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Hello!  I am SO grateful to have found this site.  What a wonderful place and great form of support!  I had never taken antidepressants but was prescribed escitalopram after a tragedy I experienced.  I started last August and had terrible side effects.  So lethargic, jaw clenching, hair loss, tooth pain, swallowing issues to name a few. 


I believe now I tapered far too quickly.  On the advice of a friend I simply cut the pills in half during a two week period and was done.  I had some brain zaps and dizziness for the first few weeks and then felt fine.  After about two months I started experiencing new symptoms each day.  Started with weakness in one arm that got to the point my wrist would just flop over.  Then horrible ear pain.  Then numbness, tingling, burning, twitching, muscle aches, joint pain all over.  Electric shocks through my body were horrible also.  Tender spots on my scalp really freaked me out.


I had NO idea until I found this site these were withdrawal symptoms.  I thought something was terribly wrong with me.  I had gone to the doctor and had every test and they were all perfect.  He said I was stressed which I am not.  I just returned from vacation so very relaxed.  The symptoms have started to subside thank goodness but now 6 months out I am having terrible sinus pain and sinus headaches that have lasted for days.  My sinuses will also get inflamed when irritated but certain things but it is never consistent.  Sometimes it's food, sometimes perfume, sometimes the cold weather. 


This is all so depressing.  I just want to feel normal again.  I have literally tried every over the counter drug for my sinus headaches and nothing works.  I have bought a million supplements and nothing seems to help either.  Some bring my nerve symptoms right back to the forefront.  It is still mind-blowing to me that a drug I was on for such a short period of time could do all this.  Has anyone else had these sinus headaches and found something that has helped reduce the pain?  How long should I expect all this to last?  Thanks for your responses and reading my story.

Edited by KarenB
added paragraph breaks

Mid-July 2015 Started 10mg escitalopram and had many horrible side effects.  Tapered off and was done by beginning of November 2015.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Cheery, welcome to SA. It is tragic that you are suffering so badly after such a short time of taking the drug.  Sinus pain is something that many members have reported having problems with and we have a topic that you might like to read through and add to. 




I'm glad that your symptoms have lessened and you have been feeling more relaxed, that is great news!

You will most likely find that symptoms come in windows and waves, which means that there will be new symptoms that come to replace others and as time goes by they can lessen in intensity, the windows get longer and the waves shorter.  It is your brain and nervous system going through the healing process. You can read about windows and waves here..... 



The good news is that it will get better and you will be able to get on with life again. 

Have a good look around and you will learn lots about how to cope and look after yourself while going through this.  

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Cheery,


There are two main supplements we recommend, because so many people find them useful:  Fish oil and Magnisium.  


You'll get through this, just take things slow and give yourself all the help you can via things like good rest and diet.  Too much exercise can make symptoms worse, as can coffee and alcohol.  


Welcome to s/a,


2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

2023 Now on 7 micro-beads of Effexor. Minimal symptoms but much more time needed between drops.

 'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Cheery - I'm sorry you had this happen to you.


They prescribe these strong drugs with very little respect for how they operate - and - as you've discovered, they don't just affect the brain.  They affect endocrine, digestion, immune response and histamines, along with the nervous system.


Is there anything you'd like to know more about?  Did you read about Magnesium and Fish Oil?  


If your symptoms get unbearable, it is possible that reinstating a tiny, tiny amount of the citalopram - like .5 mg or 1 mg - could smooth your symptoms somewhat.  You are six months out, so it would be less effective than if you were closer to your last dose.  But it has worked this far out for some people.


The best way to get this tiny amount is to make a liquid from a tablet:  How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsule then siphon up your dose with a syringe or pipette.   


What are your symptoms now?  How well are you coping with them?


Could you please put dates in your signature, so that we know how close or far away to the drug you are?


Welcome to SA!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna


Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.


My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.


A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.

The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/



I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Hi MammaP, KarenB and JanCarol!!  Thank you so much for your responses, well wishes and words of wisdom!!  Much appreciated :)   Thank you for the suggestion to reinstate but I do not want to do that.  I just want this poison out of my system and would rather deal with the residual symptoms a little longer.  The side effects I experienced on the drug were horrible also.  The worst was hair loss.  It came out in clumps in the shower.  The pharmacist told me to contact the manufacturer as it wasn't listed as a potential side effect.  I did that and they told me they had people who had experienced hair loss in clinical trials but weren't compelled to list it as a side effect as it was prior to the drug being finalized for distribution. Ugh!  I took a product called Priorin for 3 months after I tapered and it has done wonders for my hair.  It is almost back to normal now thank goodness.


I did try fish oil for a while but found it was too activating for me.  As well as a host of other vitamins and supplements. I started taking magnesium about a month ago and wasn't noticing any changes but kept taking it.  I also added another product that was recommended by the lady who owned the health food store.  She said she was confident it would help me.  She said it brought your immune system back in balance.  I have been taking it in addition to the magnesium for about two weeks now and in the last week have really felt a lot better!!  My nerve symptoms have all but disappeared!!  I have only noticed a slight tingle in my knee and eyebrow that will come and go but that's it!  My headaches that were constant have let up also.  My sinuses were getting completely stuffed up when I would eat certain things or smell certain smells and now it only seems to be when I drink tea or drink alcohol.  I am not a big drinker but enjoy a drink now and then with my husband.  I tried again last night to have a glass of wine and am still stuffed up today.  I am hoping since it is just down to these two things that irritate my sinuses they will eventually go away also!  I am very hopeful and so glad I seem to be finally feeling better.  I hope it lasts.  Oh and the product I started taking is called Immuno-Care.  It is not cheap but I have been willing to try anything.  


I will keep you all updated on how things progress from here :) Thanks again for all your help!!!

Mid-July 2015 Started 10mg escitalopram and had many horrible side effects.  Tapered off and was done by beginning of November 2015.

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I had all the sinus stuff, it will go away in time ☺ Ali

10 years citalopram 30mg- tapered down in December 15/2015- Jan 15/2016 to 20mg for two weeks, ten for one week and five for another week, then stopped, less then two weeks later, sheer hell broke lose with debilitating withdrawal symptoms.


Update-- reinstated 5mg of celexa on feb 5-- within hours noticed immediate difference in WD symptoms-- Holding holding and more holding.


Updose- March 23/16 too 10mg- relieved the harsher head symptoms- current symptoms headaches, dizzy, numbness and tingling in my head.


Benzos- 2015-Ativan on and off for 6 months 2mg- switched to clonazepam nov 2015- 2mg till Jan 2016 Zopiclone 7.5mg nov-dec 2015- was tapered off over 4weeks- Currently in protracted withdrawal. ????????????????????????????????


Update- ended up in the hospital April 18/16 major suicidal ( never had that before) was admitted/ been there ever since, put me back to full dose celexa 30mg no drugs added, IAM FINALLY STABLE AFTER 3 months of tortuous hell. Got a great physiatrist that new all about WD, he will help me taper properly in a couple of months at 5% deductions holding 8 weeks. I never want to relive that hell again.


Udate- stable and holding, doing things slowly is key.

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