Reinstated Citalopram during withdrawal, feeling awful

Posted , 8 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

I have been on Citalopram 20mg for around 2 years and a few weeks ago I decided to try and come off them. I weaned myself off by taking 20mg each day for 6 days, then 10mg on the 7th day. The following week I took 20mg for 5 days and 10mg for 2 and so on until 7 weeks were up and I was down to just 10mg daily. I started to get some very odd disassociated feelings so I decided to up my dose to 15mg. After 2 weeks I still didn't feel any better so thought 'what the hell' I'll go back to 20mg and try again at some later date. That was 7 weeks ago and I've felt just horrible throughout. Not quite so much physical symptons apart from loss of appetite, but more negative, obsessive thoughts about the future which are really getting me down. When I was on 20mg I felt fine and I so wish I'd just stuck with them. I am wondering if I am experiencing a mixture of withdrawl symptons as well as symptoms of reintrodusing the dose which has messed up my mind. I just want to feel right again!

0 likes, 13 replies

Report

13 Replies

  • Posted

    Coming off this drug is very difficult.  The physical symptoms I had were dizziness, vertigo, headaches, nausea, waterlogged head feeling, brain zaps.....and more. But the mental and emotional withdrawal symptoms were brutal.  Every negative emotion, reaction, or feeling was like 1,000 times worse. I would get upset, angry, sad, frustrated, paranoid very, very easily and intensely. 

    It was hard to calm down....extremely difficult to not overreact to everything. It was like emotional torture. It took me a year to start to relax a bit.  But, I was on the medication for 20 years. 

    I still have lingering effects 2 years off the Citalopram.

    But, I am really feeling so much better now and do not want to ever go back on the medication. Hopefully, you will recover from withdrawal more quickly then I did. It's certainly not easy to stop the meds.

    I wish you the best.

    Report
    • Posted

      I went cold turkey 9 months ago and you are so right, the emotional pain is torture. I had the brain zaps and derealization at first, and then eventually pure panic and then it moved to being very mean, groucy, exhaused, and having all kinds of physical pain. I hope I get my life back someday! I was comforted by your story. Thank you,
      Report
  • Posted

    I am currently in a very similar situation. I was stable on Citalopram 40mg for several years and decided that perhaps I didn't need to take it anymore. I went down to 20mg from 40mg for a month, then 20mg to 10mg, but started to not feel well, so jumped back up to 20mg, and then within another week felt really bad so went back to 40mg.

    I think all of the change in doses really shocked my system because I have had quite an awful relapse, including terrible insomnia. I, too, I wish I would have just stayed where I was at. I'm only a little over a week back on 40mg, so I think I need to stick it out and wait for my system to stabalize agian on 40mg, but I definitely agree that these are probably significant withdrawal symtoms we are experiencing, as well as potentially effects from reintroduction of a higher dosage.

    I am hoping that we are able to reacclimate ourselves to where we were agian, but I know it's difficult to not be scared and confused in the meantime.

    Just know you are not alone and that we are all in this totgether.

    Cam

    Report
  • Posted

    I'm not surprised you've had such an awful time. These meds have to be withdrawn oh so slowly. 10 mg decrease at a time is just to much. If it takes 12 months to give up then it's worth it.

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi sue, it does sound like a mixture of withdrawals and reinstating them back into the system, keep on it I'm sure you will feel level out soon!

    It takes time though doesn't it. Oh gosh you sound like me! I recently cane off my meds, and I'm going to the dr tomorrow to go back on them. Anyway I'm also feeling negative and have obsessive thoughts about the future! And death! It's awful!! I Seem to be anxious about everything aswell, I'm settling down a bit.

    I went from 20mg to 15 - 10 - 5 over 6 months.. then came off them. But i felt good even on 5mg, wished I stayed on it.

    I even had to come home early from my honeymoon because I felt that horrific with anxiety.

    Hang in there, you'll balance out soon! Just blooming takes it time doesn't it x

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Angel. Sounds as though we're both in the same boat at the moment .... just managing to stay afloat! Yes, my obsessive thoughts are about death and losing loved ones, it's really horrible. Like you, I did well on 5mg so that's my aim but I'll be taking all the advice not to do it so quickly this time around! Hope you feel better soon too. X

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi sue, totally the same here, loosing loved ones and death! You know I feel relieved that there's someone else who feels this after citalopram withdrawals!

      It's calmed down a bit, as I keep telling myself to be grateful that I've even reached 33 and to love life... I thought this after I watched a documentary about a little 3 year old loosing her life. Since then I keep reminding myself to live in the moment and to be grateful for where we are in life at this moment. But it's hard when you've got anxiety playing with my head. Atleast we can be reassured it's not our normal thought patterns .. it's the withdrawels and anxiety that's making our minds think like this.

      I've been off the meds for 10 weeks, but I'm going back to the doctor today to go back on it, but a low dose.

      Isn't it strange how the drug effects our mind?

      I even got massive anxiety after the Manchester bombing .. and normally I don't react like that.

      Or even people talking about it sets a trigger off and I start having a panic attack.

      Like I say though I'm going doctors today, I'm a bit concered how I'm gonna be feeling once I start taking the meds again, but I guess it's only onwards and upwards ..

      Report
  • Posted

    These cannot be withdrawn over a course of weeks.  They take many, many months. I spent a year withdrawing by 5mg from 20 / 15 / 10 / 5 / 2.5 / 1.25 with each reduction lasting 2 months.  I had no withdrawal.

    I came off once before this reducing by 10mg each time over about 6 months and had withdrawal (too quick).

    Your body needs to adjust slowly not only to avoid withdrawl, but also to avoid shocking the body and bringing back the anxiety again.

    Yes, I expect you're now having a mixture of withdrawal and start up symptoms. Reinstating meds should also be done in small increments.

    These meds are not difficult to come off if done correctly.

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Kate. You are right.  I tried to taper off too quickly and went back up too quickly too,  but I'm now 9 weeks into my previous dose of 20mg and still feeling anxious and very tearful. I just want to feel myself again and am losing hope that I ever will. I am seeing my GP next week and am having some counselling too but it just feels like I'm in a fight with myself. 

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi sue have you tried a beta blocker such as propanol? To take away the anxious symptoms?

      Sometimes a horrible cycle hooks into you when feeling anxious and tearful. It's what I have done at this moment, I have started with some propanol which has helped takeaway the anxiousness which then makes me less tearful.

      So I'm gonna do this until I feel better and more level then come off the beta blocker and fingers crossed created a new cycle. If that makes any sense hahaa..

      your not alone xx

      Report
    • Posted

      They will work for you again - just take it slowly and let the meds settle.  Every time we get back into the anxiety / fear / anxiety cycle that negative voice rears its ugly head again and tells us we won't get better, it won't work this time, etc etc .... and that positive voice gets overridden.

      Give it lots of time and slowly you'll start to feel a change again - and that positive voice will start to happen too.

      It does feel like a fight, but try not to fight it (it causes tension), but instead try rolling with 'the punches', relax towards those feelings as the body responds better to calmness.

      You'll get there.

      K x

      Report
    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your reassurance Kate, it really means a lot when I feel so despairing at the moment. X
      Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up