Stephygrrl

Stephygrrl: Need help getting off low dose Lexapro after 2 months

139 posts in this topic

Also - these extreme emotions are perfectly normal in withdrawal.

 

We call them Neuro-emotion, because they are created by the chemicals.

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I do have a counselor and have been reading the links...much appreciated. Where I am struggling is deciding if reinstating will help or hurt me. Current symptoms almost 3 weeks after cutting out lexapro cold turkey 2.5 (on for a month) are mild headache, some light nausea, morning anxiety, and insomnia. I had the morning anxiety and insomnia while taking it too. I was very sensitive to it and it caused agitation, and worsening of symptoms, so it's not like I did well with it. Currently on 7.5 remeron which is helping cover withdrawal symptoms I am trying to stop klonopin. Doc will only give me liquid lexapro, nothing else but my husband has citalopram if that really would be better. Dr thinks I should avoid reinstatement. I would love some guidance from you guys based on what you have seen in the past. Is full recovery more likely if I reinstate and taper or just wait it out? If I reinstate liquid lex, should it be .5 or 1?

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Reinstated .5 lex tonight as I could not get ahold of citalopram. So far so good. Thoughts on taper?

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You've gotten your reinstatement suggestion.

 

It's the deepest conundrum that people go through - to reinstate or not?

 

Sometimes the stress of this decision is so much that (I believe) it's best to reinstate just to ease the stress.  Then if it doesn't work, you go back to square one and tough it out (you don't lose much time, you'll know right away if it is a reaction).

 

Then you will know for certain if reinstatement is for you or not.

 

Spinning your wheels and suffering - it's hard to make the decision, I know.  But there really isn't more information I can give you.  And neuro-emotions are going to make you go around and around.

 

"Trying to stop klonopin" - it sounds like you already have tolerance.  You may need to go to our Members Only Benzo Forum to get the best advice on how to stop it.  

 

I'm relieved that you have a local counselor.  It may be hard to find a counselor who understands withdrawal, and doesn't insist that your symptoms are a "diagnosis" of some sort, instead of symptoms from withdrawal from SSRI.  However, you are more likely to find support in a counselor than you are a p-doc or prescriber.  They are taught that withdrawal never lasts more than 30 days, which is simply not true.

 

Can you get ahold of a copy of "The Pill That Steals Lives" by Katinka Blackford Newman?  If you can, you can read it yourself, then loan it to your therapist, and maybe some light bulbs will come on for both of you.  It's a UK book - but to me, it's the best introduction on the market to what happens in withdrawal.  I know it's available for kindle (but that's harder to loan to your therapist).

 

OH - I see you have posted - how have you take 0.5 mg of lexapro?  What is the strength of the lexapro, did you get liquid?

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Hi Stephy - from PM (I hope you don't mind, but this is important)
 

It was a 5mg/ml formulation. I took 1/2 an ml. Does that work?

 

5 mg / 2 = 2.5 mg.  5 mg divided by 2 (one half) = 2.5 mg.

 

You took 2.5 mg, not 0.5 mg.

 

In order to take 0.5 mg of a 5mg/ml preparation.  There are 10 doses in a ml.  So a 0.5 mg dose is 0.1 ml (1/10 or one-tenth of a ml).  Does the syringe go down that small?  (I'm guessing not)

 

But don't be alarmed, how do you feel?

 

Let's go by that.  If you feel better, then 2.5 is a fine reinstatement.

 

In order to get it down lower, you will need to dilute the liquid (but only a few doses at a time, as the dilution can be unstable).  One member, CatNapt, uses syringes that she uses to dose her pet rats - tiny syringes.  But it will be more accurate if you dilute it.  And you have to measure the dilution - so that you get the same dose every time.  This is important!  One single drop of this strong liquid can make a huge difference in dose. 

 

Let's watch how you feel, we might back off of 2.5.

 

Learn about how liquid tapering works, here (I'll have a more scientific mind look in - I think my numbers are right - but I've never liquid tapered myself, so methods of dilution is what you need):

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-using-an-oral-syringe-and-other-tapering-techniques/

 

Breathe - and let us know how you feel!

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Hey Stephy - 

 

I don't know the size of your syringe.  What is the smallest amount you can take with the syringe you have?

 

If you can take 0.25 ml (that's 1.25 mg), then do so.  There is nothing wrong with a reinstatement of 2.5 mg, if you feel fine.

 

Most importantly, how do you feel?  If you are feeling better, then you are on the right track.

 

Do you feel any difference yet?

 

I'm sorry I don't know enough about syringes and liquid to help you with dilution.  

 

If you cannot get as small as 0.25 ml (1/4 ml) then stick with the 2.5 for now.  We have a few days to adjust your dose.  I've asked other mods who are better at liquids and dilutions to help.

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Reinsatated liquid lexapro 2.5 last night. I used 1/2 an ml from a 5ml solution. I meant to use .5 but the pharmacist gave me bad info. 2.5 was the same as my final dose. I didn't sleep at all last night and have been shaking like a leaf and have diarrhea. I have a syringe now that I can try smaller doses with. My question is now have I totally destabilized my nervous system? Will a smaller dose work? If so, what would be best?

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Also should I keep remeron steady at 7.5? The whole reason I stopped lex quickly is because it interacted with remeron and I felt like I had ants in my head

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I also have nausea this morning.

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As the day goes on I feel worse. Anxious, shaky, feels like ants in my head again. I am not sure I can take this again. Is this considered an adverse reaction? Should I discontinue and not try to reinstate?

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Reinsatated liquid lexapro 2.5 last night. I used 1/2 an ml from a 5ml solution. I meant to use .5 but the pharmacist gave me bad info. 2.5 was the same as my final dose. I didn't sleep at all last night and have been shaking like a leaf and have diarrhea. I have a syringe now that I can try smaller doses with. My question is now have I totally destabilized my nervous system? Will a smaller dose work? If so, what would be best?

It looks like you are having a reaction to the 2.5ml. Is there any way you can get hold of a small syringe? Maybe from  veterinary practice? 

 

OR You could  dilute the liquid.

 

9ml of water + 1ml lex would make the solution  10ml = 5mg,

 

you could then take 1ml to get 0.5mg.  

 

Hopefully this will be better for you. 

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1/2 a ml from a 5ml solution, so .5. I thought I was taking 1/2 an ml but Jan explained it was actually 2.5mg that I took. I didn't sleep at all last night and my anxiety has been through the roof today. I had to take an Ativan just to function. I am scared to continue on...worried that I may not stabilize at a lower dose. I may have thrown off my system again. Thoughts on discontinuing vs doing smaller dose and if so, what? I am still taking remeron which doesn't mix well with lex. I am very sensitive to meds. I couldn't get past the 2.5 mg of lex in a month of treatment because my head felt like it was going to explode. I had terrible morning dread, dark thoughts (unlike me) and worsening of anxiety. What should I do moving forward?

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Hi everyone, so should be trying .05ml or .25ml from the 5 ml solution? Today was terribble with the 2.5mg. Had to take an Ativan to come down. Also, if I was on lexapro 2.5 for 6 weeks, can someone help with a taper schedule?

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Hi, Stephy.

 

It seems that 2.5mg Lexapro is too much for you. Do you have a very small oral syringe? You could take 1mg (.2mL) or even 0.5mg (.1mL). 

 

Milligram for milligram, Lexapro is a very strong drug, 1mL being approximately 3 or 4 times stronger than 1mL Celexa. Lexapro and Celexa are siblings.

 

The insomnia is a very typical withdrawal symptom.

 

If you reinstate, you would need to stabilize for a time, perhaps several months, before tapering again. Then, you'd taper by tenths of your dosage. If you're taking 0.5mL Lexapro, a 1mL oral syringe probably would be best -- it will have markings for hundredths of a mL.

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Since I was only on it for 6 weeks, approximately how loincloth would the taper be?

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We can't tell, Stephy. We need to go by how you're doing. The aim is to make the process as comfortable as possible, how long it is doesn't matter.

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Took .1ml of the 5 mg solution this morning which is what I initially intended to take the first time. So far, some nausea and shakiness, and diarrhea. It's better than yesterday but my head still feels heavy and tIngly.

Will I be setting myself back further if I decide not to continue to reinstate? I ask because I am still taking remeron and the two are not mixing well.

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I have only been on remeron for a little over a week. Dr put me in it because I wasn't sleeping. I don't want to get hooked on that too but the alternative is more klonopin or ambien. I need sleep to care for my baby and full time job.

Thoughts on all of this?

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If I stop the remeron now, will my system go out of whack? I think it has strongly impacted my anxiety levels.

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Stephygrrl,

 

Sorry for what you are going through.  Just wanted to share my experience, and hope it can help you make a decision.

 

In a state of insomnia panic last fall I added remeron to my list of drugs ( I was in seroquel withdrawal and did not quite realize it).  I was/am taking trazodone also.  Immediately after adding remeron, I started having severe twitching, limb jerks.  Suspected serotonin syndrome, but continued with it because it gave some additional sleep initially.  Now I am in a soup.  Ironically, the traz/remeron combo is now giving me insomnia from the serotonin toxicity.  I need to reduce either remeron/traz, but my system is so sensitized that after I make even small drops, anxiety hits the roof.

 

I understand the need for sleep, I have been there and am still somewhat there (but I get a few hours).  I know the need to be a wife, parent, have a job, etc, but if you can get away from remeron, run fast.    At the moment if you need sleep, maybe stay on your Benzo if you are still on it and taper off slowly later, especially if you are trying to reinstate lexapro. 

 

If you successfully reinstate, you will need to stabilize for a while (several months?).  For that time you will have to deal with the lexapro/remeron interaction, and worse, after that, having to taper remeron later.  So why not nip it in the bud?

 

(I was also on klonopin earlier, and getting off that was easier (even though horrible) for me than trying to wean off these antidepressants.)

 

Note that you may have to deal with insomnia for a little while anyway, until you stabilize.  I did not realize this when I added remeron.

 

Best wishes.  Hope this helps.

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I am having severe inner restlessness right now,..lex .1 this morning. Was fine until now What does this mean? Do I need to stop the reinstatement?

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My anxiety was fine all day and is now through the roof. Please advise if I should hold off on taking any more lex

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My legs feel like they are all fuzzy

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Ok so the feeling finally passed and I was able to breathe my way through it. I believe my body doesn't know how to handle this small dose, but can't handle a regular either. Should I abandon? I am leaning towards yes but let me know your thoughts.

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Can anyone advise on if I should continue reinstatement or stop? I felt really unstable today until the small dose left my system. Not sure my body can handle it. If I stop, will the hypervigilence at night go away in time?

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Took .1ml of the 5 mg solution this morning which is what I initially intended to take the first time. So far, some nausea and shakiness, and diarrhea. It's better than yesterday but my head still feels heavy and tIngly.

Will I be setting myself back further if I decide not to continue to reinstate? I ask because I am still taking remeron and the two are not mixing well.

 

What time did you take 0.5mg Lexapro? What time did you get nausea, shakiness, and diarrhea? How long do those symptoms last?

 

What time do you take Remeron? Do you have any symptoms after taking it?

 

Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages. This is important to determine if your symptoms are adverse reactions to the drugs.

 

You'll need to take 0.5mg Lexapro for at least 4 days to get an idea if it might help you. The nausea, shakiness, and diarrhea you had today might be leftover from your prior higher dosage.

 

If you are not having a bad reaction to the Remeron, or the combination of Remeron with that little bit of Lexapro, and it's helping you sleep, you don't have to go off it.

 

The important thing is to observe your symptom pattern and see what helps and what doesn't.

 

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I take the lexapro at 8 am and remeron at night. The nausea, diarrhea, and shakiness is from the lex. I am not sure if you read my last post, but I had some inner restlessness this afternoon as I felt the lex fading out. Weird symptom, but my toes curl up. The only side effect I have had from remeron is fogginess. So if I keep trying the lex, and find I can't stabilize, am I setting myself back instead of just stopping now?

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What times of day did you get these symptoms? When we talk about a symptom pattern, we need to know when your symptoms occur.

 

If those symptoms happen over and over at the same time of day, they may be connected to the drug. We don't have enough information to draw that conclusion yet.

 

Withdrawal symptoms change all the time. You may continue to get odd symptoms for a while, your nervous system still needs to settle down.

 

We need those daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages.

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Shaking occurs throughout the day, especially upon waking. The diarrhea occurs an hour or so after taking the lexapro. I am not sleeping even with remeron. In fact, I had a horrible bloody nose last night and this morning that I think are connected to it. Can I stop taking remeron or lower the dose since I have only been on it a couple of weeks?

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After this post I began shaking violently through my entire body, and then it just stopped...the last time I shook like that was when I was going through labor. How can I relax my nervous system?

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Again the remeron I have only taken for a couple weeks.

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At this point I am scared to take any dose of anything....please advise

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The akesthia (sp) I had last night...just need to know if that's a red flag to stop reinstatement. I also had a very bad bloody nose last night and this morning coming out both sides. This was aligned more in timing to the remeron that I took yesterday evening. Need advice on how to stop. Was taking 7.5 for a week and 15 for 3 days. How do I calm my CNS?

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Hey Stephy - 

 

Alto and Mamma are super smart about withdrawals and tapers, and liquid.

 

Here's what I reckon happened - your first dose was too big.  It will take a few days or a week to shake out and settle down.

 

Please continue taking your .1ml = 0.5 mg of Lexapro for at least a week.  It may be easier (and more accurate) if you dilute the Lexapro liquid like Mamma said here.

 

Some people did not settle down for a few weeks or even months after reinstating, and yet still had a successful reinstatement.  You can do this. 

 

Please do not change the Remeron, it is too much change right now.

 

Please breathe!  I recommend alternate nostril breathing from Breathing for Well Being.  Shep has posted some nice breathing exercises on that page, too, that help with anxiety.

 

You were having symptoms.  In order to get better, you may have more symptoms.  You're going to need to learn to live through and deal with the symptoms.  Mindfulness and Acceptance

 

Withdrawal Dialogues - cartoon - Acceptance (4 min)

 

Ten Minute Body Scan

 

I hope you feel better soon.  It does get better - you can do this!

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Jan/others,

 

I am so scared to put anything else in my body. The remeron gave me a horrific bloody nose last night and this morning. My body is rejecting everything. If I take the Lexapro for another week and I can't adjust, what happens? Do I start withdrawal all over?

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I was also shaking violently this morning. I haven't shaken like that since I had my baby. My central nervous system is a mess.

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