Unable to wean off of Citalopram no matter what I do. Help?!

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Hello, I have been taking 20 mg of Citalopram for a few years now. 7 months ago i decided to start the process of getting off of it. no matter what i do or how slowly i do it i seem to get nausea and fatigue and dizziness that is so absolutely debilitating i cannot bear it and end up having to take a dose because it will literally wake me up and keep me up and theres nothing worse then feeling nauseous.

first i tried taking 3/4 my dose for a week then 1/2 for a week and got debilitating symptoms so i had to go back to my dose. then i tried 1/2 pill every other day with one full dose every other day and still by week 2 i was so miserable i caved.

then my doctor put me on prozac to take that for two weeks and then take 1/2 citalopram with it for 2 weeks then stop the citalopram and keep taking prozac for a week and then stop. i got all the way to 3 days eithout citalopram and just prozac when i was woken by debilitating nausea in the middle of the night. nothing i did could make the nausea bearable so i caved and took a dose so i could sleep.

my doctor says he has never had a patient have so much difficulty getting off citalopram and i dont know what to do. i really tried to tough out the symptoms but i literally couldn't function. has any one else ever had this issue?

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  • Posted

    Hi Carly,

    I was on 40mg cut down to 20mg then weaned off that ,I had dizziness everytime I reduced but not too bad and moodiness (but not depression) I reduced and stayed at that level for a while. My doctor told me to reduce as slowly as I wanted to ,I stayed at 10mg for a while as that was a good balance between having something and not feeling emotionally numbed by citalopram. Anyway I did it like this 20mg one day then 17.5 mg which is 3/4 of a tablet the next,I would just bite a quarter off and throw it away.

    20mg -3/4 tab alternate days for 2 weeks

    3/4 tab every day for 2 weeks

    3/4 tab - 1/2 tab for 2 weeks

    when you get to this stage you can get 10mg tablets from the doctor

    10mg for 2 weeks

    10mg - 5mg 2weeks

    5mg 2 weeks

    5 mg every other day 2 weeks

    then stop and just put up with the dizziness if any but it should be ok ,

    this method is so slow you are unlikely to get big withdrawals and if there are any at all they will be noticable a couple of days after each reduction ,I think you will be able to do it

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    • Posted

      by the way when I say 3/4-1/2 tab for 2 weeks i don't mean choose i mean alternate each day and the same for 10mg -5mg ect

      by the way I tried to reduce the way the doctor said as have many ,it doesn't work ,you need to do it very very slowly to allow your brain chemistry to readjust without the drug,just keep getting your 20mg with the intention to slowly reduce and know you are doing it but it will take some time ,but you have started ,I know you will do it ,just got some bad advice on how.

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  • Posted

    Taking 3/4 one week and 1/2 the next week is too quick for your body to adjust. I spent a year coming off meds and stayed on each reduction 4-4 weeks.

    Adding in Prozac? Thats pointless as first they'll give you start up side effects and you'll have to wean off them too.

    I reduced by 5mg each time - I bought a pill cutter / crusher and cut me meds up and went from 20, 15, 10, 5, 2.5, 1.25, 0 staying on each 4-6 weeks and had no withdrawal effects at all. The last 2 doses I crushed.

    I came off once before this by halving meds and spent 6 months doing it but it was too big a drop in meds and too quick.

    By reducing by a tiny amount and spending a long time in each reduction your body is eased down and doesn't miss the dose.

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  • Posted

    This medication is very difficult to stop. I hope you are being guided by a psychiatrist. If you are, I suggest you talk to him/her about Foltanx. This is a prescription vitamin, off label use to assist withdrawal from SSRIs. I was unable to tolerate it because of a side effect but I am extremely susceptible to side effects. That's why I'm stopping citalopram: extreme hair loss, carpal tunnel syndrome, poor protein absorption: all rare side effects. But for the three days I did take Foltanx, I felt the serotonin boost.

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  • Posted

    I would look on the withdrawal and reduction as a very long term process .

    week 1

    monday 20 mg

    tuesday 15mg **

    wednesday 20mg

    thursday 20 mg

    friday 20mg

    saturday 20mg

    sunday 20mg

    monday 20mg

    tuesday 15mg **

    wednesday 20mg

    thursday 15mg

    Etc , so youre on 15mg per week , then once on 15mg start the same process to reach 10mg , drop so slowly your brain has time to adjust .

    this method is used to withdraw off Presnisilone steroids , as the withdrawal side effects are horrendous .

    As you reach lower doseage you may have to slow even further or stay on , say 0.25 mg for longer . or your body chemistry may have adjusted and it could get easier .

    we all react and cope differently .

    Nausea and dizzyness can cause panicky feelings .

    wishing you good luck and wellness .

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