How does half life work?

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I'm tapering slowly from 40mg of Citalopram. Today is day 4 being on 35mg. I have read that the 'half life' of citalopram is 36 hours so does that mean I might start to feel withdrawal symptoms any time now? I'm trying to be really aware of how I'm feeling, symptoms etc.

Please feel free to write as though I'm a child!!!!  I just don't seem to understand how this half life thing works, despite having read about it for ages!! 

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi lovely , I'm going to be exactly where you are right now in a few wks when my son is back in school so I'm really interested in how you are getting on . I can't offer any real advice as yet but I imagine everyone experiences withdrawal at different stages and the smaller and longer you reduce the less those withdrawal effects will be . I'm sure they advise you to stay on that reduced dose for 6 wks to 2 months before going down again but I'm sure there are others here who have done it so can suggest the best method . This is a great site for encouragement and advise which is a godsend as the doctors seem clueless on how to withdraw properly from these meds.

    Please let us know how your getting on and I congratulate you on starting the journey of reducing as I imagine it isn't easy. I do need to try and reduce to at least 20 mg from the 40 mg I'm on as I'm so tired and lethargic and numb . Forgotten what my old self is like .

    Take Care Lovely and Big Hugs

    Lou 😘

    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your reply Lou, I'm sorry it took me ages to reply back! I recall we spoke a week or two ago as well smile We chatted before about started tapering when the kids went back to school, well I had a review meeting with the doctor and decided to just get cracking straight away rather than wait.

      I have no idea really when withdrawal symptoms might start, but today Is day 5 and I'm feeling a bit achy and flu-like, feel extremely tired and have a very dodgy stomach!! Nothing major and may just be coincidence, who knows really!

      Wish you all the best for when you start to taper too. Keep in touch x

    • Posted

      Hey lovely !

      Fab to hear back from you ! Sounds like you are doing really well .

      I know if I miss a tablet or too I feel a bit tired and rundown so I wouldn't be surprised if you are slight experiencing withdrawal .

      Don't forget if it gets too much you can always go up again but you seem to be doing great .

      Us anxiety sufferers always tend to overthink and overfeel things but I'm going to start tapering in Sept and reduce by 5mg like urself from 40mg . I've been on these tablets for 8 years and the tiredness and foggy head actually makes me depressed so I'm looking forward to getting back to bring me again .

      Please keep in touch as I would love to see how it getting on and I promise to post on here when I start my taper .

      Good Luck Hunni and thank goodness we can all support eachother on here as there isn't any advice about tapering .

      Big Hugs😘

      Lou xx

  • Posted

    I'd also like to taper down to 20mg I've been on 30mg for I don't know how long now. From reading posts it seems everyone feels the same on a higher dose. I constantly feel tired, spaced out but keep myself fit by walking the dog three times a day & I go to yoga twice a week which helps me loads even though you don't feel up to it I push myself because I know exercise is good for all of us & more so with mental health problems. Good luck to all of you on your tapering & time on citalopram I'm so pleased I found this forum. 😊

    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your reply, I'm also so pleased I found this forum smile 

      How long have you been on 30mg? I've been up and down on 30-40 for over 14 years, and 40mg for a good 7 years or so.

      You take care and good luck if you do decide to start tapering x

    • Posted

      I've been on & off & up & down on doses for over 20 years. I've definitely been on 30mg for the past 7 years but I would like to go down to 20mg when I'm in a better place.

      Thanks fraggle-1971 I've got so much going on in my life right now that I need to stay were I am for the time being. Best of luck with your tapering - just go with how you feel, I'm sure you'll conquer it. 😘 xx

  • Posted

    Anti depressants come in either short half life which is more withdrawal symptoms and long hard life which is fewer withdrawal symptoms. So basically  if you're taking a drug with a short half-life and having problems with withdrawal, it might be possible for you to switch to a related drug with a longer half-life, which could be easier to come off. It's basically reducing your medication to half of what your already taking which can vary between a few hours or days. Hope this helps 


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