Most of us who are reading this must have experienced or have heard people saying that they have been using Lexapro for some time now and have had a very bad experience facing Lexapro withdrawal symptoms and are now looking for some solution. So the first question that comes to our mind is that what exactly does this term “Lexapro withdrawal symptoms” means.
You will find the answer to this question in this article with information on many other important aspects such as what is Lexapro, how does it work, symptoms of Lexapro withdrawal and treatment for Lexapro withdrawal.
So let’s first begin with understanding what Lexapro is.
What is Lexapro?
Lexapro is amongst the most popular antidepressant drug in the United States. Antidepressants are prescribed by doctors to boost your mood and reduce your anxiety level. Lexapro is a member of SSRI (serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors). It is a type of medicine which increases the level of serotonin in the body which helps in keeping up the good mood, treating social anxiety, OCD and panic disorder.
But as soon as people feel better they assumes that now they can stop taking it, this sudden stoppage is the reason for withdrawal symptoms. But we will see later in the article what all other factors influence Lexapro withdrawal, first, let’s understand how Lexapro works?
How Lexapro works?
Lexapro belongs to the family of SSRI and SSRI is a group of antidepressant which increases the amount of serotonin in the mood centers of the brain. Now the thought comes that what serotonin do, serotonin is a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) that transmits signals between the cells of the brain. Serotonin interacts with serotonin receptors and which then gather serotonin to be reused later to send more signals between cells which thus improves the mood and social behavior.
Now that we know how Lexapro works let’s see what the right dosage of Lexapro is and how much time it takes to work.
Lexapro comes in 5, 10 and 20mg tablets, but it is recommended to take only one tablet of 10 mg in a day. If a higher dose is taken, then its withdrawal symptoms are also high.
Lexapro takes time to show its full effects and is required to be taken for a continued period.
The user of Lexapro will see only slight improvement in first 1 to 2 weeks. Usually, it will take 4-6 weeks period to show full improvement in the effects.
Because one needs to take Lexapro for a long period to see full results, it is advised that one should not quit taking Lexapro suddenly.
If you are planning to stop taking Lexapro, first have a word with your doctor and ask him that whether it is the right time to stop using it or not.
It is strictly advised that do not stop using it on your own; it can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms.
Like the one stated above, there are many other factors that influence Lexapro withdrawal. Some of which are detailed below.
Factors that influence Lexapro Withdrawal
Understanding the factors that influence Lexapro is very important and useful; avoiding them will reduce the severity of the Lexapro withdrawal.
To what extent would you say you were taking Lexapro? If you were on it for quite a long time, the withdrawal procedure is likely going to be longer for you than somebody on it for quite a long time. By and large, the more you take Lexapro, the more extraordinary the withdrawal procedure.
Potion of drug
Many people take somewhere in the range of 10 mg to 20 mg of Lexapro. But as explained above the prescribed beginning dosage is one tablet of 10 mg; however, for a few people, this isn't exactly sufficiently solid. In this way, most specialists keep expanding the dosage to accomplish the full impact. Dosages tend to increment up to 20 mg, and afterward, it is up to the patient and specialist whether 20 mg should be surpassed. The higher the measurement you are on, the more prominent will be the trouble of the withdrawal procedure.
It is never prescribed to stop Lexapro "without any weaning period."Stopping immediately leaves your mind in a condition of confusion. If you are using this medication and want to discontinue its use have patience and slowly taper off. Get a tapering schedule from your doctor this will help in minimizing withdrawal symptoms.
Lexapro withdrawal symptoms
Here is the list of Lexapro withdrawal side effects that an individual might face when they stop taking the dosage. Each user will experience different Lexapro antidepressant withdrawal side effects than the next person, but these are some of the common ones.
When one stops taking lexapro, then the level of serotonin decreases but the brain has already become dependent on this drug and now it is not getting it making you start experiencing the feeling of nervousness, stress and high blood pressure.
Many people report that after stopping Lexapro dosage, they start feeling very sad and then break into tears unable to stop themselves.
It is common to see that even when one misses a dose of Lexapro they become aggressive. They have a hostile behavior towards others and are always ready to fight with or without any reason.
A direct result of not taking Lexapro anymore is on eating habits. Either one eats too much or too less. Mostly it is opposite to the experience when you were taking Lexapro.
Electric shock like sensations
Also known as brain zaps is a feeling like your brain is being suddenly jolted with an electric charge. This is a symptom when you stop taking Lexapro and subside within few weeks.
It refers to the involuntary movement of the lips, face or tongue. Till date, there is no definite cure for this problem.
Sexual side effects
Because Lexapro is an antidepressant, it is common to see some sexual side effects when stopping its use.
These side effects can be less sex drive and arousal, difficulty to achieve orgasm, etc.
It is quite common to see people feeling lethargic and tired right from the beginning of the day. This is because our brain is trying to cope up with the after effects of stoppage of Lexapro.
Lexapro is taken to control depression, but when its use is stopped, then it is likely that it will return. In fact, many people say that it becomes even worse than it was before taking Lexapro because the brain has become more imbalanced now.
Finding it difficult to fall asleep and feeling like vomiting when the use of drug is stopped. These symptoms will go away with time; one should not get unnecessarily bothered and deal with them patiently.
Treatment for Lexapro Withdrawal
If you have stopped your Lexapro or planning stopping, then it is important that you are under doctor’s care because in some cases side effects are very extreme and does not go away at all. In such cases, only doctor can help you to take off Lexapro completely by asking you to practice tapering as per his prescribed dosage.
He will ask you to take care of your mind and body properly because this significantly contributes in the process. One should eat healthy food, do physical activities, sleep on time, and have a good surrounding environment.
One can also use various therapies during this period like talk therapy, vitamin therapy, sauna therapy, herbal therapy, etc.
Once the detoxification process is complete and the body is free from any residue of toxin then your doctor might choose to give you some other medication, so that withdrawal symptoms do not build up again.
Lexapro withdrawal duration
It completely depends on person to person because everyone is genetically different. This has been seen that for some people symptoms may last for weeks, for some this duration is for some months after they have taken their last dosage.
So to conclude one can set the checkpoint as 3 months for the withdrawal symptoms to subside if they have been using Lexapro for a year.
But this is not a fixed duration because there have been some cases where the symptoms for the individual lasted for complete 4 years, so this means that in some cases it may take over years for symptoms to go away.