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withdrawal from Lexapro
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withdrawal from Lexapro

I tapered off of Lexapro too fast. Now I'm having what feels like electrical shocks in my head, dizziness, irritability and flu like symtoms (symptoms). My dosage was 10 mgs a day. I cut back to 10 mg every other day for a week,then 5 mgs every other day for a week then I stopped completely. My last 5 mg. was 6 days ago. Each day is worst than the last one so today I took 10 mgs. of Lexapro about 30 minutes ago because I can't live like this. I've heard taking prozac before coming off Lexapro helps.I think I should add that I am 62 yrs. old and was taking Lexapro for social anixety and hot flashes. I want to get off because of the weird dreams and deep sleep I have and it doesn't seem to help with the hot flashes as much any more. Please advise me on what to do.
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I would suggest you go back to 5mg every other day for a week, then 5 every third day for a week, then see if can cut down even more by taking part of capsule every third day, then stop. Of course, you should consult your doctor about this as well.
52 Comments
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beachartist,

I tapered off of Lexapro successfully...After I had stepped down to 5 mg, I then started breaking those in half as well. In the end, I was taking 2.5 mg (roughly) every 5 days and then I was finally able to stop taking it. I just tried not taking it for as many days as it took to start feeling the withdrawal effects again. At first it was 2 days, then 3 days, then 4, etc. Basically, as soon as I felt the "zaps" starting to come back strongly, I took more. I just continued this process until I no longer felt severe withdrawal. Lexapro was by far easier to taper off of than Effexor and Paxil (the two worst offenders).
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What other withdrawl (withdrawal) syptoms (symptoms) accopany Lexapro?  I have had problems with my doctors... I'm on medicaid, so i have to go to a certain family doctor.  The last one I had quite practicing without notice, and left me in the lurch for my Lexapro.   My new doctor now tells me that since I have been on the med for 2 years, I shouldn't have a problem waiting until she has an appointment for me....2wks from now!!!! I have been having severe headaches, back aches, dizzyness, and a just weird feeling in my head and face (feels like they are constantly vibrating).  I've also noticed my anxiety and anger coming back...this is the reason for starting Lexapro, but it seems worse now than it was before the drug.  Any suggestions to help with these symptoms?  I am going out of my mind with this vibration in my head!!!!!!
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Hi,

I have been taking 10mg of Lexapro for almost two years and recently decided to taper off mainly because of the fatigue and weight gain. I have mentioned cutting back to my doctor, but she seems adament that I stay on the meds indefinitely. I do not agree with this and because I am going to discontinue treatment with her due to changes in my insurance policy, 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 a week and a half and have been experiencing crying spells, depression, anger, headaches and nausea. The physical symptoms have begun to subside, but the emotional symptoms are not any better. How does one know whether the original condition is returning, or if the symptoms are due to discontinuation syndrome? If the symptoms can be attributed to withdrawal, how can I go about minimizing them?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Ilene
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I am trying to go off of Lexapro also.  I am having headache, nausea, tingling in my head and face, upper back ache and soreness, dizziness and episodes of crying.  Is this normal and how long will it last.  I also get crawling feelings on different parts of my skin, maybe my back, leg then arm, it's all so wierd.
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I am glad to hear i am not alone in this awful experience called lexapro. I started my adventure with AD with wellbutrin about 16 months ago. I can't recall feeling different except that i began to sweat profusely. I could use deoderant 3 times a day and it didn't matter. I switched to lexapro about 7 months ago which almost instantaneously made me feel what i guess is happiness. I felt an inner calmness and my social anxiety disappeared. It was the most content feeling. I quit though after about 3 months though because i perceived that my weight gain of 10 pounds that was "not caused by lexapro" indeed was caused by lexapro. After a month of no weight loss and a desire to feel that amazing "happy" feeling again, I went back on. It has been about 5 months since that point and i am ten more pounds heavier (for a total of 20 pounds), my clothes do not fit and i realized i can't take this **** anymore. The "happy" feeling is overtaken by the fact that i am getting fat. Plus the bloating and gas pressure is horrid. It has been 8 days since my last 10mg pill and i feel like ****. The past two days i waiver between feeling dizziness, nausea, vertigo, rapid heartrate, flushing....How long will this last before i am normal again? Has anyone tried any other remedies for what i guess is general anxiety and slight social phobia? I have tried Sam-e (nausea and intestinal distress) and i have read about others but i don't want the nausea, the weight gain, the intestinal issues. Do i give up the search?
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Try cognitive-behavioral therapy. It's much safer and apparently more effective than drugs over a long period of time.
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The past few days i have tried the taper down method which seems to work. I have taken a half tablet twice to ease the withdrawl (withdrawal) effects. Any thoughts on ho long before this is out of my system?
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I had to stop Lexapro cold turkey due to pregnancy.  i'm so dizzy I can barely make it through the day.

Any words of wisdom
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I have been off for about 3 weeks. Every 3-4 days i take about 5 mg when the dizziness and nausea are too hard to handle. I do have to admit that the symptoms are less intense after 3 weeks.
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Oh my gosh......I'm so glad to hear all of your comments. I've been on Lexapro only for 2 weeks...but wasn't very good about it.  So I took it whenever i remembered.  Then I decided myself that I would just go off of it, thinking it wouldn't be a problem.  Then a couple days later, I started feeling those "zaps" in my head.  I was very scared and did not know what it was.   I also started having pains all throughout my body, and in my chest.  I eventually started thinking it was heart problems.  Then I came to realize it might have been from the withdrawal.  Anyone have any comments for me.  If you have felt the same, I would love to hear what you have to say....thanks!
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i am going on 4 weeks now lexapro free (except for the 5mg i take every third day to get my head to stop spinning). i did try 2.5mg this week which did not do much to stop the spinning. Any thoughts on if there is a better way to step down? I like to think that eventually i can stop the 5mg but my head gets heavy and dizzy. Do you think the 5mg has any impact on keeping my body dependent on this drug?
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10/18/05 Today is the best day so far since changing my dosage of lexapro. Last week Tuesday 10/11/04, I saw my Dr. and I have been on him to take me off, that I want to go all natural. If I had know what was about to happen. I don't think I would be so pleased with myself. The cost of RX is running me $80 per month. The cost is killing us. My Husband and I have only just begun to learn about the side effect I am experiencing. I was in need of something to help me thru my theapy. I am a survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse. I was abused by my stepfather from 3rd grade to 10th grade. I have been taking lexapro since November 2004. The first night I started with real nighmares, that scared me so much, I was afraid to get out of bed to pee. I had to wake up my Husband! The next night was the same, Nightmare waking up my Husband. Friday about 5AM, I woke with the worst headache of my life, I will even go as far as migraine headache. Could not open my eyes, my Husband has never seen me so sick. He gave me 3 advil/tylenol, I closed my eyes and just waited for it to stop. I was able to go work, but by the afternoon the headpain was back, and with a vengence. I laid on the couch and could not move. Saturday morning was the a little worse, I was now getting dizzy, and did not want to close my eyes cause my head would just spin. I took a percocet it took the pain away for a short time, the right back the pain came.... And the last thing I wanted to do is take another pill! Sunday, the same but a little worse. I only took tylenol on this day and only 4 because they will mess with your liver, ect... I am afraid at what this is doing to my brain? For my head to hurt so bad I prayed to GOD for the nighmares to come back. Monday 3:30am , vomiting, dizzy, head pain beyond belief. The worst day of it all, like it was never going to end. I cryed the whole day, call my Dr.'s to see how long is this going to last. They wanted me to go back up to 20mg I want off it completly!!!! I don't want to put any of this in my body any more. And everything I have read so far is lower mg than what I was taking. I read about a person who was only taking 5mg and I have all of the same issues/symtoms. What is it going to be like to go from 10mg know to 5mg then 5mg to 0mg??????? Will I make it, will my head explode??? It has to be doing damage to my brain!!!!! How can your head hurt so bad and it not cause some sort of brain damage. I am not a Dr. and I do not play one on tv. I am speaking nothing but the truth to you all. Please be aware of these effects to me and all the other stories here on line.I am sure someone is getting rich off of the RX. Is it our Dr.'s? Every commercial break is about another drug company? I even used to call lexapro the happy pill. I have even spoke to another woman in my Dr.'s office about the happy pill. My GOD, I hope she never filled the RX. The Drug companies, Dr.'s ect. need to stop writting RX for this Drug. Who is getting rich, I want to know. I am coing to find you, the entire medical field, insurance ,drug companies, and most likly our own GOVERNMENT!!!!!!!!!!I have a voice....You have not heard the last of me with this. I have told all of my Dr's, pharmacy , and any one who will listen to me.  I have even called the maker of lexapro, still waiting on a return phone call from them, they have a lexapro hotline. 1-800-947-5227 this to the number to the maker of the drug, the extention they put me to was 6711. As I said this will not be the last you hear from me.  This is a much information as I can give you all at this time. Please hang in there, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and if I can help 1 person that is all that matters to me. All my best, Mrs. Peters
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You do not need to quit lexopro bc of pregnacy.  I just had twins and I was taken 40 mg of lexopro during my pregnancy.
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I am actively detoxing my body from 1 1/2 years of 10 mg Lexapro. Boy, what a mistake that was. And following the advise of my doctor. I experienced low sex drive and was extremely sleepy every day,and no emotions ever fully surfaced. I share the withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms shared on this forum of vertigo, dizziness, cold symptoms, etc (except for nausea). I would like to ask if anyone has successfully completed the detox and these symptoms left? I am at day 7 of the detox and would like some words of encouragement.
I also want to add that I am doing my own natural detoxification by drinking herbal teas and fresh vegetables and fruit, drinking lots of water in the hopes of passing this toxic drug out of my system. No more drugs!
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I stopped taking Lexapro two weeks ago now and Thank God for your forum.  I have all the same symptoms that I have read, that I was thinking was just me, of course.  Don't we all feel that way?  I did not taper off, because I tried that once before and it did not seem to work for me, so I went cold turkey this time and I am going to stick with it.  I don't want any more of that **** in my system.  Yes, I am suffering right along with all of you, but I feel like at least I am making the choice and I know what this **** has done to me over the last 3 years.  I have the ringing in my ears, my eyes make noise in my ears when I move them from side to side, I am going through nights of not sleeping, feeling like me skin is crawling, I have times that I break down and cry like crazy and take it out on my poor husband, (by the way is why I am trying to get off this ****, we have no sex life and we are very frustrated) I have been living like a Zombie with no interest in anything for years and I am sick of it. I feel like since reading these comments that at least it does go away eventually and there are a lot worse things that can happen to me other than this, I WILL get through this and be clean on the other side.  I have to get my life back, otherwise what's the point. I have other medical problems that I am sure have probably been exasperated by this medication also. I just pray that all of us don't have any permanent damage. I know, who will ever know? We can't prove anything. Good luck to all of you and be strong we are all in this together, WE CAN DO IT!!!!!!  The one caution I offer is, do not stay by yourself, share your feelings and talk to people, feelings of suicide can creep into your head and the last thing you want to be when that happens is alone. Talk people, talk!!!!
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I began taking Lexapro three years ago.   First 10 mgs. then 20 and finally up to 30 mgs.    I have gained about 50 lbs.   Always hungry.   Not able to lose weight.   Tonight I decided to do some searching on the WEB.   I have found the comments very interesting.   I want to get off the drug.   I am afraid of slipping back into depression.  That's awful.   But I want to get off the medicine.  

Has the depression come back for others when they quit taking the medicine?

My plan to is to this over 6 weeks.   Go to 25, 20, etc...  

I excercise.  Does this really help??

Thanks for those who have shared.   Your words give me hope as I expect this to be a tough journey.  

Peace,

Mito
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My finace is on day 7 of her withdrawl (withdrawal) from Lexapro.  How long has it taken people to get over the effects of the withdrawal?
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Oh my, I have been on lexapro for about 18 months now, and have been thinking of coming off them.  I am due to see my Dr next week to discuss this, but after reading the comments here not too sure now.  Does anyone out there know of anyone who has successfully come off Lexapro?  Any positive comments that all the suffering is worth it?
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I'm so glad to have stumbled upon this forum. I've been having tingling in my lips and in my extremeties, flashes of light on sleep onset that I've never had before, extreme dizziness and sometimes I even see stars! I order my Lexapro from a mail-away pharmacy and I wasn't even trying to go off it but it still hasn't come and I'm completely out. I tried to make it last by taking halves and lost one half behind the refrigerator - I had to come home from work today because I was so light headed and found myself on the floor scraping for that 5mg! I don't want to start back up again but I can't keep leaving work. Advice?
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im really having a hard time- not sure if its from the lexapro withdrawl (withdrawal)- my head is squeezing and im dizzy..im so scared.... can someone help me?
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well.. just like everyone else I am trying to stop lexapro! This is unreal! Yikes, who knew that a year ago my "miracle drug" would turn into my worst enemy!!! I was on 10mg for about a year and just learned that I am pregnant(about 10wks). So needless to say withdrawals have been extra fun!!! I cut back to half for a week, then everyother day and now its been about 5 days completely off.. and it is like i never slowly came off!!! I am sure some of these feelings are from being newly pregnant, but there is NO WAY all of this is!!!  The worst for me is the vertigo type feelings.. head rush.. spins for no reason!!! Its like in a split second my eyes play tricks on me they swoop sideways/up & down! its like they are trying to catch up with my head or something! I have been a bear to deal with when I am not being a zombie..Or an emotional mess.. I also had the numbing in my leg, hands and lips for brief second..just like the head spins these feeling only last for a second and go away.. they are just strangest feelings!! I have read tons of these comments, I was just wondering if anyone else has been/or is pregnant trying to do this?? If so what their experience is/was and how long until i feel like me again???  I keep hoping each morning I wake up that these feelings will be gone for good! I would like to not be worried about lexapro withdrawals and be excited about this great thing that is happening to my body!!!
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HI iam new here and yesterday was given a lexapro starter kit by my doctor(10mg)well i took that morning for the first time and i had the worse case of nausea,gaging,very lazy.Although i have to say i didint get any major anxiety (deep breathing,heart racing)etc.i have been doing stress teqhniques such as breathing and exercise prior and taking ativan only when i have a episode and cant sleep.after this BAD experience with lexapro iam scared to take again, i dont want those feelings i had yesterday and i dont want to get to deep into taking where i get some majoe problems that iam redaing ...any suggestions
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help! i have anxiety disorder and panic. I have been increasing slowly my lexapro to 20 mgs. I got to 20 about 2 weeks ago and after a few days started getting a "pinching" on the left side of my head. I was told to go down to 15 mgs one day and 20 the next..back and forth. That only led to regular headaches and a few days of that i started to get dizzy. Mostly vertigo but sometimes i get a bad spell of dizziness and i feel like i jumped up a foot off the ground for a split second and then back down. I am really scared. I feel like i either have a brain tumor or something... can anyone tell me if it sounds like it may be withdrawl (withdrawal)??
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For those who may be starting Lexapro, I did not have a negative experience with it.  I started with 10mgs. and move up to 30 in about 4 months.   It really helped to calm the anxiety and tame the depression.  

But after three  years of it and lots of therapy, I think I have developed some coping skills for the anxiety, etc. that comes with life.  

I do think that it has contributed to weigh gain and drowsiness..   I do want try to live without, but I wouldn't be afraid of it.

I never had the nausea, headaches, but I started with low dosage.  I would recommend lowering the dosage.   Also, I found that it took about 6 weeks to have an effect.  

Peace be with you.

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You are all trying to get off Lexapro too fast.  It takes months to get off successfully.  Start by reducing 5 mg. at a time for a month then reduce more.  Do at least a month at each lower dose.  The drug companies dont want us to get off the drug because they lose a customer.  Most drs. dont know how to get off them.  You can also get a book from the library.  It is funny that the drs. hesitate to prescribe narcotics but are fast to prescribe lexapro and anti-depressants are worse to get off of than narcotics.  Good luck to all of you.
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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.
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I'd like to say that this "head ringing" and "noises when I move my eyes" is NOT psychosomatic. That's one of several withdrawal symptoms I experience if I am off of Lexapro for a few days. I will say that taking Advil or Tylenol, like you would for any headache, does relieve this to some extent. Something everyone must be able to do is distinguish between withdrawal symptoms and symptoms caused by the whole reason you're taking the drug in the first place, whether it be depression or anxiety. If you stop taking the drug and you feel depressed, then obviously you still need it. If you have non-depression/anxiety related symptoms, THAT is withdrawal. The amount of medicine you are taking very directly affects how you should define gradual weaning. If you take 40 milligrams, expect to have to be breaking pills for several months to do it right. Otherwise, a month may do it. Above all else, don't let all hell break loose in how you feel before you talk to your doctor. I assume if they prescribed it to you in the first place that they can either advise you to stay on it or help you stop taking it gradually.
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i was on 20 mgs for 10 days or so...and started getting a pinching in my head...now i am at 15 mgs and feel horrible- terrible headaches and vertigo...i think its a brain tumor.
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hi. I started taking Lexapro in January 2004 after some severe feelings (physical) of not being well (having problems with caffiene and) and depression / anxiety.   I started off at 10mg, then when that became less effective I went to 20mg in Feb or March 2004.

Ive tried to quit several times, too fast, and got nasty withdrawl (withdrawal) effects: dizzyness, lightheadedness, 'brain shocks', depressive-crash with uncontrolable crying, and feeling horrible in general.  

Now I've been trying to quit Lexapro more slowly.  my GP doctor said take 10mg for 2 weeks. then stop.   I did that for about 3-4 weeks.  then tapered down to 5mg for another few weeks.  then last week i stopped lexapro altogether after being on 5mg. I've been getting the withdrawal effects since Monday, although not as severe as when I came off Lexapro alot faster.   im getting the brain shocks, not as badly as before. ive been feeling tired and lathargic the last few days.  the withdrawal effects i am feeling are just at the point where i can tolerate them.  but I am VERY much hopping they will go away soon.  What can be expected - days or weeks, as far as these withdrawal effects lasting?   maybe i should have stepped down to 2.5mg but i couldn't break the tablets in half beyond 5mg by hand.  maybe i can cut/break them with something.

sorry this is a poorly typed reply, i dont have the energy to proof-read right now. I know you guys will understand.
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hi. I started taking Lexapro in January 2004 after some severe feelings (physical) of not being well (having problems with caffiene and) and depression / anxiety.   I started off at 10mg, then when that became less effective I went to 20mg in Feb or March 2004.

Ive tried to quit several times, too fast, and got nasty withdrawl (withdrawal) effects: dizzyness, lightheadedness, 'brain shocks', depressive-crash with uncontrolable crying, and feeling horrible in general.  

Now I've been trying to quit Lexapro more slowly.  my GP doctor said take 10mg for 2 weeks. then stop.   I did that for about 3-4 weeks.  then tapered down to 5mg for another few weeks.  then last week i stopped lexapro altogether after being on 5mg. I've been getting the withdrawal effects since Monday, although not as severe as when I came off Lexapro alot faster.   im getting the brain shocks, not as badly as before. ive been feeling tired and lathargic the last few days.  the withdrawal effects i am feeling are just at the point where i can tolerate them.  but I am VERY much hopping they will go away soon.  What can be expected - days or weeks, as far as these withdrawal effects lasting?   maybe i should have stepped down to 2.5mg but i couldn't break the tablets in half beyond 5mg by hand.  maybe i can cut/break them with something.

sorry this is a poorly typed reply, i dont have the energy to proof-read right now. I know you guys will understand.
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hi. I started taking Lexapro in January 2004 after some severe feelings (physical) of not being well (having problems with caffiene and) and depression / anxiety.   I started off at 10mg, then when that became less effective I went to 20mg in Feb or March 2004.

Ive tried to quit several times, too fast, and got nasty withdrawl (withdrawal) effects: dizzyness, lightheadedness, 'brain shocks', depressive-crash with uncontrolable crying, and feeling horrible in general.  

Now I've been trying to quit Lexapro more slowly.  my GP doctor said take 10mg for 2 weeks. then stop.   I did that for about 3-4 weeks.  then tapered down to 5mg for another few weeks.  then last week i stopped lexapro altogether after being on 5mg. I've been getting the withdrawal effects since Monday, although not as severe as when I came off Lexapro alot faster.   im getting the brain shocks, not as badly as before. ive been feeling tired and lathargic the last few days.  the withdrawal effects i am feeling are just at the point where i can tolerate them.  but I am VERY much hopping they will go away soon.  What can be expected - days or weeks, as far as these withdrawal effects lasting?   maybe i should have stepped down to 2.5mg but i couldn't break the tablets in half beyond 5mg by hand.  maybe i can cut/break them with something.

sorry this is a poorly typed reply, i dont have the energy to proof-read right now. I know you guys will understand.
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Holy Cow! Tough finding a nickname for this board. I thought I was going nuts (or having a heart attack or a stroke of some sort) prior to reading all the comments about lexapro withdrawal.

I've been taking this drug for 3 years. Started at 20mg daily. Over the course of the 3 years, under the advisement of my shrink, I increased to 60mg daily. This was the last dosage I took before stopping the medication completely. This was about 2 weeks ago.

I have just now started experiencing dizziness, nausea, tingling in extremeties, headaches, cotton-mouth . . .

Also extreme irritability bordering on full out rage, freaking-out a great deal of co-workers (some of which deserved it).
Unfortunately, my rage has not been limited to the work environment.

I read someone's comment about taking a small dose every few days to calm the physical withdrawal symptoms. Can't remember whose comment that was but thank you.

I think it's gonna be a ***** cutting those 20mg tablets in quarters. Maybe it's worth it.
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Hi everyone. I'm new to Lexapro. Just started last week. I seem to feel better than I was. I also take 50mg of Trazodone at night. I take 10mg of Lexapro in the mornings. I was severly depressed to the point of suicide. My doc is wonderful and I refused to see a counselor because I really feel comfortable with my pc doc. I must admit after reading some of the side effects I am some what doubtful that this is the right med for me. All I know now is I feel better. Still a lot of things to work through but now I actually feel like I can. At least I hope I can. Anyone out there ever felt so bad that they thought there was no way out? Probably sounds crazy but I really don't have anyone to tell or want to share with around here. My home area that is. Just need to hear from someone who has been there. Thanks.
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I'm also in the process of going through Lexapro withdrawal, and it's not fun.

I was put on Lexapro by one of the University physicians where I was attending college, to help me with GAD.  I was so stressed out from school (being that I also have a wife and kids) that I was having periods of anxiety where I would almost pass out from shortness of breath, so the physician thought that Lexapro would help me out.

Of course, I also got the impression from the physician that Lexapro was a 'wonder drug' that wouldn't cause any problems, and was the safest of the GAD drugs... she never mentioned that I could have a bad reaction to going off of the drug.

Needless to say, I graduated in May of this year, after having been on 20mg Lexapro for about two months, and I qualified for the low-income plan offered through the makers of Lexapro that would allow you to receive the drug for free (thanks to being a starving student at the time).  However, now that I'm no longer a student, I don't have the ability to see the same physician (who works for the college), I've run out of Lexapro, and have no medical insurance to pay for a physician to get some more... so I'm pretty much stuck with the 'cold turkey' method.
Luckily, I had been splitting my pills for the past couple months, and I started only taking them when I started feeling the withdrawal effects, so it really isn't 'too' bad, but I still wish I had known about this before starting this medication.

I have to say, by far, the worst effect of withdrawal is the vertigo... the weirdest thing is that I can close my eyes, and move my head all around without feeling it, but if I open my eyes, and look too quickly one direction or the other, I feel like I'm going to fall over.  I also get the 'reboot' feeling now and again, and also the electrical pulses in my face and the 'snap' in my brain, but luckily those aren't as bad this time around.  I tried quitting cold-turkey a couple months back straight from 20mg, and I don't recommend that at all... it was horrible.

The sweats are also irritating, but I think I sweat worse when I was on Lexapro, so it's something I've been dealing with.

So, to anybody whose physician is considering putting them on Lexapro for GAD, try to find another alternative if available, or be prepared for a long weaning period.  I'm currently looking into homeopathic remedies that hopefully will ease the transition a bit (Deprex looks compelling, but I'm still researching it).  I just wanted to offer my $.02 to this discussion.
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I am now in my 6th week of withdrawing from Lexapro, 30 mg/day.   I am taking 5 mg. per day and will begin 5 mg. every other day.

I have not had any extreme reactions.   As I got down to 5 mgs., I have experienced dizziness.   But over all, it hasn't been a bad experience.

I do think the slow approach has been good and I so I don't recommend doing this fast.

I must also say that my MD and PhD did not recommend me going off, but I've got to try it for three reasons:  to see if I can lose some 50 lbs. that I have gained since taking it (I know that Lexapro is not supposed to cause weight gain, but I gained it for some reason...).  2nd, because I feel that I have gained some better skills for dealing with my tendency toward depression.  3rd.  I have a good support network, psychologist, and priest/confessor that help me believe that I am good/loved --even when I can't believe it.

Peace,
Mito
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I've decided to get off Lexapro myself due to weight gain, cost, and previous problems with this drug.  I quit taking them last week, hoping to give myself the extended Thanksgiving holiday to get through the worst part.  Brain zaps are very bad...almost every 10-15 seconds.  I feel as if I'm a 5 year old who just took a tripple espresso followed by 4 caffeine pills.  Jittery, confused, shaking...if this is what cocaine addicts go through, I feel sorry for them.

In a previous attempt, I actually lost hair.  Alopecia areata.  I had a 3" COMPLETELY bald spot on the crown of my head.  Has anyone else experienced this?  After a year, 90% or more has grown back...I hope this doesn't happen this time.

Doctors should be required to discuss these possible withdrawal symptoms instead of handing this stuff out like candy.  It seems that one out of every 3 people I meet are on it!
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I have slowly tapered down.  When I quit taking Lexapro altogether, I had some experiences of vertigo and the "brain shocks" for about a week. I have felt very tired.  Definitely the depression is still there.  I don't have the food cravings that I had.  I am trying to excercise a couple of days week to help energize my brain and body!

One day at a time....

Peace,

Mito
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you are all coming off Lexapro too fast.  It takes months to come off of not just weeks.  Try lowering your dose by 5mg. Do this for a month.  If everything goes okay for that month, lower another 5mg. If it doesnt just lower 2.5 mg.  You have to buy a pill splitter at the drug store and start cutting these pills.  Allow one month for each lower dose.  If everything goes okay cutting down 5mg. at a time then you can stick with this decrease.  If you do this you shouldnt have any withdraw symptoms.  Everyone is different in the withdrawal process, but you are all coming off too fast.  Keep lowering the dose until you are only taking l/4 pill for a month.  These drug companies and drs. need something done to them for telling people these antidepressants arent habit forming.  Some of these antidepressants can cause you to go manic and then you are diagnosed as bi-polar and one drugs for life when you actually are not.  I dont trust drs. any more especially psycharists.  Good Luck.
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Hello.  I'm glad I found this forum!  My doctor prescribed me Lexapro for GAD.  At the time I was feeling dizziness and fatigue, so he though it was due to anxiety.  I took the pill for 3 weeks, but I did not like the side effects.  I was feeling pretty much like a zombie, and I generally did not like the aches and pains among other reactions.  I told my Dr I wanted to get off of the pill, so he told me to gradually reduce my dosage.  Well, being the  idiot that I am, I quit cold turkey.  The first few days were okay, but after that, it has not been pretty.  I have been off for about 3 weeks now, and I have constant aches and pains in my muscles and joints.  It is just a dull ache, and more annoying then anything, but it is still not fun.  I've felt this dull ache in various parts of my body on various occassions.  Also, I seem to get fatigued at times (not consistent) and have trouble sleeping.  I don't have any of the brain zaps or anything like that, but I do get some headaches and some light headedness at times.  I wish I never started taking this pill in the first place, as I was generally happy before.  The doctor says that withdrawal can last up to 3 to 4 weeks, but I have read on here that it could take longer.  The strange thing is that some times, I feel absolutely fine, but then the withdrawal seems to kick in on it's own.  I've had other tests done to rule out anything else, and everything is fine.  I would advise anyone not to quit cold turkey.  Just gradually taper off!  Has any one else had similar experiences?  Seems that way from what I have read.  Various sites on the web seem to list major side effects for SSRI's in general.  Sorry for the long ramble, but sometimes it feels better to chat and share my experiences with others.  Good luck to you all!
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Like most of you it was such a relief to find this forum. After being diagnosed with GAD my senior year of high school my doctor put me on 10 mg of lexapro. After 2 years im ready to get off. my doctor said it should only take a month. what a joke! I
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I have taken Lexapro for several years and I am 27 years old.  I talked with my doctor about a week ago and told her that I wanted to quit taking the medication because I felt that I could control my symptoms.  I asked her what I should do and she said to quit taking the medication cold turkey.  I always thought that you need to ween yourself off of any kind of medication before stopping taking it.  I only take 20mg a day.  So my question is, is it ok to stop cold turkey?  I asked her if I was going to experience any withdrawal symptoms and she said probably but nothing awful.  She said that she has had several patients quit taking the medication cold turkey and they were fine.  I have experienced some headaches and I just feel "weird".  Is there anything other side effects that I could experience in the coming weeks?  Thanks.

Lyndsey
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I just stopped taking Lexapro 2 days ago.. I didn't consult my doctor first- I usually take 10mg a day. I took 5mg a day for the last 2 days, then I quit taking. Yesterday was yucky, but today is even worse. I feel like my brain has these "waves" everytime I turn or look another direction! I probably should have weened off it, but I'm going to continue not taking and see if my symptoms persist. If I were you, I would probably go down to 10mg for a week, then to 5mg the next week just because you are at an even higher dose than I was so your symptoms may be worse than mine if you quit cold turkey... Good luck!
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DON'T stop cold turkey!!  It can be so dangerous.  Contact your pharmacist and see what they say.  Chances are that they'll say to wean off.  I was on 10mg for 9 months and weaned down over six weeks and still had minor problems.  Everyone is different but to go cold turkey after several years can be very serious.

Good luck.
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Every single one of the comments I have read from people who experienced bad side effects from quitting Lexapro are clearly a result of quitting too suddenly and in most cases, without the supervision of a doctor.  I'm amazed that people behave so ignorantly and irresponsibly with their dosages and then blame the drug for their suffering.  I have been tapering from 10 mg/day to 5 mg/day for FOUR WEEKS, and only now am I going down to 5mg every other day.  I intend to do that for another four weeks, and I may continue with a 2.5mg every other day if necessary to get weaned off this drug slowly and safely.  Who told you it's possible to quit ANY systemic drug cold turkey, or within a week's time?  It's stunning to me, honestly.  I haven't had a single side effect, and I attribute it completely to a slow, safe, and supervised weaning process.
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I have used lexapro twice in my life,10mg, so far for a year and a half each time...I tapered extremely slowly each time,I went down from 10 mg to 7.5 mg for 3 weeks than 5mg for 3 weeks than I asked from my dr to prescribe me liquid lexapro 5mg,went down to 4mg 10 days,3mg 10days 2mg,10 days,and 1mg one week.....and had no withdrawals at all.....it is a long taper but worth the wait!!!!
Micha
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I've been on Lexapro for years.  I was on40 mgs a day.  I went down to 20 by myself, Dr. wanted to me to go 30, so I stopped all together.  I have been feeling awful ever since.  I have a hard time with my head.  It aches, gets dizzy, and just kinda swishy. I have had terrible nightmares with a lot of fear.  Does anyone know how long this will last.  I've been off for over a week now.  I don't want to go back on them.  I have gained a lot of weight since I started these pills.  My god, I don't want to start them again. please help.    
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Hello Everyone...

Thank God I checked out all of your responses.  I am WEANING MYSELF OFF OF Lexapro.  The last few weeks I have felt like S _ _ t!!!!!  Same sypmtoms as everyone else......  Tired, feel like you have the flu, so dizzy you want to puke, hot flashes, crying and so forth...  When I talked to the pharmacist and the doctor they both said it only takes 3 days to come off of the drug.  I feel like force feeding them some Lexapro so they can see how long it actually takes.  I have been on it for 3 years and never thought it would be this bad coming off.  I had w/d from Pondamine in the past when it was on the market and I did not feel this bad.  That drug was for weight loss and it was taken off of the market via FDA.  Lexapro is powerfull stuff to have to take so long for it to get out of your system.  It has been 3 weeks and I still feel sick to my stomach and dizzy.  

What I want to tell everyone is do not give up....the w/d syptoms (symptoms) will get better in time...I HOPE...  My question is WHEN?????  When I see my doctor again she is going to get an TOUNGE LASHING.  H E _ _, all this time I have had hot flashes, tired could not sleep and so forth....just to find out this was all side effects from Lexapro...  Check out this site on side effects...
http://depression.emedtv.com/lexapro/lexapro-side-effects.html
When I told the doctor I was having a hard time sleeping and so forth..what does she prescribe...???  SLEEPING PILLS...  It seems they want you on every pill under the sun...  I thought these doctor's had some brains....they went to school to study medicine...  They should know the side effects and how long it takes to come off of a pill.  I feel violated...
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One more thing everyone... I gained 85 lbs and have swelling in my left ankle now...have to take water pills and ended up with bad heart burn for the last 3 years...  This was all while taking Lexapro...  Does anyone know how long it takes for it to be out of your system?  I noticed also that my eye pupils are real small compared to how they usually are...and I feel like my eyes are rolling around in my head at times like marbles and/or wiley coyote when he has an accident with bugs bunny....
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Desertwomen and all who are in turmoil of weaning off Lexapro. All symptoms listed are normal when weaning off Lexapro. Flu-like sympoms, dizziness, heart racing, fear, crying, feeling sick, skin crawling, electrical brain shocks and more. Keep in mind that everyone is different. Some will have more success than others. If someone is having more difficulty weaning off Lexapro I would suggest taking it slow and giving it 8-12 weeks. Once completing the weaning process and your sympoms are still there most likely you might have to just stay off the meds and bear it the rest of the way until no more side effects. (believe me they will stop eventially, I know through personal experience) I speak by experience and "NO" I'm not a doctor. Note: Always refer to your doctor when getting off any medication. Also for others that have tried weaning off Lexapro it might be that you are not ready to wean off. By this I mean there still may be issues, behavior, emotional, anxiety and the reason why you are on the medication. I know when I weaned off Lexapro I was still dealing with issues that surfaced when I was completely off. A professional Psyciatrist along with your Therapist working together can best tell you what to do. On the other side, taking an anti-depressant will mask your sympoms and you'll never be able to deal with them until your off them. Taking them may be of more hinderance than just plain Psychotherapy or Behavior Modification. When your completely off the meds then reality hits you and you have to start dealing with the issues yourself with no help off the antidepressant. This can be scary. I was in the same boat as all of you and I know you will all turn out fine.Lexapro is a great help for people who need it, especially with general anxiety disorder and such. Good luck to you all and you'll be in my prayers!
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I just came home from work early because I was having what ya'll have called "brain zaps"  I tried to explain this the my husband and he looked at me like I was a little crazy.  I actually had road rage on the way home (which I never have) and I am feeling a bit well paranoid I guess, It is nice to find others who understand what I am going through..  I started taking Lexapro(10mg) over a year ago for "situational depression" I believe the issues that caused my depression have been resolved and I decided last week that I no longer wanted to be dependent on medication.  I called my nurse practioner and she advised me to take one pill every other day for two weeks and then to take one every three days for two weeks. I feel like I am doing the right thing getting off the meds, but I am kind of scared.  I feel sorry for my husband and kids because they have to put up with me! I am also afraid this "withdrawel" will effect my ability to do my job, which is very stressful.  Should I tell my boss what is going on?  But then I would have to explain why I was taking this stuff in the 1st place and I don't really want to do that.I have told my mother and a few close friends, and my husband of course that I am weaning myself off this medication and I have asked them to keep an eye on me and make sure I don't go completely off the deep end.
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I cannot believe all I've read on this drug but yet am living it, and feel real stupid for taking it. I take 10mg a day to deal with work and just everyday stress. Had I know all the side affects after my prescription ran out and the insurance wouldn't pay until a certain date I would never have taken this stuff. I've gone 7 days with out it, not by choice until about a day ago, and the pure Hell has just started. My wife first started taking this or other reasons and soon I found myself on it.  I'm going to call the doctor and try all the advise listed above, a slow withdrawal. I was going to do the cold turkey since I just got the refill a day ago but not now, no way, just can't deal with the side affects and try to function. I just hope people do some real good research on this prior to taking it, I did some research but apparently not enough. Good luck to all on this drug.
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