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Stacy86: Citalopram - 40 mg wanting to taper


Stacy86

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Hi all - My name is Stacy. I have gone through hell with trying to get off of antidepressants, as it seems you all have. I'm hoping there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I will be able to one day get off of it.To start off, I am 29 years old I have a daughter who is 9. I was first put on Zoloft 50 mg when I was suffering from postpartum depression and should have only been on it for a short period of time (as my doctor tells me now). However, I was not told this. I stayed on it for 5 years.

 

I wanted to have another child at that point, but did not want to take meds during pregnancy, due to the effects it can have on the baby. During the time I was on it though, I was taken up to 100 mgs, the doctor I had at that point, I think was a quack. He told me to go down to 50 for 2 weeks then go down to 25 for two weeks, then get off of it which took me through hell. At this point, I wanted a second opinion.

 

The next doctor I went to, said I should go down 10 mgs a week. I did this. Much worse. Couldn't sleep but maybe 1 hour a night. No appetite. Lost 50 pounds in one month. Constant thoughts running through my head. The only thing that got me through this, was my daughter. I then went to a new doctor after going through hell and scared to get back on Zoloft for almost a year, and in Dec 2012 I was put on 20 mg Celexa.

 

Didn't seem to be helping as I was newly diagnosed with PTSD they said due to the Zoloft withdrawal experience. I literally prayed every day at the table where I worked (I work at home) and forced (and I don't put that lightly) myself to eat, and to keep going for my daughter. Getting out helped me a lot being that I work from home. Anyway, I was put on 20 mg Celexa and ended up being moved up to 40 mg Celexa. Found out my doctor was being sued for giving people medications they did not need and decided to switch doctors.

 

I found a great dr. that is very supportive now and says he will help me if I want to try to get off Celexa again. At this point, I really want to because it is affecting me, making me oversleep and such. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I haven't gone to the taper yet because my doctor wants to wait until I decide I can go through the withdrawal again.

 

My biggest problem when I was tapering off was the lack of sleep I was getting due to anxiety. A friend of mine said when she felt the horrible panic attacks coming on from the withdrawal, her doctor prescribed her Xanax to take as needed and she would only take it when it got real bad for her. Anyone have any experience with this? Something I could talk to my doctor about. He's all for whatever helps. He knows how bad I want off of it. We need more doctors like him. I look forward to talking to all of you and hopefully we can help each other!

Stacy

Edited by KarenB
added paragraph breaks

Mar 2007-Feb 2012 - Zoloft 100 mg (increased from 25 mg at the start)

November 2012 - Couldn't stand withdrawal so went to Celexa 20 mg

January 2013 - Moved to 40 mg Celexa

October 2014 - Started taper for pregnancy (found out I was pregnant)

November 2014 - Miscarriaged (stayed at 20 mg)

January 2015 - Taken back up to 40 mg Celexa due to problems with tenseness in shoulders/anxiety

March 2016 - Trying to prepare myself for going through the hell again

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  • Moderator

Hi Stacy-- Welcome to the group. I so glad you found us. I also sorry to hear about how you're feeling and the mess the doctors have caused.  It all goes back to your original taper off of the Zoloft, which was way too fast.  Then it was just compounded by all the other drugs and changes.  It is wonderful that you have found a good supportive doctor that is willing to work with you.  We have a lot of good information you can share with him.  For right now lets get you started on understanding what is happening.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

Wouldn't you know it, I just got paged and have to go back to work.  Those will get you started and we'll talk more later.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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I was thinking about possibly asking my doctor about liquid form of Celexa to wean off 10% each time that way I am getting the same amount every time instead of a little more/little less with the pill cutting, which I may have made the mistake of doing wrong last time. I am wanting to do it as slowly as possible so as to avoid as much withdrawal as possible. Do you have any knowledge as to if this would affect me differently than the pill form does? My friend mentioned her doctor prescribed her Xanax as a crutch at times to get off of hers as well. Have you heard anything of this being helpful? Look forward to talking more. Its nice to know I am not alone. 

Mar 2007-Feb 2012 - Zoloft 100 mg (increased from 25 mg at the start)

November 2012 - Couldn't stand withdrawal so went to Celexa 20 mg

January 2013 - Moved to 40 mg Celexa

October 2014 - Started taper for pregnancy (found out I was pregnant)

November 2014 - Miscarriaged (stayed at 20 mg)

January 2015 - Taken back up to 40 mg Celexa due to problems with tenseness in shoulders/anxiety

March 2016 - Trying to prepare myself for going through the hell again

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Welcome Stacey.

I was just going to say all the mods must be at lunch ...but then Brassmonkey posted.

 

Yep we can all totally relate to your situation. Perhaps sa should be called the 'hell' recovery centre.

Its just so sad doctors havent got a clue about tapering and are just reading the nonsense on the wrappers.

 

You might like to take a moment to do a drug signature so people can get a few more specifics. How recent was the updose to 40mg?

 

Found out my doctor was being sued for giving people medications they did not need and decided to switch doctors.

Good for you for having the strength of mind to switch doctors.

Glad you found a new doctor who takes his reputation seriously (fingers crossed).

 

Your idea of going to liquid is excellent. If you are worried you could always do the switch in increasing pill and liquid.

 

In terms of xanax, a benzo it would be great to not open the door to more problems. You can avoid the need for this if you taper slow and follow the advice here. Within a very short time (1-2 weeks) you could trigger another drug addiction and it will have to be tapered.

 

If you read the link from Brass it talks about liquid..and if concerned then you could switch in parts see...

Using a combination of tablets and liquid

Rather than switch directly to an all-liquid dose, you may wish to take part of your dose in liquid and part in tablets, gradually converting to all-liquid as you get to lower dosages. This can be very convenient and reduce any problems switching from one form of the drug to another.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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  • Moderator

As a matter of fact I was out to lunch at the time.  But then again I'm "permanently out to lunch" as we yanks put it.

 

NZ11 covered some good ground Stacy.  For most people there is no difference between using liquid and tablet form and the switch in a nonevent. Some people who have been sensitized to psych drugs find that it is safer to cross taper between the two just to minimize any chance of a bad reaction. Or it is possible to combine the two to make up the dose required.

 

Using a mg scale and careful cutting it is quite possible to make very accurate dose changes.  It can be a bit more fiddly than using the liquid especially near the end when the doses get very small. 

 

As for using Xanax, I would say avoid it if at all possible.  We have many members here who have tried it and ended up with man more problems then when they started.  If a taper is properly executed then the WD symptoms should be easily controllable with non drug techniques.

 

If you would please add a signature block with your drug history it would be really helpful to us.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

Also here is some information about talking with your doctor:

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • Administrator

I was thinking about possibly asking my doctor about liquid form of Celexa to wean off 10% each time that way I am getting the same amount every time instead of a little more/little less with the pill cutting, which I may have made the mistake of doing wrong last time. I am wanting to do it as slowly as possible so as to avoid as much withdrawal as possible. Do you have any knowledge as to if this would affect me differently than the pill form does? My friend mentioned her doctor prescribed her Xanax as a crutch at times to get off of hers as well. Have you heard anything of this being helpful? Look forward to talking more. Its nice to know I am not alone. 

 

Hi, Stacy. Welcome to the forum from me, too.

 

Please be careful of Xanax and any benzodiazepine or z-drug (like Ambien). I had a really hard time coming off Klonopin, which is a benzo just like Xanax.  In the various benzo withdrawal groups, people report dependency in as little as 2 weeks. These drugs affect the central nervous system, which is already fragile because of your AD taper, so it's best to treat your CNS gently. 

 

Like the others mention, a slow and careful taper will help the most. If 10% causes too many problems, perhaps 5% will work better for you. I would opt for that instead of adding any other medications. 

 

Best of luck to you. You'll find lots of great information and support here. You are definitely not alone. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome Stacey.

I was just going to say all the mods must be at lunch ...but then Brassmonkey posted.

 

Yep we can all totally relate to your situation. Perhaps sa should be called the 'hell' recovery centre.

Its just so sad doctors havent got a clue about tapering and are just reading the nonsense on the wrappers.

 

You might like to take a moment to do a drug signature so people can get a few more specifics. How recent was the updose to 40mg?

 

Found out my doctor was being sued for giving people medications they did not need and decided to switch doctors.

Good for you for having the strength of mind to switch doctors.

Glad you found a new doctor who takes his reputation seriously (fingers crossed).

 

Your idea of going to liquid is excellent. If you are worried you could always do the switch in increasing pill and liquid.

 

In terms of xanax, a benzo it would be great to not open the door to more problems. You can avoid the need for this if you taper slow and follow the advice here. Within a very short time (1-2 weeks) you could trigger another drug addiction and it will have to be tapered.

 

If you read the link from Brass it talks about liquid..and if concerned then you could switch in parts see...

Using a combination of tablets and liquid

Rather than switch directly to an all-liquid dose, you may wish to take part of your dose in liquid and part in tablets, gradually converting to all-liquid as you get to lower dosages. This can be very convenient and reduce any problems switching from one form of the drug to another.

OK I appreciate all of your help so far :) I would like to be informed of this ahead of time so I can avoid the double hell I went through with Zoloft. I was just bumped up to 40 mg a year and 2 mos ago due to going through unexpected end of 10 yr relationship and miscarriage. I am looking forward to life without AD's, though I know it will take time. I have really tense muscles when I go down on dosage, is that normal too? 

Mar 2007-Feb 2012 - Zoloft 100 mg (increased from 25 mg at the start)

November 2012 - Couldn't stand withdrawal so went to Celexa 20 mg

January 2013 - Moved to 40 mg Celexa

October 2014 - Started taper for pregnancy (found out I was pregnant)

November 2014 - Miscarriaged (stayed at 20 mg)

January 2015 - Taken back up to 40 mg Celexa due to problems with tenseness in shoulders/anxiety

March 2016 - Trying to prepare myself for going through the hell again

Link to comment

 

I was thinking about possibly asking my doctor about liquid form of Celexa to wean off 10% each time that way I am getting the same amount every time instead of a little more/little less with the pill cutting, which I may have made the mistake of doing wrong last time. I am wanting to do it as slowly as possible so as to avoid as much withdrawal as possible. Do you have any knowledge as to if this would affect me differently than the pill form does? My friend mentioned her doctor prescribed her Xanax as a crutch at times to get off of hers as well. Have you heard anything of this being helpful? Look forward to talking more. Its nice to know I am not alone. 

 

Hi, Stacy. Welcome to the forum from me, too.

 

Please be careful of Xanax and any benzodiazepine or z-drug (like Ambien). I had a really hard time coming off Klonopin, which is a benzo just like Xanax.  In the various benzo withdrawal groups, people report dependency in as little as 2 weeks. These drugs affect the central nervous system, which is already fragile because of your AD taper, so it's best to treat your CNS gently. 

 

Like the others mention, a slow and careful taper will help the most. If 10% causes too many problems, perhaps 5% will work better for you. I would opt for that instead of adding any other medications. 

 

Best of luck to you. You'll find lots of great information and support here. You are definitely not alone. 

 

OK I will remember this. Thank you :) I did tell my doc that I wanted to go down as slowly as possible, due to the problems I had with withdrawal before.

Mar 2007-Feb 2012 - Zoloft 100 mg (increased from 25 mg at the start)

November 2012 - Couldn't stand withdrawal so went to Celexa 20 mg

January 2013 - Moved to 40 mg Celexa

October 2014 - Started taper for pregnancy (found out I was pregnant)

November 2014 - Miscarriaged (stayed at 20 mg)

January 2015 - Taken back up to 40 mg Celexa due to problems with tenseness in shoulders/anxiety

March 2016 - Trying to prepare myself for going through the hell again

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As a matter of fact I was out to lunch at the time.  But then again I'm "permanently out to lunch" as we yanks put it.

 

NZ11 covered some good ground Stacy.  For most people there is no difference between using liquid and tablet form and the switch in a nonevent. Some people who have been sensitized to psych drugs find that it is safer to cross taper between the two just to minimize any chance of a bad reaction. Or it is possible to combine the two to make up the dose required.

 

Using a mg scale and careful cutting it is quite possible to make very accurate dose changes.  It can be a bit more fiddly than using the liquid especially near the end when the doses get very small. 

 

As for using Xanax, I would say avoid it if at all possible.  We have many members here who have tried it and ended up with man more problems then when they started.  If a taper is properly executed then the WD symptoms should be easily controllable with non drug techniques.

 

If you would please add a signature block with your drug history it would be really helpful to us.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

Also here is some information about talking with your doctor:

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

I just put my withdrawal history in my signature. :) So glad this forum is available. I look forward to talking to you guys (too bad under these circumstances) and going through this withdrawal with your support, and being supportive of yours as well.

Mar 2007-Feb 2012 - Zoloft 100 mg (increased from 25 mg at the start)

November 2012 - Couldn't stand withdrawal so went to Celexa 20 mg

January 2013 - Moved to 40 mg Celexa

October 2014 - Started taper for pregnancy (found out I was pregnant)

November 2014 - Miscarriaged (stayed at 20 mg)

January 2015 - Taken back up to 40 mg Celexa due to problems with tenseness in shoulders/anxiety

March 2016 - Trying to prepare myself for going through the hell again

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Please don't rely on your " doc " too much.  Much better to garner information from here.

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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I really feel like they are just causing me more depression anymore more than helping.

Mar 2007-Feb 2012 - Zoloft 100 mg (increased from 25 mg at the start)

November 2012 - Couldn't stand withdrawal so went to Celexa 20 mg

January 2013 - Moved to 40 mg Celexa

October 2014 - Started taper for pregnancy (found out I was pregnant)

November 2014 - Miscarriaged (stayed at 20 mg)

January 2015 - Taken back up to 40 mg Celexa due to problems with tenseness in shoulders/anxiety

March 2016 - Trying to prepare myself for going through the hell again

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Of course I am miserable in my current job - I've worked at home for this company for the last 5 years and then prior to that I worked in the actual office for 5 years. I am ready for positive changes. :)

Mar 2007-Feb 2012 - Zoloft 100 mg (increased from 25 mg at the start)

November 2012 - Couldn't stand withdrawal so went to Celexa 20 mg

January 2013 - Moved to 40 mg Celexa

October 2014 - Started taper for pregnancy (found out I was pregnant)

November 2014 - Miscarriaged (stayed at 20 mg)

January 2015 - Taken back up to 40 mg Celexa due to problems with tenseness in shoulders/anxiety

March 2016 - Trying to prepare myself for going through the hell again

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Stacy,

 

Just wanting to add my encouragement that this time, with all the added info and understandings and support, you will do a lot better than before. 

 

You can be totally in control of the speed of your taper, and also have holds when you choose to.  This can alleviate a lot of pain and anxiety.  Have you read the threads on slow-tapers?  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2364-the-slowness-of-slow-tapers/ They really helped me get into a more helpful headspace for tapering and looking after myself.

 

Wishing you well,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Thank you so much Karen. I am going to read up on it before going to the doctor. I will do this my way this time. :)

Mar 2007-Feb 2012 - Zoloft 100 mg (increased from 25 mg at the start)

November 2012 - Couldn't stand withdrawal so went to Celexa 20 mg

January 2013 - Moved to 40 mg Celexa

October 2014 - Started taper for pregnancy (found out I was pregnant)

November 2014 - Miscarriaged (stayed at 20 mg)

January 2015 - Taken back up to 40 mg Celexa due to problems with tenseness in shoulders/anxiety

March 2016 - Trying to prepare myself for going through the hell again

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Stacy and welcome to SA.

 

The other members have given you some really great information.

 

From what you have posted, it would seem that you are fearful of what might happen, due to prior experience, and that is fully understandable.  Learning coping techniques is a good idea and you can do this through a therapist or by yourself.

 

Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)

 

Also understanding what happens to the brain can help you to accept and be patient with the process of tapering:

 

Brain Remodelling

 

Video:  Healing from Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery (4 minutes)

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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