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Q: Cipralex Withdrawal ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Cipralex Withdrawal
Category: Health > Medicine
Asked by: khankans-ga
List Price: $9.50
Posted: 31 Oct 2004 16:37 PST
Expires: 30 Nov 2004 16:37 PST
Question ID: 422696
I had been on Cipram(Citalopram) for the last two years and moved to
Cipralex(which is newer) just few months ago..i am feeling much better
and i am seriously thinking about discontinuation..i would like to
know more about the withdrawal symptoms and side effects...any support
resources(on the net or anywhere else)that can make the process faster
or easier?..what should i consider before i start the withdrawal?..any
success stories?..and finally not to worry..i've read the disclaimer..
Any information about my subject would be of great benefit..
Best Thanks in Advance,
Subject: Re: Cipralex Withdrawal
Answered By: librariankt-ga on 01 Nov 2004 12:56 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi Khankans,

Cipralex is the brand name of an SSRI antidepressant called
Escitalopram.  As with all SSRIs (and really, with all
antidepressants), it's a really bad idea to stop taking the dose all
at once, particularly without telling your doctor first.  It appears
that tapering off your dose gradually is the best option - but only
under the guidance of a physician.  This is because the side effects
can be pretty severe, even if you've been feeling better.

Here's some information from the drug guide LexiComp, which my library
subscribes to:
"Upon discontinuation of escitalopram therapy, gradually taper dose.
If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in dosage or upon
discontinuation of therapy, then resuming the previous dose with a
more gradual taper should be considered. The patient's family or
caregiver should be alerted to monitor patients for the emergence of
suicidality and associated behaviors such as anxiety, agitation, panic
attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, akathisia,
hypomania, and mania; patients should be instructed not to abruptly
discontinue this medication, but notify their healthcare provider if
any of these symptoms or worsening depression occur."
According to this guide, it takes up to 3 weeks for effects of the
drug to appear in your system - which also follows that it will take
several weeks for the effects to dissipate.

However, the rate of withdrawal is fairly low, and is comparable to
placebo, according to this study:

Here are some other resources on the Internet that will help you:
"Avoid suddenly stopping this medicine. Sudden withdrawal may result
in headache, nausea, pins and needles, dizziness and anxiety. When it
is time to stop taking this medicine it should be discontinued
gradually, following the instructions given by your doctor or

The Anxiety Community
This includes community bulletin boards that you may find helpful for
online support from people who know where you're at with regards to
the medication.

Finally, I think you may find one or more of the resources listed on
Google's directory page for anxiety support groups can help you hook
up with people with similar health issues to yours.

Not knowing what country you're in (all I know is you're not in the US
- escitalopram is called Lexapro here), I'm afraid I can't narrow
things down further.

I found the above websites by doing a Google search for "escitalopram
withdrawal" and "support".  I also checked PubMed MEDLINE for the
article about withdrawal rates, and MedlinePlus to see if it was
helpful (it was not).  And, of course, the first place I looked was in
various online drug guides.

Please let me know if I can clarify this answer any - and please talk
with your GP before going off the medicine.  The risk of symptoms may
be low, but they're sufficiently dangerous (to me) that you should be
very careful!

khankans-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
I am rating the answer after six months of withdrawing Cipralex,i
believe you did your wishes...Ali

Subject: Re: Cipralex Withdrawal
From: anonoboy-ga on 31 Oct 2004 16:40 PST
Subject: Re: Cipralex Withdrawal
From: hunthunthunt-ga on 29 Jun 2005 09:25 PDT
It's been four weeks sinse I took my last dose of Lexapro aka Cipralex. 

Coming off this drug is awful!

I was on a dose of 10mg a day for about 18 months. 

The physical symptoms I experienced during withdrawl included,
tiredness, iritability, weight gain, and a horrible electric shock
sensation that lasted for about two weeks - that was the worst.

I can't stress how important it is to come off this drug slowly. I did
so over the period of about a month. Initially alternating between
10mg and 5mg every other day. Then 5mg a day, then 5mg every other day
and finally 5mg every third day.

At four weeks I am happy to be off the drug, I am feeling more myself
- not the ambivalent zombie I had become.
Subject: Re: Cipralex Withdrawal
From: khankans-ga on 29 Jun 2005 13:08 PDT
I had been off Cipralex for more than six months,my withdrawal process
took me around 2 months to reach a dosage of 2.5 m.g day after day and
then every two days ,i walked slowly but surely ,there was no extrem
side effects ,tenssion and anexiety are the normal results you expect
when you withdraw this kind of med,but nothing serious!!!...i am now
meds free!!...and it feels much better!!

One thing that "hunthunthunt-ga"said and made me laugh when i remember
the small electrical shock i had when ever i touch a
the door of my car!!..maybe its stress..but who cares?!!...its


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