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Lexapro Withdrawal Symptoms

Lexapro withdrawal symptoms can, and will, appear if you stop taking the medication abruptly, even if you have only been taking it for a few weeks. Most doctors recommend and with prescribe a weaning or tapering dosage to decrease the likelihood of increased side effects. The Lexapro withdrawal symptoms can be quite unpleasant and harmful, especially if you have been taking a larger daily dose, and it is important to fully discuss the best course of action with your physician. Make sure that your family and/or friends are aware of the Lexapro withdrawal symptoms as well, so that they can keep an eye on you if you happen to be suffering them without your knowledge.

What is Lexapro?

Lexapro is a medication that is used to treat anxiety and various forms of depression. It is formally classified as one of the widely accepted and used serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Lexapro is effective by altering the levels of serotonin in the brain, which can balance the levels in most people. It is important to know that they don’t work for everyone and you can still have the Lexapro withdrawal symptoms if it has not worked but you have been taking it for more than a couple weeks. Doctors can prescribe Lexapro for other disorders outside of anxiety and depression, but it is not approved for use besides these two conditions.

Lexapro Withdrawal Symptoms

Almost 1 in 3 people that stop taking an SSRI, such as Lexapro, suffer one or more of the following withdrawal symptoms. By tapering off the dose with your physician you can minimize the likelihood of this happening. Common Lexapro withdrawal symptoms include: flu-like symptoms, fatigue, nausea, sleep interruption, dizziness, uncontrollable shaking, sensory alterations, increased anxiety, and headaches. One of the more rare, but more intense, Lexapro withdrawal symptoms is a sensation that is often referred to as a “brain shock”- a feeling that the head is being electrocuted. Most withdrawal symptoms disappear after a few days, but there have been cases where they have lasted over a month.

How to Reduce the Lexapro Withdrawal Symptoms

Discussing the discontinuation or change in dosage with your physician is the most effective way to reduce and even prevent the withdrawal symptoms. They will usually prescribe a gradual dosing down that will stretch over a few months, allowing your brain to adjust slowly to this change. The slower that you can let your brain adjust the less Lexapro withdrawal symptoms that you will have to experience.

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Comments

I have been on Lexapro for 4 years. only 10mg. I have been taking about 4 or 5 pills a week. or every other day. but I feel weak and bad like flue symptons. Dr. said I could cut back on these I am 70 years old in Farley good shape , I also take a blood pressure pill. so am I messing up not taking them every day?

I thought I would answer as we are about the same age. I was taking Lexapro 10m.g for about two years, then after telling my doctor how depressed I felt it was increased to 20 m.g. One day I realized I was not feeling anything I wasn't sad I wasn't happy just blah and no ambition. So, started to wean myself off. After being a caregiver for years I knew how this should be done. However, I was impatient and now believe I did it too fast. I had most of the withdrawal signs listed. Flu-like symptoms, headaches. hot flashes, dizzy, couldn't eat because of stomach upset. this went on for about three weeks. I have felt very well now for about three days and forgot what the real me was like. I'm not giving medical advice here but for myself I am glad to be off the stuff and really wish I had never started it. I know now I should have gone very, very, very, slowly giving it up. I feel so good without it, wished I had done it sooner.

Weaning off off Lexapro is not a wonderful experience. The flu like symptoms are really strong. Headaches and head shakes as if I have fibromyalgia. It has been two weeks so far and the symptoms are still there! It is horrible! If you plan on weaning of the medication, please make sure you have nothing big going on in your life because you need to plan on the side effects.

I have weaned down from 20mg slowly over two months and have been on no lexapro for 3 weeks. I am 41, feel emotionally stable but the physical side effects are horrific. I have brain flashes, tingles in my face and hands, flu like lethargy and then insomnia, dry mouth and twitches in my neck. I was on lexapro for 3 years after post natal depression. I cannot believe how awful it is to try and work (I'm a contract chef/single parent supporting 3 children) and function in this state. I wish my doctor had no been so blasé as to using these tablets in the first place, let alone coming off them. I've read that fish oil supplements may help so have been taking those for 2 days. Good luck to anyone else experiencing this. I really hope it eases soon.

Jessica, When you say "Brain Flashes" do you mean you will have a Flash Mental image or thought then you can't figure out what it was?

I DEVELOPED A CARDIAC ARRHTHYMIA DUE TO A SIDE EFFECT OF LEXAPRO. THE CARDIOLOGIST FELT IT WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO STOP THE LEXAPRO ABRUPTLY. (I WAS TAKING 40MG DAILY FOR 10 YEARS). MY SIDE EFFECTS ARE HORRIFIC TO SAY THE LEAST. 'IRRITABLE' IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. MY POOR DAUGHTER; IT DOESN'T TAKE MUCH FOR ME TO SNAP, THEN THE TEARS FROM GUILT ARE HORRIBLE. I AM HAVING A HARD TIME CONVIENCING MYSELF THAT THIS WILL PASS AND KEEPING BELIEVING THAT LIFE WITHOUT ME WOULD BE MUCH BETTER FOR MY FAMILY. I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE MY LIFE I SIMPLY FEEL LIKE I'M HURTING THE PEOPLE I LOVE THE MOST. I'M A REGISTERED NURSE BUT AM ON A LEAVE OF ABSENCE UNTIL STABLE. I THOUGHT I SUFFERED FROM DEPRESSION, BUT RIGHT ABOUT NOW FEEL LIKE A PSYCHOPATH. MY SIDE EFFECTS INCLUDE: FLU LIKE SYMPTOMS, SHAKING, INSOMNIA, ANXIETY (WITH SEVERE HEART PALPATATIONS), AND IRRITABILITY. I WANT TO BE ABLE TO CONTROL HOW I FEEL AND ACT LIKE SO MANY TELL ME I CAN, BUT I CAN'T. MAYBE SOMEONE CAN GIVE ME WORDS OF ENCOURAGMENT THAT THIS WILL PASS. FOR THE PRAYFUL PLEASE KEEP ME AND MY FAMILY IN YOUR PRAYERS.

my heart and prayers for you. iam sad that they write scrips for this all the time.I work with people in recouvery.and see this allways

It will get better,,

After 6 yrs of 10 mg day i stopped due to low sodium. It was my dr idea to take this junk but she is a pill pusher with a license. Considering talking to a lawyer. Well after losing 11 lbs in 10 days from puking and nausea at 14 days it got better and taking a anti nausea med still lott of nausea and forgetfulness headaches but beteer than first weeks SO glad i quit feel better and life is real. Thats something nwo type drug and i do not believe in conspiracy theory but this. Has me thinking twice lol

I feel awful for all of these commenters!! I went through awful anxiety/depression myself, took various meds (xanax, clonopin, and others that I don't recall now because I was in such a brain fog). I felt detached and suicidal on the meds. I changed my diet dramatically, switched to organic food (from cherrios and poptarts!). I found Dr Atkins vita nutrient solution book and took amino acids, b vitamins, GABA, Sam-e, valerian root, as much as I could afford because I felt.so awful! And those things worked for me! It took about 3-4 weeks. I remember waking up one morning and consciously thinking "I don't feel so bad!" And I never looked back. I suffered from anxiety for at least 20 years, starting at age 13. Did you know low thyroid can cause anxiety? Sure enough I had low thyroid! I also treat that naturally. I'm on this thread now because my teenage daughter has severe depression, and she doesn't want to try my therapies. She has it in her head that she just wants a drug. I found these threads taking about horrible withdrawal and I feel terrible for everyone, and sure that I don't want her on this drug. My advice to every one, eat real food! Our food supply is nothing like what got us here over hundreds of thousands of years. I was eating the standard American diet (acronym is SAD) and I was paying the price. You can't eat sugar and poptarts and spaghetti and expect your body and brain to function properly. Yes, it's more expensive, but if you look at it the other way, cheap food is a rip off, because it's not giving you what you need to be healthy, and illness stinks!

I was on lexapro for 5 days for anxiety.it made most of my symptoms worse and I had to stop given that I'm self employed and was risking the loss of major contracts due to its side effects. This may sound odd but for years I was on a drug called Dexedrine(dates back to the turn of the century)for mild ADHD.it may sound(as it did to me)counter intuitive given that it's an amphetamine but this drug really helps calm the mind and it does it almost instantly.ive tested this on over half a dozen people who at one point were struggling with mild(divorce)to major depression(my wife)and everyone had good to great things to say about it.it was perceived by a psychiatrist and I can't thank him enough it literally saved lives.after 10 years I started weaning myself off with few side effects(I started on a large dose 15mg x 2) if any because of a back injury.i was fine till last year when I started experiencing chest pain and a year later after a ton of tests and a bit of a breakdown with realized it was anxiety. I made sure I had a bit of a stock pile of the drug just in case and would use it on occasion when I needed a mental/physical boost or to help a friend in dire straights....with the green light from their doctor. Now here is my point,if you research this drug it isolates the same protein as amphetamines and cocaine....this apparently makes it the latest greatest drug for depression,I couldn't disagree more....there's no money to be made on Dexedrine therefore doctors are leds by the nose and prescribe the latest greatest. Within 45 minutes of taking the first dose I was a changed person(a bit of euphoria but hey who doesn't enjoy that,especially after feeling like crap for whatever amount of time prior)happy,up lifting thoughts concentration(I know I use a lot of brackets...I'm still in a fog from this drug)this is still the drug of choice for the us Air Force when on bombing missions. You have to ask yourself,why in the world the most advanced military on earth use such an "out dated drug"?Because it works,fast with no or little side effects......a B2 bomber is worth 2 billion dollars,they certainly aren't skimping on the price of drugs.im currently using 5mg twice a day to counteract the drug(otherwise I'm useless at this point)and will up the dose accordingly over the next few days and hopefully feel normal again. Oh yeah I forgot my side effects....tons of energy,laser focus,happy,slight decrease in appetite for the first week or so,positive /creative thoughts and it(according to everyone who's used t around me who has used it,seems to lift the heavy vail like feeling associated with depression and some if not most anxieties. All this being said,this is not a silver bullet or cure all for everyone and your doctor(who in all likely hood will be ill informed on the subject)may not want or know how to prescribe it but it's worth a shot and if not a psychiatrist would be more willing to given that my doctor was almost opposed to it from the start.Bare in mind I've tried other drugs pre and post Dexedrine and one I tried that was "non addictive" had again terrible side effects and had me back on Dexedrine within a few weeks.ok one history lesson your doctor won't want to here,the only reason hitler was able to convince his army to go deep into Russia with heavy loses,frostbite and starvation was do to a form of Dexedrine. He and his doctors were fully aware of the psychological effects of this drug given that he himself was an amphetamine user.

Well I hope this helps someone if not many people but I must state that this is what I and others in my inner circle have experienced when in their darkest hours and maybe something you would want to explore....yes it's an amphetamine and with over 11 years full time experience at a high dose then another 2 at lower I can personally report no ill side effects just like the few long term studies have shown.

Good luck to everyone and please do your research before you approach your doctor....be armed with concrete research(all of the above and more)and your doctor maybe willing to give it a try....it's not for everyone but it is for most....and remember it targets the same area of the brain as lexapro.....oh yeah cognitive behavioural therapy should be accompanied with any of these drugs for long term success.

Alex

I took Lexapro @ 20mg daily for 6 years. I weaned off by decreasing to 15mg for a month, then 10mg for a month and finally, 5mg for a month. I have been off for two weeks now. The past week, my skin will start feeling like fire ants have bit me. It starts on my face and travels to my arms, then chest and stomach and then finally my legs. Also itching. I am sleeping about 4-5 hours a night (Not all at once) but I awake several times a night. I have NO anxiety. Is anyone else suffering from the stinging nerve issue?

Did they finally go away? I am having that exact same feeling for a month now. :(

Jessica,

I have just started reducing my amount from 5MG to .25MG - I understand just how you feel, I've been on Lexapro for 6 years.... Ugh.. Ugh. Ugh... Do you every get the feeling of feeling out of you body... So hard to explain...

I'm also cutting down my clonazepam (Good God)!!!!!

I don't even know what feeling normal is like!!!!

Stay strong....... I'm in the same boat!!!

Sincerly,

Adam

Yes I am getting those out of body sensations too! I thought I was going completely insane. I'm weaning off lexapro at this time and just stopped cold turkey after only three days of weaning off. The next day I felt like my brain lagged behind my body movements by maybe a couple of milliseconds. It's like my proprioception went offline for a bit, and then a moment later I'm back. Even breathing felt alien to my brain.

I have been on multiple mental health medications whilst going through a long drawn out court case (7 years).

The medications per day included:

Lexapro (20 to 40mg past 7 years)

Mirtazapine (30mg past 7 years)

Sodium Valproate (1500mg, 1 year, 2013)

Lithium (150mg, taken once off Sodium Valproate, 6 months 2014)

Seroquel (750mg, 5 years, 2010 - 2014 )

Ritalin (50 mg per day in the past 6 months)

Lexapro is my last medication I am getting off now (under GP and psychiatrists supervisor / guidance). All other medications were weaned off of over a long period of time and in small increments.

I started going off Lexapro a two weeks ago (20 mg down to 10 mg), the first week I thought I was just getting my girlfriends flu.

Then I went from 10 mg to nothing.

This has been HELL!

Cold sores, mouth ulcers, lethargy, headaches, really bad insomnia, grumpy and unsociable.

I believe it must really weaken your immune system in order for this to happen.

The first week was great. I could think clearer. Tasks and university work began to become easier to do due to being able to think more in depth and sequentially.

I may have to redo my units but if I am able to think as clear as the first week I am willing to make that sacrifice.

Does anyone who has gone cold turkey after long periods on Lexapro as to how long the withdrawals symptoms last?

i too am weened off lexapro.. this is my 5th day off of my 10mg of 8 months not long i know....

but i don't want to be on these any more as me and my partner are trying to conceive i think this med is blocking it and keeping is from conceiving so if we get what we want at the end its the only thing giving me hope from these horrendous side effects.

I really hope i can push from it but all people blog about is how bad the side effects are and the beginning stage... what about after the withdrawals.. is there hope?

my symptoms are feeling faint light headed migraine sweats shivers and shaking cant concentrate and patchy skin if this is it then fine i can get over this.. but how long will it last? also i am extremely tired won't stop sleeping and signed off from work due to nearly collapsing.. :(.

Hey I have only been on for 9 months at 10 mg and I dosed myself down to 5mg for the past 3 days. I am experiencing pain in my neck but nothing else anyone has been talking about. Did you have any physical pain?

Just wondering if your neck pain went away? I was only on 10mg of lexapro for 7 weeks, and now have neck and shoulder stiffness with being on this drug and coming off of it.

To Denice and others with neck pain.....

I am so happy someone finally mentioned the neck pain ! I am being weaned off Lexapro, too. I also have fibromyalgia.. I always thought the Lexapro helped me control my fibro pain as much as helped with depression. As I am discontining the Lexapro, my fibro pain has increased. BUT now I also have a severe "pins and needles" neck pain, almost like a herniated disc. Is this the type pain you are speaking of?

If this is all part of the withdrawl, I will deal with it as well as all the other withdrawal symptoms. But this one hell of a ride I never want to experience again.

I have been taking Lexapro for about 10 years because I have depression. my doctor wants me so stop taking it and put me on something else because I now have I also have P.D.S.D now. do you know if I will go crazy and bring my self to the edge of suicide like I was before I was taking it.

My primary care doctor started me on 10mg Lexapro. I had numerous side effects, which included an intense hot flash in the first week or so of taking the medicine. I also had 3 itchy welts form on my chest region, the doctor told me to stop taking the Lexapro after I told him about the itchy welts. I felt tingling and electric type shocking throughout my body. I couldn't sleep well at times, and had some very intense scary thoughts and heightened sensation to commit suicide. After noticing the itchy welts, I decided to stop the Lexapro. It made me feel the way I hoped it would a good bit of the time, but it was not worth all the other feelings it induced. I cut back to 5mg for the last week to taper myself off, knowing that was the best way to stop meds. I told my doctor about the itchy welts after I dropped to the 5mg the last week, that's when he told me to stop taking the Lexapro. I said (knowing I already had begun that process) should I quit slowly, he said no, stop it immediately. I am afraid to take any medications these days, I have trouble with the trusting, especially considering the precarious side effects. I hope this was helpful in some small way.

I was recently switched from Prozac to lexapro... About three months. My dr recently upped my dose from 10mg to 20mg even after I told him how itchy and restless I've become. I am covered in hives daily... Feel like I can't relax and constantly shake my leg or foot.. Thought I was just crazy until reading these posts! I have literally scratched my arms legs and hands raw!!!! Grrrrrrrr!! And the dreams are the worst to boot!!!! Now reading about the withdrawal symptoms scares me... Facing a lot in my life soon and really need the extra help, but not sure what to do now?!!

I was on lexapro for about a year. It really helped my anxiety but the downside was I gained 25 pounds. I was constantly eating when I was not hungry and craving sweets. I had no energy to do anything and would come home from work and by go to the sofa. I finally decided I couldn't gain anymore weight and discussed it with my Dr. He advised I wean off of it gradually. I was on 20mg and instead of taking it every day I took it every other day for 3 weeks. Then I dropped it to 10 mg every other day for a week. I was ok for about 5 days. Then I started crying over nothing and getting irritable. Then it got worse. I was blowing up screaming at my husband over things that would normally not bother me. Having temper fits, throwing things, or sobbing over the least little stress. I have a long commute to work and road rage was scary. After a week of this I went back to Dr.and he put me on low dose of Welbutrin to be increased after 2 weeks. After a few days I started to calm down some. After 10 days I still cry easily and get irritated with any little stress but I am able to control myself.

I took 10mg of lexapro for 7 years for panic attacks.Except for 13 pounds of weight gain I felt great.

Six month ago I decided wean of to loose the weight.No problem!

I lost my excess weight within 3 weeks and felt great without any side effects.That lasted 4 month and when my brother died 2 month ago my panic attacks came back worse than ever.

After weeks of misery I am back on lexapro and feel good again.

I guess I will take it for the rest of my live.

After becoming rather sick I visited an urgent care facility where the doctor, without notifying her of my past diagnosis of depression and GAD, prescribed me a prescription of a months worth of 20mg Lexapro. I am newish to the area and have a hard time actually sitting down and doing things like finding a primary care physician or psychiatrist so I have neither at the moment sadly. After finally finding a doctor the earliest they can get me in is July, needless to say I can barely function around people. I am an emotional mess, I constantly get dizzy and the frequency of the brain zaps is almost debilitating. I have almost been getting random numbness and a needle like sensation throughout my left side of my body. I also haven't slept well in the past week since the end of my prescription. If I had known I wouldn't have been able to find a doctor with earlier openings I wouldn't have started taking it. This is ridiculous and I can barely function at work due to the withdrawals symptoms, which have also put a strain on my relationships with my significant other as well as my roommates.

I have been taking Lexapro 20 mg for about 9 years. I began experiencing extreme irritability, anger and frustration. My doctor began weaning me off and adding Zoloft. That didn't work. Now my doctor is taking me down to 10 mg every day and 100 Wellbutrin. The ringing in my head is horrible. It hasn't stopped for 2 weeks. Has anyone else experienced this withdrawal symptom?

I have been on lexapro for about 6 months and had to quit cold turkey due to financial reasons and this is a complete NIGHTMARE! I have had brain zaps that feel like electricity running through my head, then a sensation of the breath being sucked out of me which in turn cause my lips to start tingling and this is just the tip of the iceberg. When these symptoms started they brought on what my neurologist is now calling a complicated migraine and when I get one of those I sometimes don't know who my family is during it and I develop aphasia which is all really scary. This has been going on since Father's Day. I am about to loose my mind! I really don't know how much more I can take.

When my doctor first prescribed Lexapro for me, I thought I had died and went to heaven; it really worked well for me (helped to alleviate depression and anxiety). After taking it for approximately 10 years ranging from 10 mg to 30 mg daily doses depending on a variety of life stressors, I was tired of trying to wean myself from the 30 mg doses. My doctor told me to decrease my dose from 20 to 10 mg for two weeks and then start 10 mg of Wellbutrin twice a day. The withdrawal symptoms which can be described as flu-like symptoms; dizziness, nausea, etc are awful but every so often the dizziness is accompanied by a whooshy/buzzing sensation in my head. Sometimes I need to sit down so I don't lose my balance. Based on what others have written on this blog, it seems it may have a few more months to suffer through before this hopefully better even though I have since I started taking the Wellbutrin. If anything, misery loves company and I feel less alone knowing that I am not the only one who is being tormented/tortured with these symptoms.

I feel for all you folks.I went in for a stress test and they found a lower heart beating. My Cadriologist told me to stop the lexipro immediately so its been a week and I have crazy headaches and moments of dizziness with some irratability. I wish you all the best and hope you find the answers and comfort you are looking for

I recently stopped taking lexapro, most likely two weeks ago. I have noticed a huge shift in my weight. I have gained about 10 pounds. Could this be a discontinuation side effect of the meds?

I was taking 5mg of Lexapro for over 2 years for horrible perimenopause symptoms. I tapered very slowly and have been off a month today. For almost two weeks I have never felt worse in my life. My anxiety is through the roof! I have constant hot flashes and terrible insomnia. My appetite is gone too. While on Lexapro, I gained weight and was hungry often. This is a horrible way to live. How long will this last? My husband says that my dose was so low that I could not possibly be affected by withdrawal symptoms. But, why do I feel so terrible when I have never felt this way before? I was on the drug for over 2 years. Any help is so appreciated.

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