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Avatar universal

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

Hi-
I Was put on lexapro approx 4 months ago, by a psychiatrist, for deppression. I also started psychotherapy at that time. My side effects were sexual side effects and headaches at times.  I was able to handle those okay. Then, I had a severe sinus infection approx 1 1/2 months ago.  Started questioning my use of this drug- the benefits vs. the side effects.  Then about 3 weeks ago, this whooshing in my ears started. It sounds like a bunch of crickets are in my ears, constantly.  I told the psychiatrist this and  that I wanted to start weaning myself off of this medication.  He said okay and told me to decrease my dose from 10mg to 5mg. He instructed me to call him in 5 days.  I did- told him the whooshing was still present, but that otherwise I seemed okay.  He said to stop the lexapro all together.  I questioned that since I heard you are supposed to wean off slowly. He said that since  I was on a low dose(10mg)that that wasn't necessary. I have been off the lexapro completely for almost 2 weeks.  The whooshing sound in my ears has not subsided,in fact I believe its worse now.  I also have disturbed sleep,and have felt real sick with flu like sypmtoms for the past couple of days.  My question is this.  How long will this last?  Does anyone have any suggestions of what I can do to help feel better while this medicine is clearing from my system. I would appreciate any help in this matter, especially from people whom have been through this before.    Thank you
32 Responses
242532 tn?1269550379
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
It doesn't sound like a side effect at all...it sounds like the aftermath of your sinus infection and should probably see an ent specialist.
Avatar universal
I have the same problem. I've been trying to stop Lexapro for a while now, everytime I've been off it for about 2 weeks I get wooshing in my ears nausia headaches and fatigue.I get wooshing sound in my ears when I move even just my eyes sometimes. If I start Lexapro even 5mg its gone almost immediatly. My Doctor told me it's something I've always had, and the Lexapro helps it. But I know that's not true. I've never had this problem before. I'm going to try and wait it out again, but I don't know if I can do it.
Meanwhile I think doctors need to take a more serious look at this and stop blowing it off as some other problem.
Avatar universal
Not to gang up on the doc, but I have to agree.  If I hear the word "asymptomatic" one more time, someone may lose a limb.  Just one read through the archives on this website tells me I am not "asymptomatic".  Maybe there is some sort of "sinus" link, but I have the same problem with a feeling/sound of water/liquid in my ear and when I turn or **** my head, it feels like my brain keeps moving when my head and eyes have stopped - only way I can describe it.  This seems to have started as I began my slow withdrawal from Lexapro - which I am happy to do as my sex life is improving dramatically.  I can only hope it will be even better when I don't have to pause for these freakish dizzy/blurry/deaf/nausea spells and get past this little bout of twitchy tearfulness I am having the last few days.  (Uh - how long do we think that will be now that I have stopped entirely??)
Avatar universal
I meant "atypical" not "asymptomatic" .... if I was "asymptomatic" I would be happy and everyone could keep their limbs :-)
Avatar universal
Ditto, I had the same withdrawal after only two days on paxil and as a person with a histoy of severe sinusitis I can attest that this had nothing to do with infection or at least any type of infection I've ever had. I remember thinking what would I do if this were to remain a permanent withdrawal. It's hard to describe and unbearable to live with. Like someone stirred your brains with a stick. It took about a long time for me to feel normal physically again.
Avatar universal
Hi-
I just wanted to check in .  I took the suggestion of the MD and went to a ENT. I had a thorough examination.  She said that my ears looked fine.  The audiologist did a hearing exam and I was found to have significant hearing loss (high frequency)in both ears.  I will have an MRI on Wednesday.  After seeing me again and the films from the MRI, she will send me to a neurologist.  If the MRI is ok and the neurologist finds nothing, I am going to assume that the Lexapro caused this.  How can I not, considering that I did not have this whooshing sound (tinnitis)or the hearing loss, before I went on the medicine.















































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

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

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

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

NGG

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

The Challenge is this is when the syptoms get the worst.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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