wanting to get off lexapro- update 4 weeks in - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 10-30-2007, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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it amazes me that i've been taking this stuff for 4 years now. the side effects have gotten worse & are definitely not compatable with my hormonal changes i switched from morning to night time to see if it would help reduce my crazy morning hot flashes and now i'm sitting up at 3 in the morning .

depression is much less a factor than anxiety. i have some residual PTSD and am pretty flinchy and easily set off into an anxiety tailspin. before i approach my doctor, i want to do my research and see what better alternatives are out there.

it really did help for a while but for the long term i've turned into a very overweight hot-flashing sweaty nightmare it's time to change things up!

any suggestions?
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#2 of 20 Old 10-30-2007, 04:42 AM
 
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I have severe panic attacks. I take GABA when I feel the anxiety starting to build up. It has helped tremendously. You can get it at a natural store.

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#3 of 20 Old 10-30-2007, 04:45 AM
 
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I weaned off slowly with my Psych's supervision and realized that after all those years - I felt better without it. May you find the same happy peace....

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#4 of 20 Old 10-30-2007, 05:00 AM
 
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Slowly. I loved Lexapro, but I could not have an orgasm while taking it. Dealbreaker! However, I was a nervous mess coming off of it. I took Xanax for the acute anxiety and weaned off of it slowly.

Good luck. It's great when you find something that works, but getting there sucks.
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#5 of 20 Old 10-30-2007, 05:07 AM
 
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Zoloft is good for anxiety. You will have to come off it very slowly for sure. Good Luck

 
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#6 of 20 Old 10-30-2007, 09:26 AM
 
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I've been on Lexapro for a couple yrs but have had to come off of it (not my choice) because I lost my job and do not have the money to purchase it. I weaned off and did it quickly because I was running out. If I can find another job, I will go back on it again as I definately need it.

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#7 of 20 Old 10-30-2007, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all the suggestions. slowly definitely seems to be the way to go. i was up from 1 to 5 am last night thanks to switching to night time dosage. ugh. dd and i are playing hookey today

the more research i do the more i have moments. i sweat PROFUSELY in the mornings. once, dd's daycare provider asked if i needed to come in & sit for a while b/c i looked so awful.

my PMS has been steadily worsening mood-wise. my fuse is VERY short when it's short. after doing so much work on my yelling, i lose all control during PMS : it definitely sets back my personal growth.

my weight has been completely resistant to diet & exercise. i get so discouraged that i stop all attempts for a while & then go back & start the cycle again. i know the lexapro can't be helping.

the anxiety is my biggest concern. i'll definitely look into the GABA. i've got some homeopathic stuff and some xanax too so i think i can manage it.

Mothra- my libido is zip, zero, nada. we haven't ruled out ttc #2 but i'm soooo not interested again hindsight being 20/20 and all

it'll be a journey for sure. i'll call my md & see what suggestions she has in terms of weaning. i'll start by bumping down to 5 mg. that'll be a good start.

thanks again! any more guidance, support, etc is GREATLY appreciated!!!
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#8 of 20 Old 10-30-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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Slowly and with supervision.

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#9 of 20 Old 10-30-2007, 02:44 PM
 
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Just to know...I quit lexapro cold turkey and was extremely ill for at least a month- both physically and mentally. Don't do that. I also gained too much weight, made me more depressed. I chose to try wellbutrin and xanax for anxiety attacks. Its definitely not perfect, but better I think. I was unmedicated for a year or so and only recently started the wellbutrin. I chose wellbutrin with my doc so that I could maybe go off meds completely in the future without horrid side effects, and I have fits of feeling like I don't want to take my meds. I hated lexapro, ick.
Good luck and it seems like your goal to "change up" is positive and affirming- I love seeing that!
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#10 of 20 Old 10-30-2007, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamahart View Post
Good luck and it seems like your goal to "change up" is positive and affirming- I love seeing that!

thanks!!!! good to know about the wellbutrin too!
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#11 of 20 Old 10-31-2007, 12:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bobica View Post
thanks!!!! good to know about the wellbutrin too!
I tried Wellbutrin a year or so ago and I did not do well on it at all. I was worse than I am with no meds at all!!

Kim, proud CPS mom to Marnie and my 4 legged kids, Jess, Zander, Oliver, Stumpy and Eddie.
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#12 of 20 Old 10-31-2007, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my goal is to go no-meds or at least just xanax here & there :
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#13 of 20 Old 11-25-2007, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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and i'm feeling OK. I had cut my dose in 1/2 for 2 1/2 weeks, then started every other day. now i'm totally off it. the side effects have changed & continue on. I should've worked with my md on this but never picked up the phone

i'm also not sure if i took it slowly enough, but now that i'm off of it, i'm riding it out. my withdrawal symptoms (which lexaproinfo.org said can last for 8 weeks) include:

headaches
crazy dreams
insomnia

and possibly (don't know if these were independent or related)
fever
blurred vision
joint pain


: i'm taking 1/2 a xanax every once in a while when i know i'm going to be stressed out (like being with my mom and dd together) after 1 night of insomnia, i take 1/2 an ambien to sleep the next night. so, i'm functioning pretty well.

the hot flashes have gotten much better and i'm less irritable OFF the lexapro, so there have been improvements. i keep rescue remedy with me and am working on making time to exercise on a more consistent basis. :
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#14 of 20 Old 11-26-2007, 03:02 AM
 
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Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm in a similar boat right now trying to get off Zoloft after (gulp) 9 years +/- can't remember. I'm looking forward to hearing about your continued progress.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#15 of 20 Old 11-26-2007, 06:06 PM
 
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Good for you! I was on Zoloft for anxiety, and I had similar symptoms while on the drug (night sweats, weight gain, low libido) and while tapering off (fatigue, head in the clouds).

You might want to check out "The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook" if you haven't yet. It helps me when my anxiety resurfaces.

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#16 of 20 Old 11-26-2007, 07:30 PM
 
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Lexapro was horrible for me! I only took 10 mg a day for a couple of months before I was switched to Zoloft (so much better!). I had every side affect you could think of from Lexapro and it didn't really help my depression. In fact, Lexapro CAUSED my anxiety attacks. I didn't have them until I started taking it.

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#17 of 20 Old 11-27-2007, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well, the headaches are subsiding (thankfully). the blurred vision comes & goes. nothing serious, just a little hazy when i'm on the computer.

the crying, though. OH MY GOODNESS! dd and i were in the car today & Miley Cyrus & her dad's song came on & i cried my way through it i cry at EVERYTHING. and i mean EVERY SINGLE THING. i hope this eases up soon, but it's better than the headaches for sure!!!

aaronsmom, how awful!!!! for me, the birth control pill triggered the anxiety. it was always lurking under the surfact but when dd was about a year old, i tried going on the pill (which was my bc of choice for years & years) and i snapped!!!

thanks for the ongoing support- i'm amazed at what a process this is!!! i'm hoping to get *myself* back someday. :
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#18 of 20 Old 11-29-2007, 02:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobica View Post
for me, the birth control pill triggered the anxiety. it was always lurking under the surfact but when dd was about a year old, i tried going on the pill (which was my bc of choice for years & years) and i snapped!!!

thanks for the ongoing support- i'm amazed at what a process this is!!! i'm hoping to get *myself* back someday. :
I can relate to this as well! I used the pill for years. Quit 2.5 years before we conceived DD (she's 4 now). Then a few months ago, I tried the Nuva-ring - whoa, I was a nervous wreck - and while I was still on the zoloft. The anxiety left when I took the ring out.

Once I get all the anti-depressants out of my system, I'm heading to the naturopath for a full work-up including hormones just to see what's really going on here. I had originally intended to switch to Effexor but I'd like to know where I'm at before tinkering with anymore of my brain chemistry, KWIM?

I also have been very weepy, but at this point, I'm preferring it to feeling dead or numb. And, I can totally relate to your comment about getting "myself" back someday. I think I'm actually one my way here. :

Hang in there. Good luck with your journey.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#19 of 20 Old 11-29-2007, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Starflower- our journeys sound so very similar! Today, i dropped dd off around the corner for a playdate & as i was walking home I felt so.... i don't even know......clear? Yeah, clear. not in a fog. i came home, got some things done, talked to my friend, and went to pick her up.

it was such a good, in-the-moment kind of a day. i don't remember the last one. i'd hate to look back & realize i was in a fog her entire childhood!!!

my fingers are crossed right back at you !!! :
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#20 of 20 Old 12-13-2007, 07:29 AM
 
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Thanks. I just wanted to check in with you and see how things were going for you. I'm so glad to hear that you had a clear, in-the-moment kind of day. As my 4 year old would say "big thumbs up!"

I hear you about wondering if you've missed out on your DD's life somehow because of being in a fog. I feel this way about myself sometimes too, but I just keep telling myself that I did the best I could at the time with what I had and what I knew or thought to be true.

Update for me: I'm completely off the Zoloft now. I was taking a literal "crumb" every night for a few days but I quit about 3-4 days ago. I noticed once again that I had that loopy "spaced out" feeling for a couple days afterward, but it's pretty much gone now.

I also noticed that I need to eat when I first get up in the morning now. I can't wait around like I used to do.

I've been rather irritable off and on - partially because I feel like I'm not being numbed into complacency about everything in my life. It's kind of like I woke up one day and realized that I really was angry about a few things. This kind of freaked me out for a few days, but I've been able to talk to DH about some of it and he's been very understanding and willing to step up and do his part for some of the relationship stuff that had been bothering me. None of it was "new" stuff really - it was more like I finally have enough energy to do something about what I want in life.

Have you (or anyone else) noticed this while getting off anti-depressants or such? Or like a huge personal growth spurt?

After the holidays, I'm getting to the ND for a complete work up including hormones so I can figure out where I am at and how best to get the rest of my health back to where I want it. Also, I want to see if I have a hormone imbalance or if I'm becoming peri-menopausal.

Good luck with your continued success! And thanks for letting me tag-along on your thread. to all of us on this journey.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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