Coming off citalopram

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ive been weaned off citalopram by doctor about 2 months ago now. And have have bad symptoms.   Well I think it's caused by coming off.     

  Weight gain. And trying to loose weight.  But no way

 mood swings

 feeling. Very down

 has anyone else felt this before 

it's driving me nuts

and thinking about starting again. Or another type of pill 

can anyone advise me what to do

or maybe get something from

Holland and Barrrett.  Ki like their products.  In stead of taking. Medicine 

0 likes, 10 replies

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi isabel,

    I have managed to come off once before with no side effects at all...i was on 10mg and for only about 6 months. Came off over a period of around 2 months...i have been off them for around 3 years and just recently went back on after a major anxiety crash. I am on 10 mg again and have decided i will probably be on them long term now.

    I have also been reading loads of self help books and and educating myself on this aweful helish condition...

    Id speak to tour GP again before you start slipping too far back...

    Good luck with it all x x

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  • Posted

    Ive come off these before and had great results with over the counter medicine:

    When you're off Citalopram try a natural SSRI called 5-HTP which needs to be taken with l-tyrosine.  Both can be bought from Holland & Barrett (if you're in the UK) and you need to take them both.  Read a book called 5-HTP The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity by Michael T Murray ........ it's a really interesting read.

    You need to be off SSRI's completely before starting 5-HTP as they must not be taken together.

    I did restart Citalopram again though due to stress from family illness, but have reduced again and will come off again next summer and restart 5-HTP.

    I need medicines for life, as without anything I sink into depression.  So for me it's either SSRI's or 5-HTP and | l-tyrosine.

    You can however take Citalopram or other SSRI's for life if need be.  They're not addictive and some people need lifelong medicine whether it be for epilepsy, diabetes or depression even.

     K xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Isabel, you are in withdrawal from Cit, and YES, it can last for months and not be a relapse but withdrawal!  P-docs and GPs just don't understand about proper tapering and withdrawal, and reach for the Rx pad when you come back with symptoms after 6 weeks.  Your best bet is to reinstate a portion of the dose you came off of.

    Just curious, what was your top dose, how did your doc have you come off (how fast?) and what dose did you jump off from?  Doctors may have you "taper" but it amounts to a cold turkey for how fast they have you do it.  The longer you were on it and the higher the dose, the longer and slower it will be to come off.  

    It is not about the drug being in your system.  It is about the remodeling that took place in your brain to adapt to the drug's action.  Our brains can remodel back again, but as I said, the longer you were on and the higher the dose, the longer it will take to adjust to the drug's action no longer being there.

    I imagine there was a reason why you wanted to come off.  There is no reason you can't come off, but it will have to be at a slower pace so that your brain hardly notices the slight changes as you reduce down.

    I recommend you read the topic Reducing ADs using 10% withdrawal method in this thread:

    That topic is from Surviving Antidepressants, a support forum for withdrawal and tapering.  They are THE authority on the subject.  They would recommend a reinstatement of about 1/4 the dose you jumped off from to see if that gives you relief from the withdrawal symptoms; then, you should stabilize for a good month before doing a very slow taper off.

    You may be thinking "but my pills only come in such and such dosage."  Yup, that is part of the problem!  The doctors try to work with those pills and tell you to take half and then zero, but those are much too big of cuts that really destabilize your nervous system!  Read up on the 10% topic and check in at Surviving Antidepressants, a non-profit, no money involved, and they will give you info on how to manage tapering your med.

    Good luck!

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    • Posted

      I have been in the process of switching from Celexa to fluoxetine and at the 20 mg of each. Was taking 60mg Celexa for years. This change over has me wondering if im doing the right thing. So far it's been terrible anxiety, joint pain etc. To late to go back would my question. New psychiatrist I'm not excited about his plan and he seems like I'm one of his first patients. Ugg. I'm at a what to do stage.

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    • Posted

      How long since you last took Celexa?  Why the switch?  Within the first couple of  months of being off of a drug, you can still reinstate.  The amount depends on how long  If you have only off for a week, you could go back to the 60.  If it has been a month or so, you'd probably only take 30.  The reason being that, although you are having withdrawal symptoms, your nervous system has been trying to heal and adapt to the absence, having done so partially.  To take the full amount at that time would be going backwards, plus subjecting you to start-up side effects again.  Reinstatement is about alleviating horrible symptoms and then commencing with a MUCH slower taper once you feel stable again.

      I ask about why the switch people usually what happens is that people start experiencing depression and/or anxiety again and think it is their original condition re-emerging, when in fact they are experiencing tolerance withdrawal; the body responds as if a reduction has occurred even though the dosage is the same.  This is a sign that the body is getting sensitized to that drug.

      Since the symptoms are withdrawal and not YOU, reducing can actually make you feel better.This happened to me.  I feel better on a sub-therapeutic dose of Effexor than I did at the highest dose I was on, and better than I have felt in years!  I went through a 10 month protracted withdrawal last year and was lucky that reinstatement worked, but I didn't know what was happening at the time.  Now that I know, I wish I had reinstated a smaller amount so that I wouldn't have as far to go to taper off!

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    • Posted

      I am still taking 20mg of Celexa and 20mg of Prozac. Prozac has been 6 weeks. I started the instructions of my psychiatrist. His last direction was up the Prozac to 40 and Celexa down to 10mg for 2 weeks then stop the Celexa. I made it one day and felt the worst I ever have. Being it the holidays, I felt I should wait until after to go back at it and what I felt I was better with. Do you think its to soon to cut out the Prozac dose? I'm all for going back to Celexa to get away from these horrible feelings. I'm also embarrassed to call my psychiatrist on what to do as I just don't feel he is right for me. Thank-you so much, your an Angel.
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    • Posted

      Well, I understand withdrawal and how horrible it makes people feel, so anything I can do to help others avoid or mitigate that, the better I feel!

      I would not just cut out the Prozac.  You have been on it long enough for it to have caused some brain remodeling.  I would say go back to 10 mg if you can.  I took Prozac 20 years ago so don't remember how the pills come.

      I would strongly recommend you create an account at Surviving Antidepressants, and follow the instructions at the top of the main forum page for creating an intro.  The senior mods and others will chime in on your situation and advise you better than I can.  

      You are wise to put things on hold until after the holidays.  Any stress can really upset your nervous system and cause even worse symptoms.


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    • Posted

      Thank-you so much. Big relief to get an answer from someone who knows withdrawal and the effects of these brain remodelers. I'm learning alot from people like you and gives me hope. I will go with your advise and again THANK YOU.
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    • Posted

      I got registered today. Thank-you for the advice on that. I picked up my prescription today and spoke with the pharmacist and gained some information especially with being on both at the same time both battling remodeling at the same time. Definitely need to be off one of them being the Celexa per his advice. Will see what happens. Live and learn.
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