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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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Jem,

    These are exactly the symptoms I had, and can only say that they do improve. What happens now is that these feelinga come over me in waves and it is at these moments that I feel like giving in and going back on the pills. The problem is that for me the Cit didn't work and I didn't know that until I broke my hip in January and had to stop running. The depression hit me like a sledgehammer and I very quickly discovered that it was the running and NOT the Citalopram that had been controlling my depression. I am now slowly getting back to outdoor exercise and feeling much much better. I am determined NOT to go back on meds they have caused me so much damage not least the weakening of my bones. It will pass Jem, Take care

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    • Posted

      Hi Deryl,

      Gosh sounds like you've been through it. I'm a runner too and I know how it feels when you aren't able to run, that must have been tough.

      I also question how well citalopram was working for me, as I found I needed more sleep and could barely get up some days. I really want to be Med free. I just wish someone could tell me the date when I will be myself again!! The withdrawal seems to be affecting my running too but I'm determined to keep that going no matter what!! X

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    • Posted

      hello Jem,

      At last a fellow runner. You will get there. Hang on.You already know what determination is needed to stick with an exercise programme so use the same grit for this one. I am sleeping very well again, sorry I can't give you a date but it will be worth waiting for. Mainly because everyone is so different in how they respond to Cit withdrawal. Take care xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Jem,

    I am in a similar situation as yourself.  I have been on SSRI's for over 10 years and on Citalopram 30 mg for the last 5 years.  Due to some contributing factors, I decided to begin tapering with the assistance of my doctor.  I've done extensive research online and decided that it was best for me to reduce my dose by 5 mg every 3 months.  I have just begun the reduction from 30 mg to 25 mg, 1 week and 2 days ago.  I am already noticing differences.  My senses are heightened and my reaction to things that slightly bother me result in crying spells and dwelling on the matter for longer than what I usually would on 30mg.  I do not feel as focused either.  

    If I am feeling the difference of med reduction this early on, I can only imagine and assume that what you're experiencing is definitely in regards to tapering your medicine more rapidly.  

    Hang in there and try to get as much support from friends and family as possible. If therapy is an option, utilize it.  Eat healthy and set a weekly exercise schedule.  These things won't take away the symptoms, but they should certainly help in some form of supplementation.  

    I wish you all the best of luck in your transition.  

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  • Posted

    Hi Jem...I was on Citalopram too for 8 years and I had to stop it 2.5 weeks ago because I had a Serotonin reaction (other drugs I had Citalopram interacted with).

    I told the Psychaitrist I was STILL having withdrawal and she told me I COULDNT be.  So..I don't know.

    Actually, I am feeling better than I was the first week I stopped it.

    I just read on a respectable website that 1 in 5 people can have "discontinuation" symptoms for up to 6 weeks.

    They say "discontiuation" because it is not a physical withdrawal but a psychological withdrawal...and that most of us recover within 2 weeks.

    I wrote this to help you feel better..cause after I stopped mine I really THOUGHT I was suffering...after the Dr. told me that it is unusual to have ongoing symptoms for a long period of time....I FELT better..LOL

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    • Posted

      Thanks missy. I spoke to my pharmacist and she said withdrawal wasn't possible after that long so I must be depressed again! I never felt this bad in the first place!

      That said, the last few days I've been much more myself. I think you are right about the psychological withdrawal, makes perfect sense.

      From what I have read on forums, it is quite common, so please take no notice for now!! Someone suggested giving it 3 months... I'm half way ??

      Keep going Missy, I believe it gets better x

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    • Posted

      Yup, I also read that SOME people...do have a sensitivity to the "discontinuation" of an antidpressent MORE than other people.

      I think you and I are those "rare" people....lucky US...LOL

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