Citalopram Withdrawal Symptoms

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I have been on Citalopram 20mg for two years. I slowly stopped it over one month until I completely stopped it exactly before a week. I have been having headache, dizziness, feeling to vomit, anxious, tired, and some kind of electric shock. However, the worst one is feeling tired. My energy level is alomost zero. I started taking B-12 may be to help me with energy. I was also searching and came across Calm (magnesium) for anxiety. There is a lot of positive feedback on this product. Do you think it is ok to take this till i get stablized and how long does citalopram withdrawal symptoms last? I am graduating next week and I don't want to look tired and nervous. Thank you for any suggestions

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  • Posted

    I'm in week 5 and I'm still having anxiety. I read that it takes up to 6 weeks. Could be longer. I tried calm today and I don't know if it was a coincidence but I felt great today.

    I started B 12 last week. I don't know if it's helping or not.

    I stopped cold turkey which was not a good idea! I felt like you (no brain Zaps), just the anxiety remains but that could be from over thinking everything. We will see.

    I'm going to see it through since I've come this far but I'm not opposed to starting again if I keep feeling bad. I'm trying to keep positive. I just want to see how I will feel without the drugs since my attitude has changed and I'm more confident.

    Hang in there but don't torture yourself.

    You hear nightmarish stories but I've also read a lot of success stories.

    Good luck!!

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    • Posted

      Thank you Melissa for taking time to write for me. i also started taking the B 12 3 days ago but i didn't see the effect yet as my energy is still very low. I will try Calm and I hope it will help me. 

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    • Posted

      I wish you the best. Just do the best you can. Remember that you're not going to die from these symptoms from discontinuation. I don't know your circumstances as to why you needed the drugs but talking to someone helps.

      Im finding that dwelling on it makes it worse. Keep in your head that you can always start it again if you had too. (-;

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  • Posted

    Morning Ermias,

    Was there any point after you stopped taking the dose that you felt good? Because if you didn't then it was not slow or gradual enough.  By the sound of what you are going through I would say it was not long enough!

    With your graduation on the horizon I would, personally, go back to taking at least 10mg or the same dose as before, get through your graduation wait until you have levelled out and then start reducing to stop (if you can) very, very slowly.  

    We are all one off individuals and even though there can be similarities between humans that is where it ends.  There has never been a you, there is no other you and there will never be another you - amazing eh! Something worth celebrating while we are on this earth so, with yer big day approaching I would not try and be better by that day, because it is doubtful you will be.

    I am still taking cita, but do wish to try to reduce or stop however, I accept I may have to stay on a low doseage.  What has been helping me is taking Vitamins B6 and D3 to help the old SSRIs and have been advised, here on the forum, that if I do reduce and stop to consider taking 5-HTP, but only when  off it.  This is a good post Cita support.

    The other reason I would continue until at least after yer graduation is that the graduation itself will naturally cause hightened anxiety so, you should think about getting back in the saddle!

    Either way Best Regards,

    David 

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    • Posted

      Thank you David for taking time to write for me. Let me explain a little of my history with Citalopram. Citalapram has done miracles for me. However, one of the main side effects on me was short term memory problem. This is the main reason why i want to quiet taking it. I have been thinking to switch to other medication but the time never allowed me to do that as I was in intensive study program I didn't want to take risk. Now that I am almost done, a month a go I started tapering it but of course a lot of symptoms. Now, my worry is I will have my board exam for certification next month and I am worried the syptoms my persist. Does going back to citalopram immediately work for me as we know it take 6-8 weeks to work but i don't know in this case how soon it will start. My hope is if i am not on citalopram but moderally stablized I will have a better memory and I think i am starting to see the result despite the other side effects. Do you think it is fine if I start taking 5-HTP till my exam for next month or go back to citalopram. I don't know really what to do. What I really know is Citalopram is really affects my memory. I literary forget what i was doing couple minutes ago and I hate that and I don't want that to affect me on my board exam next month. However, starting new medication now also will not have immediate effect. It will take 6-8 weeks. Do you know any psychiatric med that has less effect on memory?

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  • Posted

    Hi Ermias

    I agree with David - I think you came off this too quickly, hence you're suffering now with withdrawl symptoms.  When you start these meds it can take 3-4 months for your body to settle, and so it works the other way too.  I came off these before, taking monhs, but still got withdrawl symptoms - I had to restart (for different reasons) and have been withdrawing from them over the last 10 months by 5mg a time - with no withdrawl effects at all (I bought a pill cutter and cut my 20mg's up).

    Withdrawl can last quite a while - we're all different, so it could be shorter for some.  For me, the first time I had withdrawl for a good month or more (and that was withdrawing over many months), though it eased as this time passed, but still felt those little brain zaps.

    You've been off the meds a week I understand?  I agree with David - you could reintroduce Citalopram 10mg which will help to ease the symptoms which should settle a little before your graduation next week.  When you've stablized maybe withdraw a little later but doing it much, much slower to avoid withdrawl.

    5-HTP is a natural SSRI and super for anxiety (bought over the counter, Holland & Barrett if you're in the UK) - but you must not take it if you decide to restart Citalopram (they don't mix well).

    Might be good to see your doctor too?

    Congratulations on your graduation by the way - hope its a great day!! biggrin

    K x

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    • Posted

      Thank you Katecogs for taking time to write for me. Let me explain a little of my history with Citalopram. Citalapram has done miracles for me. However, one of the main side effects on me was short term memory problem. This is the main reason why i want to quiet taking it. I have been thinking to switch to other medication but the time never allowed me to do that as I was in intensive study program I didn't want to take risk. Now that I am almost done, a month a go I started tapering it but of course a lot of symptoms. Now, my worry is I will have my board exam for certification next month and I am worried the syptoms my persist. Does going back to citalopram immediately work for me as we know it take 6-8 weeks to work but i don't know in this case how soon it will start. My hope is if i am not on citalopram but moderally stablized I will have a better memory and I think i am starting to see the result despite the other side effects. Do you think it is fine if I start taking 5-HTP till my exam for next month or go back to citalopram. I don't know really what to do. What I really know is Citalopram is really affects my memory. I literary forget what i was doing couple minutes ago and I hate that and I don't want that to affect me on my board exam next month. However, starting new medication now also will not have immediate effect. It will take 6-8 weeks. Do you know any psychiatric med that has less effect on memory?

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    • Posted

      I think restarting Citalopram at this stage won't take 6-8 weeks this time around but reckon it could be a few weeks?  5-HTP is not prescription but starts immediately, but I can't guarantee it would be beneficial in time for you (we all react differently to meds).  Don't take both these meds together though.

      I think restarting a small dose of Citalopram in time for your exam for next month might be the best thing, but its really best to talk to your doctor about this.  I don't know of any meds that has a less effect on the memory - we all react differently to different SSRI meds so you could find one that suits you better.

      Maybe when you've stabilized on Cit again you could talk with your doctor about withdrawing at a much slower pace to avoid withdrawal, start a different SSRI or even 5HTP.

      K x

      K xx

       

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    • Posted

      Thank you!! This helped me too. I stopped cit 6 weeks ago. The withdrawal was too much. The panic was off the charts. I started back on 10 mg on Monday and I'm already starting to feel better.

      I was wondering how long it would take to feel better. I'm hoping this is it and it's uphill from here.

      I thought it would be a piece of cake. Boy was I wrong.

      Now I'm wondering if it's the withdrawal or me. I guess I'll never know!!

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    • Posted

      Hi Melissa

      Withdrawal can be tricky sometimes - the slower the better - often many, many months, even a year is good.  Yes, reinstating a small dose helps - and of course seeing your doctor.  I think once you've stabilized you could then look at reducing again - try doing it by 5mg as I did (buy a pill cutter/crusher).

      Sounds like it was the withdrawl, not you.  It takes a long time for the meds to get into your body and so it works the other way too, taking a long time to come off them.

      It shouldn't take too long for the 10mg to help I imagine - not as it was at the very beginning.  Give it a few weeks I reckon.  Make sure you see your doctor too though.

      No unfortunately its not a piece of cake - I came off this before by halving it each time and had withdrawl effects even though I did it over many, many months.  I got over it but sadly had to restart a year later due to the stressof family illness, and this year I've again been weaning off by 5mg at a time (much better).   I'm down to my last 5mg (from 20mg) which I've now decided to crush and take 2.5mg for the last leg (no withdrawl symptoms at all ... so far) wink

      Hope you start feeling well soon - I'm sure you will do xxx

      K x

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, makes me feel better. I've taken 10 mg for 4 years. I can't tolerate more than that and it works. So the 10 mg I'm taking is my original dose. I don't know if I'll try to taper. I'm feeling so much better taking it for the last few days. I had terrible panic attacks.  My mistake was stopping cold turkey. 

      Maybe I'll try again sometime down the road. 

      Good luck with your taper. Exercise is the key. I need to get back into my routine. When I walk it makes things so much better. I listen to my music. I always walked 5 to 6 miles every day. The last year I haven't. Have to start!!

      thanks again!!

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    • Posted

      Sorry, someone else had mentioned the exercise. rolleyes  but it is good. Lol

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    • Posted

      Yes we're all tolerant to certain levels of the dose.  I've never gone higher than 20mg and finally had many, many years maintaining my wellness on 10mg.  Been on 5mg about 9 months now and so far the 2.5mg is working well too.  Still no side effects smile

      Yes I find walking is good too - oh any music!!  Always lifts and energizes me.

      K xx

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  • Posted

    Coming of the tabs is hard and I learnt the hard way from this.  But if your mindest is right it becomes easier and the withdrawal will be easier.  I did it the wrong way cold turkey but had support from changing how I was living.

    ​Its not for everyone but I found Exersise.  I was invited by the gym i go to now regulary for a health MOT and found some issues. I would never go to the gym alone and still struggle, this is where I found my personal trainer (not the cheapest option i know) but they set up a programme for me and my needs and it working based on my needs and since doing exersise I just stopped the tabs after 4 weeks. Yes I had withdrawal but the exersise helped with this too and within 3 weeks the zaps stopped. 

    ​The key is knowing yourself you are ready to come of the tabs if your brain isnt 100% this is it telling you you need more time. Speak with your GP if it doesnt lessen. I hope things get better for you and support you.  

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