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gibbo


gibbo

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Hi

 

I was prescribed citalopram for anxiety as I was a shift electrician and as I could not sleep I was getting anxious and irritable due to lack of sleep. Then many years later my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer which thankfully she survived and I changed my job. I then started to feel strange , I took my 10mgs of Citalopram without fail, but I was feeling rough. I went to the doctors and was advised to stop as it is just a small dose. Within 4 months I was a mess I lost 3st in weight and I just lost the plot. My doctor then put me on Sertraline, which I could not get on with. So I went back on Citalopram I then started to reduce from 10mgs to 0 over 8 months. I have now been off Citalopram for nearly 7 months. I have the following issues constant ringing in my ears, a pain around my forehead and nose, chills and a runny nose and low mood. I have never suffered with depression prior to taking SSRIs. Will this feeling ever go? I would never ever have touched this medication if I known that I would have ended up feeling like this. I also get cold hands and feet. All my doc wants to do is give me another SSRI Prozac I have declined this. Anybody else had this type of withdrawal. I do apologise as I am new to this site and I just trying to find my way around. Any help would be appreciated. One thing that does concern me is in my present post there are a lot of people men and women who take these tablets and swear by them.

Started citalopram 10mg September 2000 - Jan 2013 just stopped on docs advice. Result horrendous time. Restarted citalopram 10mg July 2013 then October switched to Sertraline 50mg stopped over six months tapered properly. Then crashed again so back on citalopram 10mg tapered off stopped August 2017. Seven months off need advice 

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  • Moderator

Hello, Gibbo, and welcome to SA.  I've moved your post to the Introductions and Updates forum, where more people will see it.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication 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. 
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.
The likely reason you are having these symptoms is that you tapered the Citalopram cold turkey the first time and too quickly the second, which destabilizes the central nervous system.  The brain likes things to be done slowly.   At Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops. 
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Here is some excellent information on withdrawal, so you will have a better understanding of what you are experiencing.  Almost all of the symptoms you listed are common withdrawal symptoms listed in the second link below:

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  Some people have found the information and explanations at these links helpful:

 

At this time, reinstatement of a very small dose of the original drug is the only known way to help alleviate withdrawal syndrome.  The only other alternative is to try and wait out the symptoms and manage as best you can until your central nervous system returns to homeostasis.  Unfortunately no one can give you an exact timeline as to when you will start feeling better and while some do recover relatively easily, for others it can take many months or longer.  
 
Reinstatement isn't a guarantee of diminished symptoms for everyone.  It is best to reinstate as soon as possible after withdrawal symptoms occur, ideally within three months.  At seven months out, no one can say whether reinstatement will work for you.  Ultimately the decision is yours, but thought I should bring this to your attention so that you can make the best decision regarding your health and well-being.  If reinstatement does work, then, once you've stabilized on that dosage, which can take several months, you can begin a 10% per month taper down to zero.   
 
If you decide you want to reinstate, go back to a very low dose, maybe 1 mg to start with, increase slightly, perhaps to 1.5 or 2mg after a week if it helped but isn't enough.  If it doesn't help or makes symptoms worse, stop immediately.  
 
Please read the first few post of this topic on reinstatement.:

 

The following link explains how you can make a nonstandard dose, such as 1 mg.

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

Whether or not you decide on reinstatement, we have several suggestions to help you deal with withdrawal.  Many members have found the techniques in these two links to be very useful:

 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. B vitamins are not recommended as they tend to be too activating.

 

This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community. I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.

Edited by Gridley
moved from Symptoms & Self-Care

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Aug. 5, 2022: 4.3mg

Taper is 77% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


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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I need some advice I have been off citalopram for nearly seven months. I think I need to go back on citalopram but what would the starting dose be? Any ideas

 

Started citalopram 10mg September 2000 - Jan 2013 just stopped on docs advice. Result horrendous time. Restarted citalopram 10mg July 2013 then October switched to Sertraline 50mg stopped over six months tapered properly. Then crashed again so back on citalopram 10mg tapered off stopped August 2017. Seven months off need advice 

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I have been off citalopram for 7 months. I have had very bad pins and needles in both of my feet, ringing in my ears. But no sweating but my anxieties are heightened. So I took 5mg of citalopram and my feet have stopped tingling but I have the dry mouth and fast heartbeat. Oh the joys of withdrawal I thought I tapered really slowly.

Started citalopram 10mg September 2000 - Jan 2013 just stopped on docs advice. Result horrendous time. Restarted citalopram 10mg July 2013 then October switched to Sertraline 50mg stopped over six months tapered properly. Then crashed again so back on citalopram 10mg tapered off stopped August 2017. Seven months off need advice 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi gibbo,

 

I've moved your new post to your Intro topic.  Please post your questions here.

 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

5 mg is probably too high, since in the seven months you've been off, you brain has made some adaptations to not having the drug.  As I suggested earlier, often 1 mg is enough to ease withdrawal symptoms.  If 1 mg helped but isn't enough, increase slightly, perhaps to 1.5 or 2 mg after a week.  If it doesn't help or makes symptoms worse, stop immediately.

 

The following link explains how you can make a nonstandard dose, such as 1 mg.

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Aug. 5, 2022: 4.3mg

Taper is 77% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


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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Thanks for the advice I do not know if I will ever be able to get off this rancid little drug. It has taken over my body and brain. Feel on edge all the time. I will cut down to 3mg tomorrow, if after a week I still feel rough then I will stop. So then it is a trip back to the Docs and try something different. Each time I taper off really slowly at the six - seven month mark everything goes wrong I really do try but it is a bloody awful situation to be in. Citalopram also made me gain tons of weight when I first went on it, I was so tired that I had blood tests done and they found that I had a fatty liver. After my amazing crash losing 3st, my LFT was normal?  Honestly it is very kind to have advice and I thank you for taking the time, I never ever thought that I would end up feeling like this.

Started citalopram 10mg September 2000 - Jan 2013 just stopped on docs advice. Result horrendous time. Restarted citalopram 10mg July 2013 then October switched to Sertraline 50mg stopped over six months tapered properly. Then crashed again so back on citalopram 10mg tapered off stopped August 2017. Seven months off need advice 

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  • Moderator

Your brain may be too oversensitized to tolerate 3 mg.  "More is better" is not true in reinstatement.  Please consider reinstating lower than 3 mg.  

 

It would be much better to reinstate the same drug, Celexa (agreed, it is rancid as are they all), then stabilize, then taper it down than to go to the doctor and switch to another drug, putting you back on the drug merry-go-round.  

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Aug. 5, 2022: 4.3mg

Taper is 77% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


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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So if I go down to 3mg and I don't feel any better do I up my dose to say 5mg or go to 10mg. At the moment I feel as though my body is receiving electric currents passing through it? One other question, I felt really happy on sertraline but could not handle the nausea, as you say it is a drug merry go round. Another question for you if I have taken 15mgs in total over 3 days how long with it take to clear my system. Sorry to be a pain, but any advice would be helpful.

Started citalopram 10mg September 2000 - Jan 2013 just stopped on docs advice. Result horrendous time. Restarted citalopram 10mg July 2013 then October switched to Sertraline 50mg stopped over six months tapered properly. Then crashed again so back on citalopram 10mg tapered off stopped August 2017. Seven months off need advice 

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  • Moderator

If you go down to 3 and don't feel any better (again, I think you should reinstate lower than 3), stop immediately.  Reinstatement is not working.  As I said earlier, reinstatement success after 7 months  is not guaranteed.  Do not under any circumstances go to 5 or 10mg.  That will destabilize you more and make you feel worse.  You may just have to wait it out until your brain returns to homeostasis.  These links I provided earlier can help:

 

 

To answer your second question, it is not a question of of the 15 mg you took clearing your system, just as it is not a question of the 10mg you took 7 months ago clearing the system.  Antidepressants change the brain. When you do into withdrawal, the brain is destabilized.  How long it will take the brain to recover is impossible to predict.   They are not like aspirin, in the body for a certain number of hours, then out of the body.  This link explains the process:

 

Brain Remodelling

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Aug. 5, 2022: 4.3mg

Taper is 77% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


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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  • Moderator Emeritus
8 hours ago, gibbo said:

Another question for you if I have taken 15mgs in total over 3 days how long with it take to clear my system.

 

It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.

 

As well as how Gridley explained it above.

 

Please read or re-read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 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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Thanks for the advice but I honestly don't know what normal is no more and after 7 months off then feeling ok having more energy all of a sudden having the anxiety rising again. Today I have my forehead pounding dry mouth fast heartbeat and I feel really down. As have I stated I get to the 6-7 month mark and its back to square one, I always wonder why?

Edited by gibbo
Missed out a letter

Started citalopram 10mg September 2000 - Jan 2013 just stopped on docs advice. Result horrendous time. Restarted citalopram 10mg July 2013 then October switched to Sertraline 50mg stopped over six months tapered properly. Then crashed again so back on citalopram 10mg tapered off stopped August 2017. Seven months off need advice 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Please update your signature whenever you make a change.  Your signature is not very helpful to the mods.  We need to be able to see your drug history at a glance (ie drug, date, dose - NO symptoms or diagnoses) without having to read through it.  Please use the following format.  Thank you.

 

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

 

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • 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.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

 

Stabilising  - What Does That Mean?

Withdrawal Normal Description

 

From What is Happening in Your Brain:

 

"Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are [...] to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were [...] to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and [...] to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while [...] is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made. 


And just like the Twin Towers- it's possible - but the building is a major effort -and it takes a good year or more sometimes."

 

Edited by ChessieCat

 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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Hi ChessieCat,

 

You will have to bear with as I am new to this site. Thanks for the advice and the analogy it is a long horrible process.

Started citalopram 10mg September 2000 - Jan 2013 just stopped on docs advice. Result horrendous time. Restarted citalopram 10mg July 2013 then October switched to Sertraline 50mg stopped over six months tapered properly. Then crashed again so back on citalopram 10mg tapered off stopped August 2017. Seven months off need advice 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi gibbo,

 

Thank you for completing your signature. However, it would be more helpful if your signature was simpler.  The mods like to be able to see it at a glance and not have to read through superfluous information.  Please check the following and include the year and the date where indicated.  Then you can copy and paste it as your signature.  Thank you.   Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Citalopram 10mg Sept 2000 - Jan 2013 CT

Citalopram 10mg July 2013

Sertraline 50mg Oct (what year?) tapered over 6 months

Citalopram 10mg (date?) tapered

Citalopram stopped Aug 2017

 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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