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Lightheaded sensation on stopping ESCITALOPRAM for ANXIETY.

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Hello, my name is Antonio and I have recently stopped an anxiety treatment. The medication I was taking is called escitalopram (10 mg/day) and, as the psychiatrist advised me, I tapered off (reducing 2.5 mg every 10 days) before stopping it completely. It has been 6 days since I stopped it and I have a very strong lightheaded sensation that gets worse when I do physical activity and prevents me from concentrating on my school work. Is this normal? Is there any way to reduce these withdrawal effects?

He told me I could take a 0.5 mg pill of clonazepam one hour before bedtime to help me relax. Would you agree with that?

I wanted a second opinion, since my psychiatrist told me that the discontinuation syndrome for escitalopram is often smooth with little effects.

Thank you so much.

Category: Psychiatrist

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 21 Doctors Online

Thanks for posting your query at
I have gone through your question in detail and I can understand what you are going through.
It is true that discontinuation symptoms of escitalopram is very smooth and many of my patients have stopped it abruptly at 10 mg as well. However if you are getting the withdrawal symptoms of escitalopram then clonazepam 0.5mg can be taken at night. The same has been advised by your psychiatrist and I agree with that. Clonazepam (0.5mg) can be taken for 15-20 days and then reduced to 2.5mg for next 7 days and then stopped.
If the withdrawal like symptoms persist beyond 4 weeks then it can be a relapse of anxiety/depression rather than being the withdrawal symptoms.
Hope this helps,
In case if you have any further query, do let me know.
Kind regards
Dr. Srikanth Reddy

Patient replied :

Thank you for your reply Dr. Srikanth Reddy, I feel more comfortable having to positive opinion of two professionals.

What is bothering me the most is a constant feeling of dizziness, headache and slight nausea. Are these due to the discontinuation? Is there an average time for which they should disappear naturally?
Another thing I noticed is that the "racing heart" feeling I had before taking the medication (and disappeared completely during the treatment) also came back. Is that normal?
Thank you for your attention.
Kind regards,

Yes. All the symptoms that you have mentioned occur routinely after the discontinuation of escitalopram in varying intensities. These normally should settle down in 2 weeks time. If it continues then other reasons like a relapse of anxiety, electrolyte imbalance, gastritis etc have to be considered.
Dr. Srikanth Reddy MD

Dr. Srikanth Reddy
Category: Sexologist
Doctor of Medicine (MD), Psychiatry Residency Program,2001 – 2012
M.B.B.S,Mahatma Gandhi Institute Of Medical Sciences, Sevagram

Certificate Course in sex Therapy and Counselling, Sexology and Counselling, A
Sexology,Medikon Sexual Sciences, Mumbai

Training in Advanced Neurology at a leading corporate hospital (CARE hospital) in Hyderabad

Child Psychiatry Training in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore

Sex Therapy and Counsellingat MEDIKON Sexual Sciences, Mumbai.
Dr. Srikanth Reddy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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