Trying to get to the Bottom of CItal Withdrawal Longevity

Posted , 8 users are following.

Further to a previous post I am now attempting to do a little bit of amateur research which in general is the time that people have or are presently experiencing having given up Cit.

What is abundantly clear that there are no firm rules on withdrawal as there are so many variables and we as individuals all react differently. What I am attempting to get is a general idea for people on here at present like me going through what I believe are Cit withdrawal and for the many other people who are likely to experience the same in the future.

What I would like people to do would be to give the following information so that a clearer view on what is the timeframe of Cit withdrawal.

If you are interested in helping on this I would appreciate the following info 

1 ) Time on Citalopram

2)  Dosage 

3) How did you stop. i.e. taper or cold turkey

4) How Long since you stopped (days / weeks / months

5) How long did any apparent withdrawal symptoms last until free of them

6) If still experiencing withdrawal symptoms what level do you feel they are at this time i.e. 50%

I hope that I get sufficient people to respond to this thread to make it meaningful.

I would appreciate it if people kept their responses to the above questions and not highjack the thread for other reasons . There are plenty of other threads on the site for this.

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19 Replies

  • Posted

    I was first on Citalopram for about 4 months, on 20 mg. Then too the awful decision to go cold turkey, which worked out badly. Ended up jeapordising my job and almost my relationship.

    Went back on it 4 months ago, was on 20 mg for 2 weeks, 30 mg for 8 weeks, and then decided to taper off. Tapered down to 20 mg for 4 weeks, now in the process of tapering down to 15 mg for the next 2 weeks, 10 mg for the next 2 weeks, then 5 mg indefinitely once I know I can come off safely.

    Withdrawal depends on system to system, and I couldn't advise you what period of tapering unless I know dosage and time on. All I know is that rule of thumb is never taper off more than a 1/4 mg dosage at a time i.e. 20 mg to 15 mg, 20 mg to 10 mg not

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  • Posted

    Hi Dave,

    Was on 10mg for 11 yrs.

    Took 1 dose every other day for about 1 yr

    Came off completely about 10mths or so ago.

    Experienced "withdrawal" symptoms?? Hardly none luckily as was slowly weaned off.  ALTHOUGH, did have some "wonky" days but managed to survive. Great great family and friends have helped throughout.

    Not been off a yr yet and feel extremely good.

    Good luck and wishing you well.

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  • Posted

    1. Time on Citalopram - around 15 years (cured my depression)

    2. Doseage 20mg, then 10mg for the last 5 years or so maybe

    3. I stopped by weaning myself off them by 5mg at a time over many months

    4. I came off them completely for a year and felt great - started back on the medication 5 months ago due to stress of family illness - I needed to be well to care for someone, so restarted before I went downhill

    5. Withdrawl symptoms tolerable and weren't as bad as the side effects when first started the meds - nausea and brain zaps were the most persistent - probably took a good 2-3 months to be completely free of withdrawl effects

    6. Only symptoms I had after that was just being more emotional (could cry over anything) - no other symptoms after stopping


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  • Posted

    Was on 10mg for one year, prescribed for sleep disorder not for anxiety or depression. Tapered off over only 2 weeks, taking 3 doses first week and only 1 dose the second week, then none. No noticeable withdrawal effects.  Some years later was on 20mg for three months with absolutely horrendous allergic reactions. Stopped instantly (cold turkey) on same day I researched and found out ill health was due to cit.  Very little side effect from withdrawal, maybe just a little shaky at first but nothing more.  Have been off them 1 yr and still occasionally having issues with the muscle problems they caused whilst taking them (doctors appointment today re muscle pain for example).

    Hope that helps Dave.

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    • Posted

      Hi there glad you are doing some research and getting feed back, as going to do a post on woman and hormones, as they are our bodies building blocks and as such affect over 400 of our bodily functions.  Including anxiety and depression.  Done training in neuro chemistry and have lots that could help you with this.  Done in a drug rehab centre.

      Unfortunately all research is done on men - so womans hormones are not taken in to consideration.

      Have done research through the pituitary organisation - as this controls all our hormones, including testosterone - which we produce too.  So when our hormones are out of balance so is our chemicals.

      Obviously to what extent will control how we respond to coming off cit and the ability to deal with it.

      The pituitary organisation have got men on testosterone replacement which helps them with depression etc, etc.

      I have seen lots of posts that woman say why has this anxiety come out of the blue, with no apparent reason for it - that is do to with ovulation and the week before our period and for woman if they did a daily diary would quickly see the patterns.  Also change of pills, etc, etc.

      Okay my question for men is do they get anxiety out of the blue and things, for no apparent reason, as never seen them discuss this only woman.

      Hope this helps and I know you said not to do any other discussions etc, but thought this might shed some light on things for you and show you another direction to look in.


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    • Posted

      thank you for your post and it cold prove to e very interesing but a little of base for what i am looking for on this occasion which as you know is Cit withdrawal. It is good to know that others ae looking to other areas of triggers which may onset depression etc

      Thanks again


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    • Posted

      That's an interesting point Mel. Sorry Dave I don't mean to hijack your thread but I really need to ask Mel, is there any indication that antidepressants such as Cit affect male testosterone levels? I mean (and Dave you will find this interesting), something has to explain why It completely nullifies your sex drive at 20 mg and above, and now that I am tapering off, I feel a bit of 'reinstatement' in that department. In fact, when I came off cold turkey as I mentioned in this discussion, I had a big boost in my libido again, albeit other horrific side effects 
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    • Posted

      I would say definately yes, because from my point of view as a woman, because my hormones were raging so was my sex drive, and once on citalopram it did calm it right down.

      So yes citalopram being a pram is a calmer and brings all levels down by suppressing things.   It is used widely in woman to suppress their hormones.

      I don't know how you were told to come off cit, but it has to be very very slowly and over quite a period of time.  It is one of the worst things to come off.  That's advice I have seen widely and recommended by the drug rehab I trained in.

      By the way I am under a professor and have learnt so much.  That is in endocrinology - which is what covers our pituitary, thyroid and adrenals etc.  As they are all interlinked.  Adrenaline comes in with our hormones.

      You need to drop 5 mg over a 3 month period.  So drop 5 mg, some people if chemically sensitive even 2.5 mg, then it took me 10 days to level out and stay here for 3 months before progressing further.  Have dropped from 30 mg to 25 mg to 20 mg last year, until they got my hormones further under control and this year as on special patches - 20 mg to 15 mg.  Then in couple of months time to 10 mg.

      Don't know what age you are - but if high in testosterone will make you anxious and if low depressed.  When men and woman go through mid life crisis - this is what is instigating things.

      The effects of hormones on the brain is oh so interesting and I could recommend a really good book.

      When my hormones levels used to drop drastically and suddenly my heart would stop, blood pressure fall right down and would come out in severe cold sweats - coming out of my hands and feet.  But I am marked severe.

      Hope this helps and hope Dave reads this too as the info he is looking for needs to take in to account age, whether woman have things like meriana coils fitted etc. etc.  As if you look up anxiety and merina coils - that in itself is oh so interesting.  The pill really puts some womans hormones right up the creek - especially five year implants - gives some woman bipolar symptoms. 

      As we are all individual and such most people don't know what is going on with their hormones (testosterone) included as just before my period mine drops through the floor - it would have a major impact on coming of cit.  etc.


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  • Posted

    At least u need to be on the 20 mg for at least 4 - 6 months, then if u wish to come off then reduce 1 day in a week for 2 weeks , then 2 days in a week for another 2 weeks, then every alternative day for at least another 2-3 weeks, then take it twice a week for another 2-3 weeks then one a week 

    needs to combine with exercise, good food, avoid caffeine, have lots of social activities, ......

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    • Posted

      You should not have withdrawal if you reduce the citalopram very slowly when you are ready for it, but I have to say I know some people can relapse after some time and might need to go back on citalopram unless if they can stabilise their serotonin by  cardiovascular exercise, and other life style changes

      Good luck

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    • Posted


      I bit of  big statement " should not have withdrawal" as a lot of people who have been on Cit for a whole range of time and  dosage level many of which have come off the drug without side effects while others clearly state that they have had horrendous issues even though they have taken advise and time to come off the drug!!!

      But thank you for your comments but not the informaton i was requesting on this post



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