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Lexapro withdrawal

Day 4 after tapering off (was taking a pill every other day before going cold turkey) and I think I'm going through withdrawal. Jittery, panicky, nauseous, the works. I'm prone to anxiety attacks, and the withdrawal seems like one extended anxiety attack. Chewing gum has helped, but this is not going to be fun. How long will this last?

by Anonymousreply 5902/05/2013

How about asking your doctor for a Klonopin scrip?

by Anonymousreply 104/08/2010

I was on klonopin the past and had a bad reaction to it. I have some xanax at home that haven't expired yet and was thinking of taking that.

by Anonymousreply 204/08/2010

R3... Fuck off. You don't know what you're talking about. Meds are a godsend for some of us.

OP, 4 days is WAY too fast to taper off. When I was getting off Zoloft a few years ago, it took me two months of tapering down, but I had no problems.

by Anonymousreply 404/08/2010

r3, my depression and anxiety are all genetic, not situational. If you want to take some meds to help get through the bad stuff, what's the big deal. I wanted to stop the lexapro because it was making me fatigued/tired and achy and some other strange side effects. My doc wants me to try abilify. He gave me some free samples. I've heard that the drug works really great, but I've also heard about some weight gain, which I had with paxil in the past.

by Anonymousreply 504/08/2010

OP, lexapro withdrawal (at least for me) took several weeks after I stopped it cold turkey. It consisted of about a week of extreme depression and then it was over and I've never had any other problems.

by Anonymousreply 604/08/2010

It took at least a couple, if not a few, months for the zaps to go away and for me to be able to cope again. Worst thing ever. Never again.

by Anonymousreply 704/08/2010

How did you end your Lexapro usage R7? Tapering off? For how long? Cold turkey?

by Anonymousreply 804/08/2010

I quit Celexa cold turkey without telling my doc - big mistake, but I got through it. Took a couple months for the anxiety to sort of stabilize, but the brain zaps lasted for about 6 months. I would never take an SSRI again because of how it felt going off them. In answer to your question, though, it's probably different for everyone. I would recommend tapering off slowly, though, and not doing it the way I did it. In the long run, it'll probably be easier on your system.

by Anonymousreply 904/08/2010

OP - get some RESCUE REMEDY from Whole Foods or most healthfood stores. It's herbal, doesn't interfere w/ drugs and it's about $12 and will help with the anxiety and stress while you withdraw. all the best and hang in there.

by Anonymousreply 1004/08/2010

r7 here - I tapered off for 2 months then stopped. Decreased dosage steadily. Without Doctor Dearest's knowledge.

by Anonymousreply 1104/08/2010

Why would you want to go off Lexapro if it is working for you? If it is not working for you, try another one, there are so many that can help. Why suffer if you do not have to?

by Anonymousreply 1304/08/2010

OP, what was paxil withdrawal like? That's supposed to be the worst.

by Anonymousreply 1404/08/2010

You've come off it too quick. Try taking a quarter of a pill.

by Anonymousreply 1504/08/2010

I stopped because it was making me tired and fatigued all the time. Also I started having some memory problems--just a brain fatigue--as well as gave me some other odd symptoms that my doc attributed to it. Plus, I have a $75/month copay with my insurance, which is pretty excessive. He wanted to taper off Lexapro and start lose-dose abilify simultaneously for a week. I was scared of taking them both at the same time, no matter how low the dosage, so decided to taper the lexapro and then go cold turkey for a bit before starting the abilify.

by Anonymousreply 1604/08/2010

lose-dose = low-dose

by Anonymousreply 1704/08/2010

OP you have to taper more slowly. It's like losing weight: don't let your impatience get in the way of your goal. If you are prone to anxiety you might need to try other meds, or changes in your routine like no caffeine/alcohol (or cut way down) and lots of exercise, which has proven beneficial for most anxiety sufferers.

I'm amazed that you were complaining of side effects, and your doc prescribed Abilify? It's an antipsychotic with the potential for much more severe side effects. Unless you're having major psychotic symptoms, there is no need for this med (despite all the ads we're being bombarded with).

Good luck OP.

by Anonymousreply 1804/08/2010

Do NOT go on an anti-psychotic unless you are psychotic. There are studies of kids with traumatic brain injuries who were given anti-psychotics due to psychiatric episodes after their injury and ended up reliant on them for the rest of their life. Doctors are now starting to believe that anti-psychotics permanently alter your brain chemistry.

Seriously, with the number of other drugs out there, you do not need to mess with anti-psychotics.

by Anonymousreply 1904/08/2010

Stop spilling the details, r19!

by Anonymousreply 2004/08/2010

DO NOT go on Abilify unless you have life-threatening suicidal depression that is not remitting on standard antidepressants. This is the latest pharma strategy to expand antipsychotic medications to a new market and it is not justified.

Antipsychotics have major side effects including weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, drowsiness, and tics. They should never be used in unipolar depression unless a heroic treatment is required.

by Anonymousreply 2104/09/2010

Tapering antidepressants needs to be done very slowly to minimize withdrawal and prevent a relapse. Taking several months is not unusual and allows the opportunity to see how you do at a lower dose.

In many cases, depression will re-occur (in over 60% of patients). If you are continuing to have moderate to severe symptoms, you need to accept the fact that staying on an antidepressant is much safer than taking the risk it won't work when you re-start it to treat a new episode.

Most patients find they need to stay on them.

by Anonymousreply 2204/09/2010

Re: Abilify... perhaps OP's doc had a recent visit from big pharma field rep.

I noticed in the recent news about the Pfizer financials, they admit to spending at least 5 million more on payments to doctors than on R&D. I can certainly read between those lines.

by Anonymousreply 2304/09/2010

I had a hell of a time when my doctor proscribed Abilify. My jaw wouldn't stop moving and I felt like crawling out of my skin.

by Anonymousreply 2404/09/2010


by Anonymousreply 2504/09/2010

Abilify made me feel jittery and gave me anxiety.

by Anonymousreply 2604/09/2010

by Anonymousreply 2704/09/2010

Why do people still insist on going off these meds on their own, without asking a doctor? Please just go to the doctor and do what he says.

by Anonymousreply 2804/09/2010

I thought Abilify was for bipolar.

by Anonymousreply 2904/09/2010

What [R21] said. Abilify is an atypical anti-pyschotic, sometimes helpful with bipolar, but really a last-ditch drug. I can't imagine risking it just for depression. The anti-psychotics can send you right down the path to diabetes. Some of the changes they cause to brain chemistry are either extremely long-lasting or permanent, and not necessarily in a good way.

There are loads of different anti-depressants out there. If your doctor just wants to put you on the latest thing the pharmaceutical salesperson pushed, you need a new doctor.

by Anonymousreply 3004/09/2010

I have more than just simple depression. I have huge OCD issues about my health. I feel ill all the time.

Here's the story. I had an extreme nervous breakdown in 1993 following an HIV scare from my first encounter with another guy. All we did was kiss and JO together, but I convinced myself I contracted HIV from this encounter. I became ill right afterward, and haven't felt right for the past 15 years. I've been tested for everything in the book, and became even more paranoid about HIV afterward. I stopped going to HIV tests in 2006, after they were all negative. Again, I've had every test known to man over the past 17 years, but they can't find a damn thing. Have gone to multiple docs, including one of the top virologists in my state. They all concluded that exteme anxiety and psychological problems have manifested themselves as physical issues. I'm prone to anxiety attacks. I've been on countless meds for my psychological problems, some offering relief and some not. So I just continue on these drugs, hoping something does the trick.

My doc, whom I trust very much and is not one to push the latest med, prescribed the abilify when I was there in Feb only because I was in a terrible mental state.

by Anonymousreply 3104/09/2010

Did you have to go doctor shopping to keep finding new ones to give you the HIV tests, because the old ones got sick your requests?

by Anonymousreply 3204/09/2010

I hated coming off Lexapro. In addition to renewed depression, I got these annoying 'head jolts' that felt like a small dose of electricity going through my head. My head would actually move when they happened.

It lessened over time, but probably took about two weeks for all symptoms to disappear completely. I'm glad I resisted the urge to go back on it.

by Anonymousreply 3304/09/2010

I went through something like that in the 80s, OP. If it makes you feel better, you're definitely not alone.

With that said, try to slow your withdrawal from the dolls. The faster you try to get off them, the harder it will be and why make feeling bad even worse.

Take care.

by Anonymousreply 3404/09/2010

Wow, yes I did. I was ping-ponging back and forth between four or five different places. One doctor at a clinic refused to test me and gave me the name of a good psychiatrist. I would get a neg test one week, then go back the next week for another test if I came down with a cold! And forget about having sex at this point. I was terrified of even getting near a gay man or anyone who looked ill. I was a huge mess.

After 9/11, when, like many of us, I began to question my mortality, I came to the realization that I needed to stop being so scared and explore gay life. Was on paxil at this time, which did me a world of good. Physically felt a lot better, was less anxious, and relaxed disease fears somewhat. Started going to bars and clubs. Between 9/11 and early 2006, I kissed a number of guys, JO-ed with several. I planned this out with my PCP as a surefire way to avoid HIV. Had a relapse of my mental issues in early 2006, and began to fear that the kissing and JO-ing might have somehow faciliated HIV into entering my body. My PCP told me that was impossible. I decided to suck it up and get tested, and of course it was neg.

Since that neg test exactly four years ago, I haven't done much with a guy. I felt that I dodged a bullet by not getting HIV from kissing/JO after 9/11, so decided to refrain from that. I've kissed a couple of guys in the past four years, and JO-ed with one. I essentially tried to keep any possibility of exchange of any bodily fluids to a minimum. My only outlets for my sexual energy now are the occasional lap dance from a go-go boy, and, and this is going to sound really pathetic, from cruising the video stores. I'm not doing anything in the booths. I just go there to connect/flirt with other gay men. It's pathetic, but I know these are venues where, because of my fear of disease, I wouldn't take it any further than a lap dance or touching a stranger's arm.

And now I'm here obsessing that I might've been up HIV from getting a lap dance or shaking a guy's hand in a video store. This is the mindset I was in when I went to my PCP last month. He thinks I'm insane and would not test me. That's when he suggested the abilify to deal with my irrational thoughts, as he's termed them.

Yes, I'm a huge fucking mess.

by Anonymousreply 3504/09/2010

OP, why is your shrink treating you for depression and not OCD?

From your description, that seems like a much bigger problem for you, and Abilify isn't used to treat that.

by Anonymousreply 3604/09/2010

OP, do you at least understand that the thoughts are irrational?

If you don't, I think you really need some sort of talk therapy, possibly in addition to medication. Medication will quiet the thoughts, but they will not go completely away or change your mindset and behavior unless you talk it through.

by Anonymousreply 3704/09/2010

On a purely intellectual level, I know my thoughts are totally irrational. If someone were to come from me and throught they contracted HIV from kissing or a lap dance or from touching a stranger's arm in an adult video store, or even being in a video store, I'd suggest therapy and meds. On a more emotional level, it just doesn't sink through. I have to keep telling myself that the thoughts are irrational. I am fatigued/tired all the time, and my doc thinks that that comes from depression. He said that the abilify would help with these irrational thoughts.

by Anonymousreply 3804/09/2010

Lexapro is not well-regarded among the SSRIs for OCD type symptoms. Zoloft works much better.

by Anonymousreply 3904/09/2010

My OCD thoughts disappear with Celexa.

by Anonymousreply 4004/09/2010

OP have you tried cognitive therapy? So you can examine how you think? Because you really can change it. It sounds like you need to.

by Anonymousreply 4104/09/2010

I've seen a lot of therapists--psychologists and psychiatrists. I would just go there and complain about my life, and I really began to hate that, especially with the $40 copay per session. I know what the issue is. Obviously, it's not really about AIDS. That's just a red herring for fear of emotionally distancing myself from my domineering, religious family, fear of being rejected by them and not being able to function on my own, terror in them thinking negatively of me. That and the fact that I have the emotional maturity of a teenager are the consensus. How do I even go about finding a cognitive-behavioral therapist? I have United Health/Oxford and I don't think their website breaks down therapists according to what type of method they use.

by Anonymousreply 4204/09/2010

Obviously r42 is me.

by Anonymousreply 4304/09/2010

OP where are you located? there are several online directories of therapists. I don't blame you for resenting having to pay for complaining about your family. I went through the same and found it a racket. Cognitive therapy was the only approach that made a difference to me. It helps you examine how your feelings/reactions stem from your thoughts. Sometimes it's just runaway thoughts that produce very real anxiety symptoms. When you can control the thoughts or at least redirect them you can quell the symptoms. It takes work.

INterestingly, psychiatrists/psychoanalysts seem to really resent cognitive therapists and see the practice as a fad. In my view this is because the latter get results, and this threatens the cushy scam so many psychiatrists enjoy.

by Anonymousreply 4404/09/2010

All of the SSRIs are excellent for OCD, anxiety and depression. However, if treating OCD, higher doses are usually needed, which can be difficult to tolerate due to side effects for some people.

by Anonymousreply 4504/09/2010

[quote]My OCD thoughts disappear with Celexa.

Celexa and Lexapro are isomers (same formula, different molecular shape), so if OP isn't being helped by one, he probably won't be helped by the other.

by Anonymousreply 4604/09/2010

OP, I am so happy that you haven't gotten snarky responses. I'm sending you a virtual hug, that is guaranteed disease-free. ((( )))

by Anonymousreply 4704/10/2010

"I had a hell of a time when my doctor proscribed Abilify. My jaw wouldn't stop moving and I felt like crawling out of my skin."

This is called 'tardive dyskinesia' and is a common side effect from antipsychotics. Your doc should have taken this into consideration and warned you about it. The TV commercials certainly DON'T.

Unless you're hallucinating/hearing voices and unable to function these drugs are not worth the risk.

OP how are you doing? Have you found help?

by Anonymousreply 4804/25/2010

I recently quit lexapro last year after being on it for close to 9 years and did lots of research before hand. I wanted to make it with the least amount of withdrawals possible. I had tried to quit previously and quickly learned that this was not going to be an easy journey. You can read more about how I was successful and what you can do to feel better after Lexapro in the link below.

by Anonymousreply 4901/31/2013

Something really strange happened to me. I couldn't get a refill in time so I decided to quit. Didn't seem to any affect on me (20mi for 5 years). I had no withdrawal. I was taking generic Ultram for back pain.

I think Ultram took away withdrawal pain. Good luck op. btw u can get ultram online

by Anonymousreply 5001/31/2013

[quote]Why do people still insist on going off these meds on their own, without asking a doctor? Please just go to the doctor and do what he says.

Many of us have bad experiences with doctors. Honestly, I've come to think of doctors as nothing more than high-priced pill vending machines.

OP, I recently wrote somewhere here on DL that I took myself off Lexapro a couple of years ago. I did it VERY gradually, over several months. I hated the head zaps, the clinched muscles, fatigue, lack of sex drive, etc. I would NEVER go cold turkey on anti-depressant.

by Anonymousreply 5101/31/2013

I was on a pretty heavy dose of Lexapro for about a year. I was pretty reluctant to go on any anti-depressants to begin with, but my doctor insisted. So once I found a constructive therapist (who was focused on getting me to make positive changes rather than just dig deeper into the mess) and started to get my life together I decided I didn't want or need them anymore. I managed to get off cold turkey without weening, though perhaps the short time I was on it made it easier?

Only had one major relapse into depression since, but that was after a pretty devastating realisation. It wasn't fun, but I feel a lot better for getting through it without drugs. Everything else seems like such a laugh compared to that.

Obviously it isn't possible for everyone to maintain their mental health without medication, but I'd recommend at least trying it, though probably with doctor's supervision lest things get really bad.

by Anonymousreply 5201/31/2013

Not really related but has anyone experienced water retention as a side effect of testosterone ethanate injections?

by Anonymousreply 5301/31/2013

Anyone use Suntheanine? It's supposed to help with stress, depression, anxiety, and concentration among other things. Good for ADHD. I have a friend who's therapist recommended it to her a few days ago.

Over the counter.

Just curious.

by Anonymousreply 5401/31/2013

Do a cleanse after you get off the dolls. Research "chelation". You want that crud out of your body. No meat, and start running. Learn Vipassana meditation and observe your thoughts. Your OCD thoughts may never go away. But then if you accept them, and who you are right now, they then might go away over time. Maybe they won't, but they won't be behind the wheel. Hopefully you will observe them wither away.

by Anonymousreply 5501/31/2013

OP, have you tried meditation? In meditation- just turn inward and listen to your breath. right at the tip of your nose. if your mind wanders go back to the breath. just observe your thoughts. do not react, just acknowledge. start a 1 minute at a time.

I also had obsessive thoughts and meditation has helped for me. Really the anti-depressants won't help w/the spinning of the mind.

Everyone's mind spins endlessly. OP, your thoughts are centered around fear of disease others on hating their job, etc. Just learn to not react and realize the mind is generating its own inane chatter constantly.

by Anonymousreply 5601/31/2013

This thread is another illustration of why our society is so fucked up and why medical costs will never be controlled. The huge Pharma industry creates useless ineffective drugs like Lexapro and then markets them relentlessly on the public through BILLIONs spent on TV ads. The public is so gullible and brainwashed that they believe they must have these drugs to survive. It costs us $100s of billions - yes look it up - in health care costs. 10% of the population is on them.

They are toxic to your body and worthless - I know I will be attacked now!!! It's simply the truth you will never accept.

by Anonymousreply 5701/31/2013

God. I was 18 hours late on my Pristiq dose and I felt like my skull was being cracked open. Horrible. When I finally took my medicine, I still had a throbbing headache all day.

by Anonymousreply 5802/05/2013

R49- loved your yahoo article. It was great and summed up the key health factors that can minimize depression and make it easier to get off the meds. I am on Pristiq that is a time release capsule and harder to reduce the dose in incremental amounts.

On the Pristiq- I feel great certainly but I agree there is sort of a detached feeling while on the meds.

by Anonymousreply 5902/05/2013
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