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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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I have been on cipralex 20 mg daily for 6 years now after

Resolved Question:

I have been on cipralex 20 mg daily for 6 years now after being diagnosed for ocd. I am fine and when I try to go off cipralex ocd symptoms tend to increase. Should I be worried of the long term side effects of cipralex?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 5 years ago.
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

Cipralex (escitalopram) is a selective seretonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI, similar to Prozac and many others). Once you are on it you cannot quit it rapidly or reduce the dosage without getting side efffects, some of which could include electric feeling "brain zaps". and many other side effects.

Evidently, it is helping you control your OCD symptoms, and is one of the drugs typically used. It can cause suicidal ideation (thinking about suicide) or more, but if this doesn't bother you, then there should be no problem.

Quitting has to be a long, slow weaning process over a month or two, or more. Anything quicker than that can lead to severe and sometimes dangerous reactions.

I hope this information has been useful to you.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have no suicidal ideation, can I continue on cipralex without stopping it?
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 5 years ago.
Dear friend,

There does not seem to be any red flags, and you are under the supervision of your physician as well, so you can continue.

There are also methods of psychotherapy that can be used to retrain your mind to avoid obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. You could look into this in the future. The technique I specifically have in mind is called Exposure and Response Prevention.

I wish you good health.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
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