Recovery Coming off Lexapro cold turkey SSRI antidepressant/anti anxiety after 5 years

blxnc

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Is this safe? Doable?

Been taking 20mg a day for 5 years straight. Three weeks ago I started taking it less than daily because I noticed it was making me lethargic and more depressed- and I had way more energy off of it.

Not everyone has this lethargic response to this drug, I’ve been told by psychiatrist that 1 in 10 people have the opposite than intended response and rather than getting energized by it to a healthy degree to help with motivation (sort of like a cup of coffee in the morning) it makes me want to go to sleep and quite heavily lethargic (like a sleep aid).

Needless to say, I’ve felt and appeared pretty “over medicated” or “doped up” on it too long and it’s been nice to come out of the fog and feel clearer.

After 2 weeks of intermittent taking, i went full stop for 5 days. Then took one more full dose at that point and really hated how I felt (WAY depressed and lethargic). Needless to say it doesn’t seem like the right medication for me anymore- so, I haven’t taken it since that day for another 5 days now.

I haven’t had any issues really, but just want to make sure this is physiologically doable or safe before I continue down this road of just cold turkey stopping an SSRI.

It is an anti anxiety and anti depressant In one and I was on 20mg a day.
 

AlphaMethylPhenyl

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It is feasible, but you might have some "discontinuation" symptoms. You aren't in danger physically, though, if that is something that you're wondering.

These might pop up in earnest some weeks down the line. Five days is not too much.

The half-life is 27-32 hours. So, say it's 30 hours for you. You multiply that by 5.5 and it take 165 hours to fully leave your body. That's 6.88 days, so let's say a week. It will take that long to leave your body, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's when the withdrawal could be the worst...might be a little while. It takes about eight weeks for the SSRIs to fully work, so it might be that long before the withdrawal really hits you. But if you think it's the best option, and your doctor is on-board, then all the good for you!
 

Azed

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I know I am a little late but... It is absolutely "safe", it may be uncomfortable if you stop cold turkey, but not by any means dangerous. Abrupt discontinuation could result in "dizziness 44%, muscle tension 44%, chills 44%, confusion or trouble concentrating 40%, amnesia 28%, and crying 28%". While this may not be the case for you it is just something to be aware of. Ideally, I would recommend a slow (multi-week taper) taper down in order to avoid these symptoms. However, you sound like you want to stop sooner than this which is alright. I would definitely let your doc or psychiatrist know of your intention to discontinue, just so that they are aware. They may even offer advice or tips.

Best wishes
 

blxnc

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Been another five days and feeling fine! If there’s any minor nausea or dizziness I noticed that smoking weed helps. So far the WD “symptoms” are so mild I really wouldn’t consider smoking necessary at all.

I feel great otherwise though all around. I guess I will keep updating until all WD symptoms have passed.

I have quit benzos and opiates simultaneously cold turkey before, on my own prerogative (no one made me or suggested I should / no pressing reasons to), with no help or assistance of any sort- no medication/medical assistance what so ever- not even a Tylenol or a supplement. Just DIY’d it at home and made it straight through without relapsing once, no matter how bad it got. (It got pretty damn bad my dudes).

So I guess, to me this is just so minor. I’m pretty chill when it comes to things, I think it’s just my natural personality. I am diagnosed with PTSD, but I am so used to it now I think I’ve gotten pretty decent at managing it without a need for medication any longer.

Worse comes to worse I do have on hand an as needed Arsenal of benzos should there be any issues
 
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ChemicallyEnhanced

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Is this safe? Doable?

Been taking 20mg a day for 5 years straight. Three weeks ago I started taking it less than daily because I noticed it was making me lethargic and more depressed- and I had way more energy off of it.

Not everyone has this lethargic response to this drug, I’ve been told by psychiatrist that 1 in 10 people have the opposite than intended response and rather than getting energized by it to a healthy degree to help with motivation (sort of like a cup of coffee in the morning) it makes me want to go to sleep and quite heavily lethargic (like a sleep aid).

Needless to say, I’ve felt and appeared pretty “over medicated” or “doped up” on it too long and it’s been nice to come out of the fog and feel clearer.

After 2 weeks of intermittent taking, i went full stop for 5 days. Then took one more full dose at that point and really hated how I felt (WAY depressed and lethargic). Needless to say it doesn’t seem like the right medication for me anymore- so, I haven’t taken it since that day for another 5 days now.

I haven’t had any issues really, but just want to make sure this is physiologically doable or safe before I continue down this road of just cold turkey stopping an SSRI.

It is an anti anxiety and anti depressant In one and I was on 20mg a day.

Doable but not safe. Coming off of an antidepressant cold turkey is a terrible, terrible idea.
 

ChemicallyEnhanced

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You get rebound depression/anxiety, which is worse than it was before you started the medication. And suicide happens sometimes. So unsafe mentally, more than physically. It's physically unpleasant, too, but not physically life-threatening.
Yes, I have experience. Once when I was in hospital (I'd been on 150mg/day of Zoloft a day for 3-4 years at the time) for completely unrelated reasons, the doctor, when removing an anti-biotic from my meds on their system, accidentally took me off the Zoloft, too. I am/was on many, many meds so I didn't notice (I was also very unwell). But I was really bad mentally and after several days I began having panic attacks which I hadn't had in years, I couldn't stop crying and I was considering suicide. I finally noticed it wasn't in with my other meds anymore and a nurse went to speak to a doctor and said she was really sorry, but it had been taken off my by mistake 7 days ago.
They put me back on it right away and I was back to normal within 2-3 days but being off it was HORRIBLE.
 

n3ophy7e

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You get rebound depression/anxiety, which is worse than it was before you started the medication. And suicide happens sometimes. So unsafe mentally, more than physically. It's physically unpleasant, too, but not physically life-threatening.
Yes, I have experience. Once when I was in hospital (I'd been on 150mg/day of Zoloft a day for 3-4 years at the time) for completely unrelated reasons, the doctor, when removing an anti-biotic from my meds on their system, accidentally took me off the Zoloft, too. I am/was on many, many meds so I didn't notice (I was also very unwell). But I was really bad mentally and after several days I began having panic attacks which I hadn't had in years, I couldn't stop crying and I was considering suicide. I finally noticed it wasn't in with my other meds anymore and a nurse went to speak to a doctor and said she was really sorry, but it had been taken off my by mistake 7 days ago.
They put me back on it right away and I was back to normal within 2-3 days but being off it was HORRIBLE.
That is awful, so sorry to hear that happened to you :(
I've been on Cymbalta (an SNRI) for over 10 years and have tried to come off it multiple times, but it's extremely difficult, almost impossible to get off of!! Mostly because of the physical withdrawals e.g. brain zaps, dizziness, vertigo, nausea etc, but also because of the rebound anxiety.

However it is important to note that not everyone experiences rebound symptoms.
 

Jerry Atrick

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That is awful, so sorry to hear that happened to you :(
I've been on Cymbalta (an SNRI) for over 10 years and have tried to come off it multiple times, but it's extremely difficult, almost impossible to get off of!! Mostly because of the physical withdrawals e.g. brain zaps, dizziness, vertigo, nausea etc, but also because of the rebound anxiety.

However it is important to note that not everyone experiences rebound symptoms.
Ouch. I tapered off 120mg of Cymbalta in less than a week but started and was titrated up on Lithium simultaneously so I had no real withdrawals from quitting the Cymbalta. However, I know this doesn't apply to the OP because it looks like they want to stop all meds rather than replace one with another.
 

blxnc

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It is May 14th aka Day 17 of cold turkey quitting Lexapro

So, I guess I've been fortunate that I haven't gotten any rebound symptoms. I feel more normal than I've felt in years, I think this just really wasn't the right medication for me.

My only problem is occasional brief nausea, which can be eased with THC.

Considering talking to a medical marijuana doctor about it to see if there may be a specific regiment I might be interested in that can help prevent any nausea from occuring while I am going through this 'detox' I suppose.

It's extremely minor and brief though, and the fact something as simple as a few tokes can fix pretty much immediately. I'm not mad about it.

I'm curious if this particular symptom will get worse in the coming weeks or if it will get better, or, how long that symptom will last. So that's kind of why I'm documenting to give myself a frame of reference here.

Hopefully all goes well.

(I also have a psychiatrist-MD who specializes in treating patients physiological/neuropscyhological/and psychiatric diagnoses simultaneously, and a functional medicine doctor/endocrinologist who also helps with that).

So, don't be concerned, I am being very well taken care of by some high quality professionals. I think adding a medical marijuana doc to the regiment is a good option for me as I've noticed it really helps me out.

I'm all for medication assisted recovery and if medical marijuana can help me better than anything from the big pharma, I'm all for it.

But yeah, all in all, doing really well so far. Thumbs up. That's today's update.
 

n3ophy7e

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It is May 14th aka Day 17 of cold turkey quitting Lexapro

So, I guess I've been fortunate that I haven't gotten any rebound symptoms. I feel more normal than I've felt in years, I think this just really wasn't the right medication for me.

My only problem is occasional brief nausea, which can be eased with THC.

Considering talking to a medical marijuana doctor about it to see if there may be a specific regiment I might be interested in that can help prevent any nausea from occuring while I am going through this 'detox' I suppose.

It's extremely minor and brief though, and the fact something as simple as a few tokes can fix pretty much immediately. I'm not mad about it.

I'm curious if this particular symptom will get worse in the coming weeks or if it will get better, or, how long that symptom will last. So that's kind of why I'm documenting to give myself a frame of reference here.

Hopefully all goes well.

(I also have a psychiatrist-MD who specializes in treating patients physiological/neuropscyhological/and psychiatric diagnoses simultaneously, and a functional medicine doctor/endocrinologist who also helps with that).

So, don't be concerned, I am being very well taken care of by some high quality professionals. I think adding a medical marijuana doc to the regiment is a good option for me as I've noticed it really helps me out.

I'm all for medication assisted recovery and if medical marijuana can help me better than anything from the big pharma, I'm all for it.

But yeah, all in all, doing really well so far. Thumbs up. That's today's update.
That's great to hear man, nice one!
 
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