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Trilby: Citalopram Withdrawal (Cold Turkey)


Trilby1992

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Hi there,

 

I've posted about my situation elsewhere but thought this forum would be more fitting with what I'm going through.

 

 

About 5 weeks ago, I stopped taking 40mg of Citalopram. I ran out of the medicine and I decided not to renew it since I had been considering quitting the medication.

 

The first week was alright. Felt a bit tired. The second week started to get worse. Some of the problems I had before taking the medication started coming back. On the 3rd week, my anxiety became non-stop. Started waking up panicking from this point on. Week 4 was probably worse. Lost interest in my hobbies and interests and started having suicide thoughts. Week 5 was generally better and I thought it would finally wear off. But nope I'm currently on my 6th week without Citaloprams and I seem to be worse than the previous weeks. Today I feel I want to throw up but it doesn't happen. Don't know if the feeling is caused by guilt, bitterness or my body.

 

So far my problems are mainly mental and I haven't had any physical symptoms apart from less energy and probably nausea just today.

Edited by scallywag
tags added

10mg Citalopram (April 2015 - May 2015)

20mg Citalopram (May 2015 - Jan 2016)

40mg Citalopram (Jan 2016 - Aug 2016)

 

Stopped Cold Turkey in early August 2016

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Trilby and welcome to SA,

 

What you are experiencing is withdrawal symptoms from cold turkeying citalopram.  You can find a list of withdrawal symptoms here (nausea is definitely one of the symptoms):   glenmullen_symptoms_AS Appendix 1.pdf

 

Are you currently taking any other medications or supplements?  Were you experiencing any bad side effects from taking citalopram?

 

When we take an antidepressant, our brain changes.  These helped me to understand why we get withdrawal symptoms:

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

You may want to consider reinstating a small amount of the drug to bring withdrawal symptoms to a bearable level.  Because your brain will have already made some adaptations please do not go back on the previous dose of 40 mg.  If you do decide that you want to reinstate, I suggest you post your decision here in you Intro/Update topic and one of the mods can suggest a dose that you could try.  Once you stabilise you could then do SA's recommended taper of no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a holding period of 3-4 weeks which allows the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  Please have a read of the following information:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This is your own Intro/Update topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  Click "Follow" top right and you will be notified when someone responds.

 

Please let us know what you think about reinstating.

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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Welcome Trilby.

You are experiencing classic wdl symptoms.

 

CT off 40mg is some height to jump from.

nz11

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the info Chessie. Atm, I think I'm gonna ride it for now. It takes like 4 weeks for me to see a doctor and I've had what probably was a window throughout last week.

 

This week however has been a little more difficult. Like yesterday I woke up with a lot of shame and guilt pouring in and I felt restless until around 7pm. Lately I have been taking supplements that contains Omega 3, 6; Vitamin B's; and magnesium.

10mg Citalopram (April 2015 - May 2015)

20mg Citalopram (May 2015 - Jan 2016)

40mg Citalopram (Jan 2016 - Aug 2016)

 

Stopped Cold Turkey in early August 2016

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Trilby,

 

Good to hear from you.  These topics might help:

 

Neuro Emotions

 

 


Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

With regards to Vitamin Bs, some people find B vitamins (B6 in particular) activating, see especially Post #3:  hypersensitive-to-b-vitamin-or-b-vitamin-complex

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, it's been a rollercoaster.

 

I had a couple of days in the 9th week when my body didn't seem to relax at all. It was just constant anxiety and grief from morning to night. I kept asking myself when am I gonna reach the next window and then strangely, I woke up with a cold last week and my anxiety felt like it got placed in the background. Don't know if It was coincidence but it was like my body didn't have space for withdrawal. All of them thoughts that could trigger me didn't seem to affect me much last week. 

 

But unfortunately as I'm getting better from my cold, my body seems to react more to distressing thoughts now. I notice my heart rate has been beating a bit faster than it was last week but not as bad before I had the cold. 

10mg Citalopram (April 2015 - May 2015)

20mg Citalopram (May 2015 - Jan 2016)

40mg Citalopram (Jan 2016 - Aug 2016)

 

Stopped Cold Turkey in early August 2016

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Hi Trilby,

 

I too recently stopped taking 20 mg Citalopram but went from 20 mg to 0 over a 6 week period, not cold turkey.  I had two weeks of bad fatigue and being "brain dead" but then it cleared up for most of August and I had no further physical withdrawal symptoms.  However by the 3rd week of August, I began to get very depressed mainly about my age and I have become obsessed by it with neuroemotions with regrets for how I lived my life, crying a lot, irritable, you name it.  I found this site and the moderators suggested I reinstate at a low dose because I came off the med way to quickly.  I had recovered within about 10 days or so to feeling somewhat normal but the old side affects from starting up the drug again came back like fatigue and being foggy brained.  I thought the depression would alleviate and it did for a while but I've been back on 5 mg for 5 weeks now and I'm finding that the drug does not seem to be working to alleviate the depression as well, especially in the morning.  Mornings are terrible for me.  I really think you came off way to fast and out to think seriously about reinstating at a level suggested by one of the moderators and then taper from there.  I was off the drug for 7 weeks and I'm wondering if that was too long.  I've also found that I seem to be very sensitive to dosage changes and my mailorder service changed the manufacturer on my last refill.  The replacement drove me up a wall with terrible anxiety and intensified the "old age" thoughts.  I got the supplier to refill my prescription from the same manufacturer but at 10 mg but I can even tell that that formula is different as well.  

 

However, my situation is a bit different.  I took the med for 12 years so the longer you are on the drug, that harder it is to get off.  I hope nothing but the best for you.

Lexapro 10 mg - 2004

Citalopram 20 mg - 2005-2016

Tapered to 10 mg from 6/16 - 6/30/2016

Tapered to 5 mg from 7/1 - 7/16/2016

Stopped taking 5 mg on 7/17/2016

Reinstated at 5 mg on 9/4/2016

Took it originally for extreme irritability but no previous depression

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Hello Trilby1992, have you thought about reinstating a small dose since you are in that time frame where it's possible because the more time that passes the less likely that reinstament will work. I ct from Celexa and got worse at around two months but that's me it is different for everyone. Some people are able to get off the medication easily and some are not so able to and have bothersome symptoms. It is recommended here to take Magnesium and Fish Oil which may be beneficial. In the Symptoms and Self Care Thread has lots of helpful info and advice that may help on dealing with a fragile CNS. I wish you luck on whatever you choose and hope you nurture yourself and take it easy. Ps22

Celexa 20mg 2008-2012 for Social Anxiety

Failed attempt to stop reinstated

1 year taper skipping doses

Celexa free 12/2013

1/2014-5/2014 took 5 htp every other day

Failed Reinstatement 5mg of Celexa on 12/2014 for 5 days only

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I have mixed feelings about re-instatement at this point. I'm in my 11th week without drugs and I know it'll take a bit of time for me to see a doctor. I also fear my GP would be condescending to me. Currently I have a problem with ruminating over past experiences which is giving me feelings of either injustice or shame. I feel however it may not be as intense as it was a month ago. 

10mg Citalopram (April 2015 - May 2015)

20mg Citalopram (May 2015 - Jan 2016)

40mg Citalopram (Jan 2016 - Aug 2016)

 

Stopped Cold Turkey in early August 2016

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Reinstate now! I went cold turkey from 40mgs of paxil and believe me, if I knew then what I know now I would have saved myself the grief. It's 3 yrs in 3 days.

Paxil 20mg from 1998-2011 

Paxil 40mg from 2011-2012 while experiencing poopout

October 2013 quit cold turkey

Oct-mid Nov 2013 great window

Late November WD nightmare 

Windows and waves pattern 

Now: 28 months cold turkey...doing decent learning to deal with the windows/waves pattern fighting it every step of the way. 

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3 years? damn. Have your waves been less intense lately compared to how it was or has it been the same?

 

 

And how long do you guys think is too long to re-instate?

10mg Citalopram (April 2015 - May 2015)

20mg Citalopram (May 2015 - Jan 2016)

40mg Citalopram (Jan 2016 - Aug 2016)

 

Stopped Cold Turkey in early August 2016

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

If you do decide to reinstate, please make sure that you only try a very small dose, perhaps as small as 1mg may be enough to bring the withdrawal symptoms to a bearable level.

 

These links might also be helpful:

 

shame-guilt-regret-and-self-criticism

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


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

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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Things are better than three first but for me after coming off cold turkey I felt good for about a month and a but and then all heck broke loose.

Paxil 20mg from 1998-2011 

Paxil 40mg from 2011-2012 while experiencing poopout

October 2013 quit cold turkey

Oct-mid Nov 2013 great window

Late November WD nightmare 

Windows and waves pattern 

Now: 28 months cold turkey...doing decent learning to deal with the windows/waves pattern fighting it every step of the way. 

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Trilby1992, how are you doing now? Did you decide to reinstate?

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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