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MiguelFreeman: Question about Lexapro

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MiguelFreeman

hi all my name is Miguel and i have a question about Lexapro 

here is the medication I took and the time lines  Sertraline 50 mg on 5/10/15
and took Trazodona, 150 mg then i stopped  continued on sertraline 
Mexazolam, 1 mg 1/12/15
on 6/6/16 
I went to 100 mg Sertraline 

then 03-10-2016 i changed to Escitalopram, 20 mg and Xanax 0.5
and took it until i stopped on 28/5/2017 by my own bad mistake I did a super fast tampering of 20 15 10 5 0 in 1 mouth ^^

and i whent back on it on 7/08/2017 owe my one whit out saying to the doctor but i am now at 10 mg 

and i  have an appointment whit a psychiatrist and gonna ask him to taper me off slowly 

But I am afraid that cuz i started whit 16 almost 17 y old that it's gone be hard or that  I am hooked for life 

 

I did cold turkey and i wasn't dat bad until it all hit me at once 


ty for your help 

i will be posting regulary about my situation 

Love you all

Miguel

 

Edited by baroquep
Removed surname and background colour

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baroquep

Hi MiguelFreeman,

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA), am really glad that you found your way to the site.  Am also very happy to hear that you are interested in obtaining current information about the correct way to taper off of Lexapro before you visit your psychiatrist.  Few, if any, medical professionals have any real experience tapering patients off of anti-depressants safely.  It sounds like you have been on the prescription drug roller coaster and sorry to hear that you are dealing with the effects of reducing Lexapro.

 

I'd like to assure you that what you have been experiencing is completely normal under the circumstances.  When a drug is discontinued abruptly or tapered off too quickly, this causes the central nervous system to destabilize and the reason you are feeling the way you are.  I can assure you that if you follow the guidelines recommended by Surviving Antidepressants you should be able to taper off slowly and discontinue Lexapro safely.  Don't worry about being hooked for life.  No one has to take these drugs for the rest of their lives if they don't wish to.  

 

A couple of questions regarding your current situation:

 ~ What are your current symptoms since prior to/starting back on Lexapro on August 7, 2017

~ Are you still taking Xanax? 

 

Without having more information with respect to your particular drug/tapering history it will be difficult to make any specific recommendations at this time.  In order for us to be able to help you, we ask all of our members to fill out a signature so that all of your information can be read at a glance.  This helps moderators determine you current situation and we would ask that you follow the instructions at the link below:

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature

 

 •    Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
 •    A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
 •    Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
 •    Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
 •    Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.

 

At Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.
  
While we are waiting for you to complete your withdrawal history signature, and to get you familiarized with the protocols followed by SA, I am linking a few topics below so that you have a better understanding of what is recommended.  Please let us know if you have any questions or need any clarification.

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

Before you begin tapering what you need to know
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Tips for Tapering off Lexapro / Escitalopram

 

I am also including a couple of links that discusses how you can talk to you doctor about your intention to stop taking Lexapro by tapering off very slowly so that you can be prepared for your appointment with your psychiatrist.  It will be to your benefit to have as much information as possible before visiting your psychiatrist so that you can get his/her support to help you withdrawal from Lexapro safely after learning about the recommendations made by Surviving Antidepressants.  

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?
What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

You will find a wealth of information here at Surviving Antidepressants as well as a supportive community that knows exactly what you are going through and everyone is here to help.  

 

Best,
BaroqueP
 

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MiguelFreeman

hi ty for your Reply 

I have been following this forum for some time 

I did a fast tapering on Lexapro(Generic) 20 mg to 0 in 1 mouth I stopped in 29/05/2017

did feel some effects at the beginning 

dizzy and strange feeling but it wasn't that bad 

I was having stomach issues

after some time 2 weeks or so I became a lot anxious and felt like impending doom 

and my stomach pains got worse and my intestines ***** weird 

whit some pains and my poop turned yellow 

I went to the doctor did an endoscopy and said I had bile reflux but it was very small

but I was a lot anxious and feeling impending doom that I now know was the withdrawal symptoms that I didn't know at the time

I took  sucralfate 1000 mg/5ml for 1 mouth 

and Esomeprazole 40 mg that I am now tapering down

after I resumed Lexapro(Generic) 10 mg (50% of my dose )

felt the normal effects of it dizzy irritability sleepy shaky hands 

that has now gone away but some times I still have some moments I just stop and stare at something for some time then I wake up again 

it's like I focus on one thing 

 

I started Lexapro(generic) again on 6/8/17

and I have now decreased to 7.5 on 13/09/2017

To see my reaction 

I think  am not sensitive to reductions 

I had normal withdraw symptoms even on a super fast tampering 

I feel impending doom and anxious and digestive problems that are now stopping 

I don't know if I actually need to go That slow 

I was thinking about 25% decreased and hold until I stabilize

I did That decrease to 7.5 because I wanna be the lowest dose I can until I go see my new psychiatrist  on November 

I will ask him to taper me off this drug 

cus I won a deal whit my health anxiety by my own

ty for the help 

I am a bit scared about damaging my brain but i feel I am not sensitive to decreasing it slowly 

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baroquep

Miguel, if I were you, I would hold at 7.5 mg of Lexapro for a good long while (at least two to three months before resuming your taper) to allow your central nervous system to stabilize from all the changes you have made in a very short period of time.  Are you still taking Xanax?  I'm not sure if you are aware but you can become dependant on this drug in as little as two weeks of continued use.  

 

It is extremely important that you understand the reasons behind the recommendations made by Surviving Antidepressants, in particular the recommendation to taper only by 10% of your current dose with at least a four week hold between decreases.  I don't want to alarm you but because you have made so many changes by going off and on different drugs your central nervous system has been sensitized making you vulnerable to suffering from withdrawal syndrome if you are not more careful going forward.  

 

i urge you to take a look at the links above so that you understand the reasoning behind the recommendations that we make so that you are able to discontinue Lexapro with as few problems as possible.  Lexapro is a very potent antidepressant and even in small amounts can be difficult to taper off and want to stress that it is important that you use caution and reduce by no more than 10% at one time.  As I mentioned above the 10% taper is a harm reduction approach to tapering safely off of antidepressants.  It is in your best interest to become familiar with the approach so that you can avoid running into trouble down the road.  

 

Please review the the link below as well as the links I posted in my original reply which discusses the recommendations so that you can familiarize yourself with the process before you continue to taper.

 

 

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MiguelFreeman

I stopped Xanax as soon I saw it can make you dependent was quite easy to stop after 3 months of use  seems like I am lucky on getting off these meds 

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MiguelFreeman

Hi all my name is miguel

i  started antidepressants on late 2015 

and i am correcting back on escitalopram after cold turkey that made me stop eating ... 

had stomach problems

I took Esomeprazole 40 mg(Tapering now )  and some Sucralfate 5mg 

I am on 7.5 mg started to decrease from 10 mg  that I started again  after Cold turkey off 20 mg Escitalopram 

i have some burning sensation not dat bad but there sometimes some burps

I actually don't feel any withdraw effects from 10 to 7.5

is it possible that the drug is doing dat ?

and btw when i come off after a slow tapering  that I will have stomach problems 

it was kite painfull the burning because of the cold turkey 

i just hope when i come off it doesn't make me stop eating again ... 

they part where i started to stop eating was after 1 mouth and half 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed surname

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MiguelFreeman

The question I have is

I went cold turkey of 20 mg of escitalopram in 05/2017

and reinstated at 10 mg on 6/08/2017

held for a while and then at 13/09

I went down to 7.5 to see my reaction

I didn't feel anything just a bit of anxiety on day 4 I think 

dues dat mean  I am not sensitive and that I can go off fine 

the only thin i notice that happen when i wa cold turkey was yellow fezes 

dont know if might be from omeprazol that i am tampering down 

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bubble

It is too early to tell but we would again advise caution. You see that you already had so much problems reducing.

 

The problem with antidepressant is that their effects are not felt immediately. We call that delayed onset withdrawal.

 

 

The most symptoms only come after a few weeks or even months and then people and doctors think that it is our 'illness' that got back and they don't understand this is withdrawal. Don't make that mistake. 

 

This is a bit like when the planes hit the Twins: they didn't collapse immediately. the structure resisted for a while. Our brain also resists and tries to keep the balance so the crash only happens later and not after 4 days. I only begin to feel effects from my cut after 8 to 10 days.

 

Read this post carefully and it will explain you how these drugs work actually.

 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.

 

Wait for at least 30 days to be sure you are able to get away with this cut. If you feel fine for all 30 days it means you can continue. But you saw how nasty those symptoms can be. And they can be a lot worse so we really don't want to rush things.

 

If you manage to stabilize on 7.5 mg this will be a lot less than 20 mg. 

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MiguelFreeman

Ty my plan is to hold for 2 mouths until i go to my new psyciatrist on 13/11 

and prob hold a  little longer to give time 

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MiguelFreeman

I reinstated my dose to 10 mg not because  I wanted but because my mother caught me reducing and I explained to her what I wanted 2 do,

she said  ok  but later that day I had some Gi issues and my mother was afraid I went back to my severe withdraw after I stopped CT from 20 mg 

so I reinstated until I go to my doctor well I will ask for a liquid suspension of Escitalopram 

Hope it exist in Portugal 

After that, I will need better explanation on how to use the liquid suspension ( I am 18 y old )

and this is still confusing to me how to taper on 10 % using liquid 

hope I can have your help cus I am really losing focus ..

I know I would never commit suicide first cus I am a religious person and second I don t have the balls to do it 

hope this time this psychiatrist helps me out 

cus I am firm that  I don't wanna take this  drugs i wanna go the natural way plus my depression is cured 

but the last time I did it aka CT I was legit losing 2 kg per week cus i could not eat .

my family got soo scared cus I was legit looking that i was dying (Yellow skin, extreme nause, could not eat extreme pain in the stomach ) Mind me that I didn't know about withdraw at the time but even that I know at the time it was not possible because i was not eating (the nausea was that powerful)

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baroquep

Hi Miguel, I thought maybe these links might be helpful to you when you next see your psychiatrist.  I'm just about to head off to bed and saw your post and wanted to at least touch base.  I will respond in more depth tomorrow, but hope that the links below will help you prepare yourself and your mother to understand what you are trying to do so that you can come off of Lexapro safely and with as few withdrawal symptoms as possible.   

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?
What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?
 

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ChessieCat
30 minutes ago, MiguelFreeman said:

I will ask for a liquid suspension of Escitalopram 

Hope it exist in Portugal 

 

From this website:

 

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/21927

 

Cipralex 20 mg/ml

Oral drops, solution

escitalopram

Portugal: Cipralex

 

"Discontinuation symptoms include: Feeling dizzy (unsteady or off-balance), feelings like pins and needles, burning sensations and (less commonly) electric shock sensations (including in the head), sleep disturbances (vivid dreams, nightmares, inability to sleep), feeling anxious, headaches, feeling sick (nausea), sweating (including night sweats), feeling restless or agitated, tremor (shakiness), feeling confused or disorientated, feeling emotional or irritable, diarrhoea (loose stools), visual disturbances, fluttering or pounding heartbeat (palpitations)."

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MiguelFreeman

ty but since i am at 10 mg using a 20 mg  solution prob will be a problem when going down on below 1 mg 

 

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ChessieCat

You will need to dilute it.

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MiguelFreeman

gonna explain slowly to him but my mother gonna try to call the office and try to make the appointment to be switched for a  closer data since the appointment is on 13/11 of this year 

this is gonna be hard but I gonna talk to him what happen when I stopped CT and the reaction I had when going down to 7.5 IT was just Gi issues bearable but my mother was just scared that I went back to the state I was when I went CT 

but I will try to play my cards and make him give me the liquid version 

in other case 

I will make my own liquid version but the problem whit that is that my mother will not understand ... and i don't know how precise it will be 

the prob here is really my relatives that are afraid I go back to the state I was when I CT 

That's why I need your help cus this will be hard 

cus i am fighting  against the drug + my family fear +i don't know the reaction of the psychiatrist but when I went 2 him last time  he said i was ok and only needed to take the SSRI 2 more years I was only on the 3 months of escitalopram he asked me if I was off Xanax and I said yes and he said very good and warned me if i stopped escitalopram i wood have horrible anxiety 

I hope this doctor is one that is informed about the Withdraw Syndrome  after that appointment he said I won't need more psychiatry appointments basically I was discharged from psychiatry I am only going back cus I stopped CT and my GP has no idea what 2 do she only said i would have to take it 2 more years basically if I just started and I refuse that that's why I will go off this drug 

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MiguelFreeman
9 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

You will need to dilute it.

if get the liquid version I will try to get it  on 10 mg/ml

if not I will ask for guidance here on the forum on how 2 do it 

 

i am a like a vapire now 

i sleep at day and live at night ... 

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MiguelFreeman

what do i do if he tries to change my medication do i just refuse it or will just dat make him angry or something 

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ChessieCat
7 minutes ago, MiguelFreeman said:

he asked me if I was off Xanax and I said yes

 

Please add Xanax dates and doses to your signature.  Because we are making suggestions which can affect your health and wellbeing we need to know your FULL drug history.

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MiguelFreeman
4 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

 

Please add Xanax dates and doses to your signature.  Because we are making suggestions which can affect your health and wellbeing we need to know your FULL drug history.

Done

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ChessieCat
9 minutes ago, MiguelFreeman said:

what do i do if he tries to change my medication

 

You will need to speak calmly and politely but firmly.  It is your body and you have the right to decide what drug you are going to take.  Instead of outrightly refusing you could say that you would prefer to stay on the drug you are on.

 

It is best not to change to another drug.  You will probably have withdrawal from the first drug and if you experience any side effects and/or start up issues with the new drug you will not know what is being caused by what.

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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ChessieCat

Could you please add when you started Xanax.

 

Also add the dates when you took it again.

 

Q:  When have you used it since?

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MiguelFreeman
1 minute ago, ChessieCat said:

 

You will need to speak calmly and politely but firmly.  It is your body and you have the right to decide what drug you are going to take.  Instead of outrightly refusing you could say that you would prefer to stay on the drug you are on.

 

It is best not to change to another drug.  You will probably have withdrawal from the first drug and if you experience any side effects and/or start up issues with the new drug you will not know what is being caused by what.

 

 

I will Do that  I am thinking about talking to him about the 10 % taper he will prob not Understand actually the escitalopram works  gives some Gi issues sometimes but it works 

what i gonna tell him is what happened when I stopped and that I need the liquid version to slow taper off 

Don't know if i shud talk about the 10 % reduction or not 

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MiguelFreeman
2 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Could you please add when you started Xanax.

 

Also add the dates when you took it again.

 

Q:  When have you used it since?

Done

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ChessieCat

Xanax-Stoped taking it regularly on 03/2017 doses 0.5 per day

 

Q:  When did you originally start taking it?

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MiguelFreeman
1 minute ago, ChessieCat said:

Xanax-Stoped taking it regularly on 03/2017 doses 0.5 per day

 

Q:  When did you originally start taking it?

I started in November that is when I was prescribed then on 03/2017 I had concluded my tapper that I had been doing for some time don't remember how long  but i really never went above what I was prescribed and i was actually underdosing then i slowly reduces cus i thought it sedated me a lot and slowly reduced then left didn't have that many withdraw maybe some anxiety but that was it then after on 5/2017 i stoped CT escitalopram because of feeling like a zombie and forgetting a lot when I was working on construction almost had an accident Because I forgot I had an Electric Saw on 

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ChessieCat

Please add the dates and doses to your signature.  The mods need the information to be clear in your signature because we are helping a lot of members taking different drugs, need to be able to see it quickly and not have to waste time reading back through your posts.

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MiguelFreeman
3 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Please add the dates and doses to your signature.  The mods need the information to be clear in your signature because we are helping a lot of members taking different drugs, need to be able to see it quickly and not have to waste time reading back through your posts.

done that's all I can remember from that time 

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ChessieCat

Thank you that makes it so much easier for us.

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MiguelFreeman

I understand I just wona go whit the 10 % taper just to prevent damage but i know maybe i can go faster from 10 to 5 and then start liquid but i prefer to start 10 % now just to prevent damage and help my brain by not going 2 fast better slow the sorry 

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ChessieCat

I've just realised that you don't have a starting date and dose for Lexapro in your signature.  Please add starting date and cold turkey date and the dose/s.

 

"Lexapro (Generic) started again after failed attempt to go off cold turkey "

 

Please remove the following, this information is not necessary in the signature.  Thank you.

 

(So far no WD Symptoms I had mild anxiety (1/10) and Loose Stools )

did it because I had some Gi Issues and I wanna do the withdrawal whit doctor supervision gonna ask him for liquid form )

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MiguelFreeman

my mother got the psychiatrist phone and she will make an appointment sooner seems like this guy is a good one gonna ask him for liquid version and tapper slowly btw any advice on how to prepare and to alleviate Gi side effects 

Maybe I will not have no problem 

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ChessieCat

Some of the withdrawal symptoms you are experiencing may be from going off the Xanax in March this year ant then taking it again for 1 week in August.

 

When changing from tablet to liquid we suggest you keep taking your current dose (in other words do not reduce your dose) and cross over by taking 3/4 tablet dose + 1/4 liquid dose for about 3 days, 1/2 tablet dose + 1/2 liquid dose for 3 days, 1/4 tablet dose + 3/4 liquid dose for 3 days, then all liquid.

 

After changing over to liquid it would be better to hold at that dose for at least 2 months.  3 months would be better.  This is because you have made a lot of changes in the past months  and doing this will give your brain a chance to adapt to all of the changes.

 

It is a good idea to keep notes on paper of your symptoms.  This can help you to see improvements that you may not notice.

 

Keep Notes on Paper

Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

 

The GI withdrawal symptoms were probably from your cold turkey off Lexapro.  This is #37 on Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist.  Hopefully by doing SA's recommended taper you won't get the same problem.   If you do start experiencing GI issues when you taper it means that you are making too big a reduction and will need to make smaller drops.

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ChessieCat
On 12/09/2017 at 7:25 AM, MiguelFreeman said:

here is the medication I took and the time lines  Sertraline 50 mg on 5/10/15
and took Trazodona, 150 mg then i stopped  continued on sertraline 
Mexazolam, 1 mg 1/12/15
on 6/6/16 
I went to 100 mg Sertraline 

 

Please review your signature and make sure that you have included ALL drugs, dates and doses.  Because we are making suggestions which can affect your health and wellbeing we need your signature to be very clear and include all the information.  Thank you.

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MiguelFreeman

Dats all it his on my records 

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ChessieCat
2 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Mexazolam, 1 mg 1/12/15

 

Please add this.

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