Coming off citalopram

Posted , 6 users are following.

After being on citalopram since September 2015 and them no longer doing anything for me except exhaust me myself and my GP have began tapering me off them. 

I started in 2015 on 20mg and worked up to 40mg, as of yesterday my GP has put me down to 20mg again (for 2 weeks) then I have a pack of 10mg to take every day for 2 weeks then after that 2 weeks I need to take 10mg every other day until I finish the pack and that’s it! 

To me in the back of my head I’m worried that’s to quick after such a long time and high dosage.  I don’t know whether it’s me or whether the withdrawals are happening straight away because I’ve felt so lightheaded and dizzy today and just not with it. 

Has anyone any experience of tapering off a 40mg dose? I don’t know whether to follow the GPS tapering advice or adjust it slower? 

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Tapering off any dose will cause those yucky feelings..and the taper your doctor gave is completely insane..good luck
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    • Posted

      I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking that.  I can’t see how he expects me to be off them completely in the next 6 weeks! I thought a drop from 40mg to 20mg straight away was a bit intense. 

      Think I may see how I go on the 2 weeks of 20mg but Im not confident I’m thinking the 2 weeks of 10mg I’m going to struggle most on.  If no good I might get a pill cutter and decrease 5mg at a time more slower and go see another GP ☺️

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    • Posted

      See a different GP.40/35/30/25/20/15/10/5/2.50/ 1.25..stay on each dose for two or three weeks to avoid those awful discontinuation side effects..
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  • Posted

    I have cut down from 40mg to 30 mg and this took me months. I think the time your Dr has given you is very wrong, they just understand how these drugs effect people. A very slow and gradual taper off is what most people that have done it recommend. 
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  • Posted

    That seems way to quick, especially if you arent switching to something else. I started citalopram in jan this year, and got in such a bad state. Was on 40mg, okay for first 5 weeks, then anxiety went ballastic for 6 weeks. Dropped to 30mg for 2 weeks, anxiety didnt drop much. Dropped to 20mg for 2 weeks, anxiety got worse, depression started plummeting, had to start diazepam. Depression carried on going down. At same time saw a pysc, who recommended switching to venlafaxine , with a reduction to 10mg of cit for 2 weeks, and low dose of ven, then no more cit, and gradual increases in ven. From start of cit reduction, to feeling okay on ven took about 3 months, during which time i thought i would end up being committed. Couldnt read, watch tv, couldnt talk to family. Just about went to work, well im self employed, so just a few hours a day. Stayed in bed, if i didnt absolutely have to get up. Had no interest in anyone, or anything at all. Just depressed misery. My family were all scared about what happend. Your planned reduction seems about same as mine, but mine was to switch to another anti depressant. I would recommend messaging lois on here, about comming off cit, from such a high dose, to going onto nothing. Anything could happen.
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    • Posted

      Basically, with same reduction your gp has recommended, i ended up thinking i needed to be committed to a hospital, i was in a complete and utter mess. This was under the supervision of a good pysc, and was planned, as a switch to venlafaxine. Lois's suggestion seems sound.

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  • Posted

    Firstly can I mention that 40mg is the maximum dose you can take and many people struggle on this and just get continuous symptoms, never recovering.  Exhaustion is one symptom ......... just a thought.

    Ummmmm ..... yes that is way, way too quick for you to come off these meds - especially that dose.  You can't expect to drop by halving each dose over that short period and think you'll come off relatively lightly - and think you'll be in for a really tough time.  I spent a whole year coming off 20mg reducing it by 5mg over 4-6 weeks each reduction.  I had no withdrawal at all that way.  Many years previous to that I'd withdrawn by halving it and had nausea, brain zaps, dizziness, weirdness, crying spells which lasted many months.  Second time around I decided to do it better.

    Before coming off the meds though do consider if the dose was too high for you in the first place.  You don't need the max dose to recover - its what suits your body.  You can recover on 10mg, 20mg or 30mg ...... continuous side effects means it was too big.

    However - withdrawal.  I personally wouldn't follow your GP's tapering system.  Its your body and you'll be the one to suffer - not him.  To stop the lightheadedness and dizziness I'd reinstate 10mg and go up to 30mg and stay there until withdrawal has levelled.  Then go buy a pill cutter / crusher and cut the pills into 5mg pieces and reduce by 5mg each time, staying on the reduced dose about a month or more before reducing further.

    Remember, it takes at least 3 months before you start even feeling well when you've started meds, plus many more before you feel recovered, so I don't know how your doctor thinks you'll withdraw in 6 weeks.  Dangerous game.

    Go back and see him and tell your plan.

    K x

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  • Posted

    That taper is massively fast and I would ignore your GPs advice about the speed.

    I would adjust it to be much slower. You've been on them coming up for three years, personally I would plan to spend at least a year tapering off.

    Even going from 40 to 20 sounds mad. Honestly, some GPs have no idea.... to give you an idea of how fast that sounds, there is tapering advice online which suggests reducing dosage by only ten per cent of your current dose, and staying on that for a month.

    Ten percent of your current dose is 4mg, so you'd currently be on 36mg for a month.

    Admittedly, that kind of taper is very slow, but if it were me I would not want to reduce that fast. I would be looking at 40, 35, 30, 25, 20.......and down in 5s, until 5mg, then do 2.5, then do 1.25.

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  • Posted

    Thank you all for taking the time to reply.  I’m glad I’m not on my own with thinking it was to fast and to much of a drop in dosage. 

    I’ve decided I’m going to do it myself by tapering 5mg a time as some of you have suggested, starting with 35mg from today for at least 3 weeks, then go down to 30mg and so on. 

    I really don’t want to end up back to square one, so I think the slow taper is the best. 

    Fingers crossed it works and I’ll avoid some of the discontinuation symptoms. 

    X

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  • Posted

    I think that's a real good idea. It's tempting to rush it, but really, as slowly as you need to go is best. Good luck ??

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