Coming off Citalopram any advice

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I have been on antidepressants for 20years and now feel the time is right to reduce the dosage.I have manage to go from 40mg to 10mg over a period of time but it's the last part of the journey which l am unsure about going from 10mg zero. Any advice would be a blessing.

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  • Posted

    Well done. I have reduced from 20 to 4 mg over 3 years and am now using the liquid form and taking 2 drops. It is still tough and I have bad anxiety a lot of the time. The side effects were as bad tho and my acupuncturist assures me I will be better when I am off it.

    Isobel

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  • Posted

    Good job on getting this far!  How has the taper gone up to now?  Have you had withdrawal symptoms?  How big and how often were your cuts and over what period of time?  It is often the tail end of the taper that is the hardest.  If you can get the liquid that is ideal.  I suggest reducing my 1 mg per month.  However, as you get down to the last five,, a 1 mg cut is 20% of your previous dosage which may be too big of a cut, depending on how you feel on the previous drops.  You need to listen to your body as to how quickly to take this.  There's no prize for going too fast and steep and suffering horrible withdrawal symptoms by doing so.
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    • Posted

      I just got off the phone with my medical providor and she said it's not necessary to taper less than 50% of my 20 mg dose, to do this for 2 weeks and then quit it completely.  She said she doesn't even know if there is such a thing as liquid Citalopram and I shouldn't have many side effects anyway.     Very frustrating that the ones prescribing these drugs don't have a clue how hard it is to get off of them. 
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    • Posted

      That is truly scary.  I'm not familiar with this drug; is it a time release formula or is it ok to break the tablets?  If it is not time release, what you can do is keep renewing your full script, get a jeweler's scale that measures milligrams, and then break off bits to get the percentage you are aiming for.  You can save the extra bits to go towards a future dose.  The scales are available to us in the US from Amazon for about $22, but not sure if you are in the UK, what your options are.

      I went through a horrible protracted withdrawal from Effexor that lasted from soon after I got off last September through to June of this year.  I didn't realize it was withdrawal because I had done a fast taper, and didn't experience bad effects right away.  The effects I did have at first  I attributed to menopause, so I blamed them on that (heavy sweats, concentration and memory problems that got extreme, a tingly skin sensations that I thought was some weird version of hot flashes, heart palps, increased pulse, etc).  Months out I started to have the worst anxiety and insomnia I had ever had, before or during meds, and anxiety was NOT what my original complaint for going on ADs.

      I reinstated in June after going on mirtazapine which pooped out pretty quickly.  Within one hour of taking that first 37.5 mg dose, I was dramatically better, and that is a sure sign of dependency, that the drug fixes you right away, when normally it would take a month for an AD to really affect you.

      So, now I am stuck with having to get off of both, and I am focusing on a slow taper of mirtazapine for now because of the weight gain it has caused.  My p-doc thinks I am being extreme for insisting on doing the 10% taper, even called it OCD!  He says if the symptoms last longer than 6 weeks, then it is "something else."  My extremely protracted Effexor WD proves him wrong, and if you go to the withdrawal forums online, you will find many horror stories like mine, worse.  It really is mind-blowing that these doctors prescribe so easily without any understanding of how profoundly these drugs affect the nervous system, making them possibly quite difficult to get off.

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    • Posted

      No, they don't understand how it effects the nervous system in the least. My MD said it it has a short half life so within a couple of weeks, the medication should be out of the liver and kideys and I should be over any withdrawal symptoms.  I haven't heard one instance where kidney or liver pain was an issue!  Lol I'm on week 5 of a 25% reduction from 20 mg (yes, I can break the tablets) and 2 days ago reduced it another 25% per orders from my doctor.  We will see what happens but for now, I'm not doing too bad.  I have some paresthesia of my lower lip, ears get plugged off and on, a tad bit more emotional/anxious but overall it's going well.  I've read it can take up to 6 weeks for symptoms to kick in, but am going to be positive and think that this is going to be a piece of cake, even if I have been on the med for 10 years. I wish you luck with your journey. We can do this! 
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  • Posted

    Hi all wow I must admit looking at these side effects I didn't think I had any , now looking back as I'm on bupropion now , ssri makes me really aggressive sweaty at night ,

    Weight gain ,

    And an odd one really sore heavy breasts like u can get with some contraception pill .

    Has anyone else had the above ?

    X

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  • Posted

    Hi Jennyann

    Ive been on these meds for a similar time and have come off these before.  I restarted the meds only due to a stressful family illness a year ago, and have now again reduced again ready to come off them again next year.  I'm now on 5mg, having reduced by 5mg at a time - this way I had no withdrawal effects unlike the last time.  The next reduction will be taking this 5mg every other day until I feel no withdrawal effects, then every 2 days and so on until I stop.

    Buy a pill cutter and cut the last 10mg up.  I cut my 20mg tablets up and reduced that way.

    One thing I noticed last time I came off these meds was that I could cry for England!  I wasn't depressed, but just found the tears would come even if I saw a squashed bumble bee!!

    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 took these for a year when I was off Cit with good results, and will start them again next year when I'm back off Cit.  There are no side effects either and you can and start/stop these anytime, unlike Cit which has to be withdrawn slowly.

    K x

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