Lingering effects AFTER stopping Citalopram?

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Hello all, not been on for a while, but now want to express my opinion on these meds.

I went on them Jan 1/15, for depression & anxiety, 20mgs per day.

Had a horrendous week, followed by almost as horrendous 3 more weeks. doctor and I agreed they are not for me, was having EVERY side-effect listed, and more! Dropped to 10mgs for a further 6 weeks

Came off them completely 5-6 weeks ago.

The first few days I felt a little spaced out, but was okay to deal with, but the headaches and nausea continued.

Since then I wouldn't say theres been a great improvement ( although I've had a bout of flu and felt generally physially low, so could be that too?), just a sort of 'plateau'. Most of the side-effects are gone now, but you would definitely expect that.

What is WORRYING though, is I am still getting the headaches (not as often), the nausea, but most of all a generally feeling of unease, queasiness. It sorts of feels like I'm in a bit of a dream state. Its pretty disconcerting as it feels very strange indeed. I'm getting out and about, indeed have had a couple of nights out and had a great time, but the next morning back to abnormality.

I would be very interested to know how many others who have come off Citalopram, or even dropped their dosage, have suffered this weird effect.

I would have expected that there would be no lingering effects now, I should just feel like I did before going on them?

Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated x

PS My GP has given me Seroxat as a replacement, but I still havent took any. Had them sitting there a month now. Am obviously worried about new side-effects although I was on Seroxat/Paroxetine in the 90s and had NO side-effects at all, and started to feel well better within 2 weeks! Presuming they haven't changed the formula, I'm hoping they might be okay, just wanted to see if I could get better without ANY meds, but I haven't so far.

Good luck everyone.....

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Taking SSRI's is not a quick fix - these meds take a long time to get into your system and everyone has dreadful side effects which lasts a few weeks.  

    SSRI's all give similar side effects, but of course some suit some people and not others.

    Recovering on these meds is not an easy ride.  You need lots of patience and perseverance.  It took 3-4 months before I felt any benefit, and felt completely well by 6 months.  I went through hell on the meds to get there though.

    I started on Seroxat 20 years ago, and though they made me better, I found they didn't agree with me so was switched to another (got discontinued) and now Citalopram which is fine for me.

    6 weeks on the meds followed by being off them for 6 weeks has probably played havoc on you.  I came off the meds a while ago and was well for a year but restarted them due to family illness and it began to make me ill.  When I restarted them the side effects hit me harder than the first time on them - but persevered and am now back to be well again.

    I reckon you've got withdrawl effects still and they should wear off.  Withdrawl effects hung around a long time for me .... just niggling things.

    If you've found Seroxat was the one for you before, I reckon it'll be more suited for you.

    This illness is such a pain isn't it - all that we have to go through :-(

    K x


  • Posted

    Hi I was on Seroxat 3 years ago had no side effects on them.5 weeks ago I tried to start again with Seroxat and I had terrible side effects had to stop them and I ended up in A&E.Now I am on Cit for 3 weeks I hope will work
  • Posted

    I know your pain.  I cannot get beyond day 5 taking 10 mg citalopram.  I need something for my anxiety but everything I try has these awful side effects.  Everyone says they will dissappear but the nausea and headache and feeling lifeless.  I feel worse than when I am not on anything.  I just don't get it.  2 of my friends take it with no side effects.  Amazing.  Oh well.  And if I do persevere then its hell to get off.  Geez.  What is the point?
    • Posted

      The majority of people get side effects unfortunately.  I found coming off them easier.

      Why not try 5mg a day to start with, increasing to 10mg after a month or so?  You can use a pill cutter (I used one to come off them).  Side effects only last around 2-3 weeks, some lingering maybe, and yes aren't very nice, but once through them this medicine works wonders.  For me, the side effects were a lesser evil compared to the depression and anxiety I was suffering.

      K x


  • Posted

    Hi - I took Citalopram for 10 years and recently tappered/stopped (over 3 months).  It was my 5th time trying to quit.   Last dose one month ago, you are not alone...   General feelings of unease, anxiety, mood swings, irritability.  As I understand your brain is trying to re-regulate itself so hang in there!

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