Getting Off Lexapro

I’ve been taking Lexapro, an SSRI, for over two years, and I’m weaning off at the advice of my doctor.

I made the mistake of going three days without Lexapro last month. On the third day, I felt really energetic – REALLY energetic – and I got a lot done at work, that’s certain, but by the end of the day, I felt jarring little shocks of ‘electricity’ in my head and shooting down my arms. That was in addition to feeling a little dizzy that afternoon, and easily becoming suddenly irritable, all in withdrawal from Lexapro. (Poor Sam.) That convinced me that ‘cold turkey’ was not the way to go.

I’d been taking 20mg, daily, which I pared down to 10mg, daily, for a week or so. I’ve stayed on 10mg daily for two weeks, and am now beginning 5mg, daily. It wasn’t long before I started to feel the fuller spectrum of emotions returning, which can be a little disorienting, after being a little flat or abbreviated for a while. Yes, at times, I’ve felt more melancholy – not unnecessarily so – but on the other hand, I’ve also laughed more, and that’s a good thing.

In retrospect, I’d much rather have gone on Xanax for anxiety, and I wouldn’t have chosen Lexapro. The Lexapro certainly evened things out for me, letting me work through stress more easily, but it’s not a method I’d use again, or advocate for others. Xanax is certainly more pleasant, and (at least for me) not as dependency-creating. The doctor could easily have monitored my intake, to make sure I wasn’t abusing my privileges, and I have a feeling that the withdrawal wouldn’t be so intense and detrimental. It might be a good solution (replacement) for people with hard drug or alcohol issues, because it sure takes the kick out of El Coyote margaritas (and E). The thing about the margaritas is that while I didn’t feel buzzed at all really, I didn’t push it, lest my motor skills were impaired just the same.

I’ve also learned that SSRIs are really hard to kick – right up there with crack – and worst of all, coming off them can really screw up your relationship with your johnson, and we hate that.

That’s the tricky part: the withdrawal can put a fella at either end of bonerville, with too many or too few. I’m hoping for something in between. This is part of the reason I’m discontinuing the Lexapro. Lex kills wood, or at least it has tried to kill mine, here and there. Pair that with Propecia for hair loss, which also kills wood, and before you know it you’re taking Cialis or Viagra to counteract the Propecia and Lexapro. So I had to stop the madness somewhere. The withdrawal from Lexapro doesn’t promise a redwood forest either. So far, morning wood is reliable, and right on time, with no noticeable deficit or surplus. Whew. We’ll see if that’s a continuing trend. Fingers crossed. Stay tuned.


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