Jump to content

Wanda: Citalopram withdrawal


Wanda

Recommended Posts

Good afternoon,

 

It is my first post here. I am 55 yrs old, and was taking Citalopram for 5 yrs or so. 

I cut the dosages in half weekly, from 20 - 0. When I hit 5 mg, I started taking 100mg of 5 HTP which I have also been cutting in half. In one month, I am now down to 0 Citalopram and 25 mg of 5 HTP in the morning and 50 mg at night, with Melatonin.

I have forced myself to go to the gym up to 5 times a week, and do HIIT. Some days I had absolutely no energy, and just recently I have been able to do a strength class and a cardio class on the same day. I eat a very well balanced diet, do my meal prepping and do not eat junk food. I drink between 48 - 60 oz of water a day as seltzer. 

I am still feeling the hideous brain zaps. The only good thing about this is that I get so annoyed and angry that I successfully talked off a stubborn telemarketer the other night. Best insults of my life. 

I feel the zaps, the tiredness, the insomnia and even heartburn. It has been a month since I stopped altogether. Can anyone please tell me if these will go away for good, or is it really like I read sometimes that it could take years before these symptoms go away?


Thank you so much for your advise!

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Wanda: Citalopram withdrawal
  • Administrator

Welcome, Wanda.

 

The brain zaps are a sign of withdrawal syndrome. Your nervous system is sending up warning flares that you went off citalopram (and maybe 5-HTP) too fast. We recommend a 10% taper per month, see Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Taking a little bit of citalopram, such as 3mg, might help. Do you have any left? This topic explains how to take a small amount Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

Also see 

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 post

Thank you Altos. I{d hate to pump in one of those pills again. I threw them all away.
I am curious, is it normal to feel all withdrawal symptoms gone one day only to have them return the next day, even if more mildly?

Wanda

Link to post
  • Administrator

Nobody wants to take the drug again, but it could reduce your symptoms. You'd stabilize on that small amount for some months, then very carefully taper off.

 

Yes, waves and windows of withdrawal symptoms are typical of withdrawal syndrome. See 

 

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 post

I had a good day today. Thank you for this wonderful board.


In retrospect, I think my symptoms would have been far worse had I not been training. Even if I had a shred of energy left, I still pumped my heart and released dopamine into my bloodstream. My symptoms, in comparison to those of some poor souls I have read, have been manageable. This is in spite of taking this medication for years.

 

The zaps feel like mere thoughts today. Not like they shake my brain and heart. Today, I feel positive and hopeful that this will come to an end, even if in time. 

Thank you again for the opportunity to let me learn from everyone, and share my concerns.

 

Link to post

Just want to post my update and impressions.

I was on Citalopram for 5 or 6 years. Six weeks ago, I decided to start tapering my dosage of 20 mg a day to take myself out of it. Today I can say that my withdrawal symptoms are gone or so minimal they are very easily ignored. 5HTP helped me take the edge off the process, and I stopped taking it two days ago. 

What I feel helped the most was working out. Doing high intensity interval training at the gym, under the guidance of professional trainers. The first three weeks I pushed myself. I had such awful lethargy, I had no strength! But I did not quit. I ate well. I ate a diet high in protein and good fats, lower in carbohydrates with very little to none processed sugar. Intense exercise helped me feel much better, as it released those feel good hormones naturally. Eating better improved my mood as well.

I quit in a way that some would consider too fast, but I made it. Training and good nutrition made all the difference. Which makes me wonder had I been taking care of myself as I am now 6 years ago, would I have needed the Citalopram at all?

The problems that made me get into the antidepressant have not changed. Only the way I approach them have. I strongly recommend getting out to your local gym in this process and dumping all sugary, processed foods. I feel optimistic and happy. I do not ever want to take these drugs again, and think I have found a way to bear what I can't control in my life.

I sincerely recommend this approach to everyone and wish you the best in your recovery path. Thank you, thank you for being here.

 

Link to post

Hi Wanda.

you are extremely lucky that you can exercise like you do. 

I was a marathon runner and total gym junkie before withdrawal. 3 and a half years after a CT, I'm now so unwell I cannot walk to the shop many days and even on a good day cannot tolerate exercise in any way as it ramps up my symptoms.

 You are doing great but are extremely lucky. 

Prozac 17 years 20mg.

Cold turkey Feb 2014

Restarted 2mg of prozac 26.8.18..

 

 

Link to post

I am very sorry to hear, Eleven.
In the first three weeks of my withdrawal, I barely had the energy to walk around. I was extremely weak too. But I had to force myself to go to work and go to the gym.

What I tried to say is that if you can push yourself to bring your heart rate up long enough to release endorphins and dopamine, maybe it will help you recover from the horrible symptoms. Maybe your own feel good hormones will help you tolerate and overcome the withdrawal lethargy, which is brutal.

It also helped me to eat better. More protein and good fats, less carbohydrates. No processed sugars. My macros are 45% protein, 30% fats, 25% carbohydrates. It has helped, along with the exercise.

I had to force myself too. There were so many times I doubted I could even finish a class! If you think you are able to safely, by all means try pushing yourself a little more to bring up your heart rate enough to release your dopamine. I was never a gym junkie, and it helped me tremendously. I get my dose of happy without pills from my workouts now. Maybe if I had this lifestyle 6 yrs ago, I would have been able to manage the things I cant change that made me get into the antidepressant. Just maybe, nutrition and exercise was all I needed to manage and accept what I can not change.

Good luck, and all the best.

Link to post

Welcome to sa Wanda.

What do you think about doing a drug sig and the wdl survey.

Congratulations on being one month drug free.

I would like to tell you that wdl symptoms can be delayed by several months or more.

Please be gentle with the exercise.

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

 

 

Link to post

wanda be extremely careful with any supplements and the hiit, I was fine for 3 months after stopping my meds and was doing hiit nearly every day, I messed around with supplements and had some stressful events and it total messed my nervous system up and has caused a lot of insomnia, 5http caused me to wake up with after a couple of hours sleeping with a weird energy, I am starting to stabilise again now but still having insomnia every now and again, mainly just swimming for fitness, be careful with anything that over stimulates you

2001 - 2005 prozac,  2001 - 2017 various benzos, mainly diazapem and zanex,  2002 - 2017 olanzapine or seroquel,  2002 -2017 propanolol, 2005 - 2009 venlafaxine 75mg , forced to go cold turkey off venlafaxine as moved Thailand, doctor cut me off and couldn't get it there, severely ill for over 2 years, countered withdrawals with more zanex and seroquel

2014 returned to UK, mainly to get treatment getting off meds

doctor advised to taper seroquel over a few weeks, severely ill and bed bed-bound so reinstated it, 2015 tapered seroquel myself slower over a few months, was off it 2 months and was too ill so went on olanzapine, became zombie and too tired to get out of bed, went back on seroquel, very depressed so went back on venlafaxine, didnt work  so doctor swapped to zoloft became very agitated so back on venlafaxine

June 2016 - felt strong enough to begin tapering again, started what I thought was a slow taper of all meds,  2016 July Not had any alcoholic drink since this date, 

2016 October completely off diazepem, 2017 Feb completely off seroquel, 2017 March completely off proponanlol, 2017 April (day before birthday) completely off venlafaxine, OFF ALL MEDS 11/4/2017, was fine for nearly 3 months and then delayed withdrawal hit,

supplements taking: turmeric capsules, NiaCel (nicotinamide riboside), Vit B12 sublingual, Vit B3, Vit B6, Vit B1, apple cider vinegar, manuka umf 10 honey, camu camu powder,  melatonin when needed, epsom salt baths, juices, smoothies, 

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15175-dj2010-off-all-meds-for-3-months-and-been-fine-now-bad-insomnia/

 

Link to post

I did the survey, nz. Thank you for your sincere concern, dj. I already stopped 5htp as well.

I do HIIT at the end of the day, rest two days a week to avoid injury. Come back so beat and sore I sleep much better, although I know of the insomnia you correctly talk about. I noticed that with a supplement that has 5htp, melatonin and vit B, I would crash within the hour after taking it only to wake up like you describe, and go back to sleep after a while. It is weird and frustrating.

And let me tell you that I felt those demonic headaches, lethargy, nausea and exhaustion that everyone knows about. I just pushed myself to work out and make my body produce its own mood enhancing chemicals, if it meant I had a $#!++ier workout because I could barely stand up. I guess the anger at those symptoms kept me going. I wanted to beat them without popping any more Citalopram into my mouth.

Working out more has also helped me bring down the dosages of medications for my diabetes type 2, and that also helps my mood in that I feel a sense of control. Even if the reasons for my original depression still surround me. I know there will be challenging times ahead and I hope I learned my lesson with Citalopram. It should not be my first choice to improve my mood over what I cant change. I hope I have finally learned to focus on the positive and accept those things I cant change, keeping my peace. And I hope that when something challenges that, I can be wise enough to forgive those who hurt me, love those I cant change and stay calm in the middle of storms. I hope I will appreciate my friends and instead of popping a pill, I will get out with them and make new friends. It will be a challenge, but I hope I can make it without more venomous dope in my body.

I thought Tom Cruise lost it when he bashed Brooke Shields for her post partum depression. I recall how insensitive I thought he was when he said nutrition, exercise and talking are better therapies than the pills. I am honestly considering the wisdom of those words I never forgot more seriously now, after going through the hell of withdrawal from SSRI.

I thank your sincere words of advise, this board is wonderful. Just sharing how I overcame a truly hellacious time in my life, as it may be open for others to try when withdrawal drives us more insane than we ever were.

Link to post
22 hours ago, Wanda said:

I did the survey, nz.

That's fabulous Wanda.

 

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

 

 

Link to post
Junglechicken
On ‎21‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 9:47 PM, Eleven10 said:

Hi Wanda.

you are extremely lucky that you can exercise like you do. 

I was a marathon runner and total gym junkie before withdrawal. 3 and a half years after a CT, I'm now so unwell I cannot walk to the shop many days and even on a good day cannot tolerate exercise in any way as it ramps up my symptoms.

 You are doing great but are extremely lucky. 

 

Same here, but I am into my second week of walk/run "couch to 5k" and second attempt at this training program.  Last year hubby and I almost completed it, and then both injured ourselves in Portugal :angry: then with one thing and another, WD symptoms kicked in and that was that, but still carried on walking, cycling, indoor rowing.

 

So here I am a year later, trying again.............

Dose History: 19 Feb 2014 - Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms faded. Held at this dose and experienced "windows and waves". 12 Oct 2017 Reduced dose to 1.25mg. 13 Mar 2018 Reduced dose to 0.625mg (approx.). 16 April 2018 0mg. Windows and waves triggered by stress (IBS/reflux, headaches, sinus issues) Aug 2019 Mirena coil fitted 6 Jan 2020 MAJOR Wave hit 19 months following last dose (protracted WD).  Symptoms listed below Mar 2020 Mirena coil removal.

Therapy: Nov 15th 2016 Re-started therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT Dec 2017 Started listening to Hypnotherapy CD (self-esteem). Nov 2019 Started couples therapy.

Supplements: "Bioglan" Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora 10 billion CFU, live Bacteria, Probiotic, suitable for Vegetarians, with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Longum"Pukka" Vitalise a unique blend of 30 energising botanicals.

Diet: 16 April 2018 Detox cleanse / anti-candida for 90 days. Jan 2020 Started "small plate" diet (i.e child size portions).

Exercise: Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Elliptical/upper body workout, walking.

Medical Test Results: 4 Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 24 Feb 2017 Started weight loss program 24 Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment + anti-Candida diet started due to suspected Candida Related Complex (CRC). DETOXED for 7 weeks to "re-set" gut. April 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Comprehensive Stool Analysis NEGATIVE; Full Blood Count (Normal) / Blood Cholesterol: 5.6 (Borderline) / Blood Sugar (Normal) / 28 Jun 2017 FSH 8.2 / 14 Nov 2017 FSH 17.7 Dec 2017 Blood Cholesterol: 3.9 (Normal) / Kidney Function (Normal) / Blood Sugar (Normal). December 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Food panel allergy (bloodwork) analysis - a few "VERY LOW/VL" allergens; Mar 2018 "Genova Diagnostics" SIBO urine analysis: High Level of Yeast/fungal markers found in small intestine but NO SIBO.  April 2018 Thyroid (Normal) / Full Blood Count (Normal) / FSH (Normal). 16 April 2018 Started anti-Candida diet - 3 month protocol.   25 March 2020 All test results "Normal". CRP" 5 mg/L (normal range to 0-5 mg/L).

Symptoms:  Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, anhedonia, sinus headaches right-side (severe), IBS issues/reflux (severe)**, tinnitus, fatigue, inner tremor, nausea, chills/hot flushes, pounding heart, muscular issues including stiff left hip flexor, intense anger, PSSD (ongoing).  **Histhamine intolerance (suspected).

 

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)

Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018

Link to post

Keep it up Junglechicken! You can do it!

 

I signed up for a 6 week long competition at my gym right around the time I decided to quit Citalopram (that is how I know it took me 6 weeks to get over this). I guarantee to you that those first the weeks were hell. I kept training because I had already paid for the competition and was not going to quit halfway. And I was angry at those symptoms.

 

If I could do it,  so can you. Keep it up and know you will beat this!  Move, pump up your heart rate and let your body heal naturally. I'm rooting for you! !

 

Like all training programs,  go easy so you do not hurt yourself. Rest  when you must but always get back up.

 

Good luck to you!! That hell does come to an end.

Link to post

I was diagnosed with cfs two years after the CT, breaks me inside to read others can exercise. For me it's not a lack of will or desire, any attempt to raise my heart rate leaves me destroyed for days on end. I went into central London at the weekend and walked from Buckingham palace to Hyde park which is a 10 min walk and iv been so unwell since.

 

im currently trying to get back on Prozac which after nearly 4 years off is not easy and quite frankly is the last thing I want to do. Desperate times 

 

glad your exercising. I miss that adrenaline hit. I hope one day I'll be doing a double spin class like the old days 

 

Prozac 17 years 20mg.

Cold turkey Feb 2014

Restarted 2mg of prozac 26.8.18..

 

 

Link to post

God bless, Eleven. My heart is filled with compassion for you. Sincerely wish you a steady recovery, on your time and terms.

Do not lose hope, ever. May comfort come to you soon,  my dearest. Know that it will.

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy