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Avatar universal

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. 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.
52 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
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.
Avatar universal
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).
Avatar universal
What other withdrawl syptoms 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!!!!!!
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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?
Avatar universal
Try cognitive-behavioral therapy. It's much safer and apparently more effective than drugs over a long period of time.
Avatar universal
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 effects. Any thoughts on ho long before this is out of my system?
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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!
Avatar universal
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?
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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 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!
Avatar universal
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!!!!
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
My finace is on day 7 of her withdrawl from Lexapro.  How long has it taken people to get over the effects of the withdrawal?
Avatar universal
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?
Avatar universal
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?
Avatar universal
im really having a hard time- not sure if its from the lexapro withdrawl- my head is squeezing and im dizzy..im so scared.... can someone help me?
Avatar universal
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!!!
Avatar universal
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
Avatar universal
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??
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