reducing citalopram

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I have been on Citalopram for 7 months starting at 40 then 30 and now reducing to 20. I am doing it slowly and began with alternate days then 30 every second day and now 30 every third day. It's a bit scary as I don't want to slide down again and as this is a slow acting drug feel I might have gone too far too fast and have to feel the effects before I can recover. Has anybody else started reducing? How are you getting on and how are you doing it?

The support and care that exude from this site has prompted me to write. Thank you so much to all those generous people who have shared their experiences.

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29 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Poppy2. are you reducing your dose under a gps supervision, or are you just just doing it yourself?

    I am on 30mg at the moment, but I want to start to rdeuce my dose, last night I only took 20mgs , I am still up and down, but much better than I was before. I want to be me , without drugs! (I am up and down anyway, so I dont know what to do!). Today, Ive not felt much different, though slept too much without trying.

    I might continue trying to rduce my dose, but I am going to take my time. Good luck with it, go with what makes you feel most level, thats what I am going to try and do. Dot know if Ive helped, but hope I have. Bye bye for now, tiny tears. smile

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  • Posted

    This is the first time i have posted anything on the site - i found it while trawling the net for info on citalopram. So happy i found it!! Ive been taking 30mg a day for a couple of years now mainly for depression and i have to say it has been really good (the only issue has been the reduced/non existant sex drive). It has given me confidence and no negative or destructive thinking. Iv'e had some side effects but only now i'm trying to reduce - my weight is increasing (no real change in diet or exercise), sweating, some problems with sleep and i'm starting to feel a bit mad!! Some paranioa and a real lack of confidence. Also the negative thoughts are starting to creep back in. How have other people dealt with reducing? I'm reducing really slowly but things are still very much 'off kilter.' I'm considering resigning myself to taking them for the rest of my days as reducing (currently 6 months of very slow reduction) does not feel good!


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  • Posted

    i have been on citalopram for about 9 months.I started on 10mg then went to 20mg.This was for Panic attacks.These have now stopped.I had decided a few weeks ago to reduce my intake.From 20 i went to 10 to five to zero.

    You must come off over time IE.Try to reduce your dosage from 20 to10.

    IE Monday as normal 20, 20,Thursday10,Friday10.Saturday20,Sunday 10,Monday10,Tues10,Wed20.

    Build up this chart until you are down to 5mg.Train yourself to get to 5mg

    When you get to 5 mg take this dose for about 7 days then start missing out one day take 5mg miss the next day take 5mg then miss out 2 days and build up to stopping all together.The one substantial side effect i have experienced is feeling wobbly on my feet.My remedy is to sit down and put on my mp3 player.Fill your head with your favourite music try walking again, keep going.At the moment i am having these dizzy turns.They DO NOT last

    long so please do not give up.Dont let our problems get us down.


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  • Posted

    Excellent post Waldo! I'm seeing my doctor next week and I want to start reducing from 40 mg immediately, mailnly because I don't want the side effects, especially the sexual dysfunction which I have suffered from since being on 40 mg, but also because I want to try taking control by trying to change my self image through repetitive positive affirmations. Until I saw your post I was just going to drop straight to 20 mg fro a month then zero, but I can see the sense in your plan.

    Thank you for your advice.

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  • Posted

    Stopped taking my Meds Last wednesday.Thursday was fine Friday i was Dizzy,Saturday More Dizzy,Sunday Less Dizzy,Monday less Dizzy.I feel that to come off this medication you need to use a Calendar. If you are working, Plan your reduction to start about a month before you are due a Holiday.

    Then when you have reduced as far as you can,Stop. Make sure you are comfy with any family or friends and ask them to bear with you whilst you go through these withdrawal symptoms.The feelings i have been getting are more annoying than adverse.You have to just do something to keep occupied.Be it listen to music or do the Gardening.The feelings are not constant.You may feel hot,so get a fan.But do not give in.The more you can keep busy the easier it will be.Remember though if it feels too bad pop a pill,

    DO NOT Make yourself ill and go back to where you started all those Months or Years ago.Then try again.Even if it takes you six months to kick these Bloody Tablets Give it a go.GOOD LUCK.

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  • Posted

    Hi all,

    I went cold turkey on these tablets some weeks ago and I must mention that I am still getting the dizzy spells though not as bad or as frequent.

    I never suffered dizzy spells like these before taking them so I can only assume it is because I stopped them abruptly.

    Don't go cold turkey - do as Waldo says and come off them gradually.

    Melbi xx

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  • Posted

    Hi all - good advice Waldo,

    Wow I think we are all at it - I've been reducing my dose too. I was taking 30mg but for the last 6 weeks have only been taking 20mg things not been too bad, had a bit too much to drink on a couple of occasions (yeah I know that's naughtyjavascript:emoticon(':twisted:')) but so far so good!

    I really need to get off these tablets within the next 3 months ideally but not sure if that's too quick?! I went & booked a holiday felt quite confident when I did it but want to be my normal self when I go..... When we went away last year I was really quite bad and wasn't on the tablets yet tried to kid myself I was ok but was really a mess - spoiled things somewhat so I am a bit nervous about the reduction but feel I have to try.

    Lets all see how it goes - good luck to us all

    Melbi are you still cold turkey? If so are you coping ok?

    Breezeman I haven't as yet told my GP about the reduction, if you feel strong enough try cutting down but carefully remember it's our choice at the end of the day only we truely know how we're doing.

    Tiny Tears thanks for the teddy hugs hope your feeling ok today

    Love to all Nick Jane x

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  • Posted

    Hi all,

    Tomorrow I attempt to convince my doc that I need to get off Citalopram. Nicky Jane, I suspect we have an inbuiltt ability to determine when we are ready to reduce our support medication. I have not felt so strong about gettiing off Citalopram until recently, when I realised I needed to get myself positive and get, move on, and try to do some things I've been putting off.

    On 25 June I go to Court to seek sole custody of my 10 year old daughter so in practical terms I can't afford to be less than strong for her. I want to be free of my medical problems by then.

    I find it disturbing that so many of us on this forum run to alcohol, myself included, when the going gets hard. I have recently thought long and hard about this, and have cut down on dinner wine, no whiskey at all, an occasional beer only with my brother-in-law. I think I feel stronger and clearer in the head, but I may be imagining some of this because I want to feel this. At some point we must ask ourselves what we want to achieve, and we absolutely cannot achieve to our potential when we use medications or alcohol as support. It ain't easy, but I believe that we must consider our actions and realise that when we choose to hit the alcohol, this is a choice we make. So why not make a choice to try pushing on without it?

    Just a thought.


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  • Posted

    Hi Breezeman

    You are so right, what an amazing intelligent man you are. Most of us seek solace in the bottom of a bottle (whatever sort, wine, spirits, beer) and your right non of us should. I have shocked myself at times on the volume of alcohol I can put away when I'm feeling that way out. After reading your comments I have decided that things are going to change - today is going to be my first day, no regular wine this evening. If I get tempted, which I probably will I'm going to think of you (if you don't mind?) If you can cut back then so can I - thank you Breezeman for the inspiration and opening my eyes!

    I hope all goes well tomorrow at the DRs for you and wish you every success with your custody battle for your daughter, all of us on this site will be with you in spirit that day.

    Love Nicky Jane x x

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  • Posted

    Oh dear :roll:

    Hi all,

    Just back from my 3rd CBT session and he has advised me not to go back to work yet - to give it at least another 4 weeks. Says he understands my concerns over losing my job but thinks if I do go back and I can't cope this will only make things worse.

    Doctor said I wasn't ready 2 weeks ago! :shock:

    Can they see something in me that I can't?

    Okay, so like the majority of people here, I use alcohol as a means of coping when things get too much for me - or I will use OTC medication but ......

    Well just but.......... :oops:

    Well anyway, I must be getting better because I came straight home and phoned my boss to see what he thinks ------ I know, many of you will be wondering what the hell has it got to do with him - but he knows me well enough (I think) and only he knows what will be fully expected of me on my return to work - plus is it fair that my place of work are having to cope without me for so long.....

    My word - I have come a long way :shock:

    Well he wasn't in - he had just nipped out! So thought would ring doctors and ask what the hell went wrong with my prescription last Friday - yes CBT is good - okay the positivity may well dwindle as the week pregresses but straight after a session I can see things more clearly - well apart from the work side of I ignore his advise - do I tell a load of porkies to my doctor this week in the hope he thinks I'm well enough to return to work and not need to consider trying a different anti depressant - life would be so much easier if I didn't have a job to worry about!

    Apparantly, my sleeping tablets had been prescribed but for some reason they gave my x anothe rone that had been printed out for me - which I might add I hadn't ordered. So the prescription was there all the time! Or was it? Are they saying that since the emergency doctor contacted them - did the emergency doctor contact them?

    Why is it always one question after another with very few, if any, answers!

    Well I haven't got a damn clue what to do about work now! Yet another dilemma - I'm supposed to be addressing my problems, not adding to them!

    Rant over! ----------------------------- :shock: :oops: :shock:

    Nicky Jane good luck with the reduction and fingers crossed you are back to your old (young) self again in good time for youyr holiday.

    Breezman, good luck to you too - I some how have a feeling you are going to do very well with reducing the tablets and hey! Getting your manhood back in good working order?!? :wink:

    Strange how I needed to take double beta blockers this morning yet yesterday I didn't feel the need to take any. They say stranger things happen at sea ----- I say prove it! LOL

    Good luck to everyone here - we will all get there in the end.

    Melbi xxx

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  • Posted

    Well, having been on 10 mg of Citalopram for a week, 20mg for two months and 40mg for a month I cut it down to 20mg for a week and packed it in all together last Thursday. Overall, I didn't feel Citalopram had done anything for me so I gave myself a couple of days off drugs before starting on Mirtazapine (which I've now done).

    Can't say I much in the way of side effects coming off them. Guess they just were not for me/didn't work with my physiology/psychology. Got to give the Mirtazapine a chance now I guess.

    Wish I could say I felt any better overall!!! sad sad

    I had a really bad day Saturday. Cried half the evening. Felt pathetic.

    An ex of mine once called me an Ice Warrior - like in Dr Who. A reference to my supposedly being cold, clinical, logical, decisive, in control etc, etc.

    J, honey, if you could see me now!!!!

    Melbi, my advice (for what it's worth and offered with the best intentions) would be to take your CBT therapist's advice. Don't rush back to work and if you are really desperate to go back, do, please, discuss with your boss going back on a phased rehab programme to build your hours, duties & confidence. Trust me, they can and do work.

    Build in regular slots to discuss with your boss how you're feeling. If you rush back and try to take up all your old duties in one go and can't manage it, it may set you back even further.

    You've travelled so far it would be a shame to fall all the way back.

    Good wishes to everyone on here. I am frequently humbled when I hear some of the things you guys are dealing with in your lives.

    Best regards

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  • Posted

    Hi there Stiltman

    Thanks for your thoughts of my returning to work - I really do value others thoughts and comments - like everyone here - I seem to be able to see others logics/ideas and dilemmas and try and offer some guidance (not that I'm saying my guidance is correct) but when it comes to my own life I just seem to confuddled and stumped as to which direction is the right one! :oops:

    I will have a chat with my boss tomorrow - he is understanding and hopefully he will know what route is the best route for me as in do I listen to the therapist and doctor or do I try things my way!

    Like he said (my therapist) he isn't going to fall out with me if I go against his advice - but feels we have built up enough trust now for him to offer it.

    Yes, I do trust him and I think for the first time I feel I can really open up and be completely honest with him about how I am feeling, how I deal with my feelings etc.

    I am so tired! It really does take it out of you having therapy. Early night tonight.

    Good luck Stiltman on the new tablets - I'm starting to wonder now if I would agree to try another anti depressant, my doctor would agree I'm fit to return to work! I just worry so much about the side effects - I really don't want to feel anything like I did while taking the citalopram :cry:

    Let us all know Stiltman how you get on with the new tablets.

    Love 'n' Hugs

    Confuddled Melbi xxx

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  • Posted

    Hi Melbi

    I can understand your anxiety about trying a different AD given the awful side effects that you experienced with Citalopram. Apart from the insomnia (what a load of crap there is on TV at 3AM) I didn't really have much in the way of these aside from a little blurred vision and the \"brain zaps\" - but nowhere near as bad as you experienced. Overall, they were just a bit of a waste of time for me.

    I am, however, willing to give a different drug a go. If, however, I had had a similar experience to you, I think that I would also be very wary.

    So far I've not had a bad reaction to Mirtazapine but I've only been taking them for three days. Also, as my doctor pointed out, I am a fairly big guy - 6'4 and 16 stone - so the effect a drug will have on me may be different to the effect that the same dosage may have on a smaller, lighter person. If I had felt any benefit at all from Citalopram, he would have been prepared to go to 60mg per day but we agreed I should try something else, particularly because of the insomnia.

    I'll let everyone know how it goes with Mirtazapine. I so hope they work. I'm really struggling with myself at the moment.

    I have to beat this. I can't spend the rest of my life living in depression's shadow.

    Best regards to all

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  • Posted

    :lol: [b:25e6f6ac32]Stiltman, I am on 30mgs of citalopram, I am 5'4, stone, I still get dizzy, but perhaps that something else? My problem isnt living in depression shadow, nope, nobody said I was depressed - hmmmm Idoont think they did :oops: :oops: But I think I know I have been, and now feel anxious, as I never want to ever be there again. I just hope people understand how awful it can be, I can fall out and into these states extremley easily, and when Its rock bottome , its rock bottom. Then when its tops, its tops!!!!

    Melbi, I am worried, about seeing a councillor, shell probably think I am dfine now, as I am feeling fine now. Whatd you advise? Sorry to hear about work etc, thats stark raving :x :?: Is it not up to you to know your own capabilities :?: Hmmm, maybe they are being very cautious as they dont want you to get extremley ill again, per se 17 years ago....perhaps?[/b:25e6f6ac32]

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  • Posted

    Hi Stiltman & Katy

    Stiltman, did the doctor say the new tablets would help you sleep? This at the moment (well has been for the last few months) my main problem. If I manage to fall asleep, without the use of drugs, I wake with terrible nightmares then wide awake for the day by 3am - 4am. If I can't get to sleep in the first place it can take all night and only manage to drop off to sleep at around 4am - 5am. I know this needs to be addressed as I can't cope on so few hours and work full time and see to the house and family too.

    The doctor did mention trying one that would also help me to sleep too! But I was so damn adamant I wasn't going to try any other AD's I don't know if he named one or had one particular drug in mind. I'm seriously starting to believe now that unless I say I will try another they aren't going to sign me as fit for work, although this hasn't been said to me in so many words.

    Katy, I feel fine, or at least a damn sight better than I did back in February! I fill in my evaluation form every week - the tick list one you have all probably done too and my score is dropping but the therapist said today until I am answering all of them with a more positive attitude then I'm not yet well!

    Just go in there and be yourself, answer any questions as honestly as you can and try and open up to the counsellour <<< gawd I'm even losing my abilty to spell now! Even the simplest of words I am finding more and more difficult and having to think hard how to spell them :roll: I'm becoming brain dead :oops:

    As my doctor pointed out last time I was there and I told him I have some brilliant days but I also have some pretty bad days. He said that is all part of the illness -------ermmm doc------which illness do you think I've got :shock:

    My problem now is he says I'm showing signs of severe depression, I say I am not depressed! He says I am, I say I'm not! :roll:

    So Katy, go in there and just be as open and as honest as you can, you will be surprised at just how much they can pick up reading between the lines we create!

    love 'n' hugs

    Melbi xxx

    Mmmmm Stiltman you sound like a fine strong man :wink:

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<outta of here :run:

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