Coming off citalopram after ten years....

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hi,

I hope some of you may be able to offer some advice. I've been on citalopram for ten years, apparently depression runs in my family and for approx five years have always been on a maintenance dosage. Any time I have tried to come off in the past I can barely function and have even walked out of jobs due to the anxiety that I have felt. For the past two years due to a bad divorce my doctor upped my dosage to 40mgs. After amazing counselling, I am now in a stable relationship and job and thinking about trying to have a baby. I would like to attempt to come off the drug but always found it too frightening before...the fear of having to go throught the side effects again if I needed to go back on citalopram always stop me coming off it.

Sorry for the long winded message but I just wanted to know any advice about coming off this as the thought of it frightens me to death. The last thing I want is to come off it and ruin everything I currently have due to anxiety. 

Hope you can help x

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hiya Charlotte, I was on citalopram for about 8 years up until last year when I thought I didn't need it anymore as I felt more confident than I ever had. I wouldn't say I was happy, but happier at the time. So I went to my docs who prescribed Sertraline as he thought it'd be easier to come off. So I reduced them gradually & came off them altogether. I felt ok for a few months then the depression started to creep back gradually. Then about 12 months after I stopped them a lot of negative things seemed to happen in my life all at once & I found myself more anxious than ever. I went back to the docs who put me back on citalopram & the side effects were just as bad as the first time around. I've been back on them about 2 months now & feeling less anxious & a bit more optimistic, don't think I'll ever be 'happy' as like you depression seems to run in my family. So what I'd say is have a word with your doctor to see if it would be safe to be in them & pregnant as after my anxiety coming back I'm going to stay on citalopram for as long as I possibly can! Good luck 

    Marie smile

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  • Posted

    I was on citalopram for almost 2years the only thing i d say is to come off it realy slowly over a least 4 months i d say,i had realy bad side effects(very moody, tearfull) as i come of them within 1 month and i was on 40mg its probably nbot what you want to read but thats my suggestion the only plus is i no longer feel as tired as i once did this was one side effect of the drug that just didnt go whilst i was on them, however was liveable compared to some of the side effects people have had
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  • Posted

    I was on various pills for 14 years and came off Citalopram in January.  Oh, I thought, I was great and felt good, apart from withdrawal symptoms, for 2 or 3 weeks.

    After that, it was downhill all the way.  Alomst every day, I cried, had palpitation, anxious - the lot.  I, so, tried not to give in but had to admit defeat and go back to the doctor, a wreck.

    I am now, back on Prozac and feeling so much better.  Some people just need the medication so I am on them for life.

    Depression also runs in my family.  If you need the medication, you need it.

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  • Posted

    Hi All, Thank you so much for all you replies. I think that is the main worry that I will come off too quickly and need to go back on them. I am going to try coming off 10% a month and see how that goes- it will take a long time but I'm hoping it will be worth it. I don't really remember how I am not on these tablets- I'm 31 now and have been on them since 21.

    Thank you all for replying to me xx

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  • Posted

    There was a very active thread called 'Coming off Citalopram sad' that you woild find helpful.  The doc. told me to come off too quickly.  Do it over months.  If your symproms return, don't suffer like I did, the months of torment; go back on them, if you need to or, like me, try another.
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  • Posted

    Hi Charlotte 

    I have been on citalopram for 10 years too  (I'm 32) and have recently decided to try and come off. I don't want to ruin things in my life but don't want to be dependant on a drug forever. I sometimes wonder what I'm really like without them. 

    It's been about 3-4 weeks and I have just been having one tablet every other day.  I think I should of cut them down more gradually as my mood has been awful, the headaches are terrible too. Now I have come this far I don't want to start taking more but I will cut it down a lot slower when I decide it's time and I'm doing ok on this dose.

    Good luck, take it slow and hopefully we will both have a life after citalopram. x 

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    • Posted

      Hi, 

      Wow we sound very similar. Like you say it's a catch 22.. You don't know if it's the right time to come off because things are stable or that you are stable because of the citalopram. In the past I've come off too quickly and it's done more harm than good. I read an article about just dropping by 10% a month, which obviously takes a while but it must be worth it. I want to see how I am without feeling I have a dependency on a medication! I've heard the oral drops are a good way to reduce down more slowly

      I hope you are feeling optimistic that you've come off them. Well done smile xx

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    • Posted

      I think slow and steady is the best option.  The last 2 days I feel good but still  

      having headaches. Last week I was such a moody cow, don't know how my husband has put up with it. Not going to cut anymore down for another month or two. I haven't heard of oral drops. Have got a pill cutter for when I cut down the next lot but not easy to do when only taking a small percentage  

      off lol. Xx

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    • Posted

      Exactly it's so hard to judge. It's like I don't know if i'm moody because I'm coming off them... or just moody. I guess there is only one way to find out though. I've heard of the drops but I know they are very strong. I think when you are getting really low on dosage its as little as dipping a tooth pick into the liquid to give you the correct amount. I spoke to the doctor yesterday about coming off and he said 'as look as you do it over a week you should be fine' A WEEK! This is exactly why I want to come off, they seem to know that little that if I don't come off them myself I will be on them forever!

      Pill cutter is on the agenda tonight! xx

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  • Posted

    I wanted a life without antidepressants of any kind and told the doctor I never wanted to take any more ever again and was adamant.

    I was congratulated and evryone was so pleased for me and I felt so strong and positive.

    Alas, thaat sstate of euphoria didn't last but I didn't want to start taking them again.  I tried every herbal pill and solution going but nothing helped and I had constant palpitations that even beta-blockers didn't help.

    Just be very careful.  I do hope you caan cope without them but don't try to be brave, like me.  Good luck in your journey.

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