Slowly withdrawing from citalopram

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hi guys, what a great site, easy to use, fast and helpful responses. I thought I'd join in, if thats ok.

I am slowly coming off citalopram after being on it for 10 years. I decided I didn't want to be on it all my life and am feeling in a much better place right now. It helped but it has given me tinnitus and restless legs, whether that will go away I'm not sure.

In those 10 years I've had ups and downs, mostly when I've had to take antibiotics, it seems the two don't mix for me. I am prone to gum infections a lot so I take painkillers too. I always seem to get some sort of interaction.

Anyway, I'm down to 5 mg now for about 5 months and I haven't settled yet. Still getting insomnia, cloudy head, dizziness, tiredness, hot/cold feelings, twitching, nausea etc, but not all at the same time and not every day.

I can get a great day and I think this is it, it's over, but the next day I feel out of sorts again.

Anyway, thought I'd share because it seems that many of you are going through the same and that's very reassuring.

Good luck guys!

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  • Posted

    Nice to hear that you are coping though Sonia, I'm at the same stage, living not too bad on 5mg.

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  • Posted

    hi sonia, im down to 6mg and have every symptoms going grrrr x

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  • Posted

    Thanks both for your replies, it's not easy that's f or sure. Feeling a bit dizzy tonight. Going to have an early one 👍.

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  • Posted

    I was on Celexa for 2 years... tough to get off it... I had to go VERY slow... and in tiny amounts... I took some melatonin... seemed to help withdrawals... still.... I am afraid my baseline is low to moderate anxiety and depression... so am considering trying again... Lexapro this time... but so many posts here complain about bad anxiety from Celexa or Lex... scares me... not many options unfortunately... depression is a major bummer... anxiety, IMO, is worse...

    If you were doing so well... why get off it? My Doc has been on Lexapro for 20 years... he loves it... and says he probably will be on it for life... scary... but better than being depressed and anxious, eh?

    GL to you... I'd try going back up to 7.5 and going down SLOOOOOOWWW!!

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    • Posted

      Hi 3Archbay

      Why did you come off Celexa? I explained in my previous posts my reasons.

      I am still on 5mg and trying to stabilize but it's not been easy. I get some good days and some not so good. Right now I feel like I have a virus, aching all over, ears feel full so I'm not sure what all that is about. I am not increasing, the only think giving me anxiety is the withdrawal effects. I don't know if I will ever come off entirely, I believe I have to stabilize before reducing even more, at least that's what I've read on here. If I do stabilize, I think the temptation to feel good will outweigh the desire to come off it.

      Good luck with whatever you decide to do but I'm afraid you can probably expect to get start up effects again.

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    • Posted

      I sort of got bored with it... yes, it did moderate my anxiety/panic attacks... which was great... they came from a '97 meltdown from mixing booze, grass, ephedra and SSERZONE... I have never been the same... the Serzone (and maybe combo with ephedra) changed my brain... both were banned shortly after...

      Time went by... and Celexa didn't do much for my low-grade depression... since anxiety was my main problem... perhaps I should have used Klonapin or Librium instead... however... I was on a low dose and maybe should have just increased the dose... that works for many... I felt a little dull... but that was better than panic attacks... which were very bad for a long time...

      Are you using anything for the anxiety? If not, I'd highly recommend you get something... I recommend Ativan or Klonapin... not Xanax... Xanax works GREAT... but is more dangerous and harder to get off of if you are on it for long... really hard I read... if nothing else, try some Melatonin at night...

      If you were feeling so good... why not stick with it? Or try Lexapro, a close cousin?? Maybe your "normal" or "baseline" is a certain level of anxiety or depression... which is why you got on it in the first place... right? I am pretty sure MY baseline is low grade/moderate depression and anxiety... bummer... but it is what it is...

      GL to you!

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    • Posted

      Hey,

      Thanks for the advice but I don't plan on taking anything else. My aim is to come off it eventually and I don't want to start something else and go through the whole start up/withdrawal process again of another drug.

      Once I stabilize I think I will cope. It's just the withdrawal effects that are so frustrating. Sometimes they give me doubts but I try to remain focussed. It's good to be able to chat on here sharing experiences.

      Sounds like you've had a rough time of it. I've never done recreational drugs so I cannot comment on that. You say celexa didn't do much for you before, I agree, maybe all you needed was a dose adjustment. Might be worth discussing options with your doctor for a clearer understanding of these meds.

      Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Hi, just an update... after being off everything but an occasional Xanax... I decided to start lexapro (escitalopram)... beginning with 5mg... I was tired of feeling crappy so often... low grade anxiety, low grade depression.... after 8 days, I could feel the minor side effects (uneasiness, a little queasiness, a little hard getting to sleep, a small increase in BP)... going away and leaving me feeling much calmer, more balanced, more positive, more focused, a bit more energy/motivation)... not nearly as "zoned out" as when on citalopram. I think I will stay on 5mg, which is a low dose... for a week or two longer at least... maybe even long term. I am very happy with it so far!

      I also recently found out my free testosterone is very low... so that might be another huge benefit to go on hormone replacement therapy.

      Women need testosterone too.. you might ask for a blood test.

      Hope you are feeling much better now... take care!

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    • Posted

      Hey 3Archbay, good to hear from you.

      Sounds like your slowly getting back on track.

      I wish I could say the same but Christmas has taken its toll. I'm hoping to settle on 5 mg, no plans to reduce any further, not after what I've been through. Maybe I'll have to consider switching to something else in the future if it doesn't work for me but I'm a bit wary of experimenting right now, I've done too much of that in the past with messing around with my dose.

      Thanks for the tip re HRT, it's something to think about.

      I hope you continue to improve, it all sounds positive for you. Thanks for getting back to me.

      Best wishes for a happier new year!

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    • Posted

      Thanks,

      Sorry to her you are still having difficulties... and I understand your being fed up with them... I wish you the best, whatever you decide... but I will say this... Lexapro is very different than Celexa... even though closely related as drugs... I feel much different now, compared to when I was on Celexa... not nearly as "zoned out"... much more pleasant.

      I have read that switching from Celexa to Lexapro, since they are so chemically similar... is very easy and generally has few, if any, side effects... might be worth considering...

      Yes, HRT is very interesting... most good places offer low cost or free consultations... and blood testing is very important to making a decision...

      Hope this year is far better for you than '19... my '19 was pretty darned lousy too... amongst other problems, my brother passed away a few days after his 64th birthday... on 2/1/19... I am 63, but not genetically related... as we were both adopted... life is hard sometimes... eh?

      take care... you WILL feel better!

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    • Posted

      Hi again

      So sorry you've had a tough year, especially with your brother passing, that didn't help you for sure.

      You sound really positive about the Lexapro, my understanding is that it is a little more expensive than citalopram, probably why it's not a first choice for doctors to prescribe in the UK. I'll do some reading on it.

      Keep in touch, will be interested to hear how you are getting on with lexapro as too will others.

      Hopefully, this time next year all will be sorted for us🙏.

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  • Posted

    Ah... didn't know you were in the UK... I am lucky to have decent insurance... which covers 100% of most drugs...

    You might check on the price difference... IMO, it would be a good idea to try the switch if not too expensive. I have heard several people agree that Lexapro is much different than Celexa... wouldn't it be great if you felt MUCH better!

    Hope it all works out for you!

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    • Posted

      Hi 3Archbay

      It's good that you've got insurance, fortunately over here we have the NHS. 🙏

      Yes, it would be good to feel "MUCH better" lol (sounds like a sales pitch), but I'm not switching yet. It's good if it works for you but there's no guarantee it will work for me though.

      Hope all is going well for you.

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    • Posted

      Hi Toria,

      Dizzy on/off for two weeks now, more anxiety, palpitations in the middle of the night and like others wondering if things will ever improve or if there is something more sinister going on. Definitely things have got worse over Christmas.

      How are you doing?

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    • Posted

      Don't mean to butt in... but I wonder if you are taking a low enough dose to get the side effects but no relief?

      I know it sounds like it might make things worse... but why not try a larger dose for awhile?

      You might ask your pharmacist, if you guys have them... here in the US... pharmacists (chemists?) OFTEN know more about a drug than prescribing doctors do...

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    • Posted

      Hi Toria

      This is my second attempt to post, I just finished my last one and it disappeared.

      Anyway, I've had a reasonable day today, no dizziness, went out this morning visiting family and shopping and haven't long got back in.

      Headache all day though probably tension and the feeling like I'm going to pass out in M&S lol (or maybe it's just the fear of it). I pushed myself to go, could have stayed home, but it my husband's birthday tomorrow so had to get a card and present. I didn't drive though, my husband did, I'm not ready for that yet.

      No, my periods are not affected, never have problems there, anyway approaching menopause lol. My problems seem to be neurological and aches and pains, neck and shoulder tension too. Everything consistent with anxiety, so why am I reducing I ask myself. I'm not sure if the withdrawal symptoms are giving me anxiety or whether it's anxiety, if you see what I mean.

      Anyway, how's your day been? Are you any better today?

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    • Posted

      Hi 3Archbay

      You're not butting in, good to hear from you. How are you today?

      I did try going back up to 7.5 but just for one day a month ago and I felt worse after it.

      I'll stick with 5mg for now, give it a little more time and then I'll consider my options if it doesn't work out.

      Yes I agree, I think pharmacists know more about meds than doctors. I may speak to my pharmacist in any case because I have been using a different brand for a couple of months and I've been wondering if this has caused my relapse, so to speak. I prefer the Accord brand but I'm currently taking Noumed.

      So how are you getting on with Lexapro, any side effects or withdrawal affects from Citalopram?

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    • Posted

      not great again lovely, very restless, i think you answered your own question there as you said on better days the symptoms arent there so sounds like its the drug to me x

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    • Posted

      Hi Toria

      Sorry you've had another bad day but you're not letting it beat you, you walk regularly and push yourself through these symptoms and one day it will pay off and you are going to be symptom free.

      Yes, I've had some good days, sometimes two or three in a row even and I think, this is it, I've done it, only to wake up the next day and I'm back to square one. So difficult to plan anything, very frustrating.

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    • Posted

      Hi, Sonia, doing pretty well... thanks

      I am not rooting for you to stay on, or get off the Citalopram... though I do still think a switch to Escitalopram would be worth a shot... maybe even a totally different SSRI... though they all seem to have initial nasty side effects for weeks... but a LOT of people who fight through them seem to be very happy they did. I am 2 weeks on the Escitalopram and feel pretty good at 5mg... I will be trying hormone replacement very soon, so will not try 7.5mg or 10mg until see what that brings... I am hopeful.

      But you should know that a change in dosage almost always means another week or two of side effects, so the one day move to 7.5mg doesn't really mean anything... I'm with you, I hate side effects, especially anxiety... or dizziness... but you would need to stay on 7.5mg for at least 2 weeks... and it doesn't sound like you are up for that.

      There is certainly a possibility of a different generic company's meds being slightly different... I have run into that myself when I was on Celexa... years ago... maybe ask your pharmacist if you can return and trade them out for another brand?

      I had to ramp down very slowly to get off it... took little quarter tab chunks off the 10mg pills... per week... I took melatonin at the same time... seemed to help. Once again... I am starting to think my issues are with low testosterone... which may be why SSRIs have not helped as much as I'd hoped... worth it to get your testosterone and estrogen levels checked.

      Keep in mind that there was reason you went ON to Citalopram... once off... you will most likely revert back to the baseline you started from... might not be so great...

      I wish you the best...

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    • Posted

      Thanks 3Archbay,

      You have been very helpful and what you say makes a lot of sense, you have given me a lot to think about and I do appreciate it.😊

      I am going to speak to my pharmacist about getting back the brand I prefer and when my new nail clipper arrives I will be able to make the cut more accurately.

      For the moment I'll stay on 5mg, I'll give it a little more time. I did have a reasonable day today so it must be doing something.

      Everyone has been so helpful here, it's good that we can all share our experiences and learn from one another.😊

      Hope all goes well for you with your testosterone test. I'd be interested to hear how you get on.

      Keep in touch!

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    • Posted

      oh sonia i know that feeling so well, you wake and think hey its gone and feel normal only for your world to come crashing down when you hit the next wave, but the windows prove our bodies can get there, hang on to that ❤️ x

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    • Posted

      Thats exactly how I feel Toria and Sonia. I am petrified that my dose changes are causing my recovery to be so long. Month 7 now.......trying to stabilise on 20mg.....10 weeks today, but still having loads of anxiety symptoms and physical symptoms you both describe.

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    • Posted

      hey toria, I was on 10mg citralopram for 5 years after PND. It worked great. I went for baby no2 and came off the meds easily, got pregnant and went back on meds a week after she was born. It was a little harder 2nd time around, but settled after 3 mths. Again was on 20mg for 5 years. Back in june I tapered to 10mg then stopped suddenly.....after 12 days I crashed badly. So I started on 10mg straight away. So began my dose changing nightmare.....i basically went to 20, 30, 40, 30....giving each dose change 4 or 5 weeks ( not enough time to settle, but the higher doses were making me ill) Now Im 10 weeks on 20mg.....and pregabalin for my anxiety...it helps but Im petrified of meds......and would rather be on nothing. I only have a month left of sick pay and the pressure is on......Its a nightmare Toria.......

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    • Posted

      aw thank you lou, i know how anxiety feels regardless of if its from withdrawal/startups/or natural anxiety, its awful, really hope you have a better day today ❤️ x

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