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Lexapro Withdrawal Symptoms,

Escitalopram Side Effects, Withdrawal Help

It is assumed Lexapro causes serotonin to be suspended outside the synapses in the brain and CNS (central nervous system). Lexapro actions shuts down thoughts, feelings, emotions, and decreases arousal and stimulation. Shutting down these natural human traits can provide temporary  relief but eventually most individuals would prefer to feel again. When a person begins to reduce Lexapro the body naturally reacts and tries to adjust back toward a normal balance once again. The body can't keep up with this rapid change, a lack on neurotransmitters firing or now firing erratically causes Lexapro withdrawal side effects.

Flu symptoms are the most common Lexapro withdrawal side effects but it is the debilitating "brain zaps" that cause at least 10% of those in Lexapro withdrawal to go back on the Lexapro and never try to withdrawal from Lexapro again.

In 1999, our founder, Jim Harper, published how to reduce an antidepressant and as of this date the drug manufacturers recommend Jim's reduction approach. Reduce the Lexapro slowly and gradually, if withdrawal side effects become too much, go back up to the last dosage you were doing fine at, remain at that dosage until you feel very stable again. When you are ready to resume the reduction reduce the medication slower and in a more gradual manner.

The Road Back recommends you only reduce Lexapro by 10% every 2 weeks. Take it slowly to reduce the chance of Lexapro withdrawal symptoms. To avoid the dreaded "brain zaps" you need to take the correct omega 3 fish oil in the correct quantity. In 2002, Jim Harper discovered the area of the brain affected and the cause of the Lexapro brain zaps. Our brain wants to use the fats from the oil in fish to rebuild these receptors. This discovery has been a life saver for hundreds of thousands of people in Lexapro withdrawal.

Lexapro withdrawal symptoms can include:

This list of Lexapro withdrawal symptoms is a short list. The manufacturer listed 196 Lexapro side effects after the drug was approved by the F.D.A.

Brain zaps*

Suicidal thoughts

Dizziness, imbalance, vertigo, lightheadedness

Nausea, abdominal pain

Anxiety, panic, restlessness, lethargy, agitation, emotional lability, dysphoric


Insomnia, nightmares, vivid dreams, hypersomnia

Headache, muscle aches, myalgia

Akathisia, Parkinsonism, tremors, pyramidal symptoms

Confusion, amnesia, inability to focus or concentrate

Psychosis, visual disturbances, hallucinations, mania, hypomania

Gastrointestinal upset (indigestion, diarrhea, cramps)

Sexual dysfunction, genital hypersensitivity, premature ejaculation

Changes in perception, i.e., taste, smell, sound, etc.

Fever, chills, flu-like symptoms

For a complete list of potential Lexapro withdrawal side effects and those side effects you may experience while taking Lexapro as prescribed you can read the list in Chapter 4 of How to Get Off Psychoactive Drugs Safely found on this site.

Click How to Start link above and scroll to Chapter 4.

*The F.D.A estimates brain zaps will stop roughly 10% of individuals from completing Lexapro withdrawal.

Lexapro has been prescribed enough years and to millions of people now and your physician should understand now that Lexapro discontinuation has adverse reactions.

The Road Back has provided expert help with antidepressant withdrawal for over 22 years. Our founder, Jim Harper, has lectured to and trained physicians throughout the world. No matter where you may find yourself at this very moment with Lexapro withdrawal, we are here to assist. With all of our information available for free on our site, in Jim Harper's books, and the millions of people throughout the world that have used The Road Back Program; we can only guess at our success rate. You likely have a 99% chance of a successful Lexapro withdrawal when using The Road Back Program.

Discontinuing/Quitting Lexapro (escitalopram)

As mentioned earlier, Lexapro needs to be reduced slowly and gradually. Ideally, no more than 10% every 2 weeks and only continue reducing if side effects are very manageable. We can't stress how important this is with Lexapro. You want to avoid the Lexapro side effects from being too severe. It makes it a little more difficult to get off the Lexapro the next attempt.

In 1999, The Road Back only used the slow and gradual reduction method to assist people off medications. When Lexapro was introduced to the market a few years later, Lexapro withdrawal was not different than Prozac withdrawal, Zoloft withdrawal or any other antidepressant.

Roughly 50% could get off their antidepressant with only a slow and gradual reduction. The 50% that could get off of their antidepressant still suffered withdrawal side effects. It really did not matter how slow and gradual the reduction was.

After assisting thousands off their antidepressant, Jim Harper began looking for other solutions. The 50% that got off Lexapro could not be viewed as a success by Jim. It was at this time Jim began to explore nutritional supplements to help with the withdrawal. You may want to read the Chapter 23, The Science to get a better idea of why nutritional supplements and the work that has gone into making the right ones for withdrawal.

Lexapro came out right at the time Jim introduced his first supplements and the results were absolutely amazing. The 50% that could get off of Lexapro now was much higher and those getting off the Lexapro experienced little to no Lexapro withdrawal.

Jim started a DNA testing lab to not only look at how Lexapro metabolized but designed specific nutritional supplements that would not interfere with the Lexapro metabolism but would help the body regain a normal balance again. Over the years Jim kept researching for better approaches and has changed his formulas several times as more DNA data became available. 

With using The Road Back Program, you do not start reducing the Lexapro until you are feeling much better. Many people begin their Lexapro withdrawal feeling better than they have in years.

The thought of another Lexapro withdrawal can be overwhelming if you have tried before or if you are currently in the middle of Lexapro withdrawal. How to Get Off Psychoactive Drugs Safely addresses these points you may be at. Click How to Start link on the navigation menu and read the chapter that pertains to your circumstance.

With tapering Lexapro (escitalopram), gradually cutting the dose rather than abruptly stopping Lexapro is the medically recommended route to take as well.

Dangers of Quitting Lexapro Too Rapidly

I can't repeat too many times. A slow and gradual reduction of Lexapro is vital. Once Lexapro withdrawal side effects begin when reducing the Lexapro too quickly it can be difficult to turn things around again. Not impossible at all, but it is harder on you physically and mentally.

"I had been on Lexapro for 5 years. A death in the family sent me on a spiral down and I could no longer function.  After 4 years on Lexapro my doctor and I thought it was time to get off the drug. She had me taper the Lexapro slowly, or so I thought it was slowly. I went from being able to at least function again to an anxiety wreck in a manner of days.

Insomnia began  on top of the anxiety. My head felt like it was on fire with electrical jolts. All I could do was cry. I felt hopeless.

Enter The Road Back Program and Jim Harper. I was cautious and did not want another letdown, I could not take another loss of hope.

I started the pre-taper not knowing what to expect really, I just put my faith in Jim. He was my lifeline now. I had questions and concerns and he reassured me, there is hope and a solution. For a person that felt no hope and could not dream of a solution all of this was beyond my mental processes at that time.

Lexapro withdrawal was hell but once I started The Road Back Program things began to ease up and within a week I felt the Hope Jim mentioned. At the end of two weeks I thought, just maybe there is a solution.

The supplements Jim had me take were beyond amazing. The Omega 3 Supreme cleared my head and the brain zaps stopped on the first day. Sleep took about a week before it improved and along the way I noticed as my daytime anxiety eased my sleep improved.

It has been 90 days since I took my last Lexapro pill and I am back. My husband loves the return of ME. My coworkers no longer cringe when I walk into the room and wonder if I am going to bite off their heads.

Mr. Jim Harper, I can't express in words what you and your program mean to me and my family. Thank you from all of us." Jill

What is Lexapro (escitalopram) Prescribed For?

Lexapro (escitalopram) as of 2018 was the second most prescribed medication in the US according to published statistics. Lexapro is an SSRI that has been approved by the US FDA for the treatment of MDD and GAD. According to published research in the European Journal of Pharmacology, It is also prescribed “off-label” for certain other conditions, including:

·         Smoking cessation

·         Insomnia

·         Chronic pain

·         Eating disorders

The prescribing physician determines the dosage based on age, medical condition, other prescription drugs being taken, and additional factors of importance (if these are tested for) such as sodium levels, underlying cardiovascular or other compromised organ issues, and other considerations. Ideally, the prescribing physician also had you take a P450 liver enzyme DNA test. This test will tell you and the physician how rapid or slowly you will metabolize the Lexapro. The physician can then prescribe you the dosage that your body will metabolize with ease or possible consider an different antidepressant.

With the DNA data in mind; if you smoke at the start of Lexapro withdrawal do not stop. If you drink coffee at the beginning of the Lexapro withdrawal do not stop the coffee or switch to decaf.

While using The Road Back Program we run into a continual problem. The person gets about half way off the Lexapro and they are feeling fantastic. They want to get other aspects of their life in order and begin dieting, exercising or any number of things to improve their health and well-being. WAIT! Wait until you are off the Lexapro 45-days and then have at it. Otherwise you will likely upset this balance you have achieved and the remaining taper will not go as smoothly as it has.

Additional Lexapro Withdrawal Side Effects

As stated earlier, the manufacturer listed 196 potential side effects when Lexapro was introduced. If we were to use the Freedom of Information Act as we did for Zoloft, our guess is the list would be as long as Zoloft was. It was 500 pages, single space with 5 columns per page.

Once you start using The Road Back Program you most likely will eliminate the current side effects you have and will not experience new Lexapro withdrawal side effects.

Again, read Chapter 4 of How to Get Off Psychoactive Drugs Safely by Clicking How to Start link at the top navigation bar. We have also defined every Lexapro side effect so they are easy to understand. Note down the Lexapro side effects you currently have. Start The Road Back Program and during your first week have a look at the Lexapro side effects you marked and see if they are still present.

You can make it off Lexapro. There is Hope and There is a Solution. 

"I found out I was not very different from most others that did The Road Back Program. Lexapro withdrawal had been brutal. I tapered too fast and went back on the original dosage I started at. The Lexapro withdrawal side effects did not go away though.

My doctor wanted to switch from Lexapro to a new antidepressant and when I asked him why, his response kind of shocked me.  He wanted to see if the other antidepressant would get rid of the Lexapro withdrawal side effects I was still having.

By this time I knew better and told him no way. Fix me, fix what you started.

I went home angry. Would I ever be the same again?  

Once home I searched for answers and happened upon The Road Back site. It was so hard for me to focus and read anything but I managed enough to order the supplements I needed for the program.

I sent an email to Jim and he told me to just follow the instructions on the labels with how much to take and when to take the supplements. I like easy.

Jim told me it may take a bit longer since I was already in withdrawal and had gone back up on the dosage. Realistically, the positive changes began quickly. Within 2 days my head was clear and I started to be able to focus a bit.

Jim let me know to not rush at all. Give my body and mind a chance to calm down again. I followed everything he said to the letter.

Over the next few weeks I knew I was on the right track and by the time I reduced the Lexapro for the third time without one bit of withdrawal I really knew I was going to make it this time.

I have been off Lexapro for 4 months and decided I needed to write this in case anyone else was in my place. The best thing I can say to any of you going through Lexapro withdrawal; there is hope and there is a solution. Thank you Jim" Betty


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