Citalopram withdrawal advice please

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Hi. I came off citalopram 40mgs starting from july i think. I went from 40 to 30mg over a week then 20mg a week then 10 for week and stopped on docs advice. I was fine. 2wks later i became dizzy. Had nausea. Just couldnt function. Went to gp not my regular one who said i had imbalance and got anti nausea drug for few days and had to space out till saw my own gp week later. I also had what felt like bugs crawling over my back. I bately slept. Had vivid dreams. Felt like crying. Jittery. Sweating. Headache. Irritability. Palpitations. Head felt like exploding. This lasted a week and was sheer hell. By time saw own gp felt better and had also bought vitamin b complex and zinc and tried to improve my diet. I felt normal and had energy. This lasted a week. Now the dizziness and nausea has come back big time and i feel low in mood. Like crying. Heart missing beats. Headache. Fatigue. Jittery. Afraid. Anxious. My muscles also ferl so weak as if no strength in arms and legs. I also get diazepam which is only 2mg and i took one yesterday to calm me and one today. Only use in emergencies. I was taken off citalopram to go on another drug. My consultant wanted me to just start straight on it but gp wanted me off citalopram first. I have yet to start the other drug as too afraid. What i would like advice on is if anyone has had withdrawal symptoms on and off. How long do they last. I cant get appt with own gp for another 11 days. I dont know whether to continue like this or go back on but not up to 40mg. I was fine till docs started messing with my meds. Any advice would be great. Thanks

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  • Posted

    Wow ... you withdrew from this meds far too quickly!!  An imbalance?  Absolutely not - You're suffering from withdrawl effects big time.  I'm always surprised at doctors ideas for withdrawal and their lack of knowledge, putting their patients through this hell. It takes months and months to withdraw from these meds to avoid the symptoms you're having now.  Its dangerous to stop abruptly or withdraw too quick.

    I've been withdrawing from these meds for the last year by 5mg per time and have had no withdrawl effects at all (unlike once before when I did it by halving each time though still taking a good 5 months doing it ..... the drops were too great).

    The only thing that will help you is by reinstating a small dose of Citalopram - either 5mg or 10mg maybe and it should help to settle you in time?  You may have to increase a little more from there too.  Let your doctor know this though.

    When your body has settled, only then should you start to think about coming off the meds.  I did mine by 5mg each time going from 20 / 15 / 10 / 5 / 2.5mg each dose lasting at least 2 months.

    Your doctor needs to be retrained in these meds.

    K xx

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    • Posted

      Hi katecogs. Thank you for replying. I thought it was too quick to come off but i trusted my Gp as seen her for years and always been ok. Initially i was off it and felt ok and 2weeks after completely stopping i started on road to hell. After that week i felt great and was doing stuff again and then this last week i feel like im right bacl at start. Wasnt sure if withdrawal as ive been through it then felt ok so can you get good weeks and bad as ive never come off it before. Was on anti ds 20yrs ago for post natal depression and came off ok then on again few years later and came off again ok not sure what brand they were. But this is just sheer hell. I cant drive like this and i had struggle to go get some shopping with my son and rhe walk helped a bit but felt sick as a dog. Ive been eating even though feel sick but today i just cant stomach much. Im going to call docs in morning and i should see one but the system is same day appt so i could have to sit again for an hour or more like did before waiting to be seen and sitting hoping you dont keel over or vomit is awful. My head feels so woozy and a friend called when i was out and i was near in years trying to tell her how i felt when asked what was wrong but i need to act as if ok as my boy 15 and dont need him worrying bout me. I wont see my own Gp for 11 days and others dont like overiding other GPs decisions. My consultant wanted me to stop citalopram and go straight onto duloxetine and my Gp said to stop citalopram this way then start othet one but having read bout duloxetine im not starting it and told her last time way im feeling im not shoving that into my system the way i feel. I dont know whether to start on it again. I just want to feel normal. I was normal on it until docs started messing with drugs. Sorry for rant i just feel lousy and so confused
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    • Posted

      Were you feeling well on Citalopram before you stopped?  Was it your decision to come off meds or your doctors?  Duloxetine is an SNRI opposed to Citalopram which is an SSRI - don't understand why your doctor would want to change you if you felt absolutely well on Cit.

      My GP told me years ago you can stay on these meds for life if need to ..... when I was on them I reduced to 10mg for a maintenance dose and stayed on that for years.  I then stayed on 5mg for a long time and am currently on 2.5mg as am coming off.

      Starting and stopping these meds can be different each time - having one experience coming off them before might be different next time.  I've been on these twice and had a different experience each time.  Also feeling ok then feeling awful can happen - it also happens when you start the meds to some people.

      Yes you will feel sick - your brain has been given meds to hang onto your serotonin for sometime, and having is suddenly been taken away your body has just gone whooooooosh and is desparately trying to adjust.  

      No, its best not to drive anyway, not until you feel well again.  Getting an appointment at the doctors is awful isn't it ....... if you can't get one tomorrow or for a few more days, then it won't hurt to go to your local Out of Hours clinic one evening, or even A&E if you feel really bad.

      Yes, you need to feel ok before starting on a different meds - you'll get side effects from it no doubt, adding to your sickness you have now.

      Its hard trying to act normally isnt it.  I have a son too.  When I was having bad days (not withdrawal) I used to tell my children I was feeling a bit under the weather with migraine / headaches etc as they could see I was 'delicate' at the time.

      Agree with David - personally I'd reinstate Citalopram.  Even if its going to be temporary, your body needs to stabilise before continuing onto anything else.  You're going to feel rough for a few more days, but the sooner you get Citalopram back into your system you'll start settling again.  Don't rush into a big dose though, do it gently.

      Absolutely you're not ranting - I'd feel the same too.  In fact I feel cross with your doctors on your behalf xxxx

      Keep in touch xxx  Am really feeling for you sad

      K xx

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    • Posted

      Well ive just vomited. Made it to toilet in time. First time ive actually been sick through it all but only took headache tabs 20mins ago so they be up. Thing is i had withdrawal then ok and ive been taking vitamin b complex and zinc and improved my diet. Maybe im having side effects of them too as felt bad this morning then took the vitamins in afternoon and went to shops and felt like vomiting but didnt. Thankfully i was at home when happened. I thought i was doing good with vitamins and gp said ok. I also have to contend with chronic fatigue. Im hypothyroid. Got fibromyalgia and as well as anxiety and depression last but not least Rheumatoid Arthritis. Was my rheumatologist who suggested switching to dulox i was happy on citalopram and not ready to come off. Was a registrar who suggested it and she said would have went with amytriptilene but go with dulox. If i had known at time can take citalopram and amyt i would have said do both but i didnt. I think my doctors think i ask too much but in the case of my hypothyroidism i had to diagnose myself. All my bloods came back in normal ranges but i did research and requested an extra test on my antibodies which they dont do routine in UK. GP agreed and said when back normal i need to accept symptoms ate my other illnesses. Results came back sky high and was given thyroxine . Thank you for responding. I was at my wits end as nobody i know is going through this. I know others on citalopram and quite happy to stay on it. Im a single parent and my mum died years ago. Shes part of reason i was on meds. My dad is miles away and he has a son but really its just me and my kids. My daughter adult now and still resides with me but i try to hide my ailments as best i can from them x
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    • Posted

      Hi Louis

      When I withdrew from 20mg I did every day at 15mg for a couple of months, then every day at 10mg etc etc.  The only time I did every other day was when I got to 5mg as my idea was to start spacing it out, but it didn't agree with me, even at that small dose, so I crushed the last 5mg and am currently on 2.5mg.  I will continue with this for about a month before reducing it further.  Being crushed I can take smaller and smaller amounts until its maybe a grain rolleyes

      I've had the odd day when I felt a bit edgy, but it passed.  I've had no headaches, nauseau, brain zaps, dizziness like I had the first time years ago when I withdrew ..... and I even did that slowly, but not as slow as this time.

      K xx

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    • Posted

      Yes , I am taking cit for stress and anxiety. I had stomach issues and chest discomfort which the cit took care of in about 2 weeks . But know committed I went through the months of side effects etc. Just lately been feeling good but think med is keeping my head not just right. Being having mild headaches and dizziness it will be a year Nov. What do you think ?
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    • Posted

      Hi. Well phoned docs first thing to be told no appts but told them which doc under and needed be seen today as suffering badly from wirhdrawal and all of a sudden an appt appeared for my doc this afternoon. Cant stop shaking and crying. Tried earlier again see if any cancellations so go earlier but none. However got this one and thats a blessing so see what happens. Still cant drive. Moods all over place. Slept badly but hoping doc help as this is hell. A friend popped in earlier and said i looked awful but i dont mind as how i feel and if i look like that to them then hopefully doc will see just how bad i am
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    • Posted

      Side effects are horrible aren't they sad

      I've read its best to stay on meds for at least a year before reducing to come off, so if you're feeling good its probably the time to chat to your doctor about withdrawing?  Do it real slow though - some doctors do get their patients to come off too quick or too big a drop - do it in your time.  Slower the better.

      When I reduced by 5mg/time I gauged how I was feeling before reducing further.  If I felt not right, I'd stay on that dose and it was be ok to increase again by 5mg if I needed to.

      If you did want to stay on meds, you might find a smaller dose more suitable and not make your head feel bad.

      Take it slow and gauge how you are at each step.

      K xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Arlene

      So glad you've been able to get an appointment today - am hoping someone will drive you there?  I'd love to come in with you ...... tell the silly doctor what they've done.

      You really need to reinstate a small dose of Citalopram which I'm hoping your doctor will advise.  Withdrawal should be done over many, many months.  Personally if it was me I'd be insisting I have the meds.

      Yes hopefully the doctor will see how you are at the moment - let it all out and tell them exactly what you said on here.

      Hope it goes ok - I'll be thinking of you.  Let us know how you get on.

      K xxx

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    • Posted

      I have boxes of the meds unused from when i was withdrawing so dont need script just advice on what to do. I will be asking for nausea tabs too as i cant take this anymore and a decent amount. Last doc gave 15 with dosage at 3 a day. I get 2mg diazepam but only 14 a month as i said i keep these only for major panic attacks. If i go back on do you know how long will take to feel better as in no withdrawal symptoms. My tabs are in 10 mgs so i was taking 4 a day hence why lots left as i struggle to swallow tabs. I will have to walk to docs as cant take motion of car and hoping air help plus hopefully doc on time but at least know got time and not same day appt where could be sitting like this for hour or so waiting to be seen x
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    • Posted

      Ah that's good then having boxes of meds still.  Yes your doctor should advise, but they don't always get it just right with these meds.  Personally I wouldn't go straight back onto the full 40mg dose, but ease onto them.  Maybe 10mg then stay on that for 2 weeks?  Suggest that to your doctor and hopefully he'll agree (as obviously I'm not a medic ... just going on my own view).

      Fresh air will be good as well as the walk there.  Hopefully you don't have to wait too long to see the doctor, but maybe have a word with the receptionists and ask to sit in a quieter area as you really don't feel well ..... our doctors has a quiet area to wait.

      I'm not sure how long it will take for your symptoms to settle - I've read 4 days for your body to start recognizing you're taking meds again, but that doesn't mean your symptoms will be gone by then.  It'll probably take a while for them to start calming down, and they might not all go at the same time.  Be prepared for the symptoms to come and go in waves too for a while.

      Your body needs to stabilize, and once all symptoms have stopped then I'd wait a few months before attempting to withdraw again.  

      Start small and take it slowly.

      K xx

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    • Posted

      I need nausea gone and dizziness so hope get anti nausea drug and if put back on i was thinking 10mg with upping to 20 mg if need to but no more. Got appt still for next week and im keeping it just in case. I was ok going on and upped 20 to 40 ok so hoping kicks in without any symptoms. Also thw feeling of bugs under your skin is hellish especially when hits bad at bedtime. This forum has been great as you all know what its like. I cant stop shaking and stuttering my words. I went up to 40mg when mum died and i should have cone down to 20mg again but was managing ok on them. A friend says i need off it but they not ones going through this and i feel a failure for needing to go back on but i cant take suffer these withdrawals
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    • Posted

      I'm sure the nausea and dizziness will be the first things to go.  When I'd missed the occasional dose in the past I'd feel sick and dizzy for a few days, and as soon as I took one the nausea eased off followed by the dizziness.

      Ginger ale is also good for nausea (I drank it continuously when in rough seas on a cruise).  I know its a different type of nausea you're suffering with compared to the sea sickness I had, but any little helps.

      Upping medicine isn't always the answer when dealing with new anxieties, but I know at the time you needed help through the grief.  I lost my parents some years ago too and remember the pain we all went through.

      A lot of people do struggle on 40mg and whatever dose you decided to take then was right for you.  What the issue now is being advised to come off them too quickly and messing up things up for you.

      Your friend probably means well and no doubt can see your distress, but the meds don't work that way - and yes, you're right in that she isn't the one going through this.  Yes you may want to come off them in time, but for now you need to get stabilized.

      You're not a failure for needing to go back on them - this is a physical thing and your body is doing what it knows best as its missing the mediciation its been fed for the last few years.  Its like suddenly taking away your food - your body would start crying out for it and you'd begin to feel ill without it.  This doesn't mean they're addictive ..... just that they have to be weaned off of.

      Hopefully by now you've been to the doctors ....... wink

      K xx

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    • Posted

      Hi. Been to docs and was in a state. Said no to going back on drugs as said should be out my system by now. Gave me more diazepam and anti sickness. Took urine sample and said needs checked as dipstick test said could have infection. To get bloods done tomorrow and said would call me with results so now im in limbo.
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    • Posted

      Oooookay ....... not sure what to say to that.  No to the meds?  Really?  How long have you been off them now?  Its your body and you have a right to have the meds that she's messed up.  Could have an infection?  Really?  I'm no doctor, but I'm 99% certain its not an infection.  The only thing you have is withdrawl symptoms .... that's it.  Believe me, I've been there and so have a lot of other people.  Doctors make me so mad at times.

      Diazepam .....  I'd have thought your body wouldn't be too happy having more drugs pumped into it at the moment.

      Ok, wait for your bloods tomorrow - but I'm certain they'll show no infection.

      I'd change my doctor.

      David 21660 ...... what do you think?

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    • Posted

      Ive taken anti nausea and still feel iffy but they took a couple last time before felt benefit. She asked me how long off despite notes up and said about 4 to 5 weeks and she said drugs out system so doubt its withdrawal as had already. Dipstick test said dry well im bit dehydrated as was sick but ive been taking fluids alhough barely ate due to nausea. Said come this far so dont think wsnt to start me on again. Thinks mix of anxiety and nausea so control they symptoms whilst try to find cause of rest. Asked bout cortisol if being checked with bloods but she said not routinely checked but hoping maybe she will as it was my antibody test they dont do that confirmed thyroid which checking again too. Sounds daft but only had shop bought pancakes today to see if keep down and going to eat banana as dont think can stomach anything else. Told her my limbs like jelly and legs struggling to keep me upright.
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    • Posted

      Its withdrawl 100%.  If your doctor looks it up online she'll see that its withdrawal, nothing else.

      Everyone is different and some people will take a few weeks to readjust ..... but that's very rare.  So for your doctor to say the meds are out of your body now may be true, but you can suffer withdrawl for a long time after because what happens to one person won't necessarily happen to another.  Its not text book ..... its variable.  She should be listening to whats happening to you, not reading a medical book and going by that.

      And to not look at your notes?  Seriously I'd change doctors.  Find a GP that knows about these meds and listens to you and what you want, and more importantly does her homework.  

       

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