Citalopram withdrawal. Please advise on symptoms.

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Hello. I need some advise pls. I started taking citalopram 10mg 18 months ago for health anxiety. I went 'cold Turkey last Wednesday so 7 days ago. I was feeling a lot better and I felt the time had come to stop. Since Saturday I have been having awful falling/whooshing sensations in my head and feel weak and dizzy. Is this because I stopped and how long will this last? I'm feeling very anxious about it.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sula. It may take months before you are free from the side effects. It is 5 months since I started to wean off 40mg. I stopped it completely mid March. There was  vertigo, brain zaps, achey fluey pains, really bad headaches. It sucks and I am really glad that I am coming out the other end. The headaches/ body aches are easing and the brainzaps are mild and random and I dont even care about them.  I think you have to be really kind to yourself, have good support and just get through it, each week/ month becomes easier. God Bless.
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    • Posted

      Hi

      Thanks for your reply. Yours is the first useful one I've had.....things got so bad on Friday that I'm ashamed to say I went back on the pills. I will stay on them now for a few weeks then my plan is to taper slowly. I'm now very her our about stopping. When I called the gp she said my reaction was very rare and basically said it was anxiety. Thanks again.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sula. I am disappointed to read your Drs comments indicating that your reaction is very rare. Shame on her/him. 

      There is information everywhere that speaks to withdrawal. 

      I weaned and have been fully off now for a week and a half. The brain zaps are near debilitating.  There are indeed very real. I have often considered starting the pills again just to make it stop. I haven’t yet however have taken the occasional Tylenol 3 to help ease what feels like physical pain in my head.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You will kick this and then hopefully never need to go back on. Best wishes. 

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  • Posted

    yup,   discontinuation symtoms.....it is normal,... but I have read that zaps etc are normal and won't harm you.....you can continue as is,...or restart at a lower dose and try again.

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  • Posted

    Kate cogs has said exactly what I will say

    These are powerful serious drugs that must be respected 

    Never never never go cold turkey.

    You felt better because you were on them....

    I am on them for the second time since 2013

    It took a year reducing them very slowly to avoid all those side effects you are experiencing.  

    Reducing 2.5mg every 2-4/52

    I was only on them full dose for 6 months. 20 mg 

    I can't see me ever coming fully off them

    I am so much better on them 

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  • Posted

    its been about 8 weeks since I stopped citalopram and what a hellish ride it has been.

    ive been trying to find how long this nitemare will continue, I weaned myself off 20mg, down to the 10mg then one every other day, then one every 2 days, and so on. I took my time as I knew quitting cold turkey would be the wrong thing to do. I got the dizzyness, the headaches, diarrehea the usuals, but 8 weeks on im still exhausted and the mood swings are awful.

    my husband is very supportive and is as keen as I am to stay off the tablets has anyone been in the same boat and offer any advice on how to keep my head above water? How long does it last for?

    any advice would be greatly appreciated sula78296 how are you feeling now, 2 months on?

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  • Posted

    You need to take vitamins and minerals I’m coming off citalopram/selexa 8 months 20mg I’m taking 5htp lithium oratate not carbonate you get it at health food store not a legal drug dealer aka doctor anyways also St. John’s Wort an Niacin an  Magnesium which is huge  which are minerals in combo with those all your vitamins multi vit an vit C B6 B 12 vit D E-400 an amino acids are huge do omega 3 then Holy basil it’s natures Zanex an kava tincture at night also eat fruits n veggies  smoothies I’m 14 days in an I have NOT had one brain zap I did have some diarrhea and an have ocassional intestinal dis comfort and mild sleep disturbances at first but other than that I’m good this vitamin regime is working I’m no doctor so google the info I just gave above and I wish  all  of you dealing with this nasty drug that you can successfully get off and stay off I wish all of you nothing but the best on getting out of the med trap and good luck n stay strong you can do it I believe in all of you!!  God Bless 
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    • Posted

      Oh I should add I did not do a taper I jumped off from my original dose which was 20mg but you CANNOT keep taking your SSRI when you start that regimen you can get serotonin syndrome with the 5htp an St Johns Wort if you take them in conjunction but do your research people the information is out there you just gotta find it look up Dr. John Bergman on YouTube he’s a health doctor and I learned a lot just watching his videos..  take care??

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  • Posted

    I should add to my post at the bottom I did Not taper I jumped off at 20mg my original dose but you cannot take the 5htp in conjunction with your SSRI you can get serotonin syndrome so be careful and do your research people the info is out there I learned a lot from YouTube Dr. John Bergman he’s a health doctor is a bad ass but good luck and stay strong ??

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  • Posted

    You shouldn’t stop antidepressants suddenly and you can get protracted withdrawals for some time even after you wean off. 

    You can always snap a 10mg tablet in half with a pill cutter and reduce down to 5mg for a bit. Then reduce to 5mg every other day if you want to. That’s what I’d do!

    Don’t feel anxious about the withdrawals though, the whooshing or “brain zaps” are normal! 

    Great that you felt well enough to stop the meds though, that’s a great sign!!

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    • Posted

      I had been taking 20mg for about 2 years and stopped cold turkey 2 months ago. At first the withdrawal symptoms were terrible, dizziness and mild brain zaps.

      The withdrawal symptoms tapered off about 1 month into withdrawl.

      The worst issue is that every now and again I would plunge into a deep depressive feeing which would leave me feeling really down and depressed. This would last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days, thankfully that is now passing. I realise that I am slightly more irritable and snap at people sometimes but am sure that this is just my brain adjusting to not being on the drugs.

      Overall after 9-10 weeks I feel as though I have turned the corner and am feeling better and stronger every day.

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  • Posted

    Yo did you read what I wrote?
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  • Posted

    Last week I ran out of my meds. I was on 20mg. Now I'm sick...bad headaches, nauseous, dizzy, and hard to sleep. My headaches are killers and I went to hospital and of course they said I'm dehydrated so been doing nothing but drinking a crap load of water but still sick. Can someone please help me??? Tell me what to do for someone who doesn't have insurance and don't have any money for scripts.

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    • Posted

      You need to reinstate your meds - that's not dehydration symptoms, its withdrawal.  Are you back on the meds?  If not speak to your doctor and start taking them again then these symptoms will start easing.  Without the meds they'll last a long time (been there, not nice re the nausea).

      K x

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