Help and advice re stopping Citalopram.

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hello all, hope someone can help, I have been advised by a very helpfull, understanding moderator to put this post to this forum, I am deperate, for I need some urgent help and advise re Citalopram, I have only just joined the forum. I have a complex problem in that I have a damaged spinal cord from many years ago, which has in the last 9 years resulted in chronic pain around my lower left ribs and my stomach, I was prescribed Cytalopram 20 mgs over a year ago as well as Pregabalin 150mgs 4 times a day, allthough they are anti depressants they are also supposed to releive nerve damage pain, 3 months ago with my G.P.'s o.k. I statrted weaning myself off them both, I was down to 50mg's of P.G. and down to 5 of Citalopram and felt no different painwise, so there was no point in taking pills that had no effect, however when I stopped alltogether I got very sick, night sweats, stresseed, bad sleeping, dizzy and most troubling a constant hissing noise in my ears, it has turned out that this could be tinnitus brought on by the stress of not seeing an end in sight to the relentless pain which can only be tamed by Sevredol (Morphine Sulphate) which I only take when really bad about twice a week, as it is addictive, have you any advice at all how I can come off Citalopram? also how long will the withdrawl symptoms last? and finally is there any drug apart from Cyclizine (Anti sickness drug) that could make the coming off easier? I am sorry to be so long and boring, but I would appreciate it if anyone would have a think for me as you all know where I am coming from.

Thank you for being so patient with me.

Kindest regards M.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi there Montana and welcome to PUKE

    I went cold turkey :shock: :shock: :shock:

    Withdrawal symptoms lasted approx. 2 weeks.

    Melbi x

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  • Posted

    Hi Montana, thanks for your message. I have been off Citalopram for just over 5 weeks after taking it for 10 months. I have experienced all of the side effects you mention and more. I note that Melbi says it was only 2 weeks withdrawal in his/her case but mine is taking longer and is very unpleasant. I was perhaps 'lucky' in that I don't think it did me any good so the desire to get off is very strong for me as the side effects have been horrible.

    I came off very slowly cutting the pills in bits and taking a minutely smaller bit every few days over several months.

    There is so much I want to write but can't quite find the words and don't want to scare anyone that it is helping.

    Melbi your e-mails have really helped and encouraged me over the months. Thank you so much and I hope you are doing well.


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  • Posted

    Awww bless you PJM

    I think we have all received help through this forum, it makes us feel less alone when the demon has a hold on us.

    I am doing good thanks. Almost completed decorating downstairs now :shock: I think I took on more than I should have really but at least it will be done.

    Was supposed to be going on holiday but we cant go until house is finished and by then I think it will be time to go back to work. Gosh it feels like we only just finished for the summer and here I am getting ready to go back. Not that we have had any summer :cry:

    I am wondering if I only got the horrible side effects for 2 weeks because I went cold turkey? So the tablets got out of my system quicker.

    Not that I'm suggesting anyone goes cold turkey because it really was an awful time but if people are suffering coming off them slowly - who knows, maybe cold turkey is better?

    Anyway, thanks again for your kind words. :D


    Melbi x

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  • Posted

    Thanks Melbi, your energy comes shining through your words and it is lovely to hold it around me for a while.

    It will be 6 weeks on Friday since I stopped this pill. Mentally/emotionally I have felt better without it but the physical effects are draining! To put it mildly. I checked them out on the NHS Direct site which lists common and most common withdrawal symptoms and I seem to have most of them. I wobble when I am not sure if it is withdrawal or my old 'friend' coming back. I can't find any information which tells me how long this will last. I can't imagine what you went through 'cold turkey'.

    I have had the strangest sensation around my eyes ever since taking this. The optician has reassured me that my eyes are fine, vision blurred when I was on 40mg but cleared as I reduced but the wierd senation stays. It is around the eye sockets and feels like a kind of pressure which also sometimes feels hot. Has anyone had anything similar?

    On 40mg I had lots of problems with heat and sweating plus intense cold at other times, just couldn't get warm. Awful diarrhoea, got so I was afraid to eat or go out and lost about 3 stones. Something I would have been pleased about at another time and am just beginning to enjoy when I can buy a size 12 and still have room to breath! My poor mind was almost blank, couldn't remember things from the past, couldn't process what was going on in the present, in fact I was like a zombie until it came to bedtime and then I couldn't sleep. I got the shakes and trembles.

    As I slowly came down the level of medication many of these effects stopped and I started to feel again, almost to come back to life. This in itself has been challenging, it seems like I had forgotten what it was like to feel, to be alive and almost have to begin again discovering - oh, this is sadness, this is happy etc. Maybe a chance to be a new me? Who knows. Perhaps I'll keep you posted on this one.

    In the meantime big hugs to all who read this and wishes for continued progress and peace. XX

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  • Posted

    Posted by : Montana

    Joined: 02 Aug 2008 Posts: 3 Location: North Wales

    Post date: Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:03 pm

    Post subject: Saddly I'm still a no no.


    Hi Melbi and PJM, sorry for not writing sooner, have been all over the place healthwise, saw my gp with the intention of getting help to come off Citalopram, he gave me some liquid form called Elopram, it means that you can decrease the dosage as slow as you want, I have tried for a week but can't get lower than 5mls, once I hit that I was constantly sick, dizzy, heavy sweats and total loss of appetite, probably due to the nausia, so here I am after 10 days back on 10 mgs, the increase has now left me feeling worse, hell I really don't know what to do next, I am scared stiff to go cold turkey as I know I will be bad for weeks, (worse than I am now) and I really don't want to put my family through any more stress, I can't see an end to this at all, and that makes my mind race on to the negative instead of being possitive, I am sorry to be such a moaner, I really am, thank you very much for putting up with me, when I finally crack this Iwill let you know, in the meantime take care and thank you once again.

    Kindest regards M


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  • Posted

    Hi all

    Gosh, what a lucky escape I had! I had the nausea and other stuff but it was overwhelmed by the brain zaps :roll: These took me to my bed for a few days and reduced me to tears.

    I used Nightnurse to help me overcome the withdrawal symptoms because at the time I was seeing a doctor I had no trust in and wanted to be completely off them before going back.

    I then went back but saw a different GP who totally sympathised with my side effects of citalopram, especially the strong desire to kill myself and even planned it out in every detail on the Sunday before I stopped taking them - I had weighed up the top of my stairs and the distance I would need to fix a rope to hang successfully.

    Yes. I did need to get off citalopram and quick!

    I have the same symptoms when trying to reduce my paroxetine (seroxat) I will deal with that when the time comes - as when I last tried to reduce my dose I could feel myself slipping back into that dark tunnel where the evil demon lurks.

    My GP says at least 6 months of the same drug before even thinking about coming off them - that will have to be extended for me as I do not intend to have more time off work while I deal with the withdrawal symptoms so I am willing to stay on them now until next July.

    Good news is - I can now sleep without the use of sleeping pills - HURRAH! I'm not going to tell my GP that of course lol - just in case I need the zopiclone again. I will re order them every few weeks just to keep them on repeat :shock:

    More good news :D :D :D

    I have finally put the paintbrushes away and paste board ----------

    Yeah! :D I have finished decorating :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

    This weekend I have invited my mum to stay so she can help me polish, clean and get everything in order before my return to work on Friday for diary dates - then it's back to work on 1st Sept for proper - full time and fingers crossed everyone back to normal and not fussing me and telling me to rest up or go home early :shock: :shock: :shock: :roll: :roll: :roll:

    Without trying to bore anyone with a very lengthy post and without me starting a new thread I just want to say to you all...

    An extremely large amount of people each year suffer depression, anxiety or panic attacks or many other mental ILLNESSES. If you have posted here or read here, you are the lucky ones because you have admitted and realised you have an illness that needs treating. You will recover with time and drugs and help - IF you are prepared to put in the effort yourselves.

    I am not saying or suggesting that anyone should pull themselves together but if your GP refers you to another service then use it to your benefit - make it work for YOU! If he or she gives you medication then take it and remember all drugs take time to work but at the same time not all people will react the saem to the same drug - if one doesn't work for you say so - tell your GP and ask to try something different. Be completely honest with your GP, CPN, CBT, psychiatrists because if you aren't completely honest with them they cannot help you - end of!

    The drugs will help ease the symptoms but it's the therapies and your own will power that will cure you.

    Go for it...............

    Go forward and shine.

    God bless you all and may you find the same strength as I did to get through this and fight off that eveil demon.

    Melbi xxx

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  • Posted

    Hi Melbi - you sound good and good luck for the 1st of September.

    I just wanted to post here - my children have returned baclk to scholl, thats when I realised, THIS HAS GONE ON TOO LONG. Something in my head went snap, since then, Ive not had a drink, and tried reducing the lax :oops: . Okay, and next, (it must have something to do with being totally dehydrated), migraine, and sickness.......still having headache, but oddly, maybe its to do with the fact I puked my guts up, and that I am still alive.....I feel great (apart from my headache down the left side of my face). Mood wise, not so snappy.....I would also just like to say, it took a really good friend (mum ) friend of mine to point the finger at me and say JUST STOP IT!!! You cant DO anything while you abuse yourself like this. Boy, it stuck....and thank god it did. I intend to try and get myself on that busy road agaion and catch up. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    There is always hope, change and determination.

    :cuddle: Katy.

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  • Posted

    Hello all, Melbi I wish to God that I had 10% of your strength and will power, you have given countless people inspiration and hope, please accept my best wishes for when you start work again,

    PJM, I hope that you are feeling better. you mentioned ion your first post that you had loads of things you wanted to say, well if you have the time I would like to hear them, either on this forum or as a private message, you see I'm trying to as much info as I can to try and help myself get out of the state that I'.m in, so please don't hesitate to write, I hope that you will continue to let us all know how you get on, good luck and takecare.

    Tiny tears, thankyou for posting your last post, it has opened my eyes to things that I could not have concieved, I think that you must have a touch of Melbi about you regarding pulling youself up and facing your demons, I wish you all the luck in the world, and I'm sure like Melbi you will succeed, thank you all for your time and patience with metake care all.

    Kindest regards Montana.

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