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You started using antidepressants to help boost your mood and get rid of the anxiety. But, as soon as you start to feel better, you realize that you can't stop taking them. Suddenly, you feel sick and only taking the medicine will make you feel better. In this case you are probably having antidepressant withdrawal.

Antidepressant withdrawal causes a unique set of symptoms that occur when you stop taking them, usually if you stop taking antidepressants immediately.

What is Lexapro?

Lexapro is an antidepressant that belongs to the SSRI group. It is used to treat depression, excessive anxiety and worry, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and related conditions.

Lexapro dosage

The Lexapro dose is usually 10 mg a day, but it can be increased to 20 mg a day. For patients who have a liver disease, an initial dose of 5 mg is given for the first two weeks, and then the dose can be increased to 10 mg a day. It should be swallowed with a full glass of water. It can be taken with or without food. Lexapro should be taken once daily, in the morning or in the evening. Usually Lexapro is used for at least 6 months.

If you forgot to take a dose and remember it within 12 hours, take it as soon as you remember. Never take a double dose to compensate the one you missed before.

If you think you overdosed on Lexapro, seek medical help immediately.

What should you know before taking Lexapro?

Do not take Lexapro if you are allergic to citalopram, and do not use it at the same time as MAOIs, such as pimozide.

Do not take Lexapro if you are pregnant, intend to get pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.

Tell your doctor before taking Lexapro if you are suffering from any of these conditions: diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, or bipolar disorder.

Lexapro should not be given to children or adolescent under the age of 18. Avoid alcohol while taking Lexapro.

What Causes an Antidepressant Withdrawal?

Antidepressants are medicines that help to restore the neurotransmitter balance in the brain, like serotonin and norepinephrine. The abrupt stop of the use of an antidepressant simply does not give your brain time to adjust to the rapid changes.

What are the symptoms of an Antidepressant Withdrawal?
All antidepressants lead to withdrawal. Symptoms depend on the type of antidepressant you are taking. They usually start within the first three days that you quit taking the antidepressant. These symptoms usually go away within a week or two and may be from mild to severe.
The symptoms include:
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of concentration
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle spasms
  • Visual disturbances
  • Nightmares
  • Troubles with sleep
How to safely quit an antidepressant
If you are thinking of quitting an antidepressant you should consult your doctor first.
Never quit an antidepressant immediately.
The best and safest way to quit an antidepressant is to slowly reduce the dose you are taking, always in consultation with your doctor. This is called tapering. Tapering is a method for quitting antidepressants in a safe way. Reducing the dose gradually, helps your brain to adjust to the chemical changes. Tapering prevents you from having severe withdrawal symptoms. Never try to do this on your own.
Withdrawal symptoms usually go away within a few weeks. If you are having extremely severe withdrawal symptoms, your doctor may prescribe other medicines to help you relieve the symptoms.

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