Going "Cold Turkey" off 40mg Citalopram

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I was diagnosed with severe depression around end of July start of Aug 2014 and prescribed 40mg of Citalopram which I have taken up until recently.

I've been off them for almost Two weeks now and I just wanted to know:

How long the side effects lasted?

What side effects did you have?

How long before you actually started feeling better?

Just coming off these things seems to be like a blank canvas and no one seems to be able to give any insight.

Hope to hear from someone soon


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9 Replies

  • Posted

    You should wean off them.

    So do you feel better is that y your stopping

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    • Posted

      I know should wean off them but from my research you normally hit side effect but over a prolonged period and all the comments, threads and articles I read most of them went back up to original dose as that felt terrible. So I thought if I am going to feel sh*t then I will just take whatever is thrown at me and get it over and done with quickly.

      Yes I do feel so much better. I refer to the "old me" by another name as the depression version of me was not a very nice person. The biggest influence was having the support of my wife and family. Opening up to people and telling them how I feel, what I thought etc.

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  • Posted

    Hi Paul,

    Citalopram is an ssri (google it) and is a very common first line treatment from gp's. It stays in the system about 3 days. To answer your questions.

    How long the side effcts last depends on a lot of things and is very individual. Most subside by about 3-4 weeks but you should feel an improvement by 2 weeks. That said some side effects may not go away, as I found out sad

    Side effects I had were lathargy (lasted 4 weeks), no motivation (improved after 2 weeks but never fully went away), spaced out (went away after a week or so). sexual side effects (longer to 'respond', longer to orgasm and some 'failures'. lasted till I switched to abother drug)

    You should feel an improvement in yourself within 2 weeks but it will take 4 weeks to reach full effect.

    If you reach 4 weeks and the side effects are not tollerable or you do not feel much better go back to the GP as there are a lot of other options available if this one is not for you.

    What side effects do you have that are concerning you?

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  • Posted

    Hi Paul,

    Just read your post.. I won't go into all my horrific experiences with depression however will state I did the same thing last year but came off all my medication due to a horrendous experience. This was my decision and my decision only. Dosage for Citalopram was 60mg and as I said other meds too..

    I do recall for a week I was all over the place could not sleep. Really agitated. Felt really nausea couldn't eat or drink much. Very lonely, very down, emotional panicky all normal symptoms. Did think about changing my mind but I didn't just decided to fight all these symptoms due you me not going anywhere with meds.

    My only advice is that you have to really want to do this and you do have to be strong and feel ready for the challenges. 

    The proper way around is just to wean off them.. Which I knew at the time but I had had a enough of all meds and them not working etc. 

    Again to reiterate that this was my decision and is not the correct medical advice.

    So do think wisely about it Paul..



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  • Posted

    Hello Paul I take citlopram and I have been on them 7 years now stared off on 30 mg and now I am down to 5 mg you should talk to your gp about coming off them but really you should take it slow as I have done by my gp advise because going cold turkey could make your smytoms worse hope this has helped you .
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  • Posted

    Hi Paul, 

    as most people have said wean off them gently.  Start dropping the dosage first then taking them every other day. I did this over a period of about a month. If you do it cold turkey or too quickly you will feel worse.


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  • Posted

    Thanks for your advice and stories. It's a horrible subject and one that is very emotional and raw. My decision was made between me and my wife. We entered into the battle together. It's been two weeks on Thursday and the weekend I hit what can only be described as an all time low.

    It's been a tough journey but i hand on heart feel I am over the worst of it. I totally agree that you have to want to come off of them with the greatest passion and determination you've ever had. If not you will get sucked into the darkness. Although not recommended I would do it this way if I had my time again.

    I don't have the best temper anyway but this has been my weakness. My lack of tolerance and understanding. Oh and the paranoia, Jesus you would think in was Jason Bourne they way I was suspicious off everyone and everything.

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