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Bonzee

Bonzee: Brain zaps - what do you interpret them as?

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Bonzee

Hi all,

 

This is my first post, but probably not my last unfortunately. I was taking Lexapro 10 MG for anxiety and dizziness of unknown origin for about 3 years. I have tapered off over a little less than 3 months. As of today, I am over 1 week off completely of the drug. I have had a whirlwind of symptoms most notably anxiety and dizziness. The dizziness has been unrelenting and it's very taxing on the mind and body to have to compensate for this. Generally, I feel disoriented and most of my dizziness centers around head movement. Some heart symptoms, but mostly attributable to anxiety (racing heartbeat, palps, etc.). I've had a history of PVCs which have been checked out before and OKed.

 

I'm writing this specific topic to ask what your definition of a brain zap is? I've read over some time that most people seem to center around a brain zap as a sudden jolt of electricity throughout the head, or an electric like sensation. I feel like I may have been experiencing brain zaps but not necessarily in this sense. I don't feel an "electric" sensation, but I do experience sudden dizzy spells, where my head feels like it's about to fall over. These spells last maybe a few seconds and really take up that time (I.E. I can't do anything else, for those short seconds I'm in the spell). Does anyone else experience brain zaps as sudden dizziness/vertigo that subsides in seconds?

 

Thanks for any input and good luck to everyone.

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ChessieCat

Hi Bonzee,

 

Tapering off from 10mg in a 3 month period is very fast.  The issues you are experiencing are most likely withdrawal symptoms.  You may be experiencing others that you haven't attributed to going off the drug too quickly.  Please see the withdrawal symptoms list in the links below.

 

The only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms is to reinstate the drug.  Have you been off the drug for longer than 1 week?  If it has been 1 week it may be okay to go back on the last dose you were on.  If it has been longer then 1 week a smaller dose might be enough.  After stabilising on this dose you could then taper following SA's protocol.

 

Please carefully read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

We ask all members to create a drug signature.  Please update it whenever you make a change.  Please keep it nice and simple.  We only need details for the last 2 years.  Date, drug and dose only, no symptoms or diagnoses.  The other years can just be an overview.  

 

This is the preferred format which is helpful for the mods.  Thank you.

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 2 years particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 

 

I'm going to give you lots of links to check out.  Please don't feel overwhelmed, just work your way through them one at a time as you feel able.

 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold at that dose for about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  This is because psychiatric drugs create a physiological dependence, not physical like caffeine or nicotine.

 

Patience is needed to get off these drugs.  We suggest throwing out the calendar and listening to your body and your symptoms.  If after 4 weeks you don't feel stable, are unwell or life circumstances are a bit more stressful than usual (for example the Christmas period, winter time, or job change) it is better to stay at that dose for a bit longer until things settle down.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable


Keep Notes on Paper

 

Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

Tapering Calculator - Online

 

The only supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try a small amount one at a time to see how you react.  It is best to make only 1 change at a time.  It is also better not to start taking a complex vitamin because if you experience issues you will not know what exactly is causing it.  B vitamins can be stimulating especially B6.  hypersensitive-to-b-vitamin-or-b-vitamin-complex  If trying anything new, start with a small amount to see how you react and build up to the recommended amount.  

 

SA encourages members to learn and use Non-drug techniques to cope

 

There are many existing topics and discussions on this site.  You can use the site search function on the main page of the site at the top right, or use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in your search string.

 

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  We suggest that members visit each others Intro topics so that can support and encourage each other.

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Bonzee

Thanks for the reply. My last dose I was on was actually half a 5mg tablet, or 2.5 mg. I was reinstated after I was taking 5mg every other day and I couldn't tolerate it. I went back on the drug after this point at 5 mg daily for about a week, then cut in half to 2.5mg daily for another week. I began having the worst withdrawal symptoms after about a week off completely as I stated.

 

I'm not sure if getting back on the drug would be the best idea, but I will discuss with my psychiatrist and see if I should get back on if things don't smoothen out for me. Will my topic be approved so I can get input from other members as well?

 

Thanks again for your help.

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Altostrata

Welcome, Bonzee.

 

Skipping doses is a very rough way to taper. If I were you, I'd go back on 1mg, stabilize for a good while, then go off by tiny amounts. Lexapro comes in a liquid form for this purpose. See Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Your head symptoms sound like mild brain zaps or other paresthesia, which is a recognized withdrawal symptom.

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ChessieCat

Understanding the effect of psychiatric drugs can help us to make informed decisions.

 

I will tell you of my own experience trying to reduce my drug.  I was taking 100mg Pristiq and reduced to 50mg.  I experienced extreme cog fog for 3 weeks.  At the end of the 3 weeks I was unable to type.  Because I have been a typist for 40+ years or so I knew that something was wrong.  I had joined SA a few days before this happened and they had suggested updosing.  When I couldn't type I took extra Pristiq and about 4 hours later I was able to type again and the cog fog was lifting.  Because I had a benchmark I knew it was because of the drug.  I have been following SA's tapering protocol and have managed to reduce from 100mg Pristiq to 10mg.

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Bonzee

Thank you for your replies. I'm glad those sudden dizzy spells are attributable to brain zaps. Very uncomfortable and anxiety provoking. I will discuss with my psychiatrist about a liquid form. 

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ChessieCat

This is SA's topic:  brain-zaps

 

When I was taking 100mg Pristiq, if I missed taking my dose, I would get brain zaps.  I would have to go and take my tablet and lie down on the lounge with my eyes closed until the drug started to take effect.  Even with my eyes closed, if I moved my eyes I would get a horrible sickening sea sick feeling.

 

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Bonzee

Chessie, 

 

Thanks for the reply. Were those brain zaps like a sudden dizziness feeling? I don't get this feeling often (I think I've only had it twice so far), but when it comes it's very disconcerting. 

 

I feel like I may know what a brain zap "in the traditional sense" is, I used to have zaps before I even got on medication from anxiety. I would feel a shock throughout my head and especially my eyes. This sensation is different though, it's mainly like 2-3 seconds of my head feeling like it's rolling.

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ChessieCat

From Glenmullen's withdrawal symptoms list:

 

Dizziness

40. Disequilibrium

41. Spinning, swaying, lightheaded

42. Hung over or waterlogged feeling

43. Unsteady gait, poor coordination

44. Motion sickness

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ChessieCat
13 minutes ago, Bonzee said:

I'm going into the medical field

 

You don't say what area you are going into but I think these may be useful.  And a couple of books that are well worth reading are Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and also Your Drug May Be Your Problem by Dr Peter Breggin.

 

Gwen Olsen was a pharmaceutical rep for 15 years:

 

We are trained to misinform (6 minutes)

 

Manipulating Doctors (10 minutes)

 

Interview:  Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher (51 minutes Gwen Olsen - ex pharmaceutical representative)

 

 

Video:  Coming off Psych Drugs:  A Meeting of the Minds (1 hour 15 minutes)
 

                 Videos:  Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from? (1 minute)

                                How are psychiatric diagnoses made?  (1 minute 30 seconds)

                                Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes? (2 minutes)


                                Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects? (1 minute)

                                Do antidepressants work? (2 minutes)                 

 
Video:  Dr James Davies:  The Origins of the DSM (35 minutes)
 
Video:  Interview with Prof Peter Gotzsche "Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare" (16 minutes)
 
Video:  The DSM:  Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam (1 hour 20 minutes)
 
Video:  Simple Truths About Psychiatry - Series of 10 by Dr Peter Breggin

 

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Bonzee

I talked to my doctor today and he was surprised I was having symptoms after 10 days of stopping. He said I shouldn't be having symptoms and suggested I go back on 2.5 mg every other day for 2 weeks. I called him back and asked for a liquid as well because he didn't know there was a liquid. Facepalm.

 

Anyways, I don't know what to do. Altostrata what do you think? I was pretty bad all last night, constant anxiety and dizziness. Will see what today brings. Also, if you don't mind me asking, what is the average (if you can make a rough estimate) period of withdrawal for those you see on this board? Is it a few weeks? Months? I'm satisfied with improvement time not completely symptom free but inprovement so any ideas on a time period average? I know everyone is different. 

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Bonzee

Altostrata do you think I should get back on 1mg? Or 2.5? I have the liquid so I'm ready to reinstate.

 

Edit: Took 1mg tonight. I will see how this goes and I guess I can always up to 2.5ML tomorrow if I need to. Hopefully I can stay on 1ml as I have 75 ML total to work with. Maybe 1 mg for a month daily then work my way down from there in increments? Let me know what you think.

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ChessieCat

Because you tapered so quickly it will be best to hold for at least 3 months, possibly longer, after you find the "right" reinstatement dose.

 

It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full level in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  Please keep daily notes on paper of your symptoms so that you/we can assess if reinstatement is working and whether a small increase might be needed.

 

Regarding your questions in the previous post, we are all an experiment where N=1.  You will need to listen to your body and only taper again once you have stabilised.

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Bonzee

Hi Chessie,

 

Thanks for the reply. I feel like the edge has been taken off with just 1ML dose today. I don't want to stay on this drug any longer than I have to (as many echo around here). I'll see if I'm stable enough on 1ML for a month and work with what I have left to taper down the next month after that. I'll keep you guys updated on my progress, but I'm hoping I can stay on this very low dose and let me body adjust, then taper down to "next to nothing" over a period of time. This is so difficult and stressful on our bodies and I'm so ready to be back to normal.

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Bonzee

An update: I increased the dosage to 2.5 mg today. 1mg took some of the edge off but I still was feeling bad withdrawal symptoms. My anxiety was manifesting in other ways (heart) and dizziness was still there big time...

 

I will stay on this dose for 4 days and see if I need to reinstate an ever higher dose. Altostrata was right...I tapered way too quickly... If I need to redo this from the top I'm going to definitely use the 10 percent method.

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Bonzee

Hi all,

 

Just wanted to share my story here and get some feedback. Been tapering Lexapro for about 3 months, but I'm back on (now) 3mg daily and probably will be reinstating in full. I have been in the depths of WD and it has been extremely hard. Mostly dizziness and anxiety, but within about the last 7 days I've had severe heart symptoms. Last week I went to the ER because my heart rate was shooting up, was just sitting at my desk and it went up past 150 bpm. I felt dizzy and weak, but it went back to normal and ER didn't find any issues. Told me it was WD and prescribed Librium (which I didn't take).

 

Okay, that's well and good. This week a few days ago I had a strong PVC followed by a few seconds of fluttering. More concerning symptoms, but I can live with it.

 

Tonight though (well last night) I was not doing well at all. I woke up about 7pm since I work ON and I did a few exercises. I went to lay back down and when I got up again I had a PVC following by an extremely fast heart rate. At least over 150, but probably up to 180 or higher. I was thinking VT I was so scared (but my medical mind thinks PSVT more likely). I had another small episode on the way to the hospital, only about 30 seconds. So...get to the hospital and EKG, blood work, bedside echo, chest x-ray are all normal but I'm a nervous wreck. I can barely move in bed otherwise my HR shoots up 10-20 bpm and my O2 falls a bit. I see my cardiologist on Monday, but I've seen them before and they've cleared me. Been a few years though.

 

So, what gives? I need input on this thread PLEASE. Log in or make an account quickly and tell me your experiences because it does help. Anybody have stuff like this? WD is no joke, this is now getting very concerning. This is why I've pretty much made the decision to get back to full dose. My heart is so irritable. If I taper again I'm using the 10% or less method.

 

Thanks

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Rosetta

Hi.  Welcome to SA.  Please consider that you should increase your dose very slowly from here.  I saw your post on another thread that your doctor recommends reinstating 10 mg.  There is some risk in doing that.  It might make matters worse whereas if you slowly increase you can stop if you need to before you get to 10 mg. Mods?

 

Also, skipping doses is very destabilizing to your CNS.  Please don't do that.  It could make WD worse.  Your doctor is unaware of how to keep you safe while on these drugs.  That is common, apparently.  

 

How long it will take to stabilize is very individual, but please take CC's advice and wait 3 months after you find the right reinstatement dose before you taper.  You are in the right place to learn how to avoid severe disruption to your life.  I understand how scary the heart issues can be, but if you have been cleared through ER you should be ok.  Sometimes anxiety can make heart issues scarier.  I had what I felt like were heart attacks while on Celexa, but the EKG was fine.  Taking a higher dose of ADs is not likely to make a difference except for making the WD worse.  The issue is kindling -- reinstating a dose that is too high may destabilize the CNS to a greater degree than not reinstating at that dose.  

 

Please search on Google "survivingantidepressants.org heart" to see how common that scary feeling is while in WD.  Maybe you can see how many people experience this symptoms and their doctors find nothing wrong.  

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1807-chest-pain-and-stabbing-pain-in-the-heart/

 

By the way,  you aren't taking any other medicines, are you?  For anything at all?

 

Take care, Rosetta

Edited by Rosetta
Spell

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Gridley
We recommend small reinstatements.  These drugs are strong, and when updosing/reinstating it is better to start with a small amount and increase of symptoms remain unbearable.  If you take too much it may be too much for your brain and can cause you to become unstable.  Sometimes it can be hard to regain stability after this happens.  Your brain has already made some adaptations to the lower doses, and we do not recommend you reinstate to your original dose of 10mg.
 
Four days is not long enough to see if 2.5 is enough.  It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.   Give it a week before you make a decision.
 
At that point, if there is no improvement, add in 1 mg.  If after a week, there is slight improvement but not enough, add in another 1mg.
 
Please read the first few post of this topic on reinstatement.:
 
Never skip doses.  It is very destabilizing to your central nervous system.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Bonzee

Thank you Gridley and Rosetta for your replies and support, I really appreciate it. 

 

Being off the Ledapeo for about 10 days I experienced mainly extreme dizziness and anxiety. I decided to reinstate 1 MG per AS recommendation and I did feel better but still having WD symptoms. I sat on 1MG for about 4 days and went up in dosage to 2.5 when I wasn't noticing much improvement (1mg took some of the edge off but not nearly enough). 

 

I wanted to stay on 2.5 for some time and see if I could function on this low dose, but that's when the heart symptoms started and I landed in the ER twice. The ER doctors and my cardiologist were aware of the tapering, the cardiologist and the second trip to the ER both recommended I get back on, first ER trip I was still off and he gave me some benzos to "last thru" withdrawal (only about 5 days worth) but we all know WD won't be over in 5 days and I didn't want to get hooked on benzos.

 

So now here I am kind of desperate because I can't end up back in the ER it's too expensive so that's when I decided to updpse even more. My psychiatrist recommended I get back on 5 mg and stay there for a while. I'm really uncertain at this point whether reinstating 10 would work for me or not or if I should just find a dose I can function at and stay there. I want to be healthy and be able to work. Sometimes I feel like I just want to be like I was on the drug, so reinstating in full doesn't bother me because I know I can wean off slowly in the future. 

 

Just playing the waiting game and seeing how my body reacts. I've seen many people on here and elsewhere reinstate full dose, so I'm not alone at least.

 

Thanks again for listening, and giving your input. If I can help you in any way let me know.

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MiguelFreeman
On 15/04/2018 at 12:32 PM, Bonzee said:

Hi all,

 

Just wanted to share my story here and get some feedback. Been tapering Lexapro for about 3 months, but I'm back on (now) 3mg daily and probably will be reinstating in full. I have been in the depths of WD and it has been extremely hard. Mostly dizziness and anxiety, but within about the last 7 days I've had severe heart symptoms. Last week I went to the ER because my heart rate was shooting up, was just sitting at my desk and it went up past 150 bpm. I felt dizzy and weak, but it went back to normal and ER didn't find any issues. Told me it was WD and prescribed Librium (which I didn't take).

 

Okay, that's well and good. This week a few days ago I had a strong PVC followed by a few seconds of fluttering. More concerning symptoms, but I can live with it.

 

Tonight though (well last night) I was not doing well at all. I woke up about 7pm since I work ON and I did a few exercises. I went to lay back down and when I got up again I had a PVC following by an extremely fast heart rate. At least over 150, but probably up to 180 or higher. I was thinking VT I was so scared (but my medical mind thinks PSVT more likely). I had another small episode on the way to the hospital, only about 30 seconds. So...get to the hospital and EKG, blood work, bedside echo, chest x-ray are all normal but I'm a nervous wreck. I can barely move in bed otherwise my HR shoots up 10-20 bpm and my O2 falls a bit. I see my cardiologist on Monday, but I've seen them before and they've cleared me. Been a few years though.

 

So, what gives? I need input on this thread PLEASE. Log in or make an account quickly and tell me your experiences because it does help. Anybody have stuff like this? WD is no joke, this is now getting very concerning. This is why I've pretty much made the decision to get back to full dose. My heart is so irritable. If I taper again I'm using the 10% or less method.

 

Thanks

This has happen to me means yoi tapering 2fast for your cns just hold at 3  and hold and they symptoms will eventualy stop

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Bonzee

Thanks Miguel for your input. I hope you are doing okay with your tapering. I'm at 4mg now, upped it more and my doc wants me at 5mg but I'll see how I do on this dose I guess. AS and mods always say wait a week but sometimes that can be forever esp if you're having to go to the hospital..let me know if you want to connect more since we're on the same drug.

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Littlegrandma

Hi bonzee 

be very careful about updosing. I went from 7 mg lex back up to 10 with disastrous results. Ended up with akathasia and complete insomnia for 2 mo.  The anxiety was incredible. I ended up in hospital where they brought my lex down by 50%. It stopped the tremors and akathasia but now I am in protracted wd 8 mo later. 

 

I had svt before I went on the drugs and ended up having cardiac ablation. All was good until I started to taper. My HR goes as high as 125 resting. I was put on metoprolol at the beginning of my taper for HR as well as high blood pressure. It seems this isn’t uncommon with tapering off these drugs. Try to relax and breath through it. That doesn’t help much with my anxiety but I can bring my heart rate down. 

I wish you the best. Be careful. These drugs are powerful.    Lg

 

 

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MiguelFreeman

This is indeed a horrible drug i am at 7.65 i ma tapering super slow but my cns is still sensitive some days i wake up and the suicidal thougts overwell me but i cant give up i am 19 was put on them at 17

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Bonzee

Yes, I felt fine on the drug (better than I was before for sure) for the 3 years, but I feel like I severely damaged my CNS after just a 3 month taper. I did the 5 mg every other day for a month and it got bad after that. I've heard from the admins this is the worst way to taper because the levels go up and down every day. I'm up to 4mg now and I do feel very sensitive, I feel more agitated, irritable, and my dizziness is still here. I guess I'm committed to getting off this drug now, I don't want to get worse as LittleGrandma said in her situation going back to full dose. I thought going back to full dose would clear up these symptoms and I would go back to my normal state on the drug...now I'm stuck in a rock and a hard place. I think I'll need a beta blocker for my heart if I try to get off this drug because my heart is so sensitive to all the anxiety.

 

 

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Shep
On 4/15/2018 at 7:32 AM, Bonzee said:

Hi all,

 

Just wanted to share my story here and get some feedback. Been tapering Lexapro for about 3 months, but I'm back on (now) 3mg daily and probably will be reinstating in full. I have been in the depths of WD and it has been extremely hard. Mostly dizziness and anxiety, but within about the last 7 days I've had severe heart symptoms. Last week I went to the ER because my heart rate was shooting up, was just sitting at my desk and it went up past 150 bpm. I felt dizzy and weak, but it went back to normal and ER didn't find any issues. Told me it was WD and prescribed Librium (which I didn't take).

 

Okay, that's well and good. This week a few days ago I had a strong PVC followed by a few seconds of fluttering. More concerning symptoms, but I can live with it.

 

Tonight though (well last night) I was not doing well at all. I woke up about 7pm since I work ON and I did a few exercises. I went to lay back down and when I got up again I had a PVC following by an extremely fast heart rate. At least over 150, but probably up to 180 or higher. I was thinking VT I was so scared (but my medical mind thinks PSVT more likely). I had another small episode on the way to the hospital, only about 30 seconds. So...get to the hospital and EKG, blood work, bedside echo, chest x-ray are all normal but I'm a nervous wreck. I can barely move in bed otherwise my HR shoots up 10-20 bpm and my O2 falls a bit. I see my cardiologist on Monday, but I've seen them before and they've cleared me. Been a few years though.

 

So, what gives? I need input on this thread PLEASE. Log in or make an account quickly and tell me your experiences because it does help. Anybody have stuff like this? WD is no joke, this is now getting very concerning. This is why I've pretty much made the decision to get back to full dose. My heart is so irritable. If I taper again I'm using the 10% or less method.

 

Thanks

 

Bonzee,

 

I moved the thread you started with the above post and merged it in with your main intro thread. Please ask for taper and dosing advice here in your main intro thread so all of your information stays in one place.

 

On 4/9/2018 at 11:21 PM, Bonzee said:

Took 1mg tonight.

 

On 4/13/2018 at 12:37 AM, Bonzee said:

An update: I increased the dosage to 2.5 mg today.

 

On 4/15/2018 at 7:32 AM, Bonzee said:

I'm back on (now) 3mg daily and probably will be reinstating in full.

 

1 hour ago, Bonzee said:

I'm up to 4mg now and I do feel very sensitive, I feel more agitated, irritable, and my dizziness is still here

 

You've gone from 1 mg to 2.5 mg to 3 mg and now you're up to 4 mg in only 9 days time. 

 

And now you're landing in the emergency room where you're being offered benzos (very glad to read you aren't taking them - dependency can happen in as little as 2 weeks). 

 

You're increasing the Lexapro by too much and too fast. 

 

The more compromised your nervous system is, the less it's going to be able to handle these types of increases and large dose sizes.

 

Keep in mind, Lexapro is an EXTREMELY potent antidepressant:

 

On 5/26/2011 at 10:16 PM, Altostrata said:

Special considerations
A significant characteristic of Lexapro is that milligram for milligram, it is much stronger than other SSRIs. Chemically, Lexapro is a variation of Celexa; the molecule was re-engineered to be patentable as Celexa's patent was about to expire. The streamlined molecule is a more potent SSRI, 2 to 4 times stronger than others. (Wikipedia has a good explanation of this at https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Escitalopram.)

However, many doctors are unaware that escitalopram is stronger than other SSRIs and dose it as though it were the same strength. Although the so-called usual starting dose of escitalopram, 10mg, is equivalent to 20mg-30mg or more of, for example, paroxetine (Paxil), your doctor may have moved you to an even higher dose. If you are taking 20mg of escitalopram, you are taking a hefty dose of an SSRI.

If you are taking 5mg, it's not tiny, it's equivalent to 10-20mg Paxil or Celexa.

Consequently, when you taper off escitalopram, you should be careful to decrease by small amounts, as each drop is magnified by escitalopram's extra potency. If you find withdrawal symptoms from a 10% decrease to be too difficult, after 3-4 weeks decrease by a smaller amount.

 

Please read the first post in this thread, as it explains why the smaller doses work better:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

I'm going to ask the other mods for input as to which dose would be best at this point. 

 

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Bonzee

Hi Shep,

 

Thank you for your response. I was actually hoping to get some input regarding the cardiac symptoms specifically so that's why I posted another thread in that forum. Many times viewers looking for symptom related discussion will bypass this board completely. Nonetheless thank you for your time in responding today.

 

I felt I needed to updpse quickly because my cardiac symptoms we're so bad and I can't afford to be back in the ER again. I definitely will not be updosing anymore until I stabilize for a good while. My psychiatrist recommended I be on 5mg before updosing to 10 when I discussed my situation with him. I don't mind getting back to full dose but I am worried about being overly sensitive to the drug as we see all too often here. 

 

Regards

 

Edit: Also, if I have to get off Lexapro I'm also worried about how I will be able to control my physical symptoms. I'm thinking a beta blocker?

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Shep

I understand your concerns, Bonzee.

 

It will help to have a symptoms and drug journal so we can see when the cardiac symptoms are occurring in relation to when you take the Lexapro:

 

 

Keep notes about your drug dosages and daily symptom pattern

 

Please also list your supplements and the amount of sleep you get each night. You can post your journal here in your thread. 

 

Did you have cardiac problems prior to withdrawal and / or prior to taking Lexapro? 

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Altostrata
On 4/16/2018 at 11:39 PM, Bonzee said:

wanted to stay on 2.5 for some time and see if I could function on this low dose, but that's when the heart symptoms started and I landed in the ER twice. The ER doctors and my cardiologist were aware of the tapering, the cardiologist and the second trip to the ER both recommended I get back on, first ER trip I was still off and he gave me some benzos to "last thru" withdrawal (only about 5 days worth) but we all know WD won't be over in 5 days and I didn't want to get hooked on benzos.

 

 

Bonzee, if your symptoms intensified after you increased to 2.5mg Lexapro, it's likely you are taking too much Lexapro.

 

You may note I suggested 1mg to start. There's a reason we recommend very low dosages -- your nervous system may be hypersensitized and react in strange ways to conventional dosages. If I were you, I'd reduce to 2mg immediately and see if symptoms reduce. Please let us know how you're doing.

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Rosetta

Good idea to avoid the benzo!  Some people think they can be addictive in only 2 weeks, but more importantly they might further destabilize your situation, cause a paradoxical reaction or somehow cause a problem.  I'm grateful that I had a rebound reaction as they wore off so I didn't take them after I realized that.  

 

This is a very, very difficult condition -- WD --, but I came to the conclusion long ago that trying to take a doctor's advice to "fix" it was only going to make it worse.  The psychiatrist I consulted put me on Trazodone.  It has a terrible side effect that is something like a rebound reaction.  

 

I don't know about beta blockers.  I would post specifically on that topic to get advice from a Mod.  If your heart checked out ok and you don't have psvt, I don't think, if I were you, I would take anything except magnesium and/or fish oil.  Bringing your heart rate down without drugs is, of course, the better option if it's possible.  I used to have a feeling of an adrenaline shot to the heart when I woke up.  It was a cortisol spike.  It's not as bad as it was and usually doesn't feel like it's going straight to my heart these days.

 

I'm so sorry you are suffering and worried about your heart.  Check out the Claire Weekes thread about avoiding second fear.  It might help.

 

Peace,

Rosetta

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Bonzee
7 hours ago, Altostrata said:

 

Bonzee, if your symptoms intensified after you increased to 2.5mg Lexapro, it's likely you are taking too much Lexapro.

 

You may note I suggested 1mg to start. There's a reason we recommend very low dosages -- your nervous system may be hypersensitized and react in strange ways to conventional dosages. If I were you, I'd reduce to 2mg immediately and see if symptoms reduce. Please let us know how you're doing.

 

 

Thank you to everyone for your replies. I will hold off on the beta blocker for now, my heart is too sensitive and as others have mentioned, there can be physical WD symptoms with beta blockers. 

 

In regards to my situation, I was having symptoms on 2.5mg, that's why I updosed. I'm on 4mg now, and have taken 4mg for the last 2 days (and about to take my third at 10pm). I work overnight, so I sleep during the day and I'm awake from maybe 6-7pm to 9am. So far with the dosage increase, I haven't felt much in regards to the dizziness, but my heart seems to have calmed a bit. I also had reassurance from my doctor so that can play a part in it. I'm wondering Alto, since I'm on 4mg now, to stay on this dose for a while and stabilize? I have been jumping around recently as Shep mentioned. Should I jump all the way back down to 2mg?

 

Thanks

 

Edit: Also to Shep's question - I had cardiac symptoms before going on Lexapro and it was determined to be because of my GAD. 99% of the symptoms went away while on Lexapro, and returned when I started Lexapro again low dose. I didn't have any cardiac symptoms while off for those 10 days, but the other WD effects pushed me to reinstate. When I reinstated 1mg and up to 2.5mg I started having symptoms. Now, at 4mg my heart is still irritable but not crazy.

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Altostrata

Bonzee, reinstatement is not going to immediately eradicate all your withdrawal symptoms. You need to give it time to work. Please stop jumping around in dosage.

 

It may take a while for your nervous system to settle down. You may have waves and windows of symptoms. They should gradually fade. Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages.

 

If your cardiac symptoms started after you were put on Lexapro, I am dubious they are from GAD. That is a common misdiagnosis of adverse effects of drugs.

 

Do you have a tendency to health anxiety?

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Bonzee
5 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Bonzee, reinstatement is not going to immediately eradicate all your withdrawal symptoms. You need to give it time to work. Please stop jumping around in dosage.

 

It may take a while for your nervous system to settle down. You may have waves and windows of symptoms. They should gradually fade. Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages.

 

If your cardiac symptoms started after you were put on Lexapro, I am dubious they are from GAD. That is a common misdiagnosis of adverse effects of drugs.

 

Do you have a tendency to health anxiety?

 

Hi Alto,

 

I understand and I made a mistake updosing too quickly, but my psychiatrist wanted me on 5mg, I won't be updosing any more until I stabilize.

 

Also, I meant to say my cardiac symptoms were present before I ever began Lexapro, that is one of the reasons why I started the drug, was to help me stabilize my anxiety levels, and once they were stable, my cardiac symptoms went away almost completely. I suffered from rapid heart rate episodes, PVC, flutters, etc. Now they are back once I reinstated, but I didn't experience any issues when tapering off or off completely. I'm thinking they returned due to the stress of this whole ordeal. I've been on edge and full of anxiety, and this just makes my heart even more irritable.

 

I have health anxiety pretty badly as well, especially concerning my heart. In the general sense, I worry about my health often. I have noticed some panic attacks are occurring as well, and I did not have panic attacks while on the drug. I just had one after exercising today in fact. Only lasted but maybe a few minutes and I went back to normal. I've had worse.

 

Thanks Alto

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Altostrata
9 hours ago, Bonzee said:

they returned due to the stress of this whole ordeal.

 

That could be. Withdrawal syndrome can be very difficult. You will need to get your health anxiety in hand, or you will add your anxiety to it and make it worse.

 

Your psychiatrist, no doubt, wants to stop your complaining. If your psychiatrist was able to recognize adverse effects from too much Lexapro, I would be surprised.

 

The reason this site exists is because even psychiatrists are clueless about tapering and withdrawal syndrome.

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Bonzee

Yes I agree. 

 

In regards to dosage, should I stay at 4mg now for a good while and stabilize, go down in dosage, or work my way up to full dose? 

 

 

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