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Momo123:Help needed Cetalopram, Setraline withdrawal


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I need some advice as I I am not sure what to do.

I have been on Cetalopram for 10 years and have just managed a horrible change over to Setraline. I been on Setraline for about 8 weeks.

It has stopped the obsessive worry and anxiety but has not done much for my depression. Also I do not feel myself but slightly funny, have really bad bloating and restless legs. 

Now my psychiatrist has suggested switching me to effexor.


I am extremely sensitive to anything and we first choose  Setraline because apparently it is similar in its action to Cetalopram which was wonderful for me but stopped beeing effective after so many years.


Also suddenly my brain feels really cramp and I am dizzy which i wondered if it could be a late withdrawel of the Cetalopram withdraw.


I also have chronic fatique syndrom to make things complicated.


Could anyone suggest something ?


I would be grateful

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Momo,


I'm sorry you are going through this confusing time, and not feeling well.  I was on various antidepressant medications for over 13 years and know how difficult it can be when they stop working or seem to cause more problems than they solve.


I'm reluctant to suggest anything because this forum is for helping people to taper safely and become medication free, we don't generally provide advice about switching medications.


Its difficult to know if you are having withdrawal effects from your old medication, an adverse reaction to your new medication or if your nervous system is reacting to the change. 



I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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Its difficult to know if you are having withdrawal effects from your old medication, an adverse reaction to your new medication or if your nervous system is reacting to the change. 




or all of the above...switching meds is very hard on the body and MDs often don't seem to understand this at all.


Petu is right Momo...we don't advise people on med changes...


I'm very sorry you're having difficulties. My chronic fatigue got much worse when psych meds were put into the mix. I'm slowly getting back my health these days since I got off of them. 


I hope you find an answer that allows for some sense of well-being. 

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 


withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, momo.


It could be the switch from citalopram to sertraline has triggered withdrawal syndrome from citalopram. It is possible to have withdrawal syndrome from one SSRI even though you are on another.


Given this, it's unlikely Effexor, an SNRI, is going to help.


How much citalopram were you taking? How did your doctor manage the switch?

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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Hi Momo....


You have CFS and that, in conjunction with crossing over from citalopram to sertraline is rough territory.  It is very normal to still hve withdrawal from one drug after switching to another.  I've done it.  For me, the WD did go away after a month or so.  During that time I was in bad shape.


Of all of the drugs to get off of...Effexor and Paxil are the toughest.  That was originally how support groups popped up a few years back.  I would never tell anyone to take Effexor, just the opposite...stay away from it.


How much Citalopram were you on when you crossed over?  And - how much zoloft (sertraline) are you on?  I take Citalopram, but have never taken zoloft.  There are people here who have taken sertraline.  Hopefully they will come along to speak with you.


You are probably experiencing WD from the citalopram.  Maybe this will pass in time.

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/


Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)


Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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