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Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)


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#73 Altostrata

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 05:58 PM

Thank you, Clio. How long have you been off Lexapro?


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

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#74 LucyLou

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 06:27 PM

Thank you everyone! I decided to do the liquid since it sounded like it was much easier from you all and started on Monday. I just dropped 1 mg and have been feeling fine. I haven't noticed anything. How long will it take to notice the drop if I am going to? How long should I stay here before dropping another 1 mg? 4 weeks seems like such a long time. BTW - The liquid tastes horrible! Any suggestions on taking it?

Just started taking liquid escitalopram. I chase it with water and then salted rice cakes. That soaks up the taste pretty well. I think saltine crackers would work, too. 


History: Was on 20 mg escitalopram & 450 Wellbutrin XL for 10 years and just escitalopram before that. Have been on an SSRI (fluoxetine, citalopram, bupropion, escitalopram, briefly Abilify then Seroquel) for 20 years.2/12/16: Switched from Lexapro to 20 mg nortriptyline (to help with headaches) and stayed on Wellbutrin XL 450.2/14/16: Switched back to escitalopram & discontinued nortriptyline and stayed on Wellbutrin XL 450.3/9/16: Switched to 40 mg fluoxetine and stayed on 450 mg Wellbutrin XL.3/11/16: Switched back to 20 mg escitalopram & 450 Wellbutrin XL.4/1/16: 18 mg escitalopram & 450 mg Wellbutrin XL. 5/4/16: 16 mg escitalopram & 450 mg Wellbutrin XL. 5/25/16: 14 mg Escitalopram & 450 mg Wellbutrin XL.   6/29/16: 12 mg Escitalopram & 450 mg Wellbutrin XL. 8/1/16: 10 mg escitalopram 450 mg Wellbutrin XL. 9/15/16: 9 mg escitalopram & 450 mg Wellbutrin XL. 10/19/16: 8 mg escitalopram & 450 mg Wellbutrin XL. 11/23/16: 7 mg escitalopram & 450 Wellbutrin XL. 11/25/16: 8 mg escitalopram & 450 Wellbutrin XL. 12/7/16: 7.8 mg escitalopram & 450 Wellbutrin XL. 12/14/16: 7.6 mg escitalopram & 450 mg Wellbutrin XL. 1/29/17: 7.8 mg escitalopram & 450 mg Wellbutrin XL.


#75 pete27

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 01:44 PM

In the uk I only think it comes in 20mg/ml ...

 

Can i taper this with the benzos at the same time....also is the dropper accurate ....and how long will it take me to taper it ..


morning on waking  0.5 lorazepam

pm 0.5 lorazepam

6pm 0.35 lorazepam

10pm 2mg Lexapro

12pm 0.3 lorazepam

12pm     2.5     Valium

 

Been Dry Cutting never stable ...constant depression and terror and fear. Nerve pain in the teeth causing gum recession and clenching all the time.

 

Not totally accurate as the 6am and 12pm arent always taken on time as sometimes i don't wake up on time also the 1mg tablet has no score on it so the first two doses can inaccurate.


#76 Altostrata

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 05:53 PM

Tapering more than one drug at a time complicates the process a great deal. We recommend tapering only one drug at a time (usually the antidepressant first).

 

Please consult your pharmacist about the accuracy of your dropper. We recommend an oral syringe for greatest accuracy.

 

Please read further in the Tapering forum -- see Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ and the topics pinned at the top of the forum. Your questions have most likely been answered.


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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#77 pete27

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 01:09 PM

Tapering more than one drug at a time complicates the process a great deal. We recommend tapering only one drug at a time (usually the antidepressant first).

 

Please consult your pharmacist about the accuracy of your dropper. We recommend an oral syringe for greatest accuracy.

 

Please read further in the Tapering forum -- see Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ and the topics pinned at the top of the forum. Your questions have most likely been answered.

pharamcist is clueless... and oral syringe will not do it i would need a pippette....20mg to ml...means would have to take .01 ml


morning on waking  0.5 lorazepam

pm 0.5 lorazepam

6pm 0.35 lorazepam

10pm 2mg Lexapro

12pm 0.3 lorazepam

12pm     2.5     Valium

 

Been Dry Cutting never stable ...constant depression and terror and fear. Nerve pain in the teeth causing gum recession and clenching all the time.

 

Not totally accurate as the 6am and 12pm arent always taken on time as sometimes i don't wake up on time also the 1mg tablet has no score on it so the first two doses can inaccurate.


#78 Altostrata

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 11:08 AM

Read Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques


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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#79 pocketnurse

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 08:04 AM

Hi Pete

 

I am tapering off Lexapro using the 20mg in 1ml solution. I use an insulin syringe as it contains 100 units per mil. For example 1mg of Lexapro equals 5 units on the syringe. It is difficult due to the unit markings being so tiny, I then draw up a bit of water into the syringe and then squrt it into a glass and add some juice or water before drinking it.

 

See if you can get an insulin syringe from the chemist.

 

Good luck

 

Jane



#80 Junglechicken

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 10:11 AM

Jane,

 

I will bend your ear about this on 14th May at our first southwest UK SA meeting, as I need to get to grips with how to prep the liquid dosage.

 

JC x


Feb 2014 -Cipralex/Escitalopram 10mg dailyJune 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 daysSept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering.Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms disappeared over a few days.Have been on this dose ever since and am experiencing "windows" and "waves".Nov 15th 2016 Re-start regular counsellingJan 19th 2017 Start CBT<p>Plan to re-start taper (liquid Cipralex/Escitalopram) Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 4th Jan 2017.

#81 pete27

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 02:47 PM

Hi Pete

 

I am tapering off Lexapro using the 20mg in 1ml solution. I use an insulin syringe as it contains 100 units per mil. For example 1mg of Lexapro equals 5 units on the syringe. It is difficult due to the unit markings being so tiny, I then draw up a bit of water into the syringe and then squrt it into a glass and add some juice or water before drinking it.

 

See if you can get an insulin syringe from the chemist.

 

 

Good luck

 

Jane

 

 

 

I take it the dro[pper it comes with is not accurate.


morning on waking  0.5 lorazepam

pm 0.5 lorazepam

6pm 0.35 lorazepam

10pm 2mg Lexapro

12pm 0.3 lorazepam

12pm     2.5     Valium

 

Been Dry Cutting never stable ...constant depression and terror and fear. Nerve pain in the teeth causing gum recession and clenching all the time.

 

Not totally accurate as the 6am and 12pm arent always taken on time as sometimes i don't wake up on time also the 1mg tablet has no score on it so the first two doses can inaccurate.


#82 Lise

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 03:06 AM

Hey everyone
Doing good on my Lexapro taper using the liquid 20 mg and a 1 ml syringe.
However, I am now so low in dosage that each 10% cut needs to be less than the .01 ml intervals the syringe has.
Any tips on how to solve this? Switch to pipette, electronic scale, might I be able to get hold of a finer syringe?
I live in Denmark. 


1998-2001 Cipramil (Citalopram) 20-60 mg
2001-3 drug free
2003-5 Cipramil 40 mg
2005-7 Cipralex (escatilopram/Lexapro) 20 mg
2007 unsuccesful 3-month taper, mild depression resulted in meds restart
2007-9 20 mg Cipralex
2009 3-month taper, same result
2009-10 20 mg Cipralex
2010-12 slow taper, stable on 10 mg for half a year. Tapered completely over 3 months or so the summer of 2012. Slow onset of depressive/withdrawal symptoms over 1-2 months to severe depression, anxiety in September-October.
Back on 10 mg since oct 10th or so, withdrawal symptoms abated but still present.

2016: at 1,6 mg and slowly tapering off. Feeling GOOD!


#83 Altostrata

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:22 PM

See Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques

 

One option is to dilute your suspension more (usually with water) so you can draw measurable amounts into your syringe.


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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#84 Lise

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 05:09 PM

Thanks for the answer! :) 
Since I last wrote I have been questing all over Ye Olde Internet and found out that:
such a thing as microlitre syringes actually does exist - and I've ordered one (100 microlitre with 0.2 microlitre intervals) at a very reasonable price (around five dollars) from Germany.
I've also found a microlitre pipette and will test that out. 

A microlitre is 0,001 ml. 

If that doesn't work, the next step is ordering an electronic pipette. Price is steeper, but still somewhat affordable (120 dollars). 
Also, I'm contacting Lundbeck to ask if water is indeed usable for diluting liquid Lexapro (it says alcohol for the liquid on the bottle). They were very helpful with a question about exposure to sunlight last year!

Will of course share my experience/info in here. Wondering if this is the right thread to do so? Or if another is preferable?


1998-2001 Cipramil (Citalopram) 20-60 mg
2001-3 drug free
2003-5 Cipramil 40 mg
2005-7 Cipralex (escatilopram/Lexapro) 20 mg
2007 unsuccesful 3-month taper, mild depression resulted in meds restart
2007-9 20 mg Cipralex
2009 3-month taper, same result
2009-10 20 mg Cipralex
2010-12 slow taper, stable on 10 mg for half a year. Tapered completely over 3 months or so the summer of 2012. Slow onset of depressive/withdrawal symptoms over 1-2 months to severe depression, anxiety in September-October.
Back on 10 mg since oct 10th or so, withdrawal symptoms abated but still present.

2016: at 1,6 mg and slowly tapering off. Feeling GOOD!


#85 LexAdvice

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 11:19 AM

Hi, for the people tapering liquid Lexapro with oral syringes, do you use the bottle with the special cap and draw upside-down, or do you pour some liquid into a container and draw it up that way? Thanks!


6/15: 10 mg Lexapro generic + 100 mg Seroquel following episode of severe insomnia.

Over time, gradually reduced Seroquel as Lexapro "kicked in." Can't remember timeline, but off Seroquel completely by late December or early Jan '16.

12/15 - 2/16: self-tapered Lexapro (no Dr. supervision) too rapidly: 3 weeks at 7.5 mg, 3 weeks at 5 mg, 3 weeks at 2.5 mg then off. NO W/D SYMPTOMS.

3/16 (about two weeks after final dose): bad insomnia again. Tried to hold out. Failed.

5/1/16: Saw psych. He said relapse and put me back on 5 mg Lex + 50 mg Seroquel to be reduced as Lexapro takes effect. I now believe it was only W/D. Dr. wanted me to updose, but after finding this site I decided to stabilize at 5 mg and start tapering at a later date.

Week of 5/8: reduced dosages of Seroquel nightly, now at 25 mg.

Week of 5/16: Some insomnia and anxiety, as well as some freaking out on my intro thread (ha).

Supplements: Magnesium citrate, fish oil, probiotics (from food not from pills)

Month of 7/16: Tapered off Seroquel: 1 week 20 mg, 1 week 15 mg, 1 week 10 mg, 1 week 5 mg. No problems sleeping throughout this process. Stopped Seroquel several days ago (7/21?) and sleep has been mostly good, some bad.

Reinstated 5 mg Seroquel 7/25 and stabilized my sleep.

9/1: Started tapering generic escitalopram liquid: 4.5 mg  :D


#86 Altostrata

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 03:07 PM

Lexapro liquid is just like any other referred to in Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques


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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#87 Ali

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 01:51 PM

For any amount under 1mg, I dilute my 1mg drop in 100ml water. So if I need, for example 3.35mg, I take 3 drops straight from the bottle, and for the remaining .35mg, drink 35ml of the 100 ml solution. I think this adds up...

Lise, I have never considered that lexapro can't be diluted with water. I don't see why not, but I think I'll ask a pharmacist friend now that you've raised it.
<p>Several periods of depression starting in teens. 2010- 2014 escitalopram 20mgs. tapered to 5mgApril 2011- December 2011 seroquel2012-2014 don't know exact dates! 2014/15 Lamactil 200mg. 2015 lamactil 150mg. (Several attempts at coming off escitalopram and lamactil). March 2015 tapered to 37.5mg lamactil- Reinstated. July- Aug 2015 tapered off 5mg escitalopram. Dose reinstated Nov 2015.
7/1/16 Lamactil 137.5mg. Escitalopram 5mg; 24/3/16 lamactil 125mg; 20/4/16 escitalopram 4.5mg. 6/5 escit 4mg. 5/6/16 escit 3.6mg; 16/7/16 escit 3.5mg. 27/7/16 lamactil 112.5mg 18/8/16 escit 3.2mg 10/9/16 escit 3mg 16/9/16 lamactil 100mg 11/10/16 lamactil 112.5mg 28/10/16 escit 2.9mg 4/11/16 escit 2.8mg 10/11/16 lamactil 125mg 11/11/16 escit 2.7mg. 25/11/16 escit 2.4mg 10/12/16 escit 2mg 1/1/17 escit 1.7mg 17/1/17 escit 1.5mg 4/2/17 escit 1.4 19/2/17 escit 1.3mg

#88 scallywag

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 02:12 PM

Ali, from the first post in this thread:
 

Do-it-yourself liquid
People report that they can make their own liquid from Lexapro tablets and water.

It is soluble in water, see http://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB01175 -- stability (shelf-life of dilution) is unknown.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results
Cymbalta (brand name), 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 20 mg to 7 mg in 2016, taper details in this post;
2017: 7.0 (65 beads) Dec.10; 6.3 (58 beads) Feb. 1;
Current dose: 5.6 mg (52 beads) 2017-Feb-22
+ Supplements: fish oil (1500 mg EPA/500 mg DHA), Vitamins: D3, K2, C; Minerals: Mg, Se, Cr, I, V
scallywag's Introduction Post
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet


#89 TeaGrey

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 07:29 AM

Thank you for info I wish I would have found this before my dr had me start tapering by cutting 20 to 10.
PTSD GAD been on Lexapro 20mg for two years Xanax as needed 2 years and Singular for sinus issues for a year

#90 nz11

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 10:32 PM

I found this today.

 

Regarding prescribing tips, escitalopram equivalent dose is half that of citalopram

 

line 14 from

 

http://psychopharmac...s-similarities/


2000 amitryptaline, nortriptaline venlafaxine clonazepam for  arm pain from keyboard use, told I had a chemical imbalance it would fix my arm was just a matter of finding the right med for me not informed of the nature of these drugs assured safe and not addictive, CT off Effexor after being told to double the dose on reporting adverse effects...later ..uncharacteristic psych panic tearful presented to doctor to get answers. Given paroxetine no questions asked 'safe and not addictive' next please.2001-2010 paroxetine (paxil) 2 failed attempts to quit, a learned helplessness set in. Feb 10 - Sept 10,  8 month clueless taper, hell. Doc said I had underlying depression .. I said that's not right' then found online support group and the truth!...overcome with inconceivable humiliation and outrage. 28 Sept 10 drug free ...  daily psych and emotional torture beginning in the waking hours of the morning receding somewhat in the evening only to start up again the next day. 28 Sept 12 (24 months) Stabilizing  (What an indescribable unimaginable non-functional nightmare). sleep issues start up at 3 yrs  waking daily at 2am -4.30am)28 Sept 15 (5yrs drug free), cf, cmw, insomnia  horrifying pssd continues, still feel Rip van Winkle-ish, cognitively doing heaps better. 28 Sept 16 after 6 yrs start working again on a casual basis.

 

"It is unsafe for people who suffer from something that could be treated with an ssri to consult a psychiatrist." Gotzshe 2015. [ I think Gotzsche could have easily meant to say 'to consult anyone with prescribing privileges'].

 

“Paroxetine is not safe, it is not effective and it meets every known definition of addictive.” McLaren, N, (2016) 'Psychiatry as bullsh*t’ p55..."Psychiatry is stuffed full of 'deep nonsense' better known as bullsh*t." McLaren 2016

 

"Within the first week of when you go on an antidepressant you may have a sexual dysfunction, it can go on forever, often only appearing when you go off the drug ...its extraordinarily common" Healy 2015

 

See  my intro post #451 for the xanax back story and for a CV -GSKs.  Come on guys get taperwise see a TaperMe Schedule

 For a staggeringly shocking 'prozac back story' see the truth post #523

 

"If I were an enemy combatant and the NZ army did this to me someone would be dragged to the Hague and jailed!"  nz11


#91 PrinceChuck

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 01:01 PM

Tapering absolutely did NOTHING for me personally. Been on this poison for 8 years. Just stopped COLD TURKEY 12 days ago and I'm alive! Symptoms of WD suck but better than when I tapered. Just my experience, not advice.



#92 Altostrata

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 03:08 PM

Hi, PrinceChuck. I see your prior attempt at tapering involved a 50% decrease in dosage. That's a lot faster than we recommend.


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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#93 KarenRose

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Posted 11 November 2016 - 03:28 AM

Hello everyone, I just created a profile here and will be writing an introduction soon. I have read this whole thread with great interest. I am trying to taper off Lexapro after 13 years on various SSRIs and have tapered with some success very slowly for almost two years from 45mg (very high dose) down to 1mg. I

 

now am having horrible symptoms of WD when I try to go off the one mg. I would be so helped by a smaller dose so I can drop by less than 1mg per drop. Preferably 0.1. mg.

 

I live in Europe and was hoping anyone knows of a compounding pharmacy in the UK or Germany, or anywhere else. I have tried the links on the page here and have not been lucky (yet).

 

Sorry if I am not compliant with the group's purpose and format yet, but will work on learning it all.

 

THANK you.

 

added: Karenrose Introduction topic


Edited by scallywag, 11 November 2016 - 07:52 AM.
add link to Karen's intro topic

Began Paxil in 2003, took trazodone to sleep. Felt better within days. Tapered off as per doctor's suggestion in two months. Got zapped and depressed/anxious worse than before.

Got on Cymbalta, disaster and no depression relief. Lexapro from 2005, did not work. Tapered off and took amino acids. Started Lexapro in 2008 at 45 mg and felt good for about a year. Diagnosed with Hashimotos. Various unsuccesful treatments until 2015 got on Erfa thyroid and changed diet to organic, lots of healthy fat, no gluten/dairy. Depression lifted.

Tapered off Lexapro since March 2015. Difficult and with symptoms but can function. Came off Lexapro fully 3 weeks ago and fell into depression, confusion, terror. Reinstated at 1mg and feeling better but not well. Looking to microtaper off 1mg very slowly.


#94 KtKat

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 01:28 AM

With regard to Escitalopram suspensions, I am in Australia and tried to start a taper using the suspension back in May '16. 

 

When I rolled along to the pharmacy with my prescription, I was told that the suspension wasn't available any more. 

 

I ended up tapering (much faster than recommended) by taking a half tablet, then making a suspension. After my first two or three suspensions, I ran out of tablets and rolled along for a refill. Of course, I was silly and didn't pay attention to which pharmacy I was at and got a different generic brand of tablet. However, it does put me in a position to confirm that different brands must contain different "fillers" as the second set of tablets did not dissolve as well as the first. 

 

Fortunately, when I reached the smaller dosages, I found a compounding pharmacy and managed to get the prescription for the suspension filled.

 

I'd go further into my taper and withdrawals, but I sense that this is not the place for it :)


Started 10mg Escitalopram March 2013
Stopped Escitalopram cold turkey December 2013 (Unsuccessfully)
Restarted 10mg Escitalopram February 2014
Started tapering May 2016 - 5mg
Estimated drops - 4mg, 3mg, 2.5mgOctober 2016 - 1.25mg
Stopped 19 Dec 2016
Withdrawals from 27 December - Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache (1 day), inc heart rate
7 Jan 2017 reinstated 1mg/day escitalopram