Friday, March 16, 2012

Still Here!

I am honored that visitors are still coming to this blog and sharing their experiences and hope for recovery from withdrawal (or the more popular wording "discontinuation syndrome") of Lexapro. I hope that by coming here you will know that you are not alone. Time and encouragement will help.

It looks like the Wikipedia article has been updated for those of you who like reading.

More reading

Even more

Remember that regular exercise is a great antidepressant! More tips.

What are your favorite ways to keep depression at bay?


Thursday, December 31, 2009


Welcome Lexapro withdrawal-ees!

If you've stumbled upon this blog because you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms after cutting-out Lexapro, hang in there. It takes awhile but I believe you WILL feel better.

Other than living with depression, I am currently withdrawal symptom-FREE. I weaned off of the medication VERY slowly, only to be slammed with the worst and most long-lasting withdrawal symptoms after my last dose. Read "a summary" below for everything in a nutshell.

Rx for YOU:

It's going to take a few weeks before you get over this. Seriously consider making some big changes during this time to help ease the process. You can go back to being your old self later. For now, you need to prioritize your health.

1. Get enough sleep. Always a good rule of thumb. Consider yourself sick. When you're sick, you need to sleep and stay hydrated.

2. DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL. Your symptoms will be enhanced if you booze it up. This is part of the change you need to make for your health.

3. Take Omega-3 fish oil capsules. Good for your brain.

4. Take some Advil. May or may not take the edge off for you.

5. Drink lots of water. Again, it's basic health here.

6. Avoid caffeine. Seriously, you don't need caffeine stimulating your wiry brain any more than it's being stimulated right now. Plus, it dehydrates you.

7. Eat healthful whole foods. Elementary health.

8. Take a Xanax. This should be done under a doctor's supervision. Xanax is highly addictive. Do not take it more than 2 days in a row.

I'd love to hear how you are doing! I wish you all the best.


Friday, February 1, 2008

To Readers of this Blog:

Many hugs. You will get through it.

I cringe when I look at my statcounter results and see the google searches that led you here:

can lexapro cause brain buzzing
coughing and memory loss
neck stiffness
lexapro hypothyroidism (several people searched this)
lexapro withdrawal and forgetfulness
stop lexapro when do hypothyroid symptoms go away
lexapro and rem sleep
lexapro withdrawal and migraines
lexapro memory
lexapro apathy
how long does stiff neck last stop lexapro
lexapro fever
lexapro brain zaps (several)
lexapro withdrawal eye movement
lexapro withdrawal thyroid (several)
symptom freezing cold headache
withdrawal and omega 3

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Memory Loss

This is scary. I swear, parts of my brain have been wiped clean.

I'm a firm believer in the benefits of Omega-3. There's lots in the news lately about how eating fish improves memory.

I've been slack for a few weeks with taking Omega-3. Gotta get back on track.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Summary

Not 100% better yet, but I thought I'd start a list...

On Lexapro:

* Recurrent neck stiffness
* Zero emotion
* Zero libido
* Sleeping too much
* Agoraphobia

Weaning from Lexapro:

* Profuse sweating
* Heart palpitations
* Intense headaches
* Dizziness and Nausea
* Insomnia
* Forgetfulness
* Becoming happier
* Becoming motivated
* Getting stuff done!

Recently Off Lexapro:

* Freezing cold
* Headaches
* Body Aches
* Brain sensitivity
* Maybe a little bit of libido? (woot!)
* Brain zaps
* Forgetfulness is worse

Good times!

About 1 month Off Lexapro:

* Almost normal.

Brain/eye/ear sensitivity is there, but only really bad after drinking alcohol or when I'm tired.
Still forgetful.
I've felt so bad for the past month that I haven't moved a muscle. I'm weak. I got really tired and shaky just cleaning one room the other day.

UPDATE 11/26: I'm feeling better!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I know you're out there...

My stat counter shows me the Google searches that bring you here:

"lexapro withdrawal and stiff neck"
"lexapro withdrawal fever"
"how to withdraw from lexapro"
"lexapro head fuzzy"
"lexapro withdrawal headache relief"
"hypothyroid and heart fluttering"
"lexapro withdrawal symptoms"

It's all the same stuff I Googled. Scary stuff, isn't it?
Stick around! Leave a comment! Tell me your story!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

And still it goes on

Bad headache today and my head is still really sensitive.

The freezing cold feeling is less prominent. It's manageable anyway.

The doctor's office just called and told me that my blood tests came out COMPLETELY normal. CBC shows no sign of infection and thyroid tests are not even close to questionable. Interesting. I'm glad I'm not sick, but in a way I was kind of hoping for a physiological explanation for the withdrawal symptoms that I've been feeling. The doc's office had no recommendations for relief. I guess my brain just has to fight through this chemical change.

How long has this been going on now? Sheesh. As I was weaning, the withdrawal symptoms would last about 3-4 days then go away. I figured that dropping the last 2.5 mgs wouldn't be such a big deal. NOT! This tells me that the smallest dose of Lexapro can make a significant chemical change in your brain.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


The doctor didn't see any signs of infection. My temperature was 97 degrees.

They drew blood for thyroid stuff. This had better not be a long-term situation.

Of course, as far as the doctor is concerned, a thyroid problem is going to be an "unfortunate coincidence," and not related to the lexapro. Uh huh. Even though it started the day after my last dose of the stuff. A$$holes.

Wow, does this ever suck.

Last night I was trying to think of a way to describe the way I was feeling and it finally hit me. I feel like I have a raging fever. My eyes and ears are really sensitive, my head has the fuzzy buzzy feeling, it feels strange to move my eyes, my neck is stiff and sore, and I can't get warm to save my life. I convinced myself last night that instead of going through withdrawal symptoms, I might actually be fighting off an infection. Yet, I don't have a fever. Not at the moment anyway. If anything, my temperature is low. It was 97 degrees last night, but I was using an old digital thermometer that I don't trust. Right now I'm at 98.2 on the "real" thermometer, after drinking coffee.

I just read that lexapro withdrawal can cause hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism shows itself as hypersensitivity to cold and neck stiffness (among other things). I think it might be worth going to the doctor today.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How do you spell Withdrawal?

Seems I've been doing it with a southern twang. Withdrawl. *sigh*

Head still buzzing. Aleve seems to provide some relief. Not completely, but it allows me to focus.

Monday, October 29, 2007


I took my last dose of Lexapro on October 24.

Since then, I've had some fairly uncomfortable sensations in my head: Sort of like my brain is oversensitive. Like being dizzy without the spinning... being lightheaded without fainting. It is worsened by eye movements. Sort of the way you feel at that instant that the lights come on unexpectedly in a dark room. But this doesn't just last that one instant. It's freaky. Sort of like a lit fuse... constantly fizzing but never making it to the bomb (thank goodness for that). I think that it is akin to the well-known "brain zaps" experienced by people who withdraw too fast. I experienced full-blown zaps the first time I tried to stop taking Lexapro, and they are horrible. Like your brain is getting tasered or something. They knock your socks off. I think that this is a milder version of zaps. Like one big, long, sustained, yet sort of mild zap. Seems that it happens to other people too. Especially with eye movements.

Have I mentioned how scary Lexapro is?


Saturday, October 27, 2007

No *snorks* @ insom!

It's back. Insomnia.

Before I got on the Lexapro, I would lie awake at night alot, unable to turn-off my brain. I'd make lists of things to do, go through conversations and situations in my head that were so inane, but seemed important at the time.

On the Lexapro, that all went away. In fact I started sleeping too much. It was a nice break from worrying about not sleeping, I guess.

Now I'm starting to wake up and think again. It's OK though. I figure if I need sleep, I'll sleep. I'm just going to try to not worry about it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Still Plugging Along

It's been awhile. I guess I've gotten into a fairly regular routine and nothing seems so out of the ordinary to be worth posting. I've still been keeping track of symptoms, though, so here's what's been happening:

October 13

headaches are pretty much gone. We're back to the standard nuisance headaches. No more head trauma headaches.

I don't think I've felt the heart fluttering for awhile.

October 7


October 6


October 5

pulled muscle from laughing

I haven’t laughed for 4 years, so I’m pulling muscles when it happens now.

Forgetful – I left my lunch in the microwave at work. It’s still there, I’m sure.

I put my shirt on backwards.

October 4

Going down to 2.5 mg today!

I'm very reluctant to do this. I've been so good on 5 mg, I want to stay this way. I'm in a comfy zone. Now I'm getting scared. Oh well, better plug forward.

September 28

Good all week -- wider range of emotions definitely noticeable.

Nearly debilitating headache today. Heart fluttering continues

September 20 - 24

Feeling good!!! Generally, I think I've been in a better mood. Like, overall better than before I started all this. I'm getting to know what it feels like to FEEL things like "good" again. It feels good!

Occasional heart fluttering.

September 19

Tired and apathetic (oops!) ;)

September 17

A little sweaty and nauseous. Didn't eat dinner.

Feeling less apathy lately.

Saturday, September 15, 2007



Update: Headache too.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Level II

I have been feeling pretty good for the last several days, so I decided to go down to 5 mg today.

I've been taking the green barley stuff and omega-3 almost every day.

Going back to work has been good. I received a warm welcome, I feel like I'm accomplishing something, and I'm getting PAID! Work is a great distraction from depression.

The only problem is that I'm not drinking enough water. Need to do better with that.

Monday, September 10, 2007

End of week 2: Less Apathy

So far the 2 changes that I have made are: sleeping no more than 8 hours per night and decreasing my dosage by 25%. I feel pretty good overall. I had one day of huge abnormal sweating, a few days of less severe sweating, and several days of scary headaches. These reactions are quite common for people who reduce their dosage. My mood is good. My dreams are normal. I feel less apathetic for some reason -- somewhat more willing to get stuff done around the house. I still prefer to not actually leave the house though. ;)

Many sites list Omega-3 as a good supplement to use against the withdrawal side-effects, so I'll refill my stocks of that today. I'm also going to get me some greens. I'll start taking some of this stuff today.

I want to get through a few good days in a row (no headaches or sweating) before reducing again, so I'm going to wait until later in the week to do it. Another thing to deal with -- I'm starting my job again tomorrow. Part-time only, so that's good. But another good reason to put off reducing my dosage for a few more days.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Feeling Fine.

One week into 7.5 mg, and everything is fine. On to the 2nd week.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

August 28, 2007: Day 1

Took out a pile of 10 mg pills and cut them in half to make 5 mg pills. Took out another pile and cut them into 2.5 mg quarters. It's not an exact science, but I figure that the errors either way will average out over the course of a couple days.

Placed the 5 mg pills and the 2.5 mg pills into separate labeled containers.

Swallowed one 5 mg pill and one 2.5 mg pill for my first 7.5 mg day.

So far, so good.

Week #1

Still hunky dory. Sleeping for 8 hours, felt fine waking up for the first few days. More difficult towards the end of the week. Screaming migraine on day 2. Sweating all day on day 3.

BIG first post.

I am not a doctor nor am I an expert on SSRIs. This blog is here to share my experience with Lexapro withdrawl and to share some of the information that I have found since researching it.

Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). This means that while you are on it, it keeps your synapses full of serotonin, keeping your receiving neurons constantly stimulated, making you feel groovy. Great for depression! From the Wikipedia article:

In the central nervous system, serotonin is believed to play an important role in the regulation of anger, aggression, body temperature, mood, sleep, vomiting, sexuality, and appetite. Low levels of serotonin may be associated with several disorders, namely increase in aggressive and angry behaviors, clinical depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, tinnitus, fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders[citation needed] and intense religious experiences[1].

I've been taking Lexapro for about 3 years now for clinical depression. Maybe 4. Too lazy to look up when I started taking it. Nevertheless, I am hoping that I still have the chance to recover -- from what it has done to me and from the withdrawl syndrome that I am expecting. I have been on a 10 mg dosage since the 3rd week, after a 5 mg startup. I have resisted increasing my dosage, even though my doctor recommended an increase. The 10 mg dose has always done the job of eliminating my irrational feelings of sadness and isolation. I still get plenty of anxiety though, maybe more than before the pill. Then again, there are probably other factors influencing that, such as my choice to stay home and take care of my kid instead of work. My doctor wanted to raise my dosage when I was complaining about my PMS. I told her that I'd rather take a xanax or two the week I'm PMSing, rather than take a higher dosage of Lexapro for the entire month.

So. What has Lexapro done that is so bad?

First of all, along with lifting your otherwise low spirits, Lexapro also seems to smoosh down your highs. Eventually, you're just sailing along so smoothly that you've forgotten what it's like to be really happy or motivated. An emotional zombie.

It also does weird things to your sleep. When I first went on it, I had a few weeks of intensely vivid dreams. And I was sleeping more. Alot more. I used to lay awake many nights, staring at the ceiling, running through lists and conversations in my head, unable to turn-off my brain. On Lexapro, all that went away. A welcome relief. Lately though, I've been sleeping more and more. Like over 10 hours per night, having vivid dreams again in the late hours of the morning. Unable to fully wake up, I would start thinking about the dream I just had and would slip right back into it. So strange. Just the thought of the dream would send me back into REM sleep.

During a previous withdrawl attempt, my dreams started coming to me WHILE I WAS AWAKE. It was the strangest sensation. I'd be doing something somewhere, and suddenly I'd get a vivid picture in my head from one of my dreams. Seems some nerve firing (REM sleep brain activity?) was going on at the wrong time. This really scared me, as I began wondering how this stuff was rewiring my brain.

While on Lexapro, your libido goes bye-bye. Some people become incapable of orgasm. Could you imagine??!! Sometimes it is permanent. Holy crap.

I read an article somewhere (need to find it again and link it here) that listed some of the effects SSRIs had on rats. After prolonged dosage and subsequent brain autopsy, it seems that the rats had lost many of their serotonin receptors. LOST. M-O-O-N: That spells BRAIN DAMAGE. Is this permanent? How has my brain changed since taking this drug?

I really hope that there is still hope of recovery. Better yet, I hope that I have nothing to recover from. I won't know for at least a year. I understand that withdrawl is a nightmare, and some people just can't do it. The reactions are described as "intolerable." Yay. My doctor swore to me that Lexapro is totally safe and that there were very minimal side effects, even when coming off of it. I just wish I had the sense to look into it myself back then.

So. In order to hopefully ease the pain of going through this, I plan on weaning as slowly as possible. Starting at 10 mg, I'm going down to 7.5 mg for at least two weeks, then down to 5 mg and down from there. I might consider getting Lexapro in the liquid form if I need to reduce in smaller increments.

I am using this blog to track my progress, and will list everything that I feel could be relevant to the cause. I am also going to make a point of waking up after 8 hours of sleep.