xtremexyz: Tapering off Lexapro (Currently 2.5mg), Buspar, Wellbutrin

13 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,


First I must say you are all awesome. The level of support and understanding is amazing! Sending lots of good vibes to all of you!


So let's jump right in, I am currently taking the following medication.

  • Wellbutrin (75MG) to counteract the zombieness feeling of Lexapro,
  • 10mg of Buspar - three times a day - love this medication
  • 2.5 mg of Lexapro - reduced from 10 mg since November. 

First, I want to mention that the reason I got on SSRI was due to General Anxiety Disorder. The Lexapro helped for a while but then it "pooped out" and it started to make me feel like a Zombie. The Wellbutrin did help with motivation but also caused even more anxiety especially with all the medication ( I reduced from 150mg to 75mg to lower anxiety) . Last month, I was given Buspar and OMG I LOVE IT. Buspar has for the most part eliminated the anxiety so I am very grateful. However the only issue I am having now is the constant fatigue and lack of motivation. I can stay in bed all day and have no desire to go out. I also have issues with having a good time and enjoying time with friends. 


Should I continue the tapering the Lexapro every 2 weeks (from 2.5 mg to 2.0mg) and perhaps increase my Wellbutrin to help with fatigue ? ( My doctor informed me that I could increase the Wellbutrin to 150mg if needed , but I don't want to mess to much with the nervous system.

Share this post

Link to post

xtremexyz -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

Your reduction from 10 mg to 2.5 mg since November is a fast taper. You probably decreased to 5 mg and then to 2.5. 50% reductions are a lot for your CNS (central nervous system) to cope with and have a very high risk of creating withdrawal symptoms. You can read more about in the posts at these links:
Tapering -- what you need to know
What is withdrawal syndrome

We suggest tapering by no more than 10% per month to minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms. Lexapro is a very strong SSRI; some people often need to taper slower than 10% per month once they get below 5.0 mg. I urge you consider decreasing by 0.25 mg to 2.25 mg (10%) and staying at the dose for 4 weeks rather than dropping to 2.0 mg. Here are links to relevant discussion topics:
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?
Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

Edited to add: I'm going to ask other moderators to have a look at your question about taper decreases and timing. It's possible that the Wellbutrin and Buspar are buffering the Lexapro decreases and protecting you from withdrawal symptoms.


Even if you're dealing with drug "poop-out" or tachyphylaxis, there's no way of knowing whether Lex's other effects on your CNS have pooped out. Well there is one way, a possibly distressing and painful one, conducting a fast taper or cold turkey to see if you get withdrawal symptoms. To see what symptoms might arise, have a look at
Important topics about symptoms including sleep problems

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm glad that you found us now before you ran into great difficulty with symptoms.

Share this post

Link to post

Hey Scally, 


Thanks for the tips. You might be right, I did taper a bit too quick but i went down little by little and surpassingly had no major withdrawal so I was able to go down to 2.5mg without it being too bad. In fact, I feel like my nervous system is much less sensitive...before I would get these shocks all throughout my body and it would freak me out and give me really bad anxiety/paranoia. 


I do think the Buspar and Wellbutrin are buffering the withdrawal to a degree. The only issues I am having right now is constant fatigue and some mild to moderate depression and lack of motivation. I also have issues with speaking as some of the words just don't seem to come out the way I want them to. This has caused a lot of discomfort. Is there anything that can help with the fatigue? 


I just want to feel happy...even if its for a few hours a day. :(

Share this post

Link to post

Welcome, xtreme.


When did you get those shocks throughout your body?


It sounds like you are taking Wellbutrin to counter side effects from Lexapro and Buspar to counter side effects from the Wellbutrin (anxiety).


When you lowered the Wellbutrin, did the anxiety decrease? If it decreased, what anxiety does Buspar currently counter?


What time of day do you take each of your drugs? Please put ALL your drugs in the Drug Interactions Checker https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php


How is your sleep?

Share this post

Link to post

The shocks theoughout my body were around September - October when I was taking 10mg Lexapro in combination with 150mg of Wellbutrin. My body couldn't handle all that medication so thats when I knew I had to cut back.


When I decreased the Wellbutrin it did decrease the body shocks but not too much. The Buspar mostly helps with the background anxiety that was constantly lingering no matter what I was doing. So For the first time in months I was finally able to relax and be present.


But now that I am at a lower dose of lexapro (2.5mg) I have not had any shocks. I am mostly expirencing constant fatigue (just woke up from a 3 hour nap) and lack of motivation and confidence. I also feel quite emotional at times which leaves me vulnerable to stressful times.


@Altostrata - thank you for your concerns, I take 75mg Wellbutrin and 2.5mg Lexapro in the morning along with 10mg of Buspar. Than in the afernoon I take another 10mg of Buspar and again later in the evening. As for my sleep, it's not that bad to be honest I just have issues feeling super tired no matter how much I sleep. It's ridiculous.


Do you think I should stay on the 2.5mg of Lexapro and hope that the fatigue will go away, and the motivation and confidence will come back with time?


*Sorry for the typos, currently on mobile.

Share this post

Link to post

Hey xtreme - 


if you had done a 10% taper, starting in October, you would be on about 6.5 mg Lexapro, and just under 100 mg Wellbutrin.  (and you've added a new drug)


So yes, the Lex taper was too fast.  Hold on, it might be a wild ride:  Delayed Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms  Sometimes symptoms don't hit from a withdrawal for months, so your big decrease from 10 mg to 5 mg in October - you may just be starting to feel it now.


I'm guessing that you are dry-cutting your tablets - this is not a very precise way of measuring your doses.  This 1/4 tablet might be heavier than that one - and Lexapro is so strong, that the difference might be destabilising.


Please learn about liquid dosing, so that your future tapers will be more precise:  

How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsule



I think you should stay on the 2.5 mg Lexapro.  


And if it gets really bad, consider updosing to 3 mg Lexapro, to see if it helps your symptoms.  Your body and brain can only adjust at the speed it heals.


You wouldn't go running on a broken leg - the brain takes time to heal, too, just like a broken leg would.


So plan on scaling back your activities for a time, and wait.  Your brain will heal, and it will get better - but it will take patience, and kindness on your part.  Be kind to yourself - if the TV is too loud, get away from it.  If the lights are too bright, turn them off.  If it's quiet you need, then find a place to get it.


This is mostly a waiting game.  I would wait another 30 days, to see if you can get improvement - a window.  Healing comes in Waves and Windows, so if you get a window at all, that's a very good sign (but it means you still have a few more healing cycles of waves and windows to go).


Meanwhile, Keep notes on paper as to when you feel better, when you feel worse, when you take your tablets.  Just keep a little notebook close by, and jot down what is happening, and how it might relate to the tablets you are taking.


While you are waiting, you will be getting acclimated to Buspar - you can learn more about it here (yes, it will need to be tapered, too):

and while you are learning, you may as well explore the wonders of Wellbutrin:

Tips for Tapering off Wellbutrin


As you go through your windows and waves, you will want to develop a toolkit of  Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms in order to shore up and better learn to survive, distract, wait out, and be kind to yourself at this time.


I hope you get to feeling better soon.

Share this post

Link to post

Welcome extremexyz!

Share this post

Link to post

Thank you Mustangwoman (I imagine you have a Mustang lol - my girlfriend would be so envious)


@Jancarol - Thank you so much for all the advice! I decided to give it a few more days on the same dosage and I have to say i do feel better. The fatigue has decreased and my sleep is much more profound and I wake up more rested. My nervous system seem to be more relaxed so the anxiety lingers but it is managable. I honestly think it will get better as my body adapts. I remember it taking 4-6 weeks for the efeects of the Lexapro to help out so we should expect the same when decreasing.

Share this post

Link to post

The mustang is my husband's that he has rebuilt over the years.  It has become a hobby for him, and I guess I have helped when possible.  I hope you are doing better!

Share this post

Link to post

Just want to stop by and give an update. (1 week later)


I feel so much better. I have to say, I feel like my brain is more at its natural state. I feel more in touch with myself whixh is something I struggled with on Lexapro. I feel like I am finally present and not just lost in my mind. I can react to my everyday life with better ease and i honestly think it will only get better (just a gut feeling idk).


The only change I made was an increase on the Buspar from 10mg 3x a day to 15mg 3x a day.


But I owe a lot of this progress to you great amazing people who I have learned so much from. Thank you!

Share this post

Link to post

So glad that you are feeling better!

Share this post

Link to post

These past few days have been a bit of a let down. I don't understand how my main issue at the beginning was Anxiety and no depression. Although the Lexapro helped with anxiety it stopped working and made me feel emotionally numb and had no sense of pleasure and motivation.


Now i drop my Lexapro from 10mg to 2.5mg and my anxiety is mostly gone! And the big issue now is the motivation and pleasure , although I just had some awesome days a few days ago (during last post). How is this possible? Will upping my Wellbutrin be beneficial since it increases dopamine ?

Share this post

Link to post

Unfortunately sometimes these medications produce the conditions they're intended to treat. Feeling emotionally numb and having few experiences of pleasure can be a "side" effect of antidepressants as well as a withdrawal symptom.


The process of recovering or healing isn't linear. Many people experience cycles of symptom-free periods broken up by time with symptoms. Please read:

The Windows and Waves pattern of stabilization.

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now