Off Citalopram, digestive problems.

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I have weaned myself off citalaporam, have been of 40mg for 2 years for anxiety. I gained 12kg over that time  and decided to come off it. I weaned myself off gradually over 2 months and had vertigo,

bad headaches, nausea, limb pains, anxiety. As of 2 days ago I am completely off it. Now I have bad nausea and have increased my ompeprazole but last night had vomiting because it felt like my evening meal was just sitting there. Has anyone else had digestive problems coming off citalopram?

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    You're having withdrawal symptoms - 2 months is actually quite quick to come off these meds, especially from 40mg.  I came off 20mg last year and spent a year doing it by 5mg at a time and had no withdrawal.  I also came off some years before that and did it quicker and dropped from 20 to 10 then stopped and had withdrawal - brain zaps lasted quite a while, and the nauseau and dizziness lasted less.

    Some people reintroduce a small amount of meds to help with the withdrawal, let it settle and then wean off that.

    Sorry you're feeling like that - not pleasant at all sad

    K x

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    • Posted

      Hi Kate,

      How are you getting on since being off cit?  I'm now in a position to come off them, I'm going to do it like you have, 5mg at a time, i'm currently on 20mg.  How long did you stay on the reduced dose everytime?

      Thanks very much.

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    • Posted

      Hi Dotty

      I've been well since I've been off the meds thanks xx.  I am though taking an over the counter herbal meds called 5-HTP instead - apparently its as good as Prozac.  You can start / stop it any time and it has no nasty side effects (though some people may have indigestion or other mild effects - but nothing like these meds).  You can't take them with prescribed SSRI's though.  I also read a lot about anxiety which helped me understand it more and not to become afraid of it.  I can send you the link which is really helpful.

      Yes reducing by 5mg was much easier than I did the last time when I came off when I had nauseau, dizziness, crying and brain zaps.  My thoughts were that reducing this time by that small amount it wouldn't be so much of a shock to the system.

      I stayed on each reduction about 1-2 months.  I wasn't in a hurry and spent a year coming off them.  I waited to see how I was with each reduction, and if at any time I'd felt ill again I'd thought I'd wait on the dose, let it settle and even increase back to the previous dose if it didn't settle.  But all was well.

      I went from 20 / 15 / 10 / 5 / 2.5 / 1.25 - the last bit I crushed.

      But yes .... all good so far.  Fingers crossed xx

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    • Posted

      That's great information Kate, I'm going to follow what you've done, like yourself I'm not going to rush it as this is my second time to be on cit and I really want to do it right.  I would love to get the link if you don't mind.

      Delighted things are going well for you, I'll keep you informed of my progress, you are a wealth of information.

      Take care :-) xx

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    • Posted

      Ah you've been on Cit twice too then.  Did you have a different experience starting up?  I did.  How did you get on when you came off before?

      I'll send the link over then.

      Yes - keep in touch, be nice to see how things pan out.

      K xx

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks Kate. I may have been too quick to come off from 2.5mg that I had been on for a week but I had 1 week with no work so thought it may be an ideal time to cope with any side effects. So at the moment, have medium  headaches and brain zaps that I can cope with, small amount of free floating anxiety...but no nausea!

      Regarding the 5HTP, how long were you off the citalopram before you started it?

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    • Posted

      The second time I went on them it took really long for them to start working, I didn't notice that at all the first time, I was starting to think that they weren't working for me.  Coming off them wasn't a problem at all, had some side effects like blurry eyes, headaches and some anxiety but I could deal with it all.  Just want to make sure I do it right this time.

      Thanks again for your replies and for the link.  Take care :-) xx

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    • Posted

      I can understand that - trying to make sure that week would be an ideal time to cope with any side effects - though of course if never turns out that way.  The first time I came off I had withdrawal for months, though it wasn't all bade that whole time, but do remember the brain zaps lingered.  They were ok and I'd get them if I was tired.  Wore off eventually.

      Second time I came off meds I started 5-HTP after a week.  I'd only been on 1.25mg so was small enough I thought to be insignificant.  It was fine too.

       

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    • Posted

      Yes, exactly the same for me.  My second time it took longer, and like you, I don't remember that wait before though it did take 6 months the first time.  The first I was on them I didn't know I was going to recover and didn't know I was either and knew nobody else taking them, so nobody to compared notes with.  Second time on them I was very, very flat which lasted for months.  I also began to wonder if they were going to work again ..... but I had faith in them and just kept going.

      Hope things turn out ok for you.  Enjoy reading the link xx

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    • Posted

      Hi kate,

      You seem to be the most confident speaker on the site regarding citalopram. Ive been on 40mg for 3 weeks and take diazepam when i feel really shaky. Can i ask what are brain zaps? Secondly we had a celebration for my wife's birthday on Friday and really siffered Saturday morning. Full on panic attacks almost continuously for an hour then got rushed to hospital with chest pain. My doctor said i should up my dosage to 60mg cit but I'm worried that i will have to start all over again with the side effects. Any advice?

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    • Posted

      Hi taygun (awww thanks) redface

      Have you been increasing to 40mg over a period of time, or have you started straight on that dose?  The maximum dose is 40mg - not sure which country you're in, but its definitely 40 in the UK and the US.  Increasing your dose anyway doesn't stop panic attacks, as its not a quick fix medicine, but instead is a slow releasing one.

      Brain zaps are harmless, but can feel weird.  They usually last seconds and almost feel like a short circuit in the head ..... like a buzz.  I also had them when I turned my head and also when I was tired too.

      Even if you feel like you can cope with things like celebrations and enjoy yourself, you can often find yourself feeling down, anxious etc some days after.  Your body is exhausted and trying to recover, so it could be that you overdid things a little without realising it at the celebrations?  That often happens to people.

      I wouldn't increase to 60mg - check with your doctor if that's correct.  If he says yes, then please get him to double check.

      Panic attacks are horrible I know.  I've only had 1 or 2 (I suffered mainly with anxiety), but the panic attack I had felt awful.  Its adrenaline surging through your body and nothing will actually happen to you, even though at the time it feels dreadful.  I had chest pains too, and in my arms and neck .... felt like a heart attack, but knew it was panic.  I relaxed my body the best I could, tried to slow my breathing and at the height of one had to walk round and round the house.  

      I'll message you with a link.

      K x

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