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Jiraiya Short term Citalopram use - help and advice?


Jiraiya

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Hi everyone!

 

Just thought I would introduce myself. I am a 26 year old male, and have had a very brief experience with Citalopram for GAD. After reading stuff online, I've decided that I do not want to go down the SSRI path. I will make a post later today in more detail.

 

I'm not here for tapering advice as I have this sorted with my doctor - so if we can please avoid that topic that would be really appreciated :) I'm here to ask other questions.

 

Pleased to meet you all!

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment

Hi all!I just wanted to post on here, as everything on google seems to be scaring the pants off of me. A couple of things I read are below. I guess I'm looking for some sort of knowledge, and reassurance.

 

http://beyondmeds.com/2011/07/28/ssriprotractedwithdrawal/

https://www.cchrint.org/pdfs/ssri-induced-persistent-postwithdrawal-reactions.pdf

 

Basically I started Citalopram about three weeks ago (my usage is in my signature) for generalized anxiety disorder. I was only on the full dosage (20mg which is the minimum dosage ) for about 12 days and then decided I don't want to go down the meds route. By the time I'm off them it will have been a total of 3 weeks and 3 days including tapering.

 

Basically I'm not looking for tapering advice, as I have a very good doctor and we have already sorted that, so let's not go there :)  But I'm just worried now after everything that I have read that I am going to suffer horrendous withdrawals/protracted. I've read stuff of people going through this for months and even years and quite frankly it scares the pants off of me. It's become somewhat of an obsession.

 

So my worries are as follows

 

- That I have caused some sort of chemical imbalance, or brain damage

- That I am in for months of hell/protracted withdrawal.

- That I won't recover etc etc

 

I haven't noticed any withdrawals as of yet as far as I know, and I'm already down to 5mg. Only issue I've really had since being on the SSRI is poor sleep. It's hard to differentiate between the anxiety before and after, as it was really bad before. So I guess you can say my symptom is anxiety. It's also interesting that I feel alot better from 7pm onwards and my anxiety seems to be almost non existent.

My only hope is that because I've been on them for such a short period I should be sweet. So I thought I would address my concerns on here, as I have quit the Google search as all it has done is fuel my worries. Also another question is this: what supplements can I take to help my brain bounce back.

 

Thanks everyone!

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Jiraiya,

 

Firstly I'd like to say welcome to SA.  You have come to the right place.  There is lots of extremently good information on this site and I will give you a few links below which I suggest you read.  Your signature is very well done.  The members here are very helpful.  You can use this topic you have started as your Intro/Update topic (one of the mods will put your name on it - bookmark/follow topic (top right) so you can find it easily).  You will then be able to ask questions and post your updates.

 

I am not sure (and really nobody can be sure) how you will be, or if you will be, affected by being on Citalopram for a short period of time.  However, somebody with more knowledge should be here soon and they may be able to make suggestions about that.

 

The idea of slow tapering (at a maximum of 10% of the current dose) is so that you minimise withdrawal symptoms.  Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person.  Anti-depressant medication does change your brain and tapering and holding allows it to change the way it needs to.  See Brain Remodelling for simple explanation of what happens.

 

I'd also like to suggest that before you change your dose or add anything else (prescription medication and/or supplements) that you post what you are thinking of doing so that members here can give you their opinion of whether you should take/not take it.

 

Why taper?

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Withdrawal Symptom Checklist

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

Good luck.

 

CC

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  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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Hi ChessieCat, thanks for the reply  :)

 

Like I said, I'm not looking for tapering advice. I'm already down to 5mg. I've had no dizziness or brain zaps or anything like that. I'm doing the taper process with my doctor and I'm three days away from being off it all together, that's not the reason why I'm here. So basically my plan is already sorted, and I'm not planning on taking any anti anxiety medications ever again after this. Basically, I'm not after opinions on tapering etc, it will probably just make me more anxious.

 

In terms of supplements, I was maybe thinking 5-HTP? But not sure if this is a good idea or not.

 

The main reason why I'm here is because I'm worried about suffering long term withdrawals, and want some clarification around this. Because I was on it for a shorter period is my brain likely to bounce back faster, etc. Or was I on it long enough to cause brain damage? I'm basically just really scared  :(

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment

Also wondering how important diet and exercise are for restoring the brain?

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, Jiraiya.

 

I merged your topics into one Introductions topic.

 

As you've been on citalopram for such a short time, the probability that you will experience withdrawal syndrome is lower.

 

It looks to me like you are reducing by 5mg every few days. If I were you, I'd stay on the last 5mg for perhaps a week or two, just to make sure earlier decreases don't add up to withdrawal 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.

Link to comment

Hey Altostrata, thanks for the reply.

 

I might just do that. Maybe even if I do 5mg for another four days, then do a few days on 2.5mg would that be of benefit?

 

Just have a few questions I was hoping you or anyone knowledgeable could answer?

 

My biggest worry is that I am going to fall into a deep depression after I'm off the Citalopram. Is this a likely scenario?

 

Also, because I've been on the Citalopram for such a short period, does that mean that my brain will recover quicker? Like I said, I was only on the full dose for about 12 days. I just worked it out, and by the time I'm off I would have only taken 18-19 pills total.

 

And last question, will 5-HTP be of benefit to me once I'm off the SSRI's?

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment

Anyone able to help/reply regarding my above post? Please don't scare the crap out of me though haha. I'm a bit traumatized after all the stuff I read on Google.  :unsure:

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Jiraiya,

 

Take a few long slow deep breaths. You are going to be fine, you are one of the lucky ones. Unless you had a bad reaction and adverse effects while taking the Celexa, its unlikely you will develop significant, long term symptoms when you stop taking it.

 

The taper you have planned sounds good to me, you don't want to be tapering for a longer time than you were actually taking the drug.  Perhaps cutting down to 2.5 for a few days, rather than extending the 5mg days would be a good idea too.

 

I personally wouldn't recommend any supplements or herbs which target serotonin, its best to leave your brain alone to heal by itself, which it will do.

 

If you want to try something, I would recommend this:   King of Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil)  a healthy diet, regular exercise and just getting on with your life.... and stay away from google for now :)

 

For your original anxiety, have a look here for some ideas: Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

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

Hi Petunia, thanks for the reply!

 

Just one question, by bad reaction/adverse effects, does increased anxiety fall into that category? I think it did make my anxiety worse on the second week taking it (although the googling made my anxiety worse too, and I was going through a slight benzo withdrawal which I'm through now), but when I dropped to 10mg the anxiety seemed to decrease somewhat. Hopefully that doesn't contribute to a long term withdrawal. I guess that seeing I haven't had any noticeable withdrawals yet I should be okay?

 

And I'll drop to 2.5mg for a few days just to be safe  :)

 

I'm planning on a good diet and exercise too which should help. Actually doing a mindfulness retreat in a few days which I think will help greatly, and I will be away from my computer for two weeks!

 

I just sent you a private message too in case you don't see this. I see you're from Australia! I used to live in Melbourne (kiwi now back in NZ).

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment

Another reaction I noticed was increased sweating and heart rate on the second week, aka increased anxiety. The first week I didn't get any worse, as I was pretty bad even before I took the meds. But once again this could have been rebound anxiety from stopping the benzo that I was on for a week.

 

Or by bad reaction did you mean something more major?

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment

Anyone able to shed light on the adverse reactions/bad reaction question I asked? Does that differ to side effects, because I know that everyone usually experiences some sort of side effect during the beginning of being on SSRI's. Sorry to be so needy, I just need to give myself peace of mind so I can move forward from this. I've heard that increased anxiety is a common side effect. Like I said, during the first week I didn't notice any adverse effects/bad reactions.

 

Promise this is my last question! :) Thanks everyone.

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

No, don't worry, that sounds like 'normal' start up effects. 

 

Please would you add the benzo use to your signature, along with any other recent medications you took or are taking.

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

Thanks for the reply. I've got my plan for anxiety sorted but I will check out the techniques page  :)


My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment

Hi all!

 

Took my last 5mg dose today. I'm going down to 2.5mg tomorrow for a week or so, then I'm done.

 

Just wanted to ask a question before I go away for two weeks tomorrow (will have no internet access). I've already taken the last of my quarter my dose (5mg), so if I was going to experience withdrawal I would most likely be experiencing it now yeah? I know there's probably no straight forward answer as everyone is different, but just wanted an idea. I still haven't noticed any major withdrawals, only my pre exisiting anxiety.

 

Thanks again!

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

It can take weeks for withdrawal to hit. That is why we suggest monthly reductions.

 

You are tapering rapidly. Withdrawal symptoms may occur as a result of cumulative reductions.

 

Please read the links ChessieCat so kindly posted for you.

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

Well I've only been on the drug for a few weeks, why would I want to taper longer that I've been on it? That doesn't make sense at all.

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment

Great now I'm even more anxious after reading that :(

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment

Ok so I just read the taper guide. I still don't really see the sense in me making monthly reductions though, seeing as I was only on the full dose (20mg) for twelve days. So twelve days on the drugs, and twelve days tapering - that's 24 days in total on it (well 28 days if I decide to take the 2.5mg for the last four days).

 

So from what I've read, it still seems like I am very unlikely to have some sort of protracted withdrawal. I know many many people who have taken SSRI's, including ones on forums, and not one of them has had some sort of protracted withdrawal.

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Its ok Jiraya, you were only on it 12 days, you don't need to taper for months.

 

As you've been on citalopram for such a short time, the probability that you will experience withdrawal syndrome is lower.

 

It looks to me like you are reducing by 5mg every few days. If I were you, I'd stay on the last 5mg for perhaps a week or two, just to make sure earlier decreases don't add up to withdrawal symptoms.

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

Ok cool. Well I will continue with the 2.5mg for the next four days. That should do the trick! I was going to stop taking the AD's today, but maybe it's better to be safe than sorry.

 

But yeah from what I have read, it seems I am at a very low risk which is a relief.

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment

My advise, stop reading stuff on the internet, get off and stay off all antidepressants and benzos and if you are dealing with depression/anxiety, seek therapy and natural treatments like diet etc. You can be VERY lucky you got the chance go get off these meds unharmed. So go live your live and stop worrying about small things.

Was on Citalopram 20mg since Feb 2008 - switched to Paxil 20mg in August 2010

Tapered way too fast in April 2012 by skipping days. Taper completed in 6 weeks

Tried prozac 20mg for 3 days - felt spaced out, not better.

Tried 30mg Cymbalta for 2 days. SEVERE ADVERSE REACTION

Antidepressant free since 14 August 2012

Birth control on and off during this time - Last taken 18 June 2017 - Morning after pill 

Started mainly using 0.5mg Xanax beginning 2016 for severe panic attacks and anxiety due to trauma

Xanax on and off never more than 0.5mg at a time, never taking it 3 days in a row - used sparingly 

 

6 Years antidepressant free - Still in severe withdrawal with over 60 symptoms

Severe setback started May 2018 with no let up to date. Developed many new symptoms like tremors, inner vibrations, insomnia, visual distortions and dr/dp are 100x worse, i have severe sensitivity to movement, My dizziness and vertigo got worse and it now feels like im constantly rocking on a boat, my anxiety is sky high, suicidal idiation is back, i feel extremely brain damaged 

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Good advice, NoMeaning!

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

Will do, thanks for the advice! I'm signing out for now. Adios!

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Please come back in a while and let us know how you're doing.

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
  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all.

 

Just thought I would check back in with everyone as I thought I should let everyone know how I am doing!

 

I've been off the Citalopram for nearly four weeks. The good news is that I didn't suffer from any withdrawal symptoms at all. The original anxiety is still present - although it has decreased substantially, but I have slowly been recovering from this using mindfulness and other techniques (will post some stuff below). Anxiety has improved big time, although I still am dealing with some demons.

 

Ever since I came off the SSRI's I actually did start feeling alot better. I'm now sleeping very well, and my interests in life are returning. Back at the gym, back playing music. Life is okay now :)

 

Just wanted to thank everyone who contributed to the advice (even though some of it may have scared me haha), especially Petunia who was very reassuring. I was very paranoid with all the stuff I read online, and was very sensitive to alot of information I read (I still am a bit). This in itself was my main problem, I was literally just scaring the pants off myself and fueling the anxiety. However in a way it was a blessing in disguise, as I now know that SSRI's are most definitely not the answer.

 

Anyways - back to the anxiety. Here are some great resources that I would like to share with you all. It has helped me tremendously, it actually helped me through my worst bout of anxiety a few years ago and got me back to normal for a year.

 

Claire Weekes - all of her books are great.

 

Paul David - At Last a Life. At Last a Life and Beyond - these books are probably the anxiety self help books I have ever read, it makes so much sense and explains depersonalization in depth, which is something I used to deal with quite badly when I first suffered with anxiety - I know that alot of people on here have dealt with it too. If you don't want to buy his book he has a great website and blog wiith loads of free information. - www.anxietynomore.co.uk

 

Meditations - Jon Kabat-Zinn, the one below is great.

 

https://soundcloud.com/liel-1/day-6-jon-kabat-zinn-mindscape/sets.

 

I probably won't be sticking around here as this is a chapter in my life that is now over, but take care everyone, you will get there!

My very short term usage

 

Citalopram (Celexa) 20mg started 26 Oct 2015

15mg Celexa 7/11/15

10mg Celexa 11/11/15

5mg Celexa 15/11/15

 

Ativan started 26 Oct 2015 2-3mg daily for a week, then stopped.

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