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LemonOreo: Used 40mg daily of Celexa for 14 years. Tapered off all since Dec.1, 2015


LemonOreo

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Help!! I have tapered slowly off Celexa 40mg after 14 years using it daily. I am now without ANY meds...and am slowly falling apart. All this was done without my doctor's knowing since she wanted to keep me on this for Forever. What do I do now?? Do I need to see another psychiatrist? Neurologist?

2002 was prescribed 20mg Celexa for depression and anxiety, prescribed for several life altering events: spouse cancer diagnosis, surgery and recovery, death of parent, loss of career/income/career path all within 1 year.

2005-2007 briefly on 10mg Wellbutrin, but stopped it.

 

WITHOUT NOTIFYING PRESCRIBING DOCTOR started taper.

Dec. 2015, started tapering off Celexa from 40 to 20mg

February 2016 20mg to 10mg

April 2016 tapered from 10 to 5mg

May -June 2mg to 2.5mg

Last Celexa 2.0mg June 2, 2016

Now totally off meds.Withdrawl symptoms were horrible: nightmares and vivid terrifying dreams, nausea, exhaustion, disassociation, depersonalization<p>Residual effects that are ongoing: resurgence of depression and anxiety, intense fear, sometimes severe; muscle aches and onset of unusual muscle pain (plantar fasciitis, shoulder bursitis), loss of interest in daily activities; depersonalization; disassociation, nausea, extreme exhaustion, body aches, loss of taste, especially for alcohol.

 

Aug 30 2016: Recurrence of low, despondent, depressed mood. No interest in any activities I used to have. Feel melancholic all the time, though I laugh and enjoy some things. Waves and Windows....experiencing more down than middle...few ups. Sometimes weepy, sometimes flat, sometimes surprisingly jealous of other people who appear to be successes ( that's a new feeling I was totally dead to under the Celexa!). Very hard to dig up the feeling of being content.

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Hey Lemo. Im taking a similar dose of Citalopram to what you were. A moderator will be along to help you out soon.

You have tapered farrrr too quickly. It is no surprise at all that you are having such a rough time. We recommend tapering no more than 10% of your current dose every 4 weeks .

Don't panic though we'll get you through this. How long ago did you take your last dose?

Started Citalopram in 2005 (aged 15) for apparent "OCD" - 60mg 

July 2015 attempted 2 x 10% + cuts 4 weeks apart. WD symptoms intense at times. Need to slow down.

 

November 2016 - Resumed taper. 1.25 - 1.5% decrease weekly approx.

44.5mg November 2016. Jan 2017 42.5 mg. March 2017 40 mg. June 2017 37mg. September 2018 22mg. Nov 2018 Holding at 22mg to stabilise from moderate wave. January 2020 - Holding, mostly feeling fine, but still having some waves at times. 

 

February 2020 - Resumed taper , 1.5% reduction weekly/every two weeks. 

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And no you do not want to see a psychiatrist. The people on this forum are experts in this field. We will be of far more help than any doctor. Sit tight, and someone will be along shortly to advise you on the best plan of action to take :)

Started Citalopram in 2005 (aged 15) for apparent "OCD" - 60mg 

July 2015 attempted 2 x 10% + cuts 4 weeks apart. WD symptoms intense at times. Need to slow down.

 

November 2016 - Resumed taper. 1.25 - 1.5% decrease weekly approx.

44.5mg November 2016. Jan 2017 42.5 mg. March 2017 40 mg. June 2017 37mg. September 2018 22mg. Nov 2018 Holding at 22mg to stabilise from moderate wave. January 2020 - Holding, mostly feeling fine, but still having some waves at times. 

 

February 2020 - Resumed taper , 1.5% reduction weekly/every two weeks. 

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Welcome, LemonOreo,

 

When did you take your last dose of celexa, and when did you take your last dose of wellbutrin?

 

Also, do you still have any left of those meds? If you do, don't get rid of them. You may need at least a small dose. When we know when your last doses were taken, people here can advise you what has worked best for most people experiencing the withdrawal symptoms you describe. Those symptoms are all too familiar to many of us.

 

One more question - Why did you decide to go off the meds? Were you having side effects or other problems with them, or just felt you no longer needed them, or ???

 

As to your question about doctors - You may find it best to change doctors in the future, but please hold off on doing that just yet. Only a handful of doctors (of any specialty) know how best to deal with withdrawal from these meds. Most will want you to stay on them forever, like your present doctor, or will want to switch or add on more meds, which usually only makes things worse. People with better knowledge than I about what will help you will be along soon. Please post your answers to the questions I asked; that will help them advise you. You will get a lot of good information and also understanding support here.

I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Lemon, welcome to SA.  Withdrawal is a nightmare and sadly most of us here arrived after tapering too fast! 

Doctors don't have a clue, and think we need the drugs for life to prevent relapse when it is actually withdrawal that is the problem. The old chemical imbalance theory was just that, a theory cooked up by the drug companies to sell their drugs. 

 

The only way to stop withdrawal is the drug you are withdrawing from. It sounds like you have had a hard time but feeling a little better now? As Brandy said we need to know when you stopped celexa and wellbutrin if that was recent. It would help us if you fill out your sig with brief details of your drug history, you can find instructions here...   http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12364-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

Your last dose was 10 mg but you don't say when, a tiny dose of 1mg may help to ease the withdrawal.  You could then taper off that small dose by making a liquid with water, or better still with the paxil liquid which is available if you can get a prescription from your doctor.  
 
This topic tells you about reinstating to stabilise  
 
And how to taper when stable 
 
It will take a few days for the dose to become steady in your blood, when you are stable you should hold the dose for a few weeks before starting to taper again. 
 
No-one ever wants to reinstate and it is your decision but the withdrawal can go on for a  long time if you decide to ride it out.  Every one is different, some recover within months, others can take years.  
 
 
There are many topics in the symptoms and self care section,  you will find an index with links  to the  important ones here..
 
 
And one containing info on tests and supplements.  People often find fish oil and magnesium helpful and there are links to the topics for those too. 
 
 
There is a lot of reading around the site and you will learn so much here. I'm glad that you found us before going to the psychiatrist! 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Hello all,

I just returned to this site to read more information and glean more knowledge. I kind of gave up in June when I did not get a reply, so I braved the side effects all through June and July. The strange sensations of dizziness, weepiness, depersonalizations have all stopped, but I feel as if I have fallen off a cliff. I think the depression has returned and my husband has told me he notices it very much. I am feeling low, distracted, disgusted with my job, and have lost interest in everthing. Pursuing interests is now a job, and I now hate doing things I once liked, like riding my horse. I feel low and unmotivated,but I am finding it hard to say this is full blow depression. I am seeing a Nurse practitioner in 2 weeks about meds and my husband is encouraging me to restart Celexa or something because I am such a different person now.

I decided Dee to come off the Celexa thinking I had been on it enough and wanted to see how I was without it. Now I am kind of regretting my decision. Not sure what to do.....

2002 was prescribed 20mg Celexa for depression and anxiety, prescribed for several life altering events: spouse cancer diagnosis, surgery and recovery, death of parent, loss of career/income/career path all within 1 year.

2005-2007 briefly on 10mg Wellbutrin, but stopped it.

 

WITHOUT NOTIFYING PRESCRIBING DOCTOR started taper.

Dec. 2015, started tapering off Celexa from 40 to 20mg

February 2016 20mg to 10mg

April 2016 tapered from 10 to 5mg

May -June 2mg to 2.5mg

Last Celexa 2.0mg June 2, 2016

Now totally off meds.Withdrawl symptoms were horrible: nightmares and vivid terrifying dreams, nausea, exhaustion, disassociation, depersonalization<p>Residual effects that are ongoing: resurgence of depression and anxiety, intense fear, sometimes severe; muscle aches and onset of unusual muscle pain (plantar fasciitis, shoulder bursitis), loss of interest in daily activities; depersonalization; disassociation, nausea, extreme exhaustion, body aches, loss of taste, especially for alcohol.

 

Aug 30 2016: Recurrence of low, despondent, depressed mood. No interest in any activities I used to have. Feel melancholic all the time, though I laugh and enjoy some things. Waves and Windows....experiencing more down than middle...few ups. Sometimes weepy, sometimes flat, sometimes surprisingly jealous of other people who appear to be successes ( that's a new feeling I was totally dead to under the Celexa!). Very hard to dig up the feeling of being content.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi LemonOreo,

 

If you click "Follow" top right, you will be notified when someone responds.

 

Your very first post here states:  I have tapered slowly off Celexa 40mg

 

Looking at your drug signature, you tapered from 40 mg in December 2015 to 0 mg June 2016.  Even though many doctors would consider that a slow taper SA recommends tapering by reducing the drug by 10% of the previous dose with a holding period of 4-6 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting the drug.

 

When people taper too quickly or stop abruptly, the brain has problems because it is not getting the drug it has been used to getting and this is when withdrawal symptoms occur.  See Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Symptoms Checklist

 

Withdrawal symptoms can happen immediately you stop the drug or sometimes you get symptoms many months later.  When withdrawal symptoms arise down the track (which can occur several weeks and even many months later) people and many doctors may assume that the original condition has returned or they are diagnosed with a new condition and may reinstate the drug at the previous dose (which ends up being too high because the brain has made some adjustments since being off the drug), at an even higher dose or prescribed an alternative or additional drug, when in actual fact is is antidepressant withdrawal.

 

If the withdrawal symptoms are unbearable it may be that a small amount of the drug might relieve the symptoms and then once you are stabilised you could do SA's recommended 10% taper.

 

I'm giving you lots of links because the information is very good and can help you to make an informed decision:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


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

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommendations:

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

I also suggest that both you and your husband read a couple of books:  Your Drug May Be Your Problem and also Anatomy of an Epidemic.

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • Moderator

Hey Lemon - you are still within the window of opportunity for reinstatement.  Please, read ChessieCat's first link about that (heck, read all the links we send you - this is a big place, and we mods are really like librarians who try to point you to information which is relevant to you)

 

If you reinstate, you will want a tiny tiny dose.  It looks like your too-fast taper was by cutting pills.

 

Celexa is available in a liquid.  When you go to the nurse practitioner, you can ask for liquid Celexa, and that will enable you to taper the rest of the way at a safe 10% per month.  All you need to do is dilute the Celexa liquid to make it weaker.  

 

If it were me, I'd consider no more than a 1 mg reinstatement (your nurse practitioner will probably press for a higher dose - hold your guns, because now a larger dose could cause problems, plus - that's more to taper from, later).  That's a 1/2 ml of Celexa liquid.  0.5 ml.  A tiny tiny amount, just "the hair of the dog that bit you" to see if we can get your symptoms more stable.

 

So you may have to be persistent with what you want for the nurse practitioner.  My favorite line is, "I just want to be on as little as possible."  The nurse practitioner will mutter things about "therapeutic dose" which is really a fictional number determined by the drug companies to sell more pills.  The doctors and nurse practitioners tend to follow drug companies' advice; after all, they are the ones who did the "studies," right?  (don't get me started on fraud in studies!)

 

If you look around the site, you will see people on tiny, tiny amounts of these drugs, suffering side effects from changes of just 0.10 mg.  That's a 1 microgram change!  The drugs are more powerful than they tell us.

 

Another of Chessie's links that I'm fond of, is the video.  It explains the structuring of the brain, and the healing process, in one, short, easy to understand place.

 

You're not "detoxing" from Celexa - the Celexa changed your brain structures, and your brain grew dependant upon it, like roses upon a trellis.  When you pull out the trellis too quickly, you got symptoms.  A reinstatement tries to put a piece of the trellis back so that the rose doesn't break in collapse.  

 

So please, look at Chessie's links (and review MammaP's links, above, too!) before you go see your nurse, to learn what you are up against.  Their education, and our experience are widely varying.  So many of us fell down deep pits of despair by "following doctors advice," and there comes a time when you need to learn for yourself, what is happening in your body, and how to approach your doctor as a partner not a boss.  After all, it is your body that the concern, here.

 

If you try the 1 mg (or 1/2 ml of liquid Celexa) you may see a positive response within 1-4 days, and we'll know we are on the right track.  The lower the dose you can stabilise on, the better.

 

Let us know what the Nurse Practitioner says, and what you decide to do.  If you cannot get the liquid, we can teach you how to make your own liquid, and still use tiny doses for reinstatements.  

 

It can get better, and many SA members will tell you - as Nick did, above - that reinstatement has saved their lives.  

 

I hope you see the sun today!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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