Hard time weaning off citalopram

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hi all, 

Haven't been on in here in a couple of years.  .. Didn't really think I would be back . . .

Finding it difficult to start my message. . . On citalopram since March 2014. Never found it overly beneficial. Had a few short stints of various types of therapy in various places - always helped and then relapsed after finishing. Have been with a good therapist for 10 months or so now. I decided to stop seeing her and wean off the tablets too. . . I realise now that may have been a bit ambitious of me.

Anyways, I have always been on 20mg. I went to the health unit in my university instead of my regular GP to discuss coming off the tablets. ( I didn't like my GP's "Well I don't know!" attitude the last time I went. It was quite negative and he was stumped about what to do with me/how to advise. He also made some decisions in the past with myself and other family members that were poor. I don't feel confident or safe under his care) . . . Anyways, not ideal as the student health unit doctors weren't familiar with my history as regards me taking citalopram and my "journey" (I feel that word describes it well) with my mental health. . . I was given a plan to come off. In total, it's only 2 months of weaning time. On this very website, there is an article advising a weaning period of 6-8 months if you have been on the tablets for as long as I have .. . So perhaps this is ambitious. . . BUT the pros of just going for it are that I will be off it completely about 2 weeks before I return to university, I guess (one that I don't really care about) lower cost as I won't have to buy tablets . .. that's it really. 

I will be on teaching practice (I'm a student teacher) by the end of this month. I don't want to be like I am right now (moody, indecisive, unable to focus, swinging between adrenaline-driven productivity or demotivation, tearfulness, paying unneccesary attention to detail without even being aware of it etc.). . . I don't think it's fair on the children ( and not for me either) if I start teaching practice in the current state I am in. . .

To top everything off. My Dad was diagnosed with an incurable cancer this year. (not terminal, treatable but a long and tough road of treatment, hoping for a long remission). . . He is currently undergoing the most gruelling treatment he has had to date. . . My brother recently moved out of home so it's just me and Mom at home right now. Mom is working full-time (she took time off before but decided to work now as Dad is staying overnight in hospital so there is not too much she can do). I am living at home. Just me & my Mom now. So first change - brother moved out, soon after, Dad gone to stay in hospital for this treatment (as planned). So it's all quite new. Circumstances are pretty s**t what with Dad going through what he is going through. . . Mom & I taking it in turn to visit Dad and bring him clean clothes, buy foods he asks for etc. . . . It's not easy. And it's a bit lonely being at home all day on my own mostly. And then sometimes when Mom goes to visit Dad in the evenings too. . . Or even when it's just me & Mom because that's not what we're used to .  .. anyways, that was an aside to explain my current situation a bit better. 

So I am thinking, I go to a new GP this week, explain my situation and my experience so far weaning off and discuss weaning off more slowly. (I still definitely want to be off these tablets for good).

I know this post has been very unstructured but that's how my thinking is right now. sad 

I'm not even sure why I'm writing this really. I guess I am hoping for support and perhaps some input from people who have weaned off citalopram before too. 

All input appreciated. 

Thanks, 

Agirl x

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  • Posted

    Why would you want to wean off the tablets with all that drama going on your life....u say that coming off the tablets will be easier in your packet book...I personally wouldn't come off with all that family drama....just be real careful because u could end up worst off the tablets...good luck

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  • Posted

    I'm with previous poster, with what's going on in your life is it not worth staying on them for a few more months just to be on the safe side. Youve a lot to cope with at present.

    If however your real determined then a looooong taper is best at least if things start to feel rough you can jump back on them.

    You must look after yourself.

    Neil 

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  • Posted

    I am with the previous 2 posters. I am in a similar situation...I am pretty much the sole caregiver for both my parents with no help from my siblings aside from my brother who helps out whenever possible. I went on these tablets back in January because I was having trouble handling recent problems with my father's health and the fact that I was going to be the one caring for him when he was finally able to return home. Anyway after the initial adjustment period I could not believe the difference Citalopram made in how I felt. There is no way I would even want to think about being without them.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Ellen for your very honest and open reply. smile Sounds like we can relate to each other! Sorry to hear about your home situation. That sounds very difficult. I am glad you are doing better now! Fair play to you! I hope that you are proud of yourself. Sounds like you have a lot on but are coping very well. Welldone. xxx
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    • Posted

      I am doing quite well now but I admit it was hard in the beginning although the side effects I experienced were not as severe as some people are said to have. I did however need a dosage increase after starting out at 10mg. so at about week 6 started slowly increasing my dosage by 2.5 mg. each month until reaching the dosage that worked for me.
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    • Posted

      Sorry that you are facing such challenges. You are in a tough situation.  I'm glad you are doing a bit better and that you found the right dose though, that's good news. 

      Wishing you all the best,

      Agirl x 

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I agree with the others too - is this the right to come off tablets ..... though of course I do understand if you're finding no help with them.  I took these meds for 16 years and withdrew from them last year (though I did come off a few years before but had to retake due to the stress of family illness).

    I'm sorry you had that uncaring doctor - it never fails to surprise me to hear of 'professionals' talking that way to a patient.  If they can't have a good bedside manner then they shouldn't be in that role.  I doubt he'd talk so flippantly to a patient who had a different problem.

    If you really, really want to come off I would urge you to take longer than 2 months - you will be ill if you do it that quick.  I spent a year coming off these and didn't have any withdrawal (unlike the time I came off a few years before).  I bought a pill cutter and cut my 20mg into 1/4's making each piece 5mg.  I then went from 20 / 15 / 10 / 5 / 2.5 / 1.25 / 0 spending about 1-2 months on each reduction and crushing the last 2 doses as they were too small to divide further.

    Its best to discuss this with your GP too, but don't be pushed into doing it quicker than you feel it should be done.  Its your body and your plan.

    There are many different SSRI's and all are tailored to suit different people.  Citalopram suited me, but it was the 3rd medicine I took (the first one didn't agree with me and the 2nd discontinued).  Its often trial and error finding the right one to suit you, and some people find they respond better to a different one.  You given these meds a long time and they should have worked by now.

    I'll private message you too with a brilliant website and book - something I've passed on to many here.

    K x

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    • Posted

      Thanks Lois wink ..... these meds can be quite tough to take and should be taken slowly and not rushed (starting or withdrawing).  I'm glad my posts have helped you.  How are you doing?

       

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    • Posted

      Fourteen months on them and a hell of alot better...it took me six months to notice a difference..only on ten milligrams..my phychiatrist says ten is sufficient for me...I'm in the USA...thanks again ...Kate...without your knowledge I would of given up...after trying 5 different ssri..

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    • Posted

      Wow I'm so glad to hear that!!!  It also took me 6 months to fully recover but it was 3-4 months before I noticed changes - we're all so different.  So many give up too soon because they aren't told how long it takes, what to expect and often hop from one meds to another way too quick etc etc.

      That's brilliant you were able to persevere on these meds.

      10mg is good - if you're feeling good on it then that's the dose for you.

      Really pleased for you biggrin

      K x

       

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    • Posted

      Yes ma'am I preservere thru all the nasty side effects...but they where nothing compared to how I was feeling without celexa..all in all...I still have a little downs ...but nothing like I was without meds...for me is like I feel better every month..I will definitely take these tablets for the rest of my life...I'm feeling good because of the tablets...so many people on this forum .feel good ..then either quit cold turkey or try to wean off...but only to restart again...if your feeling good trust me is the tablets...there is nothing wrong with meds for the brain...we have meds for every thing else...😉

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    • Posted

      That's how I felt when I started taking the meds - the side effects weren't much different to what I was suffering without them.  Yes I remember that even though I recovered after 6 months, I continued to improve each month after that too and stayed on meds for 16 years having lowered to a smaller dose for maintenance.  I always say that too - people need medication for all sorts of life long ailments ie diabetes, epilepsy etc etc so its no difference if you need these meds either.  I was told you could stay on them life too if you needed.

      I will admit though that after 16 years I have come off tablets a year ago and am doing real well still ... but I'll have no hesitation to restart them if ever I needed to.  They were a miracle for me.

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks K! For your private message and reply here too! 

      Pill cutter tip is a good one! The technician in the pharmacy cut mine for me! But maybe I will get one myself if I am going to prolong the weaning process! 

      Thanks for all your help and wise advice, 

      Agirl xx

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