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Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)


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#37 Pokeshaw

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 01:40 PM

I too have been tapering off Lexapro and have found that i really have to do a very slow taper.

originally i did a too fast taper (didnt know any of the possible dangers) and stayed off for several months - i got very very sick as the months wore on and had to go on disability for 3 months.

it has been a long road but now that i am following the advice here i have been taking a compounded version that i get from a pharmacy near me and doing 10% tapers and holding for at least a month.

my most recent taper from 0.55 mg to 0.5 mg was tolerable for about 3 weeks but then the w/d symptoms hit. they have evened out now but i will stay at 0.5 mg for at least another month and my next taper will be 5%.  What i feel i am dealing with is balancing withdrawal symptoms with side effects. it seems that since i waited several months to reinstate i am now very sensitive to the medication.

I am and will be forever grateful for the advice i find here!

 

Pokeshaw in Bklyn


7 yrs Lexapro 10 mg. Mar/2011 - 1 month taper. Severe W/D. Multiple symptoms.Gallbladder and parathyroid surgery in Aug and Oct. Disability 3 months.  Dec/2011 reinstated 5mg Lex and went back to work. very bad shape.

By Aug/2012 - self tapered to 1.25 mg cutting pills. -very bad shape. Nov/2012  Dr. Hinz neuro-replete. up and down. Aug/2013 at aprox 1.0 mg Lex stopped neuro-replete

~Oct 2013 Found this site :) ~ began using compounded Lexapro and have been tapering since then as below.

 

11/6/13 - .6___12/20/13 -.55 ___ 02/6/14 -.5 ___ 05/15/14 -.485  ___ 10/10/14 -.48

10/31/14 -.475___ 03/25/15 -.470___ 05/15/15 -.465 ___ 06/13/15 -.46___ 07/30/15 -.455

9/18/15: 0.450 mg ___10/23/15: 0.445 mg___11/14/15: 0.440___12/6/15: 0.435___12/22/15: .430___01/08/16: .425

01/18/16 -.42___01/31/16 -.415___02/18/16 -.41___03/15/16 -.405___06/18/16 - .36___10/10/16 - .355___01/01/17 - .320

 

Dec 2014 started seeing Dr. Kelly Brogan. doing one B12 injection per month.  eating basically Paleo diet - following 'Perfect Health Diet' guidelines but no dairy. No supplements. cannot tolerate. Occasionally work with pluralist homeopath as tolerated.


#38 areyouthere

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 02:12 PM

Don't feel bad  Pokeshaw , I am very sensitive as well. I only have 4 mg to go to get to my target of 10 mg, and after a 4 month hold will START with no more than a 5 % cut and likely more like 3 % to feel things out. 

 

Even if it takes me 6 months or more, if I can do it without having to tolerate the symptoms after each cut for too long a period ( MAYBE 1.5 weeks at MOST) accompanied then by a month hold after stabilizing from each taper, will be happy with that.

 

That may even put me beyond 6 months but at this point I really would rather go slowly and feel decent than hurry up and suffer. I guess it's about quality of life. I just don't want to waste the time I've been given on this earth anymore than I already have by being numbed by these damn drugs.. and of course by life's circumstances.

 

It seems that many of us here had sucky childhoods…. I'd like to think I CAN get it back by starting a second one ( childhood) … just in a different form I guess.

 

RU :)


Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone
1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.
b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]
2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax
November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b
Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax
My mantra " go slow & with the flow "
3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.
10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.
1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.
1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

#39 bubble

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:20 PM

that's such a nice thought dear RU! yes, we all should treat ourselves to a nice second childhood and take good care of ourselves now when we have become our own primary care givers.

 

no more excuses for bad care ;) being slow with the taper is one example of a good care...

 

big hug,

 

bubble


Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 (19 yrs)
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000.-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding, significant relief after 2 weeks
9.11. introduced liquid Xanax: 0.4 mg every 5 hours including a night dose

28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6 and 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax

9 month hold

24 Sept 4.​5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 


#40 qtnPls

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 02:48 AM

Thank you again for this article and all comments.
Please to consider this question.

How about tapering off Escitalopram by switching to Citalopram - oldest racemic form of the drug, rather than to e.g. Prosac? As suggested in both wikipedia articles.
(C.f. wikipedia article, stereochemistry:" Citalopram is ... consisting of 50% ®-(−)-citalopram and 50% (S)-(+)-citalopram. Only the (S)-(+) enantiomer has the desired antidepressant effect.". C.f. also the article on
http://en.m.wikipedi...nd treatement!)

- As Citalopram contains precisely the same molecule as Escitalopram (with lower potency, higher half-life which is suitable property when tappering)!

- Citalopram has already widely available generics (economical point)!

How we are supposed to do that the "right way":
- is it trully required to really double the initial escitalopram dose e.g. when switching from 10mg Escitalopram to Citalopram taking firstly 20mg than gradually tapering?
(I am afraid doing so as I have serious doubts regarding the effect of the 50% ®-(−)-citalopram (told to has not the "desired antidepressant effect", it has someways some effect on my brain).

- What is the most probable effect of the 50% ®-(−)-citalopram (the "not desired antidepressant effect")?

Please to help with advice!

my case: I was really stable before trying to taper off Escitalopram, but when doing so by 50% tapering - simply cutting the pill or taking one pill every 2 (few) days, untollerable w.d. symptoms appeared. Escitalopram prescription for teatement of a kind of Seasonal Sleep Desorder (once again) and ordinary life management issues rather than a trully depressif episode.

#41 qtnPls

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 02:56 AM

Please see with my previous post/question:

http://en.m.wikipedi...uation_syndrome

Prevention and treatement:

" ...When discontinuing an SSRI with a short half-life, switching to a drug with a longer half-life (e.g. fluoxetine or citalopram) and then discontinuing from that can decrease the likelihood and severity of withdrawal syndrome.[18]"

#42 Altostrata

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 08:36 AM

Switching to another drug, such as Prozac or citalopram, to taper incurs an additional risk -- sometimes the switch does not work and you end up with worse withdrawal symptoms. You can have withdrawal symptoms from one drug even though you're taking another.
 
Because of the additional risk, we recommend attempting a gradual direct taper from the drug before trying a switch. Lexapro comes in a liquid so you can taper very, very gradually if you need to.
 
Citalopram is a close relative of Lexapro  (escilatopram). Celexa has a half-life of about 35 hours. Lexapro's half-life is about the same, so no advantage there.
 
Also see this topic The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac
This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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#43 qtnPls

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 10:57 AM

Altosrata,
could you please advice about the specific case when switching to another SSRI or drug in order to taper off Escitalopram become considerable options.

(E.g. long staying in a country where my social security/insurance provide no more support, difficult access to health centres and escitalopram etc.)

As in this article (wikipedia, note [18]) both Citalopram and Fluoxetine are suggested when tappering off other SSRI:
could you please advise on the advantages/disadvantages of both options in the specific case of Escitalopram.

Is the longer half-life of Fluoxetin is the specific propertie that "guaranties" more-tolerable w.d. symptoms if any?

Or, it will be interesting to keep providing one only SSRI molecule to the brain in order to avoid one more indesirable new tolerance/side effect due to the new med. - in case when Escitalopram would be switched to Citalopram?
Even if it will take longer than Escitalopram to Fluoxetine switch?

(I couldn't have any issue trying to mesure and tapper of my doses or preparing my one liquid of escitalopram if I can find any, but it's still not the case.)

#44 Altostrata

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 11:14 AM

The risks and benefits of "bridging" are listed here  The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac
 
They apply to a switch to citalopram or escilatopram as well as fluoxetine.
 
If a switch to Prozac or fluoxetine is successful -- that is, does not cause withdrawal symptoms from the original drug -- a careful taper off fluoxetine usually, but not always, has less risk of withdrawal symptoms. However, one might still develop withdrawal symptoms going off fluoxetine. None of these bridging strategies is risk-free.
 
A direct taper from the drug to which your nervous system is accustomed ("the devil you know") carries less risk than a switch to a new drug ("the devil you don't know"). The risk of a switch is justified if you find tapering from the original drug is simply too difficult. Many people with failed tapers from venlafaxine (Effexor), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), paroxetine (Paxil), and duloxetine (Cymbalta) find they need to bridge in order to go off the drug.
 
If you're thinking of switching as a matter of convenience, you need to weigh the risk of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire against the amount of convenience you would gain.

qtnPls, please start a topic for yourself in the Introductions forum to discuss your particular situation.
This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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#45 LexAnger

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 04:09 PM

Hi Lilu,

 

I had exact experience as you did! only that passing 2mg is the fatal turning point.

 

I iwll add you as my friend see if we can share more with each other.


2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.
2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg
2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain
2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain; Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg, first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain
2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg, slight improvement with pain
2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on
2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.
2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR
2016 Feb., started fast taper for the drug toxicity caused by the one dose of 4.2mg, dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday
2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg
2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.5mg

#46 MissTrish

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 07:59 AM

After reading all of this, I will admit I feel very discouraged.  I'm currently at 2.5 mg, and just picked up a new prescription for 10 mg pills last week.  I talked to a compounding pharmacy - they would need a new prescription to make me a solution, and warned me that insurance likely would not cover it.  It would be another month before I could get a prescription in any case, and I'm not even sure if my ins would cover the liquid form.

 

I've read all the instructions on making your own liquid, and it just boggles my mind.  I am having some pretty strong brain fog and it looks like making your own w/Lexapro just isn't that easy in any case.

 

I guess I am stuck at 2.5 for another month at least.

 

Thanks for letting me vent!


1986-2005:  Limbitrol (15 Librium/ 50 Elavil combo) 1986-2005, 2005-successfully tapered Librium

January of 2009-2011:  Mirtazapine 30 mg; Cymbalta 60 mg; tapered cymbalta fall/winter of 2011/12

March 2012-March 2014:  Mirtazapine, and various trials of Celexa, Zoloft, Wellbutrin and Lexapro; began Lexapro taper

9/18/14-Lexapro .7 mg; Mirtazapine 30 mg; 9/29/14 ditched Lexapro; added 25 mg Nortryptyline began mirtazapine taper

11/4/14:  Mirtazapine 15 mg; Nortryptyline about 12.5 mg; 1/17/15:  Mirtazapine 7.5 mg; Nortryptyline 2.5 mg, then jumped nortryptyline.

2/10:  Mirtazapine 1.875, 2/11:  Re-established at 6.75, 3/19-6.0 mg, 4/9-5.8, 4/17-6.3; 4/21 tried to re-establish at 7.5

4/23/15-Back to 5.8; 5/5-5.1mg; 5/16-4.6 mg; 5/24-4.2 mg; 6/2-3.9 mg; 6/9-3.6 mg; 6/16-3.3 mg; 6/23-3 mg

6/28-2.8 mg; 7/2-2.5 mg; 7/4-Jumped, due to increased misery from the drug itself.

In a spell of panic due to agitation and insomnia, went through a few days each of 10, then 5 mg amitryptyline and 5 mg librium. Did not work out well. Horrible insomnia now.


#47 Altostrata

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 10:22 AM

It's not that difficult. For example, you can find something that will measure 50mL of water, in which you can dissolve a 10mg tablet.

 

Then you need an oral syringe that will enable you to take out 25% (2.5mg), or 12.5mL of liquid.

 

Lexapro comes in a liquid, you cannot get a prescription for that? Any doctor can write the prescription, it doesn't have to be a psychiatrist.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#48 MissTrish

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 10:33 AM

Well, I can possibly get one from my GP but not for another month, because I just got this one filled.  I will have to see if my plan covers the liquid.  

Thank you!


1986-2005:  Limbitrol (15 Librium/ 50 Elavil combo) 1986-2005, 2005-successfully tapered Librium

January of 2009-2011:  Mirtazapine 30 mg; Cymbalta 60 mg; tapered cymbalta fall/winter of 2011/12

March 2012-March 2014:  Mirtazapine, and various trials of Celexa, Zoloft, Wellbutrin and Lexapro; began Lexapro taper

9/18/14-Lexapro .7 mg; Mirtazapine 30 mg; 9/29/14 ditched Lexapro; added 25 mg Nortryptyline began mirtazapine taper

11/4/14:  Mirtazapine 15 mg; Nortryptyline about 12.5 mg; 1/17/15:  Mirtazapine 7.5 mg; Nortryptyline 2.5 mg, then jumped nortryptyline.

2/10:  Mirtazapine 1.875, 2/11:  Re-established at 6.75, 3/19-6.0 mg, 4/9-5.8, 4/17-6.3; 4/21 tried to re-establish at 7.5

4/23/15-Back to 5.8; 5/5-5.1mg; 5/16-4.6 mg; 5/24-4.2 mg; 6/2-3.9 mg; 6/9-3.6 mg; 6/16-3.3 mg; 6/23-3 mg

6/28-2.8 mg; 7/2-2.5 mg; 7/4-Jumped, due to increased misery from the drug itself.

In a spell of panic due to agitation and insomnia, went through a few days each of 10, then 5 mg amitryptyline and 5 mg librium. Did not work out well. Horrible insomnia now.


#49 Altostrata

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 11:57 AM

You may wish to stay at 2.5mg for the month or make your own liquid to taper.

 

Technically, if your doctor writes another prescription with different dosing instructions, your insurance company should cover it. For example, if your prior prescription says "take a 10mg tablet each day" and your new prescription says "take 2.5mg liquid each day," the new one should be covered.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#50 MissTrish

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:01 PM

Oh that's good info to hear!  I did not know that.

And you may be right on the dosing - sometimes I just get stuck in that 'want to feel better right now' mindset.

I am learning that this is not realistic and it's not reality.  This is my life right now; I have to learn to live in it, wherever I am.

I just don't always do it that well.


1986-2005:  Limbitrol (15 Librium/ 50 Elavil combo) 1986-2005, 2005-successfully tapered Librium

January of 2009-2011:  Mirtazapine 30 mg; Cymbalta 60 mg; tapered cymbalta fall/winter of 2011/12

March 2012-March 2014:  Mirtazapine, and various trials of Celexa, Zoloft, Wellbutrin and Lexapro; began Lexapro taper

9/18/14-Lexapro .7 mg; Mirtazapine 30 mg; 9/29/14 ditched Lexapro; added 25 mg Nortryptyline began mirtazapine taper

11/4/14:  Mirtazapine 15 mg; Nortryptyline about 12.5 mg; 1/17/15:  Mirtazapine 7.5 mg; Nortryptyline 2.5 mg, then jumped nortryptyline.

2/10:  Mirtazapine 1.875, 2/11:  Re-established at 6.75, 3/19-6.0 mg, 4/9-5.8, 4/17-6.3; 4/21 tried to re-establish at 7.5

4/23/15-Back to 5.8; 5/5-5.1mg; 5/16-4.6 mg; 5/24-4.2 mg; 6/2-3.9 mg; 6/9-3.6 mg; 6/16-3.3 mg; 6/23-3 mg

6/28-2.8 mg; 7/2-2.5 mg; 7/4-Jumped, due to increased misery from the drug itself.

In a spell of panic due to agitation and insomnia, went through a few days each of 10, then 5 mg amitryptyline and 5 mg librium. Did not work out well. Horrible insomnia now.


#51 Altostrata

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:05 PM

Join the club!


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#52 Lilu

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:00 PM

Well, I can possibly get one from my GP but not for another month, because I just got this one filled.  I will have to see if my plan covers the liquid.  

Thank you!

Even medicaid, which is like the worst insurance you can have, filled a prescription for liquid generic Lexapro immediately after I filled one for 5 mg tablets.  These prescriptions do not conflict each other, because if the doctor decides that you need liquid then they have to fill it. Even if you filled one for tablets the day before.

 

Really no need to make your own. The liquid is a little sweet and I have my pharmacist add some red food coloring in it, so that it's easier to see in the bottle.


2005-2008 Effexor xr; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit.
7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor xr due to crying spells.
2009-3/2013 Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013 Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014 Tapering Lexapro
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia, resumed using Ambien & Klonopin
12/2014-6/2015 Tried Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron - Adverse Reactions
7/2015 Reinstated Lexapro at 2 mg; Quit Klonopin CT suddenly paradoxical)
Started Gabapentin 100-300 mg for 3 weeks. Developed severe lumbar jerking movements (myoclonus).Quit Gabapentin CT.
8/2015 Continuing Lexapro 2 mg. Baclofen 10mg-AM/20mg-PM - tapered off by 5/2016
1-7/2016 Lexapro 5 mg 
Intro page: http://survivinganti...rsened-by-meds/


#53 areyouthere

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 01:42 PM

It seems that Lundbeck has indefinitely suspended manufacturing an oral solution for lexapro, also known as Cipralex. This is unfortunate as I have only one 15 ml bottle of 10 mg/ ml solution and its expiration date is August 2014. 

 

I suspect that it will suffice for the rest of my taper but I would feel better if I could get more. That bottle was only $40. 

 

I purchase my lexapro from a Canadian pharmacy… they get it from a Lundbeck plant in Turkey. 

 

The reason I purchase from Canada is that it is much cheaper ..even WITH insurance. I cannot tolerate the generic. 

 

From what I can gather none of the Canadian pharmacies can get their hands on it. 

 

Does anyone know of another manufacturer of the BRAND lexapro? 

 

Also… I do wonder why they have stopped making it….

 

RU

 

 


Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone
1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.
b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]
2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax
November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b
Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax
My mantra " go slow & with the flow "
3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.
10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.
1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.
1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

#54 MissTrish

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 07:51 AM

Oh no!  I just started the oral, this morning at 2 mg!


1986-2005:  Limbitrol (15 Librium/ 50 Elavil combo) 1986-2005, 2005-successfully tapered Librium

January of 2009-2011:  Mirtazapine 30 mg; Cymbalta 60 mg; tapered cymbalta fall/winter of 2011/12

March 2012-March 2014:  Mirtazapine, and various trials of Celexa, Zoloft, Wellbutrin and Lexapro; began Lexapro taper

9/18/14-Lexapro .7 mg; Mirtazapine 30 mg; 9/29/14 ditched Lexapro; added 25 mg Nortryptyline began mirtazapine taper

11/4/14:  Mirtazapine 15 mg; Nortryptyline about 12.5 mg; 1/17/15:  Mirtazapine 7.5 mg; Nortryptyline 2.5 mg, then jumped nortryptyline.

2/10:  Mirtazapine 1.875, 2/11:  Re-established at 6.75, 3/19-6.0 mg, 4/9-5.8, 4/17-6.3; 4/21 tried to re-establish at 7.5

4/23/15-Back to 5.8; 5/5-5.1mg; 5/16-4.6 mg; 5/24-4.2 mg; 6/2-3.9 mg; 6/9-3.6 mg; 6/16-3.3 mg; 6/23-3 mg

6/28-2.8 mg; 7/2-2.5 mg; 7/4-Jumped, due to increased misery from the drug itself.

In a spell of panic due to agitation and insomnia, went through a few days each of 10, then 5 mg amitryptyline and 5 mg librium. Did not work out well. Horrible insomnia now.


#55 areyouthere

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 02:26 PM

MissTrish… you likely got about a 250 oz bottle or something? In the US. I  believe it IS possible to get it in that amount in the US. I just don't want to go that route.

 

Don't fret. I'm still researching...

 

RU :)


Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone
1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.
b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]
2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax
November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b
Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax
My mantra " go slow & with the flow "
3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.
10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.
1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.
1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

#56 Altostrata

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 02:47 PM

Lexapro is manufactured by Forest Labs.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#57 Beetlebabe

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:06 AM

After reading these posts about tapering, is it possible then, to taper off of Lexapro without experiencing withdrawal symptoms? And also, I'm wondering that if you get to the end and you have been having no withdrawals, but then you start experiencing withdrawals after you completely stop taking the med, then do you go back on, or just wait it out to see if the symptoms will subside? When do you know you are finally able to completely stop, because there are no more withdrawal symptoms?
1987-1988 - severe depression after 4th child, was put on a med that has since discontinued, but worked (don't remember the name)
1993 - Zoloft, no success
1993 - 1999 - Prozac (with Zoloft for sleteping), stopped meds cause got pregnant, no extreme withdrawal, then after baby was born back on Prozac
1999 - quit Prozac, cold turkey, no withdrawal
2002 - Cymbalta, no success
2002 - present - Lexapro, 20 mil, Xanex, as needed for anxiety, Ambien, 12.5 mil, Quit Xanex a couple of months after starting Lexapro
2014 - stopped ambien
March 2015- started weaning off of Lexapro, ( down 15 from 20). 2 months in starting to experience withdrawal symptoms of depression, some anxiety and heart palpitations. General malaise. Going to try to continue w/o increasing

#58 Altostrata

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:16 AM

It is possible to taper off Lexapro with minimal withdrawal difficulty. It's best to go slow rather than count on reinstating after you're off to quell withdrawal symptoms. Reinstatement sometimes does not work very well.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#59 LexAnger

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:20 AM

Hi alto, I tried to understand the 2-4 times potency of lex from reading the linked in your initial post on this topic. I failed find the information from there. Could you please point me to it? Many thanks!
2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.
2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg
2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain
2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain; Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg, first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain
2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg, slight improvement with pain
2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on
2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.
2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR
2016 Feb., started fast taper for the drug toxicity caused by the one dose of 4.2mg, dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday
2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg
2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.5mg

#60 Altostrata

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:29 AM

It looks like the Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia...ki/Escitalopram has been revised.

Escitalopram increases intrasynaptic levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitter into the presynaptic neuron. Of the SSRIs currently on the market, escitalopram has the highest affinity for the human serotonin transporter (SERT). The enantiomer of escitalopram (®-citalopram) counteracts to a certain degree the serotonin-enhancing action of escitalopram. As a result, escitalopram has been claimed to be a more potent antidepressant than citalopram, which is a racemic mixture of the two enantiomers. In order to explain this phenomenon, researchers from Lundbeck proposed that escitalopram enhances its own binding via an additional interaction with another allosteric site on the transporter.[45] Further research by the same group showed that ®-citalopram also enhances binding of escitalopram,[46] and therefore the allosteric interaction cannot explain the observed counteracting effect. In the most recent paper, however, the same authors again reversed their findings and reported that ®-citalopram decreases binding of escitalopram to the transporter.[47] Although allosteric binding of escitalopram to the serotonin transporter is of unquestionable research interest, its clinical relevance is unclear since the binding of escitalopram to the allosteric site is at least 1000 times weaker than to the primary binding site.

 


It was originally claimed that the molecular tweak to citalopram to create escilatopram made escilatopram stronger. Now, it is not clear what makes escilatopram stronger than the original citalopram.

 

My own personal experience is that escilatopram is indeed much, much stronger than paroxetine.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#61 Beetlebabe

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:48 AM

Thank you Altostrata. So I guess I know I'm successful if after the last dose, there are no more withdrawal symptoms? Or if there are, just wait it out to see if they stop? I guess I'm wondering when to know I've been successful?
1987-1988 - severe depression after 4th child, was put on a med that has since discontinued, but worked (don't remember the name)
1993 - Zoloft, no success
1993 - 1999 - Prozac (with Zoloft for sleteping), stopped meds cause got pregnant, no extreme withdrawal, then after baby was born back on Prozac
1999 - quit Prozac, cold turkey, no withdrawal
2002 - Cymbalta, no success
2002 - present - Lexapro, 20 mil, Xanex, as needed for anxiety, Ambien, 12.5 mil, Quit Xanex a couple of months after starting Lexapro
2014 - stopped ambien
March 2015- started weaning off of Lexapro, ( down 15 from 20). 2 months in starting to experience withdrawal symptoms of depression, some anxiety and heart palpitations. General malaise. Going to try to continue w/o increasing

#62 LexAnger

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:51 PM

Thank you alto for spending time helping out! Due to the severe reaction I am having to lexapro (severe dosing pain everyday last for most of the day and chronic pain all over), I'm considering the possibility of switching to another ssri(Prozac?). If this plan eventually makes sense with more research and consultation, I need to know the equivalent dose between the two. It seems the comparison was mainly between the lex and it's original form.
2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.
2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg
2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain
2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain; Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg, first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain
2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg, slight improvement with pain
2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on
2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.
2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR
2016 Feb., started fast taper for the drug toxicity caused by the one dose of 4.2mg, dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday
2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg
2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.5mg

#63 areyouthere

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 07:54 PM

I have been having more success mixing the liquid lexapro in water and drinking it rather than taking the liquid directly. Just an FYI in case someone is having trouble with the liquid.

 

It made quite a difference for me.


Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone
1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.
b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]
2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax
November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b
Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax
My mantra " go slow & with the flow "
3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.
10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.
1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.
1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

#64 Vivie

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 03:27 PM

Hi, I read about taking escitalopram as a liquid or making your own liquid when you're trying wean off it in very small increments. However, can I just crush the escitalopram and swallow it as a powder if I don't want to do the additional step of putting it in liquid?

 

Thanks for any input!



#65 Altostrata

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 04:05 PM

Hi, Vivie. Have you ever tried swallowing a dry, bad-tasting powder?

 

This is probably not a good idea. Not only might it taste very bad, it might burn your mouth or throat.

 

Please put the powder in a capsule or a liquid.

 

Also, please start a topic for yourself in the Introductions forum. Thank you.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#66 Rhiannon

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 03:11 PM

The other thing with the powder is that it's pretty tricky to control exactly how much you're getting, unless you use an expensive lab quality scale. Most of us don't have that kind of budget.


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease" as I was told. Long and tragic story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything.

 

Now tapering, ironically (but not surprisingly) healthier and more functional than I ever was during the years on the "meds," even with withdrawal (usually fairly mild at this slow pace).

 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 14 2011:   86 mg Neurontin   144 Lamictal,    5.5 Celexa   0.42 Xanax      1.9 mg Valium

Feb 16 2012:   10 mg Neurontin   115 Lamictal     3.7 Celexa   0.285 Xanax     2.0 Valium

Feb 22 2013:   86 Lamictal    2.05 Celexa       0.23 Xanax      1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

Now:                43                    0.625                 0.0775            1.3

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.


#67 Damienpryan

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 05:16 AM

I was hesitant about making a liquid, but found it pretty easy.
I got one of those small brown bottles plus a 10 ml syringe with a curvy plastics tube on the end.
Say for making a 2mg dose I do the following.
Put 2 10 mg tablets in followed by 30 ml water (3 full syringes)
Then I take 3 ml out each day.
The tablets don't fully dissolve, but an emulsion.
I keep it it the fridge.

Been on SSRIs (mainly Lexapro) for around 15 years.

failed attempts to go cold turkey before I got proper info on it.

Over last 2 years I've slowly gone from 20 mg Lexapro to 2.5 mg Lexapro.

on 25th Jan 2015 I've now moved to home made liquid Lexapro.

Plan is to drop roughly 0.2 mg per month over the next 1-2 years.  

25th Jan 2015 2.5 mg Lexapro liquid.

24th Mar 2016 1.0 mg lexapro (crushed tablet mixed and refilled into capsules)

Planned to be at 0.0 mg lexapro by about October 2016. 

I also take 50-100 mg modafinil per day, no short term plans of stopping/tapering modafinil but will re-evaluate after I'm off lexapro. 


#68 ikam

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 09:02 AM

I am puzzled.
I have a liquid form of escitalopram. It is cipralex 20mg oral drops solution, made by Lundbeck.
It is said in the leaflet than 1 drop = 1mg...
How accurate are drops?

If I was using a 1ml syringe how much do I need to take for 5mg?
I tried to get 5drops out, and then pumped it to the syringe, but in the the syringe it was around 2.5mg. Is this correct?

This is so confusing...

I am now at 2.5mg...want to get %5 tapper...

- Started various antidepresants in 1983 (doxepin, amitriptiline, anafranil), always stopped abruptly and then reintroduced; Long term use of benzos since 1983, on and off, in times prolonged use
- 2012 re-started Doxepin 75mg, evening. Atenolol 25mg, twice a day (both as a migraine prevention); Low dose of HRT (Sandrena gel +  Utrogestan 100mg)- evening; Nasal spray Otrivine for about 3 years- evening and morning (Used to abuse nasal spray for years). PPI Omeprazole 40mg-evening

- 24.10.2014- Started escitalopram-first 5mg and then 10mg; 5.01.2015- Escitalopram- 2.5mg (I had an adverse response to escitalopram and doxepin; hence I was decreasing escitalopram faster)

- June 2015- decreased Doxepin from 75mg to 50mg; 28 November- intentional over-dose (doxepin- 250mg). 1-2 April- over-dose 350mg, 17.07.2016 Doxepin 150mg- intentional over-dose(Tendency to overdose when stressed out...)

- 22.07.2016- reduced by 1%, 29.07- reduced by 2%, 2.08- reduced by 3%, 9.08- reduced by 4%. Holding for 5 weeks

- 13.09- reduced by 5%, 20.09- reduced by 6%, 27.09.2016 reduced by 7% , 4.10- reduced by 8% = 2.3mg. Holding for 5 weeks

- 14.11- reduced by 9%, 22.11- reduced by 10% = 2.25mg HOLDING

-20.12- changed my diet and supplements protocol; Ionic Liquid Iron twice 100ml, Liquid Zynk- twice- 50ml, MegaMag Liquid- evening 100ml, Curcumin 600mg x 3 a day Burdock Root + Epsom Baths. Changed diet to Protein one + Veg; Avoiding carbs. Protein Shake (Pure Power Protein Powder by Mercola) + Supergreens + Coconut Oils, Himalayan Salt with lemon


#69 Altostrata

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 12:17 PM

One might always ask a pharmacist questions of this nature, then post here and share the information with the community.

 

Many oral syringes also have markings for drops. They are an old form of liquid measurement.

According to this online converter Drops to Milliliters Conversion Calculator , one drop equals 0.05mL.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#70 Altostrata

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 01:09 PM

Google is a good way to get factual information about measurements.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#71 Ziggy

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 06:55 AM

This thread is unbelievably helpful to me. I had no idea Lexapro was more potent than other SSRI's. My experience is starting to make more sense now 🤕 Thank you, Altostrata.


2000 - Paxil, cannot remember dosage
2001 - 2002 - Effexor
2004 - lexapro, 10 mg
2005 - lexapro, 20 mg
2007 - lexapro, 30 mg and lamictal, 200 mg
2011 - lexapro, 20 mg, lamictal 200mg and Wellbutrin 300 mg
2013 - lexapro 20 mg, slowly taper lamictal to 50 mg, Wellbutrin 300 mg, Ativan .5 mg as needed
2014 - present - taper lexapro from 20 mg to 2.5 mg, lamictal 50 mg, Wellbutrin 300 mg, Ativan .5 mg as needed, klonopin .5 mg 3 times per day

#72 Clio

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 12:08 PM

I am here to thank Altostrata.  Thanks to the advice at the beginning of this thread I was able to totally come off lexpro without experiencing ANY side effects -- other than actually experiencing my emotions, which is all good.  I used the advice to decrease by 10%and kept to that until I got to 2.5 mg.  Then I went down by .5 mg every three weeks until I was at .5 mg.   Then I went to 1 mg daily, then every other day, then every two days, then three.  It did take me about a year to get to this point.  I also used the dietary and supplement advice in the Mood Cure.   I had a rough winter, but I am hoping that next year will be better.  Thanks again, Altostrata!


Fall 2002: Began Lexapro 10 mg for Seasonal Affective Disorder, upped to 20 mg within a few weeks.

About 2008: Tapered to 10 mg with no withdrawal issues.

2008-2015 Multiple attempts to taper from 10 to 7.5 mg; would resume 10mg after about 2-3 weeks when began to feel "jittery."

March 2015: began tapering by 10% increments, using liquid and pill combo with decreases every 3 weeks; at 5 mg began decreasing by .5 mg every three weeks

March 1, 2016: last dose of Lexapro

Supplements currently for mood:  SAMe, l-tyrosine