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Lene88: Coming off citalopram


Lene88

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Hi everyone

I have been taking citalopram for 7 years. I tried to come off 3 years ago but had a relapse of symptoms of depression and anxiety. My husband wants me to come off citalopram so we can try for a baby. Coming off is non-negotiable. I currently take 40mg. I very scared about trying to come off as it was so horrific last time, but I need to make coming off work this time. Any advice will be gratefully received.

Edited by scallywag
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On Citalopram for 7 years. Four years 30mg. Tapered off over a few months. Relapse of symptoms (or perhaps delayed withdrawal) about 2 months after- anxiety and insomnia. Back on citalopram for three years. Now on 40mg.

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Can anyone help me?

On Citalopram for 7 years. Four years 30mg. Tapered off over a few months. Relapse of symptoms (or perhaps delayed withdrawal) about 2 months after- anxiety and insomnia. Back on citalopram for three years. Now on 40mg.

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Hi Lene88

 

So glad that you have found SA. I am coming off Citalopram too and you will get all the help and advice you need here to make it possible.

 

The moderators usually advise how to taper so I will leave it to them. Most of them are in USA,OZ and NZ so it may be early for them right now. In the meantime could you give a little more information in your signature for them.

They will want to know when you started Cit and the dates and doses of when you tried to come off them.

 

It's good to see you here and a very warm welcome.

 

Best Wishes

 

Flowers xxx

15 yrs on 20 to 30 mgs CITALOPRAM.  MAY 2014 Increased to 40 mgs per day.SEPT/NOV 2014 tapered in 6 weeks down to 10 mgs as per Dr instructions due to violent nightmares/palpitations.Given Noctamid (lormetazepam) to help with anxiety. On average took 2mg per day for 8 weeks.No taper was advised.DEC 2014 WD severe. Nervous tic in eyes and limbs, muscle pain,fluct  temp, weakness, dep and anxiety, nausea, giddy, unstable when walking. Different Dr suggested taking 20mgs CIT. BROMAZEPAM 3mgs up to 3 x daily for anxiety.DEC 9 2014 Updose CIT to 30mgs. Only taking BROMAZEPAM in emergency.DEC 31 2014 Settling at 30mg CIT - helping with depression. No Brom for 2wks.Found SA.APR 2015 Trying to stabilise on 30mgs CIT.  JAN 2016 Started Cit Taper reducing by 5% per month.  28.5 mgs 
FEB  Taper held bereavement. APR Taper resumed 27mgs . MAY 25.50 mgs .  JUNE 24 mgs .  JULY I stupidly mixed up my BP meds with CIT. Consequently took no CIT for 3 days and doubled my BP meds. Waiting for the fallout....Holding for a while until any chance of repercussions have abated. SEPT taper resumed to  22.5 mgs . OCT 21 mgs .NOV 19.95 mgs DEC crashed. 2017: FEB 3rd updose to 20.5 mgs to try to stabilise.FEB.switched over to 75mgs of Venlafaxine XR for 3 weeks.Too stimulating so switching back to Cit. 12 March 37.5 Ven and 20 Cit. 21 March 18mg Ven 20mg Cit. 4 April 9mg Ven 20mg Cit. Xanax .50mg when needed.  13 April 0 mgs Ven, 20mg Citalopram. Xanax .50 mg per day. 5 May reinstated a small amount of Ven to stabilize  1 mg twice a day. 20 mg Citalopram at night. Xanax .25 mg twice per day.Other Meds: Losartan (BP)Started 1993 at  50 mgs at night.  Seretide (Asthma) Started 1996 at 1 puff twice a day. Jan 2019 Antibiotic Ceclor 500mgs twice a day for bronchitis and  Atrovent 2ml capsules twice a day for asthma. Finished the course of both Jan 17. 

XANAX  Jan 27  - Feb 3 2019 Failed Valium Crossover.   Feb 14 2019  Updosed Xanax by .0625  Feb 17 2019 Decreased Xanax by .0625. Back to .50mg daily.  Update Xanax 28.2.20 tapered to .1250 mg 8am .25 mg midnight. Update Xanax 11.8.21 tapered to .25 mg at night. 

Current Meds 28.2.19: CITALOPRAM  20mg  taken at midnight. VENLAFAXINE  .9 mg twice a day at 8am and 10pm.  XANAX .50 mg split into 4 doses per day. 10am .0625mg / 2pm .1250mg/ 6pm .0625mg / midnight .25mg.Update 10.8.22 .25 mg at night.  LOSARTAN 50 mgs taken at midnight.  SERETIDE 1 puff taken at 8am and 10pm.   7.7.19 VENLAFAXINE UPDATE: Started tapering 10% every 4 weeks. Currently .4 mg twice a day at 8am and 10 pm.  2.9.19 .36 mg x 2. 1.10.19  .32 mg x 2. 26.11.19 .29 mg x2. 26.12.19 .26 mg  x 2. 23.1.20  .23 mg x 2.  20.2.20 .21 mg x2.20.3.20  .19 mg x 2. 21.4.20 .17 mg x 2. 19.5.20 .13 mg x 2.  18.6.20 .11mg  x 2 .18.7.20.10 mg x 2.1.9.20.09 mg x 2. 30.9. 20 .08 mg x 2. 1.11.20 .07 mg x 2.  2.12.20 .06 mg x 2.  8.1.21 .05 mg x 2.  4.2.21 .04 mg x 2. 9.3.21 .03 mgx2.  7.4.21  .02 mg x 2.  9.5.21 .01 mg x 2.  21.6.21 .01 mg x 1.  11.8.21 ZERO!

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Lene88 -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

It's great that you're looking around for proven ways to minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms. There are other women who have joined SA for the same reason as you -- they want to get pregnant and for their child not to be exposed to the medication they're currently taking. I'm glad you found us.

 

When you tried to come off citalopram 3 years ago, how did you reduce the dosage?

 

Thanks Flowers for suggesting that Lene create a signature. Lene, here's the details on doing that:

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • You can find instructions in this topic: Please put your withdrawal history in signature
  • If you are using a phone or mobile device, you need to switch to the "full" or desktop version of the site. Instructions are in Post 9 and Post 10
We suggest that people decrease dose by no more than 10% per month. Here's a discussion topic about that and one specifically about citalopram:

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

 

To achieve non-standard 10% reduced doses, people either dry-cut tablets, weigh the capsule contents/crushed tablet, or use/make a liquid.

Anyone successfully dry-cut tablets?

Using a digital scale to measure doses.

Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules . -- citalopram is available as a commercially prepared liquid. You'll have to check whether that's available in the UK and whether your doctor will prescribe it.

 

Link to discussion topic for members in your situation:

Wanting a baby and withdrawing

 

Please complete a signature and read the topics I've linked. If you have questions, please post them here so that we'll see them sooner.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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I thought I reduced it quite sensibly over a few months, but it was 10mg at a time sonprobablybtoo much too quick. I'm hoping that if I take it steadier it might work for me this time, but I'm quite traumatised about how awful things got last time and don't think I could go through it again.

On Citalopram for 7 years. Four years 30mg. Tapered off over a few months. Relapse of symptoms (or perhaps delayed withdrawal) about 2 months after- anxiety and insomnia. Back on citalopram for three years. Now on 40mg.

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I'm hoping tapering more slowly will reduce the severity of what I experienced last time

On Citalopram for 7 years. Four years 30mg. Tapered off over a few months. Relapse of symptoms (or perhaps delayed withdrawal) about 2 months after- anxiety and insomnia. Back on citalopram for three years. Now on 40mg.

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Thanks very much for your replies xxx

On Citalopram for 7 years. Four years 30mg. Tapered off over a few months. Relapse of symptoms (or perhaps delayed withdrawal) about 2 months after- anxiety and insomnia. Back on citalopram for three years. Now on 40mg.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It's extremely regrettable that a few weeks :o:excl: or months is considered a slow taper by many. The purpose of making small reductions and holding at the dose for several weeks is to minimize

- risk of w/d symptoms arising, and

- severity of symptoms if they do occur.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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How should I start reducing do you think? Perhaps go down 35mg next week as a start?

On Citalopram for 7 years. Four years 30mg. Tapered off over a few months. Relapse of symptoms (or perhaps delayed withdrawal) about 2 months after- anxiety and insomnia. Back on citalopram for three years. Now on 40mg.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Lene, and welcome from me too.

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommended tapering which allows the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.

 

Brain Remodelling
 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

You might also find some helpful suggestion in these topics:


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

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

Here are a couple more:

 

Keep Notes on Paper

Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

 

 

Scallywag gave you the links to the information about how to get your dose:

 

 

We suggest that people decrease dose by no more than 10% per month. Here's a discussion topic about that and one specifically about citalopram:
 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

To achieve non-standard 10% reduced doses, people either dry-cut tablets, weigh the capsule contents/crushed tablet, or use/make a liquid.
 

Anyone successfully dry-cut tablets?

Using a digital scale to measure doses.

Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules .

-- citalopram is available as a commercially prepared liquid. You'll have to check whether that's available in the UK and whether your doctor will prescribe it.

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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  • 4 months later...

Here's the latest guys. I've switched to 50mg sertraline and have been taking this for about 2 months now. I had a bad week after the switch where I felt constantly irritable and like I had a never ending hangover, but then things settled down nicely and I felt much the same as on 40mg of citalopram (including the same old tiredness and lethargy but never mind!) I have had a lot more headaches since the switch but can cope with these with painkillers.

 

Since 50mg sertraline is in actual fact considered a 'lower dose' than 40mg citalopram I feel I've made progress. The question is- how best to move forward from here?

 

I was thinking of dropping down to 25mg next and seeing how that goes?

 

Unfortunatly my husband ended up leaving me as he wanted me off antidepressants cold turkey (just not possible for me- I tried it before and it was the worst time of my life. I was scared if I did it again I would end up dead).

On Citalopram for 7 years. Four years 30mg. Tapered off over a few months. Relapse of symptoms (or perhaps delayed withdrawal) about 2 months after- anxiety and insomnia. Back on citalopram for three years. Now on 40mg.

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Also does anyone know how I can add the tag serteline to this thread?

On Citalopram for 7 years. Four years 30mg. Tapered off over a few months. Relapse of symptoms (or perhaps delayed withdrawal) about 2 months after- anxiety and insomnia. Back on citalopram for three years. Now on 40mg.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Lene - I've added the tag.

 

What's going on that you're thinking of decreasing your dose of sertraline?

 

Because you switched to sertraline only 2 months ago, we'd suggest that you hold at your current dose for at least another 2 months to allow yourself to stabilize. Only after your symptoms have been minimal or manageable for 2 months, would we suggest that it might be appropriate to start a 10% taper. Please (re-)read

Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

I suppose because the ultimate goal is to come off Antidepressants, but I can stay on this dose for another couple of months if that's what's recommended and then think about reducing. Thanks for adding the tag!

On Citalopram for 7 years. Four years 30mg. Tapered off over a few months. Relapse of symptoms (or perhaps delayed withdrawal) about 2 months after- anxiety and insomnia. Back on citalopram for three years. Now on 40mg.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Lene, I could//should have asked a more specific question.  Why are you thinking about decreasing from 50 mg to 25 mg, a 50% decrease? We usually suggest decreasing by 10%.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

I'm reading a book called 'the soft landing method for quitting anti depressants' that suggests 3months on 1/2 your original dose, then 3 months on 1/4 of your original does, then 3 months on 1/8 your original dose, before attempting to stop completely. I thought this method might be worth a go although it may end up being too fast...

On Citalopram for 7 years. Four years 30mg. Tapered off over a few months. Relapse of symptoms (or perhaps delayed withdrawal) about 2 months after- anxiety and insomnia. Back on citalopram for three years. Now on 40mg.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That's faster than we suggest to people. When tapering by 10%, where each dose is 90% of the previous dose,  someone will take 6 months to reach ½ the starting dose.  Please let your symptoms guide you not a calendar or a book.

 

How are you feeling doing this?   Are you keeping track of your symptoms? 

 

Many people have found the tracking sheets based on Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's  symptom list useful. You can download the list in a variety of formats in the first post of this topic.

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.

 

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

Thanks scallywag. I'm going to hold off now for at least another couple of months as you advised. Then I'll consider my options again. Will post again when I start trying to reduce. Thanks for all your very helpful advice! 

On Citalopram for 7 years. Four years 30mg. Tapered off over a few months. Relapse of symptoms (or perhaps delayed withdrawal) about 2 months after- anxiety and insomnia. Back on citalopram for three years. Now on 40mg.

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