My Successful Lexapro Withdraw Story (April 2008)
I decided to take the time to write this because I had a very hard time finding anyone with similar withdraw experiences as me. I had an even harder time finding a successful taper schedule that minimized the withdraw side effects. What little information I found was a tremendous help in getting me through this challenging time. The piece of mind that “what I was experiencing was normal” was priceless. My hope is that by writing this I will help someone through the difficult withdrawal process. In my experience very few people who have been successful in withdrawing from these drugs remain on forums such as this to help people and answer questions for those currently going through these experiences.
I am a 32 yr old male. I am married with two children under the age of 5. I am a professional and I manage a multi-million dollar a year business. I was on Lexapro for about 4 years. A family practice MD put me on it in 2004 during a very stressful time in my life (new baby, new job, relocation, professional licensure examination, etc.). Maybe I needed it, maybe not. I now know I did not have good stress coping skills at that point in my life. In hind site, the Dr had probably just seen the Lexapro rep and so there I was on it.
Fast-forward 3.5 years. I was still on the drug with no end in site. In fact, I had now added 150 mg of Wellbutrin per day to the mix because the Lexapro was making feel so bad. I decided to ditch the family practice MD and found a Psychiatrist, MD with the goal to start the process of weaning off these drugs. I felt the side effects while on the drug were hindering my day-to-day life. In summary, I felt worse on the drug than any benefit I received from the drug.
After a trial and error process, it took me about 6 months to wean off 10 mg of Lexapro going down in 2.5 mg increments. I was very sensitive to coming off this drug. As I write this, I am seven weeks off Lexapro and I feel somewhat back to normal. I can cope with day-to-day life and have no desire to go back on Lexapro. Keep in mind I just started withdrawing from the Wellbutrin. However, it took a good 6 weeks to get over the Lexapro withdraw side effects. Weeks 2 through 4 were the most difficult to cope with in my case. I experienced the following withdraw side effects:
· Very dry, sore, aching eyes
· Brain zaps/shivers (mild)
· Blurred vision
· Constant Headaches (I took the maximum dose of Tylenol each day, 400 mg for about 6 weeks)
· What I would call severe nausea (I took the maximum dose of Pepto-Bismol each day for about 6 weeks)
· Trouble sleeping
· Self-doubt and wondering if I would ever be normal again
· Wanting to cry for no reason
However, I made it through the difficult 6 weeks one day at a time. In faith I even threw away the left over Lexapro pills so I could not relapse. Please keep in mind I did this under the supervision of a MD. I made it and you can too! Hang in there. It can be very difficult.
I am now two weeks into the process of withdrawing from Wellbutrin. I will post this experience once I finish. However at this point, it appears easier to withdraw than the Lexapro in my case. Good luck and God Bless.
Helpful Resources During my Journey:
1) The Holy Bible
2) Attending Church Regularly
3) Remembering God is in control. This did not catch Him by surprise and He already made provision for me.
4) Supplements: Vitamin B Stress Complex, Vitamin C, Multi Vitamin, Magnesium
5) Hope and Help for Your Nerves (Book) - Dr. Claire Weekes
6) The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook, Fourth Edition by Edmund J. Bourne
7) Embracing the Fear: Learning To Manage Anxiety & Panic Attacks (Paperback) by Judith Bemis (Author), AMR Barrada (Author)
8) Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway (r) (Paperback) by Susan Jeffers
In my previous post (My Successful Lexapro Withdraw Story), I summarized my experience from Lexapro Withdrawl. As I type this I am 2 months Lexapro free and I am starting week 4 of my Wellbutrin withdraw. I will post my experience and schedule once I have completed the Wellbutrin withdrawl. This post is intended to share my Lexapro withdrawl schedule. I was very sensitive to the drug withdrawl and the resulting side effects. It took me just under 28 weeks to wean off 10 mg per day after taking this dosage for about 4 years. My withdrawl schedule stepped down from 10 mg to 7.5 mg to 5 mg to 2.5 mg to 0 mg. I know this was a long withdrawl, especially when compared to other's stories on this forum. However it still was not a breeze in my experince; rather it made the side effects managable since I have a fairly hectic day-to-day life. Good luck with making it through your withdrawl and God Bless!
Lexapro Withdrawl Schedule Started 8/13/07
After just over 4 years on 10 mg per day
Withdrawl took me just under 28 weeks to complete