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Avatar universal

lexapro withdrawl

I have been off of lexapro for about 8 days and would like to know if anyone can tell me the true withdrawl symptoms>  
51 Responses
Avatar universal
Did you just stop of did you taper down?  How long were you on?  The first time I stopped I was only on for 2 weeks.  I stopped with no problems.  The second time I stopped I had been on for about 8 months.  I tapered down in 2.5 increments over 6 weeks.  I still had horrible headaches (at the start of each taper down week) and the hardest part was 3 weeks after it was out of my system.  I had a crazy surge of anxiety.  I never thought the Lexapro was working until that happened!

Anyway, everyone is different and I am very sensitive to medication so my experience may not be your experience.  But as sparkeler said, make sure it is under the care of a doc.

Good luck!!!
Avatar universal
I came off of Lexapro about 8 months ago. My withdrawals included dizziness, having a sensation of strange blood rushes through my head and some fatigue..that was about it. oh, and some increased anxiety for a little while, a few weeks maybe?
Avatar universal
Wow...am I glad I found this site. I had been taking Lexapro since Nov. 2004 at first 10mg worked, but after about 18 months my doctor and neurologist has me increase to 20mg daily. I am now seeing a therapist since Dec. 2006 and she recommended a change to prozac as the lexapro wasn't doing what it should. Neither Dr. told me about any withdrawl symptoms except headaches and irritability...WRONG!!!!!!!! They also never told me to taper off....so I went cold turkey on Feb. 6th, 2007. I have felt like I am walking around stoned...light headed, chills and hot flashes, tired, dizzy, can't sleep...then all I want to do is sleep...bitchy, blurred vision...crazy dreams...can't concentrate...It will be 14 days tomorrow and I am hoping that these stop soon... I wonder if anyone out there may have some clue to how long the withdrawls may last?? I have read lots of sites and all these and then some are normal, but am just wondering how long I have to live like this? Or if, when I start the prozac that I will start to feel normal?? or as normal as possible with drug controlled depression!! Thanks to all... have a good night!
Avatar universal
I am SO surprised that neither one of your docs told you to taper down!!  Not even the therapist???  Yikes!!  I would have been a basket case.  From what I understand (and I am NOT a doctor) is that it takes 3-4 weeks for Lexapro to get out of your system after you stop.  A neighbor of ours is a pharmacist and he told me that.  That made sense to me because after three weeks I had a increase in anxiety and jitters and that lasted for a while but is better now.  

Call your doctor about and tell them your symptoms and really, don't cold turkey anymore!!!  Don't let them tell you it's okay.  From what I read it can be very dangerous but you seem to be past that stage now.  But do call, just to let them know.

Good luck!!!
Avatar universal
i would very much like to hear from someone who is experiencing withdrawal symptoms after stopping taking lexapro....on the advice of my physician i cut my 20mg dose in half for 2 weeks and then totally stopped taking the medication....i have been experiencing nausea and dizziness and am very light headed....after calling my md he suggested i go back on the lexapro. i am not experiencing any drastic mood swings or severe crying spells..after he said to try for one more week staying off the meds and then calling him back....can someone please e-mail me at ***@**** if you can help me in trying to get thru this withdrawal period....i didn't like the fact that the quick fix was to go back to taking the lexapro...hope to hear from someone soon...thanks
Avatar universal
After several years of taking Lexapro I tapered down to 2.5 mg.  I tried to stop taking the pills several times. Every time I tried to stop taking it completely I would get excruciating headaches and eventually I would get very nauseous and start vomiting.  It would start in the afternoon and continue to get worse and worse for hours until I couldn't take the pain anymore - around 1 AM.  I would go back to taking the pills and the withdrawl would go away almost immediately.

In December after going through a bad episode of withdrawl I took 2.5 mg again for a week and then tried to stop again.   This time I had none of the symptoms.  I haven't taken the pills again since.  I've been mostly ok but it was kind of rough at first.  I was getting incredibly angry and crying on a regular basis.  

That has all settled down now and though I still have ups and downs for the most part I'm feeling pretty good.
Avatar universal
This is my first attempt to discuss this via the internet.  Thanks all who make this available.

I do not believe I should be on an anti-depressant, however, due to a series of events, I am suffering the "cure" of Lexapro and Klonopin.

I had been on a med for digestion, which after 11 days, had me in such a confused and anxious state that I wound up in the emergency room.  Checked out healthy and sent home.  At the advice of friends I called my Gyno who said it sounded as though I needed something for anxiety and prescribed Lexapro, 10mg.  Took one that evening, and the next morning was seriously wanting to harm myself.  Back to the emergency room, admitted to "Behavioral Medicine" wing.  Seen very briefly by a psychiatrist, who said "You've had a panic attack, take Lexapro"

After discharge, went to see his associate who takes my ins. (he doesn't), and she simply concurred with him and has me on Lexapro and Klonopin.  I have never been more miserable in my life!  It has been three months.  The first month was slow going up, the second month level, this past month is nothing by crying and thoughts of, well, you know.  I WAS NOT LIKE THIS BEFORE THE DIGESTION MEDICATION AND THEN LEXAPRO.  Am I off the mark thinking I need to be off this stuff?  I am not funcioning like a normal human being, and am dragging my family down with me.  When I last spoke with the Dr. she thought upping the dose might help, but I think that's the wrong direction.

Any thoughts from those who made it through this long question?  Thanks.
Avatar universal
I have been on 10mg of lexapro for 3 straight years.  1 year ago I decided to quit it, and failed.  The withdrawl was too much to handle.  Major brain zapping, chest pains, massive whole body tremors, horrid heartburn that kept me up most of the night, headaches, dizzy.  So I went back to my 10mg and felt better.  Please note that while on it I felt zero side effects.  6 months ago I gave quitting it another try.  I went from 10mg daily to 5 mg daily for 2 weeks, then to 5mg every other day, and then 1/4 every 2 days.  When I reached the 1/4 pill, the nasty withdrawl started.  I have horrid zapping sensations mostly when I lie down to sleep, tremors that make me shake from head to toe, shoulder, neck and back pain, my heart will pound so badly that I can hear it in my ears, I also have TMJ due to this and have to wear a mouth guard at night.  I cannot concentrate, nausea that comes and goes, have heartburn sometimes, massive mood swings, and chest pains.  I have been off the pills totally now for 6 days, and the chest pains are very sharp at times, other times I feel fine.  Anyone else going thru any of this???  Please let me know, my dr says it is not from the lexapro at all!!  Yea, right!
Avatar universal
i want to die from all thi withdrawls'
all i can tell u
Avatar universal
I was on lexapro 10 for a 4 months and 20 mg for 4 months and then i went back to 10 mg for 2 weeks and then 1/4 of that for 2 weeks, then i stopped...
now i get head rush or fainty spells like i am about to pass out...just for a second. it seems its worse when i am sleepy or haven't eaten.  Is this normal? Will this stop?
Avatar universal
I'm going through some nasty withdrawal myself. But fortntly or unfortunately it's because I can never remember to send in my prescreption assistance. I've been off lexapr for at least 8 or 9 days I think and I can't remember anything, I'm having the weirdest headache thing and the last few nights I've had bad craying spells and been really irritable and the last time this happened the third day I started getting really twitchy. I can't get any work done and I can't get any help since my doct is out of the office and hasn't called in my refill. that was the plan since I keepforgetting. I'm really having mood swings and obviously having toruple typing abd remembering even what I'm saying... sorry this is such a crappy entry but I can tell you this really is miserabl
Avatar universal
I have been off for 3 days and feel like I have a sinus headache. I am nervous about what is coming. I have been on 10 mg for almost 2 years, I quit cold turkey.  I could not stand the lack of sexdrive other then that I felt fine.
Avatar universal
what I mean is I felt fine on the medication, I had no side effects while being on it. I was never depressed just anxiety and panicky.
Avatar universal
I was on Lexapro for two years.  At the beginning of the second year, I developed chronic backpain.  I have been to countless numbers of doctors that have done everything from x-rays to MRIs and beyond and have found nothing that could be causing the pain.  To my dismay, I discovered in the fine print of the Lexapro adverse reactions pamplet that it can cause myalgia.  My psychiatrist  casually told me to taper off of it for a number of days.  I did and the results were horrifiying.  I have been through tons of symptoms... nerve twinges, crying fits, anxiety attacks, depression, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and just overall sickness for the past two months.  To top it all off, my backpain has increased.  When I talked to my psychiatrist about the problem, he told me that it must be some other medication that I am on, because it couldn't be the Lexapro.  Needless to say, I promptly fired him on the spot and may file a complaint about him.  I want to get the word out on what this medication is capable of ...  It may come out some number of years down the road that the side effects of this medication could be permanent, as I have heard of cases that some of the effects were.   For me, the side effects have far out weighed the benefits of this medication.  My advice.. don't just take your doctor's word about the effects of a medication.  Do some research and ask a lot of questions.  I have lost time at work due to illness from this medication and hundreds of dollars in doctor bills.
Avatar universal
I have several friends that are on Paxil that have tried countless numbers of times to stop taking the medication and have failed.  The withdrawl effects sound very similar to that of Lexapro.  To all of you trying to get off of this medication (Paxil or Lexapro), hang in there.  It may take about three months for the effects to go away... I am in month two myself.  If anyone knows of a way to make these withdrawl symptoms public knowledge (aka, get it published and mass communicated) I would love the knowledge.  
Avatar universal
I had taken 20mg of Lexapro daily for over 2 years. I didn't notice any side effects until about a year and a half into it - and then came weight gain. I work out just about every day (aerobics instructor) and watch my diet, but the weight kept creeping on. I decided to quit about 5 -6 weeks ago - a week at 10 mg, a week at 5 mg, a week at 2.5, then every other day at 2.5. Things were going fine - I even had more energy - until I stopped taking Lexapro alltogether. Now, I feel like I'm just sick - nausea, lethargy, etc. I'm also incredibly sensitive, crabby, and have major crying jags. I've also experienced the brain zaps, which I can handle, but the fatigue I can't. I can barely make it through an aerobics class - which stinks, because that's my job. I guess I want to cry on someone's shoulder.....Does anyone know how long the fatigue and weakness last?


Avatar universal
I used to take Paxil and the withdrawal symptoms are similar to what you all are describing. They are MISERABLE and you think you will never get through it. I failed a few times myself but I did eventually do it. It took a year of tapering down. I was literally taking tiny bits off a pill just to have the tiniest amount in my system because it was the only way to get off it without the terrible symptoms. I felt so sick and so dizzy and the brain shock sensations were horrendous. I still had depression so I needed to be on something so they switched me to Serzone, which has since been taken off the market. But I was able to stop that after about a year and took nothing for nearly 3 years until recently when my doctor put me on a low dose of Lexapro. I have only been on it for 3 months and am switching to Wellbutrin now. I noticed a huge difference in how good I am feeling almost immediately with the Wellbutrin. I just hope I don't experience the Lexapro withdrawals now while switching to Wellbutrin!
Avatar universal
I have been on 20mg of lexapro for the past 4 years.  It helped me worry less and cope better with my generalized anxiety.  The main side effects have been a 20 pound weight gain and a much decreased sex drive.  About a month and a half ago, I decided to begin to taper off because I am getting married and hoping to get pregnant, and I don't want to be on medication during my pregnancy (and need the sex drive back..lol).  I went from 20 mg to 15mg for about 1 1/2 weeks, then 15mg to 10 mg for 2 weeks and then 10mg to 5 mg for 1 1/2 weeks.  During this time, I have had withdrawl symptoms (brain zaps, sweating, irritability), but it wasn't too bad.  However, when I went from 5 mg to nothing about 3 days ago, things have gotten really crazy!  Mood swings, crying spells, anger/irritability, and then last night I had a total emotional meltdown.  I guess the best thing to do is start taking 2.5mg for a week before trying to go off of it completely again.  It really helped to read about the experiences of others having these withdrawl symptoms.  Everyone around me (except my fiance who is supportive) is just questioning whether I am really ready to get off the medication because they see how crazy I have been lately.  I know I am ready, but it is soo tough going through these withdrawl symptoms!!!!!
Avatar universal
I've been off Lexapro for about two weeks now. The "Brain Zapping" and other side effects are gone except for depression. I didn't have depression when I first started having the other side effects. The depression came about a week later. Does this last long? I hope it is just a short term side effect of coming off lexapro and not how I'm going to feel without being on it.
Avatar universal
I HEAR YA and thank you for trying to get this word out on LEX.  I don't care what my psychiatrist says, I know he's wrong and I believe something should be done.  I was on Lex for 9 months at 10mg and have stopped.  I've been off it for 29 days and my withdrawls are soooo bad.  Over the course of taking Lex I developed constipation, bad bloating, weight gain all around my belly (like I'm pregnant).  Now I am going through the withdrawls and it's sooooo scary.  I DON'T KNOW WHEN IT'S ALL GOING TO STOP.  You would think 29 days would be sufficient but NO.  From what I'm reading it looks like I'm headed for another 2 months of this ****.   My withdrawls since stopping have included:  brain zapping, dizziness, sounds in my ears, bad heartburn, soooo tired, blurry vision at times and the only thing I see changing to the better is my sex drive.  This is the only thing that I feel is getting better so this is the one that is indicating that my body is slowly coming off this drug.  Oh and the doctor says, "you'll be fine in 3 days" - ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  I hate these doctors.  They don't want to admit what's going on with this drug.  And I hate when they say that these symptoms are not a result of this drug - Does he think I'm a moron?   I guess I am for taking this stupid drug.   Look, I believe that if one is that depressed than something needs to be done but Lexpro is not the answer.  I feel like my whole body has to correct itself from this drug and it's scary.  DOES ANYONE KNOW WHEN I SHOULD START FEELING BETTER?  
Avatar universal
I understand what your going through and I wish I can cry on someone shoulders too. I live far away from family and they don't understand nor do the doctors. These symptoms are not going away completely. I have been off LEX for 29 days and I am still withdrawing.  Today I had the worst pain in my heart like a burning feeling.  This stuff is SCARY.  I wish I never went on this drug.  I hope people who read this know that what they are getting into with this drug becasue the doctors are certainly not going to tell them.    
Avatar universal
Does anyone know how long it takes for Lexapro withdrawls to completely leave you body???  I was on Lex for 9 months at 10 mg.
Avatar universal
I am soo glad I found this forum.  I was on Zoloft forever and it never worked (and the side effects never went away) and my doctor put me on Lexapro.  I felt alot of lethargy and dizziness at 20 mg. I just felt so unfocused, it was depressing. My doctor added Wellbutrin (slow release) and I feel like my life is coming together for the first time in my life. I take 150 mg of Well.  My whole life, I had depression and severe anxiety and this combination (for what-ever reason) works for me.  It scares me, however, that now I feel like I may not be able to go off of it (the withdrawal symptoms sound just horrible!)  all I know right now is that I feel happy although flat at times, and I have less anxiety too.  I was willing to try different combinations and change up dose amounts because I had hit a wall and I was soo tired of feeling awful and having no quality of life. I never wanted to go on medications, but I kinda feel like I may be on them the rest of my life.  
Avatar universal
Hi All,

So I have been on Lexapro since March 07. Prior to that I was on Effexor for about 3 years and was tapering off. The withdrawals were so bad that they needed to put me on somthing else. So my doc gave me Lexapro. I have been trying to taper off because I feel I need to not be on anything and deal with my issues on my own - which they aren't bad - just dealing with the normal 27 year old issues. I have tapered myself from 15mg to 7.5 with my doctor's guidance. However, I have been on 7.5mgs for about 3 1/2 weeks and by the third week started experiencing crying spells, depression, anxiety, insomnia, crazy dreams, etc. Has anyone heard of this happening while being on one dose for that long?  And do I wait to go down to 5 mgs?? Please, anyone - I need some hope that this will go away.
Avatar universal
Have any of you suffered from a bloated stomach, full of gas it feels like.  Oh my gosh, I thought I would rather be dead than continue to go through with the stomach pains.  It is horrible.  How long does it usually take for these withdrawls to quit?
267243 tn?1189759435
Crud, you have to taper down from this one too!??!

I am currently prescribed Lamictal (250 mg for Bi-Polar), Lexapro (10 mg) (just started), and Suboxone. (I'm not afraid to admit that.)

Obviously Suboxone is the serious one to get off of, but I did not realize that there is a tapering effect from Lexipro too!

I have to admit it has helped, but not enough for me to be addicted to another drug. I love my psychiatrist; she really talks and seems to care. However, I'm starting to see that she can be a little liberal when it comes to prescriptions.

BTW - I was against mental medication for years even though I had suicidal thoughts daily. After countless therapists, I had TWO doctors after many sessions say I was textbook BiPolar (I hear that 9/10people are mis-diagnosed.) Anyway, I have been on Lamictal for about four years now and it has saved my life and given it back to me (enough for me to quit drugs for example...)

I'm thinking though that I can make it without the Lexapro and should stop soon...since I just started it, don't think I need it, and need to focus on the Suboxone tapering, do you guys agree?

Unfortunately bi-polar medication is the type you have to take for life, but at least there are no side affects at all for me (aside from the lack of crippling suicidal depression.)
Avatar universal
Are your coming to the end of your withdrawals?

Two weeks ago was my third attempt to come off of Lexapro and I am again wondering if I will ever survive these withdrawal symptoms. I have bouts of dizziness, horrible mood swings with feelings of desperation, sleep fourteen hours a day, and numerous other things that come and go.

My great grandmother, grandmother, and mother all suffered from Schizophrenia and/or Bipolar to the point where they were delusional and I always feared I would end up like them so I have been careful to eat healthy, remain active in the gym, and constantly try to better myself to fight this disease.  

I began Lexapro a year ago and it seemed to be a miracle drug for me. After dealing with depression on and off since puberty and completely losing touch with reality after my father passed away I was able to get back to my life. I  started out on 10 mg and then it went up to 20 mg. I hated the idea of having to increase the dosage and when I started noticing the rapid weight gain I cut back to 10 mg again. I noticed a few withdrawals even then and decided to get off of them completely and try to find some kind of normalcy without drugs.  

Do you feel like you can have a normal life without antidepressants? Do you have any advice other than exercise and eat right to help keep my mind healthy? And when are these withdrawals over with?
Avatar universal
Thank you thank you for all your comments!!  I was given Lexapro for help with Anxiety after developing an addiction to Ultram (took it for four months).  There was one week of pure hell of withdrawal from the Ultram and I took the Lexapro (5mg) for about 3 days then thought I was fine and didn't need it.  That was a month ago.  I have felt lately not like myself.... crying, moody, paranoid- which none of this was a problem before taking the Ultram!!!  Now, I have been considering starting the Lexapro!  NO THANK YOU!  Sounds like I would have an even worse problem!  Coming off Ultram was hard enough even after only taking it for four months and I wasn't even abusing it, just realized I had become addicted to it!  Lexapro sounds like bad news and even though what I'm feeling right now is not good, I think I will try exercise and maybe the birth control pill I'm about to start will also help level me out ( I also suffer from migraines and take other medications for this).
Thanks to all who post about Lexapro- I don't want to move on to another addiction and then worry about the day when I stop taking this!!!
Avatar universal
I was only on lexapro for 6 weeks.  5mg then 10mg, then back to 5 and then completely off.  I had really bad side effects.  Can anyone tell me how long it will take to get out of my system?  Does it make since now that I am having some of the same side effect even though i have not been on it for 5 days? I got this horrible flu feeling, really bad.  Although it is not even close to being that bad I still feel it a little.
Avatar universal
I have been on Lexapro for over 4 years and dont mind it. I am not considering getting off of it. My problem is that I changed insurance companies and the new one doesnt want to pay for the Lexapro and decided to give me Celexa. I called them and was like WTH. Its been 3 days since I have been off and am starting to feel really depressed..Which is basically the only withdrawl symptom I have. I have been without it before, so know this. What I want to know is ...does anyone know how to deal with the insurance company. I take Lexapro for anxiety and Celexa is for depression. Im sleepy all day and want to cry all day, im irratable. Help
Avatar universal
I have been on Lexapro for about 3 months started on 10 mg then increased to 20mg for anxiety and started having side effects...weight loss, memory loss, nausea, itchy red patches on my skin and uncontrollable yawning. But the biggest concern was my weight loss, since I am already struggling to keep weight on. So my doctor wanted me to taper off by going to 10 mg for four days to finish the medication then start a new medicine Pristiq...I will start this medicine tonight but feeling leary about what I might experince with this medicine. I have two toddlers and feeling very emotional, moody, no patience, and no control over my feelings have made me feel aweful for them. Does anyone know anything abot the medicine Pristiq? Very interested in knowing what you all might think about it. Thank you.
Avatar universal
I have been on Lexapro for 10 years!!! Being Bipolar I have tried to get off of it many times since that is one of the worst things that a bipolar person can take is a anti-depressent.  Well after 8 days of not having any Lexapro I just took 2.5 mg just to see if the TERRIBLE WITHDRAWLS will stop.  Heart palps, dizziness, feeling cloudy in my head, blurry vision, anxiety, and most of all the MOOD SWINGS!!!! My poor hubby.  Any advice from anyone would be appreciated....
I also think that all of the Dr's that say there are no withdrawls should lose their licenses!!!! Let's start a class action suit against the drug company and the doctor's.
Avatar universal
Thanks so everyone who contributed to this post! I started taking Lexapro about 2 months ago, the first week I was fine (on 5mg), then I went to 10mg, and was ok for a few weeks, then it stopped working. The Dr. wanted to switch me to another medication, but I am tired of side effects (sex drive, sleep problems, back pain, etc...) so I am tapering off. I also notice my right side hurt (tender to touch) and found out Lexapro can cause liver problems and soreness (the same spot). So I went from 10mg to 7.5mg without much problem, but going from 7.5mg to 5mg I feel very spacey, had anxiety, anger, nausea, dizzy, moody, paranoid. It took me about a week to feel 'functional'. Taking a nap during the day helped for some reason, but that's hard with 2 little ones. I also take a tiny dose of Ativan (1/4 of the .5mg tablet) which help with anxiety and calms my mind. I really want to be off this medication, but now I am scared of more side effects. When you are in the middle of withdrawl it is hard to remember what it's like to feel 'normal'.  Not that I was 'normal' before, but it is alot better than this! I feel like I can understand addicts going through withdrawl now. I should add I am a therapist, and this experience really makes me question psychopharmacology. In extreme life threatening cases it should be ok, but I feel they give it out to liberally, especially to kids (ADHD, etc..) What effects is it having on their body and minds?  I am going to try to stay positive and nurture myself and try to avoid stress over the next few weeks while I taper down to 2.5mg.
Avatar universal
I have been on Lexapro for 4+ years and talked to my doctor about weening off of it. After trying many different medications Lexapro helped me the most. HOWEVER..... I was told by my doctor to start cutting my 20mg in half take those for 1 week and then take the 10mg everyother day for a week. The withdrawl is so horrible. I have been severely nauseated, pounding headaches that switch to light headed, tired, mood swings, and confusion. Its been 10 days now and its not getting any better. I have not been able to attend class, or work without the confusion. My reaction time is delayed. I refuse to take anymore lexapro to make this go away. I just need to know how long it will last. If someone is reading this that is trying to quit cold turkey, I strongly encourage you not to. I feel like curling up in a ball and sleeping until I feel better.
Avatar universal
I quit cold turkey a few months ago. I thought that I came down with a stomach virus. I had horrible zaps..which I called "electric shocks" throughout my body. My showers had to be cut extremely short because the water made them worse. I was vomitting, had diarhea (sp..sorry), I had random nose bleeds while I was vomitting. I was weak...exhausted.... and I had chills. It was horrible.... and like I said, I thought I had a stomach virus... but when I went to the doctor and told him that I had just stopped taking lexapro...  he told me I was going through withdrawls.
Avatar universal
You should call your pharmacist (or see a doc if that is possible) right now for the most accurate information about this situation, since they can look it up and have lots of experience with patients using this med.  

My doc had me take 20 for 2 week, then 10 for 2 weeks, then 5 for 2 weeks. She said I could also alternate the lower and higher dose every other day at first, then increase the days on the lower. In your case, I am wondering if you should have used the alternating each time you dropped, and not gone lower until you stabilized.
So you missed the 5s, but my pharmacist said he hadn't heard of that conservative a taper. In your case maybe that would have helped. Are you sure you don't want to try some 5s or even 10s every other day or something like that to get you through thsi rough patch? If you do, be sure to see your doc or pharmacist.

For anyone else reading this, regarding quitting cold turkey:
There is no reason to torture yourself like this, since Celexa has no addictive properties and you can quit anytime, based solely on your ability to function without it. Always do a taper, following your doc's guidelines. I tapered and had no withdrawal effects, so there are valid reasons to do the tapering.

To which I might add, with NO SLUR INTENDED toward anyone who has already quit:
If you don't have the patience to take this drug for a month or two longer that it takes to taper, are you sure that you will be able to function normally without it for the years after? Going on and off is not something you want to do every 6 months, so be very sure that you are ready to quit first.
774868 tn?1238902952
I've been off and on Lexapro and Celexa a few times.  It never caused me any problems.
Avatar universal
I was taking 10 mg of Lexapro for about 10 months.  It made me feel pretty good, it definitely evened out my mood.  I was planning my wedding at the time, and felt that I needed something to curb the anxiety and craziness that I was feeling.  A few months after my wedding, I quit cold turkey and had pretty bad withdrawal syndromes.  No "brain zaps", but I experienced headaches, nausea, dizziness, and felt like my head was going to fly off every time I moved it quickly.  Driving in a vehicle made me feel like I was going to vomit.  In addition, I was extremely emotional.  FYI, this behavior was not my baseline prior to taking the Lexapro.  

My symptoms lasted about 2 weeks.  There is hope and the withdrawal will get better!  Near the end of the 2-week period, the symptoms would come and go throughout the day, and eventually went away.

Good luck and hang in there!  
Avatar universal
I have been on Lexapro for almost 4 years for anxiety. I have stopped the medicine cold turkey 1 week ago. The main reason is that it is so very expensive and I do not want to be dependant on medicine. Plus, the weight gain and the loss of sex drive. I feel like I am in hell. Wow, Im so scared of the things that are happening to me. Should I go back on the medicine? Please help
Avatar universal
I have been taking lexapro (20 mg) for 2 plus yrs.
I stopped cold turkey abt 4 weeks ago. It's been awful. I can cry just thinking about what I'm going through. Brain zapping finally stopped this week. Anxiety has increased and my tolerance for anything decreased. I am hating myself, my life and my need for lexapro. Im considering going back on this weekend.
Avatar universal
Why did you stop taking it?
The anxiety increase may mean you need a med to function without anxiety or it could be some of the severe withdrawal symptoms that your cold turkey method has subjected your body to. Perhaps you should go back on 10s or at least 5s to see if your body can stabilize, while you make the decision about whether to go back
Avatar universal
Hey I am going through the same thing. I have been happy enough on the medication but have been in a new relationship for 18 months and because of what is does to my sex drive I had decided to go off it. I am now experiencing anxiety, back pain, being very grumpy and being so tired. My energy levels are at an all time low and I am use to excerising daily so i understand the lack of motivation as i can hardly get through a gym class either. I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place I want to be this happy person but I want to be able to enjoy sex again................

So basically it comes down to Personality being good or body functioning sexually again.   Any help
Avatar universal
Maybe your doc can find a med that doesn't affect your sex drive. I think Wellbutrin has less side effects than others, based purely on their advertisement.
I am not sure you would have back pains associated with anti-depressant withdrawal though.
1920386 tn?1323286149
lexapro w/d was really rough for me as well. i have failed 2x trying to get off of it. the first time was cold turkey (going from 20mg per day). i had no idea that it was possible to w/d from this medication. i had bad motion sickness, zaps (which scared the hell out of me because i had no idea what they were) and epic mood swings. i am currently in the process of a very slow taper, down to 10mg per day. going to down to 5mg in a couple of weeks. the mood swings were what made me always go back on the meds. shouldnt have to punch holes in the wall and cry if i mess up screwing in a curtain rod....true story.
Avatar universal
Keep hanging in there with your taper. Why are you going off, are you switching to another med?
1920386 tn?1323286149
i decided to go off just because i wanted to eliminate 1 medication from my daily routine. my doc wants to put me on some cholesterol meds and i dont want to take too many meds on a daily basis. i figured i lived 27 years without lex before trying it. i started taking it in a particularly rough patch in my life. i would have never taken it if i knew id be stuck like this. but in all honesty it does help. im scared to be without it, but feel like my liver will thank me. its mad at me for other things.
Avatar universal
Living with depression is not an option so I hope you are able to survive happily without the med. Also, experiencing 2 depressions almost assures that the victim will be fighting chronic depression from now on. I read that each dep acts almost like it puts an irreversible dent in your personality that makes it easier for another depression to take hold.
When i had my depression 4 years ago I could nver have functioned without meds but I levelled off after a while and went off meds without a relapse.
Avatar universal
2 weeks out from cold turkey stopping of lexapro.  Have been on it for 3 years and love the mental state but hate the weight gain and miss the sex drive. I'm 51. Initially did 10mg daily but have gone to 10 mg every-other day for the last 8 months, which made no noticeable difference, good or bad.Other than extreme weepiness that I hope will subside some and manageable mood swings, have not had any severe withdrawal problems.  Until today...now I feel very flu-ish:  body aches, fatigue.  And now that reading about this has brought it to my attention, I recognize some of the other minor symptoms like heartburn, headaches, and twitches.  Wondering if I should go back and start a slower wean or just suck it up and hope everything is okay.  Might symptoms get worse before they get better?
Avatar universal
How are you feeling now? I realize this is YEARS passed, but just found this thread and am literally going through the exact things you are! It does stop right?! lol
Avatar universal
I am going through the weaning period right now too. I have been on lexapro for 8 years and the sexual side effect and weight gain was really straining my marriage, so after a few attempts to switch, the dr put me on Wellbutrin at 150mg/day for now and is taking me off of the lexapro. I just went from 20mg/day to 10mg/day of lexapro and have been taking that for about a week now. I am having terrible heartburn and chest pains as I saw someone else mention on here, almost to the point where I think I am having a heart attack, but the brain zaps and dizziness have not started yet. I have experienced those in the past though when I tried to get off of it and they are not fun. I assume that once I am completely off of it I will start to feel those again. I have had a very positive effect with the Wellbutrin though and am hoping that it will just get better once I am completely off of the lexapro.
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