It was a big concern for me before starting the Lexapro that I wouldn't have to go through that hell again.  I understand that the doc was probably just trying to make me "not depressed" but it isn't right to withhold information like this.

I'm hoping that these symtoms (symptoms) won't last up to eight weeks (I read that somewhere online).  Has anyone been through this and how long did it take to feel "normal" again?
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Ditto!  Everything you guys are saying goes for me too.  I'm now 4 weeks from first starting the withdrawl (withdrawal) process.  2 weeks taking 20 mg every other day and 2 weeks completely off.  It has been a very hard and long road and I'm still not 100% through this yet.  I can however say that I'm doing better.  I can function better because my head isn't always ahead of my eyes when I move.  I still do get a shock every now and then and I have stopped sweating so much!  Now I am dealing with wondering when and how I am going to lose the 25 pounds I have gained in the last year since on Lexapro.  I am so swollen.  I think I'm even more swollen now than when I was taking Lexapro.  I guess I figured once I got off this stuff the weight would fall off.  I am really trying to be positive and rational since it hasn't been that long yet.  I am definitely going to write back in once I'm over this **** and tell everyone how long it took to feel myself again with no withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms.  I sure wish someone out there whose been down this road would jump in and tell their experience.  I desperately need some encouragement with my weight loss.  I've read that Lexapro shuts your metabolism down and I'm scared that will make it way too hard to lose this weight. I didn't lose weight very easily before Lexapro.  Help!
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Hi!  I know exactly how all of you feel.  This is actually my second time to go through this agony with SSRIs.  The first time was after tapering off Paxil.  I have tried every SSRI out there for panic disorder.  The only one that works for me and has very little side-effects or withdrawal symtpoms is Serzone.  I stopped taking Lexapro about 2 weeks ago as directed by my physician (he switched me back to Serzone).  I feel like death would be less agony.  
Just to answer some of your questions about this drug.  I have had panic disorder, depression, and OCD (all of these things usually go hand in hand when you have panic disorder) for 26 years.  Like I said, I've tried every SSRI there is to try.  Paxil and most definately Lexapro have had the worst side effects and withdrawal symptoms of any that I have been prescribed.  Yes, those electic Zaps are from Lexapro withdrawal!!  Yes, the fatigue, constant nausea, stiffness, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, hair falling out, weight gain, agitation, tingling sensations, muscle pain, severe headaches, neck pain, vision problems, tremors, sweating, chills, sore skin, bruising, insomia, vivid dreams and nightmares, increased urination, flu-like symptoms, severe dizziness or a feeling of being off balance (like the V8 commercials), not being able to concentrate or do simple tasks, the wrong words coming out, zoning out, diarrhea, and feeling like you are going out of your mind are all thanks to Lexapro withdrawal.  So you are not going crazy!!!!  I have been through this before and sad to say I'm going through it again.  The good news is that although it does not seem like it, it will go away eventually.  The bad news for some of us is that it may take up to 2 months to start feeling normal again.  This is how long it took for me to get through my Paxil withdrawal symptoms...2 1/2 months.  Don't even think of going back on this drug.  Although I must make it clear, I am not a physician, I have been through this.  Tapering off the medication does not stop the intensity or the length of the withdrawal symptoms.  So going back on the medication just to taper off of it will not make going off it any easier.  I do promise you that you will get through this.  Don't give up!!!  You will survive and start to feel better!!  You will get back to normal.  Although right now I feel like I'm going to die, I know I will get this out of my system and start to feel good again.  We just have to hang on and keep the faith while going through this difficult time.  I have to admit, it may be one of the most difficult times in your life.  Just keep looking to the day when the symptoms will finally disappear and they will!!  You will get back to normal.  It may take a couple of months for some of us, and it may just be half that time for others.  If the symptoms do continue for over a month, don't worry, they will finally disappear.  If it makes you feel better, see your physician!  I do have to warn you though, that many physicians will deny that these are withdrawal symptoms.  I have heard this too many times...."SSRIs do not have withdrawal symptoms"...these so-called physicians do not know what they are talking about.  These are real, very physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms...your body has become physically dependent on these drugs.  Do not make the mistake of letting a physician tell you that these symptoms are all in your head or are part of your depression or anxiety symptoms...they are not!!!!  I hope I have helped some of you understand what you are feeling is very real and is indeed withdrawal from SSRIs.  However, do be safe and see your Doctor.  I hope I have been of some help to all of you who are suffering as I am.  I will pray for you and hope you do the same for me!  God Bless!!
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I need some advice

I was on Lexapro for a few years, and tapered off of it with my doctor's consent over about three weeks. Well, I'm completely off of it now, and have been for about four days, and I'm experiencing some horrible symptoms. I'm extremely anxious, lightheaded, dizzy, I've been sweating and feeling feverish, I can't calm down, I feel nauseaus and out of it, and basically just panicky - and I don't know what I should do. Is this normal? I've been taking Klonopin 0.5mg at night to calm down enough to sleep, but how long is this going to take to go away? Will it? Any advice or words would be appreciated. Thanks.

-- Rachel
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I am so glad I found this forum.  I was googling for Lexapro withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms after trying to wean myself off it for the past week by halfing my 20 mg pill.  My doc put me on it last April (2004) after a series of events proved too much for even what I always considered was a very positive personality.  So much for the Power of Positive Thinking.  Ha Ha.  Anyway -- after about a week the drug seemed to kick in and things became much better.  Like the one post indicated -- I became much more relaxed and in a general state of zen-like happiness.  The side effect I noticed the most was an increase in spending for things I had always wanted but put off, and some weight gain -- aside from a much more positive outlook.  I also noticed my work output was suffering, but did not seem to care.  Anyway, I certainly avoided decending into a severe depression, which I was heading for.  How did I know? I had all the tell-tale signs of the early stages, based on watching my own father go through it about five years ago. (Yes, it runs in the family -- how lucky!)

Anyway -- trying to stop Lexapro has been nothing short of thr weirdest thing in my life.  Much to my wife's dismay, I did not consult my doctor, but just starting cutting the pill in half.  I always took it in the morning, and today (Friday) I just did not take it at all.  I HAD to by the time I got home from work.  All day I felt like I was in a state of ZERO gravity.  My whole body felt like I was floating despite being on the ground.  Yes, I know this sounds odd -- but I almost felt like I was out of my body at times -- and I was getting these weird electrical sensations through my whole body -- like nothing I have ever felt before.  The lack of gravity or floating thing was the weirdest though.  My head feels heavy and I am veyr tired and am doing things out of order -- like last night I did laundry at midnight -- which is something I never do at that hour.  My wife was like "Is that the washer going?"  It did not seem odd at the time.

Now I have gotten less sleep the past few weeks watching the Red Sox, but come on - this Lexapro is one hard thing to quit.

Has anyone else had the Zero gravity sensation?  Again -- it feels like you are floating or something outside your body -- or falling.  I can still function -- like drive (although I seemed to be going faster today!) and perform fine motor skills tasks (I registered for this forum successfully) but I will have to see how this goes.

I had a choice of Zoloft or Lexapro back when I was put on it -- I chose the Lex thinking it would help me quicker and plus it was something I did not hear a lot of people were on - compared to Zoloft, so I wanted to be different of course!

Bill
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Oh, my gosh! I thought it was my heart medication making me dizzy with that awful "out-of-body" feeling. I kept telling the doctor that my calf muscles were in agony, and she said it couldn't possibly be from the Lexapro! She even went so far as to suggest I wear high heels to eliminate the pain!

I've been on Lexapro for the last 3 months, and also seeing a therapist. The therapist and I agreed I could go off it, but the doctor didn't want me to. Fortunately, doctors work for us, and not the other way around, so I insisted.

But even though I was only decreasing from 10 to 5 milligrams (after having decreased from 20 to 10) I'm still getting the forgetfulness, the leg cramps, the headaches, the waking in the middle of the night, the inability to concentrate, the shortness of breath, the crying for things like commercials!

I had been on prozac for a few years until I experienced "prozac poop-out" .. it had just stopped working.

Well, here's what I'm doing to minimize the withdrawal:
1) I'm aware that these are withdrawal symptoms
2) I'm exercising more (with fun stuff - like dancing and walking. I hate gyms)
3) I'm drinking LOTS of water and decaffeinated beverages to flush the stuff out of my bloodstream
4) I'm spending time looking up places like this so I know I'm not along
5) I'm continuing with my therapist

Thank you all!
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Just wanted to update you  on my progress withdrawling from Lexapro.  I have been "clean" now for about 6 weeks total. Two of those weeks were on and off every other day, but anyway I can finally say I'm much better.  The head thing is tons better.  I still think I may not be 100% based on one of the previous comments though because I still am stiff and my head still does feel alittle bit not 100% right.  Mainly when I'm really tired at night sitting here reading these stories!  Ha!  I really enjoy reading the experiences of others.  I don't feel so alone and it gives me confidence to tackle this problem.  I am being really impatient with my kids now.  They don't deserve such an angry mom.  I've got to learn to be happy and nice all the time or at least better than now.  At least I'm not a zombie though, but as for my children I think that was better for them.  I just can't gain anymore weight.  25 pounds is so much for me to tackle losing.  I needed to lose before Lexapro and I've now compounded my weight problem.  I did start weight watchers this week and have actually been in control of my mind enough to stick to it for 4 days.  I'll let you know if I lose!
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I was perscribed Lexapro by my doctor last December for clinical depression. This was after a lenghty discussion on how I did not want to see myself on this drug long term. He promised that with monitoring and all things going according to plan that I should be of this drug within one year. Now it is November and I am off this drug and I never intend to return to the use of any anti-depressent again, I do not care about the cost of any therapies or what decisions I have to make to keep myself the way I am now, happy and drug free. Ok, I was depressed, I took the drug, it worked, I have to admit I felt better physically and mentally after 3 weeks.
However, the following also happened,
No sex drive, no interest in men or relationships or being emotionally close or intimate in any way with anybody,
huge weight gain, after 6 months on this drug, friends who had not seen me for a while, I would see there faces drop in shock at my weight gain, they would then cover it up because they did not want to upset me because they knew I was going my best.
Constant nightmares, never feeling like I  have enough sleep, however, this did stop when I was reduced to 10 mg per day.
I atempted to withdraw from this drug twice before finally being able to do so 3 weeks ago.
After one week of the drug I suffered a 6 day long migrane (migraine) that had me close to tears on a daily basis.
Felt chemical explosions in my brain during the night, 'Mental fireworks' is the best description, night sweats and poor sleeping. Stomach cramps and poor digestion which I still have- [take Alo Vera tablets of tonic for this, it works, and Vit B12 for Colon function] Also, EPA and omega 3 fish oils are good for brain function, I have been taking all these to counter act the side effects, also Magnesium for hormonal balance.
When I say I plan to get out of this, I meant it.
Can any one tell me how long it will take to get rid of the weight, after putting on 20 pounds I stoped weighing my self.

Being depressed is a trap that sucked that life out of me, after a couple of months on Lexepro, it was a trap just like my depression. The only way I see to get of this drug is to decide to give tablets and depression the boot at the same thime. A full scale, all out, offensive on the poison of depression. It is working so far. If anyone can give advise on how long losing the weight will take please let me know.

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I was perscribed Lexapro by my doctor last December for clinical depression. This was after a lenghty discussion on how I did not want to see myself on this drug long term. He promised that with monitoring and all things going according to plan that I should be of this drug within one year. Now it is November and I am off this drug and I never intend to return to the use of any anti-depressent again, I do not care about the cost of any therapies or what decisions I have to make to keep myself the way I am now, happy and drug free. Ok, I was depressed, I took the drug, it worked, I have to admit I felt better physically and mentally after 3 weeks.
However, the following also happened,
No sex drive, no interest in men or relationships or being emotionally close or intimate in any way with anybody,
huge weight gain, after 6 months on this drug, friends who had not seen me for a while, I would see there faces drop in shock at my weight gain, they would then cover it up because they did not want to upset me because they knew I was going my best.
Constant nightmares, never feeling like I  have enough sleep, however, this did stop when I was reduced to 10 mg per day.
I atempted to withdraw from this drug twice before finally being able to do so 3 weeks ago.
After one week of the drug I suffered a 6 day long migrane (migraine) that had me close to tears on a daily basis.
Felt chemical explosions in my brain during the night, 'Mental fireworks' is the best description, night sweats and poor sleeping. Stomach cramps and poor digestion which I still have- [take Alo Vera tablets of tonic for this, it works, and Vit B12 for Colon function] Also, EPA and omega 3 fish oils are good for brain function, I have been taking all these to counter act the side effects, also Magnesium for hormonal balance.
When I say I plan to get out of this, I meant it.
Can any one tell me how long it will take to get rid of the weight, after putting on 20 pounds I stoped weighing my self.

Being depressed is a trap that sucked that life out of me, after a couple of months on Lexepro, it was a trap just like my depression. The only way I see to get of this drug is to decide to give tablets and depression the boot at the same thime. A full scale, all out, offensive on the poison of depression. It is working so far. If anyone can give advise on how long losing the weight will take please let me know.

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Everything you describe in your long and interesting summary of side effects is what I have been suffering (both on lexapro and now in withdrawal).

Reading your post only made it clear to me how glad I am that I've decided never to take it again and how sorry I am that I did not stop sooner.  I kept broaching it with my psychiatrist but he was able to push my objections aside.  Finally, I decided to stop seeing him and to withdraw very slowly.  I have stopped now taking any lexapro but the weird side effects have not gone away completely -- not to mention the insane weight gain.
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Thank goodness for web pages like this!!! I am so glad to see that I am not the only person effected from Lexapro. I was originally put on this medication for a little extra help i needed to get through the day. I am 17 years old and I take 10 mg everyday. I just recently started to (try) to get myself off of lexapro. Mainly because I have gained 25 lbs while taking it. I've never been a heavy set girl so when i started gaining weight i realized it. I haven't contacted my physcian on getting off of this medication...however I am very close to his main nurse that told me it should be ok to ween myself off. I have found that i just quit cold turkey about a week and a half ago. And oh my gosh the side effects!!!!!!!! Blurred vision...crankiness...upset stomach...much un-needed dizziness...the list goes on. My question for everyone is..how long do you think this will last? And has anyone who quit this medication with experienced weight gain finally lost the weight? how long did it take? and what did you do to get it off? any comments will be appreciated! thanks a lot!


                                                       Becca
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Thank goodness for web pages like this!!! I am so glad to see that I am not the only person effected from Lexapro. I was originally put on this medication for a little extra help i needed to get through the day. I am 17 years old and I take 10 mg everyday. I just recently started to (try) to get myself off of lexapro. Mainly because I have gained 25 lbs while taking it. I've never been a heavy set girl so when i started gaining weight i realized it. I haven't contacted my physcian on getting off of this medication...however I am very close to his main nurse that told me it should be ok to ween myself off. I have found that i just quit cold turkey about a week and a half ago. And oh my gosh the side effects!!!!!!!! Blurred vision...crankiness...upset stomach...much un-needed dizziness...the list goes on. My question for everyone is..how long do you think this will last? And has anyone who quit this medication with experienced weight gain finally lost the weight? how long did it take? and what did you do to get it off? any comments will be appreciated! thanks a lot!


                                                       Becca
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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!
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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!
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I'm glad I'm not alone and I know that this is not "all in my head".  I've been on one SSRI or another (Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor, etc.) since June 2000.  I've been on Lexapro for over a year and am trying to get off of it.  I tapered down and have not had any for three days now.  I am so dizzy.  I feel fine if I don't move, but when I move I kind of feel like it takes a second for my body to catch up with the fact that I moved.  And my lips are tingly and numb.

I feel like an addict. I look at the bottle in the cabinet and think "maybe I should just take a 1/4 of a tablet today to make it through the day..."  It's pathetic.  My physchitrist also told me that there are no withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms associated with Lexapro.  Well, then why the heck to they advise so strongly against quitting cold-turkey.

I almost want to just go take one so that I can feel "normal", but I also want so badly to see what my normal feels like.  It's been 4.5 years since I've used my brain without the aid of an SSRI.  I have forgotten what it feels like to be me.

I helps to know I'm not alone and that I'm not crazy, that these symptoms are real.  But, I don't know if I can handle feeling like this!
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Hi,
I'm a 41yo, female, with no previous history of mental illness. I'm married, mom of 3 boys, alcoholic, who has not had a drink in 13 years. I've been working as a vet tech for 21 years.
I had a "nervous breakdown" in 5/03 - 10 months after a major head injury, and along side of many stresses all at once coming into my life.My GP put me on prozac 20 mg per day, and  xanax .5 mg - 1 4x's perday plus 2 tabs at bedtime; called a thrapist who told me during our session that I was to "get out of town" or be put in a hosp. I got out of town. I took up occaisionally smoking again after I had the NB and recently it has become more of a habit. On my one month post NB recheck with the GP, I was taken off prozac and put on Lexapro (because of major weight loss and general shaky/week feeling) and she told me to take the lexapro in AM instead of PM. Also put me on trazadone 50 mg in PM along side of Xanax. After one month I asked to begin to wean off Xanax. got the ok. Very slowly began to wean. Once that was done, tried and succeeded to wean off trazadone. Once that was done, I tried to wean off Lexapro. By last year, Feb. I had taken my self down by .5 mg to 15 mgs of lexapro in AM and it was then that things went seriously down hill. Wicked nightmares, shakey (shaky), panic, etc. So upped myself to 20 mg. And went back on Trazadone per the GP and the therapist. I was at this dosage for the rest of the winter. This past summer I worked the whole summer to gradually come off night time meds and reduce lexapro to 10 mgs (hoping to stay that way until spring then wean off lexapro in the spring - this would accomplish 18 mos of SSRI's as rec.  By the end of the summer I had accomplished my goal but then symptoms returned (nasty nightmares, shakey (shaky), AM panic, weightloss, etc) after 6 weeks on 10mgs of lexapro with no night time meds. So back up I went to 15 mgs. Then had to see my mom 3 times in a six week period so went back on the night xanax and trazadone. (Somehow Mom has proven to be a major stresser for me - go figure...?)Now I happen to have this uterine fibroid thing happening and so was doing some on-line search to look at options to resolve it. Started to look at my scripts just for kicks and giggles and found I didn't like what I was reading. SO, ( I didn't mean to write all that!) I've read that you cannot cut your lexapro levels by 5mg increments. That you should shave some off, go 7 days, and then shave off a little more, etc. The question is; I have all the symptoms of seratonin syndrome - now what? I shaved my 15mgs of lexapro starting yesterday. Cut the xanax to 1/4 tab last night - (probably should have waited on that...)Have apt to see therapist on Mon and GP on Thurs. Give me ammo to go with please!
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I have read many of your comments, and am relieved and ANGERED to know that many of you suffered the same problems with Lexapro.  My MD prescribed Lexapro in November of 2003, and knowing I was anxious and sad a lot, I thought it was worth a try.  My anxiety improved, I was much less angry, and I was not depressed.  The first couple months I gained about 15 pounds, and after 4 months, I had gained 25 pounds.  I workout, and try to eat right, so I am convinced that the Lexapro is the main factor in my weight gain.   I weaned myself off of Lexapro (I tried every other day as my doc said, and that was like a roller-coaster, don't try that!) and then I more successfully cut down to 1/2 the 10 mg dose.  However, I found myself to be very dizzy for most of at least 4 weeks, my emotions were very unstable (which they weren't THAT bad before Lex...).  After about 5 weeks, I began to feel ok.  Getting off Lexapro stopped the weight gain.  I have maintained my 25 pound gain now for 6 months, but CAN'T lose it.  I crave carbs way more than I ever did before, and I know that is related to Seratonin levels.  I am tempted with this much information to look into starting a class action law suit.  These irresponsible drug companies should have to suffer for the suffering we are experiencing.
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For those of you who are going straight off of 20 or even 10 mg, I'd say that's too much of a jolt to your system. I've been on 5mg for 3 months (down from 10mg) and just went off completely after 2 weeks of taking a pill every other day. And I feel crappy. I'm dizzy, tired, foggy, tingly, and can't concentrate. I'm also irritable. It sucks. The worst is that it's affecting my performance at work and I can't explain to anyone why I'm a complete spazz lately. I'm seeing my psychiatrist Tuesday, so I'll let you all know if he gives me any earth-shattering insights on how to lessen the withdrawal symptoms. Blah! I hate this!
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hi everyone
thanks for all your comments
its so comforting to know i'm not alone.
one thing i noticed that has not been mentioned in great detail
are all the sexual side effects cause by stopping lexapro.
prior to lexapro i had an intense sexual interest and was very active(safely of course), then similar to a lot of you, my ability to have an orgasm became incredibly difficult, not to mention my drive was very minimal, or reduced as compared to my pre-lexapro days. Now that i have come off of it ( that was a dark period) my initial response was super sex drive and now it is almost gone again. and i have gained quite a bit of weight yet i have been excercising and eating right, and have decreased the amount of alcohol i consume. what is going on? does anyone else also have a decreased libido after an initial high immediately after getting off of it?
i am so confused. but i have  to admit, i am so much better now that it is out of my system - i have my sense of humor, i feel emotions once again instead of being this happy go lucky zombie that seemed quite unnaturally happy and mellow all the time which kind of freaked some people out, i am happy, but, i just want my sex drive back. could it be that i'm the only one?
please help...
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No weight gain - actually weight loss on Lexapro(20 mg); I'm just not hungry, though I do eat a well balanced dinner every evening - with lots of protein, salads, and microwaved sweet potatoes.

I'll "carb" out once a week; it appears to work for me.

PLUS, far less side affects from the switch from an older drug.

SNACK on foods that you do not like! That also helps!
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I feel a little better after reading this.  I have been on 40mg of Lexapro a day and I ran out.  I can't get ahold of my nurse practitioner to renew my prescription since it is a holiday.  I feel horrible.  I thought at first that I had a sinus infection because of the dizziness, but this is no ordinary dizziness.  I feel like there are electical currents running through my head and arms.  It is such a weird feeling, hard to describe.  Also, if I move my head too fast I feel like my head weighs 100 pounds and everything just starts spinning.  But it isn't a normal type of dizzy feeling.  It last for a second then goes away.  Then comes back then goes away.  I have never experienced withdrawal from any other medication I've ever taken.  This is horrible.
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Hello, this is my first time posting anything on any mental health boards. I am in my second month of weaning off Lexapro(started before Christmas 2004) and now am on my 12th day of no meds at all. Still having dizziness, nausea, sleep disturbance, restless legs, insomnia and general confusion whenever I try to do something physical e.g. clean, wash, cook etc. Took Effexor in 2000 and didn't have any weaning problems. How long does this last? I cannot drive;(good thing I have no children to care for)Have used Paxil, Serax, Effexor and Lexapro in past 8 yrs.I am 59 & this will be my LAST time on a SRRI if I can help it.
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Oh my God... I am just like so many others and am so glad that I found this site.  I was on lexapro for about a year and a half and decided to get off of it. I slowy cut my dose from 20mg to 10 mg to 5mg to the point where I was cutting the half of the 10mg in half. So i was taking about 2.5mg.  I was trying to avoid the side effects that I had felt from missing a dose while on it. But I have got them anyway.  I actually didn't think that the headaches and dizzines was from the Lexapro because like others my doctor said that it doesn't cause withdrawal side effects.  So I have seen a billion doctors.  I am supposed to go for a bunch of test, but I bet they will come back negative.  If they do, I know what is wrong. LEXAPRO!!!! I am so miserable and have missed work and school for the past week and a half... I hope that it goes away soon, I don't think I can take much more of this... Does anyone know of anything that can help minimize the side effects?

Miserable,

Rachel
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I have stopped taking celexa as of 2 weeks ago.  The first week I felt perfect, then without any notice, the second week came and now I am a complete mess.  I was on 30mg of celexa and had to abruptly stop because i have just found out i am pregnant.  I feel extremely anxious, i cant even go to the supermarket.  I am dizzy all the time and have had to take the past 3 days off of work.  I am nausous.  I cant think straight and just plain old feel awful.  I had the same problems years ago when coming off paxil, in that case my doc gave me xanax to take to cope w/withdrawl effects.  i cant take that now since it causes birth effects.  please someone e-mail me, i need help and feel hopeless, i will lose my job if i cant work.  i am so dizzy i cant even go out to the store.  i dont know what to do.
***@****
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I'm not sure who told you Lexapro causes birth defects, but both my obgyn and my psychiatrist have given the advice that Lexapro is the best anti-depressant to be on while pregnant.  (Unfortunately it doesn't work for me)  Plus you must ask yourself, what is harder on your unborn child, the stress of depression and withdrawals or the medication?  I've had friends that had beautiful healthy children after being on Zoloft or Prozac for their entire pregnancies.  Talk to another obgyn or psychiatrist and get a second opinion.
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Hello everyone,
I just had to post this.  Ok this is what I think and feel right now.  I was on Zoloft about 3 yrs ago - didn't feel it helped so just stopped taking it - well the withdrawls kicked in.  Dizziness, tingling, mood swings.  So I went back on it- months later still felt that it wasn't doing a thing - still felt depressed etc.  So... my doctor switched me to Lexapro, started at 10mg went up to 20mg.  After realizing that the Lexapro wasn't helping me either I decided just w/in the last month to wean off of it slowly.  I cut down to 10mg for a week, 5mg for a week, and then 2.5mg for about 4 days then off.  Well, while on the 2.5mg the w/d's started.  I've now been off of it for about 7 days and let me tell you I'm with all of you that have posted.  NOT GOOD!! I have the dizziness, even just sitting my head feels like it's getting small zaps, tingling - lips, tounge, face, hands, and feet.  I'm very irritable, totally not myself especially my patience.  Normally and even on it I've got the patience of a saint (I've been told) well not right now.  I have sleep apnea.  The other evening I was trying to get to sleep with my cpap mask on, it wouldn't stop leaking air - I was so mad I ended up hitting myself in the head because I as so frustrated.  I could have dug my face off.  This is so not good.  I'm a worker from home - Avon, my own craft business, and just recently started selling Melaleuca -well it's a good thing this is all from home because I feel like I can barely function. I hate feeling like this.  I'm exhausted. I could go on and on with all of these symptoms.  My point is - this shouldn't be happening to us.  I totally feel like I'm going through drug drug withdrawls/ not a prescribed medication.  I've never done drugs, but I do know that what we are going thru is the same thing those people and alcholics go thru.  This is just not right.  Never once did my doctor whom I really like ever tell me this would happen.  I just recently saw a couple of specials on t.v. about these wonderful med's.  What it comes down to is $$$$ for the gov't.  They failed to let us know all of the possible side effects while on it and the withdrawls that we'd go thru. I want the makers of Lexapro to take some responsibility for this.  Ok, maybe the w/d's go away after a couple of months for us sensitive to med's people, but during that time our lives are pure HELL!!!  I'm so close to going back on it, but I'm not going to give in.  Don't they see how bad this is for us, I feel like I should be in a drug rehab.  At least they'd have things to help us with the withdrawls. If there is anyone out there that knows of any lawsuits out there for Lexapro let me know because I want to join in.  I don't care about the $$$, but I do care about my health and my family.  Right now I'm not there for my husband or my child. Not the way I should be.  I feel like in the last couple of weeks I'm seeing my life pass by me, because I don't feel like doing anything.  I just read a post last evening from someone that was very inspiring and helpful.  He said don't give in stick it out and so on.  Quite a big help.  Thank God for this board.  I plan to update on my progress or not progress and hope to help others thru it. Together we can get thru this, but it should also be stopped.  The makers of these drugs and the gov't - FDA should know what we are going thru and at least have to educate doctors and us about what will most likely happen if you come off of it.  Thanks for your time and help.
Michelle

If anyone wants to persoanlly email me they can at ***@****
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Hi all,
I just wanted to share a little tip.  I came off Lexapro about 10 days ago, but actually got a cold while I was in the process of tapering (a couple of weeks back).  I developed the lightheadedness and dizziness too, like many of you, after I went off Lex completely.  I discovered that when I took Sudafed for congestion, it also got rid of the dizziness!  There are so many explanations for why this may have helped and I'm not sure which is correct but thought I'd see if Sudafed had helped anyone else combat dizziness.  I've found that withdrawal symptom to be the most prominent and very very bothersome, and I was so happy when I found something that would ease it while I was at work or other times when I needed to be more 'on.'
-Redzazie
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