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

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#109 Stephygrrl

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 06:51 AM

No i stopped the reinstatement after two days. First day I took 2.5mg second day I took .5. I was so scared by my reaction I stopped after that. I am on 7.5 remeron, and .25-.5 klonopin at night (need to decide one dose or another). Neither is helping me sleep at this point. I know the anxiety I am experiencing is the lexapro withdrawal. I have felt it before. Since I stopped the reinstatement, is it wise to just steer clear now?

May 2015-October 2015-Lexapro 20 mg fast taper due to pregnancy-no issues

Feb 2017-Zoloft 25 mg, too anxious/digestive issues (on for 3 weeks), switched to Lexapro 10mg, Mild serotonin syndrome from mixing lex with trazodone 2 weeks into Lexapro, body could no longer handle 10mg. Reduced to 5mg, then to 2.5, then stopped all together after 2 weeks on lex as I couldn't handle the agitation. 

March 2017-Seroquel-1 dose for sleep-panic and heart racing-discontinued

March 2017-Put back on 2.5 mg of Lex to titrate up slowly. 2.5 for 10 days, up to 5 for 5 days, dark thoughts, agitation, insomnia, reduced back down to 2.5mg and dr added remeron 7.5mg for sleep. Could not tolerate the two together (felt like ants in my head), so stopped Lexapro. Was good for 10 days then wd set in....nausea, shakiness, anxiety, complete insomnia.

 


#110 Stephygrrl

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 06:51 AM

I will update my signature tonight, can't while at work

May 2015-October 2015-Lexapro 20 mg fast taper due to pregnancy-no issues

Feb 2017-Zoloft 25 mg, too anxious/digestive issues (on for 3 weeks), switched to Lexapro 10mg, Mild serotonin syndrome from mixing lex with trazodone 2 weeks into Lexapro, body could no longer handle 10mg. Reduced to 5mg, then to 2.5, then stopped all together after 2 weeks on lex as I couldn't handle the agitation. 

March 2017-Seroquel-1 dose for sleep-panic and heart racing-discontinued

March 2017-Put back on 2.5 mg of Lex to titrate up slowly. 2.5 for 10 days, up to 5 for 5 days, dark thoughts, agitation, insomnia, reduced back down to 2.5mg and dr added remeron 7.5mg for sleep. Could not tolerate the two together (felt like ants in my head), so stopped Lexapro. Was good for 10 days then wd set in....nausea, shakiness, anxiety, complete insomnia.

 


#111 Stephygrrl

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 07:04 AM

What is considered an adverse reaction to a reinstatement? Reading the info said to stop immediately if adverse reactions. The akasthia, major trembling, and complete inability to feel emotion seemed adverse to me. Was it not?

May 2015-October 2015-Lexapro 20 mg fast taper due to pregnancy-no issues

Feb 2017-Zoloft 25 mg, too anxious/digestive issues (on for 3 weeks), switched to Lexapro 10mg, Mild serotonin syndrome from mixing lex with trazodone 2 weeks into Lexapro, body could no longer handle 10mg. Reduced to 5mg, then to 2.5, then stopped all together after 2 weeks on lex as I couldn't handle the agitation. 

March 2017-Seroquel-1 dose for sleep-panic and heart racing-discontinued

March 2017-Put back on 2.5 mg of Lex to titrate up slowly. 2.5 for 10 days, up to 5 for 5 days, dark thoughts, agitation, insomnia, reduced back down to 2.5mg and dr added remeron 7.5mg for sleep. Could not tolerate the two together (felt like ants in my head), so stopped Lexapro. Was good for 10 days then wd set in....nausea, shakiness, anxiety, complete insomnia.

 


#112 Shep

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 03:14 AM

It could be, Stephy. Many people are prescribed benzos or even an antipsychotic when they go on an antidepressant if they present with severe anxiety or akathisia. And some people are even labeled with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder due to this reaction. The antidepressant revolution has created an epidemic of bipolars because doctors don't understand these types of reactions. 

 

Please consider yourself very lucky to have found this site and all of this information so early in your psychiatric drug experience. I would do everything possible to get off these drugs safely over the coming weeks / months, so you can have a wonderful life without having to go through this for decades like many of us. 

 

Try to learn some ways of self soothing, such as mindfulness or gentle yoga. This is a very unfortunate experience for you and I'm sorry you're having to deal with it while also caring for a new baby, but these symptoms will pass. 

 

I just googled some mindfulness meditations for new moms and found this one:

 

Postpartum Meditation from Mama and Baby Love

 

If you don't like this one, there are many others out there. The more you can surround yourself with calming experiences, the more your nervous system will heal. 


Locked up and forced onto drugs as a teenager - misdiagnosed manic depressive.
Developed dependency and stayed on cocktails of drugs for nearly 30 years.

My Intro: Shep's Journey

Last drug cocktail: Seroquel, Halcion, Klonopin, Sonata, Vibrydd, and Dexetrine

After 30 years of polydrug use, completely med free May 22, 2015.

Remaining symptoms: dp/dr with memory problems and insomnia

 

I am not a medical professional, and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs. 

 

 


#113 Stephygrrl

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 06:12 AM

I am still so scared to reinstate again after my initial reactions that caused me to stop the reinstatement on Sunday. My current symptoms are nausea (mainly morning) shakes (all day) inner restlessness (first half of day-gets better at night) anxiety, waves of panic throughout the day (gets better in evening, then restarts in the middle of the night), and insomnia. Will these go away if I don't reinstate lexapro? It was poison to me from the start and I forced myself to keep going on it for a month before stopping. That's why I am so hesitant.

May 2015-October 2015-Lexapro 20 mg fast taper due to pregnancy-no issues

Feb 2017-Zoloft 25 mg, too anxious/digestive issues (on for 3 weeks), switched to Lexapro 10mg, Mild serotonin syndrome from mixing lex with trazodone 2 weeks into Lexapro, body could no longer handle 10mg. Reduced to 5mg, then to 2.5, then stopped all together after 2 weeks on lex as I couldn't handle the agitation. 

March 2017-Seroquel-1 dose for sleep-panic and heart racing-discontinued

March 2017-Put back on 2.5 mg of Lex to titrate up slowly. 2.5 for 10 days, up to 5 for 5 days, dark thoughts, agitation, insomnia, reduced back down to 2.5mg and dr added remeron 7.5mg for sleep. Could not tolerate the two together (felt like ants in my head), so stopped Lexapro. Was good for 10 days then wd set in....nausea, shakiness, anxiety, complete insomnia.

 


#114 Shep

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 06:36 AM

I hear your fear about a possible adverse reaction. That's totally understandable. Unfortunately, the first few days of a start-up for a reinstatement can come with a lot of symptoms that may not settle down for at least 4 days to a week. And since these symptoms include anxiety and insomnia, it's very hard to tell if what you're going through is an adverse reaction or if your nervous system will eventually adjust to the drug and allow you to do a slow and moderately comfortable taper.

 

And to make it even more confusing, you've been using varying doses of Klonopin, which makes it harder to know exactly how you were adjusting to the reinstatement. Not only could the Klonopin be masking an adverse reaction to the Lexapro, but at the same time, Klonopin may be contributing to the anxiety and insomnia due to rebound Klonopin symptoms. 

 

My advice is if you do decide to reinstate again, to give yourself a full week to adjust and to keep your benzo use very consistent so you can gauge your symptoms more accurately. 

 

But if you feel the symptoms on Lexapro are too severe, then reinstatement may not be a good option for you. 

 

Please do work on some ways of self-soothing, such as the video I linked in my previous post. Whether you reinstate or not, it's good to have ways of calming down your very sensitive nervous system. 


Locked up and forced onto drugs as a teenager - misdiagnosed manic depressive.
Developed dependency and stayed on cocktails of drugs for nearly 30 years.

My Intro: Shep's Journey

Last drug cocktail: Seroquel, Halcion, Klonopin, Sonata, Vibrydd, and Dexetrine

After 30 years of polydrug use, completely med free May 22, 2015.

Remaining symptoms: dp/dr with memory problems and insomnia

 

I am not a medical professional, and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs. 

 

 


#115 Stephygrrl

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 07:09 AM

What will happen if I don't reinstate? I have been off now for about 4 weeks with these symptoms. The remeron has masked some, but they are still in the background.

May 2015-October 2015-Lexapro 20 mg fast taper due to pregnancy-no issues

Feb 2017-Zoloft 25 mg, too anxious/digestive issues (on for 3 weeks), switched to Lexapro 10mg, Mild serotonin syndrome from mixing lex with trazodone 2 weeks into Lexapro, body could no longer handle 10mg. Reduced to 5mg, then to 2.5, then stopped all together after 2 weeks on lex as I couldn't handle the agitation. 

March 2017-Seroquel-1 dose for sleep-panic and heart racing-discontinued

March 2017-Put back on 2.5 mg of Lex to titrate up slowly. 2.5 for 10 days, up to 5 for 5 days, dark thoughts, agitation, insomnia, reduced back down to 2.5mg and dr added remeron 7.5mg for sleep. Could not tolerate the two together (felt like ants in my head), so stopped Lexapro. Was good for 10 days then wd set in....nausea, shakiness, anxiety, complete insomnia.

 


#116 JanCarol

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 07:24 AM

Ok Stephy - 

 

you didn't give the reinstatement enough time.

 

What will happen if you don't reinstate?

 

I don't know.  What will happen if you reinstate?  I don't know.

 

In my experience, you will have a rougher ride if you don't reinstate.  Reinstatement (if you can survive the first week) gives you the chance to control your symptoms somewhat before you taper.

 

Are you breastfeeding?  This could be important in the decision to reinstate.  While 0.5 mg Lexapro is still a very low dose of the drug (and doctors would laugh and say "No worries,") - you still would be feeding your baby some of the Lexapro, as all of these drugs pass through the milk.

 

Same with the klonopin, and the remeron.

 

1.  Please tell us how much klonopin you take, and when.

2.  Please revise your klonopin dosage so that you take the same dose at the same time every day.  Klonopin has a half life of over 24 hours, so one dose a day should be fine, especially since you aren't a long term user.

3.  Keep notes of your symptoms and patterns.  If you take klonopin at night, when are you most anxious?  Do you take it at the same time as the remeron?

4.  Please do not bounce doses - do not change doses of klonopin and remeron.

5.  It is still not too late to reinstate.  After you have taken the klonopin at the same time, same dose, every day for a week, you can try to reinstate the Lexapro again, which seems to be your main problem.  It may be exacerbated by uneven doses of klonopin, but Lexapro is very strong, and it is probably what your body is craving.  If you are afraid of 0.5 mg, can you take 0.25 mg?  If you do reinstate, you may have to be uncomfortable for a week before you settle.  Some people didn't settle into their reinstatement for a month, because they were so destabilized by multiple drug changes.

 

You are asking the same questions over and over.  We can only give the same answers so many times.

 

If you feel anxious, if you feel you are asking the same question again, re-read your thread to see if we have already answered it.  Re-read the links, and see if there is something new that helps you understand the same questions from a different angle.  

 

You've gotten a look in from Alto, and she said the same things Shep and Mamma and I are saying:  we need to know your klonopin is taken at a stable dose, at the same time, every day.  We need to know when your symptoms are hitting in relation to when you take your doses. 

 

The problem is caused by drugs - the answer will not be found in more drugs, so please resist new prescriptions, and resist tampering with supplements.  All of these are potentially destabilising.  The only supplements we recommend are:  Magnesium and Omega-3 fish oil.  The answers to your anxiety are in yourself, your perceptions of your anxiety.

 

Atlantic: I am Excited! Turn Anxiety into Excitement

 

You can do this, and it does get better!  You will need to be patient, and learn to accept and mindfully examine your symptoms - with curiosity.  Breathe, and you can do this.


"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.

 

Currently Lithium Orotate 1.67 mg only.  I will re-evaluate this supplement in 2017.

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!


#117 Stephygrrl

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 08:05 AM

Currently I am taking klonopin .25 at 8pm and remeron at 9:30 pm. It is not enough to help me sleep though. I also take melatonin.

To help me sleep through this ride, would it be ok to increase klonopin to .5 and then taper that later?

At night my anxiety hits and wakes me at 3:30am almost on the dot. I have read a lot about cortisol and was wondering the best way to control those surges. I have good sleep hygiene and a dark room.

May 2015-October 2015-Lexapro 20 mg fast taper due to pregnancy-no issues

Feb 2017-Zoloft 25 mg, too anxious/digestive issues (on for 3 weeks), switched to Lexapro 10mg, Mild serotonin syndrome from mixing lex with trazodone 2 weeks into Lexapro, body could no longer handle 10mg. Reduced to 5mg, then to 2.5, then stopped all together after 2 weeks on lex as I couldn't handle the agitation. 

March 2017-Seroquel-1 dose for sleep-panic and heart racing-discontinued

March 2017-Put back on 2.5 mg of Lex to titrate up slowly. 2.5 for 10 days, up to 5 for 5 days, dark thoughts, agitation, insomnia, reduced back down to 2.5mg and dr added remeron 7.5mg for sleep. Could not tolerate the two together (felt like ants in my head), so stopped Lexapro. Was good for 10 days then wd set in....nausea, shakiness, anxiety, complete insomnia.

 


#118 Stephygrrl

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 09:07 AM

Where I am struggling is the whole kindled theory. My brain is kindled that's for sure. Wouldn't another reinstatement be a recipe for disaster?

May 2015-October 2015-Lexapro 20 mg fast taper due to pregnancy-no issues

Feb 2017-Zoloft 25 mg, too anxious/digestive issues (on for 3 weeks), switched to Lexapro 10mg, Mild serotonin syndrome from mixing lex with trazodone 2 weeks into Lexapro, body could no longer handle 10mg. Reduced to 5mg, then to 2.5, then stopped all together after 2 weeks on lex as I couldn't handle the agitation. 

March 2017-Seroquel-1 dose for sleep-panic and heart racing-discontinued

March 2017-Put back on 2.5 mg of Lex to titrate up slowly. 2.5 for 10 days, up to 5 for 5 days, dark thoughts, agitation, insomnia, reduced back down to 2.5mg and dr added remeron 7.5mg for sleep. Could not tolerate the two together (felt like ants in my head), so stopped Lexapro. Was good for 10 days then wd set in....nausea, shakiness, anxiety, complete insomnia.

 


#119 JanCarol

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 08:36 AM

Hey Stephy - 

 

How much melatonin are you taking?  We often find that the 5 mg (common dose) is too high.  Melatonin is a trigger, not a "drug," or herb or even amino.  It's a hormone.  All you need to take is enough to trigger sleep.  Too much can cause side effects and paradoxical reactions.  Some people do quite well on 0.25 mg.   http://survivinganti...onin-for-sleep/

 

Also, it is important to take your melatonin and lie down in the dark.  No last minute things to get done before bed. No phone.  No computer.   Lie down.  In the dark.   This gives the "trigger" effect of melatonin a chance to work.

 

There are a lot of things to help with sleep, you can read here:

Important Topics about Symptoms Including Sleep Problems

http://survivinganti...rawal-insomnia/

 

Okay.  Kindling.  I'm not the brightest tool in the shed, so mostly all I can say is that it's complicated.

 

Rhiannon said it like this:

Rhi's description of healing the brain

 

 

A lot of people, including healthcare practitioners; in fact, I guess, most people-- are operating from entirely the wrong paradigm, or way of thinking, about these meds. They're thinking of them like aspirin--as something that has an effect when it's in your system, and then when it gets out of your system the effect goes away.

 

That's not what happens with medications that alter neurotransmitter function, we are learning.

What happens when you change the chemistry of the brain is, the brain adjusts its chemistry and structure to try to return to homeostasis, or biochemical and functional balance. It tries to restabilize the chemistry. 

For example: SSRI antidepressants work as "serotonin reuptake inhibitors." That is, they cause serotonin to remain in the space between neurons, rather than being taken back up into the cells to be re-used, like it would be in a normal healthy nondrugged brain.

So the brain, which wants to re-establish normal signaling and function, adapts to the higher level of serotonin between neurons (in the "synapse", the space between neurons where signals get passed along). It does this by removing serotonin receptors, so that the signal is reduced and changed to something closer to normal. It also decreases the amount of serotonin it produces overall. 

To do that, genes have to be turned on and off; new proteins have to be made; whole cascades of chemical reactions have to be changed, which means turning on and off OTHER genes; cells are destroyed, new cells are made; in other words, a complex physiologic remodeling takes place. This takes place over time. The brain does not grow and change rapidly. 

This is a vast oversimplification of the amount of adaptation that takes place in the brain when we change its normal chemistry, but that's the principle.

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay.

When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse.

SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. 

It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. 

I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long. 

With multiple drugs and a history of drug changes and cold turkeys, all of this becomes even more complicated. And if a person is started on these kinds of drugs at an early age before the brain has ever completely established normal mature functioning--well, it can't be good. (All of which is why I recommend an extremely slow taper particularly to anyone with a multiple drug history, a history of many years on meds, a history of past cold turkeys or frequent med changes, and a history of being put on drugs at a young age.)

This isn't intended to scare people, but hopefully to give you some idea of what's happening, and to help you respect and understand the process so you can work with it; ALSO, because you are likely to encounter many, many people who still believe these drugs work kind of like aspirin, or a glass of wine, and all you need to do is stop and get it out of your system. 

Now you can explain to them that no, getting it out of your system is not the issue; the issue is, you need to regrow or at least remodel your brain. This is a long, slow, very poorly understood process, and it needs to be respected.

 

 

That goes along quite well with my understanding, too.  (that's pretty much where I learned it, too.  Rhiannon is awesome!)

 

Tapering too fast ripped your roses right off the lattice and they are in a tangled heap on the ground (withdrawal, kindling).  A reinstatement puts back a small piece of lattice so that your roses can reshape themselves while they heal, without all of the pressure of the tangled heap.

 

Your 2.5 mg reinstatement was probably too much lattice and stirred things up.  So it is impossible to tell if you would have had a successful 0.5 mg reinstatement or not.

 

What you do with a kindled brain, is keep it stable, simple.  (KISS, SA style):  3 KIS's Keep It Simple, Slow, Stable

 

If you can survive on just the mirtazapine and the klonopin, then - awesome.

 

But what I'm hearing from you is that your symptoms are still quite strong, and that you might benefit from a slow, stable, tiny reinstatement.

 

Same doses, same time, every day.  (and careful with that melatonin!)

 

I hope you see the sun (and your baby's smile!) today.


"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.

 

Currently Lithium Orotate 1.67 mg only.  I will re-evaluate this supplement in 2017.

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!






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