anti-depressants

iloveexerciseNovember 28, 2008

So I have been on (10mg) Lexapro for the last 7 months.I went on it after I quit smoking cigarettes in March.I felt I was having some left over anxiety that wasnt going away so my doc prescribed it.(without insurance it costs a whooping 110 dollars a month,but that's a whole nother post in itself!)

It definitely helped with my anxiety,but made me feel kinda zombish as well.I swear I have not cried ONE single time in 7 months.I find it harder to sympathize with people too.At first I lost weight on it,then started gaining.I noticed alot of hair falling out too and acne (which I have learned are both side effects)

Since I have done so well not smoking,I decided I dont really need to be on this anymore and have started slowly trying to wean myself off.(no I did not talk to my doctor because I'm quite sure he would try to keep me on it,and I dont want to be on it!)

I cut down to 5mg (half a pill) a day for about a month.Then this week I stopped altogether.And boy,did I ever pick a bad time to quit!

I guess I'am expriencing "withdrawals": hot flashes,mood swings,dizziness,serious fatigue,depression...

It has been 5 days,and today has been better,I'm not quite as grouchy.But the first 3 days all I could do to ease my suffering was sleep!

This is worse then quitting the cigarettes!!! I guess I was just wondering if anyone else has had any trouble coming off anti-depressants and if you have any advice or know about how long this will last?

Thanks in advance.

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catherinet

I think I would stay on the 5 mg a month, and then 2.5mg for several weeks. You're right.....its a bad time of year to have alot of withdrawal symptoms. Its stressful for people who don't suffer from depression or withdrawal symptoms. Can you wait until the holidays are over? Stay at 5mg until January?
I'm discovering that these antidepressants are heavy-duty drugs, and we can't expect to just come off of them easily.
Give yourself a break and wait until January, and go more slowly!
DH is on Lexapro 20mg/day and he pays about $190/mo!
That in itself would give a person depression! He talks about coming off of it, and that really scares me. I think he should take months to do it.(maybe longer).

I was only on zoloft for 4 months, but came off because of extreme diarrhea and irregular heartbeats. But I did it really slowly........and I'm still feeling it. If it hadn't been for those side-effects, I would have definitely waited until January.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 5:23PM
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iloveexercise

Too late to delay quitting,I have already been off it almost a week.Today I'am feeling a little better.I slept for 12 hours last night and woke up feeling pretty good.Of course,I usually feel fine when I wake up and then feel grouchier as the day progresses.Last night I kept having the worst hot flashes! I really sympathize with women who are going through menopause now!

I cant believe your DH pays 190 dollars a month for Lexapro! You are right,that would definitely make me depressed! I found it hard enough paying a hundred a month and often asked the pharmacy to fill only half of it so I didnt have to pay it all at once.(You would think society would want us crazy people to have cheaper access to the drugs we need,j/k)
Thanks for responding.If I keep having a hard time I'll start taking 2.5 mgs like you suggested.I read on another forum most people generally feel better after 2 weeks and to just hang in there.
One thing I know is certain: Lexapro withdrawals+holiday shopping=bad,LOL...

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 1:53PM
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catherinet

Hi again,

Funny thing.......I started experiencing so many symptoms again, that I started back on the small dose of Zoloft! Its hard to know for sure why I'm having these symptoms. It could be my 2 kids back from college....which is stressful, or the over-eating I tend to do at Thanksgiving and for awhile afterwards. But today I cried "Uncle!". Today was 1 week off for me, and it feels like the symptoms are just starting up.
Question for you.......are you getting any weird physical sensations? I've been feeling like all of a sudden, every nerve in my body goes "BOO!" all at once. Maybe that's the "shock" that I've read about people getting with withdrawal sometimes.
Funny you should mention the hot flashes. The zoloft (and maybe the beta blocker I'm on), have helped with feelings like that, and other weird feelings.
If you ever need to go back on Lexapro, I think its going generic sometime in the near future.....so that will help.
Good luck to you!!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 6:28PM
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michelle_phxaz

The withdrawal symptoms can be worse than those of heroin. You need to do it with a doctor's supervision, if you want to get off them your doctor will work with you, if you have a doctor that won't help you need a new one. His job is to get you healthy.

Going back on any antidepressant can take up to a month to kick in, so don't expect a miracle within a day or so. Definitely talk to your doctor immediately, you can't self-medicate by changing your dosing, it is not good. Go to an urgent care if you have to, but you shouldn't be doing it on your own.

I don't like a lot of the side effects, the hot flashes, the nerve jumps, but the meds help with depression for sure.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 8:01PM
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iloveexercise

Catherinet,
I have been the opposite in that,it's been about a week and I'am starting to feel better.The first few days were absolute He11 though.

I do still get some strange physical sensations as you mentioned,but havent had the "shocks".I get dizzy spells,where my head feels very light and I have to almost hold myself up for a moment until it passes.
Almost like feeling drunk and your head is spininng.I guess that is called vertigo?

I heard prozac was the easiest to quit because of how it's stored in your body and Lexapro is one of the hardest to quit (figures,LOL)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 3:18PM
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catherinet

I think everyone is so different that you just never know what to expect.......going on SSRIs, or coming off them.
I have fibromyalgia and have lived with weird symptoms and sensations for so long. I was very scared to start Zoloft, as I thought I'd go crazy. But it hardly bothered me at all! But what really ruined it for me was the horrible diarrhea. That was a side-effect I definitely didn't expect.
I'm still thinking all these irregular heartbeats are from the Zoloft, but who knows.
My husband has been on a double dose of Lexapro for about 7 years. He talks about coming off it, and I just shutter.
He ran out of pills a month ago, and went about 4 days without them and had a panic attack. He didn't know what was happening at first, since he hadn't really had one since starting the Lexapro.
Poor guy. I don't have the heart to tell him what he might be in for, coming off the Lexapro.
Doctors always act a bit irritated when I don't want to go on a drug. But they just don't seem to appreciate what we have to go through when coming off a drug.
I hope you continue to feel better and better. Dizziness is awful.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 12:50PM
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highknitter

I was on Lexapro for about 3 years. It helped w/ anxiety & sleep problems, however I wanted to discontinue because I didn't cry anymore, felt I was having some brain-failure moments (I made some mistakes at work), brain zap feelings & my husband and I both agreed I was a little too unconcerned about things.
Anyhow, the shrink who prescribed said any withdrawal symptoms were 'in my head'. I tried weaning myself and was so nervous, I finally made an appt w/ a psychologist so they could sort of hold my hand thru the w/drawal. She was great. She saw me as needed and said she had heard about this many times.
My withdrawal was tapered & slow. I negotiated 3 weeks off using sick time w/ company nurse, however never used it. I recall my bothersome symptoms include involuntary leg movements as I was trying to go to sleep and headaches. For about 2 months, I had some crying episodes at work. I would cry for little reason. Finally had to explain to coworker who sat next to me--- I wanted her to know I hadn't come unglued, it was the meds. Don't remember much else - it's been a few years, but it was definitely a big deal for me.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 8:48AM
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iloveexercise

Kate8smith,thank you so much for sharing your exprience with me.
I actaully found several entire forums made up of nothing but people coming off of Lexapro having the same issues.Messed up doctors can tell us withdrawals are in our heads,ya know?
I'am glad you found a doctor who was able to help you through that tough time for you.

For me,today is day 7.I feel a little bit better each day that passes,although as it gets later at night I start feeling bad again and have to go to sleep.
I havent had much crying (YET) but I do tend to tear up faster/easier at sappy stuff on tv.I still feel slightly PMS-ish at times (my period is not due at all I just have that FEELING)

Catherinet,I was scared to start Lexapro too.I'm always scared to start any new med.Sometimes I give myself a panic attack thinking about what could happen,cause you hear such horror stories.

Thank you for the feedback gals.Slowly but surely I'am getting there :)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 12:59PM
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creekgirl

HI All......I was prescribed Lexapro (10mg) & by day # 5 I had terrible tremors in my hands. That was the last day I took it. I would rather deal with the depression of having lung cancer & all that entails.

Creekgirl

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 11:24AM
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iloveexercise

I have been off now 15 days and feeling great.No more vertigo,no more fatigue,acne completely CLEARED UP,and hair shedding stopped!

Creekgirl,I hear you.When I was on it I almost left my husband because I had no emotions!
Anyone who has questions about this stuff should really read this forum and all these people's encounters with it.Also,it has some great support on there for those going through withdrawals!

Here is a link that might be useful: Lexapro withdrawal support

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 5:40PM
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khandi

I was on antidepressants once in order to gain weight. I was losing weight too fast and docs didn't know why so specialist put me on antidepressants. Can't remember the name but started with a C and was only 10mg a day. I told him I wasn't depressed and he said that they help to gain weight. He was right. I was on it for a month.

The first 2 weeks, I felt like sh*t. I have RA and during this time I felt pain from head to toe all at once and spent most of my time in bed. My sister told me it was my body getting used to the meds and that it takes 2-3 weeks for them to work.

At the end of the 3rd week, I noticed really bad heart palpitations and got really scared. The 4th week, I took them every 2nd day and quit. Well, I cried every day for a whole week! Didn't matter who I was talking to, everything made me cry. LOL I'll never take those again!

I couldn't wean myself off of them for 2 weeks cuz the palpitations were really bad.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 9:52PM
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