Depression Community
10.5k Members
Avatar universal

Any POSITIVE reports for coming off Lexapro???

I Googled "Coming off Lexapro" and came across dozens of health-related websites (similar to this) where I read report after report after report of absolutely HORRIBLE withdrawl symptoms of people coming off Lexapro.

Has anyone come off Lexapro with GOOD results?

One thing in common with most of these is that they would say they would go from, say 10 mg. to 5 mg for just a week and then off of it completely.  A week at 5mg. doesn't seem nearly long enough to me.  

I am thinking maybe going from my current 10mg to 5 mg for several MONTHS and then maybe 2.5mg (if it goes that low) for several more MONTHS may be a better way to come off Lexapro.

After reading these horror stories, I also think that I should maybe start up again with the psychologist I had visited at the beginning when my general practioner first prescribed Lexapro.  At least then I would have a back-up already in place to help me.  I would like to try coming off of it in a few months but dread the return of symptoms and ESPECIALLY the withdrawl symptoms mentioned by others - like their "brain restarting or rebooting every 5 minutes" or their "brain being turned into a sponge being squeezed every 10 minutes" or "getting an electric shock to my brain" - YIKES!

Lexapro has helped me a LOT over the last several months and has been symptom-free.  But I am past what was causing me to be depressed.  (Unless maybe my brain is just naturally lacking in serotonin or something.)

So please - if ANYONE out there has had good results from coming off Lexapro, PLEASE let me know!!!   And also let me know what method you followed.

37 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi CG,

I took 20 mg of Lexapro for a number of years. It was one of several A/D's that I took.

I stopped without tapering and didn't notice ANY withdrawal symptoms.

Keep in mind that anecdotal evidence is some of the most unreliable you can get.
Hello, I have been on lexapro for many years now but lately have started to question if i would be happier off of it. Nothing impresses or excites me in life. I never really thought about it until my boyfriend made a comment about it. I'm not so worried about side effects of withdrawal but what life is like after side effects diminish. What do u think life is like now compared to being on it for years?
Avatar universal
For anyone else -


Thanks Bob.

My thought, which isn't my own, is that people never seem to report GOOD things.  They only want to report BAD things.

It is like being involved with sales.  People don't brag how GREAT a store was to them when they, say, needed to return something.  But give them a reason to complain and they tell ALL of their friends their "horror story."

Out of HUNDREDS of BAD postings about Lexapro withdrawl (literallly pages and pages of them) I would read only the extremely occasional GOOD story.  And none of it is backed up by scientific, quantitive research.

I am glad to hear one more report of non-symptomatic withdrawl.
Avatar universal
"Scientific, quantitative research" you say?

Are you married?
Avatar universal
Yes.  Matter of fact, she just stated last night "your putting a little weight on..."  

Having read all of these highly negative reports acros dozens of web sites, I replied "statistics from 10,000+ Lexapro users say it is due to the Lexapro, NOT because I sit on the couch in front of the T.V too much!"  :)
Avatar universal
You want the truth about all those Horror stories you hear about?

EVERY AD medication on the market today will cause withdrawl effect, even with a slow taper. For some this is a mild experience and for many it can be difficult even with a slow taper.

I happen to withdrawl hard from any AD medication. I took Lexapro for 2 years with the Tri-cyclic Nortriptilyne until I became resistant to the 30Mgs a day of Lexapro and swapped it for another SSRI. Yes, I felt sick for a while, but hey I got two good years from it before it pooped out on me. I call that a victroy anyday.

Since you were prescribed a Psycotropic medication such as Lexapro, I will assume that you were properly diagnosed with Moderate to Severe Depressive or Anxiety dissorder (Major Depression)

If you were prescribed Lexapro and were not properly diagnosed, then shame on your doctor. Don't take this stuff unless you have to.

These are powerful Psycotropic medications are are not intended to be taken unless your condition warrents it for proper daily functioning.

Most of the Horror stories you hear about are from people that were prescribed this stuff and didn't really need it in the first place.

When you suffer from Major depression, YOU WILL KNOW IT. Your head will swurl like a mad tempist, You will feel doom, fear, and dread so intense that it literally feels like your going insane. Your body and hands will tremble, and thoughts of your death will actually make you feel warm and good inside. Now those are the symptoms that these medications are designd for, not for short or moderate bouts of the blues and stress.

Example: I took Effexor XR 300Mgs for 4 years and in that time it provided me with near complete remission from my Severe depression and anxiety. When it finnaly started to fail (poop out) and I had to switch meds and I got very sick from it's Withdrawl effects for about a full 8 weeks.

Would I trade that 4 years of remission for 8 weeks of sick nasty withdrawl? Hell yes I will anyday! Hum, let me see.... 4 years of feeling normal verses suffering the constant torment of my crushing depression and anxiety that was destroying my life? You better believe that the 8 weeks of Withdrawl was worth it.

People post the bad, not the good. Please don't take these meds unless it is absolutly nessasary for you. To do so will only result in another negitive post about AD medication withdrawl.

Avatar universal
Thanks for the time you put into that post.  I appreciate it.

You almost perfectly described me (I took out the part that didn't) --->

"When you suffer from Major depression, YOU WILL KNOW IT. Your head will swirl like a mad tempest, You will feel doom, fear, and dread so intense that it literally feels like your going insane. Now those are the symptoms that these medications are designed for, not for short or moderate bouts of the blues and stress."

This may sound trite, but I went with my family to watch Iron Man.  Now I am a BIG aficionado of Sci-Fi and thought "What better way to escape then sense of doom then to immerse myself in my favorite genre of movie."

Well, I WAS transported into that great plot and the characters and all the action... until about half way the thing triggering my depression and anxiety re-entered my thoughts and then all I go do for the rest of the movie was to think about how I was going to support my family and keep paying the bills and will I need to lose my house and move into an apartment (and get rid of my boy's dog) and maybe even declare bankruptcy and on and on and on.

I was so incredibly stressed that I could NOT sleep due to the hurricane of terrible worry in my head.  I got a prescription for Ambien and it DID work - for three days.  Then the best I could hope for was maybe 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night even WITH Ambien.  If I took Benedryl (the ingredient in most over-the-counter non-prescription sleep aids) along with the Ambien, I would be unconscious for maybe 7 or 8 hours - but that wasn't quality sleep.  (According to everything I have read, if you don't go into REM or other stages, your state of unconsciousness is pretty useless.)

So yeah - it was a good diagnosis.  But I would say that a lot of my recovery from depression and anxiety was due in large part to the great work of my psychologist.  If either half of the equation were missing, I don't think I would have come out of my funk.

One big worry about thinking of coming off Lexapro is - will my depression return?  I haven't seen my psychologist for a few months now (I haven't needed to).  But before attempting to go off Lexapro, I am thinking that perhaps I should get set up (through insurance) for another round of visits.  (If I don't need them - fine.)

But, if I CAN come off the Lexapro and still be okay, that would be nice.  I am suffering from SEVERE vertigo and feel that the Lexapro, while perhaps not causing that, certainly doesn't help.  (I definitely know that lack of sleep and LOTS of coffee has made the vertigo worse.)

I have no complaints about the Lexapro.  And I would agree - if I have terrible withdrawl, it still would have been worth all the fantastic months I have had in the meantime.  As a matter of fact, Wellbutrin worked even better - but it totally quit working after just two months - so we switched to Lexapro.

I would recommend either of these anti-depressants any day to a person that needed one.  Wellbutrin worked well.  It even gave me energy and helped me to lose weight.  But it also made it even more difficult to sleep at night.  Lexapro, on the other hand, has been completely side-effect free.  (Though I have since regained the weight I lost under Wellbutrin.)  But it didn't give me the "energy boost" Wellbutrin did.

Thanks again Hensley!
Avatar universal
Gradual taper is the best option.  Lexapro comes in a liquid formulation so you can custom-make doses.  Alternatively, cutting the 10mg tablets into fourths makes 2.5mg doses.  
Avatar universal
Good option for a taper off. I must have missed the boat on that Liquid form of Lexapro.

I know Prozac is avalible in Liquid form, but had no idea that Lexapro was also avalibe that way.

Just slow and gradual is the best advice I can give.

ComputerGeek, you mentioned will my Depression and anxiety return. Honestly it just depends on many factors. Studies have shown that once a person has developed Depressive and anxiety disorder that "if" they stop their meds they have about an 80% chance of an eventual relaps.

I think it really depends on how chemical verses situational your condition is. If your depression and anxiety were primarily caused by trauma or stressful life events, then I think the odds are with good therapy that you can go med free.

If your aniety and depression are more rooted in chemical and neurological factors, then I think stopping your meds would be risky.

In my case, I have had more Psychotherapy and Cognative therapy than anyone I know, and while I learned a lot about my past and myself, it did nothing to help the crushing symptoms of my depression and anxiety. Only meds offered that relief.

You mentioned that one of the symptoms of your Depression was Vertigo? That's interesting to me because my symptoms also include vertigo and not may people with Depression can relate to this symptom. The worse my depression and anxiety are, the worse the vertigo is.
Avatar universal
Azalea82 - Yes, thanks for letting me know that - about the liquid form.  Liquid would make tapering off a lot easier.  I am sure my general practitioner would switch to liquid form if I asked him.      

Splitting my pill in half or quarters wouldn't be feasible.  The 10mg pill is about as tiny as a few grains of sand.  In fact, I wish they would add filler to make the pill physically larger because half the time I am not even sure the pill made it into my mouth or that I swallowed it!  

I once got clumsy one morning and spilled the entire bottle of Lexapro!  I retrieved 90% of the pills from the kitchen counter (placing them carefully back in the bottle) and then spent half an hour getting the rest from the floor (to throw those away) because our dog goes over the kitchen floor with a fine tooth comb and would have licked up those pills!
Avatar universal
Hensley, thanks for your information also.

Um, I can't say for sure what category I fit into - chemical verses situational.

I DO know with certainty that the job I was laid off from produced a HUGE amount of stress in my life.

As proof of this (to myself), I was told about the layoff a few months ahead of time (which was to allow me some time to find another job).  As i said, after being told of the layoff, I was lucky to be getting 3 hours of sleep a night.  A person NEEDS sleep to maintain sanity, so throuought that time, the most important thing to me was to do 3 days Ambien and 3 days Benedryl so I wouldn't get hooked on either as a sleep aid.  (I got that idea from another person who posted what she did in a another thread!  It worked - I got hooked on neither of those meds!)  But still, I was getting only 3 hours of sleep every night - worrying about how I was going to support my family.

All this time (three months) I was working with my psychologist.  He was helping me to realize that i was normal.  It was just my body's way of dealing with stress.  He said I would have been the PERFECT person to do guard duty over my village a few thousand years ago, protecting everyone through the night.  But in today's society, such stress reaction is uneeded and unwanted.  But he told me that out of ALL the paitients he has ever seen, I have to be the most normal he has EVER seen - I just have a quick-reacting stress threshold.  But i still went to visit him once a week because he was doing a GREAT job of rebuilding my shattered self-esteem (also normal for a person who is told they are being laid off, he said).

Okay, so the last day at work arrived.  The next day I nop longer needed to go to work.  


From that day on, I never again needed Ambien or Benedryl to sleep at night!!!

That alone revealed to me how stressful working there all these years had become to me.  My wife understood that all these years whereas I denied it to myself.  Until that last day of work.

So that helped me to see the lay off as a blessing in disguise.  That company did me a big favor by their action.  I just need that push out the door.  

My new job is with a fantastic world-wide company - I am in training now.  

I take a final exam in just another week and that is now causing me some stress again because I REALLY want to pass and stay with this company.  GREAT benefits and GREAT corporate culture.  (We are ALL just a bunch of computer geeks!!!  LOL)

If I pass the final I then have two months to prove myself afterwards - Another potential cause of stress.

I probably will therefore wait until three months from now.  I am concerned and am getting a little anxious.  Lexapro helps with depression AND anxiety.  

Yeah, my vertigo is driving me crazy.  i have been seen by an ear, nose and throat doctor.  He sent me to have an MRI done of my head to rule out a tumor or other growth pressing against the inner ear balance organs.  The MRI came back clear.

So then I needed to get a complete audiology exam from an audiologist.  The person I went to see happened to be a doctor who once specialised in a certain pathology of the ear in a huge hearing institute, but now broke away to open his own hearing clinic.

He was EXTREMELY helpful in my understanding of vertigo.  Vertigo is caused when something gets out of sync between the two ear's inner balance organs.  These consist of three tubes in each ear filled with fluid.  The tubes also have tiny hairs.  Without these organs, it would be impossible to have any sense of balance.

But sometimes the signals arrive at different times to the brain and the brain gets confused.  (I am sure the doctor was greatly simplyfying the syndrome for me - a layman.)  

One old test of vertigo (that I read about) is they used to put warm water in one ear and cold water in the other ear.  (I had read about that online.)  I asked the doctor if that is still used.  He said yes, but in a far more scientific way with precise measurements (but it wasn't indicated for me).  He said that during any such test, ANY person will completely lose their sense of balance and feel vertigo.  That was amazing to hear.  Weird huh?

Anyway, I haven't heard back from the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.  The audiologist said that vertigo typically lasts 2 to 4 months and then the person should get over it as either the body heals whatever caused the imbalance of signals, or the brain itself makes the adjustment.

Since I have had this, MANY people have mentioned to me friends of theirs ALSO suffering from verttigo - so apparently it isn't that rare.

It WILL be rare if this continues for MONTHS.  But the audiologist said that there are actually courses of physical therapy for vertigo patients.  (IF I don't hear back from the ENT, I am calling the audiologist and will ask him to call the ENT himself because the audiologist really knows his stuff!!!)

The thing is, I renewed all my meds - Lexapro, Crestor, Flowmax, Avodart, Nexium - virtually ALL state on the side-effects panel that they can cause dizziness!!!

Lexapro especially states that it can cause severe dizziness (rare, but possible).  

Well, since I have severe dizziness, my thought was to come off as many of these as I possibly can.

(I won't come off of Avodart.  It caused my sky-high PSA to fall within completely normal range - no more annaual prostate biopsies for me!!!  And I can't come off Nexium.  I couldn't live without Nexium.  It is amazing how many people I have come across of all ages that HAVE to take Nexium.  That company must be swiming in cash flow!)

The crestor I can maybe come off of if I lose weight (maybe 20 or 30 pounds) and eat healthier.  (Too bad I LOVE breads and Pizza!!!)

Finally, especially after thinking more about it and starting to get a little anxious with the approaching final (and actually going to work with a 2-month trial period), I will put off coming off Lexapro for three months.  And, after hearing your input Hensley, I WILL start back up with my psychologist to help go through coming off Lexapro.

After I asked my psychologist about coming off Lexapro eventually, he said that I could experiment with coming off of it at some stage.  If things didn't seem to be working out, I could always go back on it.  (But I will rely on his support throughout the process to help out the rough spots, so to speak.)
Avatar universal

Hensley, one last thing about vertigo.  The audiologist asked me a hundred or so different questions to see if we could help figure out what changed in the last month or so when the vertigo kicked in.  (Nothing significant had changed.)  Towards the end of the standard list of questions, he asked if I suffered with stress or depression.  He paused and explained why he, an audiologist, would even ask such questions.  He said that stress and depression can sometimes help to CAUSE vertigo.  And the more stress and depression - the worse the vertigo.  And I don't know about you, but the more the vertigo I feel, the more the stressed I am!!!

I don't even know if I should be driving.  But, to be honest, it seems easier to drive than to walk.  In driving, I simply need to stay between the lines and watch out for all the other crazy drivers.  Interestingly, I don't have my normal sense of acceleration and deceleration, so I need to also keep a close eye on my speed (not a bad thing since speeding tickets increase insurance costs).  I also don't feel gravity like I normally would going fast around a curve.  So I ESPECIALLY need to watch my speed going onto and off of the highway when te on and off ramp is a sweeping curve.

But when I start work in earnest (assuming I am still there in three months), I need to mention my vertigo to my manager so he will know that if he sees me stumble - it isn't because I had been hitting the bottle before coming to work!!!


I thought my general practioner and ENT doctor were insane when they prescribed 2mg and 0.5mg tablets of Diazepam and Lorazepam (respectively) - since those are also anti-depressants.  But, after I researched "DRUG TREATMENTS FOR VERTIGO" on Google, I found that it IS common to prescribe these two drugs in very low dose for vertigo.  But, through my research, I also found that Lorazepam is actually better than Diazepam when used this way.  (I am not actualling taking these prescriptions though.  Neither seemed to help.)

Of course.... both of these can ALSO cause dizziness!!!  LOL

Finally MECLIZINE (brand Antivert) is also often prescribed for vertigo. It is basically an antihistamine similar to Dramamine.  It has very few side effects except, like most antihistamines, can cause dry mouth, blurred vision and drowsiness. It definitely causes drowsiness with me - and didn't seem to help at all so I don't thake that either.  (And again - it ALSO can CAUSE dizziness!  LOL)

"When the balance system is damaged, it has little ability to repair itself. The body recovers from the injury by having the part of the brain that controls balance re-calibrate itself to COMPENSATE for the unmatched signals being sent from the damaged and well ears. This compensation process occurs naturally in most people. Some patients require help from vestibular rehabilitation therapy in order to recover from an injury to the balance system."

This is a quote from a web site (I Googled "MECLIZINE" just now). That sounds exactly like what the audiologist doctor was saying.  Especially the part about "vestibular rehabilitation therapy."  (Google "vestibular rehabilitation therapy" for more information on that.)

---HENSLEY--- we need to keep tabs on each other!!!!!!  Whenever I discover something more about vertigo I will let you know!

ONE THING somebody told me is that caffeine worsens vertigo.  Needless to say, I have been drinking coffee like it is going out of style to stay away in class.  (I am poorly disciplined and often stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning!  LOL)  I can DEFINITELY say that caffeine DOES make my vertigo worse.  And I definitely stay completely away from alcohol.

The audiologist also told me to NOT take any extra salt - be it salt that I might add to my food or even salted potato chips - another piece of advice I have difficulty following.  Especially when a can of "Salt & Vinegar" or "Sour Cream & Onion" flavor Pringles are standing right there!!!  (Seesh....)

:)    :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)  
Avatar universal
I gave up effexor (is that what you call it in america)

Taper taper taper + If you cant make a step down go back up for a couple of weeks.  The second time you try it usually works, if not back up again.


Come down one day out of ten.  Then two days out of ten.  You dont feel it so much then.  Trick your body

Do yourself a little grid chart and you will see progress, slowly.

It did take a year you are right there.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the info Computer Geek. I have suffered this strange Vertigo since my severe depression and anxiey started back in 1992.

The worse my depression is the worse the Vertigo is. It seems like none of the Psychiatrist or doctors can give me any real reson for this corrilation and what is causing it.

It feels like a heavy lead ball in the center of my brain that somehow shifts me off balance. It differnt than the normal dizzies. I will be walking and it will feel like I am walking on an un-level surface even though the surface is perfectly level.

It honestly scares the **** out of me and only served to make my anxiety worse.

Funny thing is that when my AD meds are working well then the symptom fades. So I figure these must be some corrilation between the two.
Avatar universal
- - - Therese83 - - -

Thanks Therese83 - some great ideas there.  I need to write all these down.  Liquid Lexapro (suggested by Azalea82).  And your suggestion of going back up a level on the tapering and try coming down again if needed.  Use a chart.  great advice.

Until people experience vertigo for themselves, they have NO CLUE how lucky they are that they can walk in a coordinated fashion - all thanks to the very complex inner workings of the middle-ear-to-brain connection.  Any small malfunction and you look like you are drunk walking a wavering line.  I am waiting for a policeman to pull me over if I make a mistake in traffic and have me try to walk a straight line.  I will fall over!  (I am SUPER careful when driving and, actually, it is easier to drive a car than to walk down a sidewalk.)

- - - Hensley - - -

I have wondered what you have wondered too - is this JUST a middle-ear issue or is there some part of my brain that is involved with a lack of balance too.  My Ear, Nose and Throat doctor and my audiologist feel it is due to the inner ear.  But the audiologist DID say that depression and anxiety can exacerbate vertigo.  But I wonder if the CAUSATIVE action could maybe be more due to the brain than the inner ear.

I have seen a psychologist, not a psychiatrist, for depression & anxiety.  The former knows how people think inside and out and help them through their thoguht processes whereas the latter seek a causation in the form of chemical imbalances in the brain that can be treated by drugs.  That is why I was more open to the idea of a psychologist than a psychiatrist in the first place.  It was actually my GP that prescribed the Lexapro.

But my psychologist is a very smart man.  He was a medic in Vietnam so he knows the medical side AND he now knows the thought-process side.  I will be sure to ask him whenever I get through all of my new job coursework and transition to my full-time position.  I KNOW I will be much happier in my new job than my old and, if things go well, I look forward to coming off Lexapro - especially since the side-effects list possible SEVERE dizziness.  I will rely on my network of church and work friends to help keep me going in a positive direction.

On a side note Hensley - I have been doing VERY WELL on Lexapro for months now and THEN the vertigo hit.  But THAT was during a new job too and, to be honest, I just didn't seem to be getting it.  It was VERY complicated and involved a LOT of paperwork.  (It is a photography job.)  So that stress could have contributed.

But from everything I have read, vertigo usually comes as some sort of damage to the inner ear system.  An infection or a blow to the head or a tumor pressing on the inner ear (thus the reason they will usually do an MRI).  

But I will definitely ask my psychologist about the brain's side of things in vertigo.  Maybe I can research it myself using Google.  (Google is an incredibly powerful research tool!)
Avatar universal
I have read some Psychiatry reports that talk about what is called Psychomotor dissorder. There isn't much knows about it, but experts agree that depression and anxiety can (in some people) effect balance.

When you get these vertigo symptoms do you feel a kind of odd heaviness in the pit of your head?
Avatar universal
I weaned off of it as my doctor advised me.  I suffered no side affects coming off of 10mg tab. of Lexapro.  
Bob-Bon, I have been on 15mg of Lexapro for about 5 years.  MD & Iagree to start weaning off.  What was your weaning off schedule?  I am 62 years old and have been doing great the past 4 years or better.
Avatar universal
I didn't get any sleep Tuesday night/Wednesday morning (except for MAYBE an hour if that) and had vertigo SO bad when I got back out of bed that I couldn't hardly walk straight and got extremely nauseous.  But I prepared for and tried going to work - through lashing rain and in a loaner car I was unfamiliar with and that had dirty inside windshields along with fogging (my car was in for repair).  The streets were dark (no street lights) and the road was jammed with crazy drivers late for work.  (In this state, drivers are NOT more cautious in thunderstorms and lashing rain - they are more aggressive and crazy drivers than ever.)  

The last straw was being called on my cell by my wife that I had forgotten my wallet.  Since I was so dizzy by then that I thought I was going to throw up, I returned home and called in sick and tried to go back to sleep.  But I couldn't.  The storm passed and by 10:00 it was bright, sunny and the roads were dry.  So I went on in to work - not feeling quite as dizzy and nauseous as several hours earlier.

Today, by comparison, it is as though my vertigo was completely gone.  It seems as though I don't feel much dizzyness at all.  But, like I said, that is perhaps in comparison to my feeling completely overwhelmed with dizzyness two days ago.  Are you listening Hensley?  Maybe I should pull an all-nighter (on the computer) again!  On a day I DON'T need to get in to work!

I can't answer your question at the moment though buddy - I never really paid attention to my head - just my footsteps so I don't fall over.  I actually did fall over when I returned a few weeks ago from getting a head MRI done so my Ear, Nose and Throat doctor could make sure that there was no tumor or other growth pressing against my inner ear.  (There isn't.)  I had just parked the car in the garage and was putting something away on a shelf in the garage before going on into the house and I lost my balance and fell over backwards onto the garage floor.  But no harm done - I landed flat on my behind!

But I'll pay attention to see if I feel what you are talking about.  I think mostly I just feel dizzy.  At its worst, it is like I just got off of a merry-go-round or a spinning computer/office type of chair.  Once when I went to bed, it was so bad that I couldn't read when I laid my head back.  My eyes were literally slamming from left-to-right JUST like I got off a spinning chair.  So I put my book down and turned off the light and eventually fell asleep.  

I wish my ENT doc. would get back to me about all this!  It is ALL I need on top of anxiety and depression.  IF, indeed, I am still suffering from anxiety and depression.  Since one of the listed side-effects of Lexapro is SEVERE dizziness, that is one additional reason that I am interested in coming off of it.  But not, I have decided, until I break into my new job after my training class ends and maybe being on the job for a month or two.  Otherwise I might lose sleep over starting my new job!  Extreme anxiety and depression caused me to get only 2 to 3 hours of sleep a night towards the end of my last long-term job (when all this came to a hilt and I started taking Lexapro) and I CANNOT have that on this new job just starting out!

- - - Bon-Bon - - -

How did you wean off Lexapro?  Did you just take a tablet every other day?  and then a tablet every third day?  Or split the tablets in half?  (The 10mg tablets are so tiny, I don't see me doing that!)

I'll message you if I you don't see this question because I am really interested.

Well, off to bed.  It is 1:00 AM and I don't want a repeat of two days ago!  

Thanks everyone for your input on this.  So far I have heard several GOOD reports of coming off of Lexapro and i appreciate that!  It makes me feel more confident about coming off of it myself to see if I can do without it or not.
Avatar universal
Pulverize the tablet. Put it in juice. Stir thoroughly. Consume the portion you want.
Avatar universal
Hi ComputerGeek!  &:  )

I feel your concern regarding the question of weaning off Lexapro.  I also went through this concern a few months ago.

I only offer my experience with Lexapro.  Of course, I am not a doctor; therefore, my post/s are not to be received as advice to anyone.

If choosing to discontinue Lexapro or any medication your doctor prescribes, doing as your doctor advises, most likely will help reduce and/or avoid problems.  

In my particular case, I chose to follow my doctors instructions - not my own.  Everyone is an individual and their cases may vary when taking and stopping medication.  

In "my" case, after taking Lexapro for 3 weeks, my doctor advised me to split the 10mg Lexapro tab. in half, taking - 1/2 tablet for 4 days.  Then split that in half, taking - 1/4th tablet for 3 days.  After that - no Lexapro from that point forward.  

Yes, the tablet was small and my initial thought was it would be crushed into mere powder, especially, when attempting to break it into fourths; but, acturally it broke well and I did not have too much of a problem when using a pill-cutter or a thin knife.  (I only messed up one, trying to break it into fourths, then got the hang of it.)    

I had been taking Lexapro for only 3 weeks when I asked my doctor to wean me off.  ( If not mistaken, I believe you have been taking it much longer. )  I made my decision after reading comments made by some people concerning their withdrawel symptoms after taking Lexapro, even for a short time.  Nonetheless, I consulted with my doctor.

I'm not taking anything now.  It has been 3 months since I weaned off Lexapro with no withdrawels / ill affects and still doing great!  :  )  
Avatar universal
Thanks for the brilliant advice Bob.  I can't believe I didn't think of that!  It is so simple now that you mention it!

- - - Bon-Bon - - -

I have a pill cutter.  Women have smaller fingers than us men.  I don't think I could cut that tiny 10mg pill into quarters!  LOL

I did use it to cut my Wellbutrin pills in half.  Wellbutrin were veritable horse tablets compared to the miniscule tiny Lexapro tablets.

You were only on it for 3 weeks though?  that wasn't even enough time for the full effect of it to kick in.  My GP told me to expect to be on it for 4 weeks to see it help as an anti-depressant and 4 to 6 weeks to see it start helping with anxiety.

I am a little anxious about coming off of Lexapro though.  I would hate it if my depression and anxiety returned.  But at least taking a break from it for a while will help me to be assured that it isn't the Lexapro that is causing my vertigo.

Thanks for your advice about consulting with my doctor.  I'll be sure to do that!
Avatar universal
Your welcome.  

I have a feeling that everything is going to work out on your behalf and that you are going to be okay. &:  )

I pray you have a wonderful day!

Avatar universal
Hi I have been on lexapro 10mg for a year and a half for my depression, In the last 6 months I have been trying to get off the pil, I find my depression is so much worse now then it ever was. I feel as though my personality has changed being since trying to come off the drug, I am moody and always angry and getting anoyed at people when my whole life I have been very shy and did not ever get anoyed at anyone. I also feel fuzzy in the head and cannot concerntrate. Has anyone else experienced these symptons? and does anyone know if it will get any better?
Also i am a 22year old girl
Avatar universal
Hi! have been on lexapro 10mg for two years and coming off - or, at least trying to.
I have experienced exactly the same symptoms as you - my personality has changed drastically, but while on drugs. I have become aggressive, always arguing, I got more enemies than frends now... I couldn't concentrate and my memory has become really really bad. that is why I decided to quit.  
I hope it all goes back to normal after I get off the meds completely, before I scare away more people.... ;)

Already feeling better and more down-to-earth after taking just 0,25mg less.  In any case I think it is much better to get off the ADs than to continue this way. Hope we can all make it work.
Avatar universal
I just recently got off Lexapro after being on it for almost 10 yrs. I was thrown on SSRIs at 15 and never been able to get off them due to the withdrawal symptoms. I am happy to say that now, at age 24, I am off all SSRIs and are no longer experiencing withdrawal symptoms. It's not an easy thing though. I went from 30 mg to none within 4 months. The hardest change was from 20 mg to 10mg when I started having obsessive thoughts and panic. I made it through, leveled out, and then dropped it again. 10mg to 5 mg wasn't as bad but I definitely was very moody and a bit short fussed. I used my benzos to help with any night panic that ensued. Once I got off my drug officially, the first couple days were rather hellish in the way that I was extremely unhappy and angry. It was like a big grey cloud was over my head I hated everything. There were brain zaps too which are never fun. Any who, I trudged on... did things like exercise a lot, take lots of vitamins and fish oil, and eventually the symptoms subsided. It was the 4th day after or so that I woke up actually happy again and feeling good. It's been 3 weeks now and my brain zaps are gone and my emotions are normal. I am more sensitive of course... I'll cry a lot easier over things and might get irritated more but that also has to do with no longer being on something that reuptakes my serotonin. I'm sure I will take an SSRI again (with having a husband in the military and deploying often) but at least now I know that I am not trapped and can come off them in between difficult phases of life. I had so many doctors tell me to never go off the drug - that I wasn't "fixed" and that it will likely be for life. I knew that wasn't the case though and I'm very happy to be on this nice break from the drugs. If I could do it after being on them for so long, you can too! And you WILL feel better. Just remember that your brain has to adjust and get used to not having that drug in it anymore. It takes time but it will figure it out :)
5603145 tn?1370746163
I am currently weaning myself off of Lexapro and my strategy this time is to go VERY slowly. I have been weaning myself down over the last several months and plan to come off very slowly over a span of about 6 months. I was taking 20mg. I stayed at 10mg for like a month and a half until I felt my body had stabilized. Now I have gone down to 5mg. Feeling a bit more moody, but nothing too bad. I will stay on 5 mg for like 2 months and then wean to an even lower dose like you are planning to do for several more months before attempting to come off. I have come off of other meds in the past and it didn't go well. That is why I am going slowly now. So far, so good. I plan to stay at this dose until I feel stabilized again (however long that takes) before weaning further. Good luck to you!
Avatar universal
I recently tapered off my lexapro from 25 mg to 20. I had tried this before ( doing the extra 5 every other day) but had immediately found relapse of depression, also the jolts of electricity through different parts of my body and sometimes my head.
Odd reading about the vertigo though... i had an extremely bad bout of this recently. I haven't had it checked out yet but presume i do have some sort of inner ear issue going on. for me I woke up and the room was spinning very quickly and i could not control it. every time i opened my eyes things moved quickly in front of me.
it lasted for maybe twenty minutes as I continued to open my eyes for as long as  could stand it and the movement eventually slowed to a point that i ust felt a bit dizzy... for the next few days.
It didn't occur to me till now that it might possibly have been related to my dropping that 5 mg of lexapro a few days before cold turkey this time for about a week.
the other symptoms i had: mild depression, itching over my body, electric type jolts, some body pain, perhaps nausea( related to the vertigo)
The other thing is that my pharmacy had run out of my ADHD medicine  (vyvanse) so i was also off that for a week when this happened. I am on a fairly high dosage of it 30 mg and i think it may have been a large contributing factor as I felt much better once i got it back in my system. I had a huge sinus infection which i thought also was contributing ( likely it was ) but the sinus medicine didn't help as much as getting the vyvanse back. in fact the sinus (tylenol severe decongestant one day and sudafed SE on the others.) did absolutely nothing for the headache or the vertigo, but when i took the vyvance it went away.
for what its worth, just some more data. Lots of variables, so i dont know how helpful, maybe these drugs interact with each other some.
any way, i feel for all the folks who deal with vertigo. mine comes and goes and hasnt been as bad as that one time ( about a week ago) but still following yp with ENT soon.
GOod luck everyone.
thanks for swapping data.

Avatar universal
I have been off lexapro for 4 weeks with zero negative side effects?? I actually feel 100% happier, is this normal I'm so confused.
I was on it for nearly three years, started on 10mg then upped to 20mg, 30mg for 3 months then back down to 20mg for about a year and a half. Then I just stopped taking the stuff because I eventually want to have children and I don't want to be stuck on them my whole life. How can I feel happier off an antidepressant?
I was prescribed for Anxiety not depression.
Avatar universal
I went off Lexapro about six weeks ago after going from taken ten mg. for about eight months then down to five mg for about six weeks then off for six weeks.  

Everything seemed great.  But about a week ago I began having symtoms of depression again.  I had to go on from a very bad hospital experience.  I thought I was ready to not take it anymore.  My Dr. said it might just be too early to get off.  I will be taking five mg. again for three months then see if I can try to get off again.  

I had absolutley no side effects from cutting down then stopping Lexapro.  It is just that the depression returned  
10400829 tn?1409861659
I would like to add that everyone person is different in personality and in body, mind and spirit. So different things work for different people. I think if you feel you no longer need the medicine that your body will heal it's self and that you are correct about it. No one is inside your body or mind to be able to tell you weather or not you need to continue use of it. My thought is Your mind is the most powerful form of medicine and if you believe you can heal your self you can. You should try watching the documentary "The Secret" and open the realms of your mind. Just like a cut or wound your mind is also capable of healing. Doc.'s, I believe, are there to suggest an opinion for you. Ultimately you are the one who makes a choice to take his/her advice. Just like a good friend. Good day to you and good luck. May your life be blessed with happiness and peace.
Avatar universal
Hmm, not really. We all know about drug and other companies' vested interests. I would submit the greatest degree of manipulation comes from the supposed 'formal data'.
Avatar universal
Hi, I have been on Lexapro 20mg for 5 months. During that time, I put on almost 5kg and was more often than not, very lethargic. I could sleep 10-12 hours a day if I got the chance. I decided to go off it and I'm at the end of week 1. I went straight from 20-10mg and haven't noticed anything different in particular. I simultaneously caught a cold a few days ago and am recovering from it. I'll post back here in another week because I'm going to halve the dose again in a couple of days.
Avatar universal
Ok, 30 May, 2016 and I've been completely off Lexapro for 2 weeks!! I felt slightly dizzy occasionally for a few days afterwards but had none of the 'brain zaps' or headaches that people have mentioned. I'd describe it as being more like having slightly low blood pressure. I did, for a few days, have insomnia. I took a strong B-complex vitamin each day and really ramped up the exercise. Probably about 45-60 mins cardio split into two sessions. Since going off, I've slept FAR better and find I need WAY LESS sleep than I did when on Lexapro. I have been going to bed earlier and waking up at 6-6.30am.

So to sum up, I went off Lexapro from 20 mg, to 10, to 5mg,  to nothing, in 2 weeks. Then had withdrawal side-effects from no Lexapro for about 10 days. I feel completely normal now and better than ever. Perhaps slightly emotional here and there but not, in any way, depressed. I have more energy, the weight is coming off slowly (I put on about 4 kilograms in 5 months). The Lexapro worked very well for me for about two months but the side-effects outweigh the benefits in my opinion. I suffer from anxiety mainly, not depression, but I find a good sleep, vitamin B, probiotics and other supplements, lots of exercise, regular meditation twice-daily and positive visualisation using binaural beats and headphones on my iphone, work better. Plus I feel in much better physical shape. All the best for everyone else and I hope my input has been helpful.
This is great to hear thanks I am weaning off Lex 10g to 7.5g and after two months to 5 g and then off. Gradual has been recommended by my doctor. I have been on for two years for anxiety. It has given me a chance to learn meditation and to review best supports. Your post give me great encouragement. I will up my exercise and take Vitamin B cheers and good luck
I've been taking just 5mg for 4 months now. Was a dummy and just quit cold turkey, by day 4 I was having anxiety attacks and not sleeping. It is crazy what such a small dose can do for you. I've  started it back & I became pretty discouraged that I wont be able to come off of this but your post has given me hope! I used to use a mindfulness app prior to going on lexapro and had used the binaural headphones with my therapist so maybe I should look in to those again!
Avatar universal
After the passing of my husband I went on 10mg if Lexapro. After 6 years I decided to wean myself off it. I purchaed a good pill cuter and cut the pills in half, making each dose 5mg. I took this for 2 months. Then the 3rd month I started skipping a day. So took 5mg every other day. Did this for 2 months. 3rd month stated taking 5mg every 2 days. Did this for 2 months. 3rd month states taking 5mg once per week. Did this for 2 months. I am now totally off of the drug!  NO side affects that I noticed!  Except now I do have emotions, whereas I didn't before. I was like a zombie on Lexapro!  I was present when my mother died a few years ago and I couldn't even cry!  That's when I knew I had to get off of this drug!  Mine is a success story!
Avatar universal
I weened myself off 10 mg lexapro over a course of 3 months.   Have been feeling ok with the exception of weight gain after lexapro.  No changes to diet or eating habits but gained 20 pounds ?  Has this happened to anyone else ?  
Avatar universal
I know this is an old question, but it's one of the questions I found when Googling how to get off Lexapro myself about a month ago.

I was on 10mg Lexapro for about two years and decided on my own to taper off on my own due to many of the same factors others have stated. I also didn't think my doctor knew what she was talking about when, after one time accidentally missing my dose, I had strange dizziness (which I later learned many people refer to as brain zaps) and reported this odd side effect to her. Her response? "That's impossible. You can't possibly feel side effects like that after missing only one dose. And there aren't any side effects associated with stopping Lexapro." --MAJOR red flag, right there.

Yes, there are a few cases where someone is lucky enough to have NO SIDE EFFECTS, but I knew my body and I knew what I was feeling was strange and new and I had never felt it before prior to starting Lexapro. Side effects are VERY common and that's one of the most important reasons to taper off SLOWLY.

I didn't want to continue relying on a medication that was capable of doing so much harm to me in the event I missed even a single dose. I also felt that my anxiety had come under control in the two years I'd been on the drug because the major sources (previous job and an unhealthy relationship) had been removed from my life.

I weaned down from 10 mg by halving my dose every 10 days until I was able to stop taking it altogether. During this time, I took fish oil, vitamin B complex and magnesium supplements which helped tremendously.

I quit on April 23rd and went through several very uncomfortable weeks of brain zaps, fatigue (SO MUCH FATIGUE!), general dizziness, lack of appetite, etc. I pushed through and a little over a month later, my body has finally reached a state of normalcy. I get the (very) occasional brain zap -- maybe one in a 72 hour span -- still but it's nothing like the one every minute rate I'd been having when I first stopped.

I feel so much better now, both emotionally and physically and have no regrets about getting off this drug.

tl;dr: YES. I have had a positive outcome after coming off of Lexapro. Hopefully, this can help anyone else who stumbles upon this post and needs reassurance.
Are you still doing fine after the withdrawal. I’ve been on lexapro for 2 months and I hate this zombie feeling.
It really doesn't matter to you because your response will be different than that of someone else.  If you're thinking of stopping the Lexapro, the important thing is to do it with a psychiatrist who shows a genuine understanding that you aren't anyone else, your experience will be yours, and the slow taper off should be timed only as suits you, not one that suited someone else.  The best withdrawal treatment is how you go off the med and how your particular brain responds to not having the med in your system anymore.  Because it's only been 2 months, this should be pretty easy if quitting is what you want to do, but again, we're all different.  Being well prepared is the best medicine.  
Avatar universal
I have tapered off Lexapro .. carefully and LONG...off it now for about 2 weeks .. i'm a mess .. crying, hating myself, etc., what i want to know is, if i keep staying off of it, will i ever be okay again?
I'd like to tell you somebody knows the answer, but nobody does know the answer.  People react very differently not only from one another but also to different meds.  My advice is, if this lasts another week you might go back to your psychiatrist and go back on it and try even more slowly.  You say it took a long time, but you don't say how long.  The other choice is to wait it out and hope it goes away.  There is a condition called PAWS that a few people get where withdrawal lasts an indefinite amount of time.  But for you it's only been 2 weeks, and that's not a long time even though it seems like it is.  Because this happened to me and my psychiatrist caused it by being a moron, I had to research this on my own, and there are websites devoted to all manner of withdrawal problems.  But again, if it lasts for awhile, I wouldn't let it fester and hope it goes away -- I'd be proactive and go back on Lexapro -- I know it's the last thing you want to do and by now you're probably angry at your doctor and angry at the drug but because it sounds like you might be having emotional problems you didn't have before you went on the drug in the first place, you don't want that to go on for very long.  One thing some seem to have found helpful is a healthy daily dose of fish oil -- seems to help some.  Exercise helps some.  Staying on a regular routine helps.  Hopefully, this passes within a relatively short period of time, but if it doesn't, I'd try to do it more slowly and see if it works for you.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
Crazy but after 3 months of 20mg lexapro I decided to go of it cold turkey. No problems but was more energy and fast temper, but I work in construction so it’s to my advantage. The drugs were good at getting me through new work and loosing my dear cat. I’ve always had depression and anxiety but I learnt in the past to use it to my advantage and be creative. Buuut this was a very tough time and the drugs did what they did on the label. No way I’d want to stay on them for a long period because I can feel they are changing things in the brain that probably should be left alone.
Have an Answer?
Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.
How to lower your heart attack risk.