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  1. I was diagnosed with post natal depression ten years ago. The psych put me on 10mg lexapro and told me to see him again two weeks later. When I went back he asked if I felt better and I said no. He put my dose up to 15mg. Two weeks later I went back again and answered the same question with another no. He put me up to 20mg. This continued till I reached the dose of 30mg. By that stage I had learned to lie....I told him I felt much better so that he would stop increasing my dose. I later learned that the recommended dose of lexapro is 20mg. After twelve months on 30mg I cut myself down to 25mg. Basically over the following years I did the same thing until I got down to 5mg. That was two years ago. That is when my problems began. Increased anxiety and ocd. No physical symptoms thankfully. But the anxiety and ocd is awful. I have read extensively and know my symptoms are withdrawal. There are definite windows and waves. I am currently at 2mg and life is hard. I honestly can’t see how I am going to get off this drug. The withdrawal sets in about one month after a cut and honestly seems to be endless in intensity. At this stage I am in no hurry to cut any further. During a window My anxiety and ocd seems laughable and I can’t believe how silly I have been getting upset about everything. But during the waves the fear and terror is so real. It is as though my central nervous system is damaged beyond repair. I live in a constant state of hyper alert.
  2. Hi, First time here. I will try to make this a short story. I don't know what or how much to share. Desperate for your thoughts and guidance. I have been on a multitude of antidepressants for 20 plus years, having tried unsuccessfully to stop but each time returned to the same or yet another RX. Diagnosed M.Depressive Disorder/Anxiety/A.D.H.D. For years I got my prescriptions from my Internist, who originally prescribed me anti-depressants. It took over a year for her to convince me to do so, then I held onto them for dear life. (I was about a year-and-half-sober (alcohol) and didn't want to rely on any more artificial substances but eventually succumbed. Sometimes, I was on a combination of drugs. Fast Forward. At Dr.'s request, went to psychiatrist. She didn't immediately try to put me on yet another pill, which was refreshing. First did thyroid T3? Then I tried Lamictal and had a horribly adverse reaction as I was titrating up on this medication. I am not a violent person and guns scare me, but I thought about getting one. I also had depersonalization? So very scary. This and a subsequent adverse reaction to an antibiotic (3 days in the E.R. thousands of dollars of tests--I believe it was neurotoxicity--made me want to eliminate all medications. After over a year of slowly reducing medications, I was off Escitalopram 20mgs and had reduced Adderall XR from 25mg to 10mg, however, the anxiety was so great and I just didn't fully understand the Adderall withdrawal process. (I hadn't found your site yet) I went back on Escitalopram 5mg. This began in mid-February. Again, I tried to eliminate both meds. In June, I crossed over from Adderall XR 5mg to Immediate Release and was on liquid Escitalopram 3.75mgs when, I started having horrible nightmares/P.T.S.D. It was unbearable. At Psychiatrist request, went back on Adderall XR mg and eventually to Escitalopram 5mg. She also prescribed Minipress (off-label) for nightmares. 4 days of this was hideous. Horrible anxiety. Discontinued and was given Wellbutrin XR 150mg. I believe this was to help with the side-effects of going back up on the Escitalopram which now seemed to produce horrible anxiety. I'm not sure if this was due to the liquid form and/or possible because I changed forms of Adderall and didn't stabilize before reducing the Escitalopram. Four days of Wellbutrin was shear hell. I have been plagued with suicidal thoughts before but while on Wellbutrin, the overwhelming nature of these thoughts was terrifying. Wellbutrin was eliminated and I was next prescribed Hydroxyline 25mg up to 8 times a day to reduce the overwhelming anxiety. This was about a month ago. There are overwhelming events in my life. True. But I don't know if the Hydroxyline is contributing to these. I have been suicidal and my anxiety is exponential (numbness in my body, chest pounding, blood-pressure up, virtually paralyzed) Today in desperation, I again went to see the psychiatrist. She has given me Gababentin. I just took 100mg tablet and am terrified. I cannot explain how much it feels as though I have failed. As a person in recovery, I tried to stop drinking multiple times without success. Each time feeling worse about myself when I drank again. After almost, almost eliminating RX's I am now supposed to take Escitalopram 10mg (which I have done for approximately 7 days..I had been on 7.5mg) Adderall XR 5mg has been consistent about a month and a half. And I have just put another pill in my mouth to alleviate the heightened anxiety. After reading some of the things about Gababentin on your site, I don't know what to do. I realize my system is totally confused and that you cannot tell me what to do, but I feel like a science experiment. I was told that some people have to be on medications their whole lives but I don't want to be one of them. I have been on anti-depressants for over half of mine and I didn't fully realize the price that I have paid. I started Lexapro when it first came out and then went to the generic form. My brain was once my thing but I have felt stupid for years. My brain just wouldn't work. I could not find the right word, my short term memory seemed non-existent and I have felt like a zombie. Again, please forgive the length of this post. I just feel so very alone.
  3. Kristine: Not alone

    Moderator note: link to Kristine's benzo thread - Kristine: Protracted clonazepam withdrawal? Hello, I am new to this site and would firstly like to extend my gratitude to all the people who have shared their stories and support. I now know I am not alone. My story is long and complex so I will attempt to condense it. I am 43 years old and was introduced to antidepressants 10 years ago after being diagnosed with MDD, GAD and PTSD (l do not feel comfortable with labels) by my psychiatrist. During the first 8 years of treatment multiple antidepressants and other psychotropic medications were prescribed. I will fast forward to October 2015 when I attempted to end my life (I had never been suicidal prior to taking antidepressants). I had to resign from work and was hospitalised for 1 month. At the time I had been taking citalopram for a number of years and had reached the maximum dose. My intuition told me it was not helping. I wanted to stop this medication and my psychiatrist was supportive of this decision. However, it is obvious to me now that she was inexperienced and uneducated with this process. The citalopram was ceased over one week and due to severe anxiety I was commenced on seroquel and diazepam. After leaving hospital I managed to taper off the seroquel and diazepam but became increasingly unwell both mentally and physically. My psychiatrist convinced me that my mental illness had returned and I was commenced on Parnate which was increased in dose over 3 months. Instead of improving my mental and physical ailments worsened and my psychiatrist sort a second opinion. I was hospitalised again in May 2016 under the 'care' of another psychiatrist. This was the beginning of an indescribable hell where I was treated like a human lab rat. Looking back the medications he prescribed were beyond belief and I was the victim of poly pharmacy without adequte professional rational. Unfortunally, like so many others, I was vulnerable and trusted his guidance. He treated me as both an inpatient and out patient over a one year period. Over this time I was prescribed over 14 psychotropic medication some of which were abruptly ceased and crossed over with other medications. If this wasn't enough I was subjected to 15 sessions of unnessaccery ECT. Not surprisingly, I was in a zombified state, unable to function and unable to return to work. My anxiety and depression was not alleviated and I was plagued with tremors, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and migraines. By April 2017 I ceased my appointments with this psychiatrist (he had little belief in withdraw symptoms or side effects of the medication he prescribed - he resorted to blaming me) and returned to my previous psychiatrist. Over the past eight months I have the mammoth task of withdrawing from multiple medications. These include escitalopram (completed reduction), Lithium (competed reduction), clonazepam (partial reduction), bupropion (completed reduction), seroquel (completed reduction), dexamphetamine (partial reduction) and fluoxetine (no reduction). My withdrawal symptoms are horrendous and relentless. My psychiatrist has been unable to advise me along a comfortable path. She appears to be in denial and her support has mostly evaporated. I feel abandoned, alone and frightened. I was forced to seek information independently (for which I am grateful), which continues to be a hideous realisation that for years I was in a constant state of drug withdrawal, side effects and drug interaction. I also feeling very angry about my treatment. I am tapering at the 10% rate now (one medication at a time) but even though I know road ahead will be long and rocky, I feel a sense of empowerment from educating myself. What I am experiencing is common and I am finally breaking free from the clutches of psychiatry.
  4. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  5. Junglechicken

    Hi, I joined this forum today and wanted to introduce myself. All it took was a family trauma to set off my depression/anxiety (my father's inability to stop spending money he didn't have, led to no money and my having to pay for my parents housing etc.,). I have suffered from underlying depression and anxiety for many years but managed to keep a lid on it by exercising and I guess being younger and able to forget the darker stuff by clubbing and going out. Then 6 years ago hubby and I moved to Canada from the UK and I dive-bombed into hell. Daily panic attacks at home and work, I was bullied at numerous work places as well as dealing with the work pressure, feeling of isolation and no support network. Then in June I lost my job and have been more or less house bound with the exception of having to go out to do chores. Went to my doctor who prescribed Cipralex (Feb 2014) - I was on it for 18 months in total and came off it mid-September 2015 after a 3 month taper at 5mg. This happened after I had got a job at a large company (Nov 2013), and I had to take 3.5 months medical leave. Upon my return to work, I was met with resentment and disdain by my colleagues who saw it that I was just looking to get "free vacation" time. This made my life even more hellish - my Manager had wanted to get rid of me upon my return but couldn't by law. I lost my job about a year after returning to work due to redundancy. Since then I have experienced extreme fatigue (had to stop marathon training), intense muscle and joint soreness, weird dreams, tinnitus, headaches, sinusitis, pressure changes in my ears and ear pain, sub-clinical migraines, crying spells, GI issues, heightened anxiety and depression. Despite these things, doctors never seem to find anything actually wrong with me. I honestly feel as though I am in hell - I feel as though someone has taken a photocopy of me and the photocopy is a completely different person (withdrawal). The weekdays are a drag, and I dread them as my hubby is at work. I fear the worst will happen while he is away. I am a total basket case and freak out very easily if there is a withdrawal symptom I don't recognise. If I can survive this, I can survive anything.
  6. Moderator note: link to members-only benzo thread - Jony: clonazepam taper off fast Hi, More than ten years ago I had panic attacks and anxiety. After consulting several doctors and taking several antidepressants and benzodiazepines, I was able to stabilize with Cipralex (10mg) and Victan (2mg). (it seems that victan is little known, perhaps because it is marketed in few countries in europe) And during all these years I managed to lead a normal life. Some time ago, two years or so, I had a phase in which I was more anxious, because of some problems, I started taking mirtazapine (15mg) to get a rest and sleep better. A month ago, due to some problems, I felt more nervous and did not sleep well, so the doctor prescribed me Nozinan (25mg) and Clonazepam (2mg). Then he suggested that I stop Victan and take Xanax XR. One week later I was told to take Mirtazapine 30 mg and Clonazepam, instead Nozinan. Yesterday he told me to stop the Cipralex and go back to taking Clonazepam at night.So it would be: Morning: Xanax XR Night: Nozinan, Mirtazapine and Clonazepam. Well, a complete mess, as you can see. I feel that each new drug serves to control the effects of the former one, or the new combination of drugs, so I want to taper this drugs. To summarize: I am currently taking: Morning Cipralex 10mg Xanax XR 1mg Night Mirtazapine 15 mg Nozinan 25 mg What is the best to taper first? According to what I read here The one I take less time is Nozinan, one month, so I thought I'd start with this one. And also because Mirtazapine helps to sleep. Nozinan - 25% each 3/4 days, since I only took one month ago. Then, I thought about taper Mirtazapine classic way, 10% each 3-4 weeks, according to symptons... Or is it better to start reducing Cipralex, which is more exciting, and only after mirtazapine? Hugs Sorry for may bad english, I hope you understand all.
  7. Hi, I am new to this side, but unfortunately not new to antidepressants. In 2010 I managed to tapper Effexor, which took me more than two years. I made a terrible mistake and around 2 months ago I have started taking escitalopram. I was fulled by a psychiatrist that this is a safest antidepressant, which does not cause any side effects. I have also been on low dose of Doxepin at night to prevent migraines (this has been for over 2 years, but never caused any major problems...) I started on 5mg of escitalopram and I was ok on this, my anxiety stopped, I slept better, etc. Two weeks ago I increased to 10mg and this is when symptoms started. Firstly it was a weird sensation, each morning I was getting "pins and needles" in my arms, this was going away after getting up. Then I started sleeping badly...I wanted to cut back to 5mg, but a psychiatric said that it was only temporary, so I have stay on 10mg. In the meantime, I had a migraine and took my usual triptan; I almost got serotonin syndrom (at least I think)...This was the time I started to read about escitalopram and discovered horror stories... I want to stop this drug! I wonder if I have taken it for so short I could go with a faster than 10% tapper? Can I cut to 5mg straight away? Thank you Ikam
  8. Hi All, I was on Olanzipine 20mg and Escitelopram (Lexopro) 5mg for 2 years. I slowly tapered both medications in a span of 5 months and felt very good and confident but I was losing weight unintentionally. I went down from 130 lbs to 94lbs in about 7 months with no effort from my side. I can see muscle wastage. My base weight used to be around 99-100 lbs but going down below that base weight scares me. I did consultations with doctors across many departments like Gastro, Cardio, Endocrine, Neuro but they all took tests and said I am fine. I am shrinking day by day and not sure what the issue is. My blood work, endoscopy, colonoscopy, tests for lupus etc. all came normal. I even took a CT scan, X-Ray and ultrasound and everything came fine. Has anyone faced this situation? Can you please tell if this is a normal withdrawal symptom? It does feel painful on the upper back below the neck and the part of the legs below the knees periodically. I have no clue of this weight loss as everyone keeps saying this is normal. I feel anxious because of this now.
  9. Hi Everyone, So where to start? Guess this forces another time to think back when a fatal turn of my life started. Unlike most of us here, I started the 2 week sample supply of Lexapro pill in 2009 for a severe headache based on recommendation of a friend who has been taking SSRI for years. So I didn't go through any information of side effect or how to take the drugs etc., information you would otherwise get from a pharmacist or dedication insert. Somehow it stopped my headache 2 weeks on 10 mg of lex. I don't remember why I restarted it after the initial doses, but do know it’s not for another headache. It was something only now I can relate that it must be withdrawal of that 2 weeks sample. Anyway, I started feeling anxious and other flu-like symptoms (which I mistakenly thought I do have anxiety) so I have been on and off lex on a dose 1/4--1/3 of the 10 mg pill over 3 yrs. period (so been withdrawal numerous times unconsciously). I was ok then except for some pins/needling sensation on head, neck and back in morning which is tolerable. When the generic Lex was first available in the market mid-2012, insurance switched me to it without my awareness. After half year of the switch (increased from 2.5mg to 10mg in fighting with the side effects), pin and needling getting less to none while jaw pain progresses to a level of daily bothersome. The thought of withdrawal was triggered by the worsening of the jaw pain. I prepared the WD fully (as I thought) by lots of online research and used the program from Point of Return taking their supplement pre, during, post WD along with lower than suggested reduction rate (5%) tapering down from 10mg-5mg quickly and then 5mg-2.5mg (liquid) in 2 months when hell started with the most weird and severe jaw and head pain which took me to the first ever panic attack (Aug.2013), plus constent knifing on my head. I backed up to 2.5-3.0mg since then in fearing of the recurrence of the severe WD. Ever since then, I never had one day or minute free of this pain, along with hot flush companied by occasional anxiety and depression.. I switched back to name brand Nov. 2013 (also liquid) after learning from others that the generic can cause severe jaw pain (it is recognized by many generic takers that the two works differently and the generic is bad or worse). It seems the pain is lessoned after 4 month switch just a tiny bit in severity not even the frequency while stabilizing for the change has been the battle of my everyday life. It’s so crazy how much one drop more or less can do to my poor mind and I have to say I gave up hope to understand weather it’s too much or too less of the med is causing which/what symptoms. Everytime I change (ip or down) just a few drops of the liquid lex, I got handful of strange and new symptoms and lately I have been thinking of suicide, the only way to stop it all. I dont know if when others talking about suicidal thoughts, is it somethign poped up out of blue or more like the terrible feeling/suffering put you into such thought? Putting all the sorrow and agony aside, While in constant search for understanding of the situation for a strategy, from what I learned from publications (one of those linked below) and fellow victims (with same severe WD after many years), I have been asking myself this big question: will it be better off just staying with the med than continuing tapering (which could post greater danger and suffering for long time)? http://www.madinamer...n-acknowledged/ I understand this means giving up the hope for freedom and live with poor quality life. But this is what I have been struggling lately everyday and really appreciate your thoughts. Hope we all have a good day for the good Friday and getting better.
  10. I don't know......I am practice posting. At present I am about 5 days off Adderal, 2.5 mg. It feels alot like when I finally came off Lexapro......I was down to 3 mg. and they took me off of it completely in October while I was in the hospital........meanwhile started up on the Adderal and still am on Trileptal 150mg. x2/day. Anyway mostly upper back achiness now.......total demotivation as anything is stressful and am just working for staying calm, fluids, eating, sleep. A conversation by phone once in awhile. Pay the bills. Accept help when I can. So maybe I am somewhat on topic. Not sure I could list all the meds. that I have withdrawn from yet........someday soon. I just wanted to be around people that get it..........and find the hope and strength again. You know.......I believe in God(although a God that accepts my anger sometimes), but even more so in a universal strength to be found in others. Anyway.......thankful for my journey in a way.......especially in those windows I get of clarity and calm.
  11. I am new here as you can see. I need help!! I'm hoping someone can help me get off 10 mg Lexapro. Every time I try to drop to even 9mg, I end up sick to my stomach. I go back up to 10mg and am still sick to my stomach. I have no other symptoms. In my profile is all my information, I don't know how to get it to the bottom of this page. I'm not very good on the computer. Sorry
  12. Moderator note: link to Linus' benzo thread - Linus: Klonopin question Hi everyone, I like this forum, I think the moderators are sensible people who give good advice, compared to some other websites. I have already come a long way with regards to withdrawing from Escitalopram, from 30mg to 1.8 mg. It has been hell but hey here I am I know that by now even small cuts are problematic. My first question would be if anyone has a clue as to whether there comes a point in the withdrawal where things get easier (like at 1mg or 0.8 mg) or does it stay funky all the way down to zero?
  13. My medication history is complicated and in all honesty my memory isnt working all that well. I cant really remember a lot of my medication journey which is a scary thing to admit. Ill do my best to summarise. I started taking diazepam in 2013 i believe. I took it for the sudden onset of panic attacks. To begin with I only used my medication sparingly (and always, always as prescribed). I was seeing a psychiatrist at the time who was trying to help me find an antidepressant to help, however after trying almost all of them, i found nothing worked. At this point my Pdoc agreed it might be wise to take a small dose of clonazepam daily while doing CBT in order to allow me to do the work which would ultimately help me heal. Unfortunately CBT never did help and i remained on a daily dose of clonazepam for about two years. After deciding my clonazepam still wasnt working well enough to help my GAD and panic, i decided to try an antidepressant again. This time i chose escitalopram. I took 10mg and it worked after the first dose. Not many people believe me when i say that, but after trying nearly every other AD available and having absolutely no success, i know it was no placebo effect. I took 10mg for about two months, and i felt pretty good but unfortunately i also felt pretty numb. I decided to quit taking it. I cant remember if i tapered. But i will say i had no issues coming off. I found myself exactly where i left off before starting it. About six months later, i decided to try escitalopram again at a lower dosage, given i was still no better in terms of managing my anxiety. It took longer to work this time around, and in actual fact i wasnt even convinced it DID work the entire next year i was on it (more on that later), but nonetheless i continued to take it. I changed dose almost every week for about three months trying to figure out what dose would be best. I would try 2.5mg one week, 7.5mg the next, 5mg the following. And so on. Eventually i settled on 5mg and remained on that dose for a year. During this year i slowly tapered off my benzodiazapine by cross tapering from cloanzepam to diazepam and then doing a daily microtaper off. I took my final dose of diazepam on the 18th August this year (2017). It was one week later that i decided to quit my 5mg escitalopram cold turkey. I thought i was on a low dose, and i wanted to be off all medication. I wasnt even convinced it ever worked so i thought it would be no big deal. I did okay for the first two months. For the most part I felt really wired. I couldnt stop moving, my thoughts wouldnt slow down. I felt hypomanic in a way. My sleep was terrible, i would bolt awake straight after falling alseep and feel a strange terror and/or rage. I struggled TERRIBLY with restless legs too. At month three is when things started to change. I started to feel really unlike myself. I started to feel disconnected from my surroundings. I would wake up and not know where i was. I started to feel like i couldnt recognize the people in my life i loved the most. And i felt scared of them too. A couple of times out of desperation i took one off doses of my escitalopram only to feel better immediately, or at least by the next day. Im now in month 4 off both drugs and this last week has been the worst week of my life. I have fallen into a deep depression. I dont recognize my life. I dont recognize my house, my pets. Intellectually I know who they are and where i am but emotionally i feel scared of everyone and everything because its all foreign. It doesnt feel like my life. And yet at the same time I feel like im in some sort of time warp where ive travelled back 7 years in time. I'm having intrusive memories of 2010/2011. Not bad ones. Theyre mosly neutral in fact, but the fact that I emotionally feel like its 2010/11 is terrifying me. Its like i cant remember the last 7 years of my life. And its not because i took medication for 7 years. I didnt. I started medication in 2013. I AM SO SCARED AND CONFUSED. Im pushing everyone i love away because im scared and i cant recognize them emotionally. My poor boyfriend. We have been together 6 years and i love him so dearly, but i dont rezognize him. He seems foreign and scary. I have had DP/DR before but this is in a league of its own. Its like its my life, but my life 7 years ago. And im not numb either, which i usually have with DP/DR. Im full of emotion. Ive been crying hysterically because i feel like ive lost my mind. Last week i couldnt take the pain anymore, and i took a 5mg dose of escitalopram. It seemed to fix everything the last few times i tried that tactic. And immediately so. I would usually feel better and immediately regret ever taking the dose and interrupting my withdrawal. But last week it didnt work. Today i had the worst day to date and again i desperately reached for my 5mg of escitalopram. It hasnt worked. Now im sitting here feeling everything i was feeling before i took it and now im even more "out of it" having taken the escitalopram. I know how dangerous it is to randomly take escitalopram here and there. I dont need a scolding. My poor brain is probably so kindled it doesnt know what to do. Im aware of the risks and that ive been playing with fire. It just shows how desperate ive got. Im not sure this post will even make sense. I can barely string my sentences together. The time frames probably dont add up. Im not trying to deceive anyone with time frames for things, im just generally too out of it cognitively to figure it out. My memory is shot anyway. But for the love of god im so scared of my symptoms and i need help desperately. My whole life is unraveling. I dont know who i am and nothing feels the same. I cant remember my life for the last 7 years and thats the worst part. Please can someone help me?? I dont know whats causing these symptoms. Not sure if its just "me" or if its escitalopram withdrawals or if its a horrible wave of my diazepam withdrawals. I thought at four months id be improving but instead im getting worse. much much worse. This cant be normal. Im wondering whether i should try and stabilize on my escitalopram and wait a few months before embarking on a 5% taper. I dont care how long it takes. i just need the pain im feeling now to stop. Please help
  14. Have taken Lexapro 25mg/ once daily with Wellbutrin 450XL/ once daily for about ten years. I now want to very slowly taper and stop the Wellbutrin. Am learning as much as I can before hand. I won't do this without my Drs supervision. The Wellbutrin is in three-150mg tablets. So far, I've learned the XL meds, once cut, become "instant release" instead of timed release, etc. What are your experiences tapering off Wellbutrin XL?
  15. hi all my name is Miguel and i have a question about Lexapro here is the medication I took and the time lines Sertraline 50 mg on 5/10/15 and took Trazodona, 150 mg then i stopped continued on sertraline Mexazolam, 1 mg 1/12/15 on 6/6/16 I went to 100 mg Sertraline then 03-10-2016 i changed to Escitalopram, 20 mg and Xanax 0.5 and took it until i stopped on 28/5/2017 by my own bad mistake I did a super fast tampering of 20 15 10 5 0 in 1 mouth ^^ and i whent back on it on 7/08/2017 owe my one whit out saying to the doctor but i am now at 10 mg and i have an appointment whit a psychiatrist and gonna ask him to taper me off slowly But I am afraid that cuz i started whit 16 almost 17 y old that it's gone be hard or that I am hooked for life I did cold turkey and i wasn't dat bad until it all hit me at once ty for your help i will be posting regulary about my situation Love you all Miguel
  16. kt1449: New to SA

    Hi all, Recently stumbled upon your site while trying to manage withdrawal symptoms. I was put on Lexapro in 2015 after discussing some extreme emotional fluctuations and bouts of anger. Depression runs in my family, so I took the advice of my Dr. and trusted it was in my best interest. While the medication helped stabilize my mood, it also made me feel like I was on the outside looking in. I don't feel like I am fully living my life, and I definitely don't feel like myself. In addition, I have gained about 60 lbs. The medication, in addition to the weight gain, has made me lethargic and made it far more difficult to be involved in my favorite pastimes, playing basketball, football and other sports. I decided about 3 months ago to stop taking my medication (knowing nothing about the withdrawal). I stopped cold turkey for about a week, before the brain zaps, dizziness, photo sensitivity and nausea got the best of me. Those side effects, however, made me even more determined to clear the drug out of my system. I set up a tapering schedule with my doctor, and finished my final dose about 2 weeks ago. I am still having side effects, but they are nowhere near as bad as what they were when I stopped cold turkey. I can go several hours with nothing, but then I will have a headache and nausea that will hit me and last several hours. I have been taking multivitamin supplements, along with fish oil, but I don't think either are doing much to help. I did read online about someone saying that Benadryl helped with their symptoms, so I took that as a last resort, and strangely, it did help temper the symptoms and make them more tolerable. Now, if I am feeling super sick, that is the only thing that helps and makes it so I can finish out a work day. I don't want to have to rely on benadryl forever though (fighting through the groggies is not as bad as the headache and brain zaps, but still). I have read information about 5-HTP and some other amino acids helping to ease the severity of the symptoms until they clear up, but I don't really know what to believe! Anyone have any luck with anything? Also, anyone know how the Benadryl works to lessen the symptoms? I haven't been able to find much info on it. I just figured with it being an allergy med, it was relatively safe to get me through the first couple weeks. Thanks!
  17. I have a question, i'm on escilopram AD for 2 years and trying to quit, by taking one day, and the second day not taking them. I' m doing this method a week. Is it safe?
  18. Good Day, I wish I could say that my withdrawal symptoms from quitting Lexapro are the worst, but quitting Xanax takes that title. I have been off Xanax for two years and six months. The first day was the worst, the first year was the worst, and I am not feeling any Xanax issues now except waking up in a cold sweat every night since 2014. Anyway, I have not looked back or taken Xanax ever again. During that entire ordeal, I was still on Lexapro. I didn't quit it also because I didn't want to do too much at once. I finally quit Lexapro on the 25th of Dec 2016. Side note: To help me quit Xanax, I was put on Seroquel and Neurontin at rehab, and I gained 20kgs in 6 months which I am still trying to lose. I have lost half of it, but for some reason, my metabolism is no longer the same. I can't lose weight after rehab. I quit Seroquel cold turkey and tapered off Nuerontin. I took it for about six months and stopped when the weight piled on. Back to why I am here: The first month after quitting Lexapro was alright. Just brain zaps and nothing else really. I thought, "Wow! Quitting these antidepressants is very easy! I should have done it earlier." I was basing my experience on Xanax, which is harder at the beginning and easier with time. I didn't expect things to begin falling apart later, and boy are they falling apart. Month two drug free was also not too bad, but it was filled with episodes of sadness. Month three became worse than month two, and I felt withdrawn and my lust for life started disappearing again. Month four was worse than month three and I felt myself losing more joy, being darker than I have ever been. Month five, my current situation, is a hot mess! My anxiety is back, my depression is back, and actually they are back and worse than ever. My obsessive thoughts are back. Oh, and my sexual urges are back, after years of thinking that I might be asexual. The problem is, my sexual urges are disconnected from my emotions, so as horny as I am, I still don't feel like having sex with my husband, and the whole thing is making me panic for several reasons. My insomnia is back. I am weepy and frustrated. My pessimism is back. I hate life right now. My face is braking out and for this last week, I have been unable to eat so I also feel awful due to that, I am sure. I could go on for days about how awful I feel right now. I have not left bed for a week! I have made music though. Actually, I started having the urge and will to create music around month 3 of quitting. Before that, I though I would never make music again. So, there are pros and cons to this quitting, more cons than pros though, currently. I was thinking of going back on Lexapro when I happened on this website. I have now changed my mind. I thought I was just getting worse and worse until I end up committing suicide, however from the posts I have read, it gets better apparently, and none of my torture is unusual. I was suppose to start a family this year but now I have doubts. I would wait a year but I am 35 in three months so... I am taking, and have been for over a year, Magnesium (a high dose), Iron Fumarate (I have severe anemia), Vitamin C (a very high dose), Probiotics, L-Theanine, Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin B12 on top, 5HTP and Valerian, camomile tea when I have the strength to make it. Mood: Very Blue. Like in the pic.
  19. In April 2015 I began taking Wellbutrin XL 150mg (1 tab then 2 tabs a couple of weeks later) for smoking cessation for about 10 weeks total including tapering on and off. It ended up making all of my nicotine withdrawal symptoms worse so I tapered off, each week cutting my dose in half. (2 tabs to 1 to ½ to ¼) At the time I was not aware of any potential of any crazy side effects of getting off of the medication except for maybe some tiredness and fatigue. My first day of having no Wellbutrin after tapering off, I had 3 huge panic attacks back to back. I went to prompt care and was given a small prescription of Xanax until I could go to my regular doctor the next day. My Primary Care doctor told me I was having a nervous breakdown and instructed me to take short term disability and start seeing a therapist. (I had also been on Lexapro 10mg since April 2015 as well, but was still on it at this point.) So that’s what I did. I couldn’t work anymore. I could barely function. Because I couldn’t work, I couldn’t keep my place and had to move back home with my parents…at 30. I lost my home, my job, and my social life. For about 4 months I just stared at the ceiling or played a game on my phone. It took me about 3 months to find a good fit for a therapist/counselor. After about 4 months, I went to an alternative medicine doctor who told me I had Candida and Leaky Gut Syndrome. They put me on a million vitamins and probiotics and allergy shots and told me to change my diet completely. (I was used to eating pretty healthy in the past so it wasn’t new for me.) It seemed like as soon as I changed my diet and took all of these vitamins, etc. my body jump started with energy and I felt great! I started a job working from home and could slowly start to function again. I started to notice these symptoms I was having, but they could all be explained away by other things. Dizziness, extreme fatigue, gagging and nausea, heartburn. Everything seemed to have another reason. Then my depression and anxiety got worse. So my (new) primary care doctor increase my Lexapro dosage to 20mg. A few months later, my depression was worse. Doctor said I was at the max dose and the only thing to do was to switch medications. Nope! I didn’t want to be on an SSRI in the first place. A few more months go by and I start doing some research online only to find that ALL of my symptoms are side effects of Lexapro! I was done. 2.5 years I had been on it. I had been encouraged to stay on it when I wanted to get off and I was done! I looked online and found a taper schedule. Every 2 weeks, cut the dose in half. So that’s what I did. (20mg to 10mg to 5mg) November 12, 2017 was my first day Lexapro-free. The tapering process was TERRIBLE. Everything was amplified. It would be really bad for about 3-4 days after each drop in dosage and then ease up a little for a few days and then ease up even more over the next week until the next dosage drop. Symptoms: -Increased Depression -Increased Anxiety -Constant Fatigue -Suicidal thoughts (not like me AT ALL) -Extreme Dizziness -Nausea & gagging -I could barely eat or keep food down -Brain Zaps (argh) After coming completely off, I was still struggling, but it was manageable. The dizziness and nausea were the worst and those seemed to have subsided along with the increased depression and anxiety. Then about 4-5 weeks after being completely off of Lexapro “Phase II” started. And that is the hell hole that I’m in now. Here are my current symptoms: -Crippling Depression (worst in my entire life) -Out of control Anxiety (worst in my entire life) -Extreme fatigue -Nausea -Gagging from Anxiety -Inability to eat very many foods without gagging -Vomiting from Anxiety -Varied Dizziness -Weight loss -Brain Fog -Forgetfulness -Decreased brain processing time -Extremely easily overwhelmed -Constant stress -Increased heart rate that will last all day -Sensitive to loud noises -Derealization (especially right after waking up) -Depressive Rumination (This is hands down the worst symptom. A thought or set of thoughts gets stuck in your brain on an infinite loop and you can’t make it stop. It drives me to near insanity.) I feel like the “real me” is inside of me fighting like hell to get out. None of these symptoms are “me.” I’m not myself at all and it feels terrible. I feel like my brain is broken and it’s not functioning the way it normally does. I’m frustrated, mad, sad, every emotion…except happy. I feel like since finding this forum, I have gained more clarity about what is happening to me. Because none of my friends and family really completely understand this…how extreme this is. The more I learn about WHY or HOW my brain isn’t functioning correctly, the more hopeful I become. Because I can try to find coping mechanisms to help me while my brain heals. Before I found this forum, I thought I was literally going insane and I was going to be trapped inside this insane body forever. I was absolutely terrified. So I just want to say thank you to the people that created this place. I’m pretty sure you’ve saved lives.
  20. Good Morning Everyone, I need some confidence despite knowing what I am going through must be withdrawal. My history; I was put on Lexapro (escitalopram) in October of 2012 after the birth of my wife and I's first child. It was a stressful delivery and that coupled with the normal stress of a first time parent and starting a new business, it sent me into anxiety and panic attacks that I had NEVER experienced before. Anyway, after speaking with our friend/family MD he recommended Lexapro. I started in October of 2012 at 10mg. After a month I began to feel better and then in Feb 2013, my MD bumped to 20mg because that was the 'normal' dose for a 28 year old, 185lb man. I obliged because I was feeling better but still not great. By mid March of 2013 I felt back to normal, better than normal actually. June of 2013 I started to feel VERY shaky and weird. It felt like it was just too much. So per the MD's advice I weaned back down to 10mg over 6 weeks time and felt fine. I had few withdrawal effects but not many for a few weeks. I stayed at 10mg from July of 2013 to April of 2014(10 months or so) and felt like 'normal'. I decided in April that I was over the weight gain, the lack of emotions, the lazy attitude and the tiredness. I felt like my anxiety was under control and the small bouts of depression I had were few and far between. I spoke with my doctor and asked if he would call in a script for Liquid Lexapro. I had read a few articles here and at PP about withdrawal and that the Liquid would make it easy to taper. He obliged and at the end of April I began to taper 1mg every 2-3 weeks. This was after my doc said I should go faster and I thought 1mg every 2-3 weeks would be a slow enough taper. (I did not know about the 10% of the previous dose every 3-6 weeks). Anyway, I tapered over 5 months or so and Oct 1 of 2014 I was done. I really didn't have many withdrawal effects while tapering. I felt a little worse the lower I got but nothing I couldn't handle. The first 8 weeks off were not awful. I had dizziness and gastro problems the first few weeks but those went away. Then, the end of Nov and Dec started and holy moly I have been hit with the worst anxiety of my life, shaky, terrible intrusive thoughts, doom and gloom even when I know everything is ok. I can cry at any moment over nothing and terrible irritableness and rage feelings. I still can't shake it. The anxiety is crippling both physically and mentally. My old anxiety before meds I could talk myself out of, this just pounds on me no matter how calm and accepting of it I am. Sleep is getting worse and I can't sit still to save my life. From what I have read, this sounds like WD but I am scared and miserable here. Any words of encouragement, success stories, similar experiences are greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
  21. Hi folks, First of all I'm new to this site, so feel free to tell me I'm in the wrong area or redirect me.. But here's my story... I currently have what I think is severe anhedonia. Last July, I was a bit depressed (I stress a bit, not majorly).......doctor gave me lexapro 10. After taking this, I vomited on the first night and developed sleep problems. Later in the week, I was given 25 seroquel which apparently would help balance out adverse effects of lexapro.......by the end of the week, I wasn't sleeping and I was suicidal. I subsequently was admitted to hospital. In hospital, I got more and more meds thrown at me and my mid august I was on 125 seroquel, 30 mirtazapine, 20 lexapro, 20 Olanzapine/Zyprexa....My main problem was the medication ripped my stomach apart.....the docs didn't believe me and just gave me more and more meds. I left hospital anyway on the concoction I mentioned.....I spent the following four months on these meds. During those four months, I felt no emotion whatsever, nothing. I felt suicidal, and that I would never recover. I had no desire to do anything. I just stayed in bed until late in the day, even though my sleep did not feel like real sleep. By mid November, i realised that the medication was messing me up, I demanded that I gradually come off everything. On that day, the doctor dropped the mirtazapine, and cut everything else in half. There was a quick taper, maybe too quick, and by christmas eve I was off everything. There were brief windows of emotion during the taper but still 95% anhedonia. Days after I went off everything....I cried for the first time in six months.....days later I laughed for the first time in months... I'm now 6 weeks off everything, I had huge headaches up unitl last week. My stomach started to improve after going off everything and is on the mend. However, I'm still worried about emotions/desires/thoughts etc.....over the last six weeks....I've had maybe 5 occassions where I felt strong positive emotions...and maybe 3 times where I've been sad/angry to the point of proper crying. outside of those 8 occassions, there's still an awful amount of flat feeling, apathy etc... I'm worried and wonder how long or if I will recover at all. Feedback welcome!!
  22. Dear Soldiers in the Fight Against Antidepressants and Benzos, December 25th 2017 marked a year without any AD and just over 3 years without Xanax, and it seems to me that quitting Lexapro was tougher than quitting Xanax, probably because I was still on other medication when I quit Xanax. I can't say that 2017 was fun. In fact, it was one of the toughest years I have ever experienced, second only to the years following my sexual assault by 5 men when I was sixteen (I'm 35 now). I was so tempted to go back and just take the meds again. The temptation was made even harder by the fact that doctors were throwing these drugs at me all year, and each and every time I had to refuse profusely and tell them that I am not taking ADs anymore. *sigh* Doctors are very disappointing. We fear illicit drug dealers but we should fear the legal drug dealers more because we have been conditioned to accept their advice as infallible due to their qualifications, not considering the fact that they are either corrupt or ignorant of the drugs they dispense to us. Anyway... I digress. I went through it all in 2017. I travelled all over the world, seeing beautiful islands, going to beautiful places, being with the most wonderful man in the world, but derived no pleasure from anything. It was an apathetic year, and apathy is worse than pain sometimes, although logically you would think otherwise. Then, 8 months after all this emptiness, I fell pregnant, and only now, in January 2018, I am starting to feel a bit more joy peering through the cracks of my grey, dreary and lifeless soul. I can't say that quitting is beneficial right now, but I can say that I have seen an improvement a little. For example, 5 months after quitting, everything came back, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and disatisfaction, all expressing itself though apathy. Then the slump lasted for another few months until I got pregnant, and then I became slightly more upbeat, less fatigued and more present. Then in November I started to feel again, crying for the first time, laughing for the first time, libido up for the first time (only a little), and basically being bombarded by being human. Now, it is more of experiencing ups and downs than total darkness. So, it is improving. I had to stop taking supplements since I became pregnant, and I struggled with sleep a lot at first, then it got better, and now it is back to weird sleeping patterns but I sleep enough at least. Maybe the hormone surge of pregnancy is helping, but I definitely am better off than before. I just wanted to share this with the forum because I wouldn't have even dared to venture into quitting and sticking to it without this community. Also, I want to convey the fact that it gets easier but it is not an easy, quick path. I have come to terms that this journey is probably going to take me 10 years to see the true light of day judging by my progress, but as long as it improves, I am willing to slug though it. Thank you, and Happy New Year to Everyone.
  23. How I wish I’d known BEFORE all this happened what I know now, how I wish there’d been more informed consent, more information, more care and that somehow I’d have found my way to Surviving Antidepressants to understand and be forearmed. Thank you to SA for the information and support you give to so many. The “professionals” still seem to be ignoring any hint of these drugs causing damage (in my experience of them anyway). And I, naively, thought they were like taking an aspirin - more or less benign. Started Citalopram in 2006 (for depression) took it for a year, no noticeable side effects (but also a very subtle benefit, if there was one). 2007-2011 on and off Citalopram, some side effects when off it (first anxiety attack ever, hmmm, now I wonder if this was withdrawal). 2011 back on Citalopram because of anxious feelings,
2013 report to doctor that I'm very tired all the time and yawning inappropriately. Doctor suggests trying another a-d. 
 Late 2013-mid 2014, taken through a series of meds.
Sertraline (no improvement)
Effexor (felt like I'd got a heavy flu if I was even an hour late taking the med, gastric problems)
Fluoxetine (panic attack, tension, insomnia, headaches, exhausted), Mirtazapine. BANG - insomnia, anxiety, black circles under eyes, exhaustion, dizziness, severe panic attack, headaches, sore eyes, hot face. Taken to emergency doctor and given Lorazepam, which calmed me down. 
 July 2014 stopped Mirtazapine (cold turkey, didn't know about severe or long-term, withdrawal effects then, but couldn't continue to take them as the side-effects were so monumental.) Went through acute withdrawal, which felt like I was being fried inside. Then began the long-term stuff - dizziness, nausea, anxiety etc. 
 February 2016 - having anxiety attacks, caved in and went to doctor. By this time, I’d started to find out more about the potential effects of these drugs and the possibly futile attempt to stabilise on more drugs and was extremely reluctant to re-instate. But I was in such a state of anxiety I could only think to try it. Re-instate on Fluoxetine - dreadful - bad gastro effects, insomnia, anxiety etc. 
 July 2016 - fast-ish taper off, after trying half dose for some time and still feeling dreadful.
Med free July 2016 - January 2017. Symptoms that persisted throughout all the times I was off the drugs - dizziness, unsteady on feet, blood rush from the head on standing (near fainting), sore stomach, gripey wind, heart palpitations, tiredness/exhaustion, tension, on edge, gripping anxiety attacks (these are the ones that make me feel like I'm never going to feel well again and hopeless), sensitivity to noise, other people and stress, tinnitus, dry mouth, sore eyes. Over December 2017 and January 2018 I had two massive panic attacks, one was after a run; I’d never had panic attacks before. I saw it as part of the long-term effects of the poly-drugging, cold turkey and re-instatement that I’d gone through. Over this period, I’d taken Lorazepam very occasionally and only at half-dose (0.5mg). Then my body collapsed, panic attacks increased, dizziness made me unstable, weak legs meant I could hardly walk, I was unable to shower or shop for myself and had 24/7 suicidal anxiety/akithisia. February 2017 - referred to psychiatrist, who did a 20 minute consultation (including asking what my birth was like???), and who flatly dismissed my proposal that this was the result of adverse effects of the drugs, and said he thought it was because I missed my mum (who’d died in 2012). Mid-February prescribed Escitalopram - felt I had no choice but to see if the drugs would even me out, even though I’d read (through this site and other avenues) that re-instatement didn’t always work. Continued to have acute anxiety - use of Lorazepam increases, although I try to keep it as low as possible. Early March 2017 Nortriptyline added. Mid February - to April 2017 Zopiclone and Lorazepam PRN - pretty regular use. April - August 2017 Prescribed Lithium - dreadful - raging insomnia, completely dried out - stopped after a week. Increased Nortriptyline over a number of weeks to 90 mg a day - insomnia eased, started to get 7 hours’ sleep. Felt weak and exhausted most of the time. Had used up all my annual and sick leave at work. Crossed to diazepam over many weeks - to 25mg a day in order to start a taper off. I began to be able to work from home, thanks to my employers who accommodated this, and have since increased to three days in the office and two days at home. I’m more mobile, can shop for myself and take care of myself. Legs still feel like lead and I have to use walking sticks for balance and help me walk. Have had a CT scan of my head - showed normal brain profile. This is where I’m at as I write - incremental improvement, very, very slow. Reducing Diazepam at 0.5mg a week. Want to taper off Escitalopram as it had no beneficial effect - but now scared that my system is SO messed up, any reduction will send me into a tailspin. Also, I understand tapering two drugs messes things up if there are adverse effects because you don’t know which taper is causing the problem. My life has been turned upside down by medications that the Dr told me would improve my quality of life.
  24. Hi everyone, I'm not sure if people still get on this site but I really hope so cause my story is similar to many I've read on here. I started nursing school last fall and was very stressed and I was put on lexapro 10mg. About a month later I met an amazing guy. I absolutely adored him and we were head over heels for each other. About 7 months later we were making wedding plans and even talked about having kids not too far after. I decided to stop taking lexapro because I was so beyond happy and didn't think I needed them anymore. I quit cold turkey. Which I knew was bad but I thought I could handle it. I was okay for a while and then about a month later I can't explain what happened. It was like something in my brain literally snapped And I woke up one morning thinking I didn't love him anymore and questioning how I really felt about him. To say it was awful would be an understatement. I spent the next two days in bed crying and vomiting from panic. It was so bad. I finally one day broke down and told my mom the feelings I had been having, and she didn't understand and was trying to figure out what was going on. My whole family knew I was crazy in love with him and this just didn't make any sense. It's been 3 months since then and my feelings will come and go. Some days it's almost back to the old feelings where I know I wanna grow old with him but the next day I'll wake up crying and not wanna get out of bed. I seriously do not know what's going on in my body right now. I just want to be completely in love with him again. This is the most gut wretch in and heartbreaking thing I think I have ever gone through. This is not me. I just hope it's my head trying to get balanced out and once it does everything will go back to normal. Any advice or words would be great. I would not wish this on anyone but it does give me some hope reading other people who have had the same issues with this drug. Thanks so much in advance!
  25. Hello Friends. I'm a 36 year old male with a 15 year old psych meds addiction. My story started after I survived a terrible car crash, and then suffered from panic attacks shortly after. My GP at the time prescribed me Aropax. I took this for close to a year if I remember correctly and then decided to quit. Her advice was to just "stop taking them". I can still clearly remember the horrible dizziness and the debilitating brain zaps! I went back onto them, but never felt that same level of 'normal'. Then I tried Cipramil. Didn't really make a difference. Then I went onto Effexor and this worked great for a while. The very short Half-Life was a problem for me and made it impossible to come off. I went onto Prozac and managed to taper off it. Things went well for some time, until some bumps in the road and a new job brought my anxiety back to life! So onto Escitalopram I went. I've been on it ever since. I tried to get off my pills about 2 years ago, but rather than using the methods described here, I simply alternated dosages, which ended up not working very well. I also didn't pay much attention to my diet and drank alcohol frequently. Since then my life has changed dramatically. I live a rather comfortable life with very little stress and I have a great support system. I have decided to give it another shot. Rather than being a slave to the medication for the rest of my life, I have now made some dietary changes and cut out alcohol completely. I've started with my first round of 10% reductions, and hopefully this is the start of a new life for me.
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