Reducing dosage

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hi, I hope someone may be able to help me feel slightly less alone...

I started off on Citalopram 20mg around May 2015, and increased to 40 quite quickly, under my Dr's advice. I was doing quite well after the initial side effects...until a few months down the line when I began to suffer really badly from just about every side effect listed including serious weight gain, cellulite, bad bloating, thus causing depression about all that!! I was so tired and dizzy, and just bascially not right most of the time that I started (I think) to feel more down, possibly as a result of this, possibly not. It was so confusing as things were also really difficult for me just generally in my life, and as I had limited energy I didn't have the inclination to get out of bed when I should have done and get on with what I should have been doing to try and improve my life...hence why I went onto the tablets in the first place......ahhhhhhh....So really ended up just feeling more miserable about everything.

Long story short every time I went to the Dr he just said I was doing much better and coping well and that the side effects I mentioned "shouldn't be an issue"......The thing was even although I did a feel better emotionally I knew I was going downhill in terms of the side effects.... I decided to see somebody else at the practice and asked if I could come down a dose.....eventually did and after at least a month and more I am now finally on 10mg. Question is how long am I supposed to stay on this.....I feel like I am going it alone with no support from the so called medical professionals....I know I had effects similar to side effects when I came off from 40mg, and think this is normal, and lasted maybe for a couple of weeks. Just hope it's all going to get easier.

Thanks for reading.....

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Well I'm listening. I know it's helpful to know as it helped me in the early days. I'm not doing very well at the mo. I tried to lower my dose a little. It's thrown my rythm right out. Hopefully we can both get back to normal soon. I don't feel I'm in a position to advise but lots of people can and will offer you all the help they can.

    Chin up😜

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  • Posted

    Hi Catri

    The side effects shouldn't be an issue ..... obviously he's never had to take the medicine or come off it.  

    Firstly, a lot of people do struggle on 40mg, describing the side effects as you have - dizziness, tiredness etc., and find that a lower dose suits them better.  I recovered on 20mg and stayed on it for years, before eventually reducing to 10mg as a maintenance dose.  Staying on these meds for 16 years I decided to try without them and came off 2 years ago (with some withdrawal effects) and during my time off I took a natural SSRI over the counter meds 5-HTP and l-tyrosine with great success.  Sadly due to family illness and the stress it caused me, I felt the need to restart my meds before I plunged into anxious depression again.  I've since spent the last year withdrawing again, doing it by 5mg at a time / 2 months each time, going from 20 / 15 / 10 / 5 / 2.5 which I'm currently on and have had no withdrawl effects this time at all.  I bought a pill cutter and cut the 20mg pill into 1/4's and the last 5mg I've crushed and again took half (5mg was too small to cut in half).

    To avoid any effects at all, you should stay on 10mg at least 2 months, more if you like, and when you feel ok reduce to 5mg and again stay on that for the same length of time.  Finally try 2.5mg for a few months and like me, I'll take even less (its easy when its crushed up as I can take a minimal amount).

    You might however find that your side effects settle nicely on 10mg though and you feel emtionally better too, and could then stay on that dose for even longer?  Anyway, if you do decide to go lower, take it real slow as described above.  The slower, the better.  I've been in no hurry to come off these meds, and always said that if I felt uneasy or anxious when I got to a certain dose then I'd up it again.  So far, so good.

    Hope that helps.

    K xx

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    • Posted

      Didn't really finish my first sentence ....... meant to add 'I hear a lot of doctors don't support their patients withdrawing from these meds and often tell them to drop too much or too quickly, causing them dreadful withdrawal effects.  Doctors should take these meds to experience side effects as you've described and withdrawl effects too - only then would they be able to advise'.

      K xx

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