Coming off citilopram

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I've been on citalopram for over 5 years now and am changing to escitalopram. My doctor recommended a long slow withdrawal before changing but I have decided to do a quick change with a 3 day detox of citalopram. He said it was ok to do as did the pharmacist. Has anyone else done it this way?

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  • Posted

    This would usually be extremely risky and I would be very, very wary of doing so.  What dosage are you/have you been on?
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    • Posted

      Hi portugalthecam,

      I've been on 40mgs for over a year now but almost 6 years in total since I started. I lasted 30 hours before the withdrawals kicked in and they were horrible!! I've decided to taper off. I'm down to half already and plan to be completely off by the end of two weeks and start on my new meds. I definitely DONT recommend going cold turkey!! Lol!

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    • Posted

      These drugs are quite powerful and our brains are horribly fragile, so being gentle and patient with this sort of thing is necessary!  I was on Cit for about 10 years, 40mg, and tried to go off of them, under physician's guidance, but I went down too quickly and completely crashed, about 5 months ago, and I still trying to get myself right again.  I went right back up, and then started tapering down again.  40-30mg for a few weeks, then stayed at 20mg for almost a couple months, and now have been at 10mg for a week and plan to stay there for another week or so.  Just take it slow!  You will get to where you need to be eventually, don't worry.

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  • Posted

    Hi Rachael,

    I would take it more slowly.  Even if you have been on a low dose of 10mg/day for five years a three-day detox may hit you hard.  Citalopram has a half-life of around 35 hours in the body which means that after around ten days of a steady dose the amount of cit in your body peaks at just over twice your dose when you take a tablet, and then drops to around one and a half times your dose just before you take a tablet the following day. Stopping abruptly can cause real problems.  I'm not sure if you can mix citalopram with escitalopram but that may be the way to avoid withdrawal symptoms.  Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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    • Posted

      You're absolutely right! I lasted 30 hours from my last dose to severe withdrawals. They were horrible! I've decided tI taper off over the next few weeks. I've halved it already and hoping to be completely off in two weeks time. DONT GO COLD TURKEY! Thanks Grunthos

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    • Posted

      I recently wondered if taking an SSRI has a cumulative effect.  

      So if I understand correctly:

      2am - take 10mg dose = 19.96 mg in my system

      1pm - half life kicks in = 14.96 mg in my system

      2am - take 10mg dose = 19.96 mg in my system

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Owen,

      After ten days on 10mg/day when you take a tablet the amount in your body goes up to 26mg which gradually drops to 20mg after another 12 hours and then to 16mg just before you take the next tablet.

      If you wish I can PM you the internet address of a chart showing the build-up in the system of a different drug that has a similar half-life to Citalopram, just for illustrative purposes.

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    • Posted

      Sure - I'd like to see the chart.

      So I take my med about 2am every night [end of my work shift] and I've noticed that my anxiety tends to go up around 2pm-4pm every day.  Would this be because of the dosage decrease around that time frame?

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  • Posted

    Don’t even think about it

    You will be poorly

    Slow and safe is the answer your GP

    Is correct 

    When I did come off it I took a year reducing by 2.5 mg alt days for two weeks at a time

    Eg 20/17.5/29/17.5

    I think I took excessively long but I am medically trained and understood tge pitfalls 

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    • Posted

      Omg that's a long time!! 😲

      I'm coming off the citalopram for anxiety and going on to escitalopram for depression. I've halved my dose from 40mg to 20mg and started having "dark thoughts" during the week. As a result I'm now having 20mg citalopram and 5mg escitalopram, gradually decreasing one and increasing the other. I'm not sure if this is related but I'm experiencing massive thumping headaches . . .

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    • Posted

      Yes those thumping headaches I remember oh so we'll.from going down to ten from twenty ..they will subside trust me.all though celexa and Lexapro are related as in chemicals your transition shouldn't be that dramatic. .

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    • Posted

      Aren't those headaches a dream? 😂 Around 5pm I feel like I'm in a dream world, I forget where I am and what I'm doing. Last night I left the lights on in my car, I just can't get my thoughts together

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    • Posted

      Yes ma'am..I put my keys in the refrigerator a couple of times...but that's all in past... thank goodness...today will be 17months and counting ...feeling alot better after suffering with no medications for a couple of decades.take care

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    • Posted

      My friend Lois!!!  Refresh our conversation with the decrease from 20mgs to 10mgs.  Tell me what did you experience with that 10mgs decrease and to the best of your knowledge, how long did these side effects last? 

      Because I don't know if he's experiencing withdrawals or just a bad reaction to this med.

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    • Posted

      Hello JoJo...coming down from 20 to ten....headaches / brainzaps/irratibility/mood changes/a constant up and down.feeling..one minute sad one minute happy...and all those feelings and side effects cyclo thru out the day for months...around the 8month mark I said wow...I feel better...on 20...I was constantly nauseous no appetite..no energy..lathargic.i felt drug up...
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    • Posted

      But to how I was feeling before the Medication...for six months prior to ssri.celexa..i take the side effects all over again .for me not to feel how horrific I felt before celexa...
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    • Posted

      We are going back to the old doctor who prescribed this med for first time since July.  He will be devastated and shocked to what he looks like now.  Down to 105lbs, all skin and bones and in a constant panic attack that he's unable to swallow.  I know he's not going to know what you all know because he hasn't lived it.  I am trying to figure out what he is going through is a combination of withdrawal along with the side effects, or just one or the other.  I watched him having brain zaps. 

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    • Posted

      Is not and option ..I will do it all over again...I would never try come off this med.just because I feel normal again ..thank goodness...then to go back to want I was or could be..no ma'am..

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    • Posted

      Since he started Celexa, he is 1,000 times worse than before he started the med.  This poor kid has been tortured and I can't do a thing to stop it because I don't know which is effecting him. 

      We used to have 4 dogs in the house.  Now, he can't even handle seeing a dog toy or even a dog bed, he goes into a full blown panic attack gasping for air.  I just don't get it. 

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    • Posted

      Maybe you need to reassess all his medications...I don't know what else to tell you...I know that there are older anti depressants that bring back appetite fast...but again ask your doctor...

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    • Posted

      All I can say is it took Katecogs son 9months to recover..took me 8months...took Kate 6months...took a good friend of mine one year...my mom felt good right away no side effects .my sister comes off and on ssris no withdrawal no side effects...go figure...
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    • Posted

      Yes I totally understand that.   But I have to find out what is causing him going backwards 1,000 times worse.  All of you saw some benefit from it whether it was an evening or an afternoon.   He's not getting either.  He was a few months ago getting that.  Then it all stopped and went backwards 

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    • Posted

      How many different meds does he take ..if you don't mind me asking?I'm not a doctor but I read alot...I read library books not internet drama..lol

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    • Posted

      You don't have to worry about me, nothing offends me.  He takes Zyprexa too.   That doctor we went to 2 weeks ago put him on Lithium.  He said the anesthesia gave him mania 

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    • Posted

      Anesthesia?I'm assuming from car accident?wow lithium ?does lithium and celexa cause more side effects?hmmm...

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    • Posted

      Everything causes side effects.  I am not thinking about long term anything right now until I know why this is happening to him..  

      Most likely the Celexa will get lowered to 5mgs.  I am not sure, but I feel the Lithium has helped his mood.  It's not as harsh of a drug as Celexa is.  

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    • Posted

      Oh ok..just don't try to rush do it slowly...all though I didn't do it slow...maybe five will be good for him..yes and your right every thing has side effects..I'm praying he gets better...

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    • Posted

      Everything causes side effects.  I am not thinking about long term anything right now until I know why this is happening to him..  

      Most likely the Celexa will get lowered to 5mgs.  I am not sure, but I feel the Lithium has helped his mood.  It's not as harsh of a drug as Celexa is.  

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    • Posted

      No way will I be in any hurry to decrease!  I did that and now he's paying the price..  he went from 20mgs to 15mgs on 10/01.   Then from 15mgs to 10mgs on 10/16 and that when it got worse than before.  

      Now what are you thinking?

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    • Posted

      I'm thinking stay on ten ...for at least two months...right now his definitely having withdrawals...so just hang on ...that's more than likely what is happening..when I wasn't tolerating the other ssri s..and stop them abruptly without slowly doing it .. because my stupid gp.said I could.and the withdrawal started I had no idea what hit me ...the worst was the brainzaps and migraine with aura.i really thought wow what is happening..and sure enough was withdrawals..if my GP.would of stated that there was going to be withdrawal I would of did it slowly..so yes his definitely having withdrawals.. because all of the changes too soon...

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    • Posted

      Everyone is so different and he has autism.  It was 3 weeks ago yesterday and still no better today than 3 weeks ago.  This scares me so much.  It was weird..  on October 30th he literally had no anxiety that entire day..  was so good that I wanted to explore the world with him!!  Then the next day back to panic and it hasn't gone away for a minute. 

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    • Posted

      It's all so confusing because my anxiety symptoms prior to celexa .for me mimics the withdrawal and the side effects..I was having all that madness prior to ssris.so sometimes I find it hard to pin point what is what .or which is which...

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    • Posted

      Iam pretty sure if he was feeling good on the 30th.than that's just the Medication doing it's thing...

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    • Posted

      Speaking of stupid doctors, I'm stuck going back to the one who prescribed Celexa and who told me it takes 2 weeks to work. 

      sad
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    • Posted

      I don't think so...stupid doctor...lol..they don't have a clue including some phychiatrist...

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    • Posted

      That other topics we where chatting on got real sketchy .like it would take me a million minutes to write something...so I x it..
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    • Posted

      The last psychiatrist I took him to 2 weeks ago also told me that to wait 10 days to make another decrease in the mgs of Celexa.  Yeah 10 days..  this is why if he is having withdrawals..  because of that doctor.  He said 10 days and it's out of your body, but what about out of the brain??  Isn't that just as important? 

      They are both unpleasant to deal with.  Then they dump Brooks as a patient because they just don't understand what he his going through. 

      I really hope and pray that if he's experiencing a withdrawal, that it's over real soon.  In the last 3 weeks, he didn't go to sleep at all 3 nights.  Which means none of us sleep.  And on the nights he did sleep..  it would be like 2-3AM.

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    • Posted

      Yes thats how it was with me as far as sleep....but I been suffering with amsonnia for two decades.now I take ambiem for that have no choice..I try everything in the books to combat my insomnia nothing works not even lunesta..only ambiem.i try all the therapys as far as I can go...I try not to take medication but it is what it is..at least I'm not suffering now..

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    • Posted

      He never had insomnia.  He ate and slept like a champ.  He actually doesn't have insomnia now either, his anxiety is really really that bad that he can't fall asleep.  Once he's falls asleep, he can sleep for 10-15 hours smile  which is a BEAUTIFUL sight.

      So that Ambiem really works for you?  Do you have to take that every night?  Did it become worse from the meds?

       

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    • Posted

      Yes definitely ..so in order for my ambiem to have lasted this long because it usually poops out ..my phychiatrist has me splitting the tablet in half...so when I wake up to go to the bathroom.i take the other half .other wise you will wake up and can't go back to sleep.doing it this way it won't poop out on you...and I sleep and wake up feeling lovely...thank goodness

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    • Posted

      And before I forget, I really want to thank you very much for taking the time out for me today..  I really needed that communication.  Been out of this website circuit.  Too many issues getting on there and responding on there. 

      I'm scared for tomorrow.  I can't afford to lose another doctor with him.  I will have to eat some crow with this guy. 

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    • Posted

      Good luck .no problem . there's nothing like a little chat just to ease the mind...take care

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    • Posted

      And how is your addition to your family?????  I can't say that "word" because I will go in limo land.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much Lois, you're such a doll.  

      We had the worst night last night.  Literally was up the entire night.  Fourth on in the last week.  I can't keep living like this and working 11 hours a day.  I feel like my body is shutting down.

      You are confident it's all withdrawals?

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    • Posted

      It has to be ..I had withdrawals from taking cymbalta for one week...then worst withdrawal from taking effexor for 11 days..since you down his dosages in such a short period of time..I'm betting is withdrawals...and also remember you added lithium.all thought it may be gentle to his symptoms..take that into consideration also.. hopefully your DC.will give some answers ..

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    • Posted

      It could well be both side effects and withdrawals...from every thing I've read and experience...and downing the dosage so fast..it could be withdrawals..I still have little side effects..that give me small bouts of anxiety..but nothing major ..nothing like before meds ..

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    • Posted

      Because your communication with your son is difficult ..it must be hard to distinguish his feelings.. vervely..
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    • Posted

      Good morning Lois.  I replied yesterday after the doctor's appt but I don't see it here.  Anyway it was interesting.  I'll break it down into more than one reply just in case it's too long and it gets hijacked aka modified and gone. 

      He said that if he is experiencing withdrawals to go back up to 15 mgs and in 2 days he should be feeling better in 2 days.  What do you think?  He gets his Celexa every morning.  I gave him the extra 5 mgs at 5pm last night to get a head start because he has gotten so much worse going from 15 to 10.  Can that 5 mgs that I gave him yesterday count as yesterdays dose, and can I give him that extra 5 mgs today or should I wait until tomorrow? 

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    • Posted

      It's amazing how 2 doctors have 100% opposite views on meds.  The doctor yesterday said that if the anesthesia did give him PTSD and mania then the Celexa will make his mania worse which is very possible what happened to him.  So he did start Lithium 3 weeks ago, I have to take him for a blood test to get his levels checked out and see if the dose he's on is ok for him or too low.  In regards to the Celexa, he wanted me to bring him back to 20 mgs today but I told him I will go up 5 mgs not 10 mgs.  I feel it's too much of a ying yang on his brain..  up and down up and down.  I can't do that.  I am looking for him to get stabilized and I'm hoping he does improve in 2 days.  He also said that if his brain needs more than 10 mgs, I will see an improvement in 2 weeks.  See, there's that 2 weeks again! 

      What are you thoughts...?

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    • Posted

      Why don't you stay with the ten in the morning and five at night for at least a week .

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    • Posted

      According to his history with this Medication..what ever you do take it slow...you know how this Medication works .from been on this forum..just ease into it real slow..take your time.that two week crap is a lie...
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    • Posted

      Or perhaps do it like that for a long while...I have read some people taking ten in the morning and ten at night..they claim is gentler on there brain...
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    • Posted

      Does that make sense to you?  Because it's in a person's system around the clock.  Is it known to help or hurt a person sleep? 

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    • Posted

      Yes that's one of the side effects of this med ...insomnia ..or good sleep! Did he sleep last night?

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    • Posted

      Makes some sense.. because it doesn't hit you all at once...if you think it doesn't make sense just do it real slow .. according to doctor he wants you to go for the 20 quickly...what do you think?for me I would do it slowly... according to alot of people on this forum a quick 20 is not a quick fix..

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    • Posted

      The only way I'd give him 20 mgs at this point, as if someone was holding a gun to my head.  I have no intention of doing another increase or decrease until I feel he becomes stable.  He's been so over the place..  this poor kid. 

      I figured I'd give it at least 4 weeks and decide what to do.  That's the plan anyway. 

      He slept last night, but that's only because he had been up since 7am Tuesday.  He just crashed.  I have to give it some thought whether I want to give it to him all at once or split it up.  I guess I can always test the waters and see if it affects his sleep in a negative way. 

      Love ya Lois...  thanks as always for reading my questions and responding to me smile

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    • Posted

      I don’t think any harm will come from giving that extra 5 last night

      Do it again

      I have many posts in these forums

      When I came off it in 2013 it took me a year to get down from 20

      Very very slow is the key

      I dropped 2.5mg a time

      Even alternating 20/17.5/20/17.5

      For two weeks at a time before I went down again

      If at any point I felt not right I went back to the previous weeks dose and did another 7/14 days

      No side effects of withdrawal 

      But I went back on it again this Jan

      I just need it and use various self help tools

      It’s a great drug but demands respect

      I am amazed how ignorant some GPs are to be honest

      It’s a long haul

      Goingon

      And coming off 

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    • Posted

      I wasn't expecting to be dealing with really crazy behavior.  The doctor didn't warn me.

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    • Posted

      I gave him that extra 5mgs last night and his regular 10 this morning.  Very crazy..  
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    • Posted

      Remember that you are yoying his celexa so expect that ...just a five milligram could make a difference...have you ever read no poet..on a different website he explains indetail what's going on.

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    • Posted

      Great..  how long with this craziness last?  I am not prepared for this.  I mean really angry.  Angry, crying and laughing.   During the anger he broke a tv, CD player and other things.  
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    • Posted

      I know sometimes the changing of doctor's with there different opinions can be devastating...but try to ride it out .did doctor's ever suggested switching to a different ssri?

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    • Posted

      The ups and downs of dosages can certainly cause him to have anxiety.of that extreme..but again under his personal circumstances is hard to dissect his feelings..
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    • Posted

      Iam praying so hard ..that your son comes out of this...take care
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    • Posted

      Thanks Lois..   please pray for him.   He's such a good boy and this has been to hell and back and over and over again.  

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    • Posted

      One withdrawal symptom is gone, he's eating.  Eating crappy junk food but he is eating.  Let's see if he sleeps tonight.  

      What is confusing to me is that he went from 5 to 10 to 20 without this issue. Even to 30 and he was fine.  Then 20 then 25 and still this never happened.  

      The million dollar question everybody asks themselves..  what dose is the right one for me.

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    • Posted

      Remarkably enough he did sleep last night..   so the eating and sleeping was withdrawals.   He went to sleep at 1am, yes rather late, but if that crazy anxiety lets up he'll be sleeping early like he used to.  Yesterday was horrid!  I pray today will be better 🙏

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    • Posted

      Lois...  question, he's having a real hard time with the added 5.   Should I give him 2.5 instead?

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    • Posted

      ....but you know already those are the pros and cons of this medicine .stay on one dose . all though from every thing I've read the smaller the better..please stay on one dose..other wise your just going to be yoying his brain..

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    • Posted

      What doesn't make sense is back in June and July, he was up to 30, then 20, then 25 then 20 all within like 6 weeks and he never experienced an issue other than more seizures which is why We dropped him to 20.   This was all under the doctors care.  This doesn't make sense why it's effecting him so terrible.   The only thing is maybe cause he's been on it for longer now versus 4 months ago.   So you think I should stay on 10 + 5?  Not 10 + 2.5?  If I listened to the doctor he'd be on 20 right now.

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    • Posted

      10+2.5 will be kinder to his system I hope..but according to katecogs she says it doesn't matter what dose your going to get those yucky moments.lets ask Kate .see what she says?

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