Looking to connect with people withdrawing from citalopram

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Hi I have been on citalopram for over a decade and have been weaning off it for the last year and a half. I rushed the last 3 dose reductions and am now paying the price! Its now been over a month since my last reduction and I'm still having intense symptoms- feel like a completely different person as most of the time my brian is foggy and I can't think straight. I don't want to go back up a dose as I'll feel the last month has been wasted and surely these symptoms will end soon??? (I take heart in that I had a few days a week ago where I felt back to my old self but sadly the symptoms returned!). Accupuncture is a god send and staves off my symptoms for 10 hours at a time but then they come back. Anyway I'd just like to connect with anyone who's had or who's having a similar experience.

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  • Posted

    Hi Recoverygrrl,

    I hope to begin reducing soon, if my Doc is happy, I know I feel I am ready! I take yer advice as with others not to reduce too fast.

    I shall keep everyone posted as to how it goes.

    Regards and Good Luck,

    David

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  • Posted

    Hi I have been on Cit for 6 years now and have tried to come off twice.  Due to difficult life circumstances I have had to go back on and am now on 30mg.  I, too, mourned the "wasted" time, effort and suffering coming off the meds over nearly 6 months.  For 6 weeks I felt great but then crashed again.  I relate to the lost, foggy feelings you are experiencing.  Accupuncture has really helped me (can't afford it half as often as I would like).  It does feel endless but it seems there are a lot of us fighting this fight!  Keep going X
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    • Posted

      Thanks so much Su1965. I really really feel for you having to go back on them after all your efforts to come off! so heart wrenching. I hope -life circumstances permitting- you will be able to come off in the future if you still want to x
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  • Posted

    Through it all I am confident I will come off Cit when I am ready - and have a good support network in place to help.  Until then just take each day as it comes!
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    • Posted

      You can do it Su!!!!! It does take waiting until the right time though. I plotted 18 months out in my diary to do it and made sure I had all my ducks lined up e.g I alerted all my friends and family and asked them to watch out for me!!!! I also made sure my job was manageable and I had good stuff to look forward to
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    • Posted

      Just wanted to offer up some hope here. I am now off citalopram and doing ok. I stabalised from the second last drop (which I wrote about above) with the help of a wonderful herbalist and Accupuncture. I then had a terrible time dropping to zero which has lasted about a month but which seems to be settling now. I felt terror like I had never before!!! but this is subsiding now. I found EFT tapping extraordinarily useful and I continue to take the herbs and meditate. Wishing you all every success in your journeys!
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    • Posted

      Pah! I spoke too soon. After feeling fine I've nosedived in the past 2 days and am going to go back on a low dose and reduce much more slowly as the symptoms are unbearable!

      What a nightmare this is!!!!

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  • Posted

    Not sure what dose you are on now, or how much you are reducing by, but I found it harder when reducing below 10mg and even more so below 5mg.

    I reduced by quarter of 10mg tablets (2.5mg) at a time for a few weeks, then by 1/8th of a tablet for final doses.

    It feels like a step backwards increasing the dose again, but it may be better in the long term as the anxiety can get quite bad with withdrawal. If you can cut the tablets smaller try going up by half the amount you reduced by, then it doesn't seem like you are going backwards.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Capodingos I'm on 10 every 3rd day (other days zero). my last stage was 10 every other day so not sure how to go back by half but I could talk to my psychiatrist. I was doing as you suggest for a while, dropping each time by 2.5 and remaining on that dose for a few weeks but I found that method harder than the method my psychiatrist uses. Not quite sure why- everyone is different I guess. Anyway I feel a bit brighter today bc I saw a herbalist who's helped tonnes of people get off stronger stuff than citalopram and he's confident I'm almost there and has given me stuff to relax my system!!!!
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  • Posted

    I read before that fluoxetine (prozac) has a longer lasting effect and that sometimes the doctor can switch to that as the withdrawal can be easier.

    I have just googled and citalopram has a half-life of about 35 hours, which means 35 hours after taking a 10mg tablet half will have been eliminated (in urine) so the effective amount remaining in the body is around 5mg. Fluoxetine has a half life of 3 days or more.

    I found that I felt bad if I missed taking the tablets for even one day. Maybe the gap of two days is too long, do you notice feeling different on the days you do take them?

    It is something to discuss with your GP but maybe taking 5mg every day then reducing to every other day would help, or switching to fluoxetine.

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    • Posted

      Yea I did ask my doc about the Prozac but he was nervous to give it to me bc he reckons I've been so sensitive to the citalopram he wasn't sure how I'd react to the Prozac. I don't really feel a difference with regards to what days I do or don't take the meds on. I think I might just wait it out. It's 5 weeks now since the last time I changed the pace of how I take them (i.e from 0 every other day to zero 2 days in a row) and I figure I have to level out soon. I do feel a bit calmer after taking the herbs for a day and I'm starting to get glimmers of the old me so hopefully I've almost survived it!!!!!! Eek!!! Are you off them now?
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    • Posted

      Hopefully things will settle down for you soon. Try to avoid stress, eat healthy foods, spend time in the sun and exercise, they can all help a little bit.

      I found that I became very anxious when reducing doses below 5mg, but that also coincided with a couple of stressful events.

      I stopped taking citalopram about a year ago but it has been difficult, I am struggling with work stress and anxiety and relationships with family are strained. I had been on them over 15 years, so can't remember if this was how I felt before, whether I am still adjusting to not taking them or whether the work stress has caused my current anxiety.

      I have been offered prozac by my GP recently, but am reluctant to take it and think it is a step back as I feel the difficult time I had withdrawing over the last couple of years will have been wasted. At the moment I would rather quit my job than go back on antidepressants.

      My GP has prescribed diazepam, which helps, I'm well aware it can be addictive so only take a couple of times a week. I am happy to take diazepam as unlike the antidepressants it makes me feel calm, feel more positive and I can get on with doing things and it is something I can take when needed and doesn't take weeks to have a beneficial effect.

       

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    • Posted

      I hear you. They do say prozac's easier to withdraw from (if you did choose to go on it) but I know what you mean about feeling like its a step back. My job's stressful but I don't want to feel I need to take chemicals to do it. If it gets that bad I'll quit my job. Also you could be in protracted withdrawal still, it's so hard to figure out what's organic fear/anxiety and what's withdrawal. My friend says it took 2 years before she felt 100% after coming off the meds (I don't mean to scare you, she was over the intense withdrawal in a few months but the ripples such as depression/anxiety lasted a couple of years although got better and better as time passed). Things that really help me are Accupuncture, seeing a herbalist (there's herbs out there that will relax you and not have the toxic properties of diazepam. They'll also heal you whereas diazepam masks stuff) eft tapping (see you tube), therapy and meditation. If you're strapped for cash look out for community Accupuncture clinics who operate a sliding scale. It's just been such a lifesaver for me.

      My fingers are crossed for you!!! And massive respect for getting off citalopram after 15 years!!!!! That takes strength!!!!

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