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debbieb: long term citalopram user


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Good afternoon, I hope ive put whats needed in signature below. Ive been on citalopram for 23 years for depression and anxiety. I was stable and ok, so i  decided after alot of reading it was time to come off them. I tapered over 5 months and came off them in November i think 2021. I seemed fine for the first 6 weeks if anything  i was super happy and positive, then not knowing if it was because christmas and new year is stressful i didnt put two and two together. I gave up alcohol in june 2021 and very proud of that. The symptoms im now experiencing are chronic anxiety both physically and mentally, worrying immensely about things that have happened in my past, irrational fears,  that i cannot do anything to change, tearful spells, insomnia, indigestion and fatigue and feeling generally low in mood. Im trying to manage this with cbt techniques, meditation and walking and talking. If it is managable then will this go or will it just get worse, the last 5 days have been very difficult but im determined that i dont want to go back on them again. Does this sound like discontinuation/ withdrawal as i thought it would have happened sooner after i had stopped the medication. Thank you for reading  x

Diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 1998

Citalopram 20mg since 1998 to 2021.

Pregablin for anxiety started June 2018

Came off pregablin December 2018 as too many side effects.

Tapered off Citalopram over 5 months

Came off citalopram in November 2021

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to debbieb: long term citalopram user
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  You have come to the right place.  Congratulations for getting off citalopram.  What you are describing sounds like the symptoms of withdrawal from Citalopram.  It sounds as though you tapered off faster than your nervous system could adjust.  We at SA suggest a 10% per month taper, where the 10% is calculated on the current dose, so that the reduction amount gets smaller and smaller.  


Are you or have you been on any other drugs?  Please add to your drug signature that you quit citalopram in November 2021 - thank you. 


Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.   This explains why we get symptoms from going off of these medications.


How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain



This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 


Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs


What is Happening in Your Brain


Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization



Also, as we are recovering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. 


Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable



Here is a link with checklists of common WD symptoms: 


Dr Joseph Glenmullen Withdrawal Symptom Checklists



Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 


Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms



We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 



Omega 3 Fish Oil



I've given you quite a bit of information here.  It takes a long time to recover from withdrawal, but healing will happen, given time and patience.  Please let us know how you are doing.  


Edited by getofflex

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  


***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.


Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg


Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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