Withdrawal to zero - should I pause part way through?

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I had been on 40 mg citalopram and wanted to reduce and eventually come off altogether. Initially I went down to 30 and felt terrible for a few weeks, then levelled out.

I'm currently downing to 20 and starting to feel the brain zaps. Do you think I should:

1. just gradually reduce my dose to nothing over the next 6 weeks or so

2. wait until the withdrawal stops, then reduce again, rinse & repeat

3. wait until the withdrawal stops, then wait a while, then reduce again

Basically is one stage of withdrawal easier or harder having completely recovered from the previous stage?

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I came off these last year and reduced more gradually by doing 5mg at a time.  I bought a pill cutter and cut the 20mg into 4's and went from 20 / 15 / 10 / 5 / 2.5 / 1.25 / 0 having to crush the last 5mg and take the powder.  I had no withdrawal symptoms at all this time (I came off once before and dropped like you did and had brain zaps, nauseau, dizziness etc).

    Reducing by 5mg I stayed on each reduced dose 1-2 months each.

    Its kinder to your body.

    Personally I'd stop where you are and maybe give the 5mg reduction a go instead.

    K x

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  • Posted

    Well it is strange that you want to come off the pills, in my case the relief feeling is far greater than my wish to come off the pills. Also I think you time frames are very short, I think I would take a year to come down from there or even more because I want to know when it starts to go back as it was and stop.

    It almost sounds to me like you do not need the stuff, me I think I would go back to feeling awful again and I dont want that.

    I admire you will to reduce but I would be scared of going backward.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the comments. I think I have been overambitious about my timescale. I'll got for the pill cutter and slow reduction method.

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    • Posted

      Yes. Listen to what people hav said.  I was on it 2013 for 6 months. Then took a year with my trusty pill cutter to reduce . Reducing 2.5 or 1.25 towards the end   Similar to what Kate clogs did. If I felt bad I went back to the dose previous for another two weeks. I had no withdrawal side effects

      the only problem was 6 weeks on nothing I could feel myself slipping down a hole again. I tried several OTC alternatives. I should have returned to my Gp and gone back on it..my body just needs it.  This is my 11th week back on 20 mg. I am so much better it's unbelievable although I was dreadful until 6 week mark.  Worse than before. See katecogs very helpful post and one by Anna on why this happens 

      i think I may have to stay on a tiny dose forever. Even just 5 mg 

      as said...the relief and well being overrides everything 

      I wish I had stayed on it in 2013 

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    • Posted

      Since coming off my meds Gillian I've been taking over the counter 5-HTP and l-tyrosine.  Apparently 5-HTP are as good as Prozac.  Like you, I feel I do need something and I spent 16 years on meds, and prepared to stay on a small dose for life ...... and then I decided to try it without.  I came off some years ago years ago and took 5-HTP and l-tyrosine with success again but I felt the need to return to Citalopram due to family illness which took its toll on me big time.  After that had passed I came off again and since stopping last year I've been doing well.  First time I came off I dropped each dose by 10mg but still spent many months coming off - and had withdrawal.  Last year was so much better, and like you had no withdrawal smile

      I'd certainly return to Citalopram though if ever I felt I needed to again.  They've been a godsend to me.  But .... so far, so good wink

      K xxx

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