Help are these Citalopram withdrawal symptom?

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Hello

I started Citalopram for severe anxiety which caused a dreadful pit of the stomach dread when I woke in the morning.

It came about a few months after my fanily & I suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning and the stress of the aftermath!

I firstly tried sertraline but it didn't agree with me I had too many side effects so came off after a month!

I later was put on Cit and instantly got a headachewhich seemed to be worse in mornings. I kept taking in the hope they would go away but headaches over 4 months have been daily and getting worse.

I decided to come off the tablets.

I was on 20mg a day for 4 months I took half a tablet for a couple of days then hakf a tablet every other day for about three days. Headaches were unbareable then dizziness set in.

This was three weeks ago now.

My headaches are all over head like a dull ache/pressure and feels worse at base of skull, behind eyes and top of head.

I have terrible spinal pain so stiff at lower back and neck I am bent over & can't straighten up when I first get out of bed i'm only 38 by the way but feel like a 100 year old lady! sad

I then started to get a strange head sensation like my brain is flipping much like your tummy does on a fairground ride. Its a sudden wave of dizziness especially when moving my eyes like a zap of dizziness. It happens suddenly about three zaps of dizziness and I have to shut my eyes. Are these brain zaps?

My neck feels stiff and so painful, I have been feeling really nauceous.

Now three weeks in & constant headpsins which are worse in morning. Bad brain fog and eye pain like eye strain.

I also feel achey all over like flu and had a low fever and chills on and off. I have been to doctors twice but they just send me home.

I'm so scared now that there is something wrong?

Are these symptoms usual for withdrawal and how much longer will I feel like this?

I feel scared and am having trouble functioning & looking after my young family as I feel so ill.

Anxiety was easier to deal with than feeling in constant pain and so ill sad I now regret ever takinh these pills!

I hope you can help and advise

Thanks

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    You have typical withdrawal symptoms....you virtually went cold turkey. Seek advice from your GP
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  • Posted

    These are typical withdrawal symptoms because you came off the meds far too quickly.  You should withdraw from meds over many, many months.  I've been withdrawing for the last year.  Not surprised you're suffering.

    Yes those are brain zaps.  I doubt there's anything wrong other than having severe withdrawl symptoms.  These symptoms can last a while yet.  You should see your doctor just to check all is ok and maybe you could reinstate a small dose of Citalopram to help level out these symptoms, and then come off the meds properly.

    SSRI's are serious meds and should never just be ceased.

    I really do think you should see your doctor..

    K xx

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your replies.

    I have been to the doctors twice first time she said I had done the right think by reducing dose over a few days. She never mentioned months amd said I should feel better in a week. That was three weeks ago how wrong was she! Then went back and the doctor I saw did nothing no suggestions and couldn't wait to get me out the door. I feel I have no support from my doctors. I'm scared to reinstate a dose now as they didn't agree with me but also am scared how long this will last. I guess its pretty much like going cold Turkey as the rediced dose was quite abrupt I had no idea I would feel so bad.

    Will all these symptoms eventually go away or could they cause some long term problems?

    I have had awful lyme disease in the past and was so scared that it has come back tge symptoms are so similar but also I was even worried I had a brain tumour as the headaches have gone on so long since starting the medication.

    If I go back to the doctors they seem clueless to this being withdrawal and don't have any answers for me.

    I feel v scared and let down by what should be a service there to help if your ill not palm you off or rush you out. Do they just not have the knowledge about withdrawal and how to deal with it?

    Not sure what to do now? Xx

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    • Posted

      Oh my ....... what is wrong with doctors?  I think she should do her homework.  Withdrawing from meds that quick and then telling you you'll be better in a week is outrageous.  Some people do recover after a week, but they're in the smallest minority.  Even the Patient Information leaflet that comes with the medicine say's do not suddenly stop taking them.

      If you reinstated any meds, I'd get a pill cutter, cut the 20mg into 1/4's and just take just 5mg / day.  This might alleviate some of the symptoms.  You should of course speak to the doctors about this too - can you take someone with you?  Insist they advise you since they put you in this predicament.  Tell the doctors to look online - especially at Mental Health Daily blog - it might open their eyes a bit.

      Don't be scared xx.  I doubt you have anything wrong with you other than suffering from withdrawl.  This will wear off eventually but am not sure how long it will last.  Nothing will happen to you.  It will ease over time and eventually stop.

      K xx

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply and info I am going to go back to docs next week if I don't feel any better I hope I see a good doctor there seems to be so many out there who don't actually want to help or listen sadly xx

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  • Posted

    Hi- I took CT for 17 days- had horrible side affects - my doctors and I agreed to stop it

    And told me since I wasn't taking it that's long that I didn't need to taper off

    Now it's been 18 days since I've stopped and I feel all of the same things you are feeling

    I've been to neurologist, ENT, cardiologist

    Everything so far keeps coming back normal - so am I feeling withdraw? And did your symptoms get better? How long did it take? This is ruining my life

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  • Posted

    Hi- I took CT for 17 days- had horrible side affects - my doctors and I agreed to stop it

    And told me since I wasn't taking it that's long that I didn't need to taper off

    Now it's been 18 days since I've stopped and I feel all of the same things you are feeling

    I've been to neurologist, ENT, cardiologist

    Everything so far keeps coming back normal - so am I feeling withdraw? And did your symptoms get better? How long did it take? This is ruining my life

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