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Bruci: withdrawing from SSRIs after 35 years


Bruci

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Good books or review papers on antidpressant withdrawal?

 

Hi All, 

I'm new here and will spending time reading the many posts, but I'd like to know what are the best books on guiding someone through antidpressant withdrawal. I'm also looking for scientific studies. I have "The Antidpressant Solution" by Joseph Glenmullen, which is good, but is there anything more recent? 

Thanks Bruci 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, Bruci.

 

I've removed your last name from your post to preserve your anonymity.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  A list format is best.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Regarding scientific studies, here is a link:

 

From journals and scientific sources

 

For information on withdrawal, here are several links from this site:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Brain Remodelling 

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed whate space at bottom of post

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of May 2: 6.1mg

Taper is 92% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Hello, 
This is my intro posting. I have been on various SSRIs since 1985ish and I've had enough. They lost their efficacy long ago and yet whenever I've tried to quit, I've been wracked with withdrawal symptoms. They have led to increased appetite, weight gain, slowed metabolism, insulin resistance (a direct effect of these poisons), difficulty in losing weight, sexual dysfunction, dulling of emotions, and chronicity of mood problems. I am convinced that the drugs are doing far more harm than good. 

My shrink told me I had to stay on these pills for life so I fired him. My GP says the same and I'm having problems finding professionals to guide me through a long taper. Natural medicine advocates promote ineffective "cures" for depression and, in my experience, are worthless. So I am taking the bull by the horns and going it alone. There is a risk because I have a history of suicidality and want to avoid a relapse at all costs. So I'm reading all the info here to get started. 

Currently on 20 mg Celexa and 300 mg lithium. 

 

Bruci

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, Bruci.  Thanks for doing your signature.

 

This is your Introduction topic, which you should use for future posts.  Only one Introduction topic per member.  Your previous post regarding reading material will be merged into it.  

 

We're happy to help you with your taper, so you won't be going it alone.  Doctors all too often tell their patients that they're on their drugs for life, and some cite the long-debunked "chemical imbalance" theory.

Again, chemical imbalance is a myth. Stop the lies, please ...

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  Some have to go more slowly.  Your taper from 30 to 20 was a good bit faster than we recommend, resulting in the withdrawal symptoms you're now experiencing.  There are several links about withdrawal in my response to your previous post. 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Another taper we recommend is the Brassmonkey slide, which entails four weekly 2  1/2% cuts followed by a 2-week hold.  It's a bit gentler than the 10% method.  I used it for my Lexapro taper.

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

 

Because your system has been sensitized by your drop from 30 to 20, I would hold where you are at 20 for at least a month before tapering. Listen to your body and see how you're feeling before tapering further.

 

We recommend tapering only one drug at a time, and that drug should be the more activating drug, leaving the more sedating drug in place for tapering later.  In your case, Celexa would be more activating and would be the first drug to taper.

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

This link is specifically about tapering Celexa and includes instructions on how to get the non-standard doses you'll need for your taper.

 

Tips for tapering off citalopram (Celexa)

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

We also recommend using non-drug methods to cope with withdrawal.  Take a look at the links in the following link and see which you think might be helpful to you.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

As I said in my previous response, this is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed whate space at bottom of post

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of May 2: 6.1mg

Taper is 92% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Thank you Gridley! In addition to Celexa, I am also taking lithium 300 mg to augment the Celexa. Do you have any information on how to taper off of two drugs? Should they be done at the same time? Seperately?

 

Thank you for so much for this valuable resource.

 

LATER: I just read your message more thoroughly. So I will taper off the lithium afterwards. I don’t feel it is as problematic. The dose is pretty low.

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Bruci,

 

Are you still taking Lithium?  If yes, are you getting regular liver function tests done?

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 9/14/2020 at 1:47 AM, Bruci said:

Hi All, 

I'm new here and will spending time reading the many posts, but I'd like to know what are the best books on guiding someone through antidpressant withdrawal. I'm also looking for scientific studies. I have "The Antidpressant Solution" by Joseph Glenmullen, which is good, but is there anything more recent? 

Thanks Bruci 

 

recommended-books-on-antidepressant-withdrawal

 

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

I've just merged your 2 topics and now seen you post stating you are taking Lithium (I posted my question in the other topic).

 

19 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Hi Bruci,

 

Are you still taking Lithium?  If yes, are you getting regular liver function tests done?

 

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Please add the following to the bottom your drug signature so that we easily see what you are currently taking.  Thanks:

 

Currently on 20 mg Celexa and 300 mg lithium. 

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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1 hour ago, ChessieCat said:

Hi Bruci,

 

Are you still taking Lithium?  If yes, are you getting regular liver function tests done?


Yes. I get a blood test every 3 to 6 months. Liver function seems OK but I was diagnosed nine months ago with fatty liver, probably due to overweight.  It’s one of the reasons I want to get off of Celexa. It jazzes up my appetite and slows down my metabolism. Also, SSRIs cause insulin resistance.

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Please add the following to the bottom your drug signature so that we easily see what you are currently

Ok 

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
7 hours ago, Bruci said:

Ok 

 

It's not showing up.  Did you forget to click save?

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

Link to comment
3 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

It's not showing up.  Did you forget to click save?


I will do it when I get to my computer. I can’t seem to do it through my cell phone.

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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Added info to my signature. 

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I've moved you posts about Vitamin C to the relevant existing topic which you can find here:  vitamin-c-ascorbic-acid-or-ascorbate

 

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Your post has been moved to an existing discussion about digital scales.  SA likes to keeps similar information in one topic so that it is easier to find.  There are many topics already being discussed on SA.  Before creating a new topic please search to see if one already exists.  Because the site search function does not seem to work very well I prefer to use an internet search engine and add site: survivingantidepressants.org to my search term. 

 

using-a-digital-scale-to-measure-doses

 

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Administrator

Hello, Bruci.

 

If Celexa is causing your more pressing health concerns, I'd go off that first. With your very long history on the drugs and prior unsuccessful attempts at withdrawal, you may want to go even slower than our usual 10% taper, see

 

Tips for tapering off citalopram (Celexa)

 

Why taper? SERT transporter occupancy studies show importance of gradual change in plasma concentration

 

Citalopram comes in a prescription liquid for easier titration. You may want to take 20mg of your dose in tablet form and the rest in liquid, very gradually tapering the liquid. For insurance coverage, your prescriber will have to write up the prescription as divided doses to be taken at different times of day.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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On 9/16/2020 at 6:17 PM, Gridley said:

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  Some have to go more slowly.  Your taper from 30 to 20 was a good bit faster than we recommend, resulting in the withdrawal symptoms you're now experiencing.  There are several links about withdrawal in my response to your previous post. 


I’m into week one of my withdrawal.  I decided to go back to 30 mg because I felt too unstable on 20 mg Celexa. 

 

So I’m gradually settling into feeling stifled, groggy, hungry, and sexually inhibited. Again. Still. 

 

I received my milligram balance today with number two gelatin capsules and I will be reducing by 10% as soon as I feel stable. My doctor is against this but he has agreed to continue my prescription of 10 mg Celexa. I’m hoping to find a psychiatrist who is more sympathetic to this approach.

 

Wish me luck!


Bruci 

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
1 hour ago, Bruci said:

I decided to go back to 30 mg because I felt too unstable on 20 mg Celexa. 

Tapering is a gradual process with lots of retreats and advances. Wait until you stabilize, then you can do the 10% taper.  

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of May 2: 6.1mg

Taper is 92% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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3 hours ago, Gridley said:

Tapering is a gradual process with lots of retreats and advances. Wait until you stabilize, then you can do the 10% taper.  


That I will! No plans to start tapering until I feel stable. This may take me 4 to 6 weeks. We’ll see. Thanks again for this forum.

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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After reading some of the comments about suicidal feelings during withdrawal, I am now worried. I’ve been hospitalized for suicidal intent and came very close. That’s when they put me on heavy doses of antidepressants and anti-psychotics.
 

That was 2012. Eight years later I’ve come a long way with therapy. I stopped taking Seroquel, reduced weight considerably, and now I only have Celexa to come off of.  Unfortunately, I can’t afford therapy anymore.

 

If start getting suicidal again, I don’t know what I will do. I can’t continue to live a life numbed out on antidepressants.

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 9/25/2020 at 7:25 AM, Bruci said:

After reading some of the comments about suicidal feelings during withdrawal, I am now worried. I’ve been hospitalized for suicidal intent and came very close. That’s when they put me on heavy doses of antidepressants and anti-psychotics.

That was 2012. Eight years later I’ve come a long way with therapy. I stopped taking Seroquel, reduced weight considerably, and now I only have Celexa to come off of.  Un

fortunately, I can’t afford therapy anymore.

 

If start getting suicidal again, I don’t know what I will do. I can’t continue to live a life numbed out on antidepressants.

 

Hello Bruci, 

 

I'm not saying it is an esay thing to do, but as with other WD symptoms, the key is to learn to live with them while knowing that time will help. Because symptoms always do pass.

During this process, it is really important to try to learn tools/practices that help to cope.

 

About suicidal thoughts they are just thoughts. Brutal thoughts, but only thoughts.

I found that meditation/mindfullness helped me to not identify with my thoughts. It takes practice but can really be hepfull. 

It is a matter of being the obsever of your symptoms and detach from them.

 

You can find some great ressources here

 

for-those-who-are-feeling-desperate-or-suicidal/

 

The key is to try to remember that WD symptoms are temporary. 

 

 

Take care ☀️

 

 

2006 : 20mg Paxil+Bromazepam. 2008 : cold turkey of both. 2010 : Reinstatement 20mg Paxil + Bromazepam.

2014-June2017 : Switch from Bromazepam to Prazepam, slow taper to 0mg.

2018 to August 2019 : Paxil 20mg taper (3% every 15 days). 22 Aug 2019 updose to 10mg (was at 8.4mg).

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paxil. 

April 2020 : Paxil 10mg to Prozac 7mg bridge. Details topic/21457

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate + fish oil

Current medication :

* 7pm Diazepam  : 0.85mg (15 Aug 2022) / 0.95 mg (24 April 2022) / 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

* 8am Prozac : 6.16mg (25 oct 2022, feel awful, slight updose) / 6.08 mg (9 oct 2022) / 6.24mg (11 July 22) / 6.44mg (22 May 22) / 6.64mg (4 Nov 21) / 6.72mg (8 oct 21) / 6.8 mg (15 Sept 21)6.88mg (14 Aug 21)/ 6.92mg (23 Jun 21)

 

I am not a professional, I don't give medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 9/25/2020 at 3:25 PM, Bruci said:

Unfortunately, I can’t afford therapy anymore.

 

If start getting suicidal again, I don’t know what I will do.

 

There are free things online, like this excellent resource.  Be sure to check out the links to extra things on the page.  I've provided some below which I think will be useful:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/suicidal.htm

 

There are lots of really good resources on this website.  Scroll down to see the different topics:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/selfhelp.htm

 

1 hour ago, Erell said:

About suicidal thoughts they are just thoughts. Brutal thoughts, but only thoughts.

 

When I was going through many months of always feeling suicidal (before withdrawal) I bought a book which I found very helpful.  The main thing that I got from it was:  It's just a feeling and feelings change.  The book is How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying To Kill Me by Susan Rose Blauner.

 

And we also need to learn how to live our life without always being fearful about something which might never happen.  This was posted by a member who experiences health anxiety:

  

On 8/2/2020 at 6:49 AM, mstimc said:

And one last piece of wisdom from my wife.  She told me that living my life afraid of being sick is just as bad as having a real disease.  That stuck with me.

 

Edited by ChessieCat

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Thank you for all these resources. I am really quite frightened about this process because what I have gone through before. But I cannot continue on these drugs.

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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  • Administrator

Suicidal thoughts are only thoughts. You do not have to act on them. If you want to go off psychiatric drugs, you will have to manage any troublesome thoughts or feelings. Learning techniques to do this is essential. If you do not feel confident you can manage your thoughts and feelings without drugs, you might want to wait on tapering them.

 

You can, of course, taper slower than the 10% per month that we suggest, if you feel you need more gradual reductions. Have you attempted to taper by 10% before?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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3 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

You can, of course, taper slower than the 10% per month that we suggest, if you feel you need more gradual reductions. Have you attempted to taper by 10% before?


No, I am just starting this process.  I haven’t yet begun to taper. I’m currently on 30 mg Celexa down from 40 mg about five months ago and I’m suffering. So I will wait until I stabilize and then start the 10% taper. If I get worse, I will slow down. I am also doing psychotherapy to deal with the heavy feelings. I’ll do what it takes but it’s still scary. Suicidal feelings are no joke.

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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  • Administrator

Suicidal feelings are only feelings. If you feel the drugs control these feelings and you are overwhelmed by them, perhaps you should wait until you learn how to manage your feelings before attempting to taper. 

 

While tapering, you may have to cope with strange symptoms that are withdrawal symptoms. You must be able use techniques so as not to panic at odd symptoms.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
17 minutes ago, Bruci said:

So I will wait until I stabilize and then start the 10% taper.

 

If you have experienced withdrawal symptoms previously it can be very scary because you don't want it to happen again.  And this is completely understandable.  However, if you are anxious about tapering it can add anxiety symptoms which you might misinterpret as withdrawal symptoms.  If this happens (ie thinking that you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms when it is actually added anxiety not caused by withdrawal) it can cause a member to be even more anxious about tapering and they might think that they are "super sensitive" and that they need to go really slowly when that is not the case.  When you start tapering, you might consider starting with only a small reduction to ease your way into the process.  This can help you to gain confidence in the process and get to know your body/symptoms (without as much added anxiety) and if the small reduction went well you can make a larger reduction the next time.

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • 3 months later...

Titled:  Almost 3 months into tapering.  Started at 30 mg Celexa, now at 20 mg.

 

Here’s an update on my progress,

 

The past two months have bern tolerable, but not easy. My main symptom is exhaustion and lack of motivation. It’s not depression, it feels different. It is a low energy state brought on by the reduction of serotonin in my brain. My brain feels “emptied out” if that makes sense. It’s hard to describe the feeling. It is one of being depleted.

 

Early on in the taper, I was feeling hypomanic. But now I just feel exhausted much of the time with low motivation.

 

I counter this by forcing myself to exercise, avoiding sugar and alcohol, and eating very healthy food. But I am concerned that I may not be stabilizing, whatever that is. People tell me it is a feeling of being “normal“ and that I should feel “normal“ before I taper down.

 

But there is no normal on SSRIs. It’s either a choice between blunted cognition, sexuality, and emotional numbness, or days of feeling exhausted. I callthese crash days. I have too many of them.
 

So either I should reduce my tapering proportion from 10% a month to 5% a month, or spread out the taper intervals, or both. Not quite sure on how to proceed but I really want to get off this drug as soon as I can.

 

I have a scheduled taper starting tomorrow. From 20 mg to 18 mg, And then 10% per month after that. But if this exhaustion continues to be a problem, I guess I will have to adjust that.

 

Thanks for listening,

 

Bruci

Edited by manymoretodays
merged introduction(s), added title

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Bruci, @Bruci

And thank you for the update.

I moved your 2nd Introduction post, on back here, with your previous Introduction.  Just one Introduction per member, and this is the spot to do updates, ask questions specific to your taper, so that it all stays in context.  And this way, if you need to, you can review previous posts to you, and any information and input already given.

 

7 hours ago, Bruci said:

So either I should reduce my tapering proportion from 10% a month to 5% a month, or spread out the taper intervals, or both. Not quite sure on how to proceed but I really want to get off this drug as soon as I can.

 

I have a scheduled taper starting tomorrow. From 20 mg to 18 mg, And then 10% per month after that. But if this exhaustion continues to be a problem, I guess I will have to adjust that.

 

One of the problems with going too fast, is that you may incur more WD symptoms.  It looks like you updosed to 30 mg Celexa in July of 2020, began tapering in October, and now are at 20 mg.  Which is a bit more than what I just calculated out, for 10% drops, on a monthly basis.

If I multiply each respective dose, by .90, I come up with you being at a dosage of 19.7 mg in January.

I just went with, calculating a new dose, from each previous dose.

You are really close though, and seem to be fairly independent.

 

So you might want to just HOLD at the 20 mg dosage, a bit longer, say another 2 to 4 weeks, and then resume tapers, based on your WDstability, or WD normal for you.

stabilizing, what does that mean?

and then from: Are We There Yet?  How Long is Withdrawal Going to Take?  Stability

 

Is exhaustion your only WD symptom right now?

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist

 

If you are feeling okay, about your own WD stability, then I think it would be okay to do another 10% taper, perhaps in a couple of weeks........see if your energy picks up a bit in the meantime.

As mentioned above, you can go even slower with your taper than 10%.

For a basic 10% taper, if you multiply your current dose by 0.90, it will give you the new dose, which is a 10% reduction.

For a 5% taper, you multiply by 0. 975, 0.95

And then for a 2.5% taper, you multiply your current dose by 0.975

 

Or you could use the brassmonkey slide method, and do portions of the 10%(2.5 % tapers), on a weekly basis, for 4 tapers, then take 2 weeks of a HOLD, then recalculate and begin another round.

You could do a slide, with a 5% taper too, if you want.  You'd just divide the total 5%, taper drop, into 4.

 

And I know, I know.......everyone would like to get off their drug quickly, or I once thought that was the way to go too.  Unfortunately, it set me way back.  Much better to go slow, and maintain as well as you can, during a taper.  Optimally, that's what I would encourage.  There is no prize for a too fast taper.  Unfortunately, for many, it's the opposite.....more struggle........more nervous system and overall dysfunction.  And great that you are planning, and coming around to update as well.  Good job!  You don't have to do this all by yourself.

 

If you need to take another day or week to decide and plan, that's going to be fine Bruci.

 

I'm glad you posted, and updated.  You seem to be doing okay right now, with the information you gave, I mean overall.   Please ask anymore questions if you need to.

 

Thanks.

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
math error :-( corrected, added in 2.5% taper explanation too

Late 2023- gone to emeritus status, inactive, don't @ me, I can check who I've posted on, and I'm not really here like I used to be......thanks.

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Bruci,

I just noticed a math error, and corrected it.

I put a strike out through it.

 

Late 2023- gone to emeritus status, inactive, don't @ me, I can check who I've posted on, and I'm not really here like I used to be......thanks.

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing

 

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  • 3 months later...

Six month update: 

 

April 3 marked my six-month point in withdrawal from cetuximab. My dose on Oct. 3 was 27 mg; my current dose is 13 mg. I am reducing at the recommended 10% per month every 30 days. 

 

The first two months were awful. I cannot really describe the brain symptoms because "dysphoria" doesn't quite cut it. Here are some descriptions from my journal: 

 

-- I feel like my brain is being pulled out of shape by something. 

-- my brain is being kneaded by a mad baker. Squeezing and pulling. 

-- it feels like a million microscopic vice grips are being release in my brain and my brain doesn't know what to do. 

-- my brain is decompressing but there is nothing to contain it. Feels like my neurons are spilling out all over the place. 

-- some days are like I'm being electrocuted; others are like complete collapse into exhaustion. I cannot get out of bed on those days - it is not depression. It is something entirely different -- an unnatural fatigue I can only describe as cellular fatigue. 

-- I've lost sense of who I am. The numbness has abated but I am in a no-man's-land of unnatural alteration. There is no ground beneath my feet. I have no idea how this evening will be, let alone tomorrow. 

 

...and so on. Even at this point, I cannot say I feel better, but only less bad. My sexual function is gradually returning but the SSRI still has a grip on this most intimate aspect of my being. I hate it! I want my natural sexual function back!

 

The waves far outnumber the windows and I wonder if I should low the taper to 5%. I am so damn impatient, however. I want this poison out of my brain! I want the old Bruci back; the pre-depressed Bruci. Will that ever happen? The stories of those who have gone before me are reassuring. Other stories are frightening -- w/d symptoms FIVE YEARS after quitting? What kind of hell is this??

 

Old food allergies have resurfaced and of course these are my favourite foods--yogurt, feta, home made bread. I dread the thought of having to go back to a restricted bland diet, but my digestion has been hit hard by this process. 

 

Nausea and diarrhea are daily occurances. Not only my brain is F'ed up but my gut as well.

 

I wish I had something better to report, but I can say that the reduction of numbness...that dead feeling...is diminished. I am in the desert now, on the long march towards the sea. At times, it is hard to go on but I have no choice. Under no circumstances will I reinstate this neural poison that has done so much damage to my brain for so long. DECADES!!! It's a wonder I still have a semifunctional brain at all. 

 

So I look forward to better days ahead. One day I will emerge, I know it. 

 

Thanks for listening. 

 

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

I had to re-register to get back onto this form because it would not except my username or email. Here’s my update.

 

I am now nearly 10 months into a taper from citalopram 30 mg. I’m down to 2 mg. I would like to stop the drug immediately because I am in a new relationship and my sexual function is still not good. The drug gives me erectile dysfunction.

 

However, I understand that the decrease from 2 mg to 0  can be brutal because of receptor occupancy.

 

My greatest fear is that stopping the drug may not have the desired affect on my genitals. Now that I am having sex again, I notice the sensation is blunted and erection is unstable. I go soft on penetration and it still takes a very long time to finish. I dread the prospect of PSSD. My partner doesn’t understand any of this and thinks its her. I am in Greece where sexual disfunction in a male is considered shameful. Weak.

 

So I will reduce 1/2 a milligram per month for the next four months to avoid what could be a hellish experience.

 

Bruci

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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  • Administrator

Hello, B.

 

How has your tapering been going so far? Have you seen a change in your sexual functioning while you've been tapering?

 

Your plan of reducing 0.5mg per month may be too fast.

 

@Karma will contact you to resolve your account confusion.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
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@BrucewI sent you an email regarding your account so we can get your two accounts merged. You may need to check your spam folder if you don't see it in your inbox. 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/11/2021 at 1:56 AM, Altostrata said:

Hello, B.

 

How has your tapering been going so far? Have you seen a change in your sexual functioning while you've been tapering?

 

Your plan of reducing 0.5mg per month may be too fast.

 

@Karma will contact you to resolve your account confusion.

 

 

I am now into my 12th month of tapering citalopram. I have gone from 40 mg to 7.0 mg and I'm staying on that dose for another month or two before decreasing. 

I still get plenty of long waves but my sexual functioning has improved dramatically. I can now reach orgasm with my wife and it's a great relief for both us. 

However, I still have many bad days. The symptoms have changed from fatigue to depression, which is of concern to me because they come with suicidal thoughts. Thankfully, these depressive episodes are brief and I can count on a window appearing in a few days. I still have GI distress but less so. Poor memory is still a problem, I don't have half the memory I had before SSRIs and I hope that will improve because I am trying to learn a new language and it takes lots of memorizing. (I live in Greece now.) 

This forum is a godsend, as is the Facebook group and various blogs by people who have gone through a long taper and have come out the other side. I don't know what I would do without these resources because medical doctors are useless, especially psychiatrists. I have completely lost faith in modern psychiatry. 

Something  I've noticed: waves seem to have different aspects as they come. Sometimes it is fatigue, sometimes it is sexual dysfunction, sometimes it is just emotional lability or depression/anxiety. I feel like my brain is trying to adapt to this new state by going offline and online. But the parts that go offline have specific functions. For example, these new episodes of depression feel like a deeper part of my brain has been opened up and old trauma is coming up. That's what the drug was prescribed for in the first place. But it flips back and forth. Some days depressed, other days OK. My  brain is trying to manage that old pain on its own -- to recover from the control the drug has on those deep emotional centres. 

However it goes, I will not go back up my dose. Sometimes I take a low dose benzo if I'm having a really bad day, but no more than two days in a row. Magnesium helps a lot.

This is a one way trip for me to a drug-free life and I'm determined to get there, even it takes years. 

Thanks for being here. 

Bruce 

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg.  1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 2011: Put on Zyprexa. 2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 2019: Stopped Seroquel. 

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

2020 October 18: Reduced to 24 mg.

2020 December 4: Reduced to 21 mg.

2020 December 23: Reduced to 20 mg (spacing out taper intervals due to persistent w/d effects)

2021 September 23: Several reductions over the past 9 months to 7.0 mg. Stressful life circumstances led me to feeling very depressed with suicidal feelings, so upped to the dose to 10 mg until I feel better. 

 

 

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