Stopped Citalopram after 4 weeks....withdrawal symptoms? Please help

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I started taking Citalopram 10mgs for only 4 weeks and experienced bad side effects like internal shaking, etc. that never went away after the 4 weeks.

My GP adviced me to just stop taking the Citalopram cold turkey and there shouldn't be any withdrawal side effects. I continued on just 5mgs for the next three days and then completely stopped.

I have not taken any Citalopram now for 1 week. I have been experiencing nausea, very jittery (my whole body will shake), tingling sensation in my brain, feeling breathless, and cannot concentrate.

I have been taking an occasional Ativan that the doctor prescribed for the shakiness. (Have only taken 2 Ativan in the past week .50 mg, since being completely off the Citalopram.

I have experienced days where I feel better then other days in the past week, but symptoms are worst in morning and at night.

My doctor also gave me Zofran for nausea which doesn't seem to be helping.

My question is, could this be withdrawal symptoms from stopping the Citalopram even though I was only on 10mgs for 4 weeks? If so, when do you think these side effects will subside? Any help would be appreciated!

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  • Posted

    Yes you're suffering withdrawal.

    I always roll my eyes when I read someones doctor has advised his patient to just stop taking these meds.  The internal shake is a side effec and will have worn off - it might have been week 5 or even week 12.  Everyone is different and no 2 people have the same experience or follow identical timescales.

    I'd like to see all doctors take these meds for a month and then stop them abruptly - only then will they be able to advise when to stop these meds ..... and I doubt any of them will suggest going cold turkey again.

    These meds take a long, long time to work for most people - months usually.  At 4 weeks you'll probably still have been feeling side effects.

    The good news is that the withdrawl effects will wear off in time.  The symptoms will come and go and again, everyone is different, so it could last a few weeks.  You were on them 4 weeks so possibly withdrawl will last a similar amount of time maybe?

     

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    • Posted

      Typo ..... internal shake is a side 'effect and will wear off' ....... not worn off ???

       

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    • Posted

      I definitely agree with you KateCogs. I have been to so many GPs that don't have a clue about the medicine and don't even explain that here could be side effects. It's ridiculous. I feel like a Psychiatrist would know more but it so difficult to get appt. sometimes.

      I can deal with the internal shaking, it's the head pressure and lack of concentration that is getting to me. Makes me feel like I am detached from the world. Hopefully it will subside soon enough. I'm just pushing myself to keep doing things through out the day no matter how horrible I feel, and sometimes it can be hard. Some days are better then others.

      The doctors prescribed me Trazodone to help me sleep, because when I don't sleep good then the side effects are much worst. I haven't tried the trazodone yet but am going to try tonight. I'm a little nervous.

      I have tried many SSRI's that just don't seem to agree with me. I can't get over the side effect part and the cloudy thinking.

      Thank you for your help

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    • Posted

      I don't think many GP's know how it feels to take these meds - its certainly not like taking any other medicine I've every known.  Yes I had the same re getting an appointment - people need help and support now, not in 6 weeks time.

      I think the head pressure and lack of concentration are because when you're ill like this you spend a lot of time inward thinking, always searching for an answer, but this will disappear when the anxiety starts easing.  Instead of worrying about each symptom, remember they've all come about because of anxiety and the the meds - they will go.

      Though pushing yourself is good, remember to do it in a relaxed way too.  Don't race about frantically filling your day in the hope it will get rid of the symptoms - instead keep busy but do everything gently, keep relaxed as you do things ..... and don't keep checking to see if 'it' gone.

      Maybe try and just accept the cloudy thinking for now.  If you had a bad case of flu you'd have a dull head - this won't last forever.  Your body is trying to heal itself - these symptoms will disappear.

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    • Posted

      Hi Miss Kate  Just wondering if you can help me.  I took my last Cit pill (5MG's) on sunday.  I had been on that dose for ten days and was on ten mg's for 5 weeks prior to that.  Seem to be having a bit of lightheaded feelings.  Is this normal and if yes what other discomfort will I be experiencing!!!!!  Thanks and have a great day.  Hope all is well with you....

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    • Posted

      Hi there John

      I didn't stop at 5mg - I crushed the last part up and took half (2.5mg) of the poweder for a few more weeks and even took less after that 1.25mg for some more time too.  When I stopped I didn't have any side effects.  A few years ago when I'd stopped though, I went from 10mg to nothing and do remember feeling weird, heady and nauseous.  Had brain zaps too.  So yes, think that lightheadedness is due to stopping and is quite normal.

      If you're unsure about it you could try crushing a 5mg piece and just having half then further halving again some weeks later?

       

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    • Posted

      Thank you Miss Kate. I may have to do that. I think I'll go a few more days and see if the light headed feelings go away and if they dont then I will try 2.5 mg's. I have started to exercise a bit longer to see if that helps. Time will tell. Tks for the advice. Allways spot on and welcomed!!!!'

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    • Posted

      Super.  Hope it goes ok and if not, yes try adding in the 2.5mg.  You've done brilliantly coming off these - hope its been a fairly easy ride.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Thanks miss Kate. It hasnt been much of an easy ride but so far so good. I just want to get off Cit and try and do it without AD's. Just one more question. Do you have any

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    • Posted

      Darn. Sorry about that. Just wondering if you have any idea how long this light head feelings last if I decide not to take anymore Cit. If its just a short time I will not take anymore. And thank you so much for being there whennyou were needed!!!!
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    • Posted

      Mmmm it's that 'how long is a piece of string' scenario really I suppose. Could be a few days or weeks. When I came off meds the first time and had brain zaps that lasted a few months and the heady / nausea feeling lasted less. - that was stopping at 10mg. I'm guessing then it'll be shorter for you?

      I'm sure if you even waited a week or so and then decide to reintroduce 2.5mg back in it'll simply help relieve that feeling and won't give you side effects as it's such a teensy amount.

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    • Posted

      I will do that Miss Kate. Sure not a good feeling. Tks again for the advice. Enjoy yer day!
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  • Posted

    How are you doing. I'm in the same boat now. Main issue is I can't sleep. I'm feeling depressed and never was before the meds. Was on it almost 4 weeks and had to come off. Was originally put on for anxiety. I feel doomed

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    • Posted

      Hey Cristan,

      How are you holding up? It's been about 4 months or so since I stopped the Citalopram. I stopped cold turkey like I posted and after about a week and a half without the Citalopram, I hopped on to another medication (sertraline). I started the Sertraline, not realizing that I was experiencing withdrawals from stopping the Citalopram cold turkey. I thought what I was experiencing was my anxiety making me feel like that, when it was really withdrawals I was going through and that's why I started a new medication. I am now in the process of stopping the Sertraline after being on it for over 2 months. This time I weaned off of it ( even though my psychiatrist told me to stop cold turkey 🙄wink I knew better this time. The SSRI's have not worked for me and I have tried several different ones. I know that they can do wonders for other people, sometimes it's just hard trying to find the one that works for you. It requires a lot of patients and that's hard when you feel so sick.

      Even though I weaned off the Sertraline this time I am still experiencing horrible withdrawals, but the difference is this time I know they are withdrawal side effects and it helps ease my mind a little bit better knowing it will eventually go away.

      Just remember that medication doesn't always work for some people. It's hard some times finding the one that does work. And like KateCogs explained, it really does take a long time for the medication to kick in and it's hard to wait that long when you feel so horrible. The absolute hardest part for me was the feeling doomed, especially when you didn't feel like this prior to taking medication.

      My biggest reccomendation would be to wean off of it to help with withdrawals. I am currently taking Fish oil, a multi vitamin and a probiotic pill every morning to help. Try to get some excercise too (I know that's easier said then done, especially when you are feeling doomed, the last thing you're going to want to do is get up and excercise)

      Try to keep your mind busy. For me I started crafting, I did amything to get my mind off of how I was feeling. I got so good at my crafts that I started selling them haha 😂😂.

      If you're currently working right now maybe try to take a couple of days off. I do believe that working does help keep your mind off of what is going on a little though. Right now my withdrawals are lightheadedness/dizziness the pressure in my head is soooo bad it makes it hard to focus. It literally feels like someone is constantly squeezing my head 24/7, but it's getting a little better and better each day.

      I know how rough this is and it sucks but you will get better and the withdrawals will go away. Just be easy on yourself right now. This forum is awesome for reaching out to people and getting support, especially because people on here know what you are going through. I'm here for you if you need to talk since we are going through the same thing right now. Message me anytime!!!

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    • Posted

      Also I forgot to ask about your sleep. What is going on with it? Is it that you can't shut your mind off at night because you are constantly thinking about your anxiety? Did your bad sleeping habits start after you started the Citalopram? I suffered from horrible sleep but thankfully got over it and I sleep better now ( even though I am typing this to you at 1 in the morning where I am from 😂wink

      When you are not sleeping good, this really messes with your anxiety and can make things worse.

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    • Posted

      I sent you a message also. But the sleeping issues started a few days after starting the Citalopram. I cannot sleep at all and it's horrible. I got another maybe 2 hrs of sleep again lastnight. Had an unimaginable migraine and I'm nauseated this morning. I just wana sleeeeep. I could sleep like a baby before i started the meds. I'm 9 days off them now.

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