Citalopram and weight gain.... I'm coming off slowly. Anyone else?

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Hi there. I'm a 43 year old woman who has been prescribed 20mg of citalopram for the last 7 years. I used to weigh 115 lbs and was a size 8.... Since taking it year by year I have put on weight and now weigh 10st 3lbs - size 12-14. It's so upsetting as I no way over eat. I excersise loads: body pump, running, freestyle swimming - 100 lengths of 25m pool.... I have a super active lifestyle working out in the community as a music therapist - carrying heavy gear and constantly on the move. I don't like being on the drug but doctors seem to encourage just staying on it. I have tried to come off slowly before but the side effects were too much. That said - I can't do this anymore.... I want my mind and body back. My energy and vitality too. 10 days ago I began reducing my dose to around 15mg. I am feeling quite strange but it's not undo-able.... I plan to take another 5 mg off the dose next month... I would love to do this with the support of others that are going through the same thing.... I'm going to keep on excersising too. It helps to calm me down as I do feel lots of nervous energy .... I am praying that I start to get my weight down.... Anyone out there?

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  • Posted

    Hi my daughter has just come off it after 1 half years decreased 1/4 pill every 2 weeks no bad side effects the slower the better I wud reduce 1/4 every month.....
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    • Posted

      Thanks - that's helpful.... I've done the 1st 1/4 for the last 10 days.... It's manageable. Did your daughter gain weight too? I know the cit did help as I was in a terrible place when it was prescribed to me but I'm so sad that until now I have not had the strength to have a proper go at coming off it....

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  • Posted

    Hello Mel-and-Tiger,

    This is music to my ears. If it helps I was on Citalopram 20mg for the best part of 20 years. I am a 100 miles a week runner and did NOT suffer weight gain so I can't empathise with you on that score. I can however strongly urge you to grab your life back as you seem to be doing, as in January I fractured my pubic rami (running) so it stopped me running - obviously - I absolutely plummeted into depression, it was hell and I was on Citalopram. The conclusion - it wasn't the meds treating my depression it was the running.  I stopped 8 weeks ago, fairly abruptly, but that a different story - anyway, apart from the odd dizzy spell and waves of melancholy I am doing just fine. I am also taking my first tentative running steps. You hang on in there and wean slowly but surely. Good Luck

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    • Posted

      Wow. That's amazing. Brilliant that you are back in the driving seat (so to speak) Since reducing my dosage I have had this real excitement about swimming again too.... Kinda like a buzzing feeling. I'm about to head there now... How did you come off it? What happened when you did??

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    • Posted

      I went to my GP for some pain relief with my fracture and he was absolutely VILE to me, I left his room in tears (rare for me on Citalopram) and changed my GP. This meant that I would have to go to new GP for a new repeat prescription which I couldn't be bothered to do, hence the abrupt stopping. I have rarely felt better knowing I am free of this horrible drug, it can cause bone thinning so watch that one! By the way  I have known many others who have had weight issues with Cit so you are not alone. Go burn the pool! x

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    • Posted

      sorry ,forgot to add, I didn't really get horror symptoms coming off, just dizzy spells at the same time each day , nausea, mood swings, zappy head at times, but all manageable. Worth it

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    • Posted

      Ahhhh the friendly family doc. What a guy. I know they are under pressure but kindness is so important when dealing with people who come to you for help. No excuse! Your words resonate so strongly. I can't wait to be free of this stuff.... The pool is perfect to shake out that high octane energy that's rushing about my body atm... I wish I was strong enough to just stop but I'm frightened of how bad it was before....

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  • Posted

    I'm at the end of withdrawing from these meds.  I agree with Michelle - do it really, really slow.

    I was on 20mg, bought a pill cutter and cut them into 1/4's (each one 5mg).  I reduced my dose by 5mg each time, staying on each dose for a good month/2 months before reducing again.  The slower, the better.  I've had no withdrawl effects at all.

    I came off these once before by halving from 20mg to 10mg to 5mg and had withdrawl.  Doing is this time around is better.

    There is no hurry to withdraw - take as long as you like.  I've been doing this since last year (waiting for my daughters wedding to pass first in case I slip) and will stop at the end of the year.

    These meds can cause weight gain for some people.  I gained around 2 stone over the last 25 years (after children too mmmm), but think that's probably age more than the meds.  I have just lost 1 stone (needed to for my wedding outfit) and will lose another 1/2 stone before I stop.  I just changed my diet - I rarely touch shop bought processed stuff, I eat 90% home cooked foods, eat loads of fruit and veg (I've been veggie all my life) and I don't eat sugar.  Made such a difference.  Its taken about 4 months.  I'm active too.

    Exercise is good - helps to burn excess adrenaline - but seems you're super fit doing this anyway.

    K x

     

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    • Posted

      Wow! Well done you - I hope the wedding is gorgeous. The excess adrenaline is the biggest symptom for me so far... I woke up with galloping heart and the words 'hold your horses!' In my head.... That was after a pretty late night and a friends birthday party too - I'm off to the pool now to reset! Thanks so much for your helpful words - it's great to connect ??

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    • Posted

      Pill cutter is a great tip btw - I've been using one for the last two weeks and it provides a good way of keeping track of the day's you've managed (5mg medals left over) and means you can make sure you are doing the right amount xx

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    • Posted

      That's so sweet - the shared anniversary..... I'm sure it will be a fabulous day! ???? I hope you enjoy wearing your dress....

      As for me - it's quite a wild ride but I'm okay,... Excersising is helping and I'm suddenly unable to simply put up with things that have annoyed me for ages...(lots of junk being thrown out. Walls repaired and repainted....flowers deadheaded, old clothes gone to charity etc etc) I do seem to have a bit too much energy but I'm trying to take advantage of it and not let it scare me or turn into anxiety... Keeping a positive headspace trying to see it as being more 'me' and empowered rather than unmotivated and dull feeling. I'm really glad I signed up here too. It's nice not feeling so alone in this....

      ???? Anyway.... Have a great time on the day and thanks for the support. BTW... The weight has already started to shift... My face has slimmed down and my tummy is definitely smaller!! Xx

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    • Posted

      Yes, we'll be celebrating our anniversaries together from now on biggrin

      You're doing all the right things by keeping busy, carrying on as normal, exercising ......... all this whilst you wait for the meds to do their thing.  They will too.  

      I feel having gone through this illness and recovery, its made me a much stronger person.  I thought I was the only one to suffer this way and never thought I'd get over it ....... something we all think.  But I did ..... and you will too.

      Yes this is a great forum - sharing is such a great healer too.  Hey glad to hear the weight has started to shift too - that gives you a great boost!

      Daughters wedding dress collected, nails are done, the weather forecast is sunny ... just need to wash and iron the men's shirts and pack our bags.  Exciting!

      K xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Mel,

    I'm 33 and have been on 30 mg of citolopram for about 7 years. On 7/12 I began tapering with the help of my dr and therapist. I'm doing 5 mg reductions every 3 months, depending on how I am feeling. I have gained weight with cit. The most I ever weighed was 143lbs at 5.2". I went through a rough breakup a few years back and lost all the weight (118lbs) but have slowly began gaining it again. I'm back up to (133lbs).

    At first my withdrawals have been mostly physical like headaches disorientation no appetite. Those seem to be passing. It feels a bit alien after so many years to start feeling things again. It's a bit surreal and hard to explain or put into words.

    I've read through these forums that exercise helps a lot and so I'm going to begin more activity.

    I wish you all the best of luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi Michelle-what you describe about feeling things again I totally get..... For me It's somewhere between anxiety/confusion and rushes of excitement .... When I wake up I feel more alive and present.... Colours sharper. Empty pointlessness coming away. I'm shocked to say it's a bit like remembering who I am. As you say surreal. I'm sure it will level out before I reduce another 5mg next month but I prefer feeling like this than on 20 mg any day. It's a bit sad that for all this time I've been away. Life has not been great and I think it has had an adverse effect on my relationship too.... Personally when I get off it - I will hope that I never never go back. Life is too short to live it in a flat grey world....

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