Citalopram withdrawal

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I've been on citalopram 20mg for 2 years. I decided to come off them so I reduced to 10mg for a month, then every other day for two weeks, then stopped. I have to say, I'm in hell. First month was the dizziness and nausea. Now I'm confused, tired, forgetful, angry, sad, anxious, basically in a worse frame of mind than I've ever been sad

I'm making mistakes at work, I'm snapping at loved ones, and I'm never 'happy'. Each night I go to bed and pray I'll feel normal again the next day. It's been 6 weeks since I stopped now, how much longer is this going to last??

Jemma ??

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18 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Jem,

     

    I am afraid coming off of Cital is as bad, if not worse as starting them, and from what I read in your post, you went off of it a bit too fast.  Did you go off with your doctor’s knowledge, and recommendations/advice?  Just as making changes of any kind in doses, one needs to make sure it is done with your doctor.  After being on it for so long, you should start by going down very slowly, like 5 mgs at a time, and go by at the very least, a month at a time.  What you are experiencing is the withdrawal by coming off too fast.  Some say it can take a year to come completely off, meaning 5-10 mgs every 3-6 or even more, months at a time.  Your body is in shock at the moment.  I am not sure what to tell you, I think I would call your doctor, he may have something for you to take to help you, or he may have you go back on for a bit to stabilize your body.  Cital is a very powerful medication, as you know, I am sure.  I know you think you did it slow, but it was not slow enough.  The only thing I can tell you for sure, is to call your doctor right away.  

    I have been on Cital 20 mg for 3 years, and have thought about going off, then read posts like yours, and get frightened!  I am doing really well, and don’t want to upset the apple cart!  It scares me to go through this!  There are those that have been on Cital for 20 years, and are going through the same thing, like you, going off on their own, and now suffering.  I have told them the same thing, call their doctors!  I can’t stress it enough.  I think there is something they can do to help them through this withdrawal.  Please keep us posted, as to how you are doing!  I wish you good luck Jem!!  Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!!  XO

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your kind words. I'm feeling like I might have to go to the doctor. Thing is, I'm six weeks in now and keep thinking it might be better tomorrow... I just feel maybe I'm almost through the worst of it? xx

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  • Posted

    I've come off these twice - first time similar to you and the second time I did it much slower - by 5mg each time and did it over a year with no side effects.  I'm currently on the last 5mg.  First time I found I was very emotional when I stopped and would cry at anything.  But no matter, you're off them now and it doesn't matter how.  The meds hang onto your serotonin making you feel happier, calmer and just generally well.

    When I came off them before I took an over the counter natural SSRI called 5-HTP and l-tyrosine (both need to be taken together) which apparently acts just as well as a prescribed SSRI.  5-HTP works quicker and can be started and stopped anytime without any nasty side effects and it also works by hanging onto your serotonin.  You must not take these if you're taking Citalopram or any other prescribed SSRI.

    I took them for a year when I came off Citalopram, but sadly I had to restart Cit due to family illness and it began to affect me.  I've reduced again and am planning to restart them at the end of the year.

    Low levels of serotonin affects your physical and emotiona health - your mood, sleep, weight, headaches, pain amongst other things.  5-HTP and l-tyrosine might really help you as its worth trying.

    You can buy these at Holland & Barret if you're in the UK.

    K x

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    • Posted

      Thank you Kate, they do sound good, I'll do a Google search tomorrow. I'm kind of reluctant to take anything now in case I end up in the same situation. It's just horrible ?? X

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    • Posted

      I know what you mean - yes have a Google search and read up on it - its really interesting.  They will probably help to alleviate what you're feeling at the moment - they don't cause the problems that prescribed SSRI's do.  

      Wishing you all the best.

      K xx

       

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  • Posted

    I really sympathize with you , as I am currently going threw the same thing. I however started at 40mg and tapered down over 7 months (with advice of doctor) The withdrawals have also been a nightmare and I am also on week 6 of being medication free. I have some good days and some really bad. I am very hesitant to go back on this medication as I'm trying to conceive. That is the only reason I'm staying off them or I would have started them again. I am a strong believer that if the medication helps you and your not having any "bad" side effects then may as well stay on them if they make you feel happy because I'm the long run that's all that matters smile maybe see your doctor and try back at a smaller dose ?? I hope you feel better. !! Your not alone.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Sara, it helps to know I'm not the only one suffering. I am going to see how I go for a few days but knowing the side effects, I can't help but feel it will pass and going back on them just prolongs it? I do wish i had come off more slowly though in the first place x

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  • Posted

    Keep on in there. It's worth it in the end. Just to feel like normal you again. The true you. Will be worth all of this xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Jem, I think you may have reduced too quick from 10mg down I went 10 every second day for just under 2 months and was ok..... Try weaning a little longer?
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  • Posted

    Stupidly come off CIT and went cold turkey after 3 weeks felt great then all of a sudden every time i eat i have alott of stomach pain that includes bloating and gas its like my body don't Like food, read a few stories of people coming off and the same happen, anyone else

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    • Posted

      Funny you say that, three times in the last week I've had crippling tummy pain followed by other unpleasantries... It completely messed with your system...

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    • Posted

      I'm 8 weeks now, and I've started having days when I feel great, like myself again! It definitely gets better. I read on here to give it 3 months.

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    • Posted

      Guys, dont stop suddenly trust me!!! weaning off is the best way as that gives the chemistry a chnace to normalise stopping quick not a great idea.
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    • Posted

      I didn't intentionally stop quick. I thought I was weaning myself off. I'm through the worst of it now so no point looking back ??

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