Effects of stopping Citalopram abruptly?

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Hi I have posted before about my 18 year old son. Today he decided he was too tired to go to the doctors to get his next prescription of medication and say she he will just stop taking them!

I don't know why he just doesn't want to help himself and we are left not knowing what to do again! Am expecting a rough few weeks now I feel he refuses to take any more tablets! Has anyone just stopped them?

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  • Posted

    How long has he been on them for? Xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Cheryl

      He was on Sertraline for about 6-7 weeks then changed to Citalopram. He has been on these for 3 weeks (the first 2 weeks was hell) and I could see they were beginning to work in this last week.

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    • Posted

      Hi Honeybee, it is tough the first few weeks but I'm 10 eeejs in and feel great now and it's not advisable to stop suddenly as I stopped 10mg years ago but slowly cut them in quarters then half then stopped after weeks and was ok but I think he will spiral if he just stops

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    • Posted

      Thanks Debbie

      We have 4 tablets left and if I can't convince him to go back to the doctors, maybe I can suggest to him we cut them in half. Although obviously they won't last long. Why are kids so stubborn!! 

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    • Posted

      Yes I have a 3 year old boy so have it all to come haha!! And it would be a shame for him to stop them now as he will benefit so much in a little more time he know I have, good luck x
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    • Posted

      Honeybee

      Definetly a good idea to cut them in half & get him to take them for a few days tell him if he feels bad now he'll feel a lot worse coming straight off them.

      My pharmacist has said they would do repeat prescriptions in such situations as yours.

      Good luck with it, regards Tom

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  • Posted

    Hi, can you get a repeat prescription for him?  If they're starting to work it would be a real shame for him to stop.  Also he has got through the first 2 weeks so he's through the worst bit.

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    • Posted

      Hi Anna...I think his doctor will only prescribe it if she sees him. I did leave a message for her with the surgery manager.

      it is a big shame, obviously we just want to see him better, but it seems that every time he makes a little progress he decides he doesn't want to do it anymore!

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  • Posted

    Hi Honeybee

    I know exactly how you're feeling - my 20 year old son went through the same and I found it to be the most distressing time all round.  I was on these meds years ago and when he became ill I had to return to the meds too because it stressed me out so much and I didn't want to become ill too - I needed to stay strong for him.  I was on Citalopram and my son Fluoxetine (both SSRI's).

    You say you don't understand why he doesn't want to help himself, trouble is its not that he doesn't want to but I expect he doesn't know how to and feels lost, overwhelmed and probably feels apathetic.  This illness / condition just zaps everything from you and you just want to run away and hide from it and do nothing.

    So ..... stopping medication might unfortunately hit him hard soon.  These meds need to be weaned off, just as they are weaned onto.  Sudden withdrawl will cause sickness, headaches, heightened anxiety, brain zaps (little pings ... nothing dangerous but feels weird) which could all seem frightening.  I came off these last year which took a year to withdraw.

    6-7 weeks on Sertraline and then 3 weeks on these isn't long enough on either to show any results.  These meds often take around 3-4 months before seeing the slightest signs of improvement - it needs a lot of patience and perseverance.  You don't see progress that's true ..... but your body is beginning to heal - just that you don't feel it.  If you had a broken leg you wouldn't put it in a cast and expect it to be better next week ..... these meds are the same.  Healing takes a long time ..... but the wait is well worth it.

    Often what happens it someone will start meds and after a few weeks (or months) see no sign of improvement so swap to another meds.  So they've just got through the start up side effects and then swapping meds can cause withdrawl from one and side effects from another making you feel worse.  The patient then thinks they're really not well and so again swaps medicine or increases their dose (increasing also causes side effects).  You need to stay on one medication for a long, long time and if increasing a dose then do it slowly with little increments to avoid side effects.  Your body then doesn't know if its coming or going.  Lots of people end up chasing recovery instead of letting it come to you.

    My son had a breakdown 2 1/2 years ago and he went to hell and back.  I was lucky in that he just listened to everything I said, and we spent many evenings just talking. He didn't know what had hit him - and It took 9 months for him to fully recover - and he's stayed well ever since and off medication now.  Some people recover after a few months but I'd say generally most take longer than that.  When I was ill eons ago it took me 6 months recover.

    During recovery I got my son interested in music and went with him to a group (my son struggled with socialising).  He went but did everything on automatic pilot, but over the months he decided to go alone and today he still plays guitar and African drum for 2 groups and performs too.  Whilst recovering its good to have an interest - even if its done half heartedly.  We also went walking everyday with him - exercise is good for anxiety.

    Try and explain to your son that persistence will really help him.  Some people have to take meds for diabetes or epilepsy and they HAVE to take their meds.  These aren't much different.

    I'll private message you with a link - its about a book that explains all about each symptom, why you're suffering, takes all the mystery out of it and shows you the way to recovery too.  Fix the anxiety and all the other symptoms will disappear too - because they're just side effects of anxiety.

    K x

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    • Posted

      Hi Kate 

      Thankyou so much for your reply and link, it was very helpful. I'm constantly reading up on everything to do with depression, anxiety, self harming etc

      I obviously really want to help him, one because he is my son and I love him endlessly and two because I know with the right support he can turn this around. He is a smart, funny, adventurous and friendly young man....just stubborn as hell 

      Anyway he has a second chance appointment booked for Monday late afternoon which he agreed to , so its fingers crossed for then 

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  • Posted

    can you show him all these replies? It might help him to realise he's not alone with this crappy illness and that things do get better. It's a damn hard slog but he will get there but he must stay on those meds!, x

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    • Posted

      I would love to show him...just not sure he would look. There is some great support on here, I think it would really help. Small steps...maybe one day I will convince him to join up 😊

       

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