Citalopram Withdrawal

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 Having been on Cit for a relatively short period of time (6 weeks) after discussion with my GP and due to numerous and significant side effects I stopped taking, for me, the evil drug.

Initially as I am over 65 the GP placed me on 10m for a few days then up to 20 mg thereafter.

Within 24 hours of upping the does I was into major side effects which included nausea, loss of appetite, copious stomach gas, dry mouth and lethargy. Not to be beaten I stopped with the dosage and the drug for the next four weeks until my next agreed visit to my GP. All this time the side effects were maintained at a similar level.

Having met and agreed with the GP that the does should be cut back to 10mg a further week saw the same level of side effects. 

I again spoke to the doctor and we agreed that the medication did not suit me and I should stop all of the medication and the GP stated that I would be back to normal in a few days as I had been on the drug for a relatively short period.

That was almost five weeks ago!!!!

The first three weeks I remained the same with the side effects now becoming withdrawal effects but still with a loss of appetite, nausea, dry mouth, copious stomach gas. One thing which has improved is my lethargy which has almost disappeared.

Week four saw a great improvement in all aspects of the withdrawal symptoms which were negligible for a period of five days, however, this last week they have returned to a level to which they were two weeks ago.

Discussing this with the GP who appears to be as a loss and is unsure about the reasons for the symptoms I am now suffering and has completed a raft of blood tests and is now sending me for scans. So far the blood tests have turn up nothing and I await the scans (NHS)

I think there are several issues here;

1) I believe that I should have been informed of the possible consequences of commencing a course of this drug

2) I should not have continued with the drug as long as I did with the level of side effects I was experiencing

3) The GP does not appear to be fully conversant with the withdrawal symptoms or the longevity of their withdrawal effects.

4) Had I known the potential difficulties with the drug I would never have embarked on a course of them.

I have read several good websites regarding the effects of Cit and what is more than obvious there are no common ways which individuals react to the drug both during medication or post medication. I have a friend who took it for depression for six months and then came off it cold turkey with no affects, either during or post medication. Others appear to not have any real issues with the drug until they come off it,  then there are a significant number of people like me who have to come off the drug due to the side effects then suffer further post medication.

The other thing is that there does not appear to be any real correlation between the time people have spent on the drug relative to the time that the withdrawal effects are likely to last or how intensive they maybe.

I am interested in people’s experiences on the above with regard to how long and how intense peoples withdrawal effects last!!

1 like, 22 replies

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22 Replies

  • Posted

    I took Citalopram for about 6 weeks and ended up with very similar sid effects as you, My stomach was a real mess and dry mouth etc.

    I stopped taking them and stomach is now much calmer and apetite ok.

    I do not think that I would want to take them again.

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    • Posted

      Christine 

      Your experience appears to be very similar to mine. 

      May I ask how long ago were you on the drug and in your case how long did the side efects last for once you had stopped taking the evil concoction?

      Dave

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    • Posted

      Dave I was on them for about 6 weeks.

      It was then suggested that I try Mitrazeping but I could not face any further problems so finished all of them.

      Some people feel that the drugs have given them a new life and they could not manage without them.

      I just do not know.

       

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    • Posted

      Christine 

      Than ks for the info I will not be taking any alternative drugs of a SSRI nature ever again!!

      You didn't say how long that you suffered with withdrawal syptoms after you stopped Cit

      Dave

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    • Posted

      Hi Dave.

      I do not know what was a side effect and what wasn't really.

      All I know is I am so fed up with all of these feelngs and mucking about with medication and side effects.

      I wish you well Dave keep me in touch with how you are.

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    • Posted

      Christine 

      Thanks for the update i will keep in touch and let you know as i hope u wil let me know how you are fairing!!

      Dave

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks for that Dave I will.

      I have an appointment with Health In Mind on the 4th Feb and I am hoping that I will be offered CBT.

      I cannot go on like this for all time.

      I just want to LIVE.

      What is good about logging into here is that others people fully understand the discomfort of anxiety, the fear when you have health issues and the misery that it causes for the person who suffers it however illogical it is to those who don't understand it.

       

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  • Posted

    I only lasted 3 days, awfull side effects, sweating, grinding teeth, zonked out, could not eat so then acid awfull stomach... Devil drugs! Doctor did not warn me of the effects and knew I suffered acid in my stomach and have to eat regularly so not eating for my stomach was awfull
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    • Posted

      Chik

      Again you sound like you did the correct thing and got of the drug sooner rather than later !! My mistake was to try and beat it!!

      I, like you occasionally suffer from dyspepsia and acid stomach and this is why I to have major side effects in this area. I just hope that the side effects which are now slowly waning will continue to dissappear soon.

      Thanks for your information!!

      Dave

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    • Posted

      I struggled with this drug for about 6 months too.  I kept telling my doctor how ill I felt and he kept saying it was anxiety and stress doing it, I didn't even think about it being the meds.  Then my hair fell out - not just a little shedding but big handfuls.  So I went onto the internet to research it.  Bingo! All roads led to citalopram.  I flushed them down the toilet the same day.  Luckily I didn't have anywhere near the horrible withdrawal issues you did Dave, so sorry to hear they made you feel so bad.  I cannot call what I felt on this drug as 'side effects' more likely an allergic reaction and eventually my doctor started to use that terminology too.  I'm sure some people get benefit from these mind altering drugs but I sure as hell will never be going near them again. I'll try to find other more natural ways of dealing with my depression and anxiety, as I was FAR more depressed and anxious by feeling so ill while taking them.
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    • Posted

      Hi Loxie, I've been off Cit for 3days (was on for 8 days) because of side effects. I have a post on here about my side effects. I too would like to deal with anxiety more naturally. I found this book yesterday called The Anti Anxiety Food Solution: How The Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind. Improve your Mood & End Cravings by Trudy Scott. All health I believe starts in the gut/with nutrition. For me personally I think I was looking for a quick fix with Cit as I'm more inclined to take the more natural route. Thought this maybe of some help smile
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    • Posted

      Thank you so much Erin, I'll definitely look into that book recommendation.  I've just started meditation/chi gung classes and hope they'll be of help too.  I agree with you about food being the basis of good health, there is unfortunately so much misinformation out there about which foods are 'good' and 'bad'.  Im reminded of my mother's generation who ate frugally and lived long and healthy lives on low budgets, when we all seem to eat to excess and get all manner of health problems.  Thanks again. xx
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    • Posted

       I would like to get into a meditation routine too and yoga. I think too with the older generations they ate whole nutritious foods as opposed to packaged foods containing preservatives and other things that aren't food and possibly got more exercise. Thanks Loxie ... Wishing you well smile x
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    • Posted

      Loxie 

      thank you for your comments what is coming to the fore for me is the number of people who have taken this type of drug in good faith on doctors recommendations and when the side effects kick in (which according to this site and several others) there are a significant number of peolpe who do suffer that the medical profession do in general not appear to understand the potential for distress that they may cause should they not suit the patient. 

      In my case i ws not informed of the possible side effects and the doctor in good faith I beleive said that I should aim to make an appointment after four or five weeks. At no time was i informed that i could face horrific side effects and if so I should contact them immeadiately.

      Whether there are seminars or whatever for the medical profession tha both th edurg companies and them should be made to attend such gatherings.

      I like you will never be going near a SSRI ever again I do hope that your hair is now returning as this must have been very dramatic for you!!

      Dave

       

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    • Posted

      great post Dave, very eye-opening for me. 

      I've been on them for 25 days, terrible side-effects for the first 5 days, and consistently bad side-effects so far. I don't really feel like I am heading in the right direction with these meds, but my Doc is unconcerned. 

      I'm just wondering how long to put up with this before expecting some proper relief? 

      I am also on 2x40mgs Propranolol per day, so not sure what to do about those either?

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    • Posted

      Hi Andy - I think what is very clear from the posts on these forums is that these types of meds do not suit everyone.  For those they do, it's great and its obvious theyre of immense benefit.  However for some they are totally not right.  Side effects are one thing, adverse reaction to the drugs is another completely different issue.  My view is if the meds are making you ill, you really should not be taking them and there may be an alternative that won't have such a bad effect.  Dont put up with feeling so ill, be strong with your doctor - they would like nothing better with the best will in the world to have written a prescription and get you off their back - not because they cant be bothered but because that would be an easy success story.  Sadly when it comes to your health, mental or physical, it's not always easy and doctors should listen to individuals who know their own body best of all.   Refuse to accept this situation and make your doctor discuss alternatives - it's your right.
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    • Posted

      andymc1970

      From my experience do not try to beat them sort out an exit strategy with your doctor and sort out a suitable substitute!!

      As I said before had I not stayed on these tablets with all the side effects I suffered I am sure that I would not have experienced the dramatic level of withdrawal symptoms nor the longevity of them.

      I consider my GP to be thoughtful and dedicated but I believe that she has been caught out with me and appears to be very apologetic. For you if you are not getting the response that you require from your current GP take a second opinion as soon as you can. The longer you leave it the longer you are likely to suffer. According to my GP the actual effect of the drug is relatively short. It is the effect on the brain as a result of being deprived of the action of the drug which is the issue that the body has to deal with!!

      I hope this helps

      Dave

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    • Posted

      Thanks Loxie, I'm going to make an appointment today and have a word with my Doc. Not looking forward to how I'm going to feel now coming OFF these things!

      Cheers, Andy

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    • Posted

      Cheers Dave, I have a very good, thoughtful Doctor too, so I'm going to have a word with him asap, can't carry on like this.

      Thanks again

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