Coming off Citalopram after 4 years - 40mg, halved dose feel horrific!

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Can anyone help please. Been doing this 2 days now feel horrible. Dizzy. Numb. Weird!

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I came off Citalopram once (back on it now) and the slower you do it the better.  You're having withdrawl effects, which is quite normal.  When I stopped I took months.  This might be of help:

    Use a pill cutter

    Take 10mg every other day (20mg inbetween) for 3-4 weeks

    Take 10mg every 2 days (20mg inbetween) for another 3-4 weeks

    Take 10mg every day for 3-4 weeks

    Take 5mg every other day (10mg inbetween) for 3-4 weeks

    Take 5mg every 2 days (10mg inbetween) for another 3-4 weeks

    Take 5mg every day for 3-4 weeks

    Take 2.5mg every other day (5mg inbetween) for 3-4 weeks

    Take 2.5 every 2 days (5mg inbetween) for another 3-4 weeks

    Take 2.5mg every day for 3-4 weeks

    Take 2.5mg every other day for 3-4 weeks

    Take 2.5mg every 2 days for 3-4 weeks

    Increase the time inbetween or stop

    Either do each section for 3-4 weeks or until the withdrawl symptoms ease (if you have any).  Depends how you feel each time.

    Withdrawl effects can be shaking, dizziness, nausea, headaches, tiredness, brain zaps, weepiness ...... but though I had some of these, I found them quite bearable.  The longer you take coming off, the less symptoms you'll get.

    K x

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    • Posted

      I think i need to get some help with this i have tried to do it myself without docs help, coming down off 40mg is awful its like the withdrawal effects make it impossible to come off something you don't want to be on x
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    • Posted

      Yes, do speak to your doctor as he'll help you.  I believe this medication can be bought in liquid format too which could help with weening off it bit by bit.

      The smallest amount each time is best, and stay on this amount whilst you adjust before reducing again by the smallest amount.  40mg - 35mg - 30mg - 25mg and so on.  With a pill cutter cut the tablet into 1/4's.

      When I came off them I found it easier than going on them.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Kate, its the worst feelings i have ever felt, docs have lot to answer for putting a high dosage onto people.  I am going to docs on 13th April but for now ive put my dose back to normal cos my behaviour has been erractic since weaning off and its not pleasant x
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    • Posted

      I say the same thing about doctors - for one, they don't really prep patients what to expect on these types of medications, and often you're left to your own devices with weekly or fortnightly doctor appointments (if lucky) which only last around 10 mins.  More support should be give in the early stages, as it can be quite frightening.

      Also I don't think doctors fully understand how they work (experiencing them is quite different to merely talking about them) and often they up doses when patients are having a low time.  These low times are quite normal during recovery and will pass instead of taking a higher dose.  Taking a higher dose you'll still get back to the same low points.

      Coming off the meds should also be supported too.

      Are you coming off the meds completely or just lowering them?  I lowered mine and stayed on 10mg for many years and still felt incredibly well.

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    • Posted

      Hoping to come off them completely as been on 40mg for 4 years, was anxiety i went to docs with iniitally with although have had depression for years and always seemed to cope, but now i am in this vicious circle where the withdrawal is SO bad you feel trapped.  My own mum has been trapped on tablets for 46 yrs and has just given in to them as she says she is too old to even both now 
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    • Posted

      40mg is the highest dose on this meds.  I recovered on 20mg.  Withdrawing it really, really slow is the answer.  You might get some withdrawl symptoms but not as bad.  

      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 mustn't be taken together.  I took these during my time off SSRI's and they kept me well.Hope I haven't repeated myself .... I keep posting this about 5-HTP and forget where now :-)

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    • Posted

      Thanks alot for your advice Kate you have been brilliant.

      To put it into more descriptive terms i feel like i've come out of a bad drinking session where i blacked out. If i hadn't have had my tablets in the house it would have been one of them where you do anything to get your next hit. I have a new found respect for people addicted to drugs even illegal ones. Some people are forced to go cold turkey i cannot imagine, i went "voluntary" turkey and it was horrendous, i am still not fully back to normal now even on my full dose. Was saying to my mum that my brain function is not "normal" my high dose of tablets is what is "normal" for me and when i try and come off them or even come down the fall out is vile. Mum is upset for me cos she wants me to get off them but its going to be a long process. Going to docs on 13th April to see if she can prescribe me a mixture of doses so i can lower slowly, mixtures of 10's and 20's so that i can lower more gradually instead of just halving right away. Docs are so eager to dish out tabs without them trying them theirselves. I will be a few more days feeling weird now i expect but i cannot have it interupting work the way it did today (had to come home sick this afternoon and go to bed to sleep it off, but my kitten would not let me rest and was jumping on me!!), but i am scared now. Going on them the side effects are plesant and you feel safe and in a bubble, coming off them is the opposite a living hell almost. Will aim to be off them by my 30th Birthday at the end of January 2016 and if not off them then at least down to 10mg (lowest dose) which will mean a 30mg drop. God help me tho. What a challenge!!!  I feel like a druggie who cannot cope, i feel so poorly today from the 2 days of trying on a lower dosage, upset that its come to that. x

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    • Posted

      Yes I reckon all doctors should experience these drugs just to see what it feels like.  I have read on this site that some people have just stopped taking the medication without withdrawing at all.  That's so dangerous to do!

      One good thing about cutting up pills though, is that your prescription lasts longer.  My 20mg tabs last 2 months now as I cut them in half :-)

      Yes whilst withdrawing from these meds, it's best to treat yourself gently - sleep if you need to etc.  Kittens awwww - I love cats!  Have 2 smile

      I still reckon cutting your 40mg tablet up and taking 35mg 1 day and 40mg the next, then 35mg, then 40mg etc etc will be quite a gradual way to try.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Where can i can these pill cutters from?

      At the moment i snap my 40's in half and take 20 in the morning and 20 at night that has always worked best for me and i asusmed woudl be easier for when i eventually start the withdrawal process.  I stopped the morning 20mg on sunday just gone and by yesterday and today was in an absolute state that i had to take the afternoon off sick and put my dosage back up.  Going to see what my doc can do for me in a couple of weeks.  Its a sad fact of life that i cannot function without 40mg of drugs in my system everyday, i really did not know how powerful they were until i tried to come off them.  Scary really.

      I was started off on 10 then moved to 20 and then to 40 all in the space of 3 months and now 4 yrs on am trapped x

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  • Posted

    Don't taper down too fast - maybe try 30 mg instead of 20 for a couple of weeks (with a pill cutter).  The longer you've been on it the longer the taper will need to be.  As long as you are making progress!  Also be sure to check with your doctor...
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  • Posted

    Hi! 40mg is a lot.Since around 5 years I have been taking 20mg.I am trying to come of it right now.I have suggestion but I can't imagine it being succefful with you taking such a high dose! Citalopram in Liquid form.You take a teaspoon of Citalopram from the bottle and replace it with a teaspoon full of water.You do that untill the bottle contains just water! Maybe if there is a larger bottle it might werk as it would take so much longer to thin out? You should talk to your gp about it.Did you go from 0 to 40mg? I cannot imagine any doctor presrcribing 40mg without a real good reason? Maybe you built up to it? Good luck anyway.Since two weeks I have been feeling very tired indeed with dry sore eyes.I don't know whether this has to do with cutting down or not!
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    • Posted

      I started on 10, went to 20, to 40, back to 20 and been on 40 ever since and now i can't get off the things.  Will keep trying, 40 was with very good reason yes am afraid.
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  • Posted

    I have been on 40mg for nearly 20 years I really want to come off them but doctors aren't interested in helping. They told me to cut down slowly or go cold turkey.

    i went cold turkey into a living hell. It was the worst time in my life.

    i live on a flatline and I want some emotion back in my life, the only 2 I have now are

    angry and sad.

    what you you all do now?

        Thanks kimmie

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    • Posted

      Hope you don't mind me cutting into your conversation xx.

      I was on 20mg for about 16 + years and came off them over a year ago.  Please don't go cold turkey - can't believe that advice given out by professionals.

      A lot of people do struggle on 40mg having no emotions and feeling anger other continuous side effects.  The maximum dose in the UK is 40mg.  Often a reduction to 30mg or 20mg can remedy this.  Anyway, if you want to withdraw here's what I did.

      First - I bought a pill cutter / crusher then cut my 20mg into 4 making each one 5mg.  I then spent about 2-3 months on each reduction going from 20 / 15 / 10 / 5 / 2.5 / 1.25 / 0 crushing the last 2 doses as they were too teensy to cut further.  I spent a whole year doing this and had no withdrawal symptoms at all.  I came off these meds a few years before this and did it by 10mg reductions and had withdrawal that time, so second time around I tried 5mg and had no problem.

      The small the dose over a long time is the way to go.  There should be no rush to withdraw - doing so will make you ill.

      Secondly - I'd change my doctor.  I'm quite surprised by the attitude of your doctor - how can someone not advise or help?

      Anyway - hope that helps.

      K x

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