Jump to content
SurvivingAntidepressants.org is temporarily closed to new registrations until 1 March ×

Routamarja: Citalopram withdrawal


Routamarja

Recommended Posts

Hi, everybody!

 

I started citalopram (Celexa) when I was 18 years old to treat generalized anxiety. The doctor assured that it doesn't cause dependency... well, now I know it does! I've used citalopram for 10 years (40mg). I tried to quit citalopram following doctors advices (each drop -5mg), and reached zero 8/2014. Immediatly came the normal wd symptoms (with I experience after missing a dose), dizzines, zaps in the head,  mild dysrhytmia.After a week, I started to experience devastating wd symptoms: sleep disturbances, akathisia, stomach problems, mood swings, muscle spams, itching, anxiety, suicide thoughts...

 

Reinstateting to 20mg (I went to pschiatric hospital to ask for help -mistake! Diagnosis: severe depression and reinstateting the medicin to "cure depression") helped a bit but still experiencing severe symptoms and unable to work...

 

So 9 months of traumatizing symptoms and still hooked on that ****. Not a success! Psychiatrists are convinced that citalopram cannot cause such long-lasting symptoms, so it must be another psychiatric condition. (latest doc "invented" that depression is not a match, so she started to talk about dissociative disorder to explain the neurological symptoms combined with borderline personality (explaining rapid mood swings) These disorders just happened to emerge week after stopping drug! :lol:

 

Luckily my husband, family, friends and therapist are very supporting. But we all start to be very tired.

 

 

 

 

 

started Citalopram 40 mg (celexa) 2004

summer 2013 started decreasing dose (-5mg each drop) 

reached 20 mg in march 2014 -no problems

reached 0 mg at the end of July 2014

immediatly: dysrhytmias, brain zaps, dizziness

about after a week: sleeping disturbances, burning, pricking sensations in the skin,

muscle twitches, akathisia, suicide thoughts, huge anxiety, mood swings, etc.

-> reinstateting to 5mg-> partial relief

october 2014: decrease to 4mg-> after 2 weeks symptoms get worse

november 2014: -> 15 mg-> some relief

february 2015:  citalopram 20 mg-> some benefit maybe?

 

Link to comment

Hi routa, so sorry your are going through this. I'm a fellow victim of being on celexa for 10 years, went cold turkey off 20 mgs during my 3rd pregnancy in November 2011. Was not told of the dangers. Didn't get slammed with the worse of the withdrawal symptoms until I was 9 months off and have been in protracted withdraw ever since. Reinstatement of the celexa at a lower dose to stabilize your system is the only know way to help,and it can take weeks or months to stabilize. Then once stabilized you taper off the celexa very slowly. Keep in mind reinstatement doesn't always work this far out for everyone, it didn't for me, but it might for you. I'm not a moderator one will along soon to help make suggestions. Welcome to the site and take care of yourself

Spring of 1998 place on birth control pills for irregular bleeding, high testosterone and one ovarian cyst, stayed on until April 2004, told to take hormone holiday, conceived first son 4 months later-VERY BIG SUPRISE, was told wouldn't be able to have childern or would need reproductive doctor to help. Got pregnant again 2006 with second son easily, then was on/off birthcontrol again until October 2011, concieved 3rd son in October 2011(tried many times to get pregant again when 2nd child was close to 2yrs, hormone problems started again after 2nd child, along with thyroid enlargement.

 

Spring of 2001 celexa 10 mgs-rx'd by pcp for complaints of chronic fatigue, irritability and weight gain, stayed on until June 2005, switched to Lexapro 20mgs for PPD, stayed on Lexapro 6-7 months, couldn't afford to see psyh dr. and Lexapro, saw PCP switched back to 20mgs celexa in 2007, remained on until November 2011, was c/t off due to 3rd pregnancy, baby had umbilical cord defect, seemed ok during pregnancy, except for crying jags here and there. Our miracle baby was born July 20th 2012, healthy except with reflux. One month later the anxiety,restlessness,horrible crying, insomnia and the deepest depression ever. That started the psyh drug nightmare-benzo's,antidepressants, sleeping pills, mood stablizers. Nothing help made me worse, doctors just kept changing the meds frequently. 4 mental health hospitalizations, rapid detox off benzos Jan 2013, horrible withdrawal and still suffering withdrawal symptoms NO ONE BELIEVES ME, I feel like ive been on one consistant drug withdrawal for the past 2 years

January 2014 slow titrate up of lexapro to 20 mgs-horrible side effects!!, was just rapidly taper by current pysh off to pursade me to try an MAOI-no way!!! Was told should consider ECT

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Routamarja , welcome to the site.   I'm so sorry you've been through this.

 

Are you currently taking 20mg Celexa?

 

If you could fill in your signature it will make it easy to see at a glance.

It most certainly IS possible that you're experiencing a protracted withdrawal , even though you tried reinstating.  Most

doctors who are unknowledgeable about this will add new diagnoses and new medications for these new diagnoses

because they don't know what else to do.

 

Good to have you on board ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, Routamarja.

 

See Why taper by 10% of my dosage?  and Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

Post your questions in your Intro topic, this is your topic to track your progress.

 

Very, very few doctors recognize withdrawal syndrome of any length. There is widespread denial that it can be prolonged.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

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.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Routamarja,

 

What date did you reinstate 20mg? Are you still taking this dose at the moment? How are you feeling now?

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

 

 

 

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, sorry I haven't replied earlier.

I'm currently taking citalopram 20 mg. I increased the dose in the beginning of February hoping that it would help really bad depressive symptoms.  After two months the depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation have diminished, but at the same time the skin sensations (pins and needles) have become permanent. Earlier I had it for days or max two weeks. I wonder why the change?

 

My question is: what could help to disturbing skin sensations? It really goes on my nerves and disturbes badly sleeping and effects my mood that way.

Has anybody tried lamotrigin or gabapentin?

started Citalopram 40 mg (celexa) 2004

summer 2013 started decreasing dose (-5mg each drop) 

reached 20 mg in march 2014 -no problems

reached 0 mg at the end of July 2014

immediatly: dysrhytmias, brain zaps, dizziness

about after a week: sleeping disturbances, burning, pricking sensations in the skin,

muscle twitches, akathisia, suicide thoughts, huge anxiety, mood swings, etc.

-> reinstateting to 5mg-> partial relief

october 2014: decrease to 4mg-> after 2 weeks symptoms get worse

november 2014: -> 15 mg-> some relief

february 2015:  citalopram 20 mg-> some benefit maybe?

 

Link to comment

Hei Routamarja

 

Adding new drugs into your body is something that we definitely do not recommend here. It just prolongs your recovery and you might get even worse reaction to those drugs. 

 

You are going to experience a vast variety of symptoms. Everyone of them will go away eventually. Including your current pins and needles phase.

 

Best advice we can give here is to stick with your current citalopram dose until you feel stable enough to start a long journey towards 0mg. Check those links Altostrata gave you. They are very useful. Just remember that there are no shortcuts. This is a project that is going to take a long time.

 

Tervetuloa foorumille,

Moody

08 Cipralex 10mg for about 6 months. 11-12 Cipralex 20mg. Unsuccesful WD. 12-13 Zoloft 100mg with Diazepam 10-20mg as needed for anxiety.
Fall 13 Tapering Zoloft 100->50->25->12,5->0 in 2,5 months and CT Diazepam. 12/24/13 RI Zoloft 12,5mg
.

1/21/14 11mg

3/18/14 9,9mg

2/18/14 8mg

4/22/14 7,6mg

5/5/14 7,2mg

5/12/14 -> cutting 0,5mg per week, holding when necessary.

8/18/14 -> cutting 0,25mg per week holding when necessary.

10/20/2014 -> cutting 0,1mg per week, holding when necessary.
12/28/2014 Jump!

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Routamarja, withdrawal has caused your nervous system to be hyper-reactive. That is what is causing the skin sensations.

 

You might try acupuncture for that symptom.

 

When you are good and stable, you might consider going off the citalopram very gradually.

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.

Link to comment
  • Mentor

Welcome Routamarja

 

You have come to the most wonderful supportive site.  The real information is here, a lifesaver for me.

 

Listen to the administrators, they are survivors, and have a wealth of information.  The skin sensations will go.

 

Do a very, very slow taper.... best wishes and welcome again

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, thank you so much from your answers! I'm going to try acupuncture.  I guess skin sensations is quite common wd symptom with citalopram. Altostrata, I've understood that you had heavy physical symptoms. What relieved them?

 

I really want to go off citalopram for good, but I'm still too unstable to even consider it.

 

I had 1,5 months mentally clearly better time, but now the anxiety has got worse...=( Well, waiting for better again. How have you managed  bitterness? I'm so full of hate towards psychiatrists! Before wd symptoms my life was really good, i managed at work, got married and we were planning to try to have a child. Now having a child ever feels impossible and I'm still on a sick leave after 10 months... :mellow:

started Citalopram 40 mg (celexa) 2004

summer 2013 started decreasing dose (-5mg each drop) 

reached 20 mg in march 2014 -no problems

reached 0 mg at the end of July 2014

immediatly: dysrhytmias, brain zaps, dizziness

about after a week: sleeping disturbances, burning, pricking sensations in the skin,

muscle twitches, akathisia, suicide thoughts, huge anxiety, mood swings, etc.

-> reinstateting to 5mg-> partial relief

october 2014: decrease to 4mg-> after 2 weeks symptoms get worse

november 2014: -> 15 mg-> some relief

february 2015:  citalopram 20 mg-> some benefit maybe?

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

I had tingling pain in my hands, wrists, arms, and back that was finally relieved by acupuncture.

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.

Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

Hi everybody and thank you so much keeping this site up! I found a doctor in Finland who admitted that I'm suffering from withdrawal, hurraa!

I have a question about switching medication. After feeling clearly better for 2 months, I tried to taper citalopram with 5%. It wasn't a success, my akathisia came back (although skin sensations got better). After 6 days I went back to 20 mg. My doctor (who has unfortunately no clue about treating withdrawal, he suggested 25 % drop!) suggested switch to fluoxetin, because it should be easier to quit.

 

Do you have experiences from switch to fluoxetin from citalopram? How should it be done? What should I expect? Can it be a good idea?

 

Right know I'm quite happy with my life, although partially on sick leave. I have concentration problems, skin sensations, fatigue, some times mild anxiety, sometimes very mild akathisia, mood has been quite ok=)

started Citalopram 40 mg (celexa) 2004

summer 2013 started decreasing dose (-5mg each drop) 

reached 20 mg in march 2014 -no problems

reached 0 mg at the end of July 2014

immediatly: dysrhytmias, brain zaps, dizziness

about after a week: sleeping disturbances, burning, pricking sensations in the skin,

muscle twitches, akathisia, suicide thoughts, huge anxiety, mood swings, etc.

-> reinstateting to 5mg-> partial relief

october 2014: decrease to 4mg-> after 2 weeks symptoms get worse

november 2014: -> 15 mg-> some relief

february 2015:  citalopram 20 mg-> some benefit maybe?

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Good to hear you're feeling better after 2 months of reinstatement, Routamarja.

 

Switching to fluoxetine carries the risk that it does not work and you get citalopram withdrawal anyway. See The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac

 

Also, your nervous system is vulnerable right now because you are still suffering from the citalopram changes.

 

If I were you, I'd give your nervous system some more time, perhaps 6 months, to stabilize on citalopram instead, and taper directly off that.

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.

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy